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Author Topic: Inner Mechanics: Illusion  (Read 1026 times)

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Inner Mechanics: Illusion
« on: March 28, 2013, 04:40:10 am »

*Unlike the Advanced Mechanics guide which are usually related to the Innovation game itself (eg. critical points/optimum moment of the mathematical formulas behind the game), the inner mechanics are all about the mind games between the players in a 2-sided Innovation duel. (either 1v1 or 2v2. I have played over 1500 games now and among them about 400-500 of them are 2v2s)

*It is not necessary to know everything beforehand for this article but you should know the game enough that you can win a 1v1 duel regularly, with your own set of approach and mindset behind. If you don't even have a sense/insight about how to win a Innovation duel, try to play more on the isotropic preform with others.

Before I talk about my own insight about these 'inner mechanics', I shell share a story first.

As I had spoken before, Hideyoshi(former rank 1 in isotropic innovation) actually learned the Innovation game from my teaching. I think I have played around 50 games with him before he jumped to F14 platform and start bullying around, later in isotropic too. The story is, after he is quite familiar with the game itself after those 50 games, I played a set of 5 games with him while I opened all my hands and scores so he can see it just as I do. The result though, is that I split the series with him 2-3. The reason I talk about this, is that it is simply possible to win a game even with all your hands and scores opened to the public, just because you have better cards than your opponent and your opponent simply have no counter/equalizer available against you. For these games, it is all about the execution. Which is, to execute it correctly, or not.

The first step of all these mind game is: The uncertainty of your hand and score pile.

Since your hand are disclosed from your opponent while only the age is known, your opponent can only tells 'what card can that be' from its age. Usually a good enough player knows a set of possibility that card can be, say you still have an age 1 on your hand and all the green age 1 cards are shown on the board/in your opponent's score pile. Your hand can be any of the 12 cards remaining in the age 1, removing the green cards.

Better players knows even more, from your set-up and your approach. They screen out possibilities and put down a list of threat which your card may post. Say I am only lack of Crowns and you holds an age 7 unknown card. I won't have to worry about Explosives or Sanitation since I have more icons than you but I will have to worry about Combustion. In such a case, my worry is a 1/10 chance of a threat.

But how much it can do for a 1/10 uncertainty?

Depends. 1/10 chance for a shared Mass Media may not be that weird but imagine you now have 40 hands after some crazy F&R combo and your opponent holds an age 9 card, if that card is a Composites then you are instantly blow up. Now this uncertainty is huge. You may not win the game even you have 40 hands although you are in a better position, but if he actually holds Composites, then your day is done. Now even the chance is low, you are still worried.

And think of this:

You start with The Wheel and your opponent starts with The Tools. You keep drawing cards while your opponent is ready to go you with Tools. Although the chance is not huge, if he gets Machinery from age 3 your huge hand would be removed. Such a case occur, and usually what I do is I would meld Agriculture to defend it from coming.

All these are perception. These are the ways we read a Innovation duel.

To make use of the illusion is to first, create such a possibility. Try to hold some hands unless your board allows you to do enhanced draw or draw and meld effects. When I see someone who starts with Agriculture and score their only hand with the only action they have, I know he/she is not good at all. Hold it, even it may be a Code of Law. Your opponent have no idea of what that can be. He/she may use guessing techniques to screen out some of the possibilities but usually a ranged of possibilities will be left. Also, draw a card in your first action in such case. This is to create even more possibilities to your opponent to guess.

This is all about a battle of information, and your hand are one of the best defense you have. If your hands are empty, then every information about you are disclosed to your opponent and your opponent can easily predict what you can do on your next turn, say you can only use the dogmas on your board or draw a hand or achieve something. The uncertainty of melding a card from your hand and activate its dogma is gone.

To make it short, don't disclose anything unnecessary to your opponent. Don't even make unnecessary melds: sometimes it is better to save a hit than save an action. Let's say you draw a 4 on your first action and you grabbed gunpowder (GP) in your hand. Are you going to meld it on your second action or wait for your next turn? Assume there are some castle cards out there, usually you would meld it and prepare to GP twice. But then your opponent is alerted, he melds experimentation and draw and meld a 5...Dang, he got Steam Engine and is saved from your GP invasion. If you don't meld it and do something else, your opponent is not alerted and he/she may do something else(since melding experimentation and do draw and meld a 5 is simply a gamble that may not be his/her preferred action at the beginning). Now what is all these about is that, while you meld a GP or not can be a deception(I will talk about it later, one of the most infamous technique that I command), a good enough player would be alerted anyway because you hold an age 4 card, since it can be a GP anyway. In another POV, since your opponent in this case also holds an age 4 card, you should already think about the possibility of he/she holds GP or not, and the threat that he/she may pose to you. This is the base line of all these mind games: Use the uncertainty as your advantage.

I know it is a bit confusing but illusion is always linked with deception which forms a large topic. I will try to illustrate it bit by bit.
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