Col Chop Chop, I think it would be brilliant if someone was able to go 17-1 on there first try online just three months after finding the Stratego board for the first time. I hope to find out that this is true because if so, your talent won't stop prevailing until you are in the top five. A quick learner like yourself will peak no sooner than years/thousands of games played so you have an amazing future we should all be anticipating to see from you.
Please let me share with you my story. I was shown Stratego by a friend in high school. He stomped me 4 times in a row...after pondering strategy and setup for two days, I could not wait to play him again. I tell you the truth, I beat him the next five games. I was a natural and he never played me again. I started telling everyone about the game and even made my own board a month later. One guy could beat me and only about 40% of the time. I rarely lost and I make this bold statement for a reason coming up. For Six entire years (me becoming better and better) I searched for Stratego online and somehow never found gravon or metaforge but one day in 2012...I FOUND STRATEGO.COM!!!! I threw a party for a week, I could not believe I could play people anytime and I loved it more than I should have. Here is the kicker, as naturally talented I was in the game, I came in thinking I would stomp the world....I did the opposite. I went 18-18 in my first 36 games. That is when I knew Stratego was much more complicated than I thought. How could I lose so much online? I had to find out so I played and I played and I played! It literally took two years for me to learn very intricate relationships between ranks and how their dynamic is best understood. I had no idea that each match had a very specific personality that created an image for me but after 6 years of playing online, I am starting to feel more comfortable with how the board flows in it's intricate ways.
Lastly, I have found that the competition is only getting harder. More and more players are learning this game at an earlier rank which makes the old 500 elo now play similar at the now 350 elo. What I'm saying is that being 17-1 today is much much harder to achieve than it was six years ago when I started out only going 18-18 with no online experience but as I said, if you can go 17-1 in your first try, in six months you will have at least 900 points and possibly even 1000. If not, I hate to inform that it may confirm my friends suspicion several posts back that you are indeed just another stagnant player that has started another alias and probably won't get any better than the low platinum they truly are. I guess only time will tell.
Good to meet you Col Chop Chop