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patgangster

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[Guide] CI: Advanced strategies and reminders Reply to this Post
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This thread is meant for those who are already good at CI and want to get better at it. If you are new to CI runs or the game in general, this thread is not meant for you. It assumes that you know all the basics of doing CI runs and that you are good at the following things:

  • The duty puzzle you end up doing
  • Swordfighting
  • Rumble
  • (CI) Foraging


If you are not good at all four of these, not everything in this thread may apply to you and you might find bigger improvements in improving in these instead of changing up your tactics since some, if not many of them require you to be good at these.

In port
Preparation

  •  Check your sword. You don't want to be running around with a stick or foil. I've heard that the Rapier is the most effective for taking out bots since it has very good color spread, but I don't believe it's a huge deal as long as your sword is reasonable.
  •  Check your bludgeon. You don't want to slap them zombies with a fish or smack them with your bare hands. Assuming you are a good rumbler, grab a hammer. The large amount of bruises in the pattern significantly reduces the amount of times vargas/EOs/lucky zombies will clear your instas. The fish is the WORST bludgeon as it sends charged balls in its strikes, actually making it MORE likely that your instas get cleared by the bots. If your only bludgeon is a fish, go with your fists.
  •  If you're the one running, check stock. I know it sounds stupid and you already know it, but it still happens even to the best.


Jobbing

  •  If you're going for a great run, be picky and get people who are good at multiple things. Don't job someone just because they are good at one of sails/carp/bilge/rumble/sf when you know they'll be deadweight on the other parts of the run. As you CI you get to know and see more people you'll be able to tell who will be a good jobber and who will not be one very quickly.
    It's nice that someone can station very well, but if they can't do the island parts well you'll still earn nothing.
  • Build up a hearty network. Remember your good or otherwise above average jobbers and invite them more. Every person you invite from your list of known good CIers instead of the pool of random NB jobbers is one that is guaranteed to do well.


The way in
As the navver / person in charge

  •  Stock cannonballs. Preferably, load them right as you set sail so you don't have to bother with it while in there. Even if you won't end up using them most of the time, it can be convenient to have them around to thin out raft swarms and prevent getting overrun.
  • Don't get cornered. If you are at 5 boarders and there are 10 rafts in the shallow end of the map, move in deeper instead of getting yourself in a position with nowhere to run to and getting overrun.
  • On thralling: When you do not yet have any EOs aboard, every raft you take that turn will contain one EO (and sometimes still a zombie). Once you do have one or more EOs aboard, rafts will ONLY contain zombies.
  • If you're at 5-6 boarders and have to make a risky move around rafts but don't have the golden token available yet, don't be afraid to use the silver. Taking an extra few turns to thrall is better than getting overrun.
  • I've seen people claim you are most likely to gain more thralls on your token (doubles rather than singles) if you have only two zombies and one EO. While I cannot confirm that this is true, it's still smart to keep your boarder count low to minimize the risk of being overrun.
  • Do not underestimate the fog, even if you are on a sloop. On bigger ships the fog is incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, being able to completely take down a war frigate in a matter of 4-5 turns. Luckily the effect is a lot less noticeable on a sloop, but that doesn't mean it's not there. I've seen sloops sometimes completely ignore it and hit the third or even fourth stage of duty puzzles being slowed down and taking upwards of 50% damage / full bilge without being shot by a cultist cutter a single time, simply because they spent over 10 minutes inside the fog.


As jobber
Do your job. There's not too much decision making involved, but here's your list of priorities:

  • Top priority: Keeping your station at a decent level. That means at least light blue (or gold if you're bilging on Meridian, because for some unknown reason light blue level doesn't exist there). Below this level, you will not spawn any tokens and are generally being (almost) useless to the ship. If you are having problems with this, spend time checking out puzzle guides and practicing.
  • Second priority: Thrall tokens. The most important thing other than keeping the boat floating. If you see an opportunity to get one of these, do it, even if it involves sacrificing a decent amount of score.
  •  Third priority: High performance. Incredibles are cool and all, but in most scenarios goods/excellents are just fine and the navver would rather have seen more thrall tokens from you than the incredible on the duty report.
  •  Last priority: Other tokens, in the following order of importance: Double forward > X > Turn-on-spot > Fireball. The Double forward is cool as once every 3 runs or so it'll save a turn on entering and can also be used to run away from a bad guy once in a while. X is good for escaping from cutters/sloops through small corridors. Turn-on-spot can sometimes allow a fancy move but is more likely to be used to avoid 5% damage in a rock ram. Fireball does nothing unless you're getting into a pvp, which honestly happens... just about never.


