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Good ladder games in May: 5/4/2013 12:57:23

Jacob the Fearless
Level 1
I figured since I was looking through ladder games anyways I might as well analyze them and tell my thoughts on them. I'll do any where the two players are both above 1800 rating on just the May 1 games first. Feel free to add your thoughts as well.

Biggreen vs Military Maniac
I think Biggreen picks very well here, I personally would go 6 in South Africa I think, but his 6 is not bad either. I personally don't like Military's picks at all. Both play turn 1 and turn 2 just about perfectly I think. Turn 3 is a big turning point in this game, Military guesses that Biggreen will not attack him and it ends up paying off bigtime, very good play by Military. Many people would be cautious there as biggreen did but as you see there, oftentimes it is better to be aggressive in that scenerio. Turn 5 is biggreen's last chance, it was not a good idea to expand in South Africa, better to attack Antarctica full force. Overall: Biggreen picks better but Military ends up playing very well and Biggreen makes a couple small mistakes that end up costing him the game. Still a pretty well played game by both players though.

[VIW]Fighter vs PureMind
Fighter spreads the board well, I can't say I like his picks but they aren't too bad, especially since he had a bit of luck on them this game. I have no idea what PureMind was thinking, those picks are really bad, Australia's too easily countered from Antarctica and West Africa is a terrible pick because it takes at least 3 turns to take rather than the usual 2. Basically, PureMind's picks end up screwing him within the first few turns. Neither player played good in this game at all, It's just Fighter played less bad.

{RP}DagenDaDragon vs NoobSchool(AHoL)apex
I like both of their picks, possibly not perfect but pretty good, definitely showing why they have an 1800+ rating. Dagen ends up with more favorable picks since he is safe in Africa, and the advantage grows when NoobSchool expands in West Russia, it would have been better for him to expand first in Scandanavia in my opinion. I would have liked to see NoobSchool blockade Murmask on turn 9, which would have made Scandanavia safer. Turn 11 shows a good play by Dagen, mistake by NoobSchool not to leave a couple troops in one of the Central Russia territories. In the end, Dagen plays pretty well and his advantage on picks ends up winning it for him in the long run. Neither player played amazing but both played well, definitely deserving of their ratings, I think Dagen's a player to watch out for in the future for sure.

Mannerheim Relite vs NoobSchool(AHoL)apex
Picks are interesting by both players, both fear Europe very much. NoobSchool's are pretty good, I would have switched 2 and 3 around, and then moved 6 to Europe instead, but apart from that, they are good. I also like Mannerheim's, maybe even a touch better than NoobSchool's. That 6 pick ends up costing NoobSchool, if he had put it in Europe, he would have had a huge advantage this game, that is why 6 picks should often be used as counters and are very important. In the end, both players play a pretty good game, but the poor 6 pick ended up costing NoobSchool the game.

[WM]Featherbucket vs {RP}DagenDaDragon
Both players pick a lot alike, good picks on both sides. Should Featherbucket have first expanded in West Africa instead of South America? I personally think he had the right idea by expanding in South America. There was a small chance his opponent would be in South Africa or North Africa, and to expand first in Central America is not a good idea for the opponent usually in my opinion. But this game, it ended up costing him. After that's it pretty much over. In the end, both players picked and played pretty well, it's just Dagen got lucky with the positioning and had an oppurtunity for 11 income by Turn 2, which he got.

[WM]Old Surehand vs [VIW]Fighter
Surehand picks decent, I probably would have switched 2 and 3 around but that's not necessarily better. I don't like his 5 pick, I probably would have gone with West Russia/Scandanavia here and he would have been stuck in South America, Antarctica, and Central America which would have been bad for him. Fighter's picks are not bad, He realizes his opponent will pick one of the 3 bonuses, and so he ends up aiming for Antarctica/Australia while also gaining intel. I'm not crazy about them but they make sense and are an interesting style. Turn 2 was poorly played by Fighter, attacking in Scandanavia was not a good idea, and he also shouldn't have relied on 3v2's to take Antarctica. If he had bad luck, the game would be over right there. Turn 3 is ugly as well, bad idea to attack South America there. In the end, well played by Surehand, he takes advantage of Fighter's many mistakes that add up in the end.

