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Subject: Degenerate Strategy? rss

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Bradley Burcar
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I saw this strategy article posted yesterday and thought it raised some interesting points regarding strategy in Trias.

http://linnaeus.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/craft-trias-scoring...

Has anybody else observed a similar problem themselves while playing Trias? I only have a handful of games played and have not seen anything close to this occurring, but my group may not have stumbled across this "winning" strategy, yet. I can definitely see this being a problem unless your opponents were on top of things and specifically attempting to prevent such a thing from happening.
 
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Russ Williams
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I've played a dozen or so times. I certainly don't claim to be a master of the game, but it seems to me the linked article oversimplifies.

Sure, it is good to be the sole occupant of an island that divides several times like that, but other competent players are either going to be doing the same or, more likely, also trying to be on your island so they can get secondary points, not to mention the final island scoring usually IS significant.

I.e. I've never seen the game devolve into everyone just doing their own thing, neatly splitting and earning points over and over.

But yeah, it would be interesting to see what games with highly rated players look like.
 
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Matt Thrower
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I tried this in a game today. We're all pretty inexperienced with the game and by the time the other players rumbled to what I was doing, it was a bit late to stop me. It's certainly effective if you can pull it off: by the end of the game I had one more point than there is on the scoring track!

We spent some time discussing what the best response to the strategy was, and decided that the best solution is for another player to connect to the "private" continent and try and get a dinosaur on there. It only takes one other player on the continent to make this tactic ineffective, as you're then only scoring 1 point more than him, which is easily erased in final scoring. When they tried this, it proved effective it was just too little, too late.

So next week we'll be playing again and it'll be interesting to see how the strategy of the game evolves. There may be an element of game theory here: if player 1 splits and player 2 has to spend all their resources for one turn to add a hitchiker to the continent, does that give the other players, who haven't spent the points, an advantage? I suspect not since the hitchiker should guarantee player 2 half points for the split continent at end scoring. So I suspect it's not a "killer" strategy, merely a viable and useful one.
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Yehuda Berlinger
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I would think that, if there are at least three players, that the other players could steal away all of the tiles that the first player requires to do this with a little, but not overwhelming, effort.

Furthermore, the other players could be doing their own connecting.reconnecting schemes at the same time; even if not as often, it would be often enough to not give someone entirely devoted to the strategy enough headway against final scoring.

Yehuda
 
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Bradley Burcar
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Thanks for actually giving the strategy a try and reporting back on the results! That is quite interesting seeing it in action. How large was your overall margin of victory? Did you just completely run away with it or did they manage to get somewhat close to your final score?

I hope you report back after your game next week to see how things evolve with this new strategy in play. I'll cross my fingers that it will make the game more fun rather than wrecking the game for everyone.
 
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Matt Thrower
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ElZappo wrote:
Thanks for actually giving the strategy a try and reporting back on the results! That is quite interesting seeing it in action. How large was your overall margin of victory? Did you just completely run away with it or did they manage to get somewhat close to your final score?

No. They were completely left behind in the dust.

ElZappo wrote:
I hope you report back after your game next week to see how things evolve with this new strategy in play. I'll cross my fingers that it will make the game more fun rather than wrecking the game for everyone.

Unfortunately that game never happened. We have a rule of thumb that we play a different game each month, for the whole month, to try and stop "new! shiny!" preventing us from exploring a game properly. Only last month we got hijacked because the last two weeks of the month our gaming day was overridden by important work stuff. But I'll try and get it back to the table sometime soon.
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Mike V
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"It’s a straightforward area majority game". This is where the writer lost me. I dare say anybody who says this doesn't understand the game...or perhaps in the writer's case, wants Trias to be a different game than it actually is. Trias is as much about manipulating the continent tiles as it is about area domination. Racking up points by detaching land masses is a legitimate (and strong) tactic, and if other players don't realize this it's easy to run away with the game. With experienced players, on the other hand, I'd hardly call this a "degenerate" strategy. First, with multiple players, it's easier said than done to isolate yourself on a small land mass like that - and actually getting to that point can take alot of effort. Second, focusing all of your energies on 4 measly tiles while other players are scoring detachment points while *at the same time* spreading through the rest of the world is going to be a losing strategy.

I don't know about 2-player games (I've only played multi-player), but in my 79+ games I've never seen a detachment-centred strategy suck the interaction or conflict out of a game. Experienced players are just going to pressure you too much to let that happen.

As others have said, if you really think you can win with this, take it to yucata.de
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Chad Ellis
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At the moment I'm ranked #2 in Trias on yucata.de.

I think the author has indeed hit on one of the most powerful weapons in Trias but that it doesn't break the game.

If you're doing this and your opponents are beginners you will indeed gain a fairly easy victory, but this is true of lots of games. If your opponents understand the game they can and will fight you for control of your region, prevent you from splitting it off into a 4+ region or create breakaway regions of their own.
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