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Samhain's Strategy Guide.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:36 pm    Post subject: Samhain's Strategy Guide. Reply with quote

I'm posting this here for all the players out there who want to improve their game. Samhain's strategy guide has been for years the best bolo related strategy resource.

Strategy, it's the toughest thing to learn in bolo, not to mention the hardest to teach. Strategy is more abstract than tactics, which is why it's so hard to learn. Anyone can show you tactics. Tactics are the things which you use to carry out your strategy, such as killing pills, tanks, bases, etc. It seems to me that the current generation of boloers are all tactically driven. The best of them can all take pills faster than I, yet, they still seem to lose. That, in itself, is pretty good evidence of the greater value of strategy over tactics.

So, how does one go about learning strategy? Playing against players who have it is a great start. Good old experience should never be discounted. Good experience, though, which means not playing with players who are worse than yourself. It's the big fish, small pond thing; you have to get outta your tiny little clique and play with the "big kids". So you lose a bit, get a rep for being a squid, whatever. The experience you gain will carry you much further.

Experience is what you need, but, not everyone has the ability to catch on to what they see on the bolo field. So, I'm writing this little piece to hand off what I've learned to whoever's interested. I've always been more strategy oriented than technically skilled. In fact, I'm apprehensive in writing this, with the thought that a great technically skilled player gains that missing link in strategy and tears me apart. Perhaps, I'll limit the distribution of this piece to a select few. Heh, as if any amount of reading could teach real strategy...

First things first, how can you tell that you're lacking in strategy? Well, I think it's safe to say that if you play a 2x2 better than a 1x1, that's a definite clue. In fact, the worst strategical players tend to hate 1x1's. 1x1's are where real strategy comes to play. A good 2x2 player isn't always a good 1x1 player, whereas a good 1x1 player is almost always a good 2x2 player. IMHO, that's where the saying, "I'm a team player, damnit", comes from. The more players in a game, the less strategy required. That's why most squids like 8 player games. The more players in a game, the smaller your sphere of play is. That's probably the reason why small maps are so popular among the tactically oriented. There's less territory to cover, thus, strategy is less important. The places to attack and defend, pillwar areas, etc., are all pretty defined and limited to certain areas.

The difference between strategy and tactics can also be related to bases and pills. Bases win the game, but, you use pills to do so. Strategy is what you want to do, tactics are how you do it. Good players realize this, and will generally focus primarily on bases, but, will take pills as needed.

One of the main concepts I feel must be learned is focus. The focus of a game shifts between pills, bases, men, trees, etc. If your opponent has 2 bases left, the current focus of the game is probably bases. At that point, your goal is to get your enemy away from those two bases. Either through spiking, or suicide stealing. That's a pretty basic concept. However, what most people fail to understand is that, the focus can be forcibly shifted. If my opponent has a 9-7 pill lead on me, but, I've got a 10-6 base lead, I will shift the focus from pills to bases. My opponent wants to keep the focus on pills, since he's winning on that side. However, by stealing 2 bases, on one full load of ammo, I've changed the base game to a 12-4 lead. By doing that, I seek to force my opponent to retake those bases or subject himself to a crippling spike. Thus, I make him either play my winning game, or I cause him to throw pills back to defend, making his pill lead inaffective, as he uses his resources to defend behind him. Therefore, I've evened out the pill war, and retain my base lead.

If the situation is reversed, then I must shift the game into a pill war. I would then place my pill aggressively against my opponent's, and attempt to make the takes. Any take I make can be either added to defend my backside, or further press my forward attack. By keeping my opponent defending on the front, I protect myself from the base run. It seems funny that I state an ability to win from either situation, but, it's just part of being a good player to win more often than not. In either case, I have to rely on my bag of trix being larger than my opponent's.

The most important concept to learn is role-playing. This is especially important for team games. Everyone plays a role in the game, even more confusing is that the role changes throughout the course of the game. If you're the stronger player in the team, it's up to you to press and win the game. If you sux, then it's up to you to slow the other team down. Pretty simple, huh? But, this concept is much more than a simple shift from offense to defense. To be a good player, you have to recognize your role in any given situation. If you sux and you encounter the opposition's best player, it's time to run in and kill him. If it's the worst player, then you leave him alone. Let's go over a few scenarios: 2x2 game, best and worst player allied, the two middle players allied. The worst player ties up one of the opponents, while the best player rox the other middle player, and the outcome is obvious. The medium player uses stalling tactics (sets up a wide pill line) against the best player, and the other mediocre guy rox the worst player. With knowledge of this on both sides, it's a matter of tactics to win the game.

Another role-playing scenario: One player gets double teamed, he messages to his ally that the double team is occuring, then works on stalling the twosome. The double teamed player must realize that he'll lose, but, has to make it take longer than it does for his lone ally to take the other side of the map, uninterrupted. The lack of role-playing has lost many games, when every player believes it is necessary to try and win the game. Some of my more frustrating games have been when my ally sets up a pill line against the weakest player in the game, while I'd been doing my best to stalemate the second best player in the game. You have to know your limitations, who and when to attack or defend. It's simple math. This is easily learned by being on the three side of a 2x3. One player settles into a defensive position tying up one member of the pair, while the other two players double team the lone opponent. It's simple subtraction, to win on the three side you shift the game to either a 1x1/1x1/1x0, or a 1x1/2x1. For the chess players, think back to the old rule, "never trade pieces when you're down." If I start out with a 6-5 lead on you, I want to trade pieces with you, because eventually, I'll end up with one last piece, and you'll have none. Not easy to play with no pieces, is it?

Simple arithmetic can help you out a lot. When I play in 3x3's, I find that I often run into 2x1's. I think that's mainly because they view me as the greatest threat, and think that they can win by double teaming me and keeping me from beating them. Depending on my allies, that's not always the best plan of attack. Why? Because I understand the concept of role playing. I know that when I'm double teamed, I don't have to win. Although, on some occasions, I have been able to beat the double team, I realise that my main goal is to not be beaten, and let my team's double team work. This works because I'm not trying to win, just maintain a line and keep the enemy from advancing. The single player on the other side often doesn't know that, and tries to beat the mismatch. By trying to beat the double, he leaves himself open to being beaten quicker than if he tried to defend. I keep this in mind at all times. Not all players are able to put their egoes aside and play the small roles, or the roles of the newb player (e.g. the constant attack on bases). But, this is what makes an effective player.

Role-play also includes the realization that you're the only ally with a man, a tree, etc. If you know your 3 allied enemies have only one man between them, and you paid enough attention to the newswire to know which enemy it is (hint), you then know who is capable of making a rebuild when you go for a take, and who to kamikaze on, so as to remove the last man from the field--even if it's only temporary. You role can change with a death and finding yourself on a different part of the map. Your role may be to start walling in back bases, running behind your enemy's pill line and causing him to die, or to refuel on a tangent base and start a flank.

