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The Shibumi Challenge geeklist: Winners announced!
Néstor Romeral Andrés
Spain
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Hi, all.

Here is the Shibumi Challenge geeklist. Please add your games here according to the following guidelines (Cameron Browne, November 2011).


1. Introduction


The Shibumi Challenge is a competition to design the best game for the Shibumi set (http://www.mogal.ai/shibumi/). There are no restrictions on entry. Entries will be listed in the BoardGameGeek (BGG) database, and scored by a panel of judges.

2. Aim

The research aim of the Shibumi Challenge is to produce the best set of games that human designers can invent for the Shibumi set (http://www.mogal.ai/shibumi/). These games will then be used in an AI experiment to see whether even better games can be found by automated means.

The commercial aim of the Shibumi Challenge is to raise awareness of Shibumi and to produce a number of attractive new games for the official Shibumi rule book from nestorgames.

The aim for entrants is to produce the best and most shibumi game for the set.

3. Organisers

The competition organisers are:

- Cameron Browne (camb@doc.ic.ac.uk)
- Néstor Romeral Andrés (info@nestorgames.com)
- Stephen Tavener (sct110@doc.ic.ac.uk)

Cameron and Stephen are researchers in the Computational Creativity Group at Imperial College London, investigating Monte Carlo methods for the analysis and design of games. Néstor is the current Spanish Board Game Designer of the Year and runs the independent games publisher nestorgames (http://nestorgames.com/).

4. Entries

For each new Shibumi game to be entered in the Challenge, a BoardGameGeek (BGG) entry should be created for that game. Each entry should have a unique name, should include Shibumi in its Family list, and should contain a link to the Shibumi page:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/13434/shibumi

For example, here is the BGG entry for Spline:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/93164/spline

Shibumi game names start with "Sp" (e.g. Spline, Spargo, Splice, Splade, etc) to denote them as "square pyramidal" games, and for consistency with existing games.

Entrants are encouraged to reuse the images from the BGG Shibumi page, the Nestorgames Shibumi page (http://www.nestorgames.com/shibumi_detal.html), http://www.mogal.ai/shibumi/ and Cameron’s Shibumi pages as images for their own games, to maintain a consistent look and feel to the entries.

Source images for the board and balls are provided at http://www.mogal.ai/shibumi/sp4-images.zip for convenience, so that entrants can create custom images in the same style.

Games must be added to this Shibumi Challenge geeklist to become official entries in the Challenge. This will be the official list of entries.

Games publicly released before November 2011, such as Spline and the other games in the original Shibumi rule book, cannot be entered in the Challenge.

Designers may submit more than one entry, but the submission of multiple variants on a single idea is discouraged. Originality is one of the judging criteria.

Once an entry is submitted to the Challenge, then its rules cannot be changed unless permission is granted from the organisers. One or two minor tweaks to fix serious flaws might be allowed, but anything more will require that the game be removed from the list and re-entered under a different name.

The organisers can submit entries but cannot win prizes. The aim is to produce the best set of games, from any source.

5. Format

Games must use the Shibumi equipment as described here:

http://www.mogal.ai/shibumi/

Games do not have to involve stacking, but this is strongly recommended, otherwise they won’t make full use of the equipment and are unlikely to score well. Games that involve stacking must obey the stacking, pinning and drop rules as specified in the above page.

The rules for each entry must be described completely and clearly. For example, it would not be sufficient to describe an entry as "the same as Spline but with lines 1 piece shorter"; the full rule set must be restated.

Each rule set should specify at least:

1. Number of players.
2. Starting position.
3. Movement rules.
4. End conditions.

6. Testing

The playability of each game is crucial. Designers can play test their ideas online using the igGameCenter’s Shibumi Sandbox:

http://www.iggamecenter.com/

Sets are also available from Nestorgames:

http://nestorgames.com/#shibumi_detail

7. Judging

Entries close on January 31, 2012. The competition organisers will then score entries according to the following categories:

1. Simplicity.
2. Depth.
3. Originality.
4. Popularity.
5. Fun.

Simplicity and depth are central to the aesthetic ideal of shibui, and are what we are primarily looking for. Simplicity will be measured by the elegance of the rules and the clarity of the game. Depth will be measured by the degree of challenge that the game presents to players. Originality will be measured by similarity to previously existing games
(including those from the same designer). Popularity will be measured by the number of thumbs (votes) in that game’s geek list entry, so it will pay to enter games as soon as possible. Fun will be measured subjectively based on our overall experience of the game.

