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 Jedi Primer, A compilation of my observations

Equanimity
post Aug 6 2003, 08:16 AM
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In the posts below, I will try to describe the techniques and strategies which I have found particularly useful in saber dueling. Please feel free to make your own additions and comments.


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Equanimity

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Equanimity
post Aug 6 2003, 09:17 AM
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The Jedi Mindset

Respect - Always respect your opponent. Even if you privately detest or despise him, respect him as an opponent. As soon as you feel above your opponent, you are bound to make careless errors which will be your demise. Which, incidentally, would only add to your frustration.

Confidence - If you approach a duel, already intimidated by your opponent, you have doomed yourself to fail. Your fear will show through your movements and, if your opponent is skilled, he will capitalize on it and demolish you. Having confidence is extremely important when you are low on health and you have barely touched your opponent. Chances are, if you play defensively, it is only a matter of time before he lands another hit and you are history. Sometimes, it is better to be bold and commit to the audacious counter-attack, or the risky Death-From-Above attack (DFA), which is hard to do when intimidated.

Creativity - Never forget that another human is is controlling that character on your screen. Thus, never underestimate his ability to adapt to your strategy and create new tactics against you. If you use the same strategy over and over, you will likely find that any edge you may have had, will slowly disappear. Be creative, be capricious, be random. Just when your opponent thinks he's figured you out, do something completely unexpected.

Equanimity - Try not to let your opponent unsettle you. If you can stay calm and objective during a duel, you will make many less blunders than if you were fighting out of anger, frustration, intimidation, or any other emotion. This mindset is the most challenging to achieve, especially against wily opponents who find creative and subtle ways to get under your skin.

Patience - Do not hesitate to use time and timing to your advantage in a duel. If your opponent is hurried, then take your time. If he likes to ponder his next attack, overwhelm him with a flurry of calculated swings. A most common error, observable even among the most experienced duelists, is committing to an attack that you know is disadvantageous, just to expedite the outcome of a battle. This is a fatal error, and should be avoided at all costs.


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Equanimity

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JayBaen
post Aug 6 2003, 09:42 AM
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Extremely well stated EQ.

Although I agree with every bit of it, I will reinforce the Confidence note (which blends with Equanimity for me).

The amount of times I have been at less than 10 HP and won solely because my opponent had no idea that I was sufferring is uncountable. Confidence. Maintaining your game regardless of your health IS the secret of secrets.

One way that is not so obvious, often forgotten and I was the recipient of yesterday on many occasions from the (still) Mighty Tyrannus is the ability to "stay the course" during a combo while you are getting pummeled. He beat me several times simply because he didn't give up on his move as I was hitting him. Continuing Red crushing sets of blows as he sees my notorious Lemon coming, not being shy of it and taking me out anyway. Well done Tryannus. Confidence. It is what made you the player you were and sharpens your skill ever so quickly after a hiatus now.

I'm priveleged to play with all of you. You make me become the player I want to be.

JB


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Yellow Is Golden

DelphiGT

"There's nothing in this universe that can't be explained. Eventually." -- House, M.D.
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Tyrannus
post Aug 6 2003, 12:23 PM
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Now that I'm done crying from reading Jay's statements, I think I can form some words instead of babbling like a school-girl. This goes along with most of what has been said already, but points should be stressed.

First off, you should really understand the moves of this game. How to work them, how to perform them, et cetera. Get very used to them, so they are instinctive, like blocking a punch thrown at you (for any fighter, anyhow). That way, when you see an opening, you'll take it. And fast! For you are toned and ready for it. Confidence. Yes, that is very important. The second your opponent sees that you are playing a little more defensive, he'll know your fear. He can smell and taste it, and it is only a matter of a couple swipes to take you down. You don't want that to happen.. so, my suggestion is maintain your "game" all the way through the fight. Make sure you don't falter in strategy, or else your downfall it will be.

Now, onto what Jay said. If you care to try and keep your move set, like I do, then you must keep this in mind: it is certain suicide for those unpracticed in the art. You have to know what you're doing to make this very effective. This isn't so hard, though. Just make sure you have a lot of health when trying this, for you will lose health. Maybe lots of it, depending on what the opponent does. But, if done effectively, you will take off what you wanted, and maybe even end the match. I don't try to do this so often, trying to maintain the "keep it random" plan, but I find this very effective, and therefore necessary at times.

