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Losermaker's Stratego Tutorials - Discussion and Questions


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#1 Losermaker

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 05:09 AM

I want to keep my tutorial topic clean and easy to read for new players after I have finished writing them. Please use this topic to have discussions or post any comments, questions, suggestions, diagrams, puzzles, setups, or whatever else you want that's' related to my tutorials.


Edited by Losermaker, 09 June 2018 - 05:32 AM.

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#2 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 05:45 AM

Very good initiative this tutorials!
Yes starting from setup strategy is logical start. I would say there are 2 families of setups, the bombed in flag family and the open flag family. When to use one versus the other?
My point is:
bombed in flag always prefered against unknown players or players with risk of lottoing. At least a lotto player will never be able to lotto your flag if that one is bombed in.
Open flag prefered against very experienced players that you consider as equivalent or stronger thsn you. Such stronger player will recognize positions such as tripod or cornered bombed in flag possible position and focus their attack there. With open flag you may make it more difficult for them to understand your setup.
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#3 Losermaker

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 05:53 AM

Hi Napoleon,

Thankyou, I just hope they are not too long and boring for players like yourself.

As someone who is known for playing a strong defensive game, do you have or do you mind making a defensive setup to share? :)

 

You make a good point, I made this first tutorial in three parts to cover the three aspects of setups, defense, attack, and bluff. I put open flags under the category of bluff as I don't think they should be used more regularly than bombed in flag and are only really something you start doing once the competition increases and you find yourself needing to do something different to win. Even then it is still a risk.

 

If you are a player ranked beneath gold and playing another gold or lower player then  I would advise to ALWAYS bomb in your flag and generally don't have it in the corner. You will get too many lotto players coming down that lane and getting lucky at finding your flag.


Edited by Losermaker, 09 June 2018 - 05:56 AM.

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#4 Fks

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 06:50 AM

I was very much anticipating the release of your tutorials, I am glad they are finally here I am looking forward to the next one! Regarding this specific one the actual set up wouldn't fit my style I think but I will try to analyze a bit more when I set up like you have done :)

On a side note regarding Napoleons comment on open flag/ closed. I might be giving away to much info away but I have felt you could always afford to do a totally wack set up vs a defensive player I.E. Napoleon 1er or MTinsley so to speak as they will never punish any fundamental set up flaws that you may have.
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#5 Dobby125

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 03:24 PM

If you want an optimal win/loss ratio, always play with a bombed in flag against players below 600 ELO.  Always!  It puts a premium value on your opponents miners.  If you capture all their miners, you usually can at least get a draw.  It also allows you to be more aggressive with your high pieces.  If your Marshal gets revealed far away from your side of the board, you don't have to rush back to play defense if your flag is surrounded by bombs.  You don't have to worry about a potential lotto loss.  You just have to stop miners.

 

When playing with a open flag, always defend your bombs against low pieces like scouts, miners, sergeants and sometimes even lieutenants.  Beginning players let their bombs get revealed too quickly.  Treat every bomb as a spy and defend them well.  Yes, defend your bombs! If your opponent figures out your bomb placements too quickly and too easily(with scouts or other low pieces), you're going to have a tough time winning with an open flag. 

 

A tip for low ranked Marshal Blitzers:  Keep at least 1 or maybe even 2 bombs on your Marshal/Flag side to slow down the counter attack(the flag is almost always on the Marshal side of blitzers and it's almost always open).  Most of the time low ranked Marshal blitzers put 6 bombs on one side of the board and have their flag on the Marshal side.  You can easily sacrifice your Marshal by taking their General in the middle of the board and then slaughter everything on the Marshal side without much worries of a bomb.  I wouldn't lotto with the General right away though(I almost never have to lotto with this type of counter attack).  Attack pieces that have moved and use scouting pieces to help aid your General.  And if you do lotto with your General and hit a bomb, you can still usually follow up with a Colonel lotto and win enough quality pieces(major, captains or flag) to win the game.  


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#6 murph878

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 05:45 PM

Awesome stuff Losermaker. Thanks for doing this. I always enjoy learning from the best.

Any chance in the future you could use pieces with numbers on them. I had a hard time following without them. Just a thought.

