Mr. Sharp writes well. He also makes some interesting comments regarding a scenario I outline in last week’s Casual Fridays. And it is a shame he stopped reading my article on multiplayer politics after the first three paragraphs.
I already spent a great deal of time advocating the kind of enlightened self-interest Mr. Sharp advocates in my very article. (In fact, see the example of my using a Rancor on another player’s creature.) I just advocated doing it quietly, and with more explicit emphasis on "This will advance my interests" than "please don’t kill me" or "can’t you see I’m doing this to help you, not me!"
Specifically, in the theoretical Giant Growth example he mentions, which has fewer players than my real-life Giant Growth example, I would advocate for either player NOT responding to the Giant Growth at all…let it resolve, and then sit tight. A fight between the two powers on the table, given the conditions he lists, serves no one but the toady. I would probably send one small creature at the toady once every turn or two, and maintain a defensive posture while he seeks an answer to the clock. My stronger opponent, in the same boat as me, would probably do the same. But it all depends on more factors than Mr. Sharp lists: Cards in hand, style of decks (to quote the old strategy article, "who’s the beatdown?"), etc. If the stronger opponent is playing Wrath-based control, you do things differently than if he’s playing elves and Coat of Arms and Hurricanes.
It’s easy to build a straw man out of an aggressive strategy: "If you tap out, everyone will kill you!" I believe The Ferrett can testify firsthand that my aggression is a bit more controlled than that. (TESTIFY, brotha! – The Ferrett) Crosis doesn’t swing unless I have the Glacial Wall (or two) out. I don’t tap out at three mana when I have a Fleetfoot Panther available. I get defense. Really.
It seems to me that much of this is just word games. I suspect if Mr. Sharp and I were to find each other in the same multiplayer game, he would find I act very closely to the manner he suggests. It is also the manner I encourage in the article. That is to say, the WHOLE article.
I look forward to Mr. Sharp’s future contributions on Star City; he has a flair for expressing himself and he obviously enjoys multiplayer at least as much as I do. And I assure him that I will do him the favor of reading every word he says, so that I can attain as full an understanding as possible before responding publicly.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go mix with some state legislators. I have to play politics with a couple of bills I’m trying to get amended and passed.