Now, seeing as I realize you must be feeling your eyelids getting ever-so heavy by the second, I will bring this "riff-raff" to a close. I hope that somewhere in this rambling there was a grain of insight, otherwise it's just old-man gibberish. One of those tales that trails off into nothingness, and you have to sit there, listening, until he stops. Anywho.. until I crush you on the server, heed my advice. laugh.gif


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Tyrannus - Master of wit, and quite deadly with a saber. Truly a wonder.. or so the "Legend" goes..
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Equanimity
post Aug 6 2003, 02:09 PM
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The Jedi Stances

Red - Here is the mainstay stance of most duelists. With wide sweeping swings and devastating overhead attacks, two good hits with red stance will leave you dead. There are three main advantages to using the red stance. Firstly, it has the largest range of any stance, and is useful in keeping enemies at bay. Secondly, when properly used, it can really deal a large amount of damage to your opponent in a short encounter. Finally, the sheer intimidation factor of the red stance is upsetting to many opponents and can seriously throw off their strategy.

There are equally some disadvantages which need to be heeded carefully. Red stance suffers from a significant recovery time after the last swing. This is especially true after executing a three-swing combination (more on this in "Combination Attacks"), when your opponent knows as a certainty that you cannot swing for another one second. If you don't take appropriate defensive measures, the recovery time could well be the end of you. Another setback of the red stance is the speed of your attack. It is painfully slow. Thus, you must make your every swing count, either by making contact, or fending off your opponent. Learn to time your attacks so your swing will not be parried.

Red stance is also home to the most temptingly lethal attack, and thus, also the most common blunder of many people. The red stance special attack has the ability to kill an opponent with 100 health/100 shields if it strikes cleanly. Yet the recovery time is painfully slow, and leaves plenty of time for a skilled opponent to seriously injure you with relatively no risk to himself.

Blue - The riposte stance. With quick, jabbing hits, blue stance is useful in counter-attacks and attacks of opportunity generated by your opponent's recovery time. Mastery of blue stance requires patience and accuracy. Because of the short range of the blue stance, you need to position yourself just out of range, so you can step in and capitalize on your opponent's recovery. Be careful not to attack of so long that you get caught in your enemy's next attack, for then, any advantage you gain could well be lost. A final note on the blue stance. There is no enforced recovery time when using this stance. This gives rise to the possibility of chaining an infinite number of combination attacks.

Blue stance gives you the ability to perform two extremely useful special attacks. The first is the lunge, which can be performed from a crouching, or an upright position. These are generally useful after your opponent has executed a DFA attack, or when he is running heedlessly towards you. Watch out for these attacks: when performed well, it is hard to see them coming.

The second attack in blue stance is the flying backstab. The basic backstab itself requires extreme accuracy and is generally not worthwhile to attempt in a duel. However, because the flying backstab is capable of dealing 60 damage on a clean hit, it could be a devastating addition to the repertoire of strong duelists. Please note that the flying backstab requires extremely accurate spacial awareness, and is not a good idea for everyone.

Yellow Stance - The versatile stance. Yellow stance takes the best from both red and blue stances to create a unique and extremely lethal stance for the clever duelist. Yellow stance attacks are much swifter than red stance attacks, but do more damage than blue stance attacks. Yellow stance can be used both as a primary offensive and as attacks of opportunity. The thing to remember is that yellow stance affords you the possibility of chaining up to four combination attacks. Because of the higher damage dealt by yellow stance, even two clean hits can win you a duel. Still, this stance requires the most creative footwork and is probably the most challenging to master.

The yellow stance special attack is the yellow DFA. This is by far the safest and most devastating special attack when performed well. It is an aerial attack, which gives you both initiative and a better chance at hitting your opponent. Best of all, if you can parry incoming attacks from your recovery position. This is the true finisher, because it does not require any telltale movements before its execution. The key to mastering the recovery is to recall that you can rotate once you land. If you manage to parry your opponent's attack, you can immediately follow-up with four chained hits, which effectively ends the battle.


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Equanimity

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Equanimity
post Aug 6 2003, 08:00 PM
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Combination Attacks

Red - The execution of a red stance combination attack is simple. Just remember that you must chain attacks which are 45 degrees away from your previous attack. For example, you can swing forward and then forward+right, but not forward followed by right. You can also chain two of the same attacks at the start of your combination. For example, you could chain forward, forward, forward+left. You can also revert back to your original attack at the end of a combination. For example, you could chain forward, forward+right, forward. Each combination has its own personality. You must be familiar with each in order to use them effectively.

