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Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/10/2012 21:29:18


[REGL] Pooh 
Level 60
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What is the least number of armies needed to take down a Size 10 Wasteland?

Assume standard offense/defense/luck settings from ladder and that number of turns is not an issue, its just a territory in the background that you would just like to have knocked down so you could get the bonus, but don't have a follow-on destination for the reserve armies nor a pressing need to present them on the other side.

What strategy employs the least number of armies?

My thoughts, based on previous trial & error is to keep attacking the neutral with about 125% of the armies in the neutral.

For example: Turn 1, attack Size 10 Wasteland with 12-13 armies, which will leave about 2-3 neutrals behind and about 5-6 armies to take the neutral on the next turn.

Less than 12, and you end up not doing enough damage and killing all of your attacking men. More than 13, too many excess leading to overkill on next turn.

-Open to your thoughts/opinions.

Follow on questions to spur additional debate:

-What else should you consider strategically in taking down wastelands to make it worth the army investment?

-Does having 3 Neutrals in all other territories with Size 10 Wastelands alter the discussion on if its worth while taking down wastelands? (Season III)

-What if you "Forget" where the wastelands were and already killed 5/6 of the bonus before finding the wastland? Ditch it or swallow your pill?

-Will the above thumbrule apply to large blockades of 100+?

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/10/2012 21:31:50


[REGL] Pooh 
Level 60
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And one more question, is it ever appropriate to take down a wasteland just to get the bonus?

If you have gamelinks where it either worked out or failed, please share with your thoughts.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/10/2012 22:13:49

[UN] dkristopherw
Level 29
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If I can afford not to have the 15+ armies for a turn, I take wastelands. Sometimes it helps, mostly, if I'm at that point in the game were I don't need those armies, it doesn't matter.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/10/2012 22:55:51


Ace Windu 
Level 56
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In a strategic 1v1 context, wastelands are only worth breaking late in the game where both players have at least 20-25+ armies per turn.

Breaking wastelands for expansion is very rare. One way it could happen is that you've kicked your opponent out of an area of the map relatively early on with a large army and have maybe 25 left over. The only bonuses around have wastelands and your opponent is too far away for this army to be able to reach him/her in a reasonable amount of turns so you just use the armies to take one of the wasteland bonuses.

Breaking wastelands for strategic positioning is more common but still rare. It will often be a big surprise to your opponent and that is the greatest strength of that move. You must decide if the trade off of armies versus strategic positioning and the element of surprise is worth it.

Neutrals having 3 armies rather than 2 definitely makes wastelands less of an obstacle and should lead to more wastelands being broken.

I don't know what the least amount of armies needed to break a wasteland is but I don't think that particular question is very important when taken out of a strategic in-game context. Someone might do the maths.

If I forgot a bonus had a wasteland then I would probably lose shortly thereafter :P I don't think the benefit of the bonus would outweigh the immediate cost of those armies unless it was going to be a very long game so I'd probably just stop there and leave the wasteland.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/10/2012 23:00:21


Ace Windu 
Level 56
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Didn't take long for me to contradict myself lol the pitfalls of rewriting passages

I think it reads better without the first line.

Edit function please, maybe one that is only usable within the first 15 minutes of writing?

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 02:43:39


Lykus 
Level 4
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Ace you could have just taken your turn in half the time it took you to post that :(

OT: I don't think I've ever broken a wasteland in a close 1v1 game.
The only time I'd ever think about doing it is if i already have a relatively large stack close to it and if it would put me in a position to border a big enemy bonus.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 07:06:49

RvW 
Level 46
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What is the least number of armies needed to take down a Size 10 Wasteland?

Assume standard offense/defense/luck settings from ladder and that number of turns is not an issue, its just a territory in the background that you would just like to have knocked down so you could get the bonus, but don't have a follow-on destination for the reserve armies nor a pressing need to present them on the other side.

I never did the math for multi-turn attacks, but my instinct says even 9 might be enough in theory:
On your first attack you kill a maximum of 60% * 9 * 25% + 9 * 75% = 8,1 "=" 9 defenders (but that has an incredibly low chance of happening, so let's say you kill 8 (that has approximately a 3% chance). You'll lose at least 70% * 10 * 25% + 0 * 75% = 1,75 = 1 attackers (but let's say it's 2). That means in the second turn you have a 7 vs 2 attack (> 99% success rate).
So finding the theoretical minimum is pointless: it has a ridiculously low chance of actually working out that way and adding even a single extra army will drastically increase your success rate.

What strategy employs the least number of armies?

One that is utterly unlikely to work. So instead, I'll answer a related question: what strategy would I recommend.