[WM] Anonymous vs Dreuj
Anonymous picks well. Only flaw in his picks is if he wouldn't get West Russia but that is highly unlikely. I like dreuj's as well, that's more along the lines of what I would have picked, I think both players pick well deserving of their high ladder rating. I personally think dreuj picked the right bonus to expand in, but in this scenerio, it would have been better to expand in East Africa. Maybe we should all keep in mind that against good players, it is probably better to expand in Africa since it is highly unlikely North Africa or South Africa was picked, lower level playes will pick those more so it is better to expand in South America against them. Anonymous decides to rely on luck to take Central America and as you can see, it is very costly. In the end, Anonymous plays a pretty decent game and dreuj plays very well.

PureMind vs Biggreen
I am unsure what Biggreen was thinking on picks, I'm guessing he was going for the first turn 4 bonus in West Russia but his 4 pick is very bad. I don't like his picks at all in that one, even if he got his first 3, he would still probably lose this game. PureMind doesn't pick well either, I don't understand the Indonesia pick at all. PureMind risks getting eliminated from Russia for the first couple turns, but that was his best option I think. It ends up coming down to picks and PureMind's were better, so he won. Overall, PureMind plays a decent game and Biggreen can't turn his disadvantage from picks around.

Order of Games on May 1 based on overall skill shown in my opinion:
1. Dreuj and Anonymous
2. MilitaryManiac and Biggreen
3. Featherbucket and DagenDaDragon
4. Dagen and NoobSchool
5. Mannerheim and NoobSchool
6. Surehand and Fighter
7. PureMind and Biggreen
8. PureMind and Fighter
Good ladder games in May: 5/4/2013 13:37:02

Timinator • apex 
Level 64
Biggreen vs Military Maniac

I think they both misplayed the beginning, biggreen should've entered nigeria hard in the first turn, knowning military is in sa+ant while military should've done the same to prevent biggreen entering brasil early on (military knew big is in west africa).
Cheeky Blockade payed off, thats all.
Good ladder games in May: 5/4/2013 13:47:30

Level 55
Biggreen vs Military Maniac

First move 50-50 in Ant turn 5 determined the game. Without that, green can blockade Ant and grow. Biggreen trying to grow in South Africa when he knew Ant was taken was a mistake.
Good ladder games in May: 5/4/2013 13:56:55

Jacob the Fearless
Level 1
May 2 games:

CONQUISTADORS vs brisk apex
Both players pick decently, neither is great but neither is bad either. Both players play very well this game I think, very few minor mistakes (everyone's gonna make mistakes), and no major ones at all. I think Turn 4 was where CONQUISTADORS gained the upperhand, brisk guessed wrong where he was, although it was a good guess and there is nothing wrong with his move. Those extra troops spent there though mean on turn 5 that CONQUISTADORS can defend Scandanavia from Murmansk, which ends up winning him the game. Good game by both players.

Anakin Chigurh vs Biggreen
Interesting picks by Anakin, I personally don't like them at all though. He probably won't be able to take a bonus until Turn 3. I don't like biggreen's much either but I think they are a little bit better. It is never a good idea to expand in North Africa early in the game, its just not worth it. Biggreen takes too long to get to West Russia, he should have been there a couple turns earlier. Taking Europe is a bad idea too. Anakin doesn't make any big mistakes, while Biggreen does not play very well at all, which ends up giving Anakin the win.

Anakin Chigurh vs fatality
Not sure what Anakin was thinking on picks, clustering is not a good idea. He also forgot a 6 pick, which should go in West Russia that game. I like fatality's picks, very similar to what I would have picked, Australia is a very powerful bonus, especially with Antarctica wasted. Turn 2, I don't know what to think of fatility's 1v2 and then 3v2 attack in Australia, because with terrible luck, that could fail. I always would use a 2v2 and a 2v2 instead. But his way leaves a better chance of getting leftovers I believe, so its an idea I might try. Zibik(fatality), ends up hitting Africa hard, in the end it was picks that screwed Anakin. Zibik has better expansion options and plays a very good game, and so there is no way Anakin can overcome his picks.