Thanks
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#7 Losermaker

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 10:23 PM

@Dobby, Great advice there! Some of that is very similar to what I had prepared for part2 ;)

 

@murph878

Hi Murph,

No problem, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the suggestion, unfortunately Morx's Setup Editor does not have an option to use numbers and I have to use it for the diagrams, however I could make the setups using stratego.com's setup editor with numbering if that helps? What numbering system do you use?


Edited by Losermaker, 10 June 2018 - 05:49 AM.


#8 murph878

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 02:23 AM

Obviously dont worry about it if its too much of a hassle. Just thought there may be an easy way to include them. Either numbering system is fine if you decide to do it on the other editor. I just dont have the faces of the pieces matched to their ranks yet. Maybe something i should do.

Thanks again

#9 Losermaker

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:36 AM

Part2 is up. Please let me know if the numberings for the setups makes it easier.

http://forum.strateg...ls/#entry456415



#10 murph878

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 02:57 AM

Much easier for me. Thank you very much. Great info as always
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#11 Losermaker

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 11:49 AM

Part3 is up: http://forum.strateg...ls/#entry457193



#12 Losermaker

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 09:54 PM

Thanks a lot for these very elaborate tutorials. It would be even greater if you were to record a sample game with each of these initial positions that you posted here (in parts 1-3) and put them on YouTube for us to view. Just to get an idea of how positions can play out.

Currently I don't have a youtube account, but I will look into adding it in the future :)


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#13 Losermaker

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 02:55 AM

Tutorial 2 is up: http://forum.strateg...ls/#entry458198



#14 TemplateRex

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 09:37 AM

Tutorial 2 is up: http://forum.strateg...ls/#entry458198


Awesome tutorial, as always. I have a few remarks.

Example 1.

There is a simple rule similar to the rule of the square in chess to see without calculating that the red colonel can’t get from D4 to B7 without being intercepted by the blue marshal: because the lake does not interfere with the shortest path, the rule is simply that with red to move, the blue marshal should be to the right of the B2-G7 diagonal on which the red colonel is located.

For other examples of this simple rule, see this Q&A here:
http://forum.strateg...forum/?p=446957
http://forum.strateg...forum/?p=446974

This principle also frequently occurs in endgames when a piece has to guard against back row miner marches from hitherto unmoved piece locations. Not straying past the key diagonals is important not to forget in the heat of the moment. For a concrete example, see this game by Fairway, around 46:20
https://www.youtube....h?v=zWHhxslXXDQ
http://forum.strateg...ntary/?p=444884

#15 TemplateRex

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 09:57 AM

Tutorial 2 is up: http://forum.strateg...ls/#entry458198


Example 3.

Your final diagram is still a very difficult endgame AFAICS. How does red win? I can see two plans, but both still require careful calculations.

1) Using the red miner to exchange the blue miner. Once achieved, the red general has a free path to the flag (but see my last remark in this post). Blue defense: if blue moves his miner to A1, can the central blue sergeant then not block the red miner from exchanging? And, ultimately, will the right blue sergeant be able to pick up the red miner?

2) Using the red miner to defend the flag from the blue miner while attacking the flag with the general. Blue defense: open the flag position, and racing towards red’s flag with the central sergeant as soon as the red general passes.

Can you give some concrete variations on how red can win?

Final remark: most likely, blue’s flag is on J10, but you can’t be sure. Say it’s 98% on J10, 1.9% on J9, and 0.1% on J8. Can red afford to probe J8 with his miner? After J7-J8 (bomb) I10-I9 J8-J7, red has lost a tempo compared to your variation. If this doesn’t throw away the win, eliminating J8 as the flag position should be done, wouldn’t you agree?

#16 rgillis783

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 01:41 PM

Hello Losermaker , I noticed that two weeks ago you were going to look into getting YouTube acct. I was just wondering if you are still thinking of a video/stream. I think many players would like to see ya in action. For those unaware Losermaker is a great player who has had the account reset to bronze and climbed back up as has a few other platinum players. If you do decide to post a video or stream have you considered how you would do commentary ? Voice over versus written commentary. Thank you for sharing your tutorial !  



