• Playing new opponents can be fun.

    There’s no known tendencies to ‘follow’ as you might do when playing a certain player many times.

    Along this line of thought, how do you gauge your opponent?  Do you wait until mid game and look at what’s happened thus far?  Do you throw out some bait to test a players reaction early?

    ~ OR ~

    Do you not even tailor your game to your opponents?

    Sometimes there’s game history to gauge if a player is ‘agressive’ or more conservative, but often times, one or two previous games may not be truely indicative of a style since the overall pace of a game might have dictated a players agressive response in a battle or two when they’re really conservative.  I guess it’s harder to judge the context of the game unless you’re really involved is what I am trying to say.

    Personally, I like to throw out some bait and see if a player falls for it.
    A stack of inf that I can ‘afford’ to lose that might push a player slightly out of position to see how resolute to their long-term plan or attack-hungry my opponent is.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Generally speaking, I have my master plan and adjust it as the game develops.  If I have played someone often, or have researched their posted games; like when I play Switch; then I tailor the tactic to exploit weaknesses I perceive in their game plans.

    For instance, I know that some are very unlucky in naval battles, so I know I can exploit their fear of my navy to ease my burden.

    I know some players are just down right afraid of AA Guns, so I know that buying a couple extra will net me more then any ground unit possibly could.

    I know some players play off a script, Kill Russia First or Kill Germany First and thus cannot adapt to a strange tactic like Kill Japan First or Kill America First because they are not practiced in it.

  • Moderator

    I usually won’t do much different but will take notice of what they use to trade with and buying habits.  For example if I feel they are going to rt or arm heavy I will try and do things to thin out their inf.

    I’ll also try and gear transport landings a certain way (ex - leave WE empty) but again these are things I try and do regardless of opponent.


  • I tailor my game to the board situation.

    Who I am playing has absolutely no bearing on my game plan.

    I never “bait”.  If I leave something out there, it’s because:

    1.  I messed up and left an opening, or
    2.  I just don’t care if I lose it, or
    3.  I care if I lose it, but I know my opponent will have to pay the price for it, or
    4.  It’s a clever, clever trap.


  • Yes, I think it’s important to feel each opponent’s “deterrence threshold”, because deterrence happens in his/her mind first, not on a (simulated) battlefield ! There, only defeat can come 😉 And it’s not even something that may be shown by a pre-simulator/calculator like Frood’s.

    Much important in A&A, even more important, say, in “Victory in the Pacific” (AH). How many of you know that game ?

    Too solid deterrence may mean missing opportunities to hold more income; too little and they dare to call your bluff…


  • @Bunnies:

    I never “bait”.  If I leave something out there, it’s because:
    .
    .
    .
    4.  It’s a clever, clever trap.

    That’s BAIT in my book.

    A smart opponent will realize that it’s bait and NOT attack.


  • @Cmdr:

    Generally speaking, I have my master plan and adjust it as the game develops.  If I have played someone often, or have researched their posted games; like when I play Switch; then I tailor the tactic to exploit weaknesses I perceive in their game plans.

    For instance, I know that some are very unlucky in naval battles, so I know I can exploit their fear of my navy to ease my burden.

    I know some players are just down right afraid of AA Guns, so I know that buying a couple extra will net me more then any ground unit possibly could.

    I know some players play off a script, Kill Russia First or Kill Germany First and thus cannot adapt to a strange tactic like Kill Japan First or Kill America First because they are not practiced in it.

    The question was more geared towards opponents whose style you DO NOT KNOW.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    A way of playing where you use a gambit may work better on a better opponent because they are more used to main lines of strategy.

    If you try and pull a “poison pawn” it can lead to positional imbalance and give you a tell, but if his technique level is greater than yours, you may not be able to pay for the ‘free pieces’ latter.

    I think its better to wait till he makes a mistake, determine how to best take advantage of it  and exploit it ruthlessly in the usual result that it will eventually lead to further imbalance elsewhere when he tries to support the weak move.

    The good player will be able to recognize when he has made his mistake and where he will address his shortcomings. After that its all technique and basic math.

    But thats why 2 player AA games suck, because its all so planned out by home study that the game is no longer fun.

