Bomb Games

"Bombs Part 2; Rock-Paper-Scissors, anticipation and reaction".

The concept of the child's game "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is very simple; It is an anticipation based guessing game. Both players select from one of the three options, depending on what both player picked the result is either a win, loss, or tie (draw game).

To simplify the concept of anticipation even more we can use the analogy of a single playing card; if someone places a card face-down and asked you to guess which suit it is you would need to guess in anticipation to the card being flipped and the answer being revealed. Since there's four suits and you only get one guess we can assume you'd have roughly a twenty five percent chance of getting it right (unless you were psychic or something). Which is entirely different than if you were allowed to answer a few seconds after the card was flipped, since then you can react after the card has been flipped and can clearly see what the answer is, therefor we can assume you'd have a one hundred percent chance of success (unless you were blind or something). However, if we reduce the amount of time you were allowed to answer to a fraction of a second, let's say one sixtieths (1/60th) of a second, then it becomes a great deal more difficult to do on reaction to the card being flipped because you simply do not have enough time to clearly see the card before making your answer -- and so we are back to an anticipatory guessing game and your odds of success are reduced again. However, it's not completely reduced back to twenty five percent like in the no-reaction example because two of the suits are colored black and two of the suits are colored red. Even with just one sixtieth of a second you still can recognize the difference between colors, which increases your chances (unless you're colorblind or daft or something).

Sakuya 22C bomb hitbox

What does all that have to do with bombs? Well, in the situations where you would use D-bombs in particular you are at a disadvantage. Against a decent opponent, you're not actually sure if your opponent is going to attack or not, and because a great deal of attacks are fractions of a second you have to anticipate whether or not your opponent will attack. And that brings us back to the card game. If you guess wrong and your opponent blocks you will most likely be punished and eat a combo. If you guess right you score a knockdown against your opponent. This is very clearly a big risk; guessing wrong means a huge loss, and guessing right means a minor gain.

The important thing to understand about the risk, however, is that it's relative to what the results would have been if you hadn't taken the risk in the first place. In other words, if you had chose to try and block instead of trying to bomb. Remember that by bombing you are actively attempting an offensive action, which is a risk, to try and escape from being pressured. In reality, blocking is a much safer option. Particularly in IaMP where blocking wrong doesn't immediately break your guard. The opponent must first crush your spirit before they can break your guard, and even after your spirit is crushed some mixups will only cause stagger instead of a guard break -- so you get two or more chances instead of just one (unlike most other 2D fighters).

In order to properly take advantage of bombing you must avoid patterns and predictability. The more predictable you are with bombs the more punishable you are. After all, the opponent isn't able to block on reaction to your bombs either, they will have to anticipate your bombs. Therefor, you must remember to use that to your advantage instead of to your disadvantage. You may not necessarily bomb at a given situation, but if you get your opponent to block because they were expecting you to bomb, then that means they are trying to block and therefor they are not attacking. That means there's a gap in their offense while they are blocking and you can therefor take advantage of that gap. Thus, it's not a good idea to always bomb at every opportunity, which is why you want to use it as a potential threat and not as a direct tool. This is the same concept as was Bellreisa calls "Equity" which you can read about in my Mixups and Spirit post.

More information about the concept of RPS can be read in my Tunnel Vision post. And more information about why it's a good idea to block on wakeup can be found in my Wakeup Monkeys post.

Bellreisa says: "Do you wish to be the cherry blossom, fluttering uncertainly beneath the breeze that commands and compels you? Does your tenacious dance quiver with uncertainty, fear, or harmony?"



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