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Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/7/2013 15:39:32

Omniscient 
Level 56
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I've played for a while on another account, mostly autogames, the opponents on average were terrible.

I decided I'd make a new account and make it a member and join the ladder and see how I'd fare.

I think based on my previous games that as is I'd probably wind up in the 1600-1700 rating range after 15 games - while I suppose that isn't absolutely horrendous, it's not at all what I'd like to eventually aim for.

I understand the basics of the game:

* how combat works, and as such the potential benefits of attacking neutrals from more than one source to have to deploy fewer armies to finish a bonus
* which bonuses are commonly picked due to their # of territories compared to size of bonus (ie. west and east africa are superior to north and south, caucasus and greenland are superior to europe or North America)
* how to know where the opponents picks are based on which picks I got

etc. etc.

But some of the finer points elude me.

Specifically things like:

* When should I gamble as opposed to going for the "safe" choice.
* When to triple pick (I know the general consensus is to almost never do so, but I tend to think there are exceptions to any rule, and I have seen top players triple pick rarely on ladder games and win when doing so)
* When to wasteland pick (I know this is done as a means of counterpicking, but still I imagine there are specific board setups that make this a better or lesser option)
* Advanced picking strategies: Typically I pick "at least okay", but when watching top players games their picks are more often than not the same picks I'd have made, and it's hard to know why exactly without knowing what their reasoning was for each of their picks.

Ideally I'd like to play someone who's either currently or has previously been high ranked on the ladder a handful or more games and have them critique the games afterwards and point out where they feel I made mistakes and why they feel they were mistakes since I imagine this will likely help me improve much faster than simple trial and error would.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/7/2013 15:57:28

The Duke of Ben 
Level 55
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You avoid the safe choice when it's obviously the best choice and it's easily counterable.

Don't triple pick. The chances of getting a board where that is the best option is incredibly small, and you still have to play it right and usually get lucky on the opponent's picks at the same time. It's just not worth it. If you consider a triple pick when looking at boards, you will more often try it when it's wrong than when it's right, meaning that overall you lose more games than you would have otherwise.

Wasteland pick when you have a really good opportunity to hurt your opponent who picks an obvious safe pick and will almost certainly attempt to finish that safe bonus first. Keep in mind that you still need two good bonuses to work with. Also, don't make the wasteland one of your top three picks, but instead pick the good bonus your are countering as #3 and make #4 your wasteland pick. That way you are less likely to get #4 if your opponent is not in #3 (wasting it entirely), and also it ensures that you know your opponent is actually there before wasting troops attacking an empty bonus. It works even better if your opponent has two picks together that one wasteland can counter. You would make those two picks your #3 and #4 picks, with the wasteland being your #5 (in most cases) for the same reasons as above.

Picking is complicated, because even if you make the same picks as someone, you might be using those picks for different functions. A poor player might pick a bonus intending to complete it first, while a better player might pick it to counter a different pick. Good picking also involves backup plans based on the possible options so that you don't get stuck with an accidental triple pick on your 1, 2, and 4 picks, or something like that. Picking is the most important and the most difficult part of the game. Not all boards are hard to pick, but if it's easy for you, it's just as easy for your opponent, forcing a new layer on the picks.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/7/2013 16:09:03

Omniscient 
Level 56
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I'm playing a multi-day game at the moment where I triple-picked, I'll post the game after it's finished, I'm curious on this specific board what you (or anyone else) would have picked instead of the triple pick I went for.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/7/2013 17:14:36

Omniscient 
Level 56
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Bleh, thought I'd go a few games without a loss at least due to typically playing bad players early.

Alas, wasn't meant to be, got curbstomped by grona * apex in game 1: http://warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=4236044

I don't think it was due to picks that game though.

