Battle of Towers 2/2

Battle of Towers  1/2  <<<<

Deploy over your own pieces
You can deploy a compound piece over your own pieces, as long as no piece made up of more than 3 simple pieces has been formed after the deployment is complete.
Composed pieces can bounce against the sides of the game board during their movements or deployments. This is not considered as a change of direction. 
Rebound principle: if a piece cannot continue its movement because it meets the side of the board, it bounces like a tennis ball against a wall.
When a player moves one of his pieces onto a space which is already occupied by an opponent’s piece (simple or compound), that opponent’s piece is captured and removed from the game.
You can capture a piece during a movement, but not during a deployment.
If a player captures all his opponent’s pieces, he wins the game, but this rarely happens. Be careful, "gluttony is a deadly sin!"

Some strategic advice for beginners
The fundamental aspect in Battle of Towers is that it is a race. The goal is to be the first to place a piece beyond the other side of the board. Most of the time, you've got to choose position over capture, and play moves that make you quicker than your opponent.

In the beginning
A good way to start a game is to build triple-mixed-pieces: circle-circle-square or square-square-circle. These are the most powerful pieces of the game because of their speed and flexibility.

The circle-circle-square is a very offensive piece. It can go sideways or forward, and can change its target side in only one move, thus exploiting possible weaknesses without giving the opponent time to organize his defence.

The square-square-circle is mostly defensive in the beginning of the game: when deployed, it can turn into a wall of mutually-defended pieces. On the other hand, because it includes two squares, it can mostly lead straight attacks, which is not very efficient in the beginning when most of the defensive pieces are still in the game.

Triple circles and triple squares are the quickest pieces but they have a lower number of possible movements or deployments, which makes them easier to block for the opponent. I wouldn’t advise building them at the beginning of a game.

In this example, white has taken a very good start. He has built two circle-circle-squares and has moved one of them forward to control the center. Furthermore, he kept a solid square structure for his defence.
Black has chosen to build two different triple pieces, which gives him more possibilities. Unfortunately hisdefence has big holes! He will have to keep his square-square-circle backward to fill in the gaps.

Capture vs. Speed
Because Towers is a race, don’t waste time in capturing pieces if this does not help you cross the board before your opponent does!
Here, it’s white turn to play. He could capture the circle in h5 with g5, then g4 with g2 (with a rebound),But he prefers deploying g2 in g3, f4 and e5. Thus, he builds in e5 a double circle that threatens c7 and g7 at the same time. After that, he can win in 3 moves.

Another example: white could make an exchange by capturing d5 with e5. Black would then recapture
with b7.
Those pieces are identical, aren’t they? Actually, that exchange would be bad for white, because the action takes place in the second half of the board. White needs 4 moves to build a circle-circle square  and put it in d5, while 3 moves do the job for black.
If he makes that exchange, white loses one move, which is the advantage he gained when playing first at the beginning of the game.
Rather, he should move c1 onto c2. Now, if black makes the exchange, this is good for white.

End of the game: some skillful moves
Fork : Threatened by the black triple circle, white has moved is circle-circle-square from e4 to d4. Oh no! Now black can win the game thanks to a fork. Indeed, black moves d6 to f4.
Doing so, he threatens both positions d2 and h2. If white defends on one side, black takes the other one.
Most of the time, one should not make forks just to capture opponent pieces (again, capturing is not the main issue), but to win the game or to gain decisive advantage.
The circle-circle-square is very good for making forks, especially when placed on a black space. Indeed, the starting position defends white spaces very well, but not black spaces at all.

Winning deployment
Often, one triple piece is not enough to go though the opponent’s defence. Here, the black defence is just solid enough to prevent white from going through with only one circle-circlesquare. White has thus called for some reinforcement. Be careful, this is a little complicated! White to play. He has to be quick because the black piece in g4 can win in two moves with the g4 * f3, e2, e1 deployment. The only solution for white is to be quicker.
The sacrifice works for white: he captures b7 with b5, even if black can recapture with b8. Then white moves his second triple piece from a5 to a6 and wins on the next turn by deploying a6 on the a7 and b8 cases. He wins when he goes off of the board in the c column when he deploys a6 * a7, b8, out.

The player with the least experience takes white, which is an advantage. Nevertheless, if the black player wins too often, you can decide to give him a handicap to balance your games.
For instance:
  • Black has to reach the other side of the board only in the C, D, E or F columns, or
  • White can play two or three times in a row during the first turn.
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