Entries will be ranked according to their overall score, and prizes awarded to the top three.

Winners will be announced on or before February 28, 2012. The organisers will evaluate entries in order of popularity, and will score as many as possible but cannot guarantee that all entries will be evaluated. So having more votes means that your game is more likely to
be evaluated, but not necessarily more likely to win a prize.

8. Prizes

First prize will be a Samurai Shibumi set (1" phenolic balls with acrylic board).

Second and third prizes will be a Ninja Shibumi set each (plastic balls with foam board).

Prizes will be shipped to winners free of charge. Winners may elect to choose other nestorgames products of similar value instead, but cannot combine their prize with other orders.

Entries by the competition organisers, if any, will be excluded from winning a prize.

Machine-generated entries, if any, will be excluded from winning a prize. The three prizes will therefore go to the three best games by human designers who are not the competition organisers. Maximum of one prize per designer.

9. Intellectual Property

Designers retain the full rights to their entries.

Selected games may be published in the official Shibumi rule book from Nestorgames, unless their designers object. The rule book is free and no royalties will be paid.

Submitting entries to the Challenge grants the organisers permission to describe them in resulting research publications, with due acknowledgement to their designers.


Now go and design a cool Shibumi game!


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1. Board Game: Spire [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Dieter Stein
Germany
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Spire is my entry to the Shibumi Challenge.

Rules

The board starts empty. Two players, White and Black, take turns placing a ball of their colour or a red ball either on an empty board hole or stacking on a 2×2 platform.

If a red ball is placed then the player must play another ball of their own colour in the same turn. No single 2×2 platform may include more than 2 like-coloured balls. Playing on a platform is only possible if the colour to be played is not used twice in the base.

Players must place a ball if possible. Only if there is no placement available (in the beginning of their turn or after a red ball was played) players must pass their turn.

The player who played the last ball wins the game. This can be a red ball and it need not be the spire ball on top.

With friend and foe you rise,
you cannot go yourself
where enlightenment is.
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2. Board Game: Sponnect [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Martin Windischer
Austria
Innsbruck
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My entry is Sponnect:

Rules:

The board starts with 5 red balls forming a small pyramid in the middle of the board:



Two players, White and Black, takes turn placing a ball of their colour either on an empty board hole or to stack on any 2x2 platform.
A player may decide to pass. A player is not allowed to pass if the other player just passed in his turn.

Aim: White wins by forming a chain of touching white balls connecting the east and the west side. Black wins by connecting the south and the north side.

The diagram on the left shows a complete game won by Black.

Every game is guaranteed to produce a winner when the board fills up. Note that the pass rule allows a player to pass successively until his desired place becomes available.


A small pyramid
gets covered by a sandstorm.
Don't lose connections.
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3. Board Game: Sprite [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Micah Fuller
Canada
Hamilton
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In this game, the board starts empty.

Two players (Black and White) take turns placing 2 balls, one at a time.

Players score points based on the number of balls of a certain colour that the ball just placed touches.
If the ball is of the player’s colour, the player scores points equal to the number of Red balls it touches.
If the ball is Red, the player scores points equal to the number of balls of the player’s colour it touches.

The score is tracked as a difference between the players.

On the first turn, the starting player must also place a third, Red ball in addition to the 2 balls she would normally place.

The player with more points when the pyramid is complete is the winner.
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4. Board Game: Sphinx [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
John "Omega" Williams
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
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Here goes. An unusual idea for a solo adventure using the system.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sphinx

A single player game of archaeological exploring through a twisting network of tunnels discovered hidden beneath the Great Sphinx. Five treasures are rumored to be secreted within. Can you find them all?

Sphinx uses the Shibumi game board and pieces to create the labyrinth as you go.

Number of players: 1

Sphinx makes use of:
10 white spheres representing clear pathways
15 black spheres representing impassable walls
5 red spheres representing the artifacts
These are mixed up in the container box.

Also you will need the following:
1 red to represent the explorer
5 white spheres to swap for the treasures as they are discovered
And of course the game board.

You start by placing your red Explorer in the bottom left corner of the board. Play proceeds from here as follows.

For your starting turn draw two spheres and place them clockwise around the starting position. From here you may move by swapping your player piece with any white position that can be reached. You may move straight or diagonal as long as the way is not blocked.

As you move about, draw pieces and place in a clockwise pattern in any open adjacent spaces. You may not move diagonally through two black pieces barring the way but you may try to climb over by first drawing for the space on the far side of the "wall" and then for the space that traverses over. If the upper level is clear then you may proceed. This will allow you to attempt to get at areas previously blocked off.