Heavy deployment in SA turn 9, and then over the next few turns failing to break western russia and/or stop him from completing central russia.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/7/2013 17:31:46

The Duke of Ben 
Level 55
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It's nice to see grona finally on the ladder. He's a very good player who has been the scourge of many tournament players over the years. If you think you're a 1600-1700 player, then don't worry about losing to him. He'll soon have a high enough rating to not hurt yours.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/7/2013 17:38:28


[WM] Gnuffone 
Level 60
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grona should easily get top 10 and 2000+ rating, this is my thought.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/7/2013 22:40:39

Dom365 
Level 63
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The Duke of Ben, first reply

I won't quote it all, as it was a long post, but thanks for that, I found it very interesting!

I'll hopefully be joining the ladder in about a month, when I finish Uni, although as Gnuffone can testify, I need to improve a lot before then!
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 01:44:04


professor dead piggy 
Level 59
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Hello Omniscient, I think you will go in a bit higher than youre expecting, and climb a bit as you learn from playing experienced ladder players.

You should gamble on 50/50 risks when youre losing, and when youre playing someone much better than yourself. But you should make educated risks all the time, being cautious is usually bad.

Triple pick when it will get you an advantage (simple enough =)), and when getting 2 out of the 3 picks doesnt mean an instant gg for you. http://warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=3965644 In this game me and luxis both triple picked, in a sense, and both were valid choices. I would recommend against it.

Picking a wasteland is a bad idea, dont do it, just pick the bonus instead of countering it, if the other person gets it, you got unlucky.

There are a lots of advanced picking strategies, some of the common ones are, going for 11 or 12 income by turn 2, letting the other person take a FTB and countering it, starting off in contact with the other player and having smaller bonuses, ambushes, late game counters, picking for safety, blah blah blah.... Which would you like to know about?
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 03:59:12

Omniscient 
Level 56
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" I think you will go in a bit higher than youre expecting, and climb a bit as you learn from playing experienced ladder players."

I certainly wouldn't mind entering at a higher spot, but I think 30-40 (rank) is likely realistic currently, I do think if I enter at 30-40 though that I'll eventually rise from there.

"There are a lots of advanced picking strategies, some of the common ones are, going for 11 or 12 income by turn 2, letting the other person take a FTB and countering it, starting off in contact with the other player and having smaller bonuses, ambushes, late game counters, picking for safety, blah blah blah.... Which would you like to know about?"

Suppose less interested in a specific strategy among them so much as learning which to use when.

I do somewhat frequently go for the 11 income turn 2 strategy, and that usually works well (aim to finish no bonuses turn 1, but 2 3-bonuses on turn 2 by gambling with 3v2's) fairly often, but wasn't sure if most people considered the 3v2 gambling involved to be unwise.

I'm not sure if I've ever managed 12 income turn 2 though without triple-picking.

You seem to be of the mind that that wasteland picking isn't ever worth it, as such I'm curious what picks you would have made on the board that grona and I played against each other on?
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 05:45:53


professor dead piggy 
Level 59
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Your play is inaccurate but creative, and aggressive. It will serve you well against anyone under 1600, and playing top 10s will show you where youre inaccurate.

12 income at the end of turn 2 is unlikely (about 25% i think) but getting no bonuses is very unlikely, so the risk is worth it. 11 income turn 2 is pretty sure fire if you do it right, with a double pick.

On that map I'd've picked south america, antarctica, indonesia, scandinavia, west russia, caucasus. But I think youre not accurate enough to make that work, so for you, I would recommend east china 6th, a counter is a hard thing to time correctly. If you get your 6th pick that means the other guy got 4th and 5th, so pick a 6th that goes with your 3rd. Is that useful or just patronising? I think youll win more games picking e china 6th.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 05:57:20


professor dead piggy 
Level 59
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Those picks are very conventional, but there are other, more creative options. You asked about advanced picking, so we can discuss them.

Triple pick Central Russia or West china: I cant see a way to make either work, what do you think?

Indonesia, East China, West Africa: complete echina and hit south america hard turn 3. You have intel advantage and safety, this is risky but fun.

South America, Antarctica, scandinavia, central america: You get half of the FirstTurnBonus and 2 small bonuses. Turn 1 you go with 8 into Siple and hope to get 2 leftovers in either scand or CA, Turn 2 make 2 3v2s in your smaller bonus.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 06:12:05

Omniscient 
Level 56
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"Is that useful or just patronising?"

