David Buckley
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The Symple move protocol is that each turn you either place a single stone on the board or you grow all your groups of stones by 1 stone each. The second player is also allowed to do both these things provided that neither player has grown his groups yet. In the stem game the final score is your number of stones - some multiplier of your number of groups and according to my taste it is a fine game.

There is also SyGo (Symple crossed with Go) and SympleHex. Here are three further ideas.

Syvannah: The Symple move protocol married with the winning conditions used in Havannah I have a suspicion that this might favour the attacker too much to be a good game but I think it would be fun to investigate. Christian, I would be interested to know whether you have already thought of this and rejected it?

Sychup: Symple move protocol. Catchup winning condition. Player with the largest group wins. If both players have the same size the player with the second largest group wins and so on.

Syversi: This is the one I am most excited about. Unlike Reversi/Othello there is no obligation to start on the central squares and no obligation to place pieces where they make a capture but if you place one or more pieces where they can make a Reversi style capture then such a capture is compulsory. All captures made during a move resolve simultaneously. Diagonally adjacent pieces do not count as being part of the same group but pieces can still be sandwiched diagonally. One common dilemma is that making a capture may split your opponent's groups and/or unite your own. Based on a brief playtest I would say that the game has it's own character distinct from either parent game. It is rather opaque but I am nonetheless pleased with it.
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christian freeling
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Buckersuk wrote:
The Symple move protocol is that each turn you either place a single stone on the board or you grow all your groups of stones by 1 stone each. The second player is also allowed to do both these things provided that neither player has grown his groups yet. In the stem game the final score is your number of stones - some multiplier of your number of groups and according to my taste it is a fine game.

There is also SyGo (Symple crossed with Go) and SympleHex. Here are three further ideas.

Syvannah: The Symple move protocol married with the winning conditions used in Havannah I have a suspicion that this might favour the attacker too much to be a good game but I think it would be fun to investigate. Christian, I would be interested to know whether you have already thought of this and rejected it?

Sychup: Symple move protocol. Catchup winning condition. Player with the largest group wins. If both players have the same size the player with the second largest group wins and so on.

Syversi: This is the one I am most excited about. Unlike Reversi/Othello there is no obligation to start on the central squares and no obligation to place pieces where they make a capture but if you place one or more pieces where they can make a Reversi style capture then such a capture is compulsory. All captures made during a move resolve simultaneously. Diagonally adjacent pieces do not count as being part of the same group but pieces can still be sandwiched diagonally. One common dilemma is that making a capture may split your opponent's groups and/or unite your own. Based on a brief playtest I would say that the game has it's own character distinct from either parent game. It is rather opaque but I am nonetheless pleased with it.

For starters, I appreciate that you're bringing this up. It took me a split second to see the Symple protocol, it took Benedikt and me a day to have the essence in focus, it took the embedded balancing mechanism a week or so to reveal itself and it took just over a year, and Luis' talents to get to the core, to see the source of what I had called its lack of drama and act on it, introducing compulsory placement. It's how preconceived ideas can get in the way: we had basically seen it as a Go-like organism.

Your summary of the game is very good, and I notice once more that superficial reading might suggest that there is a basic a-symmetry in the balancing mechanism. There is not, of course. It is basically a trade off between having the first move, afterwards, or having a calculable and growing compensation, a choice both can make on their turn at any point, and a done deal once either of them does.

Sygo owes its name to Symple and Go, but I wouldn't call it the result of cross breeding, but rather the application of the protocol to a Go system with 'othelloanian capture', reversing groups rather than removing them.

Benedikt's application of it to Hex is interesting because it shows the protocol's versatility, and it led me to Scware.

At that point I also applied it to Othello, and the resulting game was named "Charybdis". It came as a territory variant and a connection variant, and both square and hex. At some point I took to a slight but nagging dislike to the both name and the game, and I started to wonder if I hadn't been overshooting the target in my enthusiasm. So in the final clean-up a year or so ago, I ditched it along with a couple of others.