When you can reach a treasure piece on the board by the same movement rules then you may collect the artifact and replace it with one of the extra white pieces and proceed.

The session is completed when you have either collected all 5 treasures or run out of possible pathways.

You score 1 point per artifact discovered and 5 more if you explored all the way to the apex of the hidden insides of the Sphinx!

OPTIONAL RULES

These two optional rules give the player more control over their exploration.

Option 1: Mapping the Sphinx
Instead of drawing and placing pieces in order. Draw enough for the spaces that need filling and then place them at your choice. This allows some control over the paths taken.

Option 2: Artifact Keys
At any time you have a treasure collected you may spend one to open a path through a blocked section by swapping the Red treasure for the Black wall. Spent treasures do not count towards your final score tally.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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5. Board Game: Spagyric (White-Black-Red) [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Nathan Morse
United States
Powell
Ohio
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White-Black-Red is a two-player game designed for play with a Shibumi set. It uses a 4×4-holed board, and balls in three colors (white, black, and red).

White beats Black beats Red beats White

Goal: Create a connected group of 6 same-colored balls. Failing that, each player takes 1 white, 1 black, and 1 red, and the winner is decided by a sudden-death white-black-red (see below).

Rules: The 4×4 board starts empty. Each player starts with 8 white, 8 black, and 8 red balls. Keep this supply of 24 balls hidden from your opponent at all times during the game. Use an opaque container (e.g. the Shibumi bag) to receive defeated balls over the course of the game. It should be able to hold 24 balls. Never look in this bag of defeat during the game.
Both players simultaneously and secretly select a ball from their supplies. Simultaneously reveal them on a count of "White, black, red, go!" The stronger ball (White beats Black beats Red beats White) goes into play wherever the "winner" likes; the weaker goes into the bag of defeat. If both players revealed the same color, those are stunned, and set aside until this turn is done; then they will go back into your supplies. The game ends when your supplies are empty, even if it’s due to stunning.
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6. Board Game: Spuds [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Micah Fuller
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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Spuds is a simple game for 2 players.

The board (4×4) starts with 8 White and 8 Black balls in an alternating pattern.

Players take turns doing two things:

First, the player must remove a ball of her colour from the bottom layer, if possible.
It is only possible to remove a ball from the bottom layer if it has exactly one red ball resting on top of it.

Second, the player must place a red ball on any 2x2 platform. The player cannot replace a red ball where there was one at the start of the turn. If there are no red balls available, players skip this step.

When neither player can remove any more balls from the bottom layer, the game is over. The player who removed more balls of her colour is the winner.

In the event of a tie, the starting player wins.

A crop of tubers,
Buried in the bright red soil.
Harvest potatoes.
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7. Board Game: Sprout [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Angelo Nikolaou
Ireland
Dublin
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Sprout is a cooperative game for 2-5 players, which can also be played as a solitaire game.

The completed Shibumi pyramid represents the branches of a cherry blossom tree that grow and prosper.

Aim: All players win by placing the thirtieth ball, thus completing the pyramid, without losing the game in the process.

The players lose the game in two ways
1) If, at any time, two balls of the same color on the same level are diagonally next to each other (break)
2) If, at any time, a ball is placed on an upper level and there are two balls of the same color adjacent to one in the lower-level platform (tangle)

When it's a player's turn, he places the ball he holds in hand then draws a new ball from the bag. The balls are open information.

The game can be played in three difficulties, easy (with three wishes), normal (with two wishes) and hard (one wish).

The proper etiquette forbids players from discussing moves, with the exception of the use of their ancestors.
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8. Board Game: Spetris [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Pablo Schulman
Brazil
Belo Horizonte
Minas Gerais
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Spetris is a game of placement played with a shibumi set for 2 or 3 players. The following set of rules is for 2 players.

Rules

Set up:
Players take their spheres and set them up in the following array (off board)
1 three-ball group, arranged in line
1 three-ball group, arranged forming a open angle (roughly 135°)
1 three-ball group, arranged in an equilateral triangle-like form
1 three-ball group, arranged in a right triangle-like form
2 two-ball group, arranged in line

The 4x4 board starts empty. Two players, White and Black, take turns placing one of those groups, without breaking the following restrictions:

1 – The original form of the group must be preserved
2 – Each ball of the group must occupy (and fit) a single space, being in the first floor, or stacked.
3 – All balls of a group must be entirely supported.
4 – The players can’t use the same group pattern that his opponent used in his last move. If the player is unable to play due to this rule, he must pass. If the player now can’t make a move because of this (possible in the case of a 2-ball group), he passes and the original player who passed now don’t need to convey to this rule.

