Arimaa/Introduction to Strategy

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Arimaa strategy involves straightforward concepts which overlap in complex ways. Very different styles of play remain popular; some players are very aggressive, quickly advancing piece after piece with the aim of controlling the entire board. Others tend to play a "home game", initially sending few pieces to enemy territory. However you prefer to play, it is best to understand any strategy which an opponent might use against you.

If you are playing Arimaa bots, you may have already defeated the weakest ones just by using basic tactics. Each strategy you learn will get you further up the bot ladder. There's no need to study all the subsections right away; just understanding basic concepts could take you far. Later, you could revisit this material to learn how to build on an advantage or turn around a disadvantage. As you progress up the bot ladder, you'll need deeper and deeper strategies.

A recurring theme in Arimaa strategy is elephant mobility. Sometimes an elephant gets blockaded and can't move, but more often it would be too costly for an elephant to leave a particular area. Since the elephants are key to everything, even a slight elephant advantage can snowball.

  1. Early Ideas
  2. Camel Hostage
  3. Other Hostages
  4. Frames
  5. Trap Control
  6. Distribution of Force
  7. Rabbit Advancement
  8. Elephant Blockade
  9. Race Positions

Introduction to Tactics · Relative Value of Pieces