For example, while approaching your opponent, you might consider this combination: right, forward+right, forward. The range starts from long (as you are farthest from your enemy) and ends with a short ranged, but devastating overhead swing. You might try the reverse when you are trying to distance yourself from your opponent. Be wary of how you are forced to move as a result of your combination attacks. Unless you toggle walking, you are likely to make a distinct pattern of movement of which you must be aware. It will determine what sorts of attacks you expose yourself to after your series of swings. It also determines your position relative to your opponent. If you are aware of how you move as you execute a combination attack, you can plan both your escape route as well as your next offensive.

Yellow and Blue In addition to the 45 degree attacks available in red, yellow and blue stances lend you the flexibility of all the permutations you can think of. Most notably, the side to side swipes can be a dangerous attack. Many people are also fond of the forward+left, forward+right, forward+left, forward+right combination. This is a high risk attack to use against an opponent in red stance, but is lethal during an attack of opportunity.

Special Combinations - There are some highly effective combinations involving the special moves in each stance. While you can experiment with each one, here are a few particularly useful ones: 1) red stance DFA followed by the blue stance lunge or backstab, depending on your opponent's location; 2) yellow stance DFA followed by the blue stance lunge; and finally, 3) the red stance DFA followed by the yellow stance DFA followed by the blue stance lunge.


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Equanimity

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JayBaen
post Aug 6 2003, 10:34 PM
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I will only add to your Yellow stance thoughts as I am a decidedly Yellow player.

Most people would agree that yellow falls "somewhere in the middle" of both stances, I give it more credit than that. I have found that if you can avoid your opponents Red combinations, Yellow, with its combos, is the most lethal of all stances. It's recovery time is quick enough to not get you caught in too many precarious positions and its swings are strong enough to deal some serious damage.

I consistently swing combinations of 4 moves in Yellow, with many variations. One good combo set and your opponent is almost gone. Unlike the Red combos that one must start well in advance of approaching your opponent, Yellow leaves a certain element of surprise in it's execution.

Switching that up with some Red combos to draw your opponent in (yes, I said, in), followed by a series of Yellows will absolutely prove lethal.

It's quick and relatively heavy. Master Yellow and you have quite a game.

JB


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Yellow Is Golden

DelphiGT

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Kyzene
post Aug 7 2003, 06:31 PM
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wow....i guess i never put this much thought into this...i guess i could ramble for a while though...

just thinking....about red stance, you dont necessarily have to start very far away from your opponent you start right after they start (for example a yellow or blue combo) and just swing with a right or left swing and if you do it right you could just like....plow thru their combo....

also, what better to counter the blue upper but with a red over-head? ive noticed that most players dont think as much as they should.....but if you time it right and they attack youll just knock their attack outta the way and hit them....

one more thing.......some of the red combos, i think that if you use a well balanced combo, like if your opponent is dodging or far or somethin like that you prolly should use a combo with more wide/diagonal swings, or if they are close....you might want to use more vertical swings..

Now, these are just....my thoughts.....so i guess you could use them.....but they might not work...just trying to sound like i know what im tlaking about biggrin.gif

Ky


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InfiniteWarrior
post Aug 8 2003, 10:04 PM
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QUOTE(JayBaen @ Aug 6 2003, 10:34 PM)
I have found that if you can avoid your opponents Red combinations, Yellow, with its combos, is the most lethal of all stances.  It's recovery time is quick enough to not get you caught in too many precarious positions and its swings are strong enough to deal some serious damage.

Amen, Brother. sad.gif dry.gif mad.gif

Of all the specials, the yellow is indeed both the hardest to both pull off and to avoid. A quick side roll is the way to go, followed by a blue, turn-sweep combo -- if you can swing it. But you have to be ready for it at all times, which is not as easy as it sounds.

I would like point out, however, that there are many ways to begin a red combination while close to your opponent. It is indeed slow, but the swing can begin in the air, on the ground, or anywhere else you choose to be - such as behind a red DFA. Sweep is not always the best choice in that situation. If you're close, you have plenty of time to pull of at least 2 red swipes of your own. But, if you're far away, running in to sweep is definitely the way to go.