My implementation differed from the outline you give for Syversi, so I'm very interested how it evolves (in your head of course, not in everybody else's head in a BGG democratic game inventing convention). Give it some time to talk to you.

P.S. It does have some characteristics in common with Io, that remedies Othello's rigidness by applying the "one-bound-one free" entering protocol. Small world, eh. There's no applet yet for Io. Admittedly I now do have a board and pieces, but no opponent. So Io has never been played yet, still I can see it will behave as intended.

P.P.S. I found a post mentioning Charybdis. The Symplehex referred to, was simply the hex version of Symple (Symple was perceived hexagonally but soon squared out).

P.P.P.S. The files actually are still there: Charybdis - Charybdis square. Maybe they can help.

P.P.P.P.S. No, I hadn't considered its application to Havannah or Catchup. As I said, I felt I was overshooting the target already.
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Luis Bolaños Mures
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Buckersuk wrote:
Sychup

Byg
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luigi87 wrote:
Buckersuk wrote:
Sychup

Byg


Ugh. Ignore Byg. Not happy with it.
 
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David Buckley
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christianF wrote:
Buckersuk wrote:
The Symple move protocol is that each turn you either place a single stone on the board or you grow all your groups of stones by 1 stone each. The second player is also allowed to do both these things provided that neither player has grown his groups yet. In the stem game the final score is your number of stones - some multiplier of your number of groups and according to my taste it is a fine game.

There is also SyGo (Symple crossed with Go) and SympleHex. Here are three further ideas.

Syvannah: The Symple move protocol married with the winning conditions used in Havannah I have a suspicion that this might favour the attacker too much to be a good game but I think it would be fun to investigate. Christian, I would be interested to know whether you have already thought of this and rejected it?

Sychup: Symple move protocol. Catchup winning condition. Player with the largest group wins. If both players have the same size the player with the second largest group wins and so on.

Syversi: This is the one I am most excited about. Unlike Reversi/Othello there is no obligation to start on the central squares and no obligation to place pieces where they make a capture but if you place one or more pieces where they can make a Reversi style capture then such a capture is compulsory. All captures made during a move resolve simultaneously. Diagonally adjacent pieces do not count as being part of the same group but pieces can still be sandwiched diagonally. One common dilemma is that making a capture may split your opponent's groups and/or unite your own. Based on a brief playtest I would say that the game has it's own character distinct from either parent game. It is rather opaque but I am nonetheless pleased with it.

For starters, I appreciate that you're bringing this up. It took me a split second to see the Symple protocol, it took Benedikt and me a day to have the essence in focus, it took the embedded balancing mechanism a week or so to reveal itself and it took just over a year, and Luis' talents to get to the core, to see the source of what I had called its lack of drama and act on it, introducing compulsory placement. It's how preconceived ideas can get in the way: we had basically seen it as a Go-like organism.

Your summary of the game is very good, and I notice once more that superficial reading might suggest that there is a basic a-symmetry in the balancing mechanism. There is not, of course. It is basically a trade off between having the first move, afterwards, or having a calculable and growing compensation, a choice both can make on their turn at any point, and a done deal once either of them does.

Sygo owes its name to Symple and Go, but I wouldn't call it the result of cross breeding, but rather the application of the protocol to a Go system with 'othelloanian capture', reversing groups rather than removing them.

Benedikt's application of it to Hex is interesting because it shows the protocol's versatility, and it led me to Scware.

At that point I also applied it to Othello, and the resulting game was named "Charybdis". It came as a territory variant and a connection variant, and both square and hex. At some point I took to a slight but nagging dislike to the both name and the game, and I started to wonder if I hadn't been overshooting the target in my enthusiasm. So in the final clean-up a year or so ago, I ditched it along with a couple of others.

