In those heavy games like Age of Empires and Wealth of Nations, to win, you have to be smart, cunning and quick thinking.  You need to be able to asses the opponent’s moves and techniques and use everything given to you as an advantage and a variable.  The better you are at this, the more likely you are to succeed.  This, my friends, can be reduced to one simple word.

Strategy.

But I’m not here to give a lengthy report about how to exercise maximum potential out of discoveries and merchant ships in Age of Empires III.  (that would be ridiculously boring, might I add).  I’m here to discuss strategy on a smaller scale.  Because in game club, we played Looping Louie.  And it got me thinking.  About strategy.  And I know you think you know where this is going.  You are thinking, “this guy is mad, Looping Louie doesn’t have an ounce of strategy involved.”  That, my fellow game club goers, is where you are WRONG!  All it takes is thought process.  To start.  Think of who you are playing with.  If you are playing a game with an extremely skilled…uhh…whatever it is you call somebody who plays Looping Louie….but anyways.  If you are playing a game with an extremely skilled Looping Louie, and somebody relatively new to the game, and maybe an average gamer, then there is strategy involved even as you set the game up.  You want to position yourself so that to your right is the skilled gamer, and to your left is the new player, and straight across is the average player.  Here is why.  The game involves timing and force judgment(yes I will get to that as well later) to knock down the opponents chicken tokens, because you need to hit the paddle with just the right amount of force to knock down the tokens of the opponents.  If the person is directly to your right, its easy to judge the power you need for the short distance.  However, it is very hard to do this on your left because you need Louie, who is traveling right, to go the full 270 degrees and still hit the exact spot you need him to.  Therefore, if the experienced player is on your right, that means its easier to hit him because he is close.  It also means you are on his left, which means he will have a hard time hitting your token.  This works the same way on your left.  It may be harder for you to hit the new player because he is far away, but it is better to have him there than anyone else, because although you are close, they may not understand the strategy and physics of the game as well as others might, so they would have a harder time hitting you.  The average player is in the middle, because that person is average.

Still with me?  Don’t worry there is plenty more to come.

A second strategy component is the timing and force of the paddle hit (as I mentioned earlier).  This one is simple.  First of all you need to hit the paddle at the right time so you don’t miss Louie altogether and get your token knocked down.  The second part is power.  You need to hit the paddle with just the right amount of force so that Louie sails towards the person you are targeting, and when he is at the prime position to be hit with the paddle, he is just out of reach, so the opponent cannot block you.  But Louie also has to be low enough so that he can get down enough to hit the token and knock it over.  The amount of force needed also varies depending on how far away the person is, but that just takes practice.  Be careful not to hit the paddle too hard, lest shake the game set and knock down your own token!

And also their is the other minor strategies like hitting the person with the most tokens left, and other stuff.

Do you understand (rhetorical)?  Perhaps I have opened your eyes to the intense (well not quite) strategy of Looping Louie.  And this applies to most fillers.  There is plenty to learn and plenty of paths to victory, even in the smallest of games, like For Sale, or Quoridor.  So next time you pick up a filler at the end of game club, take a moment to consider the strategy and plan how you might best win.  It can make a difference between loss and victory, just as it does in a large, complex game!

Happy Gaming!

Max L.