Mathematical proof why the star is unbeatable

In-depth tactical discussion on how to lose the least

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Tripper
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Mathematical proof why the star is unbeatable

Postby Tripper » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:56 pm

(note, this is trying to continue a strategy discussion after I received a regal ASW whupping at the hands of Mr Rimmer ...)

1) in 1v1, you win by either a) protecting your cities or b) neutering your oppoents vessels/silos

2) in the Star, asia can protect some of its cities, russia can't really protect any without getting its silos in scouting range

(Hyperion's last attempt to beat the Star put his silos in the middle of nowhere. But then Ace had a clear run at _all_ his cities.)

3) in the Star, asia has guaranteed sub launches on most of Russia's population. There is zero chance that Russia can shoot down those subs. Russia can possbily have sub launches on east asia, but it is quite possible for asia to deploy on top of them.

4) in the Star, both Asia and russia can set up mass bomber runs, so at least that's fair

However, Russia can only marginally protect its cities, and cannot neuter the opponents vessels before they can launch nukes. Asia can protect at least 10-20m population, and has a good chance to neuter russia's subs (and silos for that matter).

Continued ...

Nevertheless, assume the star is beatable. Assume, also, it has been played competently.

How, then, was it beaten? Either a) asia's silos were destroyed or b) india was saturated with nukes so that enough got through to hit Bombay.

Assume b). However, in that case, Asia has been able to deploy (more or less) all of its nukes (224 to be precise). Almost all of these will have hit Russian cities. Whereas the Star defences will have soaked up a good proportion of the russian nukes. Therefore Asia will still win, albeit slightly (cf last game ace v hyperion)

Assume a). Therefore Asia's silos had to be scouted. Since this can't be done with fighters, it must have been done with bombers, or after Asia's silos have already fired. If with bombers, you can be pretty damn sure not many bombers will have survived the fighter screen (airbases + carriers in indian). So russia will have lost almost half is total nukes, in bombers, scouting and then nuking the Star. Asia will have only lost 60 nukes from silos (which are almost never opened to win the Star anyway) so will still end up killing more Russian civilians.

Assume, alternatively that asia launched first and russia retaliated against the silos. Then asia will have got off all of its nukes - see above ...

Finally, Hyperion's bluster notwithstanding, I cannot see any way to mathematically beat the star without resorting to suicide carriers or airbases deep within asian radar. And in that case, Asia can just play conservatively, take out the suicide emplacements, and then win conventionally.

So that, my friends, is what's called a reductio ad absurdum

/me shuffles off into a corner and remembers undergraduate math...
Last edited by Tripper on Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:33 pm

Well, I've beaten the Star once, after a try or two against Peace and Love. Although she didn't play it as I would have and was getting bored. Also, you've stated "played competently", so that probably takes care of that game.
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Postby Hyperion » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:04 pm

To beat Ace's star set up you need to do 3 things.

1) Protect your silos as you will need them to saturate India and get all those cities down to low decimals.

2) Control the pacific immediately with little or no losses or it's over (As happened in your game as soon as he placed battleships ontop of your carriers).

3) You have 12 subs each carrying 5 nukes. That's 5 nukes for 12 cities out of 25 cities, obviously not all cities need 5 nukes so you pick the biggest targets and the targets closest to India north of Indonesia.

Your main aim is to win on numbers, hope you decimate all Ace's cities to 0.1 million and if possible do it faster than Ace can reload. Timing is everything in distracting his silo fire away from your silo nukes.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:33 pm

Hyperion wrote:To beat Ace's star set up you need to do 3 things.

1) Protect your silos as you will need them to saturate India and get all those cities down to low decimals.

Some what agreed. Losing those Russian silos is a big no-no. See below.

Hyperion wrote:2) Control the pacific immediately with little or no losses or it's over (As happened in your game as soon as he placed battleships on top of your carriers).