All tanks are created equal, thing is, they just don't stay that way. Different tanks, like the various pieces on a chess board are all valued differently. Some tanks are more valuable from the start, simply because of who's in control. That's a pretty basic concept. However, a tank controlled by a better player, may, during the course of a game become less valuable than that of a lesser player. This, at first, doesn't seem logical. However, a tank without a man suddenly loses a great deal of it's initial value. If the tank has no ammo, then it's less effective. Even more than that, a tank with no ammo that just came back from death that's far away from where it needs to be is near useless. A tank with a pill is definitely worth more than one without. All of these values help to make the assessment of whether or not it is worth it to chase the tank across the map, force a dogfighting situation, or to leave it alone. The situations can occur in any combination, and it is up to you to be able to calculate which tank is more valuable, and whether or not the risk involved in losing your own tank is within acceptable limits.

Deception and distractions. This is my style of play. I use a variety of tactics from my bag of trix which leave you on the wrong side of the map, at the wrong base, defending the wrong pill. For example, I'll shoot a pill 6-8 times then immediately run to the other side of the map. Many players will run to that pill and repair it. However, often times by the time they get there, I'm on the other side taking a pill unopposed. To make it even more confusing, I sometimes shoot up a pill and set up blox while it kewls down, so I can make an easier take. In order to achieve these plans, I must have the initiative, the next concept of bolo theory.

Initiative is a term I've taken from chess. I have the initiative when I'm planting pills and making takes, pushing you back. I'm making the moves, and you're counter-attacking. When this happens to me, I usually try to either shift the focus of the game, or I use a distraction in order to regain the intiative. Initiative wins games. Players who understand initiative are often recognized by their aggressive spikes. Spikes press the issue of focus, since it's a general rule that spikes should be cleared. However, it really depends on the base count, the individual game, whatever. Gaining the initiative can also be gained by flanking.

Flanking, it's related to deception and initiative. Flanking is basically attacking on a tangent battle area. My main style of play is to set up a pill line pillwar, then flank. This is a combination of deception, initiative, and focus. By setting up the pillwar, I've shifted my opponent's focus to pills in a given area. This is my distraction. When I flank, I am attacking where my opponent is not, thus, giving me the initiative of the attack. My basic thought is that, I can take a lone pill faster than my opponent can take one from a pill line. The lone pill usually also leaves a hole in the defense which allows me to go on a base run.

Pills placement is a mystery to many players. While some set up pill lines, others send out hasty spikes, and others just gather them in blobs around their bases. Different games require different pill placement strategies. Pill placement is a little to difficult for me to explain in a strategy guide, as much of it is tactics. However, in order to help the development of pill placing concepts, I'd like to convey the idea that pills have spheres of influence. Since pills shoot in all directions, it's easy to see that there's a larger circle around the pills within which the pills may shoot. It's important to understand this when placing pills and spikes. Many of the newer players I've seen think of a spike as the placing of a pill directly adjascent to an enemy base. That's fine in some cases, however, that's not the extent of the spike. A spike can be seen as placing a pill such that an enemy base falls within it's sphere of influence. The offensive affectiveness lies within the shooting range of a pill, it's sphere of influence. Often times, I'll see a player adjascently spike each of a three base cluster, when a spike in the middle would be enough. Knowing and understanding the spheres is what enables many players to defend and attack more efficiently. On quadrant type maps like CT III, I find that with a single pill, I can back the enemy off into his allies' corner, simply because his open bases are within my pill's sphere. By heating up the pill, I prevent the enemy from *easily* building blox and defending. When I push my opponents to one quadrant, it's much easier for me to either clean up the abandoned corner, or to attack the remaining one and go for the kill.

Player recognition isn't just good for making fair teams, it's also there for exploiting weaknesses. If you know who you're up against, you know how aggressive/defensive you need to be. Because of the weak strategy that so many players seem to have, you can also count on many of them to play pretty consistently. Many will fall for the same man-killing tactic, succumb to frustration, have weak defense in a pill war, not realise that a change in focus has occured, blahblahblah.

Knowing which players are capable of what is extremely important. There are moves which are basically, stupid. However, when the enemy isn't able to counter them, they can be quite powerful, like spiking in front of an enemy tank, or doing a pill take right in front of another tank. What makes these moves stupid, is the assumption that the other tank can kill your man. However, there are many players whom are unable to pull off such trix, and thus, the moves change from being to stupid to only being risky, and sometimes even good moves. It depends on who you're playing against.

Although it really isn't strategy, I feel this little concept is important enough to mention as well. If you're not doing something, you're losing. It's as simple as that. No matter what's happening in the game, you *must* be doing something. If you're deadlocked on a pill line, flank and steal a base. You either gain a base, or the enemy goes to retake it, and as soon as you see him retake it along the message wire, you're tearing up his pill line. This works because you've taken the initiative; he doesn't realize that you've left to take a base, until it turns... Still, always make sure you're doing something, anything, go shoot a tank, steal a base, go shoot every red pill 6 times, and make your enemy chase you around rebuilding pills. Something is almost always better than nothing.

However, this brings up the questions of defending, and vulturing/ambushing. While defending a line, I think still think it's important to always be doing something, specifically, heating up your own pills and rebuilding them. It makes it difficult for the enemy to take a pill from the line when everything's pissed. Vulturing/ambushing, well, you *are* doing something. I wrote this section mainly because of all the times I see players sitting on bases when they're already full, Sitting around not doing anything, grabbing trees for no reason, driving around the map, etc. because they don't know what they should/could be doing.

Confidence wins games, too. Santa and grinch have both noted the importance of ego for greatness. That's not entirely true, but, confidence in one's ability can make the difference between a win and a loss. I know of a couple of players who play well with a good ally, and poorly against a good opponent. It seems as if they get psyched out and play less aggressively and make many more mistakes. Play with confidence. Just don't get cocky--cocky's when you can't back it up Wink

Hmm... Now that I look at this piece, there's doesn't seem to be that much to my strategy. Dang, I thought, for a second, that I could help fill that gap left by Black Lightning disappearance from the bolo field and along with his excellent posts on strategies & tactics. I guess it's because strategy is so abstract that it doesn't appear to be very complicated on paper--compounded with the fact that I can't write worth a jolo of bolo skill (j/k jyl ; ) ).

Another thing to keep in mind is that I've written this guide from my own perspective. This means that there'll be biases which fit more to my style of play, which may contrast to the styles of other established players. However, I have attempted to be as general as I possibly could, in order to convey my thoughts and ideas to the player who has yet to develop a sense of strategy. It would be fairly trivial for me add the extremely stylized strategies of many of the top players. I feel that the main strength of this guide is in displaying the concepts of my basic views on strategy with a few references to my own playing style. It's up to the player to explore the game further to find the strategy which suits him best.