In case of a player not having a legal move, he passes. If both players pass, the game ends. note that this is a diferent situation of the one above.

Aim: The game ends when the pyramid is complete, or either player can’t place a group on the board. The winner is the player with the least number of groups out of the board. In case of a tie, the winner is the player with the least number of balls out of the board.


Aim: The game ends when the pyramid is complete, or both players can’t place a group on the board. The winner is the player with the least number of groups out of the board. In case of a tie, the winner is the player with the least number of balls out of the board.

Variants: Try different patterns and game conditions (example: the player who can’t make a move loses). If shown that first player advantage is huge, limit first move to be a two-ball move.

Third Automaton Player Variant: after both players make their moves, one of them places a third group from the red balls. Players switch control of the red balls. Third color doesn’t count as part of a player’s hand.

Three players game: Use the same rules set. First player must play a two-ball group on his first turn.
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9. Board Game: Spree [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Avri Klemer
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Spree is 2-player, n-in-a-row game with a twist for the Shibumi Game System.

The board starts empty.

Two players take turns handing a ball to their opponent to place, either on any empty board space or on any 2x2 platform.

A player may not hand their opponent a ball of the color just placed.

Example: Player 1 hands a Red ball to Player 2, who places it on the board. Player 2 must then hand either a Black or White ball to Player 1, who places it on the board.

A player wins by making a full line of any single color, orthogonally or diagonally, on any level, on their turn. That is, lines on the 4x4 (board) level must be of length 4, lines on the 3x3 level must be of length 3, and lines on the 2x2 level must be of length 2.

A sigh of sadness
I hand you your own demise
Clean battle of wills
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10. Board Game: Spread [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Spain
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The marbles on the board are placed as it is shown in the image. There are two players: black and white.

Starting with white, each player takes turns as follows:

1. The player rearranges the free marbles corresponding to his colour in a new position on the board. In such way that every marble of his colour is connected and at least one of his balls maintains its previous position.

2. If a 2x2 square is formed with three marbles of the player's colour and
- one red ball, then the red ball is replaced by one of the player's colour.
- one of the other player's balls, then this ball is retired from the board.

3. A new red marble appears randomly on the board

Now the next player's turn begins.

The game ends when the pyramid is completed. The player with most marbles of his colour on the board is declared the winner.
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11. Board Game: Sploof [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
Matt Green
England
Horsham
West Sussex
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Sploof is a four-in-a-row style game for two players with a Shibumi set. Players have limited resources available and are faced with a choice between positioning balls for strategic effect; or stockpiling them to avoid forced moves later in the game.

Aim: The player who manages to create a string of 4 touching balls at any level visible as a straight line from directly above the board wins the game. In addition, if a player has no balls remaining in their stock and cannot legally remove a red ball they lose the game.

Rules: The board starts with twelve red balls placed around the perimeter of the board. Two players, White and Black, start the game with two balls of their colour in their ‘stock’, the remaining balls are kept in a central ‘supply’. A player's stock must not be hidden from their opponent.

Randomly determine a start player. On their turn a player must either:

- Place a ball on either an empty board hole or stack it on any 2x2 platform of existing balls, or

- Remove a red ball from the board returning it to the supply and move two balls of their colour from the supply to their stock.

The removal of red balls and placement of black and white balls follows Shibumi stacking in that balls may only stack on 2x2 platforms of existing balls and if a red ball is removed then any others that it supports will drop. A red ball that directly supports two or more on the level above is pinned and cannot be removed.

Managing the numbers of balls in your stock is vital for ensuring your opponent does not force you into making moves that do not improve your position. Running out of balls in your stock will force you to remove a red ball and give the opponent two consecutive placements: this becomes a progressively riskier tactic as the game develops.
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12. Board Game: Sparks [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Dieter Stein
Germany
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Sparks is my second entry to the Shibumi Challenge.

4×4 board, 8 white, 8 black, and 14 red balls

Rules

The board (the fireplace) starts filled with white and black balls in an alternating pattern.

The red balls (the sparks) are kept ready to hand.

Two players, White and Black, are taking turns by carefully putting a spark from the supply and a ball of their own colour from the board (the coal ball) into the hand.

Coal can only be taken if it isn’t pinned, i.e. it is free or it supports not more than one other ball on the level above.

