The first approach I developed was capturing three planets in a row, as you can see in the video below, capturing these planets isn’t a problem, the problem arises when they come around to the orange station. If the orange station has captured all of its planets, and promoted its double planet, then they will attack my three planets and prevent me from building up enough forces to get a good time, or from winning altogether.
After playing my old way for quite a while, I noticed that my best times where when orange would capture two planets on the wheel, then when my three planets came around to its station, it wasn’t ready to attack. The problem was that orange wouldn’t do this very often. I needed a new approach that encouraged orange to do what I wanted. My new approach does just that, it encourages orange to make its initial two captures on the wheel.
There are two variations on this new approach, the first is when purple captures its lower singleton planet. In the video below you can see that after capturing the first planet, use the units generated by that planet to attack the orange top-rear planet, this is to prevent orange from using the two planets that it will have at that time from capturing that top-rear planet. Ideally, what you want to happen is for orange to capture a second planet on the wheel.
The second variation is when purple’s initial capture is the singleton above it. If you use the same approach as in variation #1 above, then purple will quite often use those two planets to capture the singleton on the wheel between your two planets. In the video below you can see that when this happens you should send units from your initial planet to this singleton prior to attacking the orange top rear singleton. Then when the singleton on the wheel gets even with the purple front planet, you redirect the units attacking the singleton on the wheel to the double that is just coming into range of the two purple planets. You can see this in the video below.
Bringing it all together
Once you can coerce orange into capturing two planets on the wheel (or in promoting its double on the wheel), then you need a strategy for which planets to capture and a method to use for destroying your opponents. My strategy is presented in the video below.
- From 0:00 to 0:24, here I used variation #2 shown above to coerce orange to capture two planets on the wheel.
- From 0:25 to 0:39, next you need to capture the singleton between you and orange. Keep sending units from both of your wheel planets even after capturing the singleton. This is to discourage purple from attacking you.
- From 0:40 to 0:52, here I’m trying to promote both doubles, but I mistakenly send the units from the stationary singleton into the singleton on the wheel instead of the double. Sometimes my best approaches are mistakes, as I now try to do this whenever it is an option. Quite often at this point green has already captured that singleton. If that is the case, you don’t have to have that planet for this approach to work. I have many times below 2:20 where I didn’t capture this singleton.
- From 0:53 to 0:57, next you need to capture the singleton between your two doubles. After this capture I went into attack mode, I probably should have promoted my other double on the wheel, but this was the first time I had captured the wheel planets in this way.
- From 0:58 to 1:20, time to wipe out purple. You’ll notice that I don’t attack purple immediately, instead I’m just sending the units in that direction. I’m trying to give purple every chance to attack the green planet on the wheel.
- From 1:21 to 1:42, time to take out green. I used to capture some of the planets I destroyed on the purple and green stations. But, when green and orange are fairly balanced it is best to just destroy the purple and green planets. You’ll notice at 1:31 I attack the green double on the wheel that has been weakened by orange. This is just a target of opportunity. I only go after a planet like this if its been weakened.
- From 1:43 to 2:06, now it’s time for orange. Even though I’m attacking orange I notice that green is trying to capture another planet, so I send some units there to prevent that capture.
It isn’t typical to get done destroying orange and only have one planet remaining on the wheel. But you sure can get a better time when that is the case.
There are quite a few situations where I just give up. The situations where I do are presented below.
Problem #1: Purple doesn’t stay home
Sometimes purple will capture a singleton on the wheel with its first move. I’ve tried and tried to make something good out of this. Now, I just quit when this happens.
Problem #2: Orange can’t wait
When orange doubles up immediately, chances are very good that it will have its station at full strength when you come around the wheel, so I always give up when this happens.
Problem #3: Orange doesn’t cooperate
Orange promoting its stationary double instead of capturing another planet on the wheel is equivalent to it capturing the stationary singleton that this approach is trying to prevent.
Problem #4: Green is obstinate
When green decides to capture the top rear stationary singleton in the orange group, I give up. At first I though this was good and orange and green would fight it out. But what happens instead is when your planet comes around, green uses its planet on the wheel and this stationary planet to attack you.
Problem #5: Green attacks
Sometimes everything is going perfectly and green decides to attack your trailing singleton. I leave units on that singleton in an attempt to prevent this, but sometimes green will attack anyway.
Problem #6: Purple attacks
When you capture the singleton just ahead of orange on the wheel, that singleton is just passing by the purple station and purple is just getting up to full strength. You need to keep sending units to that singleton to try to discourage purple from attacking. In spite of this, sometimes purple will attack anyway, I always give up when it does.
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