A Guide to Multiplayer Games
So what's the point of this article?
Well, a lot of Neopians don't really know what Multiplayer Games are, so I thought I'd write an article to explain how they work.
Maybe you just want to play one of the games against a neofriend, or more likely you want one of these trophies you've seen in people's lookups:
Armada CHAMPION!!! Geos CHAMPION!!! Kacheekers CHAMPION!!!
First I'll tell you how to play the games, then I'll go on to Multiplayer Competitions.
To play just for fun, you'll need to go to the Multiplayer Lobby.
(Note that you don't get any neopoints for playing like this!)
You can Host Your Own game, or Show Hosts - games that other people have hosted.
Either option links you up with another random Neopian to play against.
It's worth noting that the chance of getting a decent opponent who will stay and finish a game is about 1 in 20 in my experience.
This is because a lot of the people trying the games are often newbies who don't really know what they are doing.
I'd definitely recommend Invite a Neofriend if you can.
Please note that I don't profess to be an expert, but here are the basic rules and some hints and tips to help get you started:
I love this game! It's easily my favourite of the three. This could be cos it's the one I'm best at ;^)
It's also the most popular in Neopets generally, as can be seen by a peep at the High Scores Tables.
I'm not sure whether this is a game that Neopets made up or not. It's similar to Othello or Reversi, but obviously the board is shaped differently, and you start with a different number of pieces.The rules are fairly clear on the Armada page, so I won't repeat them here.
This is a real game of skill - there's not much luck involved (unlike Geos, which involves a lot of it!)
Try to visualise what the board will look like after you move. Often what looks like a good move turns into an even better move for your opponent!
If you have the choice, it's often best to move one space rather than two. Jumping often leaves an inviting space for your opponent to move into.
Moving one space also creates a new piece, whereas moving two just moves the piece. As the game ends when the board is full, the more you move one space, the quicker the game will be. (If both of you always jump two spaces, the game will never end!)
If you do decide to jump, jump with a piece that's near the edge if you can. This means the hole you leave behind will have less of your pieces that your opponent can change. The examples below should make this clearer.
Never relax until the game is over. Even if you are 20 ahead, a couple of careless moves can lead to you losing the game. In fact, if you are a long way in front, most of the pieces will naturally be your colour, so it can be very easy for your opponent to make big gains.
Similarly, never give up - it's quite possible to recover from a bad start and go on to win.
In this game, I'm black, and I've decided to jump to the space marked with an x.
Should I use piece 1 or piece 2?
If I use piece one, this may look okay - but it isn't! There's a very inviting space for white to jump into (shown by the exclamation mark).
I end up worse off than I was the turn before.
(Note that white correctly jumped with an edge piece, rather than the one next to it.)
However, if I move piece two, white's pieces are completely blocked in and can't move - excellent!
Most choices don't have this dramatic an outcome - but it makes the point!
Geos is a fairly simple game. Once you know the rules it's largely a matter of luck whether you win or not, but there's still some skill involved. It seems to be a fairly original Neopets game (if you know otherwise please neomail me), although I suppose it's a bit like Battleships.
Rules: For some bizarre reason Neopets don't really tell you how the game works - so here's how:
Basically you have to complete 4 shapes - circle, square, rectangle & triangle, before your opponent does.
Once you complete a shape, it changes colour, and is fixed in place - your opponent can't do anything about it (but they are told which shape you've completed).
If you try to put a piece on one of your opponents finished shapes, you aren't allowed to, and you lose your turn.
If you put a piece on one of your opponents pieces that isn't part of a finished shape, you 'bomb' that piece. It disappears, and you get another go.
When a player completes all four different shapes, they win!
Neopets says you have to choose whether to bomb or build. Obviously if you don't build any shapes you can't win, but you will have to try to bomb if your opponent gets ahead.
Start by building a shape somewhere on the board. I would start with a rectangle, as it's the biggest shape with 10 pieces (all the rest have 8).
Basically you want aim to have at least two shapes completed before you start hitting your opponent's pieces. Therefore you need to guess where he is building, and build somewhere else. Most people seem to start in the corners, so the edges or the middle might be a good place to start.
I would keep building until you bomb or get bombed. Build the triangle next, then the circle, leaving the square to last because it's the smallest, and therefore easiest to fit in a small space.
Try to hedge your bets while building - have more than one shape in mind. Then if you hit one of your opponent's completed shapes you might be able to make a different shape using some of the pieces, e.g. in Example 1 on the left the line of 5 pieces could be a triangle in either direction.