  • Extra note: If your ship is about to use the thrall token in the current turn and you are close to getting one, it may be worth it to stall out the token and wait for the end of the turn before getting it. Also depends on what station you're doing - stalling out a token is probably the easiest (and most worth it in case of bad spawns) in bilge while you go through stuff very quickly on patching and probably shouldn't bother waiting around there.



The Island
Preparation

  •  Double-check to make sure your weapons are equipped. Buying cool swords and bludgeons doesn't do anything if you don't use them.
  • Walk over to the foraging pit. My personal preferred spot is slightly to the left/below it so that it is the closest to my dismiss button.


Leaving

  •  I usually follow a '50% rule', never leave if we still have 50% or more of the thralls left, but it varies by the skill level of you and your jobbers and the fray you've reached. If your jobbers are skilled at fighting you can stay longer - staying at Vargas 2 (vs 15) with 3 thralls is fairly common.
  • When it's a close call (Being at vargas2 with 3 thralls is a good example), you can also base it on the amount of CCs you would be risking in that fight. (Example: "If we get 15 or more CCs we leave")



Rumble
General game plan, always:

  • While building, make sure you are targeting a ZOMBIE, not an EO or Vargas. About three seconds before you fire your combo, switch to your intended target. This is because even with 0 on you, you will get a low amount of sprinkles from the enemy YOU ARE TARGETING. Targeting a zombie guarantees that these sprinkles will be red/yellow/orange, making life easier.
  • Switch targets a few seconds before sending your strike. Targeting takes a moment to update and if you send your punch too quickly after retargeting, it will actually be fired towards your old target.
  •  At the second Vargas fray (or even the first sometimes), expect the rumble to last long and know that the more you are charging balls/sending punches (I don't know the exact mechanics - but this is roughly how it works), the lower the amount of 'natural bruises' (black balls) that show up on your screen when it moves down a line, so building and sending punches is required to survive for longer amounts of time.
  •  Stalling is not efficient in Rumble. Due to how multiple sprinkle attacks merge together, it will actually result in you dying much faster than you would if you kept playing and clearing. If your screen is very low and you know you will be dying, DO stall and keep all those enemies on you busy for just that little bit longer before they start harassing your team.


General game plan, situational:

  •  If you are being targeted by 0 enemies, Build instas. Keep your board clear a bit between your builds so you can keep building large enough and not die. Adding dropoff to your builds adds bruises, making your strikes harder to clear. Make sure you still have enough groups to properly insta though.
  •  If you are being attacked by 1 zombie, play carefully. You are likely to get punched somewhat early, but sometimes you can still get one insta off before it happens. Do your best to not get caught off guard by this punch as your board being ruined this early in the game can make you significantly weaker for the rest of the fight, or even kill you.
  •  If you are being attacked by 2+ enemies or an EO/Vargas, play very carefully. It is almost guaranteed that you will get punched before you finish building your insta if you try for one. This does NOT mean that you should not charge balls and build up a punch, but you should ALWAYS be ready to clear it when you see an attack incoming. You should also be looking for someone to defend because you will very likely not be too useful offensively.


Thralls and defending

  •  While learning CI, the 'Defend your own thrall' rule is good, but in reality you can get much better results by NOT doing this. A thrall with only one zombie on it does not need any defending at all most of the time.
  •  If you are being targeted by 0 enemies. Do not defend anything unless absolutely required. You want to be that instakill machine.
  • At 2 or more enemies, ALWAYS look for something to defend. You're not going to get any proper punches off. Defend the thralls that are most likely to die if undefended - give priority to those with EOs, Vargas or a large amount of zombies attacking them. YES, this means that you will be taking the attacks of many enemies. Play very defensively, sending just a few charged balls when you can sneak them in. (see 'natural bruises' point earlier)
  •  Defending does absolutely nothing if your 'defense bar' is empty. If you're stalling yourself, you're not going to block anything AT ALL. Keep playing and sending stuff regardless of how many are enemies are on you.


Defending other players

  •  If you are well co-ordinated with one or more players on the boat, it can be a good idea to defend a player instead of a thrall. ONLY do this if:

    •  You are being attacked by 1, preferably 2 or more enemies.
    • They are being attacked by 1-2 enemies, or 3 zombies. Not more than that as you might not be able to prevent every single attack coming at them if they are being attacked by that many.
    •  You are not risking the life of thralls by doing this. If many thralls are under attack it might better for both of you to defend instead. This is, of course, irrelevant when you reach the last fray you are doing and are no longer defending thralls.
    •  You know that the person you are defending is NOT defending someone or a thrall himself. This makes your entire defense go to waste since they will not be using the benefits gained from being defended.
    •  You know that the person you are defending is good enough at rumble to become an 'insta machine' when not under attack.