Another thing that's important to remember is that I've tried to portray concepts here. I wrote this to help other players to understand strategy. I tried to avoid specific "strategies" (plans) because there isn't one specific strategy that will win every game. You have to choose the best path to victory in every different game.

I've made a few references to my bag of trix. That's basically a description of the collection of tactics, etc. that I've obtained over the past months of boloing I've done. It's the little things, those insignificant little moves that save you that .001 seconds that put you on top of your opponent, tactically. You put enough of those little things together, and you'll accumulate a lot more wins. I'll write a paper on tactics pending how this one is received.

Apprehensively, Samhain is the source for the original.

I will be posting up some other strategy related information to help out the new players with improving their bolo play.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a few of black lightnings posts from the old R.G.B news groups, its -very- good and a must read for all players who haven't read it. No matter how experienced you are.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is some crazy stuff some crazy guy said to me once.

<Macarthur> hey min
<Macarthur> so listen.. you learned alot, probably will for getsome
<Macarthur> but just try to follow the rules.
<Macarthur> 1: Carry at least 1 pill, but nor more than 2
<Macarthur> 2: Focus on bases to carry out strategy
<Macarthur> 3: Ask youself why you are doing what you are doing
<Macarthur> OK well I got to go. just practice! and be critical of yourself!
<Macarthur> Any time you lose! you must think what you did wrong!
<Macarthur> and you will learn ALOT!
<Macarthur> any time you lose.. THINK ABOUT EVERY GAME
<Macarthur> think about why you lost
<Macarthur> did you lose your man?
<Macarthur> did you die?
<Macarthur> did you lose bases?
<Macarthur> maybe you should have attacked?
<Macarthur> mayve you should have defended?
<Macarthur> those type of questions.
<Macarthur> I will teach you defense later.. you only probably know offense now.
<Macarthur> anyway CYA!!
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric's Guide

You already know what bolo is, and what everything is called. So I've put together some basic tips and general strategy you can follow, and grow on.

The number one rule of bolo is to have fun, its a game for crying out loud! When you have fun, you learn more, and get better, winning isn't all that important.

Bolo is all about the resources. Trees, ammo, armor, mines, and pillboxes, these are all your tools in the quest to control the bases. Time is also a huge resource, kinda, little bits of wasted time can add up. Do not waste a single thing mentioned so far. Learn to use these resources well, and you will play well.

TREES- farm as many as you can while your refueling, zooming past friendly territory, or any safe situation. Don't try to farm when your being shot at by anything (pill or enemy) cause theres a good chance of you losing your man. Sometimes you have to however, it takes experience to know when those times are worth risking it.

AMMO- the most important resource in the game, and the reason why you want control of the bases. Dont waste a single shot, practice your pill takes so you have the angle down cold. This can be done offline while practicing. Dont chase an opponent around firing blindly, in fact dont chase him at all, shoo him away with a few shots, but dont bother chasing him across the map.

MINES- mmmmm mines. Always have a few handy, take the extra refuling time to stock up and trees and run through the ol' pillview slide show. Actully no mine placement is a wasted mine unless you run into it yourself later on. Lay them strategically though, put a line around a single pillbox to slow down any attack for example, or lay them down if your running through your opponents quad, just dont get hit by pill fire or it may knock you back into your mine field.

PILLBOXES- where would we be with out them? There an offensive and defenisve tool used to complete your objective (getting all the bases). Ill go on more about these in the strategy bits of this.

TIME- bare with me on this one. Time is a huge part of the game, since its a game played in real time. This is the one thing that seperates Chess from Bolo. Farm while your refueling, send your man to set up your next pill take while your completing one, use your ammo effiecntly so you dont have to go back and refuel. That last one is the key to my game, you should be able to take 3 pills on one full loading of ammo, assuming you dont waste any shells. Also always keep moving, always be doing something.

There are your resources in a nutshell, lets talk about some tactics.

Tactics are what you use to compile a strategy. Tactics include stuff like pill takes, diversion, spiking, raping, and stuff like that. Here are a few tactics to be aware of:

DONT DIE. Death is bad. When you die, you opponent has precious seconds to afflict damage and you cant do a damn thing. Plus you may respawn in areas controled by your opponent, and you'll have to zoom pretty far to get ready for battle, adding more time for your opponent to afflict damage.

Place your pills wisely. When spiking a quad, dont set 1 pill right against each space, remember those pills fire in any direction, so place them in the center of a group of bases, so atleast 2 pills fire at one base if someone were trying to refuel from it. Also remember to place pills so they have a task, dont place them somewhere where they can be easily taken either. Dont be afriad to move them around either, if spike a quad, then later on take all the bases, take one or two of the pills away and use them somewhere else.

Diversion is your friend. Make your opponent think one thing and do something else. These things come to you with practice. Things like seting up a pill take, then hauling ass somewhere else. Go as far as to complete the pill take, but leave the pillbox dead, your opponent may be forced to come all the way over there and deal with it, letting you do something more productive like removing a spike, or going after a pill that is doing more damage to your game plan.

Pill taking, simplicity and speed are the key here. Dont go crazy with fancy takes. Have a handy trump card like phallus at your disposal, with phallus, practcie the angle before anything else, once its a reflex, then try the other part, doing this with 2 pillboxes is also a good way to score a builder kill and to keep away those pesky vultures, practice pracitce pracitce. And reguarding physco neighbor don't waste anything here, once your blocking pill is up, nail that angle while your man is on his way back to you. Your block should pop up on the screen, then both the pill you intend to take and your block should disapear with in 4 seconds, to do this you have to nail the angle immediatly, combine this skill with other time saving tips and you will rock at starting off a game.

Base running should be done right. Dont die during your base run, get all the open bases as fast as you can, and if you make it alive go after any open ones your opponent missed, and use the starting ammo to rape those should he already have gotten them.

Now that you have a general sence of some tactics, lets talk about pasteing them together into strategy.

Erics Guide #2


Strategy cant really be taught through words on a page, its something you learn with experience, however I can get you started a bit.

Stategy itself is how you use the tactics you've learned to take control of the bases. WeIRDo_THC is another guy who you'll see over here, he once told me that "no strategy is perfect, they all have holes, the trick is to adjust many times over the course of a battle so your opponent can not take advantage of them. This creates an overall grand strategy, which itself, has a hole." He later said "The greatest of all warriors are as aware of their weaknesses, as they are of their strengths."