My implementation differed from the outline you give for Syversi, so I'm very interested how it evolves (in your head of course, not in everybody else's head in a BGG democratic game inventing convention). Give it some time to talk to you.

P.S. It does have some characteristics in common with Io, that remedies Othello's rigidness by applying the "one-bound-one free" entering protocol. Small world, eh. There's no applet yet for Io. Admittedly I now do have a board and pieces, but no opponent. So Io has never been played yet, still I can see it will behave as intended.

P.P.S. I found a post mentioning Charybdis. The Symplehex referred to, was simply the hex version of Symple (Symple was perceived hexagonally but soon squared out).

P.P.P.S. The files actually are still there: Charybdis - Charybdis square. Maybe they can help.

P.P.P.P.S. No, I hadn't considered its application to Havannah or Catchup. As I said, I felt I was overshooting the target already.


Thank you for your reply Christian. It's interesting to learn about Io and Charybdis. I'm interested to see how Io plays although I'll almost certainly have to settle for myself as my opponent.

I'd completely forgotten that capture was custodian in Sygo rather than go-like so apologies for that. The Symplehex I was referring to was in fact the adaption of the Symple protocol to Hex. Isn't that what it's called on mindsports? Scware was one of the games I wanted to play but never found an opponent for. Intuitively I guess that a symple protocol connection game is better suited to a square board over a hex one since faster growth compared with Hex is then partly compensated for by the reduced connectivity.

After my initial enthusiasm for Syversi some doubts are beginning to materialise. The main one is that each side focus on growing out from two corners of the board while keeping their pieces safe from capture. I assume they still need to make more than 2 groups though and be alert for tactical opportunities for their opponent to park pieces in the gaps between the groups. I can't see this invalidating Syversi as a strategic challenge but I can see it becoming not the game I wanted to create. I am considering a rule that it is illegal to place a piece in the corner unless it makes a capture but this feels to me like a rule that should only be introduced if necessary. I need to test more.

Ps. I agree that compulsory placement is the key rule that makes Symple into a good game.
 
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milomilo122 wrote:
luigi87 wrote:
Buckersuk wrote:
Sychup

Byg


Ugh. Ignore Byg. Not happy with it.


Is Byg the predecessor of Catchup by any chance?
 
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Buckersuk wrote:
Thank you for your reply Christian. It's interesting to learn about Io and Charybdis. I'm interested to see how Io plays although I'll almost certainly have to settle for myself as my opponent.

Ed is entangled in events in the real world at the moment, so mindsports had to take a back seat. But he probably will be able to make a couple of new applets, eventually. Io and Morelli are high on the list.

Buckersuk wrote:
I'd completely forgotten that capture was custodian in Sygo rather than go-like so apologies for that.

'Custodian' has its origin in 'to take into custody', the picture being that of two policemen holding a criminal, each at one side. Since this applies to capturing straight rows of men in between two opponent's men, I coined 'Othelloanian' for capture by reversal of groups.

Buckersuk wrote:
The Symplehex I was referring to was in fact the adaption of the Symple protocol to Hex. Isn't that what it's called on mindsports?

Yes, it's called Symple Hex and its Benedikt's idea. But Symple itself was perceived hexagonally, and when it turned square, the hexversion was called Hexsymple. It is less significant because of the absence of diagonal cutting points.

Buckersuk wrote:
Scware was one of the games I wanted to play but never found an opponent for. Intuitively I guess that a symple protocol connection game is better suited to a square board over a hex one since faster growth compared with Hex is then partly compensated for by the reduced connectivity.

I quite agree.

Buckersuk wrote:
After my initial enthusiasm for Syversi some doubts are beginning to materialise. The main one is that each side focus on growing out from two corners of the board while keeping their pieces safe from capture. I assume they still need to make more than 2 groups though and be alert for tactical opportunities for their opponent to park pieces in the gaps between the groups. I can't see this invalidating Syversi as a strategic challenge but I can see it becoming not the game I wanted to create.