You RJs appear to have mastered the ability to abort a lemon as soon as its started, which is something I have never seen anywhere else. Most impressive. I cannot rest until I know the secret. biggrin.gif

Just a few thoughts from a (very) battle-scarred Padawan. It's players of a (slightly wink.gif) higher caliber that are keeping me in this game.
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JayBaen
post Aug 9 2003, 11:19 AM
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QUOTE(Infinite Warrior @ Aug 8 2003, 10:04 PM.)
You RJs appear to have mastered the ability to abort a lemon as soon as its started, which is something I have never seen anywhere else. Most impressive. I cannot rest until I know the secret.


Honestly, I wish we didn't/couldn't do it. It's appears to be a bug with the lack of a Slot 0 player in all JK2 flavors (not just JAMod). If we add a Bot to run around as Slot 0, we are never able to get out of the yellow DFA (of course, we lose a slot on the server). We're tyring to figure out the best of both worlds with this as having a normal player on Slot 0 private causes all sorts of other strange anomalies.

We have found half a solution recently. We'll keep you updated.

JB


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Yellow Is Golden

DelphiGT

"There's nothing in this universe that can't be explained. Eventually." -- House, M.D.
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InfiniteWarrior
post Aug 9 2003, 12:20 PM
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If that's a bug, it's a happy one that no one else is exploiting. biggrin.gif The others you speak of I have experienced elsewhere and those are a pain. (I've been defeated by someone just jumping up and down in front of me to push me back during an attack - the "hiccup" bug. lol) Aborting the yellow special, otoh, is a challenging glitch, methinks. Makes things more interesting.

Wonder if you could hold on to that one while eliminating the rest? biggrin.gif
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Equanimity
post Aug 11 2003, 03:01 PM
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The Art of Defense

The ability to protect yourself from your opponent is of paramount importance to any duelist. However, one cannot achieve victory with defense alone.

An often ignored piece of information (due to its banality) is the fact that both duelists begin with the same amount of health and shields. Think of these numbers in terms of risk allowance. Thus, the key is to understand that the purpose of defense is nothing more than to gain/preserve a larger risk allowance than your opponent. This may seem an odd way of characterizing health and shields, but consider the following analysis of what happens in a duel.

Regardless of a duelist's style, the goal at the start of the duel is to strike your opponent without being struck or to strike your opponent harder than he strikes you. If this is successfully accomplished, what you achieve is a greater allowance to execute risky strategies. Say you are left with 95 health after the encounter, and you surmise that your opponent is left with approximately 50 health. There are a number of ways to win the duel at this point. Two lunges, four slashes in blue stance, two slashes in yellow stance, one overhead in red stance will all win you the duel. What is meant by risk allowance is that you have the flexibility to launch into a salvo of three red stance swings ending in an overhead, which you might not be willing to try if you knew you were left with 18 health and could be killed with a quick lunge. With 95 health, you don't care if you get hit with a lunge, because you have enough to survive it.

Then, there comes a point where risk allowance is meaningless. If you have 2 health left, and your opponent can kill you by rolling into you twice, you may attempt to end the duel with a "do-or-die" attack. This often comes in the form of a red stance DFA. As a duelist, you must be extremely wary of those opponents who have nothing to lose, for they may try anything conceivable in a last ditch effort towards victory.

All that being a roundabout way of describing the purpose of defense, there are five main ways of defending yourself in a duel.

Parrying - The simplest, but least often used method to defend against an attack is to parry the attack. The reason it is the least often used is that most duelists fear that the parry will fail and damage will be needlessly taken. The way to overcome this fear is to spend a few days allowing opponents to attack you with your saber drawn. Once you understand the dynamics of parrying, you will feel much more confident about it. Parrying deserves special mention because it also gives rise to the opportunity for a counter-stroke (refer to the upcoming section on "Counter-Strokes" for more details).

Horizontal Plane - When completely out of your opponent's range, you cannot take damage from them. Therefore, defending against an attack is as simple as sidestepping, retreating, or rolling away. Often overlooked in this scenario, is actually moving toward your opponent, before the attack is actually completed. Often, this maneuver gives you the upperhand in the following attack.

Vertical Plane - The other way to evade an attack is to simply jump out of the way. By adding a third dimension to the duel, you give yourself much greater space within which to operate. If you jump far above your opponent, not only do you gain time to plan your next assault, but your opponent also loses sight of you momentarily. This can often give you the opportunity to devastate the enemy with an aerial attack. If you do a quick hop over your opponent, suddenly, you are now behind him, and you have the strategic upperhand.

