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Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

On keeping track of the energy balance 02/21/2018

One of the first skills the bridge player must cultivate is counting to 13. Otherwise, declarer won’t know if trumps are drawn or if long cards are winners.

Doing that the right way is important. Counting a suit one at a time as the cards appear isn’t as helpful as counting the suit’s distribution in the enemy hands.screenshot-from-2018-02-21-03-27-23

When declarer leads his nine-card suit, he isn’t counting 1-2-3-4 but 4-0, 3-1, or 2-2.

I wanted to apply that kind of thinking about the division of energy in Phone Destroyer, but there the energy “suit” grows.

The way to do this, I reckon, is to keep a running plus/minus count (like ‘blackjack). Then if you’re +3 when you’re at 3, you might play a Dougie without covering fire.

I’m assuming this is what outstanding players do. SPPD players are pleased when they Fireball a trio of 3-cost enemies, but that +5 is relevant information only when related to the current count.

Then again, it might be almost impossible for anyone to do. Not only do you have to recognize one Kyle from another, you have to memorize each value.

You also have to recognize the visual effect of each spell. If you’re up to that, isn’t there the problem of Power Bind’s effect looking the same as Enforcer Jimmy’s aura? If that’s true, how can you be certain of whether enemy NK threw Power Bind?

And you have to do all this during melees, when characters summoned are often cast behind a cloud of sparks, unseen.

By the way, how do you account for Choirboy Butters, Energy Staff, or Hermes Kenny on either side.

I’ve convinced myself that while counting the energy plus/minus can be useful, it has to abandoned during a large skirmish, or when multiple small skirmishes break out.

Nonetheless, the reddit thread asserts that tracking the energy balance is “easy peasy”.

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