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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Gathering, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 72 > Articles > Meristones - Beating the Cheater

Meristones - Beating the Cheater

by zeekslider

MERIDELL CASTLE - Despite the war that was going on, I have been a regular visitor to my new favourite game Meristones. Being quite familar with the game's origin (my mother taught me how since she played it when she was a child), I thought that this game would be easy even on the hard setting!

Boy, was I wrong.

As you no doubt have found out, the Draik running Meristones cheats. His constent and random attempts to break the rules in his favor with is ability to steal as many stones as he wants or to play a cup with zero stones are some of the reason I joined Darigan when I had the chance! However, I have found a way around this during the war! That's right, while I waited for the Water Faerie's magic to replenish to heal my NeoPet, I still played Meristones despite the Draiks snarling when we play. And he has a right to be grumpy, too. Each day now, I'm able to clean him out of 1,000 NP no matter how hard he tries to cheat!

How did I do it? Here's my secret.

Always play with 5 stones per cup and on Hard! Yes, while this may make some of you players sick to your stomach at the shear thought of Draik being able to steal 20 stones from one cup, this is the only way he'll fork over the most NP. Why? Cause his ego gets really bloated to where he can get careless with his money.

From the start, throw all your stones at him! No, that doesn't mean that you should physically pick up all 30 stones and chuck them in Draik direction in an attempt to get back at him for stealing the 15 NP from the last game at you like my game-loving Shoyru though. I'll admit, it was funny. What I mean is that from the get-go, give him as many of your stones as you can. I bet you are probibly saying right now, "Zeek!! Are you insane?! The object of the game is to keep all your stones, not give them away!" Here's why...

DON'T PILE UP ALL YOUR STONES IN A SINGLE CUP!! If you collect all your stones in one or two cups, you'll regret it heavily. Not only are you asking for Draik to cheat, but you'll run out of moves fast if you keep relying on those one- and two-stone moves. Picture this, if you will. You've collected about 20 stones in a cup on your side, and Draik has only one move left after his last turn that would cause him to lose. Good deal for you, right? Think the game is in your pocket? At first, but then you see that your only move is to pick up all 20 of those stones you have collected because you don't have any other stones to play left! So much for your fast win. However...

If you have to pile up your stones in a single cup, don't do it in the last cup on your side near your Home Cup!! The main reason is much like the same in the senario up above. That's just screaming that you don't want to win! Here's an example. You're about to win becasue Draik only has one stone left and his last move is to put it in his home cup. With the current standing score, the only reason you'd win is because you have all these stones collected into cup 6 on your side. It's your turn. You don't have any other small one- or two-stone moves and are forced to take those stones that gave you the lead and give all but one to Draik. If you have more than 8 stones in your last cup, that shouldn't really bother you... untill Draik steals those stones. If you have less than 8, guess what? You lost!

Try to get into your Home Cup as many times as you can in your turn! Combos are your friends. What are combos? Well, simply put, they are a series of moves that net you multiple points! How do you get them in Meristones? By repeatedly dropping your last stone in your Home Cup. If you can, set up as many combos as you can. The best combos are the ones that are easy to set up and obvious when you just glance at it. My Kougra has found out that if you are somehow able to get 6 stones in cup 1; 5 stones in cup 2; 4 stones in cup 3; 3 stones in cup 4; 2 stones in cup 5; and 1 stone in cup 6, you'll have the ideal combo! When I asked how many points it would net him before Draik's turn comes up, he got a headache, but it looks like you'll get a lot. Also, it should be noted that the combo bonus doesn't start until you drop your third stone into your home cup. For ever successful combo you pull off, you can get anywhere from 2 times the normal score to even 10 times!

Do onto others as they do onto you. While it would be nice to steal 20 stones from Draik, that won't happen. That doesn't mean you can't steal some of his stones thereby destroying his combo set up.

Things aren't always what they seem. What may look like a lost game may turn into a winning one! You never know when Draik may do something stupid like take those 15 stones he stole from you and play them giving you more stones to work with. Also, if you somehow tie with him (and I have before), just remember that the first one to clear their side of the board loses in any event of a tie. Not many people know this rule. That's because Draik never really tells anyone about this rule.

Finally, and most importantly, just remember this one simple thing. Cheaters never win. Keep playing the game using the tips I gave you above. Eventually, the payout will be more than the loss.

So, to quote the Draik I love to hate, "What is ye waiting for?"

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