Idiot's Delight

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Idiot's Delight map
Idiot's Delight map
Idiot's Delight is an ironic, if not counter-intuitive, map made by X.


[edit] Background

This map challenges the structural ideas that form the framework of the Warfish game system. As all plays on any given map are dependent not only on the previous moves but on the covert or overt planned future moves, this map condenses the space most players take for granted radically shaping the game into one streamlined turn where the first attack determines the game flow and play. The map also brings the often overlooked element of luck to the forefront, not only in dice rolls, but in map placement and order of play.

[edit] Gameplay

Gameplay is quick and fierce. A player can only attack his/her immediate neighbor, there is not "hopping" or "jumping" to get to an opponent further down the "idiot line." Box 1 (far left) and Box 6 (far right) do connect, wrapping the board around itself in a perfect one dimensional circle.

[edit] Strategy

Several strategies have been employed to conquer the Idiot's Delight board. These strategies are placed in numerical order not only for quantitative purposes, but to suggest a method of game play which has the greatest chance of success.

[edit] Defend In Place

Given plus three (+3) armies per turn, building up on one space is a sure way to survive the inevitable butchering that begins on the first turn, but asks that your opponents do not employ the weaken strategy. This strategy is dependent on how many players are in the game, how early you are placed in the turn index and how lucky you are.

[edit] Weaken

This strategy works for players in the middle of the turn order but depends on the attacker catching favorable rolls in a 3v2 attack. The basic idea behind the weaken strategy challenges the traditional perspective on attacking and works in game mods where the attacking dice is higher than the defending dice.

In any normal board the purpose of attacking is to destroy an opponents armies, gain their territory and secure a card at the end of the turn. In Idiot's, the close proximity eliminates the roll of cards, the lack of 'continents' removes the necessity of capturing land, leaving 'destroying opponent's armies' as the only attacking option worth pursuing.

Given a plus three (+3) army count every turn, regardless of occupied territories, and the slightly favorable odds of a 3v2 attack, the attacker can attack one or both neighbors until his/her plus three (+3) is exhausted. This strategy depends on the attackers discipline to halt the attack when he/she falls below the army bonus and the wherewithal to recognize the appropriate defender to attack.

If the attacker has a neutral neighbor or a neighbor with a substantially lower army count, the attacker should direct his/her game play to the other side with the assumption that the neighbor with the lower army count recognizes that attacking a higher count player will, at worst, result in his defeat by the hands of either of his/her neighbors, or at best, take him/herself out along with the higher count player; both options being losing strategies.

The Weaken strategy must be abandoned when the attacker has sufficient numbers to overwhelm his/her neighbor.

[edit] Brute Force

The most commonly used attack style used in most conventional boards, Brute Force is only effective if the attacker has a substantially higher army count than his/her opponent or is just really lucky.

Brute force often does not work due to the over-extension of the attacker armies. As in most maps, Brute Force is necessary for end game play and should never be used unless it achieves a short-term goal including capturing a continent, breaking into an opponent's continent or eliminating a player for cards.

With regards to the Brute Force strategy and the Idiot's board, it should only be used sparingly in the end game, keeping in mind that the surviving opponent(s) receive three armies which can be used more effectively with the above two strategies.

[edit] The Element of Luck

The limited amount of space and attackers in Idiot's Delight brings the element of luck to the forefront. A vast majority of Warfish games are won before a turn is taken, if properly played, from territory placement. If the board is played with two to five players, those players placed next to the non-attacking neutral territories have a larger chance of success, as they have a 'natural' rear fortification and a pre-laid path of attack.

Additionally, the players who's turn comes earlier in the turn index has a much larger chance of survival than those appearing in the bottom of the index. If all players use the 'Defend in Place' strategy, those players lower in the index have a better chance of survival than if all players us a 'Weaken' or 'Brute Force' strategy.

Warfish's luck might be subtle, but as with all games of chance, the element of chance levels the playing field. Idiot's Delight brings this subtly to the surface, often confusing and frustrating rookie and even moderately skilled players. Remember, even the best laid plans can fall apart with a roll of the die.

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