I suggest you let it sink in a bit longer. You got a lot of additional info to digest. The problems you describe are similar to the ones I saw, that's why I switched to the one-bound-one-free protocol and came up with Io.
 
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christianF wrote:
'Custodian' has its origin in 'to take into custody', the picture being that of two policemen holding a criminal, each at one side. Since this applies to capturing straight rows of men in between two opponent's men...


(The long arm of the law? )

christianF wrote:
...I coined 'Othelloanian' for capture by reversal of groups.


In this as in so many things, though, Occam's Razor has a claim on us. The more natural coinage would probably be "Othellonian".



 
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mocko wrote:
In this as in so many things, though, Occam's Razor has a claim on us. The more natural coinage would probably be "Othellonian".



Glad you noticed that and yes, guilty as charged. My excuse ist that I prefer the sound of othelloanian over othellonian.
 
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On a side note:

I have more than once argued that Symple is the 'core implementation' of the object of Star and *Star and of Superstar and YvY.
Star is not in the database, but *Star is.

I've never seen any response to that claim. Does that mean that everybody sees why? I hardly think so. All four games are on hex grids, albeit modified in the case of *Star, to suit the object better. Symple looks nothing like any of them.

I can't see any explanation for this lack of wonderment. Can anyone enlighten me?
 
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I thought it was just that Symple was built from the ground up around the group penalty theme instead of being a chapter in a pentalogy of connection-themed games that happened to lurch into it at some point? Given that I'm an idiot, if this is correct then I suspect it's fair to say that yes everybody here sees why. If this is wrong, then I cannot cure your puzzlement but I'll happily offer some wonderment of my own as to the answer.

My response to the claim, if my interpretation is correct, then would be that I must agree if only by default ie. reading the rules of those other games, at least iterations past Star (sans *), give me a headache and make me not want to play them, while the rules of Symple have the opposite effect: a pleasant warm throb in my forehead and a desire to try it out.
 
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FauxSloMo wrote:
I thought it was just that Symple was built from the ground up around the group penalty theme instead of being a chapter in a pentalogy of connection-themed games that happened to lurch into it at some point?

I couldn't possibly have said it more eloquently.

FauxSloMo wrote:
Given that I'm an idiot, if this is correct then I suspect it's fair to say that yes everybody here sees why. If this is wrong, then I cannot cure your puzzlement but I'll happily offer some wonderment of my own as to the answer.

If everybody here sees why, then I'm amazed that finding a 'core implementation' (I should mention that I don't have a definition of what a core implementation is) isn't considered worthy of commentary. Nor, in this particular case, the protocol that supports it.

FauxSloMo wrote:
My response to the claim, if my interpretation is correct, then would be that I must agree if only by default ie. reading the rules of those other games, at least iterations past Star (sans *), give me a headache and make me not want to play them, while the rules of Symple have the opposite effect: a pleasant warm throb in my forehead and a desire to try it out.

Regarding the former I agree, regarding the latter I'm glad and if you'd like to challenge me at mindsports I'd be glad to oblige.

Now just off the top of my head, here are a couple of games (not at all to be considered as a complete list) that I feel might be considered 'core implementations': Checkers, Go, Ayu, Yodd/Xodd, Hex/Y, Oust, Flume, Momentum, Symple and Emergo.

In so far as other implementations precede a core implementation, the latter is invariably found by removing something from the former.

I also would like to mention that a 'core impementation' isn't necessarily the most interesting implementation. Many would agree that International Draughts is more interesting than Checkers. I feel Luis' implementation of Catchup is more 'core', but it may be less interesting than the current game. Emergo is more 'pure' but Stapeldammen adds an interesting twist to strategy, is drawless and wonderfully free of turn order imbalance, even more so than its parent game … if that were possible.

So for lack of a definition, that's more or less what I was talking about.
 
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