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Subject: what not to do rss

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David Molnar
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Ridgewood
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The overlap between folks who frequent BGG and those who play and appreciate the depth of Dots and Boxes is admittedly minimal. Nevertheless, at some point I intend to write up a brief strategy guide. This is not that, but perhaps it will be helpful.
(And perhaps monkeys will fly out of my butt.)

Evidently, someone is passing around the idea that it is a good idea to start off the game by boxing off the four corners. That is, two lines in each corner, separating one square from the rest of the board. I've seen several people do this, without regard to who went first. And I find it frankly bizarre: how could it possibly be the case that boxing off the corners is always advantageous to you, and bad for me? When a line is drawn on the board, it doesn't belong to one player or the other. It is possible that there are patterns that bestow an advantage on either the first player or the second player - in fact, there are such patterns but that is not the purpose of this note - but, otherwise, what's in it for you? Do you have superpowers that click in when all four corners are boxed off? (I'll give you a hint: no.)

There is strategy to this game, but there is no universal strategy that works regardless of the circumstances, just because you're the one who is employing it. The strategy has to depend on whether you went first or second.
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Russ Williams
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molnar wrote:
Evidently, someone is passing around the idea that it is a good idea to start off the game by boxing off the four corners. That is, two lines in each corner, separating one square from the rest of the board. I've seen several people do this, without regard to who went first. And I find it frankly bizarre: how could it possibly be the case that boxing off the corners is always advantageous to you, and bad for me?

Ha ha!

Quote:
There is strategy to this game, but there is no universal strategy that works regardless of the circumstances, just because you're the one who is employing it. The strategy has to depend on whether you went first or second.

And on the board dimensions, of course!
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