[Mathcrafting] “On probability math, and how we can apply those skills and formulas to make more informed decisions.”

Redditor drawingdead0 wrote the following post on using the online Hypergeometric Calculator tool to make useful approximations of random chance to inform decisionmaking. The online hypergeometric calculator’s use translates readily to other games with random elements.
Continue reading “[Mathcrafting] “On probability math, and how we can apply those skills and formulas to make more informed decisions.””

[OTC] Opening tactic of temporary chems investment: a good idea poorly executed

In this clip from an Offworld Trading Company tournament, player adorfield recognizes that the neutral colony’s modules are consuming chemicals, gradually increasing the market price. Adorfield bought 60 chemicals early, knowing that he could sit on them for a period and then sell them at a profit.

This is, on its own, a sound plan. However, the plan should have been aimed at selling the chems as soon as the profits were enough to let him buy the HQ level 2 upgrade for additional tile claims. Instead, adorfield did not sell his stockpile, locking up thousands of dollars that needed to be used to jump start in the critical moments of the opening. The plan actually delayed his development rather than accelerating it.

Meanwhile, an opponent with unstifled development was able to use their faster HQ level 2 claims to snatch away the high aluminum tile adjacent to adorfield’s base. In this moment we can see how the error snowballed against adorfiel and seriously hampered his opening. Yes, the price of those chems will continue to rise, which does provide some benefit, but waiting for the price to rise further came with an enormous opportunity cost of upgrading later than his opponents.

[SupCom] Early aggression in an FFA hurts both participants relative to the other players

YouTuber and commentator Gyle notes early in this free-for-all that many players try to avoid early conflict. This idea crops up in other games with FFAs as well. Two players conflicting early burn resources on aggression while the noncombatants are free to instead invest in their economies.

And indeed in this case despite one player coming out on top, both of the two fighting players end up clearly behind the others in terms of mass income.

[MTG] Sam Pardee on a common mistake using Tasigur, The Golden Fang

Tasigur, the Golden Fang can be cast at reduced cost if the player exiles cards from their graveyard while casting it. Once in play, one can pay mana to activate Tasigur's ability, which puts some cards in your graveyard, then makes an opponent choose one nonland card in your graveyard to return to your hand. Players may be tempted to exile as many lands as possible when casting Tasigur, so that their graveyard is full of spells, but by exiling spells and leaving more lands, the opponent does not get as many options about which nonland card to give you.

[Chess] Dynamic protection of the knight

International Master John Bartholomew reviews a moment in a blitz game where his knight has no static defender (i.e. is not protected by a pawn). However, the knight is in fact dynamically protected. Were attacked, a check against the black king would buy time to reposition the knight, as the opponent would need to spend their move getting their king out of check rather than capturing the loose piece.

[EU4] Reman’s Paradox analyzes the new institutions mechanics

YouTuber Reman's Paradox demonstrates a high level of game knowledge backed up by data in this assessment of the new institutions mechanic in Europa Universalis IV. He also takes the laudable step of making his data and code available for others to use.

Below, I've pulled out four short sub-clips in which Reman raises ideas that may be relevant to thinking about other games.
Continue reading "[EU4] Reman’s Paradox analyzes the new institutions mechanics"

[Stellaris] Macsen on the early game

YouTuber Macsen Lets Plays makes great content for single-player 4X games on high difficulties. His commentary is insightful, and his diligence with adding YouTube annotations to clarify or correct is seriously impressive. Here I've pulled out some important points from his Stellaris opening guide, especially ones that parallel ideas of strategy in other games.

Macsen starts off pointing out the importance of quick starts in 4x games:
Continue reading "[Stellaris] Macsen on the early game"

[AoE2] Overview of the Aztecs

YouTuber Spirit Of The Law conducts an excellent review of the strengths and weaknesses of the Aztec civilization, backed up by tests and mathcrafting. I've included the full video here, and below it I've pulled out a couple of small clips that I may want to reference later.
Continue reading "[AoE2] Overview of the Aztecs"

[NetHack] The first liquid diet tourist ascension

Experienced NetHack players love to win in style by shackling their characters with voluntary conducts. In 2004, player Robert Tupelo-Schnek successfully ascended a character observing a new variant of the existing “foodless atheist polyselfless survivor ascension” conduct, in which his character’s only source of┬ánutrition was quaffing potions. Robert’s┬ápost, “Yet Another Foodless Atheist Polyselfless Survivor Ascension Post…without using ‘You feel like a new man!'” makes for a great read. Read on for a glimpse into the zany land of Nethack and its stylish-conduct runs. Continue reading “[NetHack] The first liquid diet tourist ascension”