  •  This works because of the huge amount of power you get from not being attacked by anything, allowing the person being defended to act like they are being attacked by 0 enemies and pump out instas, which is better than two people trying to sneak their attacks in and playing carefully, focused on survival more than attacking.

    To play this correctly, you should...
    As the person being defended: Play as you would with 0 enemies on you and pump out instas, keeping your board clear as needed between them.

    As the person defending: Build a smaller punch right away. Send it as early as possible, you want this to happen BEFORE they receive their first punch from an enemy, so you do NOT want to wait until you see an attack incoming yourself when defending someone. When defending someone, I personally send the attack when I reach 6-7 charged groups.
  • If you and someone are co-ordinated to defend each other when this scenario shows up, the person taking the largest amount of attacks himself should be the one defending the one taking less (because as mentioned before, you want to keep the defense bar up and not let any strikes through to them, which is easier with a lower amount of enemies hitting them.)


Targeting your strikes

  •  Full instas:
    If you have built a strike large enough that it will insta the enemy, send it to Vargas > EOs > random zombies. Look at what your teammates are doing; you do not want your insta to overlap with someone else's insta.
  •  Large punch:
    If you have built a large punch that is not quite an insta, do NOT send it to something you are soloing. Look for a team of 2-3, with thralls if you have to and/or try to find a target that is already hurt. Two half-instas DO effectively make an insta together.
  •  Small punch/sprinkles:
    Work in a team, 3 preferably. In the earlygame, stay off Vargas or EOs if you are sending small punches or sprinkles as they will likely be instakilled by one of your teammates. If your team is teaming up on one of them but not (fully) instaing it, it is fine to send these to Vargas or EOs however.


Swordfighting
Your general plan for swordfighting is similar to rumble: None on you means go all out crazy on instas, play safer as there are more on you.

Stalling

  •  Because every sprinkle and attack stays as its own attack and they do not merge together, stalling when under heavy attack in a swordfight is actually effective to keep the enemy cultists busy on you.
  • The cultists often do tend to switch targets even early on, so you might not want to start stalling right away just because there are 4 on you. Play extremely carefully for the first half-minute or so and see if they leave you and do not be surprised if they do and you can actually play the swordfight out.
  •  Because of the cultists switching targets, you also need to keep paying attention to yourself being attacked even if you start with 0 on you. You might get switched on and take an attack before even finishing your first large build if you're not extremely quick. Be careful.
  • I personally recommend stalling if there are 3-4 (depending on your swordfighting skill and the importance of you actively fighting in that fray). If you are a great swordfighter and are doing later frays (after first/second Vargas) you might have to risk it and play it out hard even with three of them sticking on you, simply because your presence in the fight cannot be missed.

Targeting your strikes

  •  Full instas:
    Unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE that your strike is MASSIVE and will instakill the target you're sending it to, do NOT EVER send your insta in a solo on a cultist with an empty board. Find at least one person to team with or at least already slightly-hurt cultist to send it to.
    The last thing you want is a cultist just barely surviving your attack and clearing a large part of its board and killing you or one of your teammates, or even worse: a thrall.
  • Large strike:
    Look around the enemies for cultists that your teammates sent large strikes or barely-failed instas too and finish them off. In almost every swordfight this WILL happen, do your best to not let them clear their boards.
  •  Smaller strikes:
    Work together in a team to flood a cultist with the attacks from three of you. If your strike is still decently-sized, it can also still be used to attempt to finish off a nearly-dead cultist. Always look for these opportunities.


Targeting: The fat guys
The Homunculus. They're big, fat and ugly and smack people with trees. Their attacks only drop a single color so it's tempting to leave them alive until the end, but this is not always what you want. So what DO you want to do?

  •  First few fights (Before second Vargas): Kill them as soon as possible. Their attacks may only be one color, but they tend to send larger attacks than the cultists do, which means they can be dangerous to your thralls, and keeping those alive through the fight is your main goal for the earlier fights.
  •  When your goal in the fight changes from "Make it through with as many thralls as possible" to "Just win the fight", kill them last. Their single-color drops often end up helping the humans out more than hurting them - and this is more important than the thralls having to live at this point.
  •  Always make sure you kill these effectively. Do not ever solo them or send a non-completely guaranteed insta to them as, since they are stronger than the cultists this will make it EVEN MORE likely that they will break your attack and insta you/a teammate/a thrall.
  • If thralls are attacking a Homunculus, it becomes much higher a priority to kill. The Homunculi will use the thralls' attacks to send large attacks towards your team.


