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Entrapment» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Openings? rss

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Blue Mountain
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Any suggestions regarding good openings? During the opening should one stay away from the edge, dominate the middle or something in between?

Or does is mostly depend on position relative to your opponent?
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Rich Gowell
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I consider it a genuine failing of mine that in so many years of playing this thing, I've made so little headway on the issue in question. Both initial setup and early game are fundamentally about lopping off "liberty" from your opponent's roamers in chunks as large as possible so that by mid to late game he is laboring under constraints that keep him on his back foot, surviving rather than aggressing. Initial setup is obviously the first phase of this effort. Perimeter is bad, because too vulnerable. I try to seperate off one of my opponent's roamers at least a little with setup so that he can be 'bullied' a bit, and perhaps be quickly put in an irretrievably compromised state. No magic formula that either Frank or I have found though. We have talked for years about some young prodigy coming up and playing inscrutable patterns, including starting set up, that just blow us out of the water. Because there is this sense of hidden depth that none of us has plumbed yet (ie there are no 'Grand Master' Entrapment players yet), and so tactical and strategic analysis are far less sophisticated now than they hopefully will be in the future. Quinn Swanger (Zugzwang on boardspace) has developed a particularly impressive early game, for instance, notable for it's aggressiveness. I call him the 'Master of Early Herding' for the way he corrals and imperils you right out of the gate. Again, much insight has yet to be gained by any of us, which is among the more appealing things about where we're at with the game now, in my opinion.
 
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Francis Bergeron
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I don't get a lot of experience for now but i have a thought for the first move.

Playing as a white and acting first, my best move is surely to go for the center square, why playing on other places and letting the black taking it?

The central square is the most distant from the edge and playing on the edge is surely not a good idea so being far from it is surely a good idea.

I also avoid being surrounded on placement and having to move my roamer as a first move, i want to put a barrier not moving. So my tendencies is to play others roamer in diagonale line from the center. But here it depend on what black doing but i try to get more open field behind me than my opponent.

Any more thought are welcome! :-)
 
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Rich Gowell
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These are good thoughts, Francis, about as solid as anything I've come up with. Fighting to hold the center can be valuable, but can also become a trap if the opponent is able to surround with roamers and walls. But in the beginning I think it is a strong strategy.
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Francis Bergeron
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For sure we can be pushed away easily and as you said it can become a trap, as other part of the board too... and for sure, it can't guarantee the win, there's a lot going on in the game.

Also being in the center may lead to the black putting wall there and it can help him in a near future.

So is it the way? Surely not the way but knowing that the border can help trapping, being away can be good and the center is the farther from the edge... anyway, just a thought, it's not as simple...

I will try more variations than putting my first roamer on the center.

 
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