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Don't Fight the Last War! Part 3 of 3

Don't Fight the Last War! Part 3 of 3
Diplomacy, Strategy, Online Risk Games, Series

Article Rating:::: 11 Ratings :::: Saturday, November 29, 2008

This is the last part of the 3-part series. As you saw earlier, many players suddenly made bold moves and expanded in different directions. The cards meant that the game was unstable and anything could happen. The above shows how the world looked like.

As you may have guessed Green got greedy. His expansion at this stage of the game was completely unnecessary. In escalating games, where cards values continuously go up, continents become less and less attractive as the game progresses. In this case, both Green and Yellow made big mistakes. Green simply spent a large amount of armies to hopefully, sometime in the future, get control of the North American continent. That would have not happened until another 2 turns and even then he would have only got 5 more armies per turn. It’s like going for a costly war and only get little amount of resources in the new land or that you need to wait another 3 turns before you can reclaim the cost of your war.

Yellow did a similar mistake by going for a small continent fighting against all those neutral armies. He thought he is still powerful with his 19 armies at the end of him move, not realising that the hidden power is far more critical at this stage. The kind of power he simply did not have any more. Do you know what this hidden power is?

Towards the end many players, almost at random, can cash in and attack. To stay alive you have to constantly manoeuvre around so that they don’t attack you and instead attack someone else. That’s the essence of staying in the game. It’s absolutely critical to think of the following:

  • What happens if each player cashes their cards?
  • What happens if a player gets eliminated and his cards are handed over to the eliminator?

Failure to have a clear understanding of this is a guarantee for elimination. Most players don’t think as far and unfortunately most lose. Be agile, and move around the map looking for elimination all the time! Do you now see where the hidden power is? If not, read on.

So back to the example, Cyan decided to cash in and attack Green.

Total Diplomacy - Risk Game - Last War 9

Green was already weak so Cyan thought that going for his continent is a great idea. He even went on to offer the same treaty over Brazil-North Africa border to Brown! In effect, Cyan was using the same strategy that Green was using in the beginning of the game. Of course that era was over, and Cyan was simply like an old army against with old tradition against a more agile and technologically advanced power (think cavalry in perfect formation against guerrilla warfare!).

The Final Showdown:

Brown cashed in the cards and attached Yellow for elimination. Got 4 cards, cashed in and eliminated Red. Got another 4 cards, cashed in and eliminated Green and then Cyan. All finished in one move! They all failed to see that the world had changed and that their successive elimination is what they had to protect against and going for a mere Australian continent wasn’t going to them any good.

Now, do you see where the hidden power is? It is the ability to eliminate others. Yellow used up his resources and isolated himself in the far corner of the map; exactly the opposite of what a player should do at this stage. Others failed to see or protect themselves against the elimination of another player which would give the eliminator a lot of cards and armies.

To sum up, use agility, think 3 moves down and always consider the next move made by every other player; to be eliminated or not. Hence, Do Not Fight the Last war.

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Table Talk   By Table Talk @ Saturday, November 29, 2008 4:39 PM
I think I speak for everyone when I say this:

We saw this coming, but we never thought it would actually happen.

The whole "Chain effect" truly mainfests itself here. Everyone goes along minding their own buisness, trying to gain power or control lands, when BAM! They are swept up by the guy who kept his head in the clear. This has been a wonderful example of why, as the title implies, to not fight the last war.

Pierre   By Pierre @ Saturday, November 29, 2008 8:56 PM
I assumed, Red Yellow, Brown, Cyan then Green was the order but apparently not. Cyan started and Brown was last to go.

Also since trades were only around 15 or so and increasing by one, wouldnt brown eliminating yellow mean he would be only left with a few men and a 2nd trade of 15 to take care of red? He wouldve had 30-35 in Middle East vs Yellows 26 and certainly wouldve taken some big losses. I guess he coudlve put his trade from yellow in Egypt but then wouldve still had to go through neutral Southern Europe and then Ukraine. Taking them all out in 1 turn certainly took some pretty good luck.
And Cyan is pretty dumb, he would only have 2 cards now and very spread out, pretty much guaranteeing Greens death by either Red or Brown, ending with them taking at least 3 cards from him.
Obviously the Chain effect is way more important in big trade in games (ie increasing by 2 each trade or 5 near the middle and end 4,6,8,12,15,20 and so on) but the concept is pretty good in any game and it was a good example of the possibilities.
I cant believe yellow wouldnt at least bring his men out to Siam either.

Great Alan   By Great Alan @ Sunday, November 30, 2008 12:30 PM
My presumption is exactly right,oh,I never think that my expectation come true@@.Brown won the final victory^^.From his excellent performance at the beginning,I have already expected that!

Indeed,if this is a "non-escalated card values" game,cyan is making a good move,filmly controled SA with "pincer threat" to brown.Suppsoe that the card values never arise and just remain on 4,6,8,10.The situation is completely different.

That's why I don't love the "escalated card values".And that's why I love landgrab Risk!Since no escalated card values,the players can just rely on their armies' and domain's strength,skillful strategy to gain their victory,with far more less element of luck.

If you disagree with me,please watch my excited battle report "The Grand Strategy".You would find that game is far more interesting than the "escalated card-values game".

Great Alan   By Great Alan @ Sunday, November 30, 2008 12:33 PM
Oh,that battle report is called "The Conflict between Three Sides" here.Indeed.Since I use this name "in this forum",but the "other name" in landgrab forum.

RISK   By RISK @ Friday, March 27, 2009 3:52 PM
Great Alan I agree. Escalating values make it so someone can just turtle then win.

Gen. Driggen   By Gen. Driggen @ Tuesday, May 4, 2010 8:36 PM
I have not just 5minutes ago found this site and already it has proven useful.
This particular lesson has taught me more on the subject. And it only stands to reason that this stratygic move decides on wether you stay in the game. Do any of you agree with me?

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