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Sploof» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Sploof proto-strategy guide rss

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Matt Green
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Horsham
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This guide is not meant to be a de facto list of the best strategies available in Sploof: think of it more as a discussion piece on how to explore key elements of the game and improve decisions made whilst playing it. Whilst I’ve played the game a fair few times now as I thought through the concept of using the Shibumi balls as a resource to be managed, I am sure that more regular players of abstract games and those with a mind set attuned to playing them well will have more to add.

Consider the following as points to ponder:

The opening moves on the game present the players with two basic strategic starting points. Either: remove a lot of red balls early while there is no threat that the opponent will win; or place your initial balls early in useful positions that will maximise your chances of getting a winning line later on, although running the risk of forced moves late in the game.

Placing balls diagonally across the centre will lead to cagey play in the mid-game as getting the middle 2x2 stack on the second level will give a line of three balls expandable at either end. This is a dangerous situation for the opposing player.

The corner red balls can never be pinned. Leaving them in place could provide a reliable way of getting more balls into your stock later in the game. Equally, positioning a ball on a 2x2 corner stack on the second level will drop it into the bottom corner should the opponent remove the red ball. This could lead to a good attack along that diagonal. Preferentially taking the corner balls early in the game could lead to a strategy of deliberately pinning the remaining balls and running the opponent out of options.

If your opponent has one ball in their stock it often pays to make obvious threats to force their hand. A key concept in Sploof is controlling the opponent’s options. When an opponent takes a red ball off the board you get to place two balls in succession: this should be an advantage that gives you control of the game’s tempo as long as you have sufficient balls in your stock to capitalise on the situation.

Remove red balls that give you a positional advantage through dropping your balls in line or your opponents out of line. Disrupting your opponent’s line will set them back and give you two more balls in your stock. These moves can be pivotal in turning the tempo of a game toward you.

Keep a mental count of how many more potential balls you could have in your stock and the choices you have to get them. Be aware of the ramifications of unpinning a red ball for your opponent.
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