I am trying to play bullet with draughts, but I think it is a bit too fast. Even if you are winning you often don't have the time to finish it and it is more a tactic of playing fast and win by flagging your opponent. I think even a little help with the clock would help a lot. Like 1+1 or 1.5+0.
And maybe the way you input moves could be improved as well, but that's something I will probably mention again in the future.
If you do not like bullet, you can play under slower time controls. I think there are players here who can make 150 moves in 15 seconds. See for example @penguingim1.
Hmmm... but what about the way moves are inputted?
I have used draughts GUIs that have a more easier way. It as follows:
A piece sometimes has only one way to go to. If you click on that piece it will move in the way it can only go to. (Instead of moving by two clicks.)
Same principle can be applied to squares. If you can only go to a single square by one piece, and you click on that square. That piece goes to that square.
If you don't want to break the current behavior you can also just give this as an extra feature by a double-click.
Also capturing multiple pieces in a single move can be quite time-consuming. It would be nice if a forced capture can just be automated someway, or activated by double-clicking the piece you want to do the whole multicapture with.
Being able to move the pieces quickly, having the dexterity to quickly input a sequence of captures, is part of the skill in bullet. To be a strong bullet player you don't only have to make good moves in little time, but also be able to move the pieces quickly (pre-move technique, anticipation, etc).
Being able to automatically input (multiple) captures or forced moves just by clicking a piece would more or less remove this layer of skill from the game. The same would be true of adding it as an optional feature: instead of having to practice, slower players become instantly (and artificially?) a lot better by just enabling that setting.
I'd say it's just a fact of life: the faster the time-control, the more speed-related skills become a factor.
Now that I think of it, there was no place before lidraughts (that I know of at least) with a good interface for such fast play in draughts (that is with pre-moves, dragging the piece before your opponent has moved, etc). That makes it probably easier and more intuitive for players who also have a chess-background, and are already familiar with the interface of lichess (or e.g. chess.com).
There are a couple of basic things you can do to play much faster, which I will list for those that may not know them yet:
- Always anticipate trades and premove them, as trades are 'safe' premoves (the premove simply won't happen unless the opponent enters the trade, so no risk/gamble)
- If it is not safe to premove, but you do anticipate you will play one move in most cases, you can drag the piece already and hold it over the target square while your opponent is thinking. You can then immediately release the piece if your opponent plays the right move, and if not just place it back and move something else.
- During multiple captures the interface keeps the piece selected that you are capturing with. This means you can just click all the target square one by one, which is usually much faster than dragging and dropping the piece multiple times. If you anticipate multiple captures to happen, it would be even faster to premove the first capture, and hover your mouse over the next square you would jump to: as soon as the premove has played you click that square (and after any next square after that etc..), this way you can play long sequences in no time!
I'm sure there are much more things, but a general advice that always holds true, is that anticipation is key. In the words of the immortal speed-demon @penguingim1, good anticipation skills are more important than a fast mouse (think ultrabullet). There is no way to play faster than already knowing the reply before your opponent has moved!
"Being able to automatically input (multiple) captures or forced moves just by clicking a piece would more or less remove this layer of skill from the game. The same would be true of adding it as an optional feature: instead of having to practice, slower players become instantly (and artificially?) a lot better by just enabling that setting."
I'm still not really buying this :) By being able to move with a single click everyone becomes faster, not just the currently slow players. You'd still benefit by premoving and by anticipating what your opponent's moves will be. And imagine how insane spectating a (hyper)bullet game would be if players could move even faster than they currently can.
And not only would this make it easier to play games, you'd also benefit from it in analysis, puzzles, studies, etc.
I'd love to hear more people's opinions on this.
I totally agree with Tim. The players have the same conditions and it's still important to be agile.
Personally, I do not mind the current settings, but as Tim points out it would benefit all players (in some way). On the downside, auto-capture cause players who are still learning the game a headache, as they would be gazing at the screen trying to figure how exactly the capture went. Now, what I want to add to this is (in my opinion) that the auto-capture should NOT be implemented in frisian, as the capture in frisian is a lot less clear and would give starting players an advantage.
I would prefer to make auto capture optional for all variants and time controls. I can turn it off for slow games just for fun. I am also learning Frisian. I finally beat a 1900+ player. Many thanks to the great teacher @bumperballooncars !
I think the only question is: make autocapture an option or not.
If you would implement the option:
The basic starting settings on the website should be slow captures in animation, all captures must be done completely etc.
I actually don't forsee many problems for beginner players in that sense. But it's not something to take lightly.
Even for more experienced players it's still hard to see a king's majority capture of 5 over 4 pieces.
The argument of just having the option is a obviously a good one.
The counterargument is:
When playing fast games, with that option, you simply must play it with autocapture, otherwise it's a very big disadvantage. This changes the whole dynamic of the faster time controls (even 3+0 and 5+0). Do we want that?
I still tend not to, because:
- It's part of the game normally
- (With that) I'm sceptical about the other dynamics, other timemanagement,
- The current way of capturing works fine for me, even 1/2+0. I believe it's comparable to ultrabullet on lichess.org. Grandmasters don't even autoqueen sometimes in 1/4+0! You can play normal games.
- I like the skill currently needed.
- You should allow autocapture on every variant, because all the same arguments apply. I dislike it more for the other variants.
- It's a very strange idea to be able to move something in a game without even knowing what will happen. Now you must see what you have to do. In my opinion that's important from the learning perspective and the real draughts experience.