Sumo Guide

Anything about how you get those awesome core-dumps, or why you don't get them...
Post Reply
Average Program
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:23 pm

Sumo Guide

Post by karas »

Soo, since this is about sumo in general I guess it fits here rather than in Team Strategy. This is my old guide for sumo. I initially wrote it for Phoenix back in the day and posted it in their private section. Because the clan died and more people are asking me for the guide, I guess posting it here is a good idea. I also have it in pdf if you want to have it offline for whatever reason, you can download the attachment.

First off, this is almost 2 years old and some things have changed. I can't talk about everything now but some few things : now I like a more aggressive style and I'm able to just focus on myself a lot more. In team sumo I usually have a good view of my zone (I use camera glance) and I see who can cut me or if I can safely expand. And I play much safer :) So here it is :

17 sept 2012

Just some ideas about sumo, and how I think of it. I'll divide this guide into 2 parts : General
Armagetron Guide (about arma in general) and the Sumo Guide (particular stuff on sumo)

1. General Armagetron Guide : In this part I will talk about general armagetron stuff, how I think
about game like this one. It's funny, I think most people are getting this part wrong, rather than the
sumo one. I saw some players that can be good at many arma styles so I'll be talking about that.

Flow - this is one of the most important ability in a game like this : going with the flow. It's also hard to
explain and do it, for the first time. The main trick here is to leave your unconscious take over the bike
and how to turn it, while your conscious is kept somewhere else (like what zone to get next, where is
more free space, what's safer to do etc ...). So what I do here is : I try to not think about turning as much
as possible and to do that I try to see the big picture and just think moves (not turns individually or how
my hands should press the keys) or I try to focus so hard on what I'm doing that I can't think of each
individual move. Another way of explaining this is that you must "feel" the bike, think of it like it's a
part of your body. Just like you move your hand, when you try to grab something for example. You
don't think about each finger, how to move it or how to contract your muscles in order to do it (your
unconscious takes care of that). You have the same feeling when you start riding a bicycle or the roller
blades : this is a general idea about games and there are many theories on how to do it best (you can
read this for example Some players just go
with the flow, without doing anything else, and they do pretty good (amazing sometimes ...). One thing
I try to do while following the flow is : when I turn / tunnel, I try to turn exactly at the middle distance
between the opposite wall and the closer to the screen one (without grinding the opposite one just to be
sure - this sometimes waste a lot of rubber and ends up killing me). However, this might fail sometimes
so, it's up to you.

One more thing about this : in most cases, the flow comes naturally, we were born with this ability, it
makes our life easier by helping us do complicated stuff without even thinking about them. I once saw
in a video how a dog catches a frisbee and if you were to do the jump, computing everything before
jumping (the speed, velocity, angle, how hard to jump ... etc) it's really hard and probably you won't
catch that frisbee after all :D. But a dog does it without even thinking ... following the flow. The same
happens with cats when they do those crazy jumps. Sadly I can't find that video anymore so I can't post
it here.

What might help you get in the flow zone easier : music, alcohol (it works for me :P but it greatly
reduces the focusing, so it's more like a trade off) ...

Focusing - This is another important general ability on games. You have to be able to focus on the
important things only and ignore everything that's irrelevant (details ...) to what you want to do. Now,
how I do it, when I play sumo and I try to win, I just focus on my moves and ignore what everyone else
is doing, chatting, and who is who. For me there's just my cycle, my space, my zone and some enemies
that I need to kill and they try to do the same with me. I don't even read their names when I see
someone near (although I remember their colors by accident), it's too much to focus on who he is, what
he is trying to do, what he is doing etc. The more you focus on what you do and what to do next in
order to survive the more you'll survive / win. I saw players that lose their focus by a lot, when
someone else is near them / their zone, thinking about what that player tries to do, watching his move
etc. So this is just what I do when I try to play really good, I don't even watch his moves, I just get
alerted if he's close to me / he steals my zone or he tries to kill me, and I find something to do quick (I'll
discuss this @ speed). Also, even if it seems like you will die, don't give up focusing (until after you
are dead) because something good might happen (and it happens a lot in empha sumo bar), for example
someone might die and his wall will disappear just when you need it, if you kept on focusing.