Remember that every defender not killed will get another 70% kill rate against your attackers next turn, so try to kill as many as you can. Also, attacking with X armies and failing will not get you the bonus. Attacking with X + bonus-value will typically increase your chance of success (on this turn) hugely, giving you another bonus-value armies to deploy not only the very next turn, but every turn after that. So unless you really can't spare the additional armies (in which case you have no business breaking the blockade in the first place), your "return on investment" is one turn, so incredibly short.
Lesson: don't try to work it out so you prevent armies "getting stuck" far away from the front line; having (for instance) two armies stuck finishing a bonus worth five armies is completely worth it!

My thoughts, based on previous trial & error is to keep attacking the neutral with about 125% of the armies in the neutral.

For example: Turn 1, attack Size 10 Wasteland with 12-13 armies, which will leave about 2-3 neutrals behind and about 5-6 armies to take the neutral on the next turn.

Less than 12, and you end up not doing enough damage and killing all of your attacking men. More than 13, too many excess leading to overkill on next turn.

I'd personally err on the side of a slight overkill, just to get it over with and have one less thing to worry about.

-Open to your thoughts/opinions.

If you weren't, there wouldn't be much point asking the question. ;)

Follow on questions to spur additional debate:

-What else should you consider strategically in taking down wastelands to make it worth the army investment?

The value of the bonus you're completing. If it's very low, it might be better to invest the armies in completing other (bigger) bonuses elsewhere (even if they are on the front line).
One major factor would also be nested bonuses; if the wasteland doesn't merely "break" a small bonus, but that bonus is also the last incomplete one in a superbonus otherwise entirely in your control, breaking a wasteland suddenly becomes a much better idea. (This is probably not relevant to you, since you seem to be mostly concerned with Season III, but I wanted to mention it anyway, for completeness' sake.)

-Does having 3 Neutrals in all other territories with Size 10 Wastelands alter the discussion on if its worth while taking down wastelands? (Season III)

Yes, since every other (neutral) bonus on the board will take a much bigger investment in armies to complete, essentially reducing the "price" of breaking the wasteland in comparison.

-What if you "Forget" where the wastelands were and already killed 5/6 of the bonus before finding the wastland? Ditch it or swallow your pill?

Ehm wait, I thought we were talking about the situation where the wasteland is the only territory missing from completing a bonus...?? If, after the wasteland, you still need to take some other territories as well, I'd say that in most practical situations your armies would be better spend elsewhere. Also, there's no reason to be conservative about it: any armies "left over" can be spent taking the remaining neutrals in the bonus.

-Will the above thumbrule apply to large blockades of 100+?

Instinctively I'd say you should increase the 125% multiplier a bit. Remember, x defenders kill 70% * x attackers on average, attacking with 125% armies means you're expected to kill 60% * 125% * x = 75% * x, barely more than you're losing.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 08:32:04


{rp} General Mac 
Level 53
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My thoughts on this are fairly simple.

In a close game I don’t think it is strategically worthwhile taking down a wasteland just to get a bonus. It doesn’t really matter what the minimum required is, the 10-15 armies can be better used else where

if you have enough spare armies towards the endgame then you have probably won anyway. At this stage i would be more inclined to show my strength (to try and force the surrender) rather than trying to get bonuses that don’t really matter anymore

The only time taking a wasteland is worthwhile is to gain a strategic advantage and catch your opponent off guard. In this case taking a wasteland "could" be a game changer

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 09:40:04

[X] Blueberry
Level 2
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http://WarLight.net/MultiPlayer.aspx?GameID=2505041

This is a game I won because of taking a wasteland down. My opponent blockaded hawaii leaving me with many armies in indonesia, I used them to take down the wasteland in australia to get the bonus and surprise him in antartica

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 10:00:22


{rp} General Mac 
Level 53
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Nice Game Blueberry, well played

In that particular game you had an overflow of armies because of the blockade. So taking the Wasteland now becomes a viable option. Without the blockade you would have never built the armies to take the wasteland

Maybe a better opponent makes a mental note of your floating armies and prepares for it. :) Although it’s always easy to see with hindsight. Would I have seen that move coming....probably not but then I’m not the better opponent i was talking about haha!

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 10:11:12


Math Wolf 
Level 63
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Breaking a wasteland is useful if the net win you gain from it exceeds the loss. Taking a 10-army wasteland on average loses 7 armies if you take it at once.

The win is more difficult to calculate. Say, it is part of a 5-army bonus. You will win +5 armies every turn now. (gross win) However, you needed around 16 armies to take it down in the first place, which you could have used to take another bonus that you will now have only a few turns later (loss of x armies) or defend against your enemy which may have resulted in not having a bonus broken (loss of x armies) or breaking one of his bonusses (a loss of x armies for your enemy).
In most situations, you can estimate this win, however remark that the consequences can only be really calculated after several turns. (for example: suppose that other bonus would be attacked by your enemy during the next turn, or that your enemy was behind the wasteland, ...)