If the coal ball was free, the player fills the emptied space with the spark and plays the coal on any other place.

If the coal ball was not free, a supported ball will just drop into place.

If a spark dropped, the player returns the spark in the hand to the supply and plays only the coal ball on any place.

If a white or black coal ball dropped, the player plays both balls in the hand on any place and in any desired order.

The player who places a ball of their own colour on top of the pyramid (the fire cone) wins the game.

Dry branches,
flying sparks light the fire,
heat goes up.
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13. Board Game: Spinca [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Leduc
United States
Tiverton
Rhode Island
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Spinca is an area control game for two or three players that can be played with a Shibumi set. It is a reflection of the Shibumi philosophy that less can be more. The description below is for the two player game.

The board starts empty. One player uses 15 white marbles and the other 14 black marbles. The game ends when an Inca temple is complete.

Starting with White, using the order below:

1. A player may move any free marble on the board to any adjacent (orthogonal or diagonal) hole or 2x2 platform which is on the same level as the marble.

A free marble is any marble that does not support two or more marbles in the level above it, and will not cause to move any marble that was moved or placed on the previous player’s turn. This includes tumble-downs. And,

2. A player must place one of his or her marbles on any empty space or 2x2 platform on the board. This completes the player’s turn.

When the Inca temple is completed, each player sums the sizes of the smallest of his or her connected groups on each of the four faces of the pyramid. (Only one group is counted per face.) The largest total wins. The Spinca icon on the left shows the result of a solitaire game where White wins 21 to four!

If there is a tie, the outer faces are removed to reveal the inner sanctum pyramid (or do some math). The player with the most marbles in the inner sanctum wins the game.

See the Spinca page for more details and a description of the winning conditions for the three player game.
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14. Board Game: Spice [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Martin Grider
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Spice is a short game for two players. Spice is a very simple adaptation of Ketchup for play with the Shibumi game system.

In Spice, the goal is to have the largest group of stones when the game is complete. A group is defined as stones that are "touching", either orthogonally or one on top of the other.

Players play with either RED (ketchup) or BLACK (pepper) stones, and the game begins with a small WHITE 5-stone 2x2 pyramid in the center of the gameboard. The white stones cannot be removed and are neutral, they do not count toward either player's groups of stones.

On the first turn of the game, Ketchup must place 1 RED stone in any empty space. On subsequent turns, players put 1 or 2 stones of their color in any empty space on the board.

If the largest group of stones on the board after your turn is larger than the largest group of stones (of either color) before your turn, then your opponent may remove one of your "free" stones on their next turn (and only on their next turn).

The game ends immediately when the board is full, but the top stone is removed before scoring.
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15. Board Game: Span [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Cameron Browne
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Span is a two-player connection game for the Shibumi set.

The board is initially empty. White owns the top and bottom sides, and Black owns the left and right sides.

Players take turns adding a piece of their colour until the board is full.

The game is won by the player with a visibly connected path of their pieces between their sides.
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16. Board Game: Spangle [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Angelo Nikolaou
Ireland
Dublin
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Spangle is a deduction, diplomacy and abstract strategy game for 4-10 players that can be played with a Shibumi set.

Theme: The players are members of a family who are decorating their new house. The winner is the player or players who have succeeded in decorating most of the house with the color of their choice.

Aim: At the end of the game, when the thirtieth ball is placed on top of the pyramid, count the balls left in the sack. The color that has the fewest balls left in the sack is the winning color and any player that chose this color at the beginning of the game wins. In case of a tie between colors, count the number of players that have chosen each color. The winning group is the one that has the fewest members. In case of another tie, both groups win.

Setup: each player chooses one ball of any color secretly and keeps it hidden at all times. Find the veto number which will be used throughout the game by dividing the number of players by two, rounded up.

Play: When a player's turn comes, he points at a legal position to play a ball and proposes a color to place. He is allowed to describe why he thinks this is a good choice. Other players are free to discuss and question the suggestion.
After the appropriate time (1-2 minutes) passes, the active player calls for a veto vote. Every player who doesn’t want this placement must raise their hand. If there are enough raised hands to reach the veto number then the placement is cancelled, otherwise the active player searches the bag for the appropriate color and places it in the suggested area. Either way play continues to the left.

