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Predictability and bluff


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#1 TemplateRex

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 01:05 PM

I want to share a fun fragment that I encountered yesterday. In general I'm pretty bad at being unpredictable and bluffing successfully at the right time with the right pieces. Below a tale of a major misfortune and a minor compensation :)

 

sIpN8Ks.png

 

Blue pieces shown were all known, only red colonel on J7 known, red major on C2 had not moved, rest of red pieces shown had moved.

 

In this fragment, blue came out with an unknown piece from A9. We had previously swapped colonels on our left flank (his came from C7). So I figured in this diagram, his marsh and last colo were behind the right lake, and a second major was in front of his general.

 

This led me to believe the piece from A9 was the third major. Reasonable? Maybe I'm gullible :)

 

To protect my captains, I came out with my major from C2 and got intercepted on B5 by his last colonel :(

 

Lesson 1: never assume that colonels are always split across flanks. Here he got a major on me by being unpredictable.

 

A major down, and my (unknown) general out of position to squeeze his last colo, I decided to make a bluff. I came out with my captain on D3, pretending to be my unknown general and chased his colo back to C8 and then I hit from B7 on A7, which turned out to be a sergeant (I had hoped for a lieutenant, but OK).

 

Lesson 2: colonels can be bluffed away by a captain pretending to be an unknown general  :)

 

I also had another major in the center (blocked by the captain, so I couldn't move it out), but I don't know if I would have dared chase the blue colo with a major, although it would have been sweet if A7 had been a captain and the bluff had worked.

 

Any further tips from the experts? 


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#2 Fks

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 01:52 PM

I have not read through the situation. It's a very bold choice to use a captain to bluff a colonel away, Something I would never suggest doing unless you know it will work. Knowing it will work can depend on how has he reacted throughout the game to past bluffs or when you push your piece against his.

I played Don Homer in the Naarden Open tournament. I attempted to bluff his pieces 6 different times through out the game where he called everything correctly. Was an incredible game from him.
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#3 GaryLShelton

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 02:36 PM

Another sometimes poor assumption I've been known to make is that the Marshal and general are split across the board. I occasionally get clued-in in time to not lose anything too badly but not always, that's for sure.

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#4 TemplateRex

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 02:36 PM

I have not read through the situation. It's a very bold choice to use a captain to bluff a colonel away, Something I would never suggest doing unless you know it will work. Knowing it will work can depend on how has he reacted throughout the game to past bluffs or when you push your piece against his.

I played Don Homer in the Naarden Open tournament. I attempted to bluff his pieces 6 different times through out the game where he called everything correctly. Was an incredible game from him.

 

I had tested in the opening some stuff: I couldn't bluff captains away (he called captain on captain), but did bluff away a major with a sarge to scout his gen behind the lake. So I figured he would sit on his major lead and not hit a possible gen.

 

In another game I remember once losing a colo to a gen, and chasing the gen with a major to get back a captain. The higher the chased piece, the less likely people like to call you, especially when they are sitting on a lead. And besides, I'm down a big piece anyway, so I'd rather lose quickly than die slowly :)

 

Another point to consider: (this does not apply to random strangers in online games) but it can help to build a reputation for chasing colos with captains if that leads to calls further down the line and when I am using a general for real. Even if I lose a captain 2 out 3 times, winning the colo the 1 time, might make it worth it.

 

I saw the video where you were telling about "bluffing the heck out of everyone" :) I hope you pulled out some good ones.


Edited by TemplateRex, 27 August 2018 - 02:44 PM.

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#5 Dobby125

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 02:52 PM

Since most players tend to have a balanced setup(unless they marshal blitz on a side), it's unusual to find both colonels on the same side of the board.  I tested the gravon setups and found generals are about 2/3 of the time on the opposite side of their marshal.  I don't think I tested colonel flank separation, but I bet it's higher than 67%.  I just quickly, randomly looked at about 25 game setups on youtube from some of the top  & mid ranked players and only found 1 game with colonels on the same side.  I tend to play the stats and would still assume colonels are on different sides unless I'm playing a marshal blitzer.

 

I usually bluff scout with a miner when I reveal a colonel(usually during the middle of the game), to see what it does and where it goes, with hopes of veering off and opening up a possible top triangle bomb formation.  If you know where their gen/mar are and they don't know yours, you can pin the revealed colonel with your unknown colonel with hopes of picking up a scouting piece.  It could make a difference in a very close game.  


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#6 Don_Homer

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 02:52 PM

Stratego is also a game of chance calculation. If you bluff a low piece you do not lose much if your opponent calls your bluff. So it will not do too much about the standing (who has the best win chance at that moment). So Fks is right its pretty bold to risk a captain to a threat a Colonel. If he calls your bluff you will suddenly stand much worse than before. So preferably bluff with a low or equal piece. 

 

Btw Fks I dont think I called 6 of your bluffs :). It was less. Im sure you will have your revanche though :).


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#7 murph878

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:00 PM

1) theres definitely nothing wrong with throwing in a bunch of

I had tested in the opening some stuff: I couldn't bluff captains away (he called captain on captain), but did bluff away a major with a sarge to scout his gen behind the lake. So I figured he would sit on his major lead and not hit a possible gen.
 
In another game I remember once losing a colo to a gen, and chasing the gen with a major to get back a captain. The higher the chased piece, the less likely people like to call you, especially when they are sitting on a lead. And besides, I'm down a big piece anyway, so I'd rather lose quickly than die slowly :)
 
Another point to consider: (this does not apply to random strangers in online games) but it can help to build a reputation for chasing colos with captains if that leads to calls further down the line and when I am using a general for real. Even if I lose a captain 2 out 3 times, winning the colo the 1 time, might make it worth it.
 