#17 Losermaker

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 10:35 PM

Awesome tutorial, as always. I have a few remarks.

Example 1.

There is a simple rule similar to the rule of the square in chess to see without calculating that the red colonel can’t get from D4 to B7 without being intercepted by the blue marshal: because the lake does not interfere with the shortest path, the rule is simply that with red to move, the blue marshal should be to the right of the B2-G7 diagonal on which the red colonel is located.

For other examples of this simple rule, see this Q&A here:
http://forum.strateg...forum/?p=446957
http://forum.strateg...forum/?p=446974

This principle also frequently occurs in endgames when a piece has to guard against back row miner marches from hitherto unmoved piece locations. Not straying past the key diagonals is important not to forget in the heat of the moment. For a concrete example, see this game by Fairway, around 46:20
https://www.youtube....h?v=zWHhxslXXDQ
http://forum.strateg...ntary/?p=444884

Thanks for the comments and examples, that one by fairway particularly shows clearly what to do in those tricky endgame scenarios. Well played Fairway ;)

 

Example 3.

Your final diagram is still a very difficult endgame AFAICS. How does red win? I can see two plans, but both still require careful calculations.

I thought this endgame scenario was a ripper, looks quite simple, but you do have to be careful.

1) Using the red miner to exchange the blue miner. Once achieved, the red general has a free path to the flag (but see my last remark in this post). Blue defense: if blue moves his miner to A1, can the central blue sergeant then not block the red miner from exchanging? And, ultimately, will the right blue sergeant be able to pick up the red miner? You don't have to follow him with your general, you just get in line with his sergeant and use the 2 squares, same as below.

2) Using the red miner to defend the flag from the blue miner while attacking the flag with the general. Blue defense: open the flag position, and racing towards red’s flag with the central sergeant as soon as the red general passes.

Blue's sergeant will not be able to make it past to cause any trouble. In the final diagram it is red to move, red plays G3-F3 and blue either moves the miner down, to the right or to the left, no matter which move he makes you can use your miner to defend the flag and your general is now in line with his sergeant. Here is an example: https://www.dropbox....9/trex.PNG?dl=0

If blue tries to bring the miner toward your flag, you use gen/miner to swap. If blue tries to move the sergeant, using the 2 squares rule you can follow him up toward his base. 

Can you give some concrete variations on how red can win?

Final remark: most likely, blue’s flag is on J10, but you can’t be sure. Say it’s 98% on J10, 1.9% on J9, and 0.1% on J8. Can red afford to probe J8 with his miner? After J7-J8 (bomb) I10-I9 J8-J7, red has lost a tempo compared to your variation. If this doesn’t throw away the win, eliminating J8 as the flag position should be done, wouldn’t you agree? At no point after you have lost the first miner are you able to take J8 with the other miner. If you do, his sergeant at I10 will get diagonal with your miner, forcing you into a position like in fairway's game.

All in all you are right, you cannot 100% guarantee a win for red. "certain loss for blue" was not exactly the best choice of words, but it is extremely unlikely that the other 2 pieces are blue's flag :)


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#18 Losermaker

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 10:40 PM

Hi rgillis,

I fully agree that showing someone in game with commentary is the best way. I looked into doing it, but I don't have the time to do much extra at the moment. If I do add some later on down the track it would be with a microphone, showing maybe a game or two with the setups I gave in tutorial 1 to give an idea of how to play them and also perhaps using gravon's free piece placement to setup scenarios and then comment as I show how to play them.


Edited by Losermaker, 17 July 2018 - 10:41 PM.

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#19 TemplateRex

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 11:47 PM

Blue’s last move didn’t have to be F6-F5, but could have been F6-E6. Now the red gen doesn’t have the 2 squares rule on the blue sarge.

Or perhaps even better, blue could have started the defense with F2-F1, forcing the general to G2. Now after the red miner has to come down one square further before the gen can move up, and the blue sarge will be at F4, past the lane bottleneck. Still seems likely that red can win, but it’s far from trivial.

Re: probing J8, good point, that would lose the red miner.

#20 Losermaker

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 10:26 PM

Tutorial 3: http://forum.strateg...ls/#entry458998






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