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map discussion: Mary Poppins (set 2, page 7, map 4)

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:51 pm
by rhaining
Here’s a solution to Mary Poppins (set 2, page 7, map 4) on the hardest setting. Screenshots immediately before ending each turns:

This was another map that I was not able to solve with my normal strategies and tactics, but I was able to brute force it. This was my most painful brute force so far; I must have played this map 30-50 times to find a way to manipulate the various AI players into helping me carve out a halfway viable position. This took longer than it sounds because I was taking screenshots after every turn. Yuck. I saved screenshots for the last ~10 failed attempts if that’s of interest to anyone. The posted link is the one solution I was able to find (total victory in 42 turns). I’m sure this solution could be optimized, and there are probably other, very different solutions which are also faster, but I am definitely not interested in playing this map again.

If you want a hint without looking at the full solution, there are two weird moves in particular that I found helpful. On turn 1, W base does nothing, and E base takes the furthest N hex it can —- neither of these moves is particularly unusual. But with my N base, I take the furthest S hex that I can, which is a bit unusual because it is not the fastest way to grow that base, but it causes the other AI players to behave differently in a way that produced more viable possibilities for me later on. Then on turn 4, W base builds a castle, N base takes the hex immediately NE of the capitol, and E base uses the L1 grunt to guard the furthest S hex. None of those moves is particularly unusual, but, it turns out that the hex you guard in the E base makes a huge difference in manipulating the yellow AI player. Yellow ends up nearly destroying my N base on his turn 4, which feels pretty disastrous, but he leaves himself open to a starvation attack from my E base, and a few turns later, I’m finally able to merge E and N bases. It’s still touch and go from there. I get pretty butchered on turns 15-18, and I end up losing my W base entirely before it ever builds anything besides the initial castle. But as is often the case, the AI plays so poorly that I’m able to recover from these setbacks and win.

Re: map discussion: Mary Poppins (set 2, page 7, map 4)

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:34 am
by Bradyj23
Thank You!!!

Re: map discussion: Mary Poppins (set 2, page 7, map 4)

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:08 pm
by rhaining
My pleasure, glad someone is finding it useful!

I intend to both give full screenshot solutions + textual hints in case someone wants to try the hints first, but I'm curious if you or anyone else finds the textual hints useful at all or if you just want the screenshots.

Also, if anyone ever tries to replicate one of my posted solutions and finds that they can't, because the AI behaves differently than expected, I'd be curious about that. I'm working on the assumption that Slay is perfectly replicable, that two people playing the same map on the same fully-patched version of the game could make the same moves and replicate the exact same AI behavior. AKA the algorithm does not involve the RNG at any time, at least not after the map is published. If that's not the case, I'd be curious to have a specific example to explore.