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Subject: Additional HIVE piece - the MOTH rss

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Jarek Szczepanik
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Hi, everyone

As I've been playing the HIVE in all possible variants with both human and computer opponents, I have noticed that only standard HIVE is well balanced in both attack and defence. Additional pieces: mosquito and ladybug are in my oppinion both too much attack oriented or just to powerful when used together. It really gets troublesome when your opponent uses ladybug and mosquito mimicking it. If you use two ladybugs (the real one and a mimicked one) yourself, it is hardly possible not to get the upper hand. When you add the dragonfly (which in my oppinion is a great piece), the game gets even more disbalanced.

I think that the game with expansions lacks a specialized defensive piece and propose a new one - the MOTH.



Main features of the Moth:

0. The Moth is placed atop a friendly bug that touches no enemy bug (although it can be placed next to a neutral tile)
1. The piece moves atop the hive only
2. Moth's special movement ability allows it to land atop opposite colour tiles only and moving from one opposite colour tile to another (similarly to real moths; they tend to land on certain colours/surfaces to camouflage themselves); neutral tiles (e.g. the Tree/Orchid or the Ant Spider) count as enemy tiles
3. While moving it can fly over only one or two friendly bugs. If the nearest opposite colour tile is separated by three or more frirndly pieces, the Moth can't move
4. The Moth can't go back to ground level by any means
5. As a side effect of atop-the-hive-movement, the piece underneath the Moth can't move
6. When moving through a cluster of enemy bugs, the Moth can advance only one hex per turn
7. There are no interactions between the Moth and Mosquito - when on top of the Hive, the Mosquito behaves as a Beetle, even if it's next to the Moth.


Initially the Moth moved 3 spaces on top of the hive and had ability to change it's colour to that of the piece underneath. However, this feature created too many problems (see discussion below). Meanwhile, another defensive piece moving in a similar manner - the Mite was proposed. Its author has successfully coped with the problems I had with the Moth, so I gave up on the colour change ability. The piece undergone many changes. Lately I have change some rules for the Moth, eliminating the problems with Mosquito interaction and restricting Moth's mobility.

This post, first in the thread is updated each time I change the rules. If you are interested how the piece have evolved, read next post. If you want to discuss current rules, please go to the most recent posts.

VII 2013: A file with the latest rules can be downloaded here.

Greetings and enjoy the Moth!

Svartisen
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Loren Cadelinia
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Svartisen wrote:
Hi everyone,

As I've been playing the HIVE in all possible variants with both human opponents and dumbots at boardspace, I have noticed that only standard HIVE is well balanced in both attack and defence. Additional pieces: mosquito and ladybug are in my oppinion both too much attack oriented or just to powerful when used together. It really gets troublesome when your opponent uses ladybug and mosquito mimicking it. If you use two ladybugs (the real one and a mimicked one) yourself, it is hardly possible not to get the upper hand. When both aforementioned expansions are used together with the dragonfly (which in my oppinion is a great piece), the game gets even more disbalanced (see the thread regarding the dragonfly variant).

I think that the game with expansions lacks a specialized defensive piece and propose a new one - the MOTH.


Proposed rules for the piece:

1. The moth pieces can be added to a standard Hive set and can be
placed the same way as other pieces.

2. In the first move after placement the moth can move one field onto the hive if not blocked by any other piece.

3. While atop the hive, it can move three fields in any direction, however it MAY NOT go back down the hive. Additionally, it must stay atop the hive during movement (it isn't allowed to cross a gap while moving).

4. The moth blocks the piece underneath after finishing the movement, however, opposite to the beetle it does not change the color of the field to its own, but mimicks the color ot the piece underneath it. As a result: f.e. the black moth finishing its movement on a white piece is considered to be a white field; black player can not place new pieces next to his own moth resting on a white tile.

5. Any pieces already resting atop the hive (regardless if it is a single beetle/mosquito/dragonfly or a stack of more than two pieces) are treated as an obstacle for a moth. The moth can move around the obstacle only and must not climb it neither when finishing the movement, nor during the process.

6. A beetle/dragonfly/mosquito disguised as a beetle or a dragonfly can immobilize a moth by being placed atop of it.

7. The mosquito can mimick the moth ONLY before moving onto the hive. While atop the hive, the moth is ''invisible'' for the mosquito and can not be mimicked by the mosquito. When a mosquito climbs the hive as a moth, it gets stuck being a moth and can not climb down.

