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 quite aggressive, quickly advancing piece after piece with the aim of controlling the entire board. Others prefer to play a "home game", initially advancing only their elephant and maybe a horse. Reckless advances can be punished with basic tactics, but measured advances can be very effective if they are part of a long-term plan.

If you are playing Arimaa bots, you may have already defeated the weakest ones. 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.

  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