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"Strategy Converted" - Gameplay Dynamics

I want to give a final "Strategy Converted" to you all to say thank you to all of those who have kept up with the articles. These are from my book (well not really a book...yet) of game dynamics that I use when playing people. You will see the names of the pieces from parts 1-9 in this series, so if you are unsure about something, then check out that pieces page for strengths!

The Elephant Graveyard
Sounds gruesome, but this strategy relies heavily on reclaiming the board with the Elephant buried at the very bottom. It also uses the Turtle and Beetle for defense.

First, find a scoring move for the Elephant piece, "face" up. Look at the two rows that the Elephant is in. Those are your "reclaiming rows". As play continues, your opponent will eventually play within those two rows, and bam! Reclaim! Turn each of your pieces into a scoring piece by using whatever pieces can create a convert on those two rows, even if you use the smallest pieces earlier.

If your opponent catches you using this strategy, they will either leave those squares alone for a couple turns to keep you from reclaiming, or use their Turtle and Beetle to block your pieces. Keep your Turtle and Beetle in waiting for when that happens.

The Ukrainian Gambit
This strategy was given its name by my friend Josh Heake. This strategy almost all but ignores the mid game scoring, in pursuit of claiming coverage at the end. The key pieces in this strategy are the Bird, the Crab, and the two Llamas. (the "L" shaped cover 3's)

In the Ukrainian Gambit, you keep a low profile, baiting your opponent with easy rows for them to score on. Keep pace with their point scoring, staying 1 or 2 points behind, until the last couple pieces. Your remaining pieces should include a couple of the cover 3's. On your final turns, look for spots where you can cover the most amount of squares, regardless of row scoring.

This is great fun to do to someone who thinks they are winning! The look on your opponents face after you outscore them 10-6 or 11-5 on the final board square count is priceless!

Orange Pekoe
The term is used for grading tea leaves, ranging from whole leaf tea, all the way down to the dust after crushing. In Convert, the strategy is used to grade your opponents pieces by filtering out the "whole leaves" (larger pieces) and diminish the power of their pool of pieces. 

To filter, look across the table at your opponents pieces, then look at the board. Notice how many of your opponents pieces can be played at that moment. You are going to be attacking that number of pieces, instead of primarily looking at where you can score.

Let's say they have six pieces left. By playing one of your pieces, you can reduce their playable pieces by three. If you do that, you effectively filter out half of their pieces for that turn. You control the game by controlling your opponents piece availability.

The Running Lariat
The Running Lariat is painful to watch in pro wrestling, but oh so sweet when you do it in Convert. In this strategy, you are looking to grab clusters of squares on the board, so you can maximize points per piece by scoring more than one row at a time. The key pieces are the Caterpillar, and the Snail. Hold onto these pieces until after your lariat set up.

To set up the running lariat, create a six square section of the board that is 2 squares wide by three squares long. Notice on one side of that chunk of squares, there will be two squares left to complete the two rows. You have just set up the running lariat.

To score, use the caterpillar to claim those two other squares and score the points on the two rows. then once you have such a humongous section of the board, your opponent will need to play on your area of the board. Use the Snail and reclaim another two points! Ka-pow! That's a potential 4 mid game points on two pieces!

We hope you have enjoyed reading some simple strategies for gameplay with this "Strategy Converted" mini-series. I'm sure that once everything is produced and shipped out to you all, you will come up with some crazy names for strategies you like to use. When that time comes, we totally want to hear them!

Thanks for reading!
-Ian Reed

 

Below is the collection of the pieces from "Strategy Converted", which link to their own page. (If it helps.)

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