Legal Plays: If there is no other ball of the same color in the desired level, then you can place the ball anywhere on the level. If there is at least one, then you must necessarily place the ball adjacent to an existing ball, whether horizontally or vertically. If the balls of the desired color are completely cut-off by balls of the other colors, you are free to enter the level again at another point.
To place a ball on the upper levels, you need to place them on top of at least 2 more balls of the chosen color, whether horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Rules for the same level placement are still applicable

Veto: After a failed suggestion due to vetos, the next vote’s veto number is increased by one. That way, it gets harder and harder to stop placing balls. If a ball is placed the veto number resets to the starting value
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17. Board Game: Spook [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Dieter Stein
Germany
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Spook is my third entry to the Shibumi Challenge.

4×4 board, 15 red, 14 black, and 1 white ball

Rules

The board (the haunted castle) starts empty.

A Visit to the Haunted Castle

Two players, Red and Black, take turns placing one ball of their colour either on an empty board hole or on a 2×2 platform. Starting with Red the pyramid is built up until in the last turn Black places the white ball (Spooky the ghost) on top. Black then also makes the first move of the second phase of the game.

The Getaway
(To be played in candlelight.)


On their turn a player must either

remove a ball (of any colour) to drop Spooky or

remove a free ball (of any colour) which is orthogonally adjacent to Spooky and move Spooky there. If possible this move may be repeated arbitrarily removing additional balls of the same colour.

Only if no move is available then

if Spooky is isolated he must be placed orthogonally adjacent to any ball on the board or on a platform,

otherwise one unpinned ball of the opponent must be removed (a ball drop may occur).

As usual, pinned balls (supporting more than one ball) may not be removed.

Aim

The player who has no more balls of their colour on the board wins the game.

Spending a night
in the haunted castle.
Boo!
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18. Board Game: Sparro [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Phil Leduc
United States
Tiverton
Rhode Island
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Sparro: Extended Play Variant is my second entry in the Shibumi contest. It is an adaptation of the game Captain’s Mistress, which is rumored to be a pirate’s game, wherein two players try to be the first to create four-in-a-row on a vertical 6x7 game board. (Think Connect Four.)

In this Sparro variant, the goal of the game is to create the most three-in-a-rows on the four faces of the Shibumi pyramid.

To set up the board, create a skull and crossbones 2x2 pyramid using five white marbles in the center of the 4x4 base. This small pyramid will support the placing of marbles on the outer faces.

One player uses twelve red mistress marbles and the other uses twelve black pirate marbles. The pirate also takes possession of a tie-breaker token, such as a gold doubloon or white marble.

Red starts and places a marble on any empty space. On Black first turn, if Red played to a corner space, Black must play to one of the eight edge center spaces, or, if Red played to an edge center space, Black must play to one of the four corner spaces.* From then on, players then take turns playing a marble on any empty space or 2x2 platform.

Each time a player creates a three-in-a-row, that player takes possession of the tie-breaker doubloon. If a player already possesses the tiebreaker token, she or he simply retains it.

The game ends when all 24 player marbles have been placed on the board. The player with the most three-in-a-rows on the board at the end of the game wins. Note, when counting, count all unique three-in-a-rows. For example, four-in-a-row counts as two three-in-a-rows. Rows can intersect. Rows do not wrap around corners or edges of the pyramid. See the figure for examples.



If there is a tie between players for number of three-in-a-rows, the possessor of the tiebreaker doubloon wins.

Captain Jak after playing Sparro: "I haven't had this much fun since my last boarding party." arrrh

Row, row, row your boat,
if you want to win.


* Rule inserted with permission. See comments below.
 
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19. Board Game: Sphlag [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Peaceful Gamin'
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Sphlag is my entry to the Shibumi Challenge. Sphlag is a capture-the-flag game for two players.

Summary:
In this game, 2 players face each other, and try to surround their opponent's flag (or, in this case, "phlag") with their own spherical pawns.
The game uses the 4x4 Shibumi board, with a pre-defined inset of immobile pieces, creating a battleground for rounds of joy with capture-the-phlag.


Rules:
Starting position:
The board starts with four Red spheres, two in opposite corners, and two diagonally to an imagined line between these corners in the center of the board. The two players sit opposite each other. The sphere in front of each player represents their respective flag . The spheres in the middle represent a wall. These four spheres cannot be moved.

Movement rules:
Two players, White and Black, take turns either placing a sphere of their color within their half of the game board (the half facing the player, e.g. anywhere within the triangle B7-G2-G7 for the lower player, and A6-F1-A1 for the upper player), in any level possible, or by moving their sphere up to a total of 4 spaces. No spheres can be initially placed along the diagonal line indicated by the wall (A7-G1), or the opponent’s half, although spheres can be moved into these positions.
A "space" is defined as a space on the grid (not the holes). This means that moving from one hole to the next (for example, E7-C7) involves moving 2 spaces. Player movements may involve movements up or down levels. If a sphere that supports only one other sphere is moved, the top sphere drops down into the vacated hole. If a sphere supports more than one other sphere, it is locked into place.