8. The dragonfly can transport the moth in a standard way. When the dragonfly is forced to leave the moth during its (dragonfly's) next movement and the moth is left on ''ground level'' again, it can climb the hive for the second time, even if completely surrounded.


I tried make a strictly defensive piece, which can be used for blocking opponents pieces from above, most useful at the end of the game. At the same time I intended to balance it: rules 3 & 4 assure the moth can not be used as an additional beetle, which would give it too much power. Rule 5 is set to restrain it further (I think the piece would be too powerful without this rule, especially when played early in the game). The only thing I'm afraid about the moth, is that this new piece should be used rather together with other expansions than as a single addition to standard HIVE. I hope that moth-mosquito relationships are clear - the example of Eucalyx's dragonfly has shown that mosquito is the most difficult piece to work smoothly with any new piece finishing its movement atop the hive.

I will try to add a project of the piece soon and look forward to read any oppinions or comments.

Greetings!

Svartisen


I like it a lot. I think a nice touch to this piece would be a different underside on the tile. Thus, the piece could be flipped over when on top of the opposite color to denote that it does not change the color to its own. I'm thinking just an outline of the opposite color at the edge.

Thematically it works as moths tend to blend in to their surroundings.

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Christian Sperling

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Hi Svartisen!

I like your Moth. Intuitively I would think that it could work well. You spent obviously a lot of time in considering different tactical advantages and disadvantages and some exceptional situations,too.
I understand the idea behind point 4. You want to weaken the Moth but for playing the game in reality I think it isn`t an elegant solution to pretend that the Moth is virtually changing its colour while placed atop an animal of the opposite colour. The truth is that it has still the same colour so the player has to check first which colour is underneath and has to keep that in mind. If I watch on a Hive "board" I often neglect the graphics on the tiles and just watch the colours to find out which regions are good for blocking or placing a new bug. If the tile underneath is surrounded by 3-5 tiles you sometimes have to change your point of view to see its colour.
That`s something which is a bit contradictory to the "simplicity" and elegance of Hive.
I don`t think that flipping the tile would solve that problem but cause a lot more.
I actually have no clue how to cope with this but I recommend to work on it again.
Point 7 is an unnecessary exception which also leads to rules which become more complex than they should be.
How can you remember after 30 moves that the Mosquito on top of the hive can`t be moved because it was stuck mimicking a Moth before?
Don`t push memory elements into Hive.
I have/had the same problem with my Dragonfly and will change the Mosquito`s movement ontop of the Hive in the next update to the most logical solution in order to avoid exceptions.
If it turns out that your Moth is stronger than desired, try to limit its abilities somewhere else. :-)

Keep on going - the Moth has a big potential in my opinion!

Greetings
Eucalyx
 
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Christian Sperling

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...to make your Moth looking more Hive style like you should simplify the structure. Actually I feel too much realism compared to the other animals with a more abstract appearance.
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Sounds logical. However this solution can not be applied to mosquito mimicking the moth, since it has a blank underside. This would also make the moth the only two-side piece (apart from the butterfly proposed here some time ago).

One possibility is to apply your solution of flipable piece and modify the rules as follows:

(i) the moth is placed ON TOP of hive on the tile matching your color, touching only your own tiles

(ii) when the moth stops on a tile of the opposite color, it must be flipped

(iii) the mosquito can not mimick the moth

(iv) the dragonfly can not transport the moth

However I have two ''buts'' regarding this solution: I'm not sure about different rules for placing of the moth and flipping it. I would rather have a piece which is as similar to other hive pieces as possible. Adding a piece which does not

The problem you wrote about is, in my opinion, a minor one. You place new tiles only next to the ones which are at hive's outline. Here you can easly check what color is underneath the moth.


Best regards!
 
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Christian Sperling

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Quote:
The problem you wrote about is, in my opinion, a minor one. You place new tiles only next to the ones which are at hive's outline.


That is not true. You can have a full circle with 5 black tiles and one white which is covered by the Moth. From most angles it looks like you were allowed to place a new black tile in the middle but according to the rule that the Moth is not "changing" the colour of the tile underneath you are not allowed to do so.

