As someone who occasionally plays aggressive here is my experience on why shufflers are 'easier'.
When you play someone who is a good defensive player this does not just mean that they are shufflers, they move and set traps but they keep the game flowing, these are in fact harder to attack IMO. The reason for this is that defensive players give themselves more room to move, they find out some info first, lose a few pieces maybe for info, then play defensive with some bluff etc. Shufflers however shuffle early on, this means that they still have a lot of pieces in their base, meaning less room to move. So if you know what you are doing, once you make a successful beginning to the attack, they are trapped up in their base easier, and their higher pieces often cant get out of the way. But you have to be quick and do it when you are totally ready to make a good attack (don't rush it, they will shuffle until you are ready) and once in make maximum impact with it.
Hope some of this makes sense.
Thanks for your thoughts - this certainly makes sense theoretically but the 'make a good attack' is the part that I find gives me trouble. In my game for instance, I uncovered a major which remained in the front of the left aisle, beside the lake, and a captain which remained in the front of the right aisle, beside the lake. To uncover these pieces lost me two lieutenants.
At this point he had 2 empty spaces which he used to endlessly shuffle about 6 pieces across the 2nd row of his board. I positioned my colonels in front of his major and captain, and my general in the centre, and kept the spy and marshal back, with my marshal near the centre ready to capture pieces that might escape the general.
I took the major on the left, and lost the colonel to the marshal. At that point I brought my general in and captured I think a scout, sarg, and the spy before the generals were traded. Then I took the captain with my colonel, which was then traded.
So after all that the material balance was:
Up Major, Captain
Down 2 Lieutenants
Up 1 Spy
(With the informational advantage of course of knowing his marshal.)
Looking back I suppose I should have first scouted the middle with a lieutenant or captain to uncover a decent piece to target for attack? Though that ends up giving them much more room to maneuver - so it seems there is a balance to strike between keeping their board crowded and getting sufficient information for an effective attack.
In the above case though my reasoning in not finding shufflers 'easy' to beat, is that I didn't see myself as coming out of that attack with much of an advantage. I was down a bit in material, and up in information (and of course the spy kill was an advantage as well, but that was also a bit lucky). I ended up with the win but it was by no means an easy one.
Any advice on how I could have executed this attack better?