Arimaa/Elephant and Minor Piece Attacks/Ideal Placement of Pieces

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The best squares for the attacker will depend upon the objective of the attack. During an Elephant and Dog Attack against Cats and Rabbits, the same rules of positioning apply as discussed in the Elephant and Horse Attack: the Dog on b6 and Elephant on d6 is usually optimal.

In order to facilitate the hostage-taking of a strong defender occupying the b6 square by the attacking Elephant on the d6 square, any non-Rabbit should move to c5 so that the Elephant can occupy b6 and force the defender south. Unfortunately, the attacking Elephant will become decentralized and the process of dragging the hostage to the home trap is slow. This tactic should only be used against a Camel and only if the decentralized Elephant will not jeopardize the defenses on the opposite wing. In most situations this plan is too slow to be effective.

If the attacker is attempting to advance a Rabbit toward the goal rank, it is beneficial to place a Dog or Cat on c7 on a depleted board during the endgame, but it is normally too risky to do so during the middlegame. It is usually a mistake to place the Elephant on c7 due to the major strategic drawbacks of a decentralized Elephant. The Elephant should only occupy c7 if it can force the gain of significant material or a decisive goal threat.