I agree. The real hard part is the Pacific. I checked, no matter how soon you place, you can't get into the Indian fast enough. Should you try to circumvent Australia, well I've gotten in the habit of placing a scout bb to check that route. All one has to do as Asia is wait till the last moments of defcon 3 to place a couple of scout bb's and find that Russian fleet (carriers hopefully) and then swamp them with bb's. That's just what happened to Tripper.

If you can't control the pacific quickly enough to gain access to the Indian, well then you've got very little hope. Take too long and that means all those bombers near India have hit Russia multiple times, meaning you'll be playing a hopeless catch up game.

Hyperion wrote:3) You have 12 subs each carrying 5 nukes. That's 5 nukes for 12 cities out of 25 cities, obviously not all cities need 5 nukes so you pick the biggest targets and the targets closest to India north of Indonesia.

Your main aim is to win on numbers, hope you decimate all Ace's cities to 0.1 million and if possible do it faster than Ace can reload. Timing is everything in distracting his silo fire away from your silo nukes.

Agreed here as well, wasting subs on east Asia is a huge mistake.

The total focus of Russia should be:
  1. Control of the Pacific
  2. Mass bombing India with bomber/sub combo

Airbase bombers should go towards hitting north India from as far away as possible.
Carrier bombers should hit lower Indo-China at the same time as well as naval nuking to keep the Indian fleet at bay and Asian fighters split.
Subs should be used on what's left of India/silos.
Silos should be used on east Asia after India has been dealt with and to make catch up to the almost certain 97m+ kill of Asia (typically at the very end of the game.

That's just me.
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Postby Tripper » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:18 am

While Ace and Hyperion's tactics sound quite reasonable, they really just back up what I originally said.

As a bit of background, my (literally) back of the envelope calculation shows that if you deploy all your nukes on undefended cities, the maximum possible kill is about 99.8m (that's assuming that 8-11 nukes hit each city). However, the important bit is, that every nuke that goes to waste, either to aa fire, taking out installations, naval nuking, or oversaturation, takes away from the final score. Cities that are defended to even 1m survivors may prove decisive.

Hyperion wrote:To beat Ace's star set up you need to do 3 things.

1) Protect your silos as you will need them to saturate India and get all those cities down to low decimals.

Therefore removing AA losses to Asia's nukes, presumably.
Hyperion wrote:2) Control the pacific immediately with little or no losses or it's over (As happened in your game as soon as he placed battleships ontop of your carriers).

Asia has the advantage of ground-based radar and aircraft, battleships and (later) active subs to defend the pacific. A russian fleet could take the pacific with help from carriers and active subs, but that would take time.

Hyperion wrote:3) You have 12 subs each carrying 5 nukes. That's 5 nukes for 12 cities out of 25 cities, obviously not all cities need 5 nukes so you pick the biggest targets and the targets closest to India north of Indonesia.

Not to be attempted until you have control of the pacific ;)
Hyperion wrote:Your main aim is to win on numbers, hope you decimate all Ace's cities to 0.1 million and if possible do it faster than Ace can reload. Timing is everything in distracting his silo fire away from your silo nukes.


The Star can reload pretty quickly as Asia's carriers/airbases are generally closer to Russia's cities than vice versa.

And as for winning on numbers, see above. Unless Russia can destroy Asia's silos, it ain't gonna happen.

For what it was worth, my only strategy for stopping the Star was to try to cut off Ace's diagonal bomber runs with fighers and a few nukes. But once my rush failed, that was, well, that :( Also, he went in a straight line rather than diagonally!!

Laters, Tripper
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Postby Peace and Love » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:23 am

A summary ^__^

-It's very tough to win as Russia in Asia vs Russia 1 vs 1 matchup
why?
Asia's cities are located toward the south while 90 percent of Russian cities are directly within Asian radar range. This allows Asia to attack Russia using subs while making it difficult for Russia to place silos in strategic defensive positions.


