Games in the Games on Half a Checkerboard Series
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The origins of The Games on Half a Checkerboard Series came from my work on Stonehenge. I created a number of abstract strategy game for the boardgame Stonehenge. Due to fact that Stonehenge is not readily available, the idea was to adopt them to half a checkerboard, and modify them as needed. From this came the Games on Half a Checkerboard Series, which also included also new titles, and revisions and fixes to some of the original rules in order to improve game play.

The initial 5 games in the Series are:
* J: The Misere Connection Game (This was published in August 2012 issue of Games Magazine)
* King's Crossing
* N a Row
* Short Stack
* Stackschach

Ok, away we go with the games. Feel free to comment and ask questions. Also up for variant suggestions or any other tweaks recommended.
___________________________________________________________________________________
Latest update (August 8, 2012): With the additions of Game #31 and Game #32, the Series is now complete at 32 games (one per space on half a checkerboard). These last two games will need further playtesting to work things out. Check the links below.

By the way, the numbers in the Geeklist correspond with the game's number in the Series. Well, outside of the first five, which were added all at once.

Also, a bit of a warning regarding the Series: It is very likely there will be a decent number of games you end up hating or not really liking, because of the diversity in how they play as far as tempo and play style goes. Some games are also fairly simple while some would be considered overwhelmingly complex.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Instructional videos on how to play these games can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSzS_W_Z66v3IhTQMuglz...

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1. Board Game: J: The Misere Connection Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Richard Hutnik
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J: The Misere Connection Game is in the family of connection games that include Hex and Gonnect. It is unique in that players can win if they force their opponent to form a connection between two areas on the board, and takes place on an 8x4 board.

The origins of this game date back to a failed attempt to come up with a connection game for Stonehenge, which had an outer track that is very long but very tight. The shift to a set 8x4 board caused the game to be viewed differently than on the circular board of Stonehenge.

Another unique aspect to J is that players can LOSE the game if they form a certain type of connection, which would be a misere condition in a connection game. This is also a a unique feature. I had been pondering how to do one and J provides the opportunity to do this.

The game also features several other uncommon features, besides the small board and misere game ending condition, like piece recycling, and also entire lines of pieces being pushed.
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2. Board Game: King's Crossing [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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The origins of King's Crossing was that it was an attempt to adopt Linebreakers to Stonehenge. Moves from Turkish Checkers were added in order to prevent the game from locking up. Linebreakers introduced a unique custodial freezing of pieces in a line. These pieces would be captured later. This game was then adopted to half a checkerboard, with additional variants added.

 
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3. Board Game: N a Row [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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N a Row is a cousin to Captain's Mistress, which goes by the name Connect Four or Four in a Row commercially. It is in the N-in-a-row family like Tic-Tac-Toe, GoMoku or Pente. In addition to the working like Captain's Mistress in regards to piece placement, pieces are recycled and reused. The combination of these elements leads to dramatic swings in potential outcome. This game is an adoption of Pethera-Tethra (by the same author) for the boardgame Stonehenge to an 8x4 board.
 
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4. Board Game: Short Stack [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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The Games on Half a Checkerboard Series provides a challenge to come up with designs that are suitable for half a checkerboard, taking advantage of the unique configuration. To do this, a starting point was to look at different genres of games, and see what would fit. One of these genres is stacking games, like Dvonn or Focus. It was found that the half a checkerboard, along with a set of 12 checkers per players provided a decent piece density. To make it work, and balance uberpowerful stacks from dominating, was the including of a rule that eliminated the player's strongest (tallest) stack from the game, if a player failed to grow the size of any of their full stack during their turn.
 
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5. Board Game: Stackschach [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Stackshach had its origins as an attempt to create a chess-like game that would work on the Stonehenge board, which goes by the name Fidchess. Stachshach takes Fidchess and ends up changing how the pieces move, to make it more suitable for a board that doesn't arch or bend. The use of building up (morphing) and breaking down (deconstructing) was a way to add depth of play, within the constraints of less pieces than normal in chess. Chess on a narrow board is seen in the game like Byzantine Chess. Also, the idea of creating chess pieces out of stacks of checkers also had been done before. The combination of stacks of pieces on a narrow board, like in Stonehenge or Half a Checkerboard is unique.
 
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6. Board Game: F.I.L.O [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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This is an attempt to do a Mancala style game on half a checkerboard. Along the way, it picked up queuing. F.I.L.O stands for First In, Last Out, the way pieces are sowed.
 
