Ludi Societatis: strategies
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I. COMPENSATION vs BOOSTING

When selecting a strategy (for the strategies see the main page of the Ludi), there is always the primary choice between compensation and boosting. I will illustrate this with two concrete examples. Let's say your driver is Marcus Mediocris, with the following statistics:

Charioteer: Marcus Mediocris
Chariot: Mediocritas
Factio: Russata
Speed: 9
Acceleration: 8
Turning circle: 5
Force: 3
Armour: 6

These statistics seem to favour a speedy strategy, at first sight. The combination of a high acceleration and a high top speed give us the absolute speed of 75, which is reasonably high already. One is subtracted because the turning circle is only 5, so our actual absolute speed is 74 (still a high number).

Marcus Mediocris could take a risk and hope that his opponents won't employ violent strategies or if they do, they won't hit him, and boost up his speed some more by using strategies such as C or D (speeding up in last laps and hurrying in the straight lines, respectively). He could also choose to boost up his turning circle and acceleration by selecting strategy B (going closely round the spina), which would turn the turning circle into a positive effect (absolute speed would be increased by 1).

Mediocris could also play safe by selecting strategy A (supporting a constant pace), which would also allow him to defend attacks and hit back. As his force is only 3, chances are slim someone with armour of 3 or lower would attack him. Here the compensation comes in. Mediocris may fear being attacked by other players and wants to hit back, since no strategy is available which raises armour ratings or lowers spina and/or wall risks. By selecting E or F (lashing rivals and pushing them against the walls, respectively) the high absolute speed ratings are more or less maintained and force comes into play. When Mediocris would opt for E his absolute force would become 6, which is a reasonably good number.

II. VIOLENT vs NON-VIOLENT

First things first. There is a difference in these Ludi between no violence, passive violence and active violence.

Three tactics allow no violence (meaning player can't attack nor hit back): B, C and D. They mainly concern themselves with speed and acceleration. Two tactics allow only passive violence (hitting back is possible): A and G. The other two allow for both active and passive violence.

Violent strategies increase risks for everyone, including those who use the strategies (since in strategies F and G, wall and spina risks are raised for everyone). However, it gives less importance to speed and acceleration, and allows a slow player to win the race by eliminating a faster rival. Because if there were no advantages connected to non-violent options, everyone would be using violence, violent players risk to become victim of their own tactics when their opponents hit back or when they themselves slam against the walls or the spina of the circus.

Also, take in account that accidents do not necessarily happen. If there is a racing group with six chariots, and two use direct violence (tactics E and F), the chances of an accident for each individual player are 1/3. It's perfectly possible that nothing at all happens, and that the quickest chariot will win. Usually the violent players are not the quickest, because you have to make a choice between speed and force when distributing your 30 points.

Another option is "playing safe" and selecting tactic A. It changes nothing for the good or the bad. It's far from exciting, of course. The riskiest tactics are probably B and G. The choice is up to you! Don't forget, however, that if you intend not to use violence at all, you best set your force rating to 1. It's useless anyway, and the points can be used better elsewhere.

If you treat your chariot too much like this chap, son of Helios, you might end up against the walls or the spina. Be careful! ;)

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