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Subject: An interesting twist on Random-Turn Hex / Y rss

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Nick Reymann
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I came up with this idea a few minutes ago, and thought it was interesting enough to share.

In Random-Turn Hex / Y, a coin is flipped before every turn, and if Heads, Player A moves, and if Tails, Player B moves. It is an interesting game mathematically, but not really in gameplay, as whoever wins the first toss can play in the center and gain a large advantage.

However, I found the idea of randomly determining the player to move interesting, and came up with a possible "fix". Here are the rules:

Goal is the same as in normal Hex / Y - to connect your opposite edges / the three sides with a chain of your color.

There is no swap rule.

Players start with no pieces.
At the beginning of each turn, both players take a piece of their color. Then, a coin is flipped - if Heads, Player A gets to place all of their accumulated pieces anywhere on the board; if Tails, Player B does the same with their own pieces.

I'm at work so I can't type more, but I have found some interesting attributes about this variant that I will post later.
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Channing Jones
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An interesting idea.

It is difficult to mix a large luck factor into games that require lots of skill to play. That is that it can be very frustating for a player who spends a lot of effort playing masterfully only to be foiled by bad luck.
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Russ Williams
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Another idea is to decide randomly whose turn it is each turn, but weight the probability, e.g. the probability that it is A's turn = (# turns B has had so far)/(total number of turns so far) and the probability that it is B's turn = (# turns A has had so far)/(total number of turns so far). So as one player starts to get ahead in number of turns they've had, the system self-corrects and makes it more likely that the other player will get the next run.

Minor technical issue: that formula won't work as long as at least one player has not yet had a turn, so make a special case for that: if both players have had 0 turns (i.e. it's the start of the game) then they are equally likely to be chosen, and if exactly one player has had 0 turns (i.e. it's the second turn) then the player with 0 turns is chosen...
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Jason Koskey
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Hmmm. Perhaps this coin flip mechanic could work as a reaction type mechanic.

It would work in a sequence such as simplified below....but refined to make it integrate onto each game without breaking it.

If player A places a piece in hex * on his/her turn.

Player B can place a piece or flip a coin as a reaction to the placement from player A.

If they choose to flip the coin as a reaction a result of heads would allow them to place there piece adjacent (not diagonal) to the player A's last piece placement. The result would "push" player A's last placed piece in the opposite direction from the placement from player B. If this results in the piece contacting another piece already on the board or the edge of the playing area the piece is removed from play and is available to be placed again in future turns.

If a result of tails happens they do not get to place a piece and the result would allow Player A to gain advantage by placing two pieces back to back. In essence skipping the player who chose the reaction mechanic over placing a piece on there turn.

If a player gets to place twice back to back the result is the next players turn (the one that got skipped) gets to play a "catch up" mechanic by placing two pieces also. The difference is, each time a piece is placed the opposing player gets the opportunity to use the reaction coin flip mechanic.

The difference here again is a result of tails during the first (initial) placement on the "catch up" phase denies the second placement from the "catch up" plays turn. If a tails occurs during the second "catch up" placement it will again skip that persons turn. In effect allowing the initial "catch up" plays turn to continue and thus allowing a third placement. During this third placement no reaction coin flip is allowed, and play will pass after the third piece is placed. Three placements is the maximum with this mechanic.

If a player gets to place three turns the next player gets to place two unattested pieces, again as part if the catch up mechanic.

Of course that can be worded and refined beyond my quick thought here. Though the idea is there.

I think adding in a reaction coin flip mechanic is interesting. Just not sure my example does the mechanic justice......hmmmmm.
 
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David Buckley
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I really like the concept here.
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Nick Reymann
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After some experimenting, I don't think my mechanic works. I really like Russ's idea of weighting the probability that it will be your turn, but I don't really like how for the formula to work, you have to keep track of how many turns each player has had. An alternative idea is to have a "track" like such: ...5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... where a marker starts at 1, meaning 1 coin is flipped. If heads, the marker moves to the right one integer, so on the next turn, 2 heads out of 2 coins must be flipped for the Heads/Right player to have another turn, otherwise it moves left one integer and the other player moves. In other words, for each turn you have in a row, the probability that you will get another one is halved.
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David Buckley
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In what way does the mechanic not work out of interest?
 
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Nick Reymann
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I haven't really played it yet, but on theorizing, it seems that there is not much strategy in blocking or virtual connections, and it is still heavily luck-reliant. One observation: on a size NxN Hex board, if one player has N-1 moves in a row, their best placements still result in the win coming down to whoever gets the next coin toss.
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Channing Jones
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How about this alternative, which is somewhat luck-dependent, but also has some skill. You can call it "Auction Hex".

Each player starts with a certain number of "bidding points", let's say ten.

Players normally alternate taking turns, but a player may also choose to "bid" for who gets the next turn.

If one player wants to bid, then each player secretly notes a certain number of points as his bid, from zero to his current number of points.

Both players then simultaneously reveal their bid. If one bid is higher, then that player takes his turn next. If the bids are equal then the player who did not take the last turn gets the next turn (if it's the first turn, then the player who was supposed to take the first turn gets it).

The player who got the next turn must give his bid to the other player.

What do you think of that?
 
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Russ Williams
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Mageant wrote:
How about this alternative, which is somewhat luck-dependent, but also has some skill. You can call it "Auction Hex".

Each player has a certain number of "bidding points", let's say ten.

Players normally alternate taking turns, but a player may also choose to "bid" for who gets the next turn.

If one player wants to bid, then each player secretly notes a certain number of points as his bid, from zero to his current number of points.

Both players then simultaneously reveal their bid. If one bid is higher, then that player takes his turn next. If the bids are equal then the player who did not take the last turn gets the next turn.

Only the player who got the next turn must subtract his bid from his bidding points.

What do you think of that?


I think I'm having deja vu!

bidding hex online.
 
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Channing Jones
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Yes, giving the winning bid to other player makes it more interesting (so I changed it).
 
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