Reversal - The two aforementioned techniques involve you moving to avoid your enemy. This third technique involves you moving the enemy. If you kick your opponent right as he is attacking, you can completely halt or nullify the effect of his attack. Furthermore, the kick stuns your opponent for a split second, which can be used for an attack of opportunity.

The Last Defense - Sometimes, defense is not preferable. In certain situations, either for surprise, strategy, or necessity, the best defense is to ignore your opponent's attack and counter with your own. Most people don't expect to be the object of an assault while carrying out their own attack. Counter-attacks can lead to extremely fast duels, especially if your opponent had the same thing in mind. It is easy to get caught in a furious attack/counter-attack battle, but you need to keep your eye on your health bar to make sure you're actually coming out ahead. Don't fall for the sunk cost fallacy: just because you've lost all but 10 health trying to execute an attack, don't lose the other 10 trying to finish what you started, unless you are sure it will benefit you. 10 health always gives you more maneuvering room than if you are dead.


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Equanimity
post Aug 11 2003, 07:17 PM
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Counter-Strokes

Here is a subtle part of each duel which many duelists pass off as being an uncontrollable part of the game, when, in fact, it is not a random occurrence at all.

When you parry an opponent's attack, both clashing sabers will flinch characteristically. That flinch is a signal that a counter-stroke is possible. In order to execute a counter-stroke, simply tap lightly on the attack button. This requires some amount of previous practice and a good deal of excellent timing, because you must tap it almost the instant the saber flinches.

The damage dealt by the counter-stroke is a function of the stance you are using. Blue counter-strokes deal up to 15 damage. Yellow counter-strokes up to 60. Red counter-strokes can inflict a whopping 100 damage. When using the different stances, be mindful of your opponent's stance and range as well. If you parry an opponent's red stance swipe while in yellow stance, you need to actively move forward while performing the counter-stroke, otherwise you will be out of range.

Counter-strokes require a significant amount of timing and is definitely a powerful addition to the repertoire of finesse fighters.


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Equanimity

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Equanimity
post Aug 11 2003, 07:26 PM
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Saber-Locks

Inevitably, every duelist will find himself in a saber-lock. This occurs when both fighters swing an attack at the other simultaneously and the swing trajectories are such that the sabers meet somewhere in the middle. A saber-lock will then ensue, in which both parties should try to win the lock, in which case the other person is thrown to the ground.

Many duelists impose on themselves a strict code of honor, which forbids striking a fallen opponent. Thus, they will merely retreat and give the fallen opponent a chance to rise to his feet.

The technique of winning a saber-lock is very simple. It invovlves the repeated pressing of the following three keys as fast as your fingers will allow: attack, force-push, move forward. Some duelists believe that alternating these three keys instead of mashing them simultaneously produces a stronger effect, but this has yet to be proven or disproven.


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Equanimity
post Aug 12 2003, 10:54 AM
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Footwork

This part of the duel is often taken for granted, yet strategically, it is a most valuable tool. It can gain you initiative and often lure your opponent into making tactical errors. The objectives of footwork can be reduced to three categories: positioning, feinting and stalling.

Positioning - An obvious goal of every duel is to gain a stronger attack position than your enemy. This can be accomplished by masterful footwork. Circling around your opponent, or strafing from side to side, but slowly inching closer can be extremely effective. After all, if you can attack from behind, your opponent has drastically fewer options than if you engaged in a frontal attack. Similarly, if your opponent believes he is out of range, but your movements have slowly brought you within range, you can sneak in a first attack with relatively little risk.

Feinting - Deceiving your opponent is an excellent way to gain the upperhand. A large amount of duel time is spent reading your opponent's body language, trying to decipher his intentions from the way he moves. By taking control of your footwork, you can actively mislead your opponent into predicting your next attack. In this situation, you now have the advantage, because you can guess his likely response. For example, if you start to move backwards, your opponent will likely advance, wanting to capitalize on your display of weakness. Armed with this knowledge, you can now abruptly reverse your course, and slash forwards, right into your unsuspecting foe. (Incidentally, this wily maneuver was developed by our very own Ruggiero and has earned the appellation of 'Ye olde Rodian stutterstep.' Cheers, Ruggiero.)

Stalling - Constant footwork results in your opponent having to pause and evaluate your next move. Done continuously, this is a great way to bide your time in a duel, especially if you are low on health and are looking for an attack of opportunity. Such stalling can also frustrate an impatient opponent.


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