Which card do you play?

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Lucy Grey
Posts: 6
Joined: 19 May 2020, 06:27

Re: Which card do you play?

Post by Lucy Grey »

I’m unclear as to why the t should be pointed down.
The number of r vs 7 increases likelihood to go down than up.
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raspberryoolong
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Joined: 17 January 2021, 22:43

Re: Which card do you play?

Post by raspberryoolong »

As first player, I would generally dig cross. Cross preferred over T to avoid the path being closed off if I'm followed by sabs. I may play T instead if I had multiple T/simples and only 1 cross in the hand. Which way I turn the T depends on what curves I have in hand, like if I have 7's, I may play T facing up.

I would only DE behind ladder if I have nothing good to dig. DE behind ladder is not ideal IMO because:
- Miners after me still will have to prove anyway, and if I blocked the back of ladder, teammates can't prove by using DE that way if they had only DEs and nothing good to dig, like curves/simple, which could keep us stuck from digging until we can identify the sabs
- I'm wasting my turn basically, especially if I have a bunch of useful cards in my hand. If I'm holding onto paths, once sabs start breaking, I may have to discard useful cards. Chance of sabs winning the game increases the longer the game drags out if miners aren't digging when they can. I can always discard DE or map when I'm broken

I don't think using DE behind ladder helps to prove faster than digging. A cross will do the job of proving better, since as people mentioned, some players a waste DE as a bluff as sab, and it's generally more helpful to miners for sabs to dig straights than it is for them to waste a DE.

I also don't think it's necessary to avoid digging a cross to avoid the cross turning into an RF spot because you still have to dig anyway, and experienced players will not RF a first cross that's been dead ended anyway unless they have 3 RFs because it can turn into a VT or curve spot after RF(s).

So my preference as first player is cross, T, DE behind ladder, noodle top of ladder as a help to prevent curve back, and if I don't have anything good to discard and want to prove, then simple/VT.
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MZperX
Posts: 6
Joined: 20 July 2020, 12:35

Re: Which card do you play?

Post by MZperX »

I think dig cross is the best, and map first is the worst move with this hand.

I personally would dig simple first, because I am gambler.
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Wreckage
Posts: 165
Joined: 18 January 2017, 02:10

Re: Which card do you play?

Post by Wreckage »

It's interesting that we all play differently.
My question was not really about this particular hand, but which card you usually play if you have 2 or 3 of these cards. I should have included a Vert T too. Looking at the best 3 choices…


The advantages to playing a cross first turn are clear. It shows your role and keeps 3 paths open. I have even heard from respected players, that after the first cross is played, playing anything other than another cross is bad because it reduces the open paths from 3 to 2. So playing crosses early is their philosophy. I think this comes from thinking we have 5 crosses, but a team should be thinking they have 3, on average. The negative is that it’s easy to play above and below this card making it the easiest card to completely surround for a rockfall spot, and all sabs are free right now to do that. If it does get surrounded, diggers should be very stingy with their crosses and rockfalls, because if it turns out sabs have 3 crosses, diggers might be in a lot of trouble already just by playing this one early.

My thoughts: Even with the risks, it’s still a very good play. Proving your role is the very most important thing to do first turn. In a 5p game, a cross is even a little stronger, because it’s unlikely that sabs will be able to block everything.



There are several advantages to playing a T first. It proves your role, it goes forward, and it’s more difficult to fully surround with cards to make a rockfall spot. The T is also more inviting for other diggers to dig on. If you dig a cross, should the next digger also use his cross? Spend all your crosses right away? If the first play is a T, there is less hesitation to put a cross after it. The combination of ’’T then cross’’ is better than ‘’cross then T’’. The disadvantages are that there are only 2 paths open instead of 3, effectively helping sabs close 1 of the 3 starting paths. If the front paths are blocked and diggers choose to go above or below it, it can be somewhat equal to a cross for a rockfall spot.

My thoughts: Even with the risks, it’s still a very good play. Again, proving your role is first priority. I tend to like a T first play more than a cross, but it’s very close. In 5p I could be easily persuaded that a cross is better. In general I don’t like cross-cross-cross as a digging pattern, and I regard the starting ladder as a cross.



A dead end behind the ladder proves your role and keeps 3 paths open. Again, identification should be the first priority, and this works, without the disadvantages of creating a rockfall spot or having fewer open paths. The biggest disadvantage is taking the spot behind the ladder from another digger that can only use that spot to prove their role. There really is no other disadvantage. The criticism that this doesn’t prove your role, and yet somehow would prove the role of a following player, seems illogical. Note, that a sab who would spend a dead end like this, might also dig a T or cross, so it should be equally trusted. One danger of playing this card instead of digging forward with a T or cross, is that later when your tools are broken or the path is blocked, you may have to discard good paths.