The outlines doesn`t look bad but they will be complicated to produce (expensive).

What about a Moth made of translucent glass-like material where the colour of the tile underneath shines through. One tile is made of black coloured transparent glass and one is a little bit milky. - This is far away from becoming a realistic option and again the Moth would look like an exception but it would support the idea that the Moth is not dominant in colour while ontop of the hive.

By the way: What if a Moth covers a Moth? Which colour should be valid?
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Hi Eucalyx,

To tell the truth, I came with this idea after losing a match of LM-Hive to a friend and concluding that a defence-oriented piece would be a nice addition to the game. Then I checked here, if a suitable piece has ever been proposed by another player. It took me about half an hour to create these rules (maybe that's the reason they are too much complicated at some points). I agree with most of your comments.

The ''simplicity'' and elegance of Hive is something that makes this game so exciting, so I will think about rebalancing this piece a little and removing the rule about changing the color of the tile. I have not tested the piece so far, this should provide me with some more specific information. I will share my conclusions after that.

The part about mosquito is exceptionally interesting for me. I hope that your new mosquito rules will allow it to work smoothly with new pieces moving atop the hive. I will also try to simplify the graphics.

Thanks a lot,

Svartisen
 
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H Jacobs
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An earlier attempt to create a defensive piece:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/647821/the-hive-addition-the...

H
 
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Randall Ingersoll
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I enjoy reading about possible new bugs in Hive. And I, too, think that the next bug introduced must be a defensive one.

However, at first look, I don't see how this bug does much on defense. It seems that it has just had some of its offensive ability taken away (eg. the ability to cover a Queen and allow a direct drop, and the ability to come down off the hive to complete a victory).

Here are my comments and questions:

Rules 1 & 2 force the loss of tempo (1 move to place the Moth, 1 move to move the Moth atop the hive). If this bug is designed as a defensive bug, this loss of tempo could be fatal to a defender.

As a solution, I might suggest that these two steps be combined into one move. (Note that combining these two would be different than allowing a bug to be placed directly atop a bug of its own color. The placement rules would still apply to the initial placement.)

A question regarding Rule 3: Can a Moth back track during its movement or must it move its three spaces similar to the way a Spider does? (ie. no backtracking)

Applying Rule 4, a Moth covering an opposing piece would not block opposing pieces from being placed adjacent to it. Again, this reduces the Moth's defensive ability. If Rule 3 includes no backtracking, there will be instances where the Moth is atop an opposing bug, a new bug is placed in an adjacent space, and the Moth's movement will not allow the Moth to cover the new bug. (Again, reducing its defensive potential.)

My suggestion: Make the Moth gray (or some other neutral color). The color of the moth image (black or white) on the neutral background would identify its color. And then, do not allow placement of ANY bugs adjacent to the Moth. This would, in my opinion, greatly increase its defensive ability.

As far as the Mosquito goes, I don't see a problem. A Mosquito at ground level adjacent to a Moth can climb atop the hive, just like a Moth. Once atop the hive, it reverts back to its special movement rule about moving like a Beetle. BUT, if it is atop the hive AND adjacent to a Moth, then it can use the Moth's 3 space movement, but not come down off the hive during that turn.

And finally, why allow a Beetle atop the hive to block its movement (Rule 5)?

Keep up the good work guys!

Randy

PS - We need to figure out how to use Vassal so we can begin play testing these optional bugs.
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Eucalyx wrote:
Quote:
The problem you wrote about is, in my opinion, a minor one. You place new tiles only next to the ones which are at hive's outline.


That is not true. You can have a full circle with 5 black tiles and one white which is covered by the Moth. From most angles it looks like you were allowed to place a new black tile in the middle but according to the rule that the Moth is not "changing" the colour of the tile underneath you are not allowed to do so.

The outlines doesn`t look bad but they will be complicated to produce (expensive).

What about a Moth made of translucent glass-like material where the colour of the tile underneath shines through. One tile is made of black coloured transparent glass and one is a little bit milky. - This is far away from becoming a realistic option and again the Moth would look like an exception but it would support the idea that the Moth is not dominant in colour while ontop of the hive.

By the way: What if a Moth covers a Moth? Which colour should be valid?



