Whirlyburly: Lesson 3
Let’s Capture Those Pawns!

Are you new to Whirlyburly? You can look at James’ introductory guide of the game. In addition, we have the following lessons for you to read:

In this third lesson we will look at the three different pawns you’re using in the Whirlyburly game. First of all, I call them pawns, KI calls them pieces. I find pawns a more suitable name and this is MY lesson so I get to decide, right?

Your Pawns

The game comes with three pawns: a Hunter (H), a Scrapper (C) and a Charger (S). They each act slightly different from each other in certain situations. The Hunter looks like a girl, the Scrapper like a boy and the Charger is a robot. Their names may elude you for the time being, but that’s okay. You will remember their names eventually. For now, remember what they look like will get you far enough.

whirlyburly pawns capturing

Capturing Pawns

“Capturing” means that your pawn steps on a hexagon that’s currently occupied by another pawn. Not just any pawn though! If you try to capture the wrong pawn, you bump them instead. We will look into bufotomping in a later lesson. Today we just want those three points you can get for capturing pawns! The most important mechanic you need to know about with these pawns is who can capture who.

Who Can Capture Who

This is a rock-paper-scissors kind of game, where:

  • Hunter beats Scrapper,
  • Scrapper beats Charger and
  • Charger beats Hunter.

Confusing right, when you hardly remember who is who? Luckily there is the small triangle on the field when you’re playing. Still, the triangle only makes sense when you understand what it means. I feel a little silly about presenting the following concept to help you remember who captures who, but here we go… For me, the easiest way to remember who can capture who is this:

  • girls want to capture boys (to kiss them perhaps?)
  • boys like to capture robots (to play with)
  • robots like to attack girls (because robots are evil)

It does sound a little childish, doesn’t it? Still, you have to admit there’s a certain logic to it. If it works for you as it works for me, why not use it!

The Importance of Capturing Pawns

First, capturing pawns is important because it’ll give you three points. Those points are yours to keep; unlike the hexagons. You can easily lose a bunch of hexagons when your opponent starts using C-cards on Chargers and barges into your territory. In contrast, the points you get from capturing a pawn are with you till the end of the game.

In addition, a captured pawn will be sent back to its home base. This is super beneficial to you because their home base is most probably filled with mostly hexagons of their own color already (because that’s where you start). If there are only hexagons of their own color there, they will need to use several turns to get back to where there are hexagons of a DIFFERENT color. These games are quite short, so losing two rounds hurts.

whirlyburly pawns capturing
HURTS to get sent back to your home base!

See in the image above how annoying it can be when all your pawns are sent back to their base in the same round, argh! Needless to say, I didn’t win this game.

Get Your Priorities Straight

When you first start playing, I can imagine your focus is mainly on capturing hexagons. After all, they’re the most visible on the field and you can easily see who is where due to the bright colors. Maybe in addition, you also make an effort to get to chests and gain the 10 points you can get from them. However, I don’t think most new players focus very much on capturing pawns. This is probably partly the case because the rock-paper-scissors aspect is confusing.

Now that we’ve gotten this far in our lessons, however, you should be paying more attention to capturing pawns than you did before. This shouldn’t be your MAIN priority — that’s definitely still the chests. However, when given the choice between turning a bunch of hexagons your color OR capture a pawn, you should choose the pawn.

Avoid Getting Sent Back to Your Base

While you want to capture your oppponents’ pawns, you of course want to keep YOUR pawns from being captured. I’ve played Whirlyburly about a hundred times by now, but I’m still having trouble taking into consideration which moves are likely to have me sent back to my home base.

I imagine that this would be especially important when playing real players rather than the computer. I sadly haven’t had the chance yet to play against real people! I imagine beating the computer would be much easier than facing an experienced Whirlyburlier.

Pop quiz!


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