My thoughts: This is a strong play with almost no downside at all. Losing this card does not shorten your time to reach gold. If you could take several more dead ends out of the deck before starting this round, you would. Your time limit is measured in your team’s useful cards. That being said, if you have several good cards to dig with, it’s usually better to dig forward on the turns you are free to do so.

I still choose the order:
  • dead end, T, cross
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Yorgad
Posts: 112
Joined: 21 October 2012, 13:27

Re: Which card do you play?

Post by Yorgad »

Hello,

This is going to be a long post therefore the TLDR version:
For scenario 1: I would play noodle
For scenario 2: I would play "T" path
For any scenario, in order of preference: "T" path first (if multiple straight path in hand), else skip (discard or neutral play), then cross if no other choice left (e.g. cross with action cards only, other than map).



Now the full detail for the 2 proposed scenario (although each initial hand need to be analyzed separately, the examples you provided allow interesting global insights);

For scenario 1, I would not dig straight away: I prefer to know who is saboteur first, to neutralize them and THEN dig safely. And this hand allows to do so.
By not digging, saboteurs might not target me in priority because I don't seem to be willing/able to dig...
It would buy me some time to improve my hand hopefullt by having a break card or a "T" path or any other useful digging card.
In the meantime there are still 3 available paths from the ladder, and I'd rather have a saboteur use a dead end on the ladder instead on "T" path or cross to avoid a RF set up.
if I'm broken for whatever reason (likely a friendly fire), I will still be able to use my map or discard the dead end in round 2 to hope for a fix or a another break to show my role etc.
And finally the noodle helps to prevent a later curve back, while not blocking the path.

:arrow: Hence I would play the "noodle" first since it is mostly neutral for scenario 1 and allow another digger to discard a dead end to the left. Best to keep map for later game or discard the dead end to skip a turn when needed. Simple path is obvisouly suboptimal because can be easily blocked with a dead end.

Yes I don't like to play cross early (unless I cannot do otherwise which is not the case here) and am very surrprised to read so many replies suggesting playing cross first round instead of "T" path for scenario 2. Let me elaborate,

Cross is somehow a "joker" path that can be used as any digging path (except for remote cases of constrained paths), especially in order to open the gold card in late game.

The following reasonning assume at least one RF card is statistically in saboteur hand.

From a saboteur perspective, an early cross is an ideal RF spot because:
  • saboteurs still free to set up the RF spot quickly (they will still have opportunity to play dead ends later, or optimize their hand while being broken, and gathering intelligence on which digging cards they have discarded): note by RF spot here I mean block both above and below the cross
  • it tells only 4 crosses are now remaining (and likely some in saboteur hand) and- likely one cross will be needed to fix the upcoming RF used by saboteur (respectively 2 if saboteur has 2 RF, and 3 if they have all three RF), such crosses that will not be available in late game anymore.
  • also if a digger play a cross, to fix the RF hole, it's likely his hand is now less powerful to dig thus sab can target the other digger preferably
  • if diggers struggle to fix the RF hole because some of them are broken, it allows saboteur to double break these digger (more optimal use of breaks) to maintain a status quo
  • if digger cannot fix the RF hole, they will likely be forced to use their own RF card to unlock the situation, losing the ability use it to remove an eventual dead end in late game.
Conversely, a "T" path is a weaker RF spot because:
  • it is harder to set up as it requires extra paths to fully constraint above and below
  • it's still possible to dig from the ladder in case both end were blocked by sabs, but at this stage, the aim of diggers is to break sab tools to secure any further digging: the sooner sabs are identified the better. Also going around the "T" path is also harder for saboteur to "block" (only horizontal dead ends can be used, minus the one already used to block the initial path)
  • Still 5 crosses available for later game
:!: I consider the "keep 3 paths" philosophy misleading. It's not that you should play a cross vs. a T because it gives 3 paths options instead of 2, but rather make sure that there is ONE more way than free saboteurs in a row. For instance, if the current path has two free way, and the digger cannot break one of the two free sabs after him, it's safe to play a cross.
Now in early game you don't know yet who they are, I therefore think it's more efficient to use a "T" path to honeypot saboteur dead ends (instead of a cross) for the reasons above (T being a weaker RF spot for sabs, and still possible to work around) and save the cross for later use when they will become useful in a critical situation (fix a RF spot, reach gold from anywhere, create a 3-option before two free known sabs etc.)

Finally, consider that this reasonning can be used as a saboteur to trick diggers by playing a cross first move, indeed you allow yourself the possibility to create a RF spot. It's double edged though, I would recommend this strategy only if you have a lot of forward digging paths (that you will discard) and at least one RF in hand (so you are not setting the RF spot for nothing), plus it increases chances of digger to friendly fire.

:arrow: For all of these reasons plus the fact "T" allows to dig further and show your role to prevent friendly fire, I would recommend playing "T" path pointing down (because there are 5 L and only 4 Γ making it likely easier to curve back to the right in case path is blocked).

Cheers,
Y.
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