Hmmm, I like your comments. Thanks to such opinions the piece will evolve to the best possible version. I am currently trying to rework the rules. I think I will give up on blending ability and changing colours. If the moth is to become a defensive piece, maybe it should always stop on opponents tile (as for now I will keep both 3 fields movements and not being able to go over a stack of tiles), which would be useful for blocking pieces. It seems the piece is very powerful only when used early in the game, however it can be offset while the hive grows.

Read you later
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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rmingersoll wrote:
I enjoy reading about possible new bugs in Hive. And I, too, think that the next bug introduced must be a defensive one.

However, at first look, I don't see how this bug does much on defense. It seems that it has just had some of its offensive ability taken away (eg. the ability to cover a Queen and allow a direct drop, and the ability to come down off the hive to complete a victory).

Here are my comments and questions:

Rules 1 & 2 force the loss of tempo (1 move to place the Moth, 1 move to move the Moth atop the hive). If this bug is designed as a defensive bug, this loss of tempo could be fatal to a defender.

As a solution, I might suggest that these two steps be combined into one move. (Note that combining these two would be different than allowing a bug to be placed directly atop a bug of its own color. The placement rules would still apply to the initial placement.)

A question regarding Rule 3: Can a Moth back track during its movement or must it move its three spaces similar to the way a Spider does? (ie. no backtracking)

Applying Rule 4, a Moth covering an opposing piece would not block opposing pieces from being placed adjacent to it. Again, this reduces the Moth's defensive ability. If Rule 3 includes no backtracking, there will be instances where the Moth is atop an opposing bug, a new bug is placed in an adjacent space, and the Moth's movement will not allow the Moth to cover the new bug. (Again, reducing its defensive potential.)

My suggestion: Make the Moth gray (or some other neutral color). The color of the moth image (black or white) on the neutral background would identify its color. And then, do not allow placement of ANY bugs adjacent to the Moth. This would, in my opinion, greatly increase its defensive ability.

As far as the Mosquito goes, I don't see a problem. A Mosquito at ground level adjacent to a Moth can climb atop the hive, just like a Moth. Once atop the hive, it reverts back to its special movement rule about moving like a Beetle. BUT, if it is atop the hive AND adjacent to a Moth, then it can use the Moth's 3 space movement, but not come down off the hive during that turn.

And finally, why allow a Beetle atop the hive to block its movement (Rule 5)?

Keep up the good work guys!

Randy

PS - We need to figure out how to use Vassal so we can begin play testing these optional bugs.


Hi Randy,

Thanks for the comments and questions. As for the answers:

1. The piece is to weak.
I made the moth so weak on purpose. I prefer to start with a weak piece and add slowly ''pump it up'' if it does not affect the balance of the game. As I wrote at the beginning, standard Hive is a well balanced game and it is easy to lose that balance when adding a new piece. As in real life, I prefer evolution over intelligent design . I made a proposition only and it is thanks to other players, such as yourself, that help me develop it, serving as a kind of selective pressure for my ideas. I admit, that I could weaken it to much, but I haven't tested this piece for real and I am open for any reasonable and necessary changes.

2. While creating the piece, I thought mostly of a hybrid between a beetle and ladybug. I wanted to add a piece that moves atop the hive only, since, in my opinion, it would be difficult to add any new piece moving on the ''ground floor''.

3. Placing rules.
Yes, I don't want for placing rules for this piece to differ from the rest of creatures (f.e. by placing it directly on top). I think, that these rules are the core of Hive mechanics and changing them would mean to ''unHive'' the game. However there is merit in your suggestion on earlier version of my rules. The first movement after placement should be 3 fields on top of the hive. The opponent can block the moth directly after placing it, so it should be easy to defend against this piece.

4. 3 field movement.
Yes, no backtracking (otherwise this piece could become too powerful)

5. Covering the tiles.
It seems, that this is the most problematic rule. At first I thought about making the moth a piece that blends into its background. However it generates too many inconsistencies. So I have decided to use another ability that moths possess: many tend to rest on the surface matching a certain range of colour to hide themselves during the day. So let us assume that the black moth stops on top of white tiles only and vice versa. This should eliminate most problems you and Eucalyx wrote about. Your suggestion about not allowing to place any piece next to the moth is a very interesting one. I will test it.