    The uncertainty of having 5 players is exciting because you need to have psychological talents as well and be a team player. A real strategist is born when he learns to coordinate the efforts of others and produce a flawed but successful victory. That dynamic is lost hopelessly with perfect coordination at all times from what you wrote on 8.5x11 sheets of paper.


  • @axis_roll:

    A smart opponent will realize that it’s bait and NOT attack.

    That’s my whole paint, “baiting” is dumb.


  • @Bunnies:

    @axis_roll:

    A smart opponent will realize that it’s bait and NOT attack.

    That’s my whole paint, “baiting” is dumb.

    I am not saying you need to do it over and over and over.
    You utilize baiting to see the skill level of your opponent.
    In that sense, I don’t think baiting is “dumb”.

    Conversely, I think it’s quite smart.  You set a clever trap… the opponent bites or does not.  Now I have a better gauge on him as a player.

    Remember, the premise of the question is:
    I am playing an opponent I don’t know anything about.

    How (if at all) do you gain knowledge about this player’s tendencies and style?

    I am not saying baiting is the best way or the only way to do so… I am just saying I don’t agree with your assessment that baiting is dumb.


  • @axis_roll:

    Remember, the premise of the question is:
    I am playing an opponent I don’t know anything about.

    How (if at all) do you gain knowledge about this player’s tendencies and style?

    You look at the buys, combat moves, and noncombat moves.


  • @Bunnies:

    @axis_roll:

    Remember, the premise of the question is:
    I am playing an opponent I don’t know anything about.

    How (if at all) do you gain knowledge about this player’s tendencies and style?

    You look at the buys, combat moves, and noncombat moves.

    This is a good answer…. keeping this info secret? (your first answer offered no such inf)

    Baiting pulls out combat moves, so it can be a part of one of your methods


  • @axis_roll:

    @Bunnies:

    @axis_roll:

    Remember, the premise of the question is:
    I am playing an opponent I don’t know anything about.

    How (if at all) do you gain knowledge about this player’s tendencies and style?

    You look at the buys, combat moves, and noncombat moves.

    This is a good answer…. keeping this info secret? (your first answer offered no such inf)

    Baiting pulls out combat moves, so it can be a part of one of your methods

    I thought everyone did it.

    Especially young schoolgirls.

    Ooo yeaa.

    Anyways, my understanding of “bait” is that it is of necessity part of a trap, hence a good opponent will see the trap and avoid it.  But by using resources for the “bait”, you pull units away from other places; other places that your opponent CAN hit.  So baiting is bad.

    Especially “master” baiting.  Or was that good, I forget.


  • Baiting is best done AFTER you have determined that your opponent might be subject to it.  The most common way of determining that is by a moderately risky attack by your opponent in the first 1-2 moves of the game.  If they roll for moderate odds battles (70% or less) early on, then future baiting may pay off.


  • We might be discussing a “chicken or the egg” scenario

    Which comes first?

    A ‘moderately risky attack(s)’ that were part of the normal (early) game
    or you set up some ‘moderately risky attacks’ as ‘bait’?

    If normal game play doesn’t create these battle opportunities, you may need to create some bait.


  • @axis_roll:

    We might be discussing a “chicken or the egg” scenario

    Which comes first?

    A ‘moderately risky attack(s)’ that were part of the normal (early) game
    or you set up some ‘moderately risky attacks’ as ‘bait’?

    If normal game play doesn’t create these battle opportunities, you may need to create some bait.

    On the first turn of each respective country, the Russians attack the Germans, the Germans attack the UK and Russia, UK responds to Germany’s buy and responds to the Africa-India position, Japan responds to the UK and Russia move and possibly attacks US, US commits and buys.

    In other words, for every country except Russia, you have some information to work with regarding how your opponents are going to play, and should have some idea about their risk management strategies.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    @ncscswitch:

    Baiting is best done AFTER you have determined that your opponent might be subject to it.  The most common way of determining that is by a moderately risky attack by your opponent in the first 1-2 moves of the game.  If they roll for moderate odds battles (70% or less) early on, then future baiting may pay off.

    Or if they try for a Russian Triple on Russia 1. 😛

    But honestly, baiting only pays off when you are winning.  Otherwise, baiting will always help your opponent.

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