As far as I'm concerned the two are unrelated.

I am very much a believer in "Crocker's Rules", which state:

"Declaring yourself to be operating by "Crocker's Rules" means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you. Crocker's Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind - if you're offended, it's your fault. Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor. (Which, in point of fact, they would be. One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone's afraid to tell you you're wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.) Two people using Crocker's Rules should be able to communicate all relevant information in the minimum amount of time, without paraphrasing or social formatting. Obviously, don't declare yourself to be operating by Crocker's Rules unless you have that kind of mental discipline."


As such I care about the message and whether it contains any worthwhile information, not the verbiage. If someone wants to call me an utter fuckwad while pointing out mistakes I've made I'll still learn just as well from their criticisms as is they were polite about it, the information is the same regardless.

The bottom picking suggestion is a style I've used in the past with relative success, usually aiming to complete small 3-bonuses while fighting immediately, trying to pressure them hard enough that they can't deploy enough to survive in the bordering bonus unless they expand slow enough that I get off 5 income 1-2 turns before they do, at which point the game is typically won.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 06:49:58


professor dead piggy 
Level 59
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Haha, Crocker sounds a bit autistic to me =D. I will optimise my message for information then, as well as to amuse my self (you nob head).

Would you like a game?
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 07:58:02


AquaHolic 
Level 55
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Omniscient, the reason why you lost to Grona is cards. If you counted carefully, you should have known that he had a reinforcement by turn 6. Thus, you should not have attacked him in Antarctica, but rather taken SA. In addition, you went many turns without getting any card pieces (that is, attacking a territory). Meanwhile, Grona is slowly getting Antarctica to get cards (and an extra bonus).
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 10:59:17


ps 
Level 60
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about picking wastelands: i only find it effective when you know you have your other 2 starting points safe and that your opponent will most likely have 2 of his area picks around your wasteland pick. if he only has 1 pick around there then you have no real advantage by blocking him, unless you can wipe him out fast or expand more safely then he does.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 15:36:24

The Duke of Ben 
Level 55
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Although I answered the question more directly, I will agree with Piggy and ps that you should avoid picking wastelands. If you know enough about the game to know this advice is wrong in a specific case (big hint, you have a rating of 2000+), then go ahead and try the wasteland counterpick. If you do not have such a rating, the chances of you doing it right are worse than the chances of you successfully triple picking. It's just bad odds.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 19:22:33


hedja 
Level 58
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There are a lot of picking strategies, too many to discuss in a thread in my opinion, though Dead Piggy and Duke are doing a good job.

Therefore I propose we play a match, where we discuss the picks before picking, exactly why one would be better than the other and so on. I may not be a top-quality player, but I hope I can help you to improve your picking-style.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/8/2013 20:24:55


13CHRIS37 
Level 60
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Trippe picking is the best strategy for ladder games:

http://warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=4167776
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/9/2013 22:54:24

Omniscient 
Level 56
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Game finally ended on turn 15, here's the triple-pick I mentioned above.

http://warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=4228730

Worked well against him, not sure how it'd have worked against most decent players though. (Opponent did have 84% 1v1, but not sure who he'd been playing to get that win %, but, he certainly could have been worse.)
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/9/2013 23:37:21

Seahawks 
Level 51
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i looked at picks, he made 8 picks and a poor double pick, completely leaving asia and europe untouched, doesnt seem like a good player
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/10/2013 02:06:40

The Duke of Ben 
Level 55
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His number 2 was East US and his number 4 was South Africa. On top of that, as mentioned above he left himself almost no access to Asia. Most picking strategies can win against a guy who essentially gives up one of his picks.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/10/2013 05:05:43

Qi 
Level 55
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omniscient you sad excuse for a human being, i have 3 suggestions:

1. don't listen to anything dead piggy says. he talks a lot but nobody knows what he is saying unless he speaks in specifics
2. watch dead piggy's ladder games. he is the greatest thing since sliced bread was put in little baggies. if he wins that frequently he must be doing something right.
3. watch every ladder game sze won, because when he wins he is the greatest player ever. don't look at the games he lost. those are computer errors (his brain is like a solar calculator: when there is no light he counts with his fingers instead).
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/10/2013 05:13:28


professor dead piggy 
Level 59
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Oh stop it you.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/11/2013 18:21:13


