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Subject: A very minor setup variant rss

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Ryan McGuire
United States
South Euclid
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Bots start on A2, B8, G1 and H7.
Beacons start on C5, D3, E6 and F4.

Suggested Variant:
Bots start on A3, C8, F1 and H6.
Beacons start on B5, D2, E7 and G4.

That still leaves the two farthest beacons the same number of squares away. However A) it puts more distance between the beacons, thus slightly increasing the length of the game, and B) it allows less hiding behind beacons in the first couple turns, thus increasing bot-on-bot interaction.

Consider the starting setup as shown here:

It wouldn't be uncommon for Blue's first goal beacon to be either red or yellow and Red's to be green. Given that, it would be reasonable for Red to go north one square and then turn east toward the green, Meanwhile, Blue may very well start out going north. As it is, the green beacon provides some cover for Blue from Red.

With my suggested variant setup, Blue has to walk right across Red's line of fire to get to his first goal. Of course, Blue would have to stop in just the right place for this new setup to have any effect. So I grant you it's a small advantage over the kosher setup, but an advantage nonetheless (if you ask me).

I've played two games now with this variant, and the difference was noticeable once. The "victim" got shot for one square of "pull" action, which pulled him one square closer to his first goal instead of pulling the shooter's goal beacon closer. The shooter's action could just as easily have been a "damage" or "activate" beam, which obviously would have been DISadvantageous. But regardless of advantage/disadvantage, it does provide more bot-to-bot interaction on average.

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