THC isnt that great of a player, although he is well versed the Okinawa styles of martial arts and he literally knows hundreds of combat strategies, and thousands of combinations for them. He can recognize the strategy of others, so he can select a strategy that targets their particular weakness. If he were able to aply his knowlege to bolo, and pick up a boat load of tactical training, he could rock up there with Shenobi.

Here is some general strategic information. You'll come up with others of your own as you become a better player. It's going to take alot of practice before you can recognize when a situation calls for a particular move. Make the wrong move at the wrong time, and your in for a hurtin'. Also learn to recognize them so you can find that hole in your opponents strategy, and take advantage of it.

Strategic Pill Placement.

Offensive playing makes for quick games. Take all of your bases and begin to gather your pills, you have to be quick about it to be effective. Comit those pills to spiking your opponents bases, while raping the others if necessary. Its a good way to put your opponent in a hole, and make him fight to regain momentum. You may also want to learn a few good spiking methods, the pill-right-next-to-base style is fool proof, but extreamly easy to lift. However the biggest hole here is when you use pills to spike, you cant use them to protect, and you just lifted the nuetral pill protection, your opponent can attack these the same way you just attacked him, and your both limited on ammo. This would also be a seriously bad time to lose you LGM. BUT if you manage to kill his builder you can put this game away very easily.

Defensive Pill Placement is the opposite. Use your pills to keep your opponent out of your quad Your opponent will have more trouble taking pills away from you if you place them well enough, and throw some mines infront of them, the rubble produced by these mines slows down your opponents LGM so you can swoop in from the other side and vulture them, or you can nail his lgm while hes trotting over tricky rubble. After you get his man, take the pills which have been freed up by your opponent, and give one of his quads hell, lift the protecting pills, or do whatever you want, just do it fast before his man comes back. If the jams a pill inside of your quad, use blocks to refuel, and then take it. The only problem with this style is that you dont have to pill power to take the offensive to him, its going to be hard to fight him on both quads, since he has nothing else to de besides attack both of your quads. He may pretend to head over to the other side of this battle, and then swoop around back to where he started once you fell for his stunt and moved to the other side to try to defend from him. Lose your LGM here, and your a gonner.

The best thing to do it to mix these styles, and change them as the game progresses, its going to take experince to know when you lean more towards the offensive, and when to lean more towards the defensive.

Strategic Pill Taking.

Offensive pill taking is when you take pills that our protecting your opponent, this eats away at his defense, and helps you close in on a victory. Watch your opponent here, try to get a general sense of where he is and what he is doing, you dont want him to sneak into the scene and blow you away or kill your man. Once you have the pill dead, repair your block if you had one, and set up some blocks to block fire from other pill boxes near the dead one. Go in and take it, and set it up for your next take, or leave it there and draw your opponent over there while you set up a trap, like heating up one of your pills and try to blow him away or damage his other pill boxes, or zooming over to another area and taking another pill from a better area.

Defensive Pill taking is when you take pills that are spiking you, or that are meant to slow you down. Its best to use a pill or two as a block for defensive taking, use that same angle as Phallus to do this, and your opponent will have a heck of a time trying to repair his pill, he will have to send it from a distance to avoid it getting blasted my the other pill of yours, and you will have a better shot at whacking it if your opponent is sending him from a greater distance.

Strategic Raping.

Rape bases near your own, it gives you more distance between your original bases, and your opponent. It's best to protect freshly taken bases on smaller maps untill they have a decent amout of regenerated armor. If your opponent has the base you think it neccessary to take protected with pillboxes, find an angle where you can fire at it untill it is dead, and then set up some blocks to obsorbe some of that pill fire. Pill boxed get EXTREMLY upset when you fire on a base in its range, so be careful. If the base is heavily gaurded, and there is no way to kill it, attack somewhere else, and force your opponent to move some of the pills to guard that area, then comeback and take the lighter guarded base.

Don't take a base unless you have to, or your opponent has began to take yours. Taking a base deep in his territory is rather usless, if you cant take a few of them and set up some protecting pills. You may just start a rapefest, which sucks.

Thats all I can really tell you about strategy with out going into my somewhat unorthadox styles of playing. Strategy will come to you with time. Play as much as you can, and you will learn alot if you play with an open mind. You will also come up with some strategic moves of your own. As i said before, you will have to learn with experience when a situation calls for one of these strategic moves, all used together to make your grand strategy. You will also learn to see other peoples strategies, so you can blow them apart, and break them down.

woo woo!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the strategy off my old website.

Strategy and other Info
Well I'm not really one to give advice, but here is a few things that people have told me (not that its helped me much)
1. Don't Die
this seems simple but many people put themselves into situations where they will die. its all a matter of risk assessment(aka if your carrying pills don't run up to that mad pillbox)
2. Don't carry more that 2 pills
this is so that if you do happen to not obey rule number 1, you won't lose more than 1 or 2 pills. there are exceptions to this rule(eg. if your going to lay a big spike on someone or plant a pill line or something)
3. Watch enemy pillplacement
some enemies will try to trap you, plant and piss off a pill so you die WATCH for this kind of thing.
4. Don't be afraid to move pills
don't be afraid to pick up pills that are not doing anything for you to spike or plant in a better spot.
5. Watch your bases
keep a mental tab of how many bases you and your opponent have, and remember bases win games not pills.
6. Practice
this is a fairly important point, remember practice makes perfect(although in my case it doesn't seem to be helping any)
7. Memorize Samhains strategy guide
the single most important thing you should read is samhains strategy guide which can be found at the bolo homepage:
8. Don't get hit
this one goes hand in hand with the don't die one, if you can dodge, you won't get hit, if you don't get hit, you don't die. simple.
9. Always use a block
sometimes this rule doesn't apply but in most cases it does, don't attack a pillbox without a block, or a pill, to help absorb shots.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my old website



Overview: winbolo is a top down view; tank strategy game, but you can't think of winbolo as simply a game, because its so much more, as a tank on the playing field you must act like you are a commander commanding his troops, all the same things apply, you must be considerate of terrain, traps, numbers vs skill, etc. all of these things combine make winbolo a game that can be enjoyed over and over, every time you play the game it can be a completely different experience that is the reason that I'm still playing this game long after I would have quit any other game.