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7. Board Game: Frontjammin' [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Frontjammin' is a game like Backgammon, with its own twists. It also includes a variant using a King piece, which gives the game a bit of a Chess flavor.
 
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8. Board Game: 2-5 Skidoo [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Richard Hutnik
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2-5 Skidoo a press-your-luck game for 2 players on an 8x4 board, in the family of games that includes games like Can't Stop, Cosmic Wimpout, 500, Farkle, Ten Thousand, and Pass the Pigs. The name is derived from the phrase “23 skidoo”.
 
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9. Board Game: Melting Ice Floes [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Richard Hutnik
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In Melting Ice Floes, players attempt to eliminate their opponent's pawn or ice floe pieces from the board. As the game progresses, the board shrinks and players may face a situation where half of the board suddenly disappears on them, leaving them with every increasing dangerous situations from which to escape.
 
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10. Board Game: Knight Barricades [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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This game is in the family of games that includes Amazons, and Slimetrail where the object is to cause one's opponent to not be able to move due to the number of spaces available on the board gets reduced as players play the game. Each player has a piece that has a move like a Chess Knight and also put down barricades to restrict movement. From these two elements comes the name of the game.
 
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11. Board Game: Quadruple Crossed [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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In this game, players start with 8 pieces on the board and 4 off. Players try to get four of their pieces across the board, by either advancing them one space, or utilizing lines of pieces leap them over occupied spaces, to either an unoccupied space or off the board.
 
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12. Board Game: InVicio [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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In this game, players have the simple goal of being the first player to get all their pieces on the board. Players try to prevent their opponents from accomplishing this, by either performing custodial captures or jumps over pieces, with either of these moves causes pieces of their opponent to go back into their reserve. The preventing of the placement of pieces along the outside of the board, unless the pieces are involved in capture, leads both to an ongoing exchange of captures and also driving the game to its conclusion.
 
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13. Board Game: Halmette [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
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This is a game that started as an attempt to come up with a game in the Halma family, which also includes Chinese Checkers. As it developed, it began to take on its own flavor, which includes pieces starting off the board, sending enemy pieces back to their reserve area off the board when jumped, and exiting one's own pieces from a single space on the board. With the addition of Quadruple Crossed to the Series, which is also a bit like Halma, there was a focus on having this game be sufficiently different from Quadruple Crossed to warrant its own entry.
 
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14. Board Game: Juxt a Push [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
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In this game, players try to either get their pieces into one contiguously connected group or reduce the number of enemy pieces to one. This game is a hybrid of Groups and Lines of Action, on a smaller board and utilizing shifting lines of pieces. As players shift pieces, they may end up pushing pieces of either player off the board, and out of play. This reducing of pieces is a double-edged sword, as it both weakens a player, but also pushes them closer to possibly winning the game.
 
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15. Board Game: Sllim [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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This is a game in an N-in-a-row game that turns the Mills/Morris family of games on its head. The game features the reverse winning objectives from normal games in the Mills family of games. In this game the object is for the player to remove all their pieces from the board, instead of eliminating opponent's pieces from the board, by forming a line or square. The name Sllim reflects that, as its name is the word “Mills” in reverse. Sllim also shares the form a square pattern of Square Chess, which is played in Asia.
 
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16. Board Game: Nimxus [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Nimxus is in the Nim family. It has a unique feature where players can be forced to place pieces in a column or row, based upon how many pieces their opponent played. Each turn, players place 1-4 pieces on the board. This number, 1-4 corresponds with the number or row the player's opponent put pieces in. Each player has their own unique row, while sharing a column.

Play continues until a player has no legal move. At that point, that player wins the game.
 
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17. Board Game: Boxing the Fox [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
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This is a game in the Fox family of games, which includes Fox and Hounds, where the object is for the Fox player to escape, and the Hound player to stop them. In the game, the Fox player faces an onslaught of Hound pieces, that merely rush forward, and then can recycle if they form a line, and then keep pouring in from the top of the board.
 
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18. Board Game: Contiguous Collapse [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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In this game, players alternate turns moving and capturing an enemy piece, while avoiding a cascade effect that could result in a number of their own contiguously connected pieces being eliminated during their turn.

