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Help with wildcard redirects

Can someone help me understand wildcard redirects? I’ve read the university article as well as several others around the web but can’t seem to get it right…
I have dozens of pages and posts coming from wordpress that don’t have a complicated folder structure…
The are mostly like:
/contact
/about
or hyphenated
/page-title
/post-title

with just a few:
/page-title/subpage-title

We are dropping down to a singe page site so every old page should redirect to the new home page. I thought it would be as simple as:
/* to /
or
(.) to /
or
(.
)/(.*) to /

But apparently I am not understanding the syntax… I am getting a “too many redirects” error when I try any of these.

Can anyone advise about the proper wildcards to use?