$10.00
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Twixt» Forums » Rules

Subject: Why Pie? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Bush
United States
Shipman
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
This thread is a spinoff of a remark made by Skip Maloney in the review thread

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/677421/twixt-a-twisting-...

SkipM624 wrote:

Say red's goal is a chain of links moving east to west. Black (you) has to establish links moving north to south. Red places a peg somewhere in the center (generally a good idea; placing a starting peg, even slightly near a border, gives you that much less space to manuever). As black, count four spaces away from where red placed their peg, either to the east or west of it, and place your black peg there. At this point, your positions are dead equal. Red can link east or west, and you can link north or south.


Skip was once in a Twixt tournament I directed. As director, I was supposed to communicate the importance of the pie rule, but I apparently failed with Skip. Here I change the colors and the first player has borders North and South, but the following is essentially the position Skip is talking about:


I claim this position is far from equal, and the first player (Orange) has a winning advantage. For example, orange could play i11:


This could be called a feint on the left, preparing for the main attack on the right. It improves orange's position in both the top and bottom halves of the board. Blue might try to cover all of orange's threats along the top with L4, but that would give orange too much room on the left, and orange could play G6:


Instead, blue might block orange more directly on the top with H6, but then orange could play P9:


Play might continue O11 Q12 P12 P10:


Blue's O11 prevented P9 from connecting to L12, but then Q12 generates lots of threats to connect directly to the bottom along the right side. After P12 P10 orange threatens to double link at N11 or to single link at P14. So let's take back blue's last move and instead try the line P14 R14 Q18 M14 N13 R16 S17 T17 U18 P17 O17 N16 M16 i16


Blue is toast. Of course there are plenty of variations I do not discuss here, but I claim that orange has too many threats to connect either directly to the bottom on the right, or to use the L12 and i11 pegs to scoot past blue and connect to the bottom on the left side.

Here's one more variation from the position after orange's i11. Blue might immediately attempt to block along the bottom, say with K17, but in that case orange can play G16 with what looks to me like an easy win:


The point I'm trying to make here is that Twixt is a very fast game. The advantage of the first move is significant. The pie rule really does make a difference. If you play without it you are playing a handicap game. I'm sure there are many players like Skip who would say that the rule is more trouble than it's worth for them, but I hope you give it a try nonetheless. If your opponent plays first with L12, flip that pieces box around!

EDIT: of course, players should agree on the rules before play begins.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Eugene
Oregon
msg tools
mb
What do you consider a balanced first move that would not invite flipping the pieces box around?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Bush
United States
Shipman
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
It took me two years to get around to an answer. In truth, I don't know what really is a balanced first move. My personal preference these days is often either H4 or J5.


You might be interested in a statistical analysis of opening moves played on Little Golem. The most balanced results have occurred so far at C12, D3, or G5. But keep in mind the top value in parentheses in each cell, which is the number of games with that first move. For example, F11 has been marked as a no-swap move, but that data is based on just 38 games. I would call F11 an of-course-swap-duh move. Many such cells have very few games. Strong players know better than to play there.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.