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Platoon Guide by SoopaSte123

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 03/04/13

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                  |                                         |
                  |  Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch   |
                  |         Platoon (Casino Game) FAQ       |
                  |        Version 1.2: March 4, 2013       |
                  |          Written by SoopaSte123         |
                  |          <SoopaSte123@gmail.com>        |
                  |        Copyright 2013 SoopaSte123       |

(1) Introduction
(2) Rules
(3) General Strategy
(4) Abusing the AI
(5) F.A.Q.
(6) Legal
(7) Credits

Introduction (1)
The casino is a fun diversion in Ni no Kuni.  You can easily sink hours playing
the different games there, and there are some useful prizes as well.  There 
are your standard slots games, blackjack, double cross (an advanced version of 
the friendship trial challenge), and the unique card game platoon.  If you're 
really lucky you may be able to win big at the slots, but platoon is your best 
bet for winning big money.  I had a lot of trouble the first few times I played
platoon, as I didn't have a sound strategy and I got frustrated by the platoon 
girl's constant smack talk (who would hire a dealer that would taunt the 
customers??).  Eventually, though, I developed a strategy that easily has won 
me millions of chips, and I thought it best to give some help to anyone who is
struggling like I did.

NOTE: To reduce confusion, I'll be referring to Aces as Bishops and referring
to Jokers as Wizards (some people only look at the symbol and don't know the
actual card number).

Rules (2)
Platoon is a 2 player game.  Each player is dealt 10 cards and must arrange
them into 5 piles.  Every pile has a point value corresponding to its cards:

- Number cards 2 through 10 are each worth their value in points
- Jacks (J) and Queens (Q) are worth 10 points each
- Kings are worth 10 points and will instantly WIN against any basic pile
- Aces (Bishops) are worth 1 point and will instantly LOSE against any pile
EXCEPT against a pile with a King, which it will defeat
- Jokers (Wizards) are worth 0 points and causes players to SWAP PILES before
deciding the winner

Other rules:
- Wizards cannot be placed in a pile alone
- If neither pile contains a King or Bishop, the highest point total wins
- If both piles contain a King, the pile with the highest point total wins
- If both piles contain a Bishop, the pile with the highest point total wins
- If both piles contain a Wizard, the piles are swapped twice, so players keep
their original piles

After arranging their 5 piles, you (the challenger) predict a pile you think
will win.  Your opponent (the house) will then pick a pile it thinks will win
(though it seems to be random).  Next, cards are drawn from the deck to decide
who goes first.  Players will then take turns picking one of their piles and
one of their opponents piles to "battle" using the rules above.  The winner is
tallied, and the next player continues by picking two piles to battle.  If your
predicted pile wins a battle, you add half of your current wager amount to the
total wager amount, while if your predicted pile loses, the wager amount stays
the same.  If your opponent's predicted pile wins a battle, your wager amount
is halved, while if the pile loses the wager amount stays the same.

You win the round (the campaign) if, at any point, you accumulate 3 battle
wins.  You lose the round (and your entire wager amount) if, at any point, you
accumulate a combination of 3 losses and/or ties.

General Strategy (3)
Save your game, then go buy 1000 chips (use L1 to speed up the process).
Each set of rounds will cost you 200 chips, so 1000 chips gives you 5 sets of
rounds, which should be enough to win big (if it isn't, you can reload your
save and try again).  You may notice that after a successful round, you will
be given the option to use your winnings as your new wager or to take your
game will automatically end once you have won 6 rounds in a row, and this will
maximize your winnings*.  The only reason to quit early is if you don't want to
reload your save when you run out of chips.  Regardless, you start by wagering
200 chips and the game begins.

*Update: If you end round 6 without surpassing 99,999 chips, you may enter a 
7th round, where if you win, you can end up with >400,000 chips. Therefore, 
you may wish to purposely cut your bet in half by letting your opponent's 
predicted pile to win. If you don't have the best hand and it looks like too
much of a gamble, don't worry about it, but it's still good information to 
know. Thanks to carl8000 for the info.

A common mistake is to try to make all 5 piles winners, which spreads you too
thin and you end up losing. Remember, you only need to win 3 out of the 5
battles!  However, it's also foolhardy to ONLY have 3 piles designed for
winning, since you'll lose if the computer has one surprise hand.  Instead,
our strategy is to have 3 winners, 1 loser, and 1 insurance pile.  The piles
should consist of the cards listed below (each pile set is listed in order
from most desirable to least desirable):

Possible WINNER piles (you should have 3)
 -> Wizards, paired with your lowest card (ideally with a value less than 5)
 -> Kings, placed alone
 -> Card combination with point values 18+ (above 20 is recommended)
 -> Wizards, paired with Bishops (if you have multiple Bishops)

Possible LOSER piles (you should have 1)
 -> Bishops, placed alone
 -> Your lowest valued card

Possible INSURANCE piles (you should have 1)
 -> Card combination with point values 8-10 (or 7 if necessary)
 -> Bishops, placed alone (if your hand has two or more Bishops than Wizards)

NOTE: If you have an abundance of great cards (like 3 kings), you can choose
to make your insurance pile from the set of possible winner piles, but don't
weaken a strong 20+ pile down to 18 or 19 to make your insurance pile stronger.
We don't want to spread too thin!

Once you have 3 winners, 1 loser, and 1 insurance, it's time to place your
prediction on a winner.  Pick your best winning pile and move on.  Hopefully
you get to pick the battles first, but either way, this is your order of
battle priorities:

 1.) Your insurance pile VS opponent's pile that only contains 1 card
 2.) Your Wizard+LowCard VS opponent's largest pile
 3.) Your King VS opponent's largest pile
 4.) Your Wizard+Bishop VS opponent's largest pile
 5.) Your largest point pile VS opponent's medium-sized pile

A SECONDARY rule is to try to battle your prediction pile early on and to try
to avoid battling your opponent's prediction pile.  This must be a secondary
consideration, however, since getting half your winnings is better than losing
and getting none at all.

