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Monday, September 17, 2007

Do Not Assume Your Opponent is Being Stupid

This is Steven Petrick posting.

One of the lessons that we can learn from playing tactical games is that, just because the other guy is doing something that you think is stupid, it does not mean that it is.

An example.

A Hydran Tournament ship was facing off with a Klingon Tournament ship.

The Klingon suddenly announced a speed of zero while sitting in the middle of the map.

The Hydran knew what this meant. The stupid Klingon was "starcastling", going to use tactical maneuvers and otherwise dump his power into shield reinforcement. The Hydran knew such a tactic was suicide against his ship. A pointblank overrun would wreck the Klingon even if he had heavily reinforced his shields.

The Hydran screamed in for the overrun, reaching range three, when the Klingon, obviously realizing his error, attempted a tractor link.

The Hydran snarled, using a point of battery to break the three points of battery power the Klingon had obviously used to establish the link.

The Klingon countered.

The Hydran, now a little startled, put up another point of battery (okay, so the Klingon probably also allocated a point of power to tractor, he thought).

The Klingon countered again.

The Hydran was now concerned, and allocated a third point of battery, then a fourth (as panic began to take hold) and finally his fifth and last. (What is this Klingon doing?)

Held at range three, he fired his alpha strike, but noting the Klingon had yet to launch any drones, he held back one phaser-G for drone defense. The Klingon was hurt, but Fusions lose much of their bite at range three, and the Klingon was not too terribly hurt, even though his shields were not reinforced.

Withholding his fire, the Klingon now launched two drones. As the Hydran expected, they were both type-IVs, and easily destroyed by the Phaser-G.

Then the Klingon sprang the final trap, launching a shuttle.

It was only then that the Hydran realized that it was still the middle of the turn. The Scatter-Pack would release before the end of the turn, and its cargo of drones would impact before any of his weapons could recycle. Once the drones impacted, the Klingon would then fire his own Alpha strike (though slightly reduced by the Hydrans previous fire) through the same shield.

Had the Hydran launched his fighters before he was tractored, they would have at least done more damage to the Klingon ship, or distracted some of its fire. Now they too were trapped aboard the ship by the tractor link.

The Klingon had offered the Hydran what seemed an easy kill, caught in a trap he had not anticipated, the Hydran panicked and failed to realize that the there was still time for a scatter pack shuttle to deploy before the end of the turn, a reaction the Klingon had anticipated.

While his ship died that day, the Hydran Player learned a valuable lesson: Never assume that just because your opponent is doing something you think is stupid that it really is. Doing so can make you the stupid (and dead) one.