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Subject: No sowing into own mancala? Not repeating ANY previous position? rss

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Russ Williams
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The only rules source I found is http://mancala.wikia.com/wiki/Bao_Arabica ...

1.

No mention is made of whether you sow into your own mancala; I hesitantly infer that you do not sow into your own mancala, right?

==============

2.

"It is not permitted to move a stone back and forth so that a previous board position is repeated." Does this mean ANY previous board position (like superko in Go) or the immediately previous board position (like simple ko)? I guess in hindsight after playing a game that it means ANY previous board position, because we had a situation where I moved a singleton left on my side, and my opponent moved a singleton left on her side, then I moved my same singleton right on my side, and she moved hers right - so in hindsight she should not have been able to make her move right since it created a cycle of length 4, right?

But we worried about trying to enforce a true superko rule prohibiting even long cycles; can it happen that a much longer cycle appears that's not simply from an obvious "back and forth" type movement?

======

3. (Edited to add 3rd question.)
Oware has a rule that you must sow seeds to an empty opponent's side if you can. I didn't see such a rule mentioned for Bao Arabica, so I guess there is no such rule in Bao Arabica?

======

PS: http://mancala.wikia.com/wiki/Bao_Arabica has external links to more info, but they are no longer working, alas:
http://www.hiku-spiele.de/
http://www.wikinfo.org/index.php/Bao_Arabica
 
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Ralf Gering
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1.
In the German rules the pits into which stones are sown (those arranged in a circle) are called "Spielmulden". The "Ablagemulden" (outside of the circle) are only used to deposit / store the winnings.

2.
I have just re-read the repetition rule. You are not permitted to repeat a previous board position of your own holes [as the example shows: as long as no stones are added or removed from these holes]. In German: "Ein Spielzug, der in den eigenen Spielmulden zu einer Wiederholung der vorherigen Stellung der Steine [! - note that this is plural] in diesen Spielmulden führt, ist nicht erlaubt. Beispiel: Ein Spieler setzt einen Stein aus einer eigenen Spielmulde im Uhrzeigersinn in seine nächste Spielmulde. Die anderen Spieler setzen während der nächsten Runde in die Spielmulden dieses Spielers keinen Stein. Im nächsten Spielzug darf dieser Spieler seinen zuvor im Uhrzeigersinn gesetzten Stein nicht gegen den Uhrzeigersinn in die zuvor besetzte Spielmulde zurücklegen."

Actually this means that you only have to watch your own stones (not the position of your opponent), but only as long as no stone is added. (or removed).

3.
There is no obligation to feed your opponent.
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Russ Williams
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Cool, thanks for the answers. 1 & 3 are very clear now.

About 2: Interesting, I totally hadn't understood that it was referring only to your own holes, nor that it is only in the case that no seed changed sides to/from the opponent's side. OK, that makes the cycle-checking seem more practical/manageable/doable.

To confirm, as you say "You are not permitted to repeat a previous board position of your own holes" (instead of "the previous board position"), I understand that to mean "super ko", not just "simple ko", i.e. the rule prohibits restoring ANY previous board state, not just the immediately previous board state.

E.g. the following is definitely illegal:

0 0 1 0 0 0

0 0 0 1 0 0
(move my seed to the right)

0 0 1 0 0 0
(move my seed to the left, restoring the immediately previous board state of my half of the board)


And also the following longer cycle is forbidden:

1 0 0 1 0 0

0 1 0 1 0 0
(move my first seed to the right)

0 1 0 0 1 0
(move my second seed to the right)

1 0 0 0 1 0
(move my first seed to the left)

1 0 0 1 0 0
(move my second seed to the left, restoring an earlier board state but not the immediately previous board state)
 
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John
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I've never played this game but I can't reconcile your example with the rules from the Mancala Wiki.

russ wrote:

E.g. the following is definitely illegal:

0 0 1 0 0 0

0 0 0 1 0 0
(move my seed to the right)

0 0 1 0 0 0
(move my seed to the left, restoring the immediately previous board state of my half of the board)

Looking at the setup diagram for a 2 player game on the Mancala Wiki I can't see how your diagram repsents moving a seed to the right in pits you control. I think the initial setup is:

AAABBB
BBBAAA

A = play A's pit, B = player B's pit

So it would need to be something like this...

Prior to your move:

010010
010000

You move a seed left:

100010
010000

Opponent moves a seed to the left:

100100
010000

You move the same seed to the right recreating a previous position on your half of the board:

010010
010000
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Russ Williams
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zabdiel wrote:
I think the initial setup is:

AAABBB
BBBAAA

A = play A's pit, B = player B's pit

Aha!

It's been a long time since I thought about this game, but I think you are right; we overlooked "If two play, each player controls three succeeding holes diagonally opposite each other" in the wiki's rule description and just automatically (mis)assumed that as in the other Mancala games we'd played, a player's pits are the 6 in the line closest to that player. Doh!

Thanks.
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