Objective of the game: the objective of winbolo is to control all of the bases, so that your enemy can't refuel, this may or may not include owning all of the bases. you can do this in various ways, one is by simply capturing all of your enemies bases, the other ways include making it impossible for your opponent to refuel off the bases by placing your own pillbox's within range of the base in a way that they can't plant to refuel.

dying: In short, don't die. dying is a very bad thing in bolo, when you die it takes about 2-3 seconds to do the "death" animation, it takes another 2-3 seconds to put you at a starting point, which could be on the other side of the map from were your bases and pills are located. Once you get back to your bases, it takes 10-20 seconds to refuel, depending on how much you got hit while getting back, and how many mines you want. in this time, a good bolo player could have taken 2-3 pills from you if not more. In my experience I've had plenty of games were one single death is what tips the game to one sides favor, this can make running in to grab those dead enemy pills very dangerous.

learning from your mistakes: In winbolo, the only way to improve is to recognize what you've done wrong, in most cases you don't know what you have done wrong and should ask the person who were playing against or even your ally what mistakes you made. Once you've identified the problems that you have, you can start working on fixing them. fixing problems can most of the time just come from practice, but knowing what your weakness' are is also very important, because if you know how your vulnerable, you can avoid playing the game that way. Or you can try to only play the game that way in an attempt to improve those particular skills.

dodging: one thing people don't mention much, is the ability to dodge, if you can easily dodge tank fire, and pillbox fire, you will most likely to do well. one of the ways to become a good player is to not die, to not die means you have to work on not getting hit. this is were dodging comes into play I recommend making a map that has 2-3 pills in the middle of deep water, with a starting point close by, loading this map in practice, and then practice driving up and swerving in between these pills if you can do this for long periods without dieing, you will improve your basic dodging ability. without the simple ability to drive from what side of the map to the other without getting very hurt, it makes getting placed at a start point far from your own side a very real hazard. with good dodging skills you can minimalize this danger

taking pills with blocks: one thing people forget, is that pills can be taken with blocks as well as other pills, with less risk setting up blocks can sometimes take longer than the standard one pill as a block take, but if you are quick, you can plant a block, attack, turn to dodge while planting another block to finish off the pill, it can be quite effective at taking pills from peoples pill lines without worrying about losing a pill if you screw up. it can also create terrain changes that can help make assaulting your line a lot harder if used properly.

base running: base running is important, depending on your enemy (some opponents whine a lot if you base run in certain ways) you need to grab at least half the easy to obtain bases, on a map like chew toy 3 there is only 6 easy bases on each half, after this point its up to you weither you get the the other harder to get bases, normally I get them after clearing some of the pills guarding them. good dodging skills are essential for base running properly, another important thing is you must not die on your base run, dieing on your base run can put you on the other side of the map completely, this can completely destroy your start, and against a strong opponent, this is fatal.

dog fighting: dog fighting in winbolo is marginal at best, my first piece of advice is to avoid it if you can if you have to chase after someone, it is likely that a lot of your bullets will miss, even if they look like they hit, due to the nature of winbolo's networking architecture. its best to try to aim in front of your enemy tank by the amount of time you think the game is lagging, under heavy lag dog fighting is impossible sometimes its best to plant a pill, and heat it instead of hopping your flailing shots will hit your enemy enough to kill him. also, when trying to kill an enemy tank, don't underestimate the value of mines, a few well placed mines can often kill an enemy tank a lot faster than shooting them can. not to mention its always satisfying to know you killed your enemy due to a mine Smile

teamwork: Teamwork is a key aspect of winbolo, without teamwork, the game is a lot less fun and sometimes very frustrating. The main aspect of team work is called decoying. decoying is essentially when one tank gets in a position that it will cause the enemy pill to shoot at them instead of the person shooting the pill, weither this by hiding behind a pill, a group of blocks, a enemy tank, or just running around without any of these things trying to attract fire. sometimes you can hide behind a ally pill while your ally shoots a enemy pill and take out 2 enemy pills that you couldn't normally double take, this is referred to as a double decoy or "dd" I will add in screenshots later if I have time. using proper teamwork, a couple of players can easily defeat any team not using teamwork. another thing you must realize is that you have to know your role, in a team, you have to take the role offered to you before the team can properly move forward, if your the strong player, you can't expect your weaker ally to lead the way, you must take the lead, if your ally is spiking, you have to fall in and help them. you can't ignore what your ally is doing. its very important to pay close attention to what is going on, on your own team.

refueling off spiked bases: refueling off of spiked bases is a essential skill that is required in a lot of situations one of the basic ways of doing this is by planting a block in between the enemy pill and your base. another way is to move back and forth just enough to cause the enemy pill to miss you, this is sometimes tricky and not as effective as just planting a block, but if you don't have your lgm its useful. now sometimes you will have to refuel off a base that your enemy has places a pill directly beside, do not fear, you can still get ammo from this base, the easiest method is by planting a block behind you, so the pill can't force you off the base, and then sitting on it, the pill will hit you, you will refuel one armor and then a few bullets, it will hit you again, etc until the base has no armor, or until your tank is full it takes twice as long as usual to refuel fully this way, I recommend only refueling enough to take the spiking pill.

(editors note, the default key setup has been changed in the new version of winbolo)
keysetup: The default key setup is not very good, a good key setup has to have a few elements, one of these is the ability to drive with one hand, and mouse with the other hand this will allow you to release your builder for a pill plant or repair while still maneuvering or dodging this is required for you to become a good player if you stay with default keys you will be unable to move while repairing, this will allow people to know when you will release your builder and kill it almost every time. another thing a good key setup requires is the ability to easily scroll, I personally scroll more than I drive scrolling allows you to see what's going on around you. its very satisfying to know someone doesn't scroll manually and then use this knowledge to sneak up on them and kill them while they are trying a pill take. my personal keys are e,d,s,f for movement t for tank view, g for pillview, shift for mining, space for shoot. these are all on one hand, so I can mine,shoot,drive, and change views all with one hand, all at the same time if I choose. the other hand is keypad 8,4,6,5 for manual scrolling (this is were my hand rests while I'm not mousing) keypad + and enter for changing gunsight range. I chose these because they are huge, and hard to miss if I need to flail my fingers about looking for them, and because I can actually hit these keys while my hand is on the mouse, which is also useful. I chose the keypad because its closer to the mouse than the arrows making less arm movement to switch between them.


analyzing maps: when playing bolo, you will encounter a number of different maps in a number of different situations, its very important that you can look at a map and easily tell the area's on the map will be key to winning any battle played on it, noticing were terrain makes it hard to pass, places the enemy can move around any defense, anything of this sort is required. you must think like you have a army, and the army has supplies, were is the best place on any particular map style to plant your defense, mount your offense, etc.

moving pills: Moving pill box's is essential to defeating an enemy, once you have your enemy spiked, why stop there, start moving every available pill into a spiking/ supporting position, don't just spike, swamp your enemy with pills, one of the biggest mistakes players make is never moving their pillbox's pill's are tools, and to make use of tools they must be in a place you can use them, not in your tank, on the ground in a place they can defend/attack , so this means you must sometimes move your pills around a lot, what I like doing is allowing my enemy to kill a pill to almost dead, then picking it up and moving to a different place, so that I don't have to waste my own ammo shooting the pill. if you can move your pills fast enough, you can stop a enemy from unspiking, or removing any pills you have in place already throwing them more off balance, its also helpful that when you pickup a pill and plant it again, it will be fully angry, you can use this to your advantage moving your pills forward quickly keeping them hot as you move forward.

