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Differences between online Stratego and Board Stratego


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#1 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 11:32 PM

First of all the game is all about war, tactics, strategy, key field domination but one essential dimension that you have in real war and that plays a key role towards victory is the mastering of INTELLIGENCE. I have never seen any posts on this topic but for me (as I'm an ex-G2) this is of prime importance. The more you know about your opponent the more chance you have to win, no matter if somewhere at mid-match you have a captain or 2 less than your opponent. ANd this is precisely where the online Stratego differs from the Board Stratego and brings a much more interesting dimension to the game that you don't find in the original Board game. Let's consider some examples:

 

1) The most obvious way to gain information about your opponent is to scout his unknown pieces and observe the way the other unknown pieces are moving as well as his general behaviour (attack, defend , bluff etc...). This is basic and gives you same kind of information that you would also have in the original Board game. No diffĂ©rences at this stage.

 

2) Secondly in the online game you can check on the forum (or even on internet in some cases) if some other intelligence is available about your opponent like previous reports on him, posts made by him, screenshots from games he was playing, statement made by other players etc...This is already a source of intelligence that you don't necessarily have when you play face to face a new game with a new opponent.

 

3) In the online game you can take notes aside or play with some friends in team in order to remember all moves and all discovered pieces of you ropponent. When playing board game it is one against one and no notes allowed. Although taking notes or teamwork maybe a help for new players, when it comes to play against experienced top players it is better to be alone and use only your memory. Normally top players will try to minimize the number of pieces moved on the board as any moved piece is already providing intelligence to your opponent that the piece is not a bomb and not the flag. So top players will usually not have more than 5-6 moved pieces at any stage of the match so it is not so difficult to keep in memory, while if you take notes you have to deconcentrate from the match for a little time which is not in your favor as your opponent will keep concentrate all the time.

 

4) In the online game you can make friendship with other players and chat/email/phone/skype with them to gather intelligence about other players or tactics. So before starting to play against a new opponent you may already know about his tactics from your friends and arrange your setup accordingly. If you know your opponent is used to lotto you will put some bombs more in front, while if you know your opponent does not take risk of lotto you may keep your bombs in back.

 

5) In the online game you can play with several accounts which can allow you to hide your real identity (in war this is part of counterintelligence). So this allows you to possibly play against a new opponent and learn (gather intelligence) about him and then when playing second time against him with your other account he may not recognize you and will play with the same setup he played in his first game against you, giving you a big advantage

 

So this is to say that the online Stratego is much more interesting from this point of view as the dimension INTELLIGENCE is somewhat incorporated like in real war, which is not the case with the original board game or only in a limited way.

 

Hope there are some other G2 around from whom I would appreciate any comment.

 

Napoleon Ier


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#2 Midnightguy

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:41 AM

All interesting observations you made there Napoleon with the online game.  However, no where in your post you mentioned about reading your opponent in person playing the game.  Reading your opponent in a live game with a board, can wield you huge advantage. 

 

Some people may have tell signs when they are getting nervous trying to preform a bluff or their facial expressions or emotions will give them away.  They may also appear excited when they feel they got a piece trapped or is near the flag.  That one little expression could be enough for the opponent to back off from what they were thinking of doing.   

 

It's much easier to perform a bluff online, because you don't have to worry about your opponent looking at you to see what you might be thinking.



#3 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:03 PM

You are perfectly right, in the online game you don't have access to the "behavioural" intelligence your opponent would be expressing during a board game. However one can also assume that experienced players would also have learned how to not show their emotions during the game, like do chess or poker professionals. So the behavioural intelligence is effectively an advantage in direct board game when you play against not to experienced players. Against experienced players it is not a big advantage.


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#4 The Maestro

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:26 PM

Thanks for sowing me a link to this post. It is very interesting and describes one of the main reasons for me only joining the online world recently. I hope we can keep this thread up and discuss things further.

 

Do you have any suggestions for the differences you mentioned above?



#5 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for your reply. I have no particular suggestions. Just to say that the gathering of intelligence in the online stratego is uncontrollable, so this should just simply be allowed by the rules. The only thing the system shall avoide is to enable seeing setups of other players during a live match, otherwise one could watch at  setup of player 1 while beeing on Skype or msn with the player 2 and telling him everything about the other's setup. Somebody in this forum, I don't remeber who, had the brilliant proposal to allow watching games of others but with 3 minutes delay. Maybe something to investigate.

In real war, Intelligence is a key element for victory. For me it is just excellent that the online version enables this dimension. This gives an additional "reality" to the game.

 

Napoleon Ier


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#6 The Maestro

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:39 PM

OK, correct me if I am wrong but do you suggest that you want to see others people matches while they are going on? As if you are there? But then on a few minutes delay?



#7 Midnightguy

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 09:43 PM

You are perfectly right, in the online game you don't have access to the "behavioural" intelligence your opponent would be expressing during a board game. However one can also assume that experienced players would also have learned how to not show their emotions during the game, like do chess or poker professionals. So the behavioural intelligence is effectively an advantage in direct board game when you play against not to experienced players. Against experienced players it is not a big advantage.

 

You are correct that experienced players can control their emotions better, but even the best players can sometimes falter when they are in danger or ready to make a key play.  However, unless if in a real live event with the top players going face to face against one another, odds are likely an experienced player will be facing a weak or casual player with a real board.

 

Let is also consider that emotions can also be used as a bluff, granted vs only weak players but if a weaker player see the experienced player look concerned they might be in trouble, they might full into a trap or attack a piece they thought was something of value and only turned out to be a bomb.  



#8 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:12 PM

Answer to Maestro's question:

 

Personnally I don't need to have the possibility to see other's match. However I saw in several forum discussions that some people would like to have this possibility. Specially it could serve as training for less experienced players. But when you have tournaments it might be interesting to have the possibility to see a match "live" online,in particular semi final and final, of course without possibility to interfere with the players. Also it could be interesting to review a match you've played, specially if you've lost, so you may understand when you've made a mistake that caused you the loss and get better experience for future.

 

In real war, if 2 armies are equivalent, the best trained and experienced will make the difference and get the victory.

 

Napoleon Ier


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