The setup I’ve chosen to share with you all is the one I’ve used to progress from upper gold (650) to low platinum (750) in a matter of less than 20 games. I’ve been using this setup for 2 weeks, playing my first game with in on 2/11/2019. My total record using this setup is 13-6 (.685).
Now, I know what you’re thinking. 20 games? That’s it? You’ve hardly played with that setup at all!
Let me explain something. I’m a player who very often rotates between setup. I never use the same setup for more than 50 games, and after about 50 games, I switch to using a new setup. So for me, 20 games is a good measure of how well a setup works, or doesn’t work.
And speaking of working, this setup works very well, in my opinion. It can be viewed here:
https://imgur.com/a/bQKoca0 (European Numbering)
https://imgur.com/a/JF2Yu4R (US Numbering)
https://imgur.com/a/U1uq7qC (Board Editor)
(My apologies for not being technologically advanced enough to directly post the picture here)
Total Record: 13-6 (.685)
Platinum: 8-2 (.800)
Gold: 5-4 (.556)
Ironically, this setup has worked significantly better against platinum players as opposed to Gold players. I believe this is due to the deceptive flag and power-piece placement. More on that:
First, I advance with the captain on I4 into my opponent’s setup, usually attacking J7 and then I7 if not taken. If still not taken, I’ll advance further into I8 or H7. I also like to advance a bit with the captain/scouts on the left side to provide an avenue of movement with general in case of emergency. See below for more information on that. I only ever play defense in the center- I never attack there unless marshal is discovered and I have good opportunity with general.
Almost all players go for the flag decoy in the center before trying the real flag in the corner. It’s important to guard the flag decoy well, as if it were your real flag. Never let unknown pieces approach the fake flag, discover and take them as you would a piece approaching your real flag.
Don’t move the sergeant or scout by the fake flag until absolutely imperative in the endgame. Encourage the finding of the bomb on F9 by leaving that lane open to scouts, but don’t let that bomb be taken.
When a player approaches an unknown piece from the right, don’t deliberately act as if you are trying to guard the corner flag, rather advance on his unknown piece with a piece of yours and act as if you are playing for control of the lane, rather than defending the flag.
Marshal, General, Colonels, Spy
Power piece placement. I prefer to keep the marshal hidden, and instead bluff the lieutenant on G4 or the Miner on H3 as the marshal. You may let one or the other of these bluff pieces be known (e.g. to diffuse a bomb, or take a sergeant) but don’t reveal both in the same game in order to keep the bluff with the marshal. I only advance with the marshal unless imperative to defend (all other bluffs exhausted) or if I think it’s probable I can pick up a general or colonel. Majors are not worth it.
General is also in a deceptive location, most people expect it to be under the left lake. Try to keep the general hidden as long as possible, but do not retreat with it; rather, move other pieces (e.g. major and scout behind lake) in front of it. I prefer to take at least a major with my general before it is discovered.
I also like to use the scout on B4 near the opening moves of the game on B7, then advance with captain, and move the scouts on C3 and D3 toward the left side. This is to allow a path from the general to the spy if absolutely necessary, upon a blitz or advancement by the opponent’s marshal. Don’t move the general next to the spy simply because you can, but only if you must. But I always like to keep this pathway open just in case.
Keep the colonel on B2 (next to the spy on C2) hidden, unless you can pick up a captain or major. Upon retreating the colonel back to my setup I prefer to keep in on B3 so as not to be overly obvious that it can be protected by retreating back to it’s original position on B2. I retreat back to B2 if it is threatened.
I am usually fairly aggressive with the colonel on H4. Don’t be too aggressive, however, as a majority the games I’ve lost with this setup (4) was mostly/primarily because I lost the colonel on H4 early in the beginning stages of the game. I prefer to advance the colonel only after the captain on I4 is dead/traded off.
I like this setup because it’s practical, while very unpredictable. I think it works better against platinum players than gold players due to this, as platinum players use intuition when attacking/defending and are often surprised by the placement of pieces. I also like the flag placement, which is also unpredictable but needs only 2 bombs, allowing for bombs to be placed elsewhere in the setup. I find that this setup works best vs. around 800 ELO players, and the highest ranked player it’s defeated is Napoleon 1er.
The worst playstyle this setup could encounter would be an all-out marshal, general, colonels blitz on the right (flag) side. The marshal is often too far deep in the setup to counter swiftly enough, meaning that bluffs will carry you in this situation. However, this playstyle is rare in the platinum levels (encountered in once in 20 games), so this is a very rare situation.
I find that the setup does best against marshal blitzers on the left, as well as defensive players.
Defensive/passive players are less of a rarity at this level, making this a good tradeoff.
To see a sample game with this setup- view game with Napoleon 1er here: https://youtu.be/nuiG52ztGWo