6.The mosquito issue.
I think I will wait for Eucalyx to publish his new dragonfly rules. If his solution to mosquito behaviour atop the hive will work smoothly for my piece, I will try to include them. I think that it should be only one rule for mosquito moving atop the hive - as Eucalyx wrote, it would be difficult to remember, which piece is mosquito mimicking at the moment.

7. Beetle blocking the moth.
I wanted to give the opponent a possibility to defend against the moth while it is moving on the top.

Thanks a lot and greetings!
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Additional HIVE piece - the MOTH
New rules for the moth will be posted after few more tests. They will be modified not to collide with Chlorix's mite piece: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/8240423#8240423.

The core rule will be the ability of the moth to land always on the opponent's tiles.
 
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Calvin Daniels
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Like most home created additions, the moth is overly complex in a game where you explain piece movement of existing bugs in a heartbeat.

Hive is simple

the moth and dragonfly both lack that I am afraid
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Christian Sperling

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There are 2 options to deal with your legitimate critic:
To simplify the mechanics of the animal and/or find an easier way to describe how the animal works.
Both is a process and if you see that it leads to a dead end, then you can take out the main idea of your animal and start with a new one or just forget about it. In my eyes the Moth and the Mite have a good potential. They aren`t even playtested yet. So I can just encourage the authors to go on.

I thought my Dragonfly was already on a level to be ready for real production but now I see that there are still things to improve and to change. Nevertheless I am convinced that the bug is a good expansion. As we could see 4? years ago the rules of the official rules were changed after it was obvious that the Queen-Queen start leads to many draws. At this time the game was already released for a couple of years and nobody had complained about it before massively. Even the basis game had to be changed in details for working more smoothly so we should give also new pieces a chance which seem to lack in this or that. What we need for great working expansion bugs is a community here which discusses the ideas and a place where you can test out new pieces online.
Would be awesome if Dave Dyer will implement a kind of testing area on Boardspace where the most Hive enthusiasts come together for exchanging their opinions.
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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I agree. I have published this new piece to ask the other players what they think about it and to obtain some data and advice for future improvements. Improving it is part of the fun.

As for general rules for Hive, I think, they were not so clear at first. Some people I wished to introduce Hive to complained, that the rules were not precise and some should have been confirmed through on-line play. It looks like the Hive is evolving - so are the new expansions. One has to bear with the fact, that there will be prototypes and several test versions of additional pieces. After all, we are not selling them, just publishing possible new creatures.

By the way, Eucalyx (or other more experienced player/s), are you able to write me how often does one get a situation when only one of the players can't move or add (this one is more important for me) any piece? I couldn't find any statistics (and modelling or calculating the probability is beyond my skills). Intuitively, the more pieces are there in the game (and if one of the players 'saves' them for end-game), the more often it should occur (more pieces give you more opportunities to block your opponent). I'm afraid that my new rules for the moth will force such a situation to happen more often, so I have to make a trade-off between simplicity of the rules and risking a possible more frequent stalemate.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Randall Ingersoll
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I am not familiar enough with the web site vassalengine.org to understand completely how it works. But it was mentioned in one of the other Hive threads here at BGG. Another player had already designed a Vassal module to play Hive. As I understand it, this could easily be a place where new bugs could be playtested.

I have not had the time to explore this option completely. But if any Hive players out there can explain to the group how this is done, I think that it has good prospects for playtesting.
 
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Randall Ingersoll
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Svartisen wrote:

By the way, Eucalyx (or other more experienced player/s), are you able to write me how often does one get a situation when only one of the players can't move or add (this one is more important for me) any piece?


An experienced player is always looking for the opportunity to restrict his opponent's placement of bugs and control his opponent's movement. So this happens more often than one would imagine. But it does not lead to a stalemate.

In chess, for example, when one player cannot move (stalemate) the game is declared a draw. But in Hive, the player who cannot move, passes and the other player continues moving. This usually, but not always, leads to an easy victory.
 
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Antonio Ferrari
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Talisinbear wrote:
... in a game where you explain piece movement of existing bugs in a heartbeat.

Hive is simple

the moth and dragonfly both lack that I am afraid


I agree. I like dragonfly and moth, but they need simpler rules.

Original moth rules were too complicated, but the author if trying to simplify them... This is the line to follow... Simple movement and not too many exceptions...