Giovanni BR vs Mannerheim Relite
There are a lot of good pick options on this board. I personally would probably pick Australia triple. Giovanni picks very well, I might move the 6 to Indonesia instead though. Mannerheim picks pretty good as well, but his are just a bit worse than Giovanni's. On turn 1, Giovanni should have hit Mexico with 6 armies rather than 7 and used the other army in West China. I like the way both guys play this game though, Giovanni had a little bit of advantage after picks and plays them just about perfectly, Mannerheim plays pretty much ideal as well, but he couldn't overcome the great picks and play of Giovanni. Giovanni is a dangerous guy to watch out for, I managed to convince him to join the ladder less than a month ago after a very good realtime game between us. He was afraid that there were a lot of players better than him, but as this game shows, Mannerheim is a very good player and plays very well, and Giovanni still wins. Those top 10 guys had better watch out for him.

Order of Games on May 2 based on overall skill shown in my opinion:
1. Giovanni BR and Mannerheim
3. Fatility and Anakin Chigurh
4. Biggreen and Anakin Chigurh

And thanks for the comments Timinator and Gui, You both are right.
Good ladder games in May: 5/4/2013 14:00:48

Timinator • apex 
Level 64
hitting ant full could have equalized militarys first order, hitting Novo with 21v13 (60%)
Good ladder games in May: 5/4/2013 14:16:20

Jacob the Fearless
Level 1
May 3 games:

[WM]Anonymous vs Mannerheim Relite
Mannerheim's picks are good, I would probably put 5 in India though. Red(Anonymous) also picks well. Red has the advantage after picks. I think it probably would have been better to take West Africa before going through Hawaii for Red. I think Red plays a good game, its just Mannerheim played just about perfectly.

[WM]Anonymous vs fwiw
Fwiw picks okay but not great. Scandanavia or Central Russia should have been picked before Central America based on his Australia/Antarctica picks. Red picks decent too, East Russia is not a good pick, but it's very unexpected. I think Turn 6, it would have been better for fwiw to try to take Antarctica, and turn 7 as well. In my opinion, Red plays very good down the stretch which makes up for his East Russia pick and fwiw makes many mistakes.

Order of Games on May 3 based on overall skill shown in my opinion:
1. Anonymous and Mannerheim
2. Anonymous and fwiw

Overall top 5 order of best played games in May 1-3:
1. Giovanni BR vs Mannerheim (May 2)
2. Anonymous vs Mannderheim (May 3)
3. Dreuj vs Anonymous (May 1)
4. CONQUISTADORS vs Brisk (May 2)
5. Featherbucket and DagenDaDragon (May 1)
Good ladder games in May: 5/4/2013 14:56:00

Level 34
I have no idea who you are Jacob, but thank you!
I be a nub. :P
Good ladder games in May: 5/5/2013 06:56:03

Level 58
Why do people always look at 1 vs 1 ladders? I often find other 2 vs 2 ladder games much more rewarding,
Good ladder games in May: 5/5/2013 22:09:26

Jacob the Fearless
Level 1
Dagen, I'll let you know pretty soon who I am, I've played against you a few times before. That's not horribly played by you, it just shows you are less experienced than a lot of the other good players.

Skunk, Because the 1v1 ladder games are better if you know what to look for, and not to mention, there are more of them, the 2v2 ladder, there might be 3-4 decent games played in a week, which isn't much to go on.

May 4 games:

Luxis apex vs Giovanni.br
I like Giovanni's picks except I think I would have traded 5 and 6. I like Luxis' picks a lot, their very close to what I would have picked I think. Giovanni has a lot of bad luck on expansion, that pretty much costs him the game, if he had decent luck, it would be a very even game, I'm not sure who would have won because they both play very well, Luxis might be just a bit better at actual play though. For his part Luxis plays this game pretty much perfectly. In the end, it's just another ladder game that ends because of luck, well played by both sides.

