Sunday, July 22, 2012

Victory - Level 5

Level 5 plays differently than the lower levels. Finally, the computer is aggressive. The emphasis here seems to be on the opening. The computer is quick to use its Queen if you don't put up a good enough defense from the first Pawn move. My favored approach was to get the King's Pawn across the middle of the board and to sustain him with a Horse and the Queen's Pawn.

I tried my usual conservative opening (see Victory - Level 3), but it left too much room for the computer's Queen to move around and before I knew it I had lost the game. Setting up with the Pawns across the line quiets the Queen and the Computer spends an inordinate amount of time trying to deal with your superior position.

It seems the computer's mid-game falls apart if you have a good position in your opening. The challenge is to not make a mistake. Don't be afraid to trade Queens as soon as you have the opportunity. The Computer's AI seems to be keyed on the Queen. Once she falls, the game gets much easier.

For the ending, the Computer will allow you to get a Queen or two, so save your Pawns. Killing the Knights before the end game was one of my goals. The computer does really well moving Knights around the board. It's also easy enough to trade a bishop or a knight for a Rook in the mid-game. It makes your life easier to fight the end game without the Computer's Rooks hunting your Pawns.

I've had a few combinations work on this level, so go for an aggressive opening if you have one together. I don't think I've ever won against the Computer in less than five moves. It seems to be expecting those.