Dragonfly is fine, but I find its movement too complicated... One step forward and one step to the left or right... It take too much time to try to figure out all possible ending spaces of dragonfly respect to an hexagonal lattice...

 
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Christian Sperling

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To give my personal opinion about how often it occurs that a player is paralysed/totally blocked and has to pass his turn:
It is depending on the player`s style to play.
In my games with experienced players it occurs in about 10-15% of all games. The same with draws which are caused by a 3 times repetition.

@Antonio Ferrari (a bit offtopic)
I respect your impression that the Dragonfly seems too complicated with its movement. Personally I think that the Ladybug is on the same complexity level, especially if you are not playing online and don`t get the hints which destination fields are possible.
The Dragonfly has a maximum of 6 possible fields to go, most of the time less. Compared with a free Mosquito half surrounded by 4 different animals (whose movements cann all be adapted) it is much easier to make a decision where to go with a Dragonfly. Also a hopper has a maximum of 6 different destination fields, the same with the Beetle and the Queenbee. Only a spider has less options - interestingly this is the piece I need the most time to figure out where it can go because of the 3-field counting along the hex which is sometimes not so easy to recognize on first sight.

 
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Antonio Ferrari
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Sorry if it's offtopic. It was just to confirm what Calvin Daniels has said. I like Dragonfly and Moth and other new possible pieces... But please choose easy movements and short/easy rules to describe this movements. I find ladybug movement easy to figure out and explain and in line with Hive philosophy. Moth would have to be like this...
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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All Hive pieces should have rules as simple as possible, plus they should fit into game mechanics. No doubts about it!

Please, have patience. I'm reworking the moth and should post new rules very soon.

Old rules presented in the first post were just a sketch, not a finished piece. I think that next ones won't be a final version either. Sorry, if anyone misunderstood that.

What I lack at the moment, is some kind of dumbot from Boardspace. Dumb as it is, it seems perfect for testing how the new piece will affect the balance of the game.

Seemingly this VASSAL-thing can be used for on-line game between human players only and lacks any kind of computer opponent. But maybe I couldn't find it.
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Additional Hive piece - THE MOTH
MOTH the Second

I. Introduction

Here is the the Moth again, with both new graphics and new rules. I tried to simplify the rules as much as it was possible. Of course, the rules will be changed, if any new problems I wasn't able to detect occur. I tried to test the piece much more than I did last time. Any comments and suggestions are welcome.


II. Piece description

The Moth was planned as a defensive piece to counterbalance other additional (offensive) creatures to standard HIVE - Mosquito, Ladybug and Dragonfly. The Moth is designed to block opponent's pieces and to be hardly useful, when it comes to surround opponent's Queen. In my opinion the latter feature is a must for a defensive piece. All tiles have 6 edges only and adding more creatures, that are able to surround the Queen would lead to further loss of attack-defence balance.

III. The rules

1. The Moth is placed in the same way as any other pieces, but to avoid a stalemate, one can't play the Moth before both Queen Bees are placed.

2. The Moth moves on top level of the hive and stops on the first tile of the colour opposite to its own it moves over. While travelling, it may not cross any gaps (one hive rule applies here!). Possible Moth's movements after placement are illustrated below. Green arrows are for allowed moves, red arrows for illegal ones:



3. This mode of movement remains valid if the piece is already atop the hive. It is possible to end the movement on top of the stack of two or more pieces. The Moth can also freely move above such stacks:





4. The piece is not allowed to go back down the hive, thus it can not be used to surround the Queen (but see Dragonfly section for a possible exception).

5. The piece under the Moth is unable to move. On the other hand, a Beetle, Mosquito, the other Moth or a Dragonfly can immobilize the Moth by being placed on top of it.

6. No new piece can be placed adjacent to the Moth, but already placed pieces can be moved next to the Moth (see Possible problems section for the reason). On the picture below the white player has blocked black Ant. However, no new white pieces can be placed on fields marked with red X-es:



IV. The Moth & The Mosquito

To avoid any problems when using both the Mosquito and the Moth, I propose following solution, changing original mosquito rules a little:

The Mosquito can mimic the movement of any adjacent creature only if it does not end atop the hive (which means that it can not copy moth and some beetle/dragonfly moves).