With these strategyies in mind, you shouldn't have too much trouble. However, 
if you're still having trouble (or want to destroy the AI and make money even 
faster), the next section goes over how to abuse the AI. Fair warning, it will
take away any and all excitement and thrill out of the game, so if you're
playing for fun and not for chips, you best stay clear.

Abusing the AI (4)
*Thanks to bmf4ever for discovering the AI can be predicted*

Using AI prediction really trivializes this game and makes a lot of the
strategizing unneccessary.  This means if you're playing for fun and not for
the purpose of raking in chips, you'd best stay clear of this section.  Once
you learn the AI strategy, it cannot be unseen.  You've been warned!

The first thing to notice is that the AI will always tend to put the special 
cards (Kings, Wizards, and Bishops) on the left when making piles. For example,
their piles may be set up like this:

(K) (K,5) (W,2) (10,9) (J,Q,3)

But never this:

(K) (10,9) (J,Q,3) (W,2) (K,5)

This means that ANY TIME YOU SEE AN ALL NUMBER PILE (which can include Jacks

The next thing to notice is that the AI will always put Bishops in piles to the
left of the Kings. This means that ANY TIME YOU SEE A PILE WITH A BISHOP, EVERY

The third thing of note is that Wizards can be placed on any type of card, but
will always appear to the left of that card without a wizard. For example, you
may see:

(B) (W,K) (K) (W,5) (Q,J,2,3)

But never:

(B) (K) (W,K) (Q,J,2,3) (W,5)

TO SUMMARIZE, the order of pile preference for the AI is this:

Wizard+Bishop, Bishop, Wizard+King, King, Wizard+NumberCards, NumberCards

The piles on the right will always be right of those listed on the left, and 
vice-versa. It's also worth noting that number cards can be included with any 
of the piles, but this rarely affects things unless you've got King vs King or
Bishop vs Bishop.

What does this mean for strategy? Well first of all, your insurance pile should
now target a single card that is furthest to the right, or use a mediocre
winner pile to attack a small pile that you know is only number cards.  You can
also use this knowledge to sacrifice your loser pile by targeting the AI's
left-most pile, hoping for a Bishop (if you have a low card) or a King (if you
have a Bishop).  Of course the Wizards can complicate things, but it still
gives you a much better chance to win with a bad hand.

I hesitate to list more strategies because a lot of it is circumstantial and
common sense (as long as you know the AI rules).  With this knowledge, it will
be really surprising to ever lose a round of Platoon and you can max out your
chip count to 9,999,999 if you so desire.

Frequently Asked Questions (5)
Q: Where is the casino? 
A: If you have to ask, you probably aren't far enough in the story.  It's in a
place called Tombstone Trail, and, without spoiling anything, it won't be there
the first time you visit.

Q: The AI sometimes predicts MY pile to win. Should I try to make that pile
A: No, that's an easy way to lose the game.  Avoid battling with that pile if
you can, but don't sacrifice the win by deviating too much from the battle
priorities order.

Q: The AI sometimes predicts MY pile to win. Should I be predicting my
opponents pile to win?
A: No, it's much more reliable to pick your strongest pile.

Q: Why not combine your Wizard with your Bishop?  I do it and it always wins!
A: It's riskier.  If your opponents pile has a King, you lose.  If it's a
Wizard+NumberCard, you lose.  If it's a Wizard+Bishop, you tie, which is
effectively a loss.  Wizard+LowCard beats Kings, Wizard+Bishop, and certain
Wizard+NumberCards.  Wizard+LowCard will lose against Wizard+King, but that's
not a common occurrence.  Also, Bishops placed alone are great for loser piles,
as they can sometimes surprise you and win.

Q: Why not pick your loser pile to battle your opponent's biggest pile?
A: That's a valid strategy, but I try to avoid it.  Kings and Wizard+LowCards
are much better for taking out the big piles.  Also, the faster I win, the less
chance my opponent has for getting her prediction right and stealing half my
wager.  I guess the best scenario for it would be if you ended up with 3
winning piles of number cards less than 20 points... sacrificing your loser pile
could be your best bet.

Q: The AI cheats! She's been demolishing me! It's so unfair!
A: I've been there, believe me.  I once had a game where I had a hand of all
number cards and my opponent had 2 Kings and a Wizard+Bishop.  Just try not to
get too frustrated.  Come back again later and give it a try, or read over my
Abusing the AI section to give it a taste of its own medicine.

Q: What do I do with all my chips? Can I trade them in for coins?
A: Unfortunately, you cannot trade your chips in for coins. You can, however,
spend them on some useful items, and even a few familiars!

Q: Where do I trade in my familiar tickets?
A: The Temple of Trials.

Legal (6)
Copyright 2013 SoopaSte123

I don't mind anyone using this faq as long as credit is given to me,
SoopaSte123.  Both S's capitalized.  None of this soo-paste stuff.

Please don't email me, but feel free to message me on Gamefaqs if you have 
any questions or comments. Thanks.

Credits (7)
Gamefaqs user Nooope: I struggled horribly with Platoon until trying out his
strategy.  My strategy is a refined version of his, and without his help I
would probably still be yelling curses at my TV in frustration.  So thanks!

Gamefaqs user bmf4ever: Discovered (and more importantly, shared with the 
community) the basic pattern of the AI. Incredibly useful to know, so
thank you!

Gamefaqs user carl8000: Gave me the tip that having less than 100,000 chips at
the end of round 6 allows you to enter a 7th round, potentially winning you 
more chips in less time. Thanks!

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