If you bomb your opponent you have some choices:
If you've only just started a shape it might be best to try somewhere else.
If you've nearly finished a shape, you'll probably want to try and finish it. Complete the other pieces you need before trying that square again. Remember your opponent may be doing the same thing, or they may try to bomb your shape.
You can try and guess where the shape they are building is, and destroy it. This gets easier later in the game, when you have more idea which shape they are building and where they are building it.
The ideal is to bomb one of your opponent's shapes and still finish your own. If you are a shape ahead you're very likely to win.
If the worst happens to you, and you find yourself a shape down - don't despair:
You'll need to bomb your opponent's shape, else you will lose.
Try and work out where they might be building, and place shapes over the board. (See Examples 2 & 3)
If you bomb, then try to destroy your opponent's whole shape.
They might hit one of your pieces, which is almost as good.
Hedging your bets
Trying to bomb your opponent!
But to no avail!
Kacheekers is exactly like checkers or draughts. There are lots of guides on the net (type 'rules for checkers' into Google). Basically you win by taking all of your opponents pieces.
Tips: You can probably find better advice than I can give on the net, but anyway...
Aim to get a king (by moving your piece to the other end of the board) as soon as you can.
Don't move the pieces nearest you until you have to, to stop the other player getting a king.
Watch out for making moves where your opponent can take two of your pieces.
Exactly like Checkers!
I'd recommend practising the games a bit before entering a competition. As I said above you don't get any NP for winning, but it's still worth doing. It's best to invite a neofriend if you can, as in my experience you're unlikely to finish if you just host a game and play against someone you don't know - often they'll just disappear at some point. :^(
So how do Multiplayer Competitions work?
Every month a new competition starts. If you've entered, you get sent a neomail telling you who you are playing. You then have a week to try to win a game against that person. If you do, you go through to the quarter finals. Win that game, and you get a bronze trophy, and go through to the semi-finals in Week 3. Win the semis, and you get a silver trophy and a place in the final. Win the final in Week 4 to get the coveted gold trophy!
At the end of the month you'll also get the following NP rewards:
bronze trophy: 2,500 NP
silver trophy: 5,000 NP
gold trophy: 10,000 NP
In my opinion however, the games are only really worth playing for the trophies. There are far easier ways of getting 10,000 NP than by playing 4 multiplayer games!
So you want one of these trophies?
Well, read on to find out, but be prepared for a lot of frustration!
So how do I win?
Sometimes you can win by default. If your opponent doesn't move for 24 hours, a button appears, and you can send them a Move or Lose neomail. If they don't move for another 24 hours, then an I Win button appears which you can click on to win. Yay! It's quite common to be able to win the first round this way. If you are mega lucky you might even get the gold trophy without playing a single match - I did once!
However, generally you'll have to play the games if you want more than a bronze trophy. (If neither person wins a game then you both go out.) This is where it gets hard. Obviously you have to be good at the game (see the game guides). However the hardest part is finding a time to play your opponent. TNT seems to delight in giving you opponents who live on the other side of the world. Therefore they are probably playing neopets when you are in bed, or at school etc. A game often takes at least an hour, so both of you need to be logged on together for this amount of time.
So here's something to consider:
Winning Multiplayer Games needs a lot of time and flexibility.
i.e. unless you play neopets a lot, and can play at various different times of the day, you are unlikely to be able to win a gold trophy.
and another point:
Unless your opponent doesn't move, you can't win a multiplayer game by making 1 or 2 moves a day.
This is because you only have a week to play, and each game takes far more than 14 moves. So once your opponent has moved, you need to fix a time to play. The obvious way is by neomail. This may mean that someone has to get up at 3am (I have!) but at least you'll get to play.
If each of you is moving every day, then if you don't fix a time neither of you will progress to the next round, meaning you have both wasted your time.
Of course if you are under 12, you have a big problem - you can't use neomail. This makes sorting out a time to play almost impossible - personally I would wait until you are over 12.
So a few suggestions for successful and unstressful games:
Neomail the other person to try and fix a time.
Make sure your inbox isn't full!
If your opponent neomails you first, try and reply giving a possible time to play.
If you can't make the time you agreed, send a quick neomail to say so.
When playing, try to move as quickly as possible. If you have a slow connection, warn your opponent before you start.
If you are losing badly, then resign, rather than wasting time for both of you.
Thanks for reading my article. I hope it was helpful!
If you have any comments then please neomail me.