Russia Strategies:
-Do not lose your silos
-Control Pacific
-Silos on East Asia, Subs on India, AB bombers on North India, CA bombers on southeast Asia

Asia Strategies:
-All silos strategically placed in India
-Carriers in Indian Ocean and airbases nearby for mass bombing run +subs
-Hinder the advance of a Pacific russian navy


btw I consider this the most "stacked" matchup in 1 vs 1 combat. Even moreso than SA vs NA or Africa vs Europe
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Postby Grandstone » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:20 am

Stupid newbie question: what is "The Star"? Is it a particular strategy, or is it just the opposition of Asia and Russia?
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Postby Pox » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:39 am

Grandstone wrote:Stupid newbie question: what is "The Star"? Is it a particular strategy, or is it just the opposition of Asia and Russia?


It's a unit layout devised by Ace Rimmer for asia v russia 1v1... I can't be bothered finding a screenshot at the moment, but you basically arrange your silos in a star shape in india, then put airbases right next to them (and radars of course), and put your subs and carriers in the bombay armpit.
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Postby Grandstone » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:00 am

Pox wrote:
Grandstone wrote:Stupid newbie question: what is "The Star"? Is it a particular strategy, or is it just the opposition of Asia and Russia?


It's a unit layout devised by Ace Rimmer for asia v russia 1v1... I can't be bothered finding a screenshot at the moment, but you basically arrange your silos in a star shape in india, then put airbases right next to them (and radars of course), and put your subs and carriers in the bombay armpit.


Doesn't that leave China and the rest of East Asia exposed?
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Postby Pox » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:43 am

Grandstone wrote:
Pox wrote:
Grandstone wrote:Stupid newbie question: what is "The Star"? Is it a particular strategy, or is it just the opposition of Asia and Russia?


It's a unit layout devised by Ace Rimmer for asia v russia 1v1... I can't be bothered finding a screenshot at the moment, but you basically arrange your silos in a star shape in india, then put airbases right next to them (and radars of course), and put your subs and carriers in the bombay armpit.


Doesn't that leave China and the rest of East Asia exposed?


Yes, and that's the whole point - you sacrifice 90% of your population to save the other 10%, and aim for 99% kills - Russia either has to put silos within radar range (meaning you nuke them and then have free points) or put them out of radar range, meaning their cities are very poorly defended. Attempting to defend all your people is hopeless - your silos will get scouted and taken out if you place them at your population centres, i.e. the east coast.
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Postby Grandstone » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:45 am

Oh.

Dang, you have to really detach yourself from what the game is representing to play it right.
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Postby Pox » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:35 am

Grandstone wrote:Oh.

Dang, you have to really detach yourself from what the game is representing to play it right.


Hehe... the whole nukes flying across a map of the world towards population centres is just a convenient appearance... but yeah, defcon is a game, not a simulation. The way to win a simulation would be to call a truce at defcon 2. :P
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Postby Grandstone » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:08 am

Yeah, the conventions of the game don't let you say "a curious game. The only way to win is not to play" at the last second. I always get caught up in trying to defend my pop centers--I turtle like hell then strike when the other player launches his nukes.

I have found that this rarely works against human players.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:48 pm

Check out this thread for more information on The Star. There's even a link to a dedcon recording so you can see it in action!

To play a dedcon recording, simply go here and download/install bert's dedcon, then run Defcon, and open the dedcon recording, you'll see 'playback' listed in the server lobby and that's what you join. Increase the speed of the playback by typing '/speed' with a number in the chat box. /speed 10 is normal speed, anything over 10 is therefore faster than the actual speed of the game.
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Postby Grandstone » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:05 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:Check out this thread for more information on The Star. There's even a link to a dedcon recording so you can see it in action!

To play a dedcon recording, simply go here and download/install bert's dedcon, then run Defcon, and open the dedcon recording, you'll see 'playback' listed in the server lobby and that's what you join. Increase the speed of the playback by typing '/speed' with a number in the chat box. /speed 10 is normal speed, anything over 10 is therefore faster than the actual speed of the game.


Does all that work with the demo?

Is the normal speed equivalent to one arrow?
Last edited by Grandstone on Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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