Speed - This is the speed at which you think / take decisions. This is again, important (like everything
else I discuss here :P). Sometimes I try to think fast even if I don't need it just to be in a fast rhythm, so
I can react fast later, and take a decision as fast. This is another problem I saw, it's not good to hesitate,
it will end up killing you. You have to be very determined when you decide something, and stick with it
even if it turns out to be a bad decision. Next time you'll take a better one (the faster you think / more
experienced you get the better your future decisions will be).

Simple, not Complicated (snc) - So you are in a big mess, a lot of walls around you, probably you
have to maze or to tunnel. Then, don't think about all the moves you have to do until you get out, at the
same time. That will probably take too long and memorizing all those moves will turn out in a failure.
You have to break big and complicated things into small chunks, that are very easy to do (like do a
double over there, then a triple and a single and I'm out). Also if you have to choose between doing a
rather complicated move to get out and a simple one, go with the simple one. Finding simple moves to
do your stuff it's a great ability, and it will make you survive more. And just focus on your moves, don't
rethink them everytime you turn.

You are pr0 - This is a problem for some players. When you watch some player doing some hard to do
tunneling / mazing / move you might think "wow, that's so hard, I can't do that". Well actually you can.
Always think you can do the move, if you don't think about the whole move (snc :D) and focus
permanently on what you are doing, not on anything else, you can do it (also, think fast in some cases).
Thinking you are weak and tiny is wrong, regarding everything you do. But that doesn't mean you
should treat others like being weak (might get you killed sometimes :P). Also, don't get upset if you
fail, it's really OK. Just don't give up after that, and think you can still do it.

I really wanted to show you this : (it really blew my mind the first time I saw it)

Feel - I just noticed that if I have a good feeling when I play tron (sometimes I feel very good just like
that and other times I feel like I'm doing a skydive and I have to let it go :P) I do much better (usually
winning). This has to do a bit with the flow, but it's not the same feeling really. I have to investigate this
a bit more.

So now I can say this : when I play tron I feel the bike, I am in a connection with it, while I focus on
what to do next (sometimes I visualize my next move before I do it), breaking it in small, simple and
easy-to-do chunks, waiting for something to happen (so my reaction will be fast), and taking a decision
very fast, no hesitation (this has something to do with the flow as well), knowing I can make it (even if
it seems impossible) preparing for my next move.

2. Sumo Guide- particular things about sumo, like strategy, playing it safe etc

Strategy - The general strategy in sumo is :
- if there are few players try to get a zone as close to the center as possible or even in the center, and
defend it (like a fort defense)
- if you find it hard to defend it, remember : simple is better than complicated; don't try some
complicated maze, you'll probably die; try simple things that you know you can do (like triple binding
- sometimes i find the most effective way to camp is to close the zone you are defending first, and then
spiraling inside it (more little spirals, not just a big one in which you get a huge speed and die)
- if there are too many players going in the middle is very hard (lag and every player is squeezing your
zone) so first try to get a zone with a decent size on the edge and defend it; keep an open eye on the
middle and try to get little pieces from it, every time you go near the center zone; if enough players die
and the lag is almost gone, try to get as much as you can from the center and do as before
- if it's a team sumo, then I think one of your teammates should be the main defense, and others should
attack; every time an attacker gets a zone near the main defense, he should go outside the defense and
make sure he gets both zones to defend as one now; being an attacker is very easy, you just have to
watch if someone tunnels and close him or just try to steal a zone when the defender is not paying
- now in friendly sumo games, I don't close because if I am the guy tunneling and the other player
doesn't close me and I make it alive, I feel so awesome and I want everybody to feel this way too :P

It's really cool that since I've started writing this, I realized that I play in so many different ways. It's
nice to visualize all this and be able to make something out of it ...


Now I think I was a bit drunk when I wrote all of this, but it's cool nevertheless. Hope it might helps some players :)
(42 KiB) Downloaded 124 times

User avatar
Match Winner
Posts: 600
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:34 pm

Re: Sumo Guide

Post by takburger »

That Alan Kay video is so nice. Thx.

Thx also for the guide. I indeed play better when I don't think :)

Match Winner
Posts: 744
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 12:36 am
Location: England, UK

Re: Sumo Guide

Post by Monkey »

Thanks for this, I can relate to some of it for sure.
Playing since December 2006

Post Reply