building roads: A general rule of thumb is, if your going to drive over it more than once, pave it, but you must be careful about paving, because it uses a lot of resources and takes a lot of time, only pave if its necessary, or there is a lull in the game play, lots of people use mines to force people into wasting a lot of time repairing all the craters that are created, this is a good diversionary tactic, while your repairing, they might be doing something more useful like taking your position. but in the same sense if you don't repair you will have a hard time moving over the terrain if you must move quickly to defend or attack, its a fine line you must decide what's more important based on your playing style's priorities

implicit msgs: some of the simple implicit messages are spinning on the spot to indicate "kill me" and such, but most of the time, implicit messages are only good if your ally knows what they mean, or has enough resources to do what you would like, if you spin and they don't kill you, that probably means they don't have a lgm, or the ammo required, and you should give up that idea and go do something more useful with your time. alot of the time, its more useful to give your ally short details of what you are trying to do like "dec" for decoy or "help ne" for help north east. you must make sure your ally knows what messages mean what, there is no "standard" for implicit messages, long time allies sometimes have their own quick way of telling each other what to do, its always good to consult with your ally before a game regarding messages of this sort.

farming: Bolo is a game of resource management in a lot of ways, many people forget that trees are as important as anything else in the game (ammo, armor) and in light of this, proper farming is a very important skill, most new players simply run up to a forest and take their trees from the outside edge, if you do this, the tree regrowth algorithm will take a long time to grow another tree at that spot, its best if you have time to farm in a way that every patch you farm has trees surrounding it, because it will be more likely to be picked for a tree regrowth if its surrounded in trees, if this is impossible due to time, its best to try to farm in a checker pattern, instead of clear cutting the trees, this should allow the tree regrowth algorithm to work for you growing trees back faster so that when needed you will still have trees available. its also good to notice were tree's will be killed due to excessive pillwaring, and then farm those tree's as much as possible first. so that when the warring starts the trees aren't wasted

pillplacement/enemy pillplacement: pill placement is a difficult topic, everyone has their own style of placement, be it good or bad, I tend to plant based on the concentration of my own bases, and the terrain between me and my opponent, I always try to leave some pills close to my back bases so that a enemy can't simply come in from behind and take me out of the game. its important to assess were your opponent might attack from, if his bases are east of you, he will most likely attack from the east, so it would make sense to have some sort of defensive/offensive plan for that side of your area.

pillwars: pillwars from my point of view should be avoided if possible, its better to let an enemy occupy themselves with your pillwar than to engage in one yourself, but if you are forced into a pillwar, the best thing to do is simply try to tag your enemies builder and then quickly kill as many pills from his pillwar as possible before his builder returns, but there is much more to pillwarring than just this, pillwaring strongly relies on your tactical ability, and your speed. for example if your enemy runs to refuel, if your fast enough to take a pill, and remove it from his line before he can get back, then you will quickly decimate his defense. you must use a variety of builder killing moves, tactics, and bait to properly win a pillwar. remember, sometimes a dead enemy pill is worth more as a trap for your enemies lgm, than what it would be worth in your tank. in pillwaring you must also not be greedy, don't rush in to grab pills if there is a chance you will die. the pill on the ground just isn't worth the risk of dieing to get it. most people these days use pillwaring as a major way of winning games, and you must have at least minor pillwaring skills if you hope to do well against them, but you can't simply rely on your tactical skills when doing this, people tend to become too focus'd on the pillwar and forget that there is other ways to win a battle, flanking during a pill line war is a essential tactic, that most people don't think about until its too late.

lgm killing: lgm killing is something very hard to describe, its really a combination of a few skills, first is timing, if your timing sucks, you'll never be able to hit that little green bugger anyways Razz , another is the ability to easily use your gun site keys, their are maps available to help with this, but mostly what I suggest is to create a checkerboard type mine field, and then using your gun site, shoot as many of the mines as you can by just turning and adjusting the gun site, after doing this exercise a number of times, your finger's should have adapted to changing your gun site and this will allow you to get better at shooting lgm, lgm killing is really something that must be learned from experience more than anything else unfortunately. but there are other things you can do to make killing enemy lgm's alot easier as well leaving enemy pills laying around is a good trick to lure lgm's out of peoples tanks, some people think that repairing that pill is more important than their lgm and they will quite predictably repair it. there are also traps you can setup for those who always repair at certain interval's, they become predictable in their lgm movement, and you can setup a series of blocking pillbox's to anticipate their repair. or you can also use your ability to dodge to your advantage in getting into position after a pill take for the builder kill.

the art of mining: mining really is an art form, mines can be used for a multitude of things, stopping people from following you, creating a nice defense network, making terrain hard to pass, slowing your enemy from advancing into your area, distracting your enemy from the true attack, and in some cases, just plain pissing your enemy off, an upset enemy won't play at their best and are more likely to make mistakes which can be used in your favor, I personally like mining in front of any pilline type fortifications I create or forcing my enemy to attack me were I want them to instead of letting them attack my line at its weakest point, sometimes I will find their strong side, and mine in front of that alot, and throw down a few pills in a line, and then assault my enemies weaker side with the bulk of my pills, so that the pills they have in the bigger line are not as useful. never underestimate the usefulness of mines. I've also had great success using mines as a tool to kill my enemy tank, due to how badly dog fighting works in winbolo currently, I like getting in front of my enemy, planting a couple mines, and having then run into them. it works quite well.

defense: defending usually comes in the form of a pilline of some sort with a few strips of craters in front that was created by mines, one of the essential skills a defender needs is the ability to kill lgm without this skill, any attacker can easily plant pills offensively in the area your attempting to defend, but if you can kill lgm you can hopefully kill the man on the plant or even before it plants a spiking pill. if they manage to plant another skill that is useful is the ability to refuel off spiked bases, this usually comes in the form of planting a block or pill between the spiking pill and the base you are refueling from, but if they have directly spiked the base your need to refuel from, I suggest you planting a block behind the base, so that when your on it, the spiking pill doesn't force you off the base, and you can refuel that way, it will take twice as long because the pill will be shooting you while you attempting to refuel. its also possible to refuel off a base that has a spike at a diagonal, you have to place a pill or block directly beside the spiking pill, and then sit on the base at such an angle as the bullets from the enemy pill don't shoot you, this is essential to fighting off spikers. and if your defending, your enemy will spike you, or try to roll his pillline over you, if he tries to roll you must either kill his lgm or flank him, there isn't much else you can do to stop a good roll. I will now quote some outside sources that aren't strictly bolo related.