I saw the video where you were telling about "bluffing the heck out of everyone" :) I hope you pulled out some good ones.


Theres definitely nothing wrong with throwing in a bunch of bluffs so that later down the road they wont believe it when you actually are chasing with a high piece, but as Fks mentioned you dont want to bluff with captains or majors. Way too risky. Use scouts, minors, sarg to bluff.

Also use above scenario as a learning experience. If it worked well against you, try to incorporate it into your own game. Make a setup or two with two col on same side or marsh, gen on same side.

One last thing. Against good players, watch out for the " bluffs that make no sense" , meaning a piece that should obviously not be a good piece decides to bluff you anyways. For example, i played a game recently where i showed col early on the left side. He had a bomb front row and took the piece right behind it to bluff my col. Obviously this is usually a sarg minor or lieut and he knows i know that, so for him to still try and bluff anyways means its going to be a good piece a lot of the time.
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#8 Yellowhat

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:04 PM

In our last game at a tournament in Sliedrecht, Anjo Travaille/Garulfo chased my known general with an unknown colonel(!). Unfortunately for him, I attacked it  :)


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#9 Dobby125

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:05 PM

Another sometimes poor assumption I've been known to make is that the Marshal and general are split across the board. I occasionally get clued-in in time to not lose anything too badly but not always, that's for sure.

 

That throws me off too.  But that's what makes the game fun.  I've had several players berate me in chat(usually aliases) that are mad because I have mar/gen and both colonels on the same side.  They'll call me a "noob" or say "no good players do that" when they get fooled.  What usually happens is my spy captures their marshall and they then try to lotto on my spy side with their general thinking my marshal is on the other side.  Or else my Marshal gets revealed and they try counter attacking with their  Marshal on my Marshal side thinking the spy isn't there.  Opps.


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#10 Don_Homer

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:06 PM

In our last game at a tournament in Sliedrecht, Anjo Travaille/Garulfo chased my known general with an unknown colonel(!). Unfortunately for him, I attacked it  :)

And that probably costed him the game?


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#11 TemplateRex

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:10 PM

Stratego is also a game of chance calculation. If you bluff a low piece you do not lose much if your opponent calls your bluff. So it will not do too much about the standing (who has the best win chance at that moment). So Fks is right its pretty bold to risk a captain to a threat a Colonel. If he calls your bluff you will suddenly stand much worse than before. So preferably bluff with a low or equal piece. 

 

Yeah, I know it was a bit bold. At that point I was already a major down, with no smaller pieces nearby. But from his viewpoint, why would he call anyway? Much safer to retreat the colo and pull it back to his own lines, and have it protected by (fake) spy/marsh, or possibly scout the incoming piece. Sure, it's much riskier for me than a sarge-bluff and peek-around-the-corner for some info, but the reward can be bigger as well :)  


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#12 murph878

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:10 PM

If you want to watch some good bluffing, watch this Sohal game in the beginning. It taught me alot

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=ApT_4UtnY2Q

Taking a scout on the opposite side of the board thats in a typical position of strength was cool to see
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#13 TemplateRex

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:11 PM

In our last game at a tournament in Sliedrecht, Anjo Travaille/Garulfo chased my known general with an unknown colonel(!). Unfortunately for him, I attacked it  :)

 

That's a hero call! Will you call next time? Could be the marsh, or maybe just a colonel again  ;)


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#14 roeczak

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:53 PM

Live you always tend to play the player, its a lot like poker.

Thats why I dont to very good in ranked :)
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#15 Yellowhat

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 03:59 PM

And that probably costed him the game?

 

 

That's a hero call! Will you call next time? Could be the marsh, or maybe just a colonel again  ;)

 

He forced me to guess which was his marshal. He had one piece in the center and another piece (the colonel) coming on the left. He threatened my gen with his col so I had to choose: move in front of the center piece or attack the piece coming from the left. So I took the colonel. It became a draw at the end. 


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#16 TemplateRex

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 04:25 PM

He forced me to guess which was his marshal. He had one piece in the center and another piece (the colonel) coming on the left. He threatened my gen with his col so I had to choose: move in front of the center piece or attack the piece coming from the left. So I took the colonel. It became a draw at the end.


Nice gamble from Anjo: 50/50 between losing Colo or winning gen, a +EV bet
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#17 roeczak

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 05:05 PM

Yes , however it's even more +EV if you use scout instead of col
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#18 TemplateRex

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 05:20 PM

Yes , however it's even more +EV if you use scout instead of col


Perhaps there were other moved pieces nearby (major/cap) that YH was willing to sacrifice to get Marsh info, in that case a colo wins extra piece. Or maybe Anjo expected general to stand in front of spy so he could trap a moved piece with colo. But otherwise, scout is cheaper to chase gen into arms of marsh

Edited by TemplateRex, 27 August 2018 - 05:31 PM.

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#19 roeczak

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 05:57 PM

Of course it depends on the position. It's a rich game :)
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#20 Fks

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:34 PM

I don't want to give much away of how I think but usually once someone's shows there Marshal very early you can more or less guess the rest of there set up very easily from then on. This excludes players like Enigma and Constrictor.
As well if my opponent suggests he has had General with marshal same side I will most of the time believe it.
Also 100% of the time a col will be present with a marshal blitz.

For Dobby double col same side is not rare at all by 800 rating +
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