Foraging
Even though this is not a puzzle guide, I'm still going to mention things here as it is, in the end, the most important thing on deciding payout. No matter how many frays you win or how easily you enter/exit the island, you're not going to get good payout if you're foraging badly.

If you are looking to improve your CI foraging, I recommend doing so with the following priorities:

  •  Not getting stuck. Getting stuck is a massive setback even if you exit and re-enter the foraging board instantly, sometimes costing you 5 points. If you find yourself getting stuck frequently, work on this first. Being faster doesn't matter and will only get you stuck more if you are not good at avoiding getting stuck. Even being almost-stuck and having to slow down to worry "if I do this move, will it be completely stuck" with every click you do will hurt your score significantly.
  •  Efficiency. Make your clicks more efficient! It's not always possible, but when you can you generally want to aim for the following:

    • Bone box (1x1): Three 1x3 clears. If lucky and it's possible, 1x4 and 1x5 is also good.
    • Fetish Jar (2x2): Two 1x4 clears for both sides, or if possible 1x5 and 1x3. If you have the option to clear vertically under both sides of the box, that's amazing, go for that. Horizontals do not set you back far here since two 1x3s and two horizontal clears also clear it but can sometimes be risky and result into accidental clears, getting the jar stuck.
    • Cursed Chest (3x2): See Fetish Jar, but be extra careful with clearing the correct column(s) first: The middle if the CC is in the middle of your screen, the left/right if it is more on the side.

  • Raw speed. Once you're good at not getting stuck and clearing efficiently start practicing actual speed. I don't really have any direct tips for this, but it comes with a lot of practice.


Special pieces (and your first moves on a fresh board)

  • Shovel: The best special piece you can get, if it is in the right spot. Can clear an entire column of a chest for you.
  • Machete: Good for clearing Jars/CCs, less so for bone boxes. If you can see that you'll be clearing a bone box with at least one 1x4 later feel free to send the machete into the bone box, otherwise send it the other way and clear it 1x3 1x3 1x3 instead as it will be faster than having to use horizontals to finish the box.
  • Earthquake: Good for getting unstuck as well as relocating a box, but often not good to have on your board. If you have to click one, try to use it to get two chests on top of each other/one chest on top of a shovel (best possible result), or to kill a monkey. If you can't do this, just send it in a random direction or try to relocate a chest towards the middle.
  • Ant: Unless you are only a few moves off finishing the board, send it to the side (or if convenient, into a chest) to make it go away. Right away.
  • Monkey: If possible, do not click. If convenient, try to kill using your other special pieces. Their animation takes a very long time, only click it if a bone box spawns above it, or a FJ or CC spawns above/slightly to the side of it (and it's in an inconvenient spot so you'll have to play around it)

Because of how most of the special pieces are actually going to slow you down, I would recommend you start out a board by clicking in a circle and trying to avoid clearing pieces until the first chest spawns, to make sure you are not spawning any special pieces. Use this time to look over your board and see if you can spot good places to clear on when the chests spawn - maybe there's a possible way to cause two 1x3s on top of each other to get that first bone box down a LOT right away!

The way out
As navver:

  • Do not underestimate the fog. As explained on 'the way in'.
  • Know that the enemy boats know what moves you have at the start of a turn. If you are low on moves (starting every turn with 0 moves), they will go straight for shooting you almost every time. If all you have is one left, they will often assume you will do your only possible move. Play around this by moving in a zigzag (LRRL) as much as possible or moving in the direction they do not expect you to move in if you start the turn with only one move.

As jobber:
Similar to the way in, do your job - Only the thrall tokens are not important this time and you should just be focusing on scoring as high as possible. This doesn't require much of an explanation.

3-2-1 or 2-2-2?
Often, I see someone sending a bilger to sail and using 3/2/1 stations on the way out, and frequently I disagree with the decision. Here is how I feel it should be decided:

  • Are you damaged? If you are damaged, you often want to have two people on bilge to keep the bilge clear in case you take more damage or your bilger ends up not doing well (it happens to the best of us), and taking water hurts your move production MUCH more than having one extra sailor gives you.
  • Are your sailors good? If your two main sailors aren't doing too well, it might be a good idea to switch one over if one of your bilgers is good at sailing.
    But in general, I feel like the tiny bit of moves the third sailor adds is very overrated and 2/2/2 works perfectly fine in almost all situations. No need to move your jobber around.