Fatality vs [VIW]Fighter
Fatality's picks are good, he picks Impaller style by making sure he covers all regions of the map well. Fighter's picks are very bad. The only time to pick a wasteland is as a good counter, and he was using it to expand. I am not sure how he has a rating so high in the 3 games I have seen. He plays quite bad in them. Despite horrible picks, he might have still won that game against fatality if he plays decently, instead he attacks the wasteland. Well played by Zibik and this shows why you should never pick wastelands.

[VIW]Fighter vs Mannerheim Relite
Fighter has the better order of the 1 and 2, Antarctica beats Central America there since it has access to Africa if the game ends up lasting a while. I think Fighter picks quite well here, Mannerheim picks pretty good but he leaves himself vunurable to India, as you will see later in the game. Both plays play pretty well I think, good read by Fighter to hit with order priority in Indonesia, it gives him the win. In the end, Fighter has a little bit better picks and Mannerheim can't overcome India because Fighter plays well.

Giovanni.br vs [WM]Anonymous
Wow, that is rare, both players have identical picks. I can't complain about them though, except 6 would be better in India I think. Red should have threatened Greenland better, he had the advantage after picks this game, mostly because of the intel. Once again, Giovanni shows his worth by outplaying a very good player. Both players play and pick well though, just Giovanni plays a bit better.

Fatality vs NoobSchool(AHoL)apex
Fatility picks Impaller style again, good picks though. NoobSchool's aren't bad but he risks getting that 1,2,5 which can be quite bad. And that's what happens this game, his 5 should be in East Africa instead. Fatility brings the fight to NoobSchool instead of NoobSchool bringing the fight to him, and that proves costly. In the end, it comes down to fatality's picks being better and playing a little bit better, not badly played by NoobSchool though.

Order of Games on May 4 based on overall skill shown in my opinion:
1. Luxis and Giovanni
2. Red and Giovanni
3. Mannerheim and Fighter
4. Fatility and NoobSchool
5. Fighter and Fatality

Overall top 5 order of best played games in May 1-4:
1. Mannerheim vs Giovanni (May 2)
2. Luxis vs Giovanni (May 4)
3. Anonymous vs Giovanni (May 4)
4. Mannerheim vs Anonymous (May 3)
5. Dreuj vs Anonymous (May 1)
Good ladder games in May: 5/6/2013 12:31:36

Level 56
I'd agree with Timi, I think biggreen and militarymanic game was far from the second best of the day.

I don't like either of their turn 1's, but I think biggreen's was much worse.

Military at least hit Brazil, and then hit knew to hit Nigeria, just with less force than was likely ideal.

biggreen on the other hand completely ignored the elephant in the room on both turn 1 and 2. He had full knowledge that Military was in South America while he was in West and East Africa. As such it was essentially game over if Military entered Africa, yet he did nothing to stop him from doing so.

Turn 5 biggreen makes the same mistake again, getting South Africa to keep Military out of Africa was crucial, stopping Military from getting Antarctica was not, he shouldn't have attacked Novo.

I disagree with Gui that the 50-50 to see who hit first decided the game though, I think biggreen just flat out shouldn't have attacked it, since even if he had hit it first:

biggreen hits with 12:

12v2 most likely equates to a remainder of 11 in Novo.

Military then hits 15v11

15*.6= 9
11*.7= 7.7

That assumes big got lucky and had 11 there, 40% chance he'd have 10 instead and kill an average of 7 instead of 7.7, also if he had 10 15v10 can succeed, albeit only doing so 12% of the time.

They also both had 12 income even if Military didn't get Novo, which makes it so he he has the stack advantage and equal income and can just bash.

