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Old 01-18-2011, 04:22 PM   #265
Dynasty
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 25,772
Re: triplechain - a homegrown puzzle game

I thought I'd finally share some ideas I've had. The new system I've been using has been very helpful to me in the Daily Challenges.

I think we all agree that the most frustrating part of the game is its randomness. You can set yourself up for a big score only to be crushed by consecutive rolls which give you no help. With that in mind, I tried to find a more flexible way of playing the game.

First, I'll point out what I consider to be basic chain strategy in this game. I'm leaving out discussion of playing 2s and 1s.





This basic chain strategy (or snake charmer strategy) is designed to:

1. Get an 'Outer Chain' of 6s
2. Get an 'Inner Major Chain' of 5s.
3. Get an 'Inner Minor Chain' of 4s.

Experience quickly taught me how difficult it was to get the necessary rolls to pull of the snake charmer. In particular, you were dependent on getting a 4 on the 9th (final) roll to connect 4s on opposite ends of the board. As a result, you often got a weak 4-chain when the 9th roll didn't cooperate.

More importantly, when 6s or 5s didn't come on rolls 5-8, there aren't many options to adjust from basic strategy.

So, I developed this system.


Dynasty's Flexible Chain Strategy


This is the baisc starting point you want to achieve on rolls 1-4.





The critical important difference is obviously the use of a 4 in the bottom zone.

Another difference is the white-squared 4 in the center zone. I didn't color it in because it's not critical. But, if you can use that square for a 4, it will offer more options in later rounds.

This is what the primary end goal of my flexible system is trying to achieve.





There are two critical differences compared to basic strategy.

1. The 6-chain is achieved using a 'long route' in the bottom-left corner of its chain. This necessitates receiving four 6s instead of three. I'll discuss that in a bit.

2. The 4-chain doesn't even attempt to reach five zones. Instead, the goal is to reach four zones. However, this is done very easily.


6s Conundrum

To complete the 6-chain, you'll need to recieve four 6s on rolls 5-8 compared to needing three 6s on rolls 5-9 in basic strategy. Though, it's a bit more complex than that.

In basic strategy, what your precisely need is one 6 on three different rolls (from 5-9). Because you are placing all your 6s in the center zone, you can only place one 6 at a time on your chain without deviating from basic strategy.

With the flexible system, you can place as many as three 6s on the same roll since only two need to be in the center zone while the other two 6s are in the left zone and bottom zone.

To use an example, if rolls 5-9 are like this...

6-6-6-x-x
6-x-x-x-x
x-x-x-x-x
x-x-x-x-x
x-x-x-x-x

...you will not be able to complete a five-zone 6-chain using basic strategy. However, you'll have it completed on roll 7 using the flexible strategy.

When it comes to the 6-chain (or Outer Chain), there are both plusses and minuses.


5s Not Impacted

The 5-chain (or Inner Major Chain) is unchanged in the flexible system.


The Flexible 4s

Really, the whole system is focused on using your 4-chain (or Inner Minor Chain) to its maximum potential, especially when things go wrong with your 6-chain and 5-chain. This involves getting a four-zone chain most of the time and having options to expand to a five-zone chain.

The 4-chain is set up so that in easily reaches the top, center, bottom, and right zones (as seen in the most recent image).

The key is that it can easily reach the left-zone if rolls 5-8 dictate a strategy caange.


When 4s Have to Replace 6s

Sometimes the 6s don't come on rolls 5-9. Instead, you get a lot of 4s. So, what do you do?

This.





The 4-chain easily stretches out to the left-zome.

One important note is that when you stretch the 4-chain in this way, you should use the center-zone's bottom-left square (rather than the bottom-zone's top-left square). If you do this, and delay actually placing the final 4 in the left-zone, you leave open the option (flexibility!) of getting a lucky late roll of several 6s.


When 4s have to replace 5s

Sometimes the 5s don't come while the 4s are coming in droves. This is how your handle it (assuming you successfuly placed the 'white' 4 in the center zone early).





The 4-chain uses the squares originally inteded for the 5s in the left and top-zones.

Given this scenario, it's often best to delay placing a 4 in the top zone until you know for sure you want to place it in the top-zones bottom-right or bottom-left square. A 4 will always be on the same square in the right-zone and center-zone. So, place those first if you can.


Alternate Strategy to Replace 5-chain

When you aren't able to place the 'white' 4 in the center zone, the above approach isn't an option. Instead, you need to go this route.





The 4-chain extends into the left-zone just like it did when replacing the 6-chain.

The big differnce is the 6-chain goes the long route on the other side of the board.

This approach is a bit trickier. You need to commit to it early.


Conclusion

Using this system should allow you to improve your scores since the key factor in high scores is to create five-zone chains.

This system is less dependent on getting the 6s and 5s we all want on rolls 5-9. Instead, it gives the player more options on the later rolls when luck doesn't go your way.
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