Play starts out with players alternating turns placing one of their pieces on the board. Once each player has placed their 12 pieces on the board, play begins, with each player attempting to capture an enemy piece while avoiding removal of their own pieces in the same turn.

The flow of the game is one that starts out very strategic in nature, then shifts to a very tactical one in the second half.
 
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19. Board Game: L-Gammon [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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This game is a variant on Backgammon adopted to an 8x4 board and in two dimensions. The name comes from the the L-type shape that the movement of pieces resemble during their turn.

Play is similar to regular Backgammon, except that spaces on the board can totally block the movement of enemy pieces, unless doubles are rolled. In addition, pieces start off the board in a reserve, and enter the board through a player's a home space, as game progresses. Besides this, when pieces are hit, they are sent back to the reserve area, rather than a bar (L-Gammon doesn't utilize a bar). A player only bears off pieces when they have none in their reserve.

The game has the feel of regular backgammon, but the 2 dimensions adds increased tactical considerations.
 
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20. Board Game: Ordigo [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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In this game, players alternate turns placing one or more pieces on the board, in attempt to be the first to gain control over at least half the board. Players have the ability to place more than one piece by placing pieces adjacent to one of their own and enemy pieces currently on the board, or surrounded a space that is either empty or containing one of their opponent's pieces.
 
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21. Board Game: ReVicio [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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The game is loosely related to Reversi and Othello. In this game players enter pieces onto the board, and sliding other pieces down. Players remove a line of enemy pieces that are part of a custodial capture between two of a player's piece, one being slid and another one.

The game differs from Reversi and Othello in that players place all their pieces on the board, and instead of converting over when part of a custodial trap, the enemy pieces are removed from the board.

The story behind this game is that it originally was going to be where InVicio is currently in the Series but I had issues getting it to work. So, it got tabled. ReVicio worked itself out, so it got added. Later on I got this to work. If you see the names, they look similar, which is because they are similar, being connected to Reversi and Othello in how they play. I went to Latin with the word Vici for capture or conquer. And then the o at the end to link it to the other games, and make its name flow a bit better.
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22. Board Game: Sow? [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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This game borrows the concept of sowing pieces from the Mancala family of games. In it, pieces are sown in two dimensions, rather than a line. In addition, there is a limit to how many pieces are permitted on a space, restricting where players can sow their pieces to. Control of a space is governed by the last piece to be sown into it.
 
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23. Board Game: Winding Ascent [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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This game is a diceless race game, where players move their pieces along a long and winding path to get their pieces to the End space, where they come off the board. Along the way, players are able to take shortcuts that accelerate their movement to the end, and also trap opposing pieces so they are not able to move.

The game is very slow and plotting in nature. There is a variant rule added to accelerate play, for those who would be interested in speeding the game up. Also, the game can have times where a player would forced to pass a number of turns.
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24. Board Game: Turkish Tafl [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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This game is a fusion of Turkish Checkers with the Tafl family of games. The game combines the jump capture and promotion found in games in the Checkers family, with the win conditions found in games in the Tafl family, with modifications made to both families of abstract strategy games, to work on an 8x4 board.

From the Turkish Checkers family comes orthogonal sliding and jumping, and promotion of pieces for the Defending side. The King side of the game borrows the goal of exiting off a side of the board.
 
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25. Board Game: Stacks In Action [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Richard Hutnik
United States
Albany
New York
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This game is a fusion of Lines of Action, Focus and Extinction Chess. In it, in order to keep pieces moving, a player must control at least one stack each containing 1 piece, 2 pieces, and 3 pieces. In order to move a stack on top of another stack, a player must have all their pieces on the board. If a player is unable to perform a legal move at the start of their turn, that player loses the game.

The story behind this game is that a friend of mine, Paul Beykirch goes, "I have a game I want to show you". Well, found out he just had a jumbled mess of game ideas and not really a game. He had been playing Lines of Action, so that was part of it. Well, while working on games for this Series, the idea for doing an Extinction game (Tzaar and Extinction Chess are two that come to mind) involving stacks struck me as possible, and the idea of having players needing to maintain stacks 1, 2 and 3 high on the board was part of this. Well, then came the ideas Paul had and I borrowed from them, and fused the other elements together. The idea went through multiple iterations, with the last one being the addition of a default starting position. Without it, it is REALLY REALLY hard to grasp what to do. Because I borrowed elements from concepts he had, he is credited as a co-designer of this game.

 
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