11-9 = 2 stack after the hit for biggreen
16-8= 8 stack

add 12 to each:


19*.6 = 11.4
14*.7 = 9.8



Add 12 again to both:




Add 12 again:

22v14 (26% chance of success)



Add 12 again, Manic finally takes Novo this turn: (assuming he didn't take it at 15v10 or 22v14 already, as there is a 34.9% chance of one of the two succeeding)


Guaranteed success this time:


Military has a stack of 16 bordering Africa now and is free to break Africa, and that assumes biggreen defended full-force every turn, if he had tried to expand somewhere else as well military would have broken in on one of the earlier attacks instead of needing to hit novo 5 turns in a row before finally breaking it.
Good ladder games in May: 5/6/2013 13:07:25

Level 55
nauz, i described what happened (not what would have been better) as an indirect way of saying: that game was not very interesting.

2v2 ladder games aren't very interesting. all games are decided by (1) which team has significantly better players, (2) motivation or (3) luck. better players win almost every time, unless the accumulated effects of luck make skill irrelevant. and when the teams are more or less evenly skilled, luck or motivation determines the winner: vs ribena/unkown i made a lucky guess and suggested to my teammate to enter CA 100%. if ribena was there the game was over. he was. luck won, even though my team misplayed 3 cards and wasted a few turns doing nothing. in my current game i changed my mind on picks after a long weekend. i wasn't able to communicate with my teammate before the autoboot so we made lesser picks. the other team made the same picks i suggested. motivation/commitment: my team is less motivated/committed. another example: troll and doggy. they would spend hours talking about every detail of each game. they played teams that didn't talk as much. they won. then they got burnt out and quit.
Good ladder games in May: 5/7/2013 10:37:55

his balls. 
Level 60
Isn't that exactly how you would want any game of skill to be balanced? The best player wins most of the time but with a little extra effort a lesser player can win.
And a little element of luck keeps everyone interested.
Good ladder games in May: 5/7/2013 15:24:35

Level 55
yes. better players should win. skunk said 2v2 games are worth watching. if the better teams almost always win and only lose due to luck (of picks, of positioning, of first order, etc), what is there worth watching?

the 1v1 template is better than the 2v2 template. i have made many good mmoves in 1v1 me games. in 2v2 me i can actually remember the handful of good moves i have made. the games are won and lost based on patterns. understand the template's dynamics, repeat the same patterns, know how to use the cards effectively, and you win. it is like a tutorial or sze quiz on how to pick and play. it is not creative or inherently enjoyable.

the problem: it lacks the spacing and positioning needed for enjoyable tactical and strategic play. if you want to play a game for the hell of playing a game, it's fine. if you appreciate game theory or the art of war, it isn't enough.

myhand has little interest in this ladder. sze only played it for recognition. i'm not sure if gnuff enjoys it. lots of teams play 15-25 games to get to 1st and then quit for lack of interest/motivation. and teams that reach #1 almost never recreate their team after having quit the ladder.

we play it because it is acceptable and the only team game on the main page, not because it is a great template. take away the auto game and the ladder and i doubt people would play 2v2s with 2 starts and a gift card on that map. there areso many better 2v2 templates. but they can't be easily organized in a competitive manner as if it were a league.
Good ladder games in May: 5/7/2013 15:42:22

[WM] Gnuffone 
Level 60
yeah, is bad template. i don't like it. i play it only on ladder. there are a lot of better template, but fizzer seems prefer don't change it.
Good ladder games in May: 5/11/2013 20:45:59

Level 41
Got to say, I played these games after I "left". Was just completing them. Unfortunately warlight is fucking addictive and I am back.
Good ladder games in May: 5/13/2013 00:58:54

Level 56
"Giovanni BR vs Mannerheim Relite
There are a lot of good pick options on this board. I personally would probably pick Australia triple. Giovanni picks very well, I might move the 6 to Indonesia instead though. Mannerheim picks pretty good as well, but his are just a bit worse than Giovanni's. On turn 1, Giovanni should have hit Mexico with 6 armies rather than 7 and used the other army in West China. I like the way both guys play this game though, Giovanni had a little bit of advantage after picks and plays them just about perfectly, Mannerheim plays pretty much ideal as well, but he couldn't overcome the great picks and play of Giovanni. Giovanni is a dangerous guy to watch out for, I managed to convince him to join the ladder less than a month ago after a very good realtime game between us. He was afraid that there were a lot of players better than him, but as this game shows, Mannerheim is a very good player and plays very well, and Giovanni still wins. Those top 10 guys had better watch out for him."