AquaHolic 
Level 55
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Omniscient, in my opinion, you probably should have picked India first, and Antarctica 4th. Consider if you do not get your 3rd pick (India), and you get your 4th (Greenland). What are you possibly going to do? Getting W China (too risky) or Greenland (too time consuming). Looking at the map setup, it's unlikely your opponent will pick W China or E China. However, India is a fast and well protected bonus (which I guess you got lucky in this game that your opponent did not pick it). Thus you stand a better chance to get your triple pick if you pick India first.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/12/2013 03:49:28

Omniscient 
Level 56
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Hmm, gotten first pick in all 4 ladder games so far.

That's...unexpected.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/14/2013 06:04:21

Omniscient 
Level 56
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Aaand, I've done it again. Lost a game I had no business losing. Game was completely within the palm of my hand and I blew it by making an incredibly stupid move.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/14/2013 11:06:11

Pinkbladder
Level 55
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I love the ego of the some of the members who posted.
Anyways

1. If there is something considered a "safe choice" and you are playing a top opponent, then he will have noticed it too. Then the question depending on the map becomes is it worth taking the spot knowing your opponent will probably know your location. As discussed before, it is sometimes good to make a safe pick your third pick and a counter to the safe spot your fourth pick.

2. I would only do so if you think you are going to get all 3 spots for sure, you don't think your opponent will have a spot nearby, and you will lock in a bonus after turn 1. And with all of that, I still probably wouldn't do it. If you've seen someone do it, they're probably lucky their oppnonent didnt have a counter spot nearby, you really have to bank on uncurbed expansion for a few turns. It can only really be done in west russia area or in africa, america and australia dont really work well with it, perhaps india china area could work.

3. Impaller used to occasionally use that strategy (and also to pick in crappy bonuses purely as a counter). Its a huge gamble, if youre playing someone much better than you you might want to use it, but its never really worth it.

4. Generally it depends how good the opponent you are playing against is to how unconventional your strategy becomes. Its kind of like poker, if you are playing an okay player, he will be pretty predictable so you can be pretty predictable yourself, since you have a good chance at guessing some of his picks and using the information (also against players you play frequently). If your opponent is good he will realize you are analyzing his likely spots and plan accordingly against your plans for his potential spots if that makes sense (i.e. he knows where you expect him to go so he might go elsewhere but might not causing him to be way more unpredictable).

Hope that helps
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/14/2013 11:06:51


[WG] Warlightvet 
Level 16
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my personal theory is that when behind or playing against someone better than you you should definitely gamble as much as possible, try to get the upper hand, but if you're against someone you should be able to beat you should play safe, one example of this was a game i played against szew, he was playing extremely safely taking no risks and i took a risk which did not pay off at the start which put me behind, but i still nearly came back by taking a ton of risks. nearly. :P
as for advanced picking i'm not sure how much this will help you but you could try my guide, search "the art of war" in the forums and it should be the top result.
I can also do some practice games with you if you want, if you invite me.

btw, i'm guessing you're nauz? or am i mistaken?
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/14/2013 15:35:24

Omniscient 
Level 56
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"my personal theory is that when behind or playing against someone better than you you should definitely gamble as much as possible,"

That might make you win the specific game, but it's counter-productive long-term.

The goal in my eyes is to improve to the point that it isn't necessary to "steal" games against players better than you. ie. Get good enough that you legitimately beat them, not gamble and win occasionally despite being outclassed.
Looking to improve at s1v1: 5/15/2013 18:59:16


[WG] Warlightvet 
Level 16
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i mean if you're playing an important game you want to win, the best chance you have is doing that. as long as it's not cheating i don't really care what strategy i use. i hardly ever take risks tbh because there're only a handful of players i think can beat me consistently when i'm really focussed
Posts 1 - 30 of 34   1  2  Next >>