It can be easily seen that breaking a wasteland is much more interesting when the bonuses are higher, in America big or East Asia, a 10 wasteland really isn't that much of a problem.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 12:30:25


Diabolicus 
Level 58
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To take down a 10 wasteland in 1 turn, you need 16-17 armies. Say you can only spare 12 each turn. I wouldn't attack the wasteland with 12, but instead I would attack it with 8, killing 5 and losing 7, and reinforce 7 next turn to kill the other 5.
The advantage here is that you can spend the additional 4 armies not put to work on the wasteland to better use elsewhere on the map.

x/y = attacker/defender

1 turn:
16/10 attack, 7/10 die, 9/0 remain, 7 lost total, you get the bonus immediately

2turns:
a) 12/10 attack, 7/7 die, 5/3 remain, 5/3 attack, 2/3 die, 2/0 remain, 9 lost total, you get the bonus 1 turn later

b) 8/10 attack, 7/5 die, 1/5 remain, 7 reinforcements, 8/5 attack, 3/5 die, 5/0 remain, 10 lost total, you get THIS bonus 1 turn later BUT you can use 4 additional armies on the 1st turn to improve your position elsewhere on the map (= 1 additional territory = MAYBE you get another bonus 1 turn earlier)

might even settle for:
c) 5/10 attack, 5/3 die, 0/7 remain, 12 reinforcements, 12/7 attack, 5/7 die, 7/0 remain, 10 lost total, you get the THIS bonus 1 turn later BUT you can use 7 additional armies on the 1st (= 2 additional territories = MAYBE you get 2 other boni 1 turn earlier)

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 14:25:00


Ironheart
Level 53
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it is always best to take a wasteland in one turn so nan enemy near wouldn't ;locate you

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 15:03:01


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Ironheart makes a good point here. I have won a game simply because I realized that a wasteland was knocked down to 2 armies. I happened to take an adjacent territory on the same turn that my opponent attempted to break the wasteland. He left it with 2 armies and I almost didn't notice but thankfully had just looked at the selection history to confirm expansion. I was able to throw all my reserves to attack that territory and the rout was on. Had he not attacked that wasteland I would have been oblivious to his presence there.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 15:04:02


Perrin3088 
Level 44
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I have broken a wasteland in precisely 1 close 1v1 strat game.. and it was late game, maybe turn 18-20'ish, and I broke hawaii when they had the better portion of NA

most 1v1 strat games where I break wastelands, it's because I am showboating and want a total victory, or even want to give them the illusion of an equal fight while actually having a knowing advantage.. sometimes it costs me, lol

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 15:05:21


Perrin3088 
Level 44
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Richard, Iron,
this is a valid point with any neutral territory in any fog game.. any failed attacks can be seen by all nearby territories.. fail an attack and your next, often well calculated, will run into a vastly superior army..

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 15:06:07


Perrin3088 
Level 44
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normal and heavy fog I believe are the ones It applies to, if memory serves..

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/11/2012 15:29:28

RvW 
Level 46
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That's a valid (and good) point in and of itself, but it doesn't apply to the original question; the OP was asking for the minimum number of armies needed, partly because he didn't want "leftover" armies to be stuck far away from the front lines where they are useless.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/12/2012 05:40:08


dunga • apex 
Level 57
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There are strategic points where you can attack a wasteland at 1v1 strategic.
1. If you already have most of the bonus or all of it except the wasteland. The cost will be 10 neutral armies, you will loose 8-9 armies using 12 for 2 turns, or 16 for 1. If you want to use the army later you will have 9 left in the first case and 3-4 left in the second. The ratio is 3.3, 2.5 or 2.0 turns/neutral army killed in a bonus 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Entering a new bonus will cost 10, 12, 14 or 16 neutral armies. So if the wasteland is the only territory left, its obviusly worth it, considering its safe, or can lead to an attack.
2. If you can surprise your enemy double border against a good bonus or against two bonuses, after 5th or 6th round (more than 19/turn). It may not be enough if it is a single border, your enemy could have completed one more bonus or reach you stronger elsewhere (by loosing less in neutrals).
3. Iran (against asia) and havai/california (against east china and indonesia). Sometimes this positions are bigger than the armies you loose.

:P. In auto-games against begginers, its fun to see how much you can grow before they realize they decide to surrender. Btw if you are in these games, training your expansion can be a good way to go.

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/12/2012 11:16:44

Heyheuhei 
Level 57
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Only 1 way win in this game was break wasteland :( http://WarLight.net/MultiPlayer.aspx?GameID=2506695

Wasteland Tactical Question: 4/13/2012 03:17:07


[REGL] Pooh 
Level 60
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Thanks for sharing HHH, And to the other players points, you needed to build up to break it all in one turn otherwise, it would have been no good to go at it in two turns.

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