Other rules:
The last turn's board position cannot be repeated (ko rule). Passing is allowed. If a player cannot make a legal move, the player passes.

Aim:
Players aim to touch their opponent’s flag with as many of their own spheres as possible. There are three legal positions at which an opponent’s flag can be "touched"; E7, F6, G5 for the lower flag, and A3, B2, C1 for the upper flag.

Winning conditions:
Players win instantly upon moving at least two of their spheres into touching contact with the opponent’s flag. Otherwise, the game ends when both players pass sequentially or if both players agree to end the game. The player that has more spheres touching the opponent’s flag after ending the game wins. In case of a draw with respect to the number of spheres touching the opponent’s flag, the player with fewer spheres on the board wins. If both players have identical numbers of spheres touching their opponent’s flag, and equal numbers of spheres in the game, the game ends in a draw.

Notes:

Two examples of legal moves will be shown in the files section, once the submissions have been approved...
Game design by salish99 (L. Rose), 2011.
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20. Board Game: Spin [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Spain
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SPIN. A solitaire game for the Shibumi set

Starting the game
The player starts with a given hand of marbles of diferent colours. The other balls remain in the bag and are used as a resource pool.

The turn
1. The player places one ball from his hand on the board.
2. If the marble touches another ball of a different colour, both balls are replaced with two balls (taken from the pool) of the other third colour.

Game end
The player wins if every ball from his hand is on the board and all of them are of the same colour.
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21. Board Game: Spaghetti [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Phil Leduc
United States
Tiverton
Rhode Island
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Spaghetti is a two player game that serves up spaghetti, sauce, and meatballs on a Shibumi plate.

One player takes the white spaghetti marbles; the other takes the red sauce marbles. The black meatball marbles are neutral and are used by either player as needed. Any small object, such as a napkin or black marble, is used as a tie-breaker token to indicate which player last played a black marble to the board.

To start, White plays a black meatball marble anywhere on an empty Shibumi board and takes the tie-breaker token.

Players then alternate placing one of their own marbles adjacent to the last placed marble. Here, adjacent means orthogonally or diagonally adjacent to and on the same level as the last placed marble or onto a 2x2 platform just completed by the last placed marble.

If a player is unable to place a marble in this way, she or he places a black meatball marble on any empty space or platform and takes the tie-breaker token.

The game ends when the only space left is the peak of the Shibumi pyramid. A black meatball marble is then placed on the top of the pyramid. This is a neutral move and the tie breaker token stays with its current owner.

The player who created the longest strand of touching spaghetti or sauce marbles (when the board is viewed from above) wins the game. If there is a tie, the player who last played a meatball marble loses.


Buon Appetito!

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22. Board Game: Spinout [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Giacomo Galimberti
Italy
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This is my entry for the Shibumi Challenge.
SPinOut is a short game playable with the Shibumi game system. It uses the 4×4 board, 15 white balls and 15 red ones.

Rules

The board starts empty. Two players, white and red, take turns placing a ball of their colour either on a empty board hole or stacking on a 2x2 platform of existing balls.

A player, as an alternative, can choose to remove a ball (white or red) belonging to a 2x2 platform that supports not more than one other ball on each higher level. If a ball is removed then any others that it supports will drop. Any ball that directly supports two or more on the level above is pinned and cannot be removed. The removed ball must return immediately to the board in the place left free by the top ball just dropped (spinout rule, as for a car out of control, swapping front and back). A player is not allowed to remove a ball if the other player just removed a ball in his turn.
Some examples:
1)

Removing the ball marked “X” changes the sequence of the balls in the stack: from XYZ to YZX (from the bottom).

2)

Removing the ball marked “Y” changes the sequence of the balls in the stack: from XYZ to XZY (from the bottom).

Aim.
The goal of the game is to create the most three-in-a-rows on the surface of the Shibumi pyramid (4 triangular faces). Rows can intersect but do not wrap around corners or edges. The game ends when the board is full with the 30 balls. Players are not allowed to pass and if a player has not legal moves the other player ends the game by placing his remaining balls to complete the pyramid.
In case of a tie for number of three-in-a-rows, the winner is the player who has the least number of balls on the surface of the pyramid, as he reached the same goal with fewer balls.