Why do we start our discussion with the defensive, rather than the attack? For several reasons, chief among them that it is the defender who profits from fighting. 'The aggressor is always peace-loving...he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.' Additionally, every nation's war plans must include strategic defense - even the attacker must take pains to protect his conquests. Finally, the defense is the stronger form of war, though its potential is often overlooked. First, let us examine the nature of the defense, and its relationship to the attack...

'The defense enjoys the advantage of terrain, while the attacker has the advantage of initiative.'

The attacker has one advantage - he is free to strike anywhere along the line of the defense, and may thus dictate the course and nature of the war. In contrast, the defense has all of the advantages descendent from the fact that he actually possesses the terrain in question:

1. 'It is easier to hold ground than to take it.'

The attacker has the positive goal, and must overcome his opponent to achieve it. The defender has the negative goal, and has achieved it as long as he is not overcome. A deadlocked or evenly matched struggle is a victory for the defender, and a loss for the attacker. The implications of this are plain to see - if the skill levels are comparable, then the attacker MUST employ greater force to have any hope of making progress. For advantages terrain, this can even mean that greatly superior force is needed. Why does the Anglo-German alliance routinely fail to crack a determined French defense? Because the French possess the terrain which is being contested, and have all the advantage in holding it. The English and Germans simply have a hard time projecting enough strength to overcome this natural advantage.

2. 'Time which is allowed to pass unused accumulates to the credit of the defender.'

The goal of a well-planned attack is to achieve one's objectives as quickly as possible. The goal of a well-planned defense is to delay a decision for as long as possible. For every turn that the attackers units are tied up in a stalled offensive, they are not available for other uses - including defense of the attacker's lands, or growth elsewhere on the board. A Russia who allows himself to get deadlocked while invading Austria or Turkey has committed a large part of his military to a campaign which is not providing gains. The longer Russia is thus preoccupied, the greater the chances that he will be overtaken by one of northern neighbors, and the weaker he will be when that confrontation comes.

3. 'The defender is better placed to spring surprises by the strength and direction of his attacks.'

By the very progress he makes, the attacker usually exposes himself to attack either by the country he is invading or by outside parties. When an attack is going well, the attacker often grows over- confident and fails to protect himself adequately. When an attack has bogged down, the attacker is often unable to spare the units necessary for an adequate defense. Either way, sudden onslaughts from an unexpected direction can throw even the best asttacks into disarray. Consider the English invasion of France - by the very fact that England must concentrate on attacking the French, he is often ill-prepared to react even to French incursion into the Irish Sea or NAO, let alone to an unexpected Russian or German sortie into the North or Norwegian Seas. The point is, once the war has been joined, the attacker can usually achieve only tactical surprise - only the defender can routinely achieve strategical surprise.

4. 'The defender can count on outside assistance more than can the attacker; and the more his survival matters to the rest...the more certain he can be of their help.'

Read another way, the attacker forms his allies before the attack, the defender gains his allies once he has been attacked - and the more important the defender is to checking the growth of the attacker, the more allies are willing to come to his aid. Only the foolish or desperate rush to aid a strong opponent in destroying a weaker one.

Now, let's take a look at the methods of the defense.

'Pure defense would be contrary to the art of war,
since it would mean that only one side was waging it.'

Simply holding ground, and denying it to the enemy is the easiest, and therefore the strongest, form of war, but it will not bring victory on its own. If you adhere to a strictly passive defense, at best will never gain - at worst, you will eventually be bypassed. Austria is usually the target of one or more of Turkey, Russia, and/or Italy, and must defend herself from them - but the best defense is NOT to simply hold with mutual supports for the entire game. At best, Austria will be ignored and will end the game with three centers. More likely, somebody will eventually crack the defensive cordon and lay waste to the SCs. 'If we are really waging war, we must return the enemy's blows.' If the threat is Russia, then strike for Warsaw and Rumania. If the threat is Turkey, strike at Bulgaria and move your fleet to threaten the Aegean. If the threat is Italy, take pains to secure Venice. At the least, strike out and deny the Balkans to your opponent. The passive defense is strong and useful, but it is not worthy of indefinite policy.

'The defensive form of war is not a simple shield, but a shield made up of well-directed blows.'

Protect your provinces by attacking the provinces which are adjacent to them. Strike your opponent's units BEFORE they are in position to force you out. Hit advance units with all your strength when their retreat is blocked by their reinforcements. If Italy threatens Marseilles, take Tunis. Static defense is strong and can slow, sometimes even stop, the opponent - but well-aimed and timed counter-attack can throw the entire attack into disarray, and can sometimes turn the tide of the war. Your goal is not to resist the invader's most powerful blows, but to make sure he never has the chance to deliver the strike he plans for. Even if you are forced into a static defense, always look for a chance to hit back. In fact, let me end this with Clausewitz's words, which sum up this article nicely:

'A sudden powerful transition to the offensive
-- the flashing sword of vengeance --
is the greatest moment for the defense.'


spiking/attacking: the key to spiking is to not lose your lgm, if you plant a spike, and lose your lgm, the spike can easily be removed, because you can't repair another mistake many people make, is spiking behind an enemy pill line, this makes it hard to get resources from your own side, or defend your own side if the enemy attacks and very often while you are getting more resources these pills are removed, there are a few methods I find useful when spiking a territory, I normally don't spike with less than 3-4 pills, this making it hard for my enemy to remove them once I have my spikes in place, I normally create a pill line through my enemies territory, cutting them off from the area I will be taking from them, I also sometimes plant pills in a triangle in the middle of their quad (if you are playing a quad type map such as chew toy 3) in such a way as the pills can hit each other if someone attempts to refuel from any of the bases, this methods has worked extremely well in my experience, beyond this spiking is a matter of style and experience, do what you've found works when spiking but as noted before, just don't lose your lgm. a good way to prevent lgm death is to block your lgm from your enemy with your own tank, so that if they try to shoot your lgm, they only hit your tank, this is a good way to get the pill on the ground, once its on the ground you must heat it to drive the enemy far enough off that you can spike with more pills, if you don't have any more pills on you, you must heat the pill, repair and then rush to get your other pills to swamp the area your spiking, its completely useless to spike with one or 2 pills, its like gift-wrapping them for your enemy. An attack cannot be completed in a single steady movement: periods of rest are needed, during which the attack is neutralized, and defense takes over automatically. In most cases you can't defeat an enemy in one fluid motion, and must therefore periodically defend the gains that you have attained during your offensive. The area left in the rear of the advancing forces, an area vital to their existence, is not necessarily covered by the attack, and needs special protection. A successful offensive usually moves you further and further away from your main resources, and the forces used for the attack no longer also defend. At this point you must stop to consolidate your gains, and defend the area that you have taken. before you prepare for the next offensive. as you take more and more territory, you are overcome with the necessity of using more of your attacking force as defense for the area you are taking. this weakens your offensive capabilities as more and more of your forces are required for defense of new territory. This can be overcome by moving defense from less critical areas into offensive positioning. if you can keep your enemy off-balance they may not be able to exploit holes in your defense. One of the main advantages the attacker has is the initiative if you can control the focus of the game by not allowing your enemy to have the initiative you can control what he does. how he moves. were he can attack. this brings us to another point. the use of diversions, or attacks upon enemy territory with the intention of drawing his forces away from the main objective. by "feinting" attacks on area's of your enemies defense. you can lure him into moving or committing more force's to the area your attacking. weakening your true objective for a deadly offensive. the key to this is the enemy must use more forces in the defense of the diversion than what was used to create the diversion. this brings into play the idea of "asymmetric warfare" asymmetric warfare is essentially the use of guerilla tactics to obtain your goals and objectives. in this sort of battle you must draw attention while a substantial force and then while they are distracted. flank and try to take some pills from the side. or you attack were they are least defended, in an area that they will be able to get to quickly enough to stop you from taking what you want. In doing this you can essentially peck your enemy into a position were they can no longer stop you from attacking with full force.