This solution weakens the Mosquito a little, which is already too powerful piece and will get more power with each new creature added. The proposed solution resolves also some problems for the Dragonfly and help a little to regain game's balance when playing with all additional creatures.

V. The Moth & the Dragonfly

The Moth can be transported by the Dragonfly as any other piece. If the Dragonfly transports the Moth back to ground level, the Moth can crawl up again, using its usual movement rules. Additionally, it is allowed to crawl out from a completely surrounded field.

VI. Possible problems

It is seems that the Moth will increase the possibility of getting a situation when one of the players gets blocked (unable to move and add new pieces), as it is used to block other creatures from above.

The reason for the rule number 6 (no new pieces placed next to the Moth), is a problem which I called the Queen Dilemma.
Starting position looks like this:




The white Moth moves on top of opponent's Queen. Once there, white player gets a serious handicap, because he or she can surround the black Queen just by placing new tiles. Of course, such situation is also possible with two beetles, however any piece moving more than one field atop the hive (the Moth, the Dragonfly, the Mosquito moving as a moth/dragonfly) saves the white player one turn and may bring him or her a faster victory. I'm not sure if it's a real threat, since the black player has few relatively simple options to counter-act. What do you think everyone?

To avoid the Queen Dilemma with the Mosquito moving as a moth/dragonfly it would be better to slightly change the rules for this creature (see Mosquito section)

VII. Concluding remarks

The Moth seems to be more useful near the end in the game. It requires a well-thought-out placement to be used effectively. It's possible to block this creature both on the ground and atop the hive. I hope that this time Moth's rules are simple enough and more or less match the mechanics of the Hive. Usually the Moth has a maximum of 3-4 possible landing fields, easy to figure out (I agree, that the Spider is most difficult piece to move - where was that three spaces field again?). Nonetheless, the current rules for the piece may generate some problems and much more test are required.

Please, enjoy the new Moth and feel free to comment it.

Greetings,

Svartisen

P.S. There is no problem when using the Moth together with the Mite, another defensive piece proposed by Chlorix.

EDIT NOTE 1: a rule for placing new pieces adjacent to the Moth was modified.

EDIT NOTE 2: Changed Mosquito section

EDIT NOTE 3: Changed Possible problems section

EDIT NOTE 4: Piece description and the rules slightly changed.

EDIT NOTE 5: Mosquito section underwent major revision.
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Randall Ingersoll
United States
Port Orange
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Nice Work!

BUT, if the Moth is to be a defensive piece, the Queen Problem must be solved. Because as it is, the Moth will be used as an attacking piece to cover the Queen and allow direct placement adjacent to the Queen. (Its speed of movement atop the hive makes it a very strong attacking piece)

A possible solution would be:

Make the Moth a gray piece (color would be determined by the color of the moth picture on the piece) and do not allow placement of any new bug adjacent to a Moth.

This would solve the Queen Problem.
 
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Randall Ingersoll
United States
Port Orange
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Regarding the Mosquito Issue and any new bug that can end its movement atop the hive:

I do not see that this is an issue.

There are two possibilities when a Mosquito is atop the hive AND also adjacent to another bug (Dragonfly or Moth for example).

1) The Mosquito can move like a Beetle or mimic the movement of the adjacent bug

OR

2) The Mosquito can only mimic the movement of the adjacent bug (This might be interesting because another bug could defend against the Mosquito dropping into a game winning space.)
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
Poland
Warsaw
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I may have misunderstood you, but the problem with the Mosquito and the Moth occurs when they rest on the ground and not atop the hive. Imagine the situation similar to the picture of Queen Dilemma: the white moth is placed and rests at the ground level. The white mosquito is also at the ground level next to f.e. an ant. The white mosquito moves as an ant and stops next to the moth. Then it can move on top of the hive as a moth and lead to the Queen Dilemma (how to treat a mosquito that have moved as a moth onto the Queen and was not touched for next few turns? As a moth or as a beetle?). I think that Queen Dilemma applies to the Dragonfly too (the white moth on the picture can be replaced with the dragonfly - the result is the same). I have hesitated a lot about the rule number 6. I admit, that you have the point - the Queen Dilemma would make the Moth an offensive piece. I have decided to change the rule as follows: no piece can be placed next to the Moth. This erased the Queen Dilemma for the moth but not for the Mosquito moving as a moth.
 
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