If you're still reading at this point: congratulations. You made it through the entire thing.
Thanks for reading and let me know if there is anything you disagree with, think I missed or otherwise feel you need to mention!
Edit: Formatting broke. Apparently pasting from word doesn't work well at all, even with minor editing. Apostrophes are still gone, currently working those back in.
Edit2: Proper punctation now hopefully all back too.
Edit3: Added in a point about thralling. Thanks to Garuh on Emerald for reminding me.
Edit4: Added in a point about thralls and homunculi, thanks to Gurndigarn on Emerald.
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TriplePat, Emerald.
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[Edit 9 times, last edit by patgangster at Jul 8, 2015 2:54:04 PM]
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jlh0605

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Re: [Guide] CI: Advanced strategies and reminders Reply to this Post
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Very nice explanation, indeed! It makes me want to get back to running/attending more CI's. Thanks, also, for commenting on the "sanity checks" (make sure you have stock, remember to load the cannons just in case, etc.). We all do forget them at times.

I can't find a single point I disagree with, especially your explanations of "it depends" where many players say "this way only" (e.g. playing vs. stalling with 2/3/4 on you, 50% "rule", etc.) Part of playing the game smart is realizing that the situation isn't the same every time, that some sets of jobbers are stronger than others (even if it's the same pirates, we all have good/bad days). Rules of thumb are great, and can really help direct players, but they are not laws punishable by death ... er, sinking.

The only thing you mentioned that I didn't know was your explanation of how EO's spawn on the ship (by the way, you phrased it nicely). I'm not the most active CI'er, and I usually join runs instead of creating my own, so I never realized the correlation. I also think that this is not terribly well known, even among regular CI'ers.

Sidetrack about copy/paste from Word to forums: You didn't get all the quotes (yet). ;) You could search for the '?' character, I think that'd find most of the buggers. I do agree that copy/paste from Word is a pain with these forums. One thing that sometimes works for me is using a more basic text editor (my preference is Notepad++), with a monospace font (Courier New, for example). It tends to work because many of those fonts don't have the "smart quotes" and other things that fancy fonts do, and a basic text editor won't auto-replace as often as Word will.
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~Jamesh on Emerald
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Galene tells ye, "You are awesome."
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by jlh0605 at Jul 7, 2015 3:03:30 PM]
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patgangster

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Re: [Guide] CI: Advanced strategies and reminders Reply to this Post
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Thanks for the postive feedback! I did a ctrl+f and caught a bunch more of those ?s, I think I got them all this time, so that should be fixed. If I end up writing something big up I'll probably try notepad++ next time.
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TriplePat, Emerald.
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xelto

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Re: [Guide] CI: Advanced strategies and reminders Reply to this Post
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The way in
Don?t get cornered. If you are at 5 boarders and there are 10 rafts in the shallow end of the map, move in deeper instead of getting yourself in a position with nowhere to run to and getting overrun.
     ?     On thralling: When you do not yet have any EOs aboard, every raft you take that turn will contain one EO (and sometimes still a zombie). Once you do have one or more EOs aboard, rafts will ONLY contain zombies.
     ?     If you?re at 5-6 boarders and have to make a risky move around rafts but don?t have the golden token available yet, don?t be afraid to use the silver. Taking an extra few turns to thrall is better than getting overrun.

These are situational decisions. Usually, it's a good move, but if there are rafts near you in the next zone deeper, plus sloops or cutters in that zone, it's frequently better to accept the overrun in the zone where sloops and cutters don't come to. Your jobbers might not like the overrun, but it's better than risking overrun some place where you can get shot up.

 
     ?     I?ve seen people claim you are most likely to gain more thralls on your token (doubles rather than singles) if you have only two zombies and one EO. While I cannot confirm that this is true, it?s still smart to keep your boarder count low to minimize the risk of being overrun.

I haven't seen that. If my observations are anything, the biggest determinate factor is actually the skill level of your jobbers. If I've got a super-elite run, it almost always takes about 5-7 tokens for a full sloop, but if I've got a very-good-but-not-elite crew, it's usually 4-5 tokens.

 
Thralls and defending
     ?     While learning CI, the ?Defend your own thrall? rule is good, but in reality you can get much better results by NOT doing this. A thrall with only one zombie on it does not need any defending at all most of the time.
     ?     If you are being targeted by 0 enemies. Do not defend anything unless absolutely required. You want to be that instakill machine.


Don't underestimate the importance of this. Vargas and EOs usually need big strikes to be defeated, or consistent smaller strikes. Zombies can be sprinkled to death.

