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Subject: Does that mean a 'lose' when a beetle is on top of your Queen? rss

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Ray Lai
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After couple of games,Hive gives me a feeling that when a beetle comes on top of your Queen(which happens frequently),you are most likely to lose this game.
So,is there any chance to remedy/to avoid getting 'caught'?
Please feel free to share your opinion.

p.s. Sorry for my poor English.modest
 
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There are two advantages to having a beetle on top of a queen.
1) The queen is pinned. But there are many ways to pin a queen, so in this regard the beetle is no better than those other ways.

2) It turns the queen bees color, so that the opponent can now start pieces directly next to the queen bee. This is a big advantage. But there is a simple way to cancel this out--simply get one of your beetles up on top of their beetle turning the color back to yours.
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Michael Weber
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other than "protecting potential entry points of new tiles, there is not overly you can do when your bee gets caught by the beetle.

Imagine this situation:



Now, if the black beetle moved onto the white queen, the only point where black could bring in new black tiles is the place the beetle was initially in because of the white pieces "protecting" the other entry points next to the white queen/blackbeetle. Still, it is not a good position to be in....

 
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Henry Allen
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As far as avoiding getting caught, there are a couple of tactics I can think of off the top of my head.

1. You can take advantage of the 'one hive' rule to pin pieces (including the opposing beetle). In other words, if you don't want the beetle advancing then you move one of your pieces so that the beetle is the only thing keeping your piece attached to the hive (preventing the beetle from moving). This isn't an option any more once the beetle climbs up top obviously.
2. You can also use your own beetle to pin (or deter) the opposing beetle before it makes it to your bee.
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Jason Wallace
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While having a beetle on your queen is certainly something to worry about, I've won quite a number of games when that happen to me. (I've played >1000 games of Hive, just for context)

Pinning the beetle or detering the beetle with your own beetle can certainly help prevent it.

Preventing the beetle on the queen from bringing in new bugs with a nearby bug of yours (preferably NOT adjacent to your queen unless it was already there).

OR... if you can keep careful track of tempo you can sometimes outrace them to surround their queen first as getting the beetle next to their queen and THEN getting it up there takes an extra move away (they lose some tempo), can give you time to finish them off.

You can also move a beetle of yours towards their beetle on your queen and jump on top of it. If you can make the spot or spots remaining inaccesible except to hoppers or beetles you can buy the time you need to surround their queen too.

It's better to prevent them getting that beetle up there, but you can fight back if careful.
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Michael Hines
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One thing that I have noticed myself do in almost every game I play is that I use one beetle for offense, and one for defense. I usually put a beetle on or near my queen (on top of the hive) so that I can defend against an opponent's beetle if they get too close.
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Michael Weber
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louper wrote:
Mixo wrote:
other than "protecting potential entry points of new tiles, there is not overly you can do when your bee gets caught by the beetle.

Imagine this situation:



Now, if the black beetle moved onto the white queen, the only point where black could bring in new black tiles is the place the beetle was initially in because of the white pieces "protecting" the other entry points next to the white queen/blackbeetle. Still, it is not a good position to be in....



I've only played a couple games online, so don't have the rules, but can't black still bring in pieces elsewhere, say adjacent to the black spider on the right hand side, or adjacent to the blank ant on the lower middle (or, also, the ant and/or the grasshopper neat the top)?

Maybe you just meant the only point where black could bring in new tiles that would already be adjacent to the queen?


The main concern with a beetle on top of the queen is that your opponent can bring in tiles RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR QUEEN, because your queen "is covered in your opponents color", this means that your opponent needs only one turn per tile to surround your queen as opposed to bringing the tile into the game somewhere else and THEN moving it to surround the queen (i.e. needing two turns)
 
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Russ Williams
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Mixo wrote:
The main concern with a beetle on top of the queen is that your opponent can bring in tiles RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR QUEEN, because your queen "is covered in your opponents color", this means that your opponent needs only one turn per tile to surround your queen as opposed to bringing the tile into the game somewhere else and THEN moving it to surround the queen (i.e. needing two turns)

The compensation is that the opponent typically spent more time getting the beetle onto the queen. Also (depending on the surrounding situation) the color benefit (to bring new pieces in right next to the trapped queen) might be reduced by nearby enemy pieces.

Another danger of having the beetle on your queen is of course simply the inability to move the queen.


All that said, yeah, I agree with other comments: it's a disadvantage to have your queen trapped by a beetle, but it's certainly not "game over, man".
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JR
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russ wrote:
The compensation is that the opponent typically spent more time getting the beetle onto the queen. Also (depending on the surrounding situation) the color benefit (to bring new pieces in right next to the trapped queen) might be reduced by nearby enemy pieces.


I've been playing a fair bit of Hive the last few weeks (and have been playing on and off for a couple years) and this thread was referred to in some post-game discussion regarding queen covering with beetles. I quoting an important snippet from Russ' post because this is really critical to inexperienced Hive players.

Hive is not a game where you can have a long term plan and make some moves towards this plan, perhaps leaving some enemy moves unanswered, knowing that your ultimate goal should be correct. This is tight, tactical game with so few pieces and average turns per game that every single move/placement is quite critical to the end result.

With many plays, you should start to identify an impending threat basically the instant it appears. As Russ suggested: If your opponent brought on his beetle and then had to move it 2 or 3 spaces along the hive to cover your queen, you had 3 or 4 opportunities to set up a response.

Common responses are:
* Use a mobile piece (Ant) to pin the enemy beetle from moving.
* Ensure a beetle or another piece is in a position to pin or cover the beetle before it reaches your queen.
* Place a beetle along the edge of the required path of the incoming beetle. The opponent will usually see this and change plans because as soon as they move within 1 space of your beetle, you cover it.
* Often the best defence is offence. As soon as your opponent starts to execute this plan, hopefully you have usable pieces at your disposal and you can immediately begin to pin and then press his queen to force him to defend or else lose the race.
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