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Tips pontedeldiavolo

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For the rules of ponte del diavolo, see GameHelpPonteDelDiavolo


Controlled square: A square that the opponent cannot use.

Critical move: A move with the highest priority due to the opponent's possible moves.

Fork: Create multiple threats with one piece.

Tips from the Author Martin Ebel

In my games with beginners I spotted some tactics which are not immediately obvious. I've made a list and given them strange names:

1. Centre is Strong: When white offers the center, take it. Try to work from here like a spider, creating connecting bridges in all directions.

2. Do not Enlarge Sandbanks to Islands Easily: Hide your plans from your opponent. First build bridges between sandbanks, you can still make the islands later.

3. Bridges to the Middle: If you have a choice for different bridges, don't take the end of an island/sandbank, take the center, the end might be powerful to expand into the board later.

4. Burned Land: Avoid having diagonally touching sandbanks (sizes 2+3 or 2+2). The waste land which you have to circumvent later. They can be useful however when blocking your opponents connections. Watch out for 1+2 diagonally connected sandbanks, your oppenent might make them burned land with a diagonal bridge.

5. Split the Board (into two parts): Try to create a chain of islands and sandbanks connecting opposing edges or even corners of the map. This will bring your trouble for your opponent.

6. Quandary or Fork (or Miai in Go terms): This is a powerful instrument, well known from nine men morris (or mill). Places tiles, which immediately give you two ways to build a bridge or complete an island. When the opponent can block you with his two tiles, you weren't yet there.

7. Guide your Opponents Building of Islands: Often a single tile in a useless position can force your opponent to expand in a direction which does not really help him. Especially an opponent island with one free row to the edge of the board preserves you space for later usage. Note that you can cut a planned horse jump connection of your opponent by only one intervening tile.

8. Take Space: Try to conquer space. Leave areas uncompleted when they are safe. But do not loose track to revisit them later to build the required bridge or land.

9. The "Kairos": The right moment in end game (from ancient greek) to decide that its time to stop building islands and blocks and start building scoring connections. The skilled player has an eye on how many turns his opponent has left and what he has to finish himself. In extreme case, the game might finish before you made your winning connections.

10. Aggressive and Mean: The design goal of this game was to make bridges more mobile to create an intuitive, constructive and connecting game. It was meant as a Homage to Alex Randolph and his opus (and takes some inspiration from twixt, where bridges are restricted to horse jumps). However experienced players have taught me, that you can play the game very destructive and win games with final scores like 2:0. Play as aggressive and mean as required, but after the game leave the board as friends.