This post is another puzzle. The puzzle builds on the previous one that can be found in
if you haven’t done it you should do that one first because the solution is helpful for this challenge. The resources are still the same for the attacker with 4 cores and 8 bits.
The puzzle of this week is titled MVP filter. For each of the two scenarios there are two questions.
If you would be the attacker and had the ability to remove a single filter and then attack, which filter would you remove, and how would you then attack to maximize core damage. In other words: what is the current MVP filter of the defending structure?
If you would be the defender and you could add one filter before you are being attacked. What filter placement would minimize the worst-case attacking scenario, and what would that scenario be? In other words: what would be the MVP Filter placement?
If 4 questions is too many for you, you can pick your favorite question and try that first.
Good luck to all of you!
A question for feedback: I have no idea how challenging these puzzles are. When you guys give your solutions/best guesses, could you also indicate how difficult they where? Maybe time spend with respect to previous puzzles? I’m trying to balance out a learning curve by publishing about one puzzle per week, each time changing it up or making it slightly more difficult.
Maybe it would be fun to hand out a badge (or something) for the first person that posts the best answer when I publish the next challenge, so that the puzzles have actual deadlines. I don’t know how this would logically work though.
Here I can give only the second question to Aelgoo, however Aelgoo does not try to “minimize the worst case scenario”, but rather optimize a weighted average against enemy moves that Aelgoo thinks are the most likely.
For the first case, Aelgoo would add a filter at (11,18). It indeed defend very well against most attacks proposed in TTP2.
For the second case, Aelgoo would add a filter at (9,18). It may seem strange since it actually make things worse against Aelgoo’s own proposition for TTP2 (as well as the solution proposed by @Ryan_Draves). Aelgoo is aware of that but considers that this filter would be effective against some other attacks: for instance
8 pings coming from (21,7) would score a total of 4.93 instead of 8.
Aelgoo also want to remove the filter at (16,17).
I found that removing [9, 19] from the board enabled an escort attack that was roughly equivalent to that of my TPP#2 second scenario attack. Just eyballing it I’m going to place this at around 19 core value, with 3 of them being scores.
Assuming my original answer was the worst case that I needed to minimize, adding a filter to [10, 18] or [11, 19] gave enough of a buffer for the [10, 19] destructor (the first that gets in range of the EMPs) to stop the attack. Didn’t eyeball this one, but it looked like a reasonable minimum that stopped the attack from scoring.
This one was tricky, as most of the filters in my original answer were “free” damage and didn’t overly interfere with the attack. Removing [8, 19] though did enable some extra damage on the [16, 18] destructor, but most of it is mitigated by having one less filter to destroy. Looks like less than 1 more core of damage to me.
Assuming my original answer again, a filter at [12, 18] or [12, 19] repaths the escort to enable the [10, 19] destructor to hit the EMPs, stopping the attack as early as can be expected. Neither choice of [12, 18] or [12, 19] actually takes any damage, it just causes the pathing to change. Eyeballing this one, it looks like roughly ~8 core value of damage occurs, down from 19.
As for difficulty, I usually spent around an hour or two to come up with an answer and get it posted on the forums. Getting things setup on the Playground is probably the biggest part of that, otherwise it’s mostly just eyeballing guesses and making small tweaks to it. The first challenge was more mathematically/logically approachable, though, and was less guesswork and more thinking of this video and deriving game theory assumptions