I have an approach that's similar, but not precisely the same:

  • Skip "defend your thrall"
  • If you're not being attacked, build big and then hit Vargas, or an EO, in approximately that order of importance.
  • If you're being under light attack, see if there are any thralls that need defending, and defend that thrall. Try to build up a medium size punch, so if you stop needing to defend, you can switch to attack easily. (Need defending = under attack and over half their board full, or an EO/Vargas plus at least one more attacker on them and over 1/3 of their board full.)
  • If there's no thrall that needs defending, try to build up a decent attack. If Vargas/EO are being attacked, help out by sending a mix of sprinkles and punches. Otherwise, find a weak zombie to finish off.
  • If you're under serious attack, either defend or find a zombie that's being attacked (ideally by a human, since they don't retarget all that often, but with a thrall if needed), and spam clear your board as fast as you can. Stay off Vargas and the EOs, they'll just use your attacks as ammunition for return attacks.


 
Targeting: The fat guys
The Homunculus. They?re big, fat and ugly and smack people with trees. Their attacks only drop a single color so it?s tempting to leave them alive until the end, but this is not always what you want. So what DO you want to do?
<snip>
     ?     Always make sure you kill these effectively. Do not ever solo them or send a non-completely guaranteed insta to them as, since they are stronger than the cultists this will make it EVEN MORE likely that they will break your attack and insta you/a teammate/a thrall.

Thralls on a homunculus is a bad thing. They're just too good at turning thrall attacks into ammunition for a big return. If you see multiple thralls on a fatboy, build up a good attack. If, by the time you've built properly, the thralls are still attacking them, dogpile with the thralls.

 
3-2-1 or 2-2-2?
Often, I see someone sending a bilger to sail and using 3/2/1 stations on the way out, and frequently I disagree with the decision. Here is how I feel it should be decided:
     ?     Are you damaged? If you are damaged, you often want to have two people on bilge to keep the bilge clear in case you take more damage or your bilger ends up not doing well (it happens to the best of us), and taking water hurts your move production MUCH more than having one extra sailor gives you.

This cannot be emphasized enough. Water in ship during CI = Real Bad.

 
Are your sailors good? If your two main sailors aren?t doing too well, it might be a good idea to switch one over if one of your bilgers is good at sailing.

If you can get 2.75 moves per turn with 2 sailors, you don't need an additional guy on sails. If you're getting under 2.25 moves per turn, you need an additional sailor. In between... well, it's your call, but I prefer dryness over the extra sailor.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
[Jul 7, 2015 3:22:17 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
patgangster

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The way in
Don?t get cornered. If you are at 5 boarders and there are 10 rafts in the shallow end of the map, move in deeper instead of getting yourself in a position with nowhere to run to and getting overrun.
     ?     On thralling: When you do not yet have any EOs aboard, every raft you take that turn will contain one EO (and sometimes still a zombie). Once you do have one or more EOs aboard, rafts will ONLY contain zombies.
     ?     If you?re at 5-6 boarders and have to make a risky move around rafts but don?t have the golden token available yet, don?t be afraid to use the silver. Taking an extra few turns to thrall is better than getting overrun.

These are situational decisions. Usually, it's a good move, but if there are rafts near you in the next zone deeper, plus sloops or cutters in that zone, it's frequently better to accept the overrun in the zone where sloops and cutters don't come to. Your jobbers might not like the overrun, but it's better than risking overrun some place where you can get shot up.

True, going deeper is not always the correct move and if you are still likely to get overrun while doing so it's PROBABLY not the correct move, if you are going to get overrun, do it in the safest spot possible.

 
 
     ?     I?ve seen people claim you are most likely to gain more thralls on your token (doubles rather than singles) if you have only two zombies and one EO. While I cannot confirm that this is true, it?s still smart to keep your boarder count low to minimize the risk of being overrun.

I haven't seen that. If my observations are anything, the biggest determinate factor is actually the skill level of your jobbers. If I've got a super-elite run, it almost always takes about 5-7 tokens for a full sloop, but if I've got a very-good-but-not-elite crew, it's usually 4-5 tokens.

...That also seems off to me, I've had very elite crews go 2-2-2-1 (glorious 'pick up boarders, run towards island, enter') and seen bad crews go 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 (the 35 minutes of horror) quite frequently. Also many of the lower-man runs (2/3/4) I do finish in 1/2/2 tokens almost every time, and those contain very elite people only.

 
 
Thralls and defending
     ?     While learning CI, the ?Defend your own thrall? rule is good, but in reality you can get much better results by NOT doing this. A thrall with only one zombie on it does not need any defending at all most of the time.
     ?     If you are being targeted by 0 enemies. Do not defend anything unless absolutely required. You want to be that instakill machine.


