Here's the optimal strategy...agree? Einstein forum

8 replies. Last post: 2006-03-23

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Here's the optimal strategy...agree?
  • alain at 2006-03-20

    I’ve watched several games of the players who do (as) well (as can be expected) and have struck on this stragety myself in Einstein.

    * Capture as many of your own stones as possible, with a preference of leaving yourself with 1 or 6 (making large gaps between your numbers). This gives you more choice when moving;
    * When offered the choice of capturing an opponents' stone do not capture unless the stone is near the goal or you already have many less stones and its your shortest route to victory;
    * When deciding where to place a stone going for the goal, choose to put it next to an enemy stone that has the smallest chance of being thrown.

    I think that strategy is pretty much optimal. Worse, its easy to understand and essentially a no-brainer.

    This game should be played over much longer matches (probably 9 or even 13 or more) or extended to 10-stones on a 7x7 (or would 6x6 be adequate?) board.

    Anybody got any comments? In my humble opinion, Einstein is not the sort of quality game that enhances LG like chess, Hex and Go.

  • Marius Halsor at 2006-03-20

    Well, I partly agree, but it’s not a “no-brainer”. It might help you to play well, but definitely not OPTIMALLY. In a few situations, I find myself doing probabiliy-calculations to find the optimal move. The problem is that the difference between an OK move and an optimal move sometimes is small (it rarely changes your win probability by more than 0.1, usually less, often much less).

    As for changing the board size: I’ve though about it myself, but I’m not sure. What I see in the small board, is the trade off between getting “stronger” stones and moving forward. If given the choice, what do you do? I’ve been beat a few times by opponents who plunges forward, while I try to make my stones “stronger”. I think this trade off becomes much more obvious in larger boards. In fact, I think strategy becomes less important, and luck more importatn, on a bigger board – the opposite of what you want to achieve.

  • Hjallti at 2006-03-20

    In my opinion chess is the one game that makes the quality drop here, because it is no fun, not relaxing and ‘brain’ is less important that having some opening database :)

    I like this game (Einstein) and it makes this site more fun for me.

    I think that declaring some strategy in the forum makes a game more no-brain, but that is not due to the game but due to the poster of that strategy. :

  • cheadle at 2006-03-20

    And Alain, has at this time completed 2 matches, maybe once he has completed a few more games his opinion will have changed.

    I guess it’s fair enough to discuss strategy but surely a winning strategy today wont always be a winning strategy as the game evolves, as players develop their own idea’s.

    Let us know what your view is about this game when you have played 50-100 games.

  • alain at 2006-03-20

    Hi Cheadle, you’re right that I’ve only completed 2 games so it does seem a bit rich to claim a near-optimal strategy already! I’ll keep everyone posted, and I hope others will too. Sadly, I doubt my opinion will change much, but I keep an open mind! :o)

    Interesting comment from Marius about the possibility of a larger board actually having the opposite effect (introducing more luck). Having longer matches is one obvious improvement (with the same board) and another might be to have a “stone placing” phase where you take turns to place the stones (in the same pattern) but you can modify your starting pattern based on your opponents (like Dvonn).

    I think these two simple improvements would greatly enhance the quality of the game, without making it less fun. Does anyone have any useful comments about strategy in this game?

  • cheadle at 2006-03-20

    I’m open minded about the game at the moment, I like the simplicity of the game, and the fact that the playing area is small and the game fast, Increasing the field of play may take something away from that.

  • luiser at 2006-03-23

    Having played more than 10.000 Einstein games I am much more experienced but not wiser than you are. :-)

    The strategy definitely depends on your opponent. If you have time you can capture your own stones. Otherwise you put to much effort in creating strong strokes and let your opponent get close to the goal.
    I think there is a small gap between capturing too much and too little of your own stones.

    I totally agree with Marius that there is not much difference between good and optimal moves. And luck is also a big factor.

    So don’t worry too much about strategy and just enjoy the game. :-D


  • Theo van der Storm at 2006-03-23

    LuiseR wrote:
    > Having played more than 10.000 Einstein games I am much more
    > experienced but not wiser than you are. :-)

    Knowing that you are a strong player I take this to mean your strategic decisions are based solely on intuition. Tactical decisions may be based on
    both calculations (shallow variations) and intuition (deep variations).

    Wisdom would be the ability to move from the intuitive experience to a succesful(


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