I decided to take a good look at this game because I am currently matched against both giovanni and mannerheim at the moment and I find it's often beneficial to study the way my opponents play to improve my chances of winning against them.

I'm somewhat curious about this part:

"Giovanni picks very well, I might move the 6 to Indonesia instead though."

The first thing I thought when looking at his pick was that his second pick was a poor pick.

He also gets his second pick.

I'm curious since you didn't comment on his second pick if you actually like it, and if so what you like about it.

I'm not trying to bash him for his picks by any means, I am genuinely trying to learn if the pick s better than I think it is for some reason that I am perhaps overlooking because I'd like to improve at making picks.

In my eyes CA is usually a poor pick to make when the start is in Baja.

I also think I'd probably prefer caucasus as pick #5 over SEA. It can reach russia faster than SEA can, and with SEA being a 3 turn bonus on that board I don't feel it was a great pick for much other than being a counter for russia.

I also agree that his 6 pick would probably have been better off placed in Indonesia, because 1/2/6 while somewhat rare IS possible, and I wouldn't want to risk getting CA, SA, and AA and leaving all of europe and asia uncontested (not the bonus europe, the general area of the world).
Good ladder games in May: 5/13/2013 01:41:58

professor dead piggy 
Level 59
CA was a combo with SA and was safe, whats not to like? Starting in Baja just means that leftovers are left closer to the action.

Picking caucasus 5th leaves the possibility of getting 5th and either 3rd or 4th pick. Pretty risky, as central and west russia make good 3 and 4 picks.
Good ladder games in May: 5/13/2013 01:54:14

Level 56
"Starting in Baja just means that leftovers are left closer to the action."

I've always considered the Baja start to be less than ideal since if you get CA and your opponent gets SA you can't reach SA till turn 3.
Good ladder games in May: 5/13/2013 03:25:39

Jacob the Fearless
Level 1
Piggy says it well here. I'll try to be a little bit more in depth though. If you get Central America and South America, then you can take Central America while only deploying a few troops there, which allows you to expand or fight elsewhere with more troops than your opponent. If you do get Baja and not South America, you are disadvantaged this game but there is less than a 50% chance of that happening, and it isn't a huge disadvantage. I hope that explains what you are asking. I like to see a player interested in improving and asking questions, and wanting to learn, that's how many of the top players were in their earlier days.
Good ladder games in May: 5/22/2013 23:47:59

Level 57
One should definitely speak about the games of Schmidt against Luxis and Gnuffone and grona. I see a Grand Master at work there. Watching the games gave me joy.^^ Grona did just win by getting first pick. And then he made some genius moves himself by letting schmidt take East China and then even Indonesia without resistance. Absolute Counter-Brilliance against schmidt's utter genius, because attacking 1 army with a huge stack is waste. But if Schmidt would have got first pick he would have mercilessly won that game against grona, too. Luxis and Gnuffone were simply destroyed. I am in awe. Though, he was lucky with his 3vs2 in both games against Luxis and Gnuffone, one has to keep in mind. I knew you could have 11 armies after 2 turns, but he made that even 12 after turn 2 against Luxis and I haven't seen that before.
Good ladder games in May: 5/23/2013 01:47:38

Level 59
Julkorn, I'm surprised you've never had 12 income after 2 turn before and you are in the top 10 of the ladder. I'm guessing you haven't played too many strategic 1v1's and instead are more of an all around player? And yes, I heard Schmidt was overrated by the ladder system by a couple people and so I was going to check games anyway. After watching the games, I would say he is well deserved of being rated that high. I'll analzye some in detail tonight or tommorrow. His play reminds me a lot of Vice President Buttcheeks(Sherrif Bouncy HOuse Jr.), except at a whole new level.
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