Don't underestimate the importance of this. Vargas and EOs usually need big strikes to be defeated, or consistent smaller strikes. Zombies can be sprinkled to death.

I have an approach that's similar, but not precisely the same:

  • Skip "defend your thrall"
  • If you're not being attacked, build big and then hit Vargas, or an EO, in approximately that order of importance.
  • If you're being under light attack, see if there are any thralls that need defending, and defend that thrall. Try to build up a medium size punch, so if you stop needing to defend, you can switch to attack easily. (Need defending = under attack and over half their board full, or an EO/Vargas plus at least one more attacker on them and over 1/3 of their board full.)
  • If there's no thrall that needs defending, try to build up a decent attack. If Vargas/EO are being attacked, help out by sending a mix of sprinkles and punches. Otherwise, find a weak zombie to finish off.
  • If you're under serious attack, either defend or find a zombie that's being attacked (ideally by a human, since they don't retarget all that often, but with a thrall if needed), and spam clear your board as fast as you can. Stay off Vargas and the EOs, they'll just use your attacks as ammunition for return attacks.


That also seems like a very good list that is indeed similar. I used to try the 'build a punch' when under light attack every time as well but it's been getting very frustrating taking early punches which make me feel useless, so when I do know a good rumbler is around I'm personally opting for the defence option a lot, probably more than I should.

 
 
Targeting: The fat guys
The Homunculus. They?re big, fat and ugly and smack people with trees. Their attacks only drop a single color so it?s tempting to leave them alive until the end, but this is not always what you want. So what DO you want to do?
<snip>
     ?     Always make sure you kill these effectively. Do not ever solo them or send a non-completely guaranteed insta to them as, since they are stronger than the cultists this will make it EVEN MORE likely that they will break your attack and insta you/a teammate/a thrall.

Thralls on a homunculus is a bad thing. They're just too good at turning thrall attacks into ammunition for a big return. If you see multiple thralls on a fatboy, build up a good attack. If, by the time you've built properly, the thralls are still attacking them, dogpile with the thralls.
Oh, yes. I'll add that specific point into the guide actually, I forgot about that.

 
If you can get 2.75 moves per turn with 2 sailors, you don't need an additional guy on sails. If you're getting under 2.25 moves per turn, you need an additional sailor. In between... well, it's your call, but I prefer dryness over the extra sailor.

Yeah - I didn't add in any specific numbers because that also varies between the navver (if not getting screwed over, I can probably deal with going out on 1.5 moves a turn, a flat 2 a turn is perfectly fine - while I see some people complaining if they're not getting 3 every single turn.
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[Jul 7, 2015 4:00:42 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
EmpressTamar

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I've been awake for a couple days so I'll have to re-read this once I get more sleep. I knew all of this already but you did organize and explain it in a great way for the more moderate CIers. I did want to comment on the fact I love how you mention that it's not always the right strategy to kill homuns first. A lot of people blindly shout this without using critical thinking to discern whether or not it's the right course of action, so hopefully your post will bring a little more attention to this. You also made some great points on when you should defend or not, and hopefully more people will start understanding how bad fog can be for larger ships (although this isn't a huge problem anymore). Might not be making much sense as I'm tired but one of the best CI guides I've seen so far and I hope it'll assist players in moving up the skill ranks in CI.
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[Jul 7, 2015 4:34:14 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Guipsp



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Has it ever been proven that sword/bludgeon choice affects PvE?
[Sep 6, 2015 10:07:13 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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Has it ever been proven that sword/bludgeon choice affects PvE?

There is a reasonably large amount of empirical evidence, but no proof. On the other hand, in CI, there's a huge advantage to knowing if you're teaming with a thrall (IE, sticks and fists) or a human (anything else), so even if it's not true, bring along at least a foil and rope coils so people know you're human.
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"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
[Sep 6, 2015 11:50:57 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
vietworld

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o/ Pat


I don't see any mention of the YOLO fray.

lolol
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[Sep 6, 2015 1:04:01 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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o/ Pat


I don't see any mention of the YOLO fray.

lolol

One of my favorite YPP/CI memories was hearing Pat say "YOLO cancelled!"
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[Sep 6, 2015 4:05:58 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
patgangster

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I would not recommend the yolo fray to anyone whose goal is to have the best average payout in CIs; as cool as it is to win that 9v16 1 out of 5 times, the other 4 out of 5 times you're losing too much to make up for that.