Note: the “spinout rule” allows a player to force the other player to place a ball and also it makes possible to move balls in the inner pyramid, as shown in the following figure.


More details and images in Spinout boardgamegeek page.
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23. Board Game: Spawn [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Lloyd Krassner
United States
Palm Coast
Florida
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SPAWN

Place 3 Balls (1 Red, 1 White, 1 Black)
All Balls you place must Touch
Remove 1 Ball (not 1 you just placed)
Do not allow 3 of the same color to touch


Complete Rule Set:
http://www.angelfire.com/games2/warpspawn/Spawn.html
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24. Board Game: Spillway [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Erik D
United States
Elmhurst
New York
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SPILLWAY

SETUP:
Create a full pyramid. Arrangement by layer:

WBBW
BwbR
BrwR
WRRW

WRW
RwB
WBW

WW
WW

W

(Note: the middle sections of the first and second levels are irrelevant, just as long as it leaves enough white marbles for the starting setup. That is why they are denoted in lower-case.)

Red and black marbles in the opening setup are known as BASE MARBLES. BASE MARBLES are permanent--they do not move at any point in the game.

The white marbles, and any red or black marbles that replace them throughout the game, are known as SPILL MARBLES.


GAMEPLAY:
Players choose a color. Red goes first.

On your turn, check to see if you made any connections. If so, see CONNECTIONS below.

Remove any white marble, allowing the others to drop as usual, then place the marble of your color at the now-empty spot on top. Check again for any connections of your color.


CONNECTIONS:

If, during your turn, any BASE MARBLES of YOUR COLOR on opposite sides of the board (e.g. North-South or East-West) are connected in an unbroken chain, remove all SPILL MARBLES of YOUR COLOR, and replace with white marbles. You may take another turn.

A player may have 2 connections simultaneously. This counts as 2 connections, but the player takes only one additional turn as if they made 1 connection.

Connections are only counted on your turn. Your opponent's connections only count on their turn.

The first player to make 3 connections wins the game.


VARIATIONS:

Players may agree to change the starting configuration of BASE MARBLES with each game.
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25. Board Game: Sploink [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Erik D
United States
Elmhurst
New York
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Not sure if this qualifies since it requires some additional components, but I thought the idea of a Shibumi dexterity game would be fun. (Yup, this is the one nycavri mentioned in the comments.)

I'll update this entry with the actual game entry once approved by the admins.

SPLOINK


A Shibumi dexterity game for 2-3 players.

COMPONENTS:
1 Ninja Shibumi Set (unverified whether it's wise to play this with a Samurai set)
1 Post-It
1 Backstop (e.g. box of tissues)


SET UP:
Place the foam board on the table and attach the Post-It so that it creates a ramp from the table to the board. Place the backstop flush against the back of the board. (Variation: for a more difficult game, place the backstop 1 inch behind the board.

Players choose end game condition: first to X points, or top score after X rounds.


GAMEPLAY:
Players take turns shooting their marbles toward the board. Any method is allowed, though the marble should be released at least 6 inches from the ramp.

Marbles that fall off the board are out of play, as are any base-level marbles that are not settled into a hole.

In rare cases, a marble may be knocked out of position. These shots are perfectly legal and the displaced marble remains in its new spot (including out of play).

Continue play until all players have fired all of their marbles.


SCORING:
A thread is a section of connecting marbles. For marbles on the same level, they may only be connected orthagonally in 2-player games, or orthagonally AND diagonally in 3 player games. For marbles on different levels, they are connected if they're physically touching each other.

For each thread of connecting marbles, players score the square of the number of points the marbles are worth. Marbles on the base layer are worth 1, 2nd layer are worth 2, 3rd layer are worth 3. Therefore, the formula for calculating scores are [1st level marbles + 2(2nd level marbles) + 3(3rd level marbles)]^2.

Scoring example:

The red player has 2 threads. The first has 3 first level marbles and 2 second level marbles. It scores [1(3) + 2(2)]^2 =
(3 + 4)^2 = 49 points.

The second thread has 1 2nd level marble and 2 3rd level marbles: [2(1) + 3(2)]^2 = (2 + 6)^2 = 64 points.


ZINGING THE PYRAMID:
If a player manages to get a marble on the lone spot 4th level, they have ZINGed the pyramid. The marble is worth 10 points (so 100 after squaring!) and that guy just generally wins at life. Seriously, tell me if this ever happens.
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