Stick 5-5 Answer





 I love this play for one reason and one reason only, I got it right OtB in a chouette where I had strong players disagreeing with my play.  I hate this play for one reason, Carter is a luckbox and my best play got punished.  I was the captain and I am long past the days where I'd make others' plays because one or more of them think they're right.  I didn't even roll out all the plays suggested to me, such as 20/15(2) 20/10.  A play like this is too loose.  Even though we're the ones with the stronger board that blot of ours on the 21pt causes some grief in the position.  It seemed like every other play I looked at left that weakness as a thorn in the side. 

20/15(2) 20/10 has the drawback of leaving three blots which are very exposed.  All sixes hit and escape, [11 22 44 55] point on the inner board blot freezing the other two blots along with [42 52 54].  There are even pick and pass numbers like [43 53] or the lamest of numbers like [21 31 41 51] which will still be used to put a checker in the air.  That's basically every number except 33 hitting a blot in some way, shape, or form.  The idea behind 20/15(2) 20/10 was to keep all checkers in play in hopes of completing the prime but since you'll be on the bar next turn that hope isn't real and depending how you're put on the bar next turn your game could be in real trouble.

Now we come to the safe plays, first 20/5 7/2.  The biggest drawback of this play is that it still leaves so many great shots for our opponent to bag this game.  All sixes are still excellent shots, there's still many many numbers that point on our inner board blot or pick and pass.  Depending how the next sequence also goes it may leave us a cracking number or two, 44 and maybe 33.  The blot count is down but the amount of great shots for our opponent is still too high, keep looking.

20/15(3) 7/2 is closer to being right than I would have thought pre-rollout.  The play puts our spare to the deep two point leaving only aces to roll it off onto our one point.  Sixes are still great for our opponent although now we have some outfield coverage and if the six comes two turns from now we're likely to have a lot more outfield coverage.  Our blot on the 21pt is still subject to attack even though this play doesn't leave all the blots lying around like the first play we considered did. 

The best play, 20/15(2) 6/1*(2) and why it's best … It leaves 3 blots like the first play but this time the blots aren't subject to direct attack.  There will be no pointing on the blots in the home board and there is but 61 as the fly shot.  It maintains good outfield coverage as only [61 62 66] will be immune direct shots if my opponent comes in immediately.  It also pulls back in the race since our opponent is favored to dance a time or two not advancing any checkers like the other variations.  The biggest drawback of this play is obviously giving up our 5 prime/chance at a 6 prime permanently.  We can still complete a closeout with a little luck but the bottom line I think is our best play in such an offensive position is a defensive move.



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