Arimaa/Double-Trap Attacks

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Objectives and Risks[edit]

The Double-Trap Attack is a highly aggressive attacking system in which the attacking player attempts to control both enemy traps in rapid succession.

Note: For simplicity, many examples below will assume that the Gold player is attacking the c6-f6 traps. Naturally, the same theories can apply equally to Silver attacks.

Reasons to use a Double-Trap Attack:

  • to control or contest all four traps simultaneously
  • to establish a large space and mobility advantage
  • to immobilize large numbers of enemy pieces on both sides of the board
  • to facilitate Rabbit advances on both wings simultaneously

Risks associated with a Double-Trap Attack:

  • The attack requires a commitment of all the strongest pieces - once the attack has begun there is often no turning back!
  • A failed attack will result in large material losses for the attacker.
  • The home traps will be severely weakened.
  • The goal defense will be compromised for the attacking player.

Ideal Placement of Pieces[edit]

Defensive Systems and Counter-Attacks[edit]

A successful defense against a Double-Trap attack will often require hostages and frames on both wings and it is essential that the defending Elephant remain mobile. The defending Elephant should only become decentralized if necessary to trap an enemy piece or take the attacking Camel hostage.

Attacking Rabbits will be brought forward in swarms to unfreeze allied pieces and generate long-term goal threats across the board. They should be contained and frozen whenever possible, or pushed to the center where they can be used to blockade their stronger allies.

Counter-attacking with the Elephant, along with one or two supporting units, can distract the enemy attackers. In addition, an aggressive Double-Trap Attack will create a patchy goal defense that can be exploited with a counter-attack that includes at least one Rabbit. Unfortunately, it is difficult to create counter-threats when both home traps are under attack! If a counter-attack is not possible, the defender will have to methodically isolate and immobilize attackers while neutralizing the attacks on both wings. A successful defense will allow the defending player to realize large material gains before a counter-attack is even feasible.

Ideas for Setup[edit]

Camel and Horse Attacks · Initial Piece Placement