...But yeah, if you just want to have fun and think there's at least a reasonable chance to win (warning: definition of reasonable may vary between users) you can go for a fray you shouldn't be going for. Worst case you get less money, best case you get another forage and a chance to hit that CC goal you just decided to go for on the spot. (100 is a sweet number).



As for bludgeon/sword use, I remember it being stated that even though bots deal with colors and everything in a different way than humans do, your attack patterns DO affect them. A quick search for me doesn't find anything, but that's how I remember it.

And even if colors don't matter, I'm somewhat assuming bruises (and charged balls in the pattern, hi fish) in rumble do still matter, and those decide my personal bludgeon choice.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by patgangster at Sep 7, 2015 2:58:14 AM]
[Sep 7, 2015 2:52:09 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
EmpressTamar

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As for bludgeon/sword use, I remember it being stated that even though bots deal with colors and everything in a different way than humans do, your attack patterns DO affect them. A quick search for me doesn't find anything, but that's how I remember it.

That is the response I got when asking an OM several years ago. He also said that the 'best' weapon against bots would be something that had an even amount of the different colors. As with most anything the OMs say about game mechanics (which isn't a lot, surprisingly), I do not care to vouch for its reliability.
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[Sep 7, 2015 10:26:05 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Belthazar451

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xelto wrote: 
There is a reasonably large amount of empirical anecdotal evidence, but no proof.

Fixed. =P
[Sep 7, 2015 2:02:52 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jcmorgan6

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Bump, because people still don't know what they're doing.

Patgangster wrote: 
Rumble
General game plan, always:

While building, make sure you are targeting a ZOMBIE, not an EO or Vargas. About three seconds before you fire your combo, switch to your intended target. This is because even with 0 on you, you will get a low amount of sprinkles from the enemy YOU ARE TARGETING. Targeting a zombie guarantees that these sprinkles will be red/yellow/orange, making life easier.
Switch targets a few seconds before sending your strike. Targeting takes a moment to update and if you send your punch too quickly after retargeting, it will actually be fired towards your old target.


Also not mentioned is how useful defending something (usually with only 1 Zombie on it) can be when building an insta, provided you start red or orange in the left or right respectively. When done right it'll allow you to build the punch a little quicker, while keeping the thralls boards a little lower.

Patgangster wrote: 

3-2-1 or 2-2-2?
Often, I see someone sending a bilger to sail and using 3/2/1 stations on the way out, and frequently I disagree with the decision. Here is how I feel it should be decided:

Are you damaged? If you are damaged, you often want to have two people on bilge to keep the bilge clear in case you take more damage or your bilger ends up not doing well (it happens to the best of us), and taking water hurts your move production MUCH more than having one extra sailor gives you.
Are your sailors good? If your two main sailors aren't doing too well, it might be a good idea to switch one over if one of your bilgers is good at sailing.
But in general, I feel like the tiny bit of moves the third sailor adds is very overrated and 2/2/2 works perfectly fine in almost all situations. No need to move your jobber around.

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[Mar 7, 2017 4:13:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Gunnerfreak

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Jcmorgan6 wrote: 
Bump, because people still don't know what they're doing.

Patgangster wrote: 
Rumble
General game plan, always:

While building, make sure you are targeting a ZOMBIE, not an EO or Vargas. About three seconds before you fire your combo, switch to your intended target. This is because even with 0 on you, you will get a low amount of sprinkles from the enemy YOU ARE TARGETING. Targeting a zombie guarantees that these sprinkles will be red/yellow/orange, making life easier.
Switch targets a few seconds before sending your strike. Targeting takes a moment to update and if you send your punch too quickly after retargeting, it will actually be fired towards your old target.


Also not mentioned is how useful defending something (usually with only 1 Zombie on it) can be when building an insta, provided you start red or orange in the left or right respectively. When done right it'll allow you to build the punch a little quicker, while keeping the thralls boards a little lower.

Actually, I've found that making a move that DOESN'T set off the combo, AFTER moving to one's intended target allows for instant insta. Don't need to wait three seconds after switching targets this way, AFAIK.

But the idea that sprinkles are nice is nice, lol.
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[Mar 7, 2017 4:35:40 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
patgangster

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Actually, I've found that making a move that DOESN'T set off the combo, AFTER moving to one's intended target allows for instant insta. Don't need to wait three seconds after switching targets this way, AFAIK.

But the idea that sprinkles are nice is nice, lol.


Yeah - three seconds is overly safe. The general idea is that it can go to the old target if you do it very quickly after reteaming, the time it takes for your other ball to arrive is long enough for the teaming to update properly too.
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[Mar 7, 2017 9:48:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Snuby

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Thanks for the bump, this is a must read.
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