strategies on different size maps: strategies on different size maps vary alot, they depend on terrain, location of bases, but you must have some sort of plan of attack, you can't simply go around attacking things randomly. ugh, I still suck at this one, I'll come back to this later ... sigh ...

situational awareness: situational awareness is alot like the next category, information gathering, and its tied quite tightly to this next category as well. using the information you have gathered, you must realize what is happening around you, and change what you are planning on doing according to this, thats what situational awareness is. knowing when to change from one course of action to another based on the information you've gathered. if your situational awareness is flawed, you might do the right thing too late to stop things from slipping away from you.

information gathering: you must use the tools bolo has provided to you, one of the key aspects of war is battle field awareness, to have this, you must have information, your key information gathering tools are your ability to scroll, your pillview, and your base and pill counters, you must make use of all these things to know what is going on around you. without this information you will simply not know were your enemy is attacking, or were you need to be to defend/attack. you have to keep track of these things, along with your armor counter and ammo meter, they are also very important.

basic macro strategy: I unfortunately don't have a clue what this topic is about. I will have to ask someone who knows more about it then I do.

ethics: ethics are a very involved topic and well generally change with who you speak with about them, but mostly the ethics surround a few things, such as killing trees, and mining, which are the two main ones. my point of view on these things, is there is a use for them in your bag of tricks, killing trees can be used to force your enemy to have to travel farther to get trees, giving you most time to take his pills/bases, there are also many other uses for it, but most people think that in an uneven game, such as a 2x1 or a 3x2, killing tree's is a bad thing because you have the extra players to do it, but I think, if your on the smaller side and your enemy needs to kill trees to take you out, it should be a compliment to your pillwaring/other skills. mining on the other hand, is the same sort of issue, it depends on who you talk to, some people thing that if you spit out more than 5 in a row, you should be hanged, were others feel mines should be used at anytime it makes sense to use them, I agree with the later, I think mines are a very good tactical tool and you shouldn't discount them because other people think using them is "cheap" or "lame". but in the end ethics are something that each person has to decide on their own how they will deal with. you have to make your own opinion on ethics regarding the game.

resource conservation: bolo is a game of resources, so it makes sense that resource conservation comes into play, in bolo you have trees, ammo, mines, armor you must use these resources wisely in order to be a good player, you must properly farm trees so that they will grow back easily, and you should not take anymore than you might need, especially if you are going on a suicide mission, same goes for ammo, take only what you need, take just enough to do the pilltake that you are planning on doing, this will save you time, and resources if something unexpected happens. I've found in many games if you practice at least a basic level of conservation it can give you an edge over your opponent if things get locked into a deadlock, with each person having a large hard to defeat line. or after 40-60 minutes of game time is when your early game conservation skills really start to show. if you didn't conserve at all during the start. its likely that you will not have much left by the time the game has advanced into stage were the slightest amount of resources can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

I wrote all the above a long time ago, hopefully someone finds it useful.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so my recommendation for all of this is simple, read through all this information, then go play some bolo. Come back in a few weeks and read it again. The second time through more of it will make sense. Rinse Repeat until your awesome at bolo.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And now I'll pass on a few other little tidbits. Basically strategy is what you want to do. Tactics are what you use to do it. Something that really stuck with me that sloth told me a long time ago is that, to be able to concentrate on strategy, first you need to practice your tactics until you can do them in your sleep. You also need to diversify your tactics, learn as many different pilltakes as you can and practice them all. This will increase your bag of tricks, and once your good enough at your tricks that you can do them without thinking, and without screwing it up!! suddenly, the strategy will flow. You will have the tools to get the job done, and you can start concentrating solely on what you need to accomplish. You won't think "Can I do that pilltake" you'll just do it. Once you get to this point. Bolo really comes alive as a game. I can't count the number of times I've setup a weak pillline, or let my lgm die to purposely draw my opponent into doing what I wanted them to. Even purposely drop pills in front of my enemy to entice them into advancing their line so that I can get a better position. The trick is of course, to make them think that they just outplayed you. Otherwise they will recognize something is up.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TLDR: don't play bolo, it will frustrate you to no end and there will always be someone better than you.

And samhain's guide is the reason why I despise large (anything higher than 3x3) games. The amount of actions in that game you are responsible for are a lot less when you play in a 5x5 (1/10th of the players and actions) then when you play a 1x1 (1/2nd of the players and actions). You don't learn much in large games except that it will always take longer to set up teams and sides than to play the game out.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And for those people who -really- want to improve their game. There is some other not necessarily bolo specific things you can get from your local library. "The Tao of Jeet kun do" by bruce lee, and "The Art of War" by sun tzu. These were recommended to me by someone a long time ago, I honestly forget who. Alot of the things mentioned in them apply to bolo.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

Samhains guide is an excellent one. It provided me with a solid foundation back when I was a middling/average player...and helped me get to the next level along with a lot of mentors (see the other thread).

Definitely a big recommendation to anyone. I still enjoy reading through it today....thank you so much for posting it Min.

In my experience, Bolo shares many parallels with both the books Min mentions.

It also shares a lot with another of my passions: Chess. So if you play chess, you can actually improve your chess and/or bolo using the tactics and strategy from several noted chess players. In fact I became much better at chess and much better at bolo at around the same time....I was able to reap some good dividends from the crossover both spaces have. If anyone is into linear can even call them "isomorphic".

My particular favourite is "Chess fundamentals" by JR Capablanca (who is also my all time favourite chess player).
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