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Subject: Reaction of strong Go players to Cartography? rss

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Andrew Watson
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(1) Cartography is very similar to Go.
(2) Cartography is very different from Go.

I don't think that statements (1) and (2) will be controversial. But I should support each of them anyway.
(1) Basic Go concepts such as capture, group, and liberty are fundamental to Cartography.
(2) Cartography's board is based on triangles (rather than squares, as in Go), expands (during phase 1 of a game of Cartography, whereas the Go board itself never changes during a game), and includes rivers (which have no counterpart in Go). Cartography scoring does not include enclosed territory, whereas Go is (almost) all about enclosing territory.

Statement (3) is based on my own limited experience with Cartography.

(3) Anyone familiar with Go will get Cartography at a basic level fairly quickly. This is to be expected from (1). I state "fairly quickly" rather than "immediately" due to (2).

At first when I opened Cartography, I found it hard to see good, or even not-bad, moves. Then the relationship with Go clicked into place in my mind, and I was immediately able to get an idea of which moves were good, and why.

I am familiar with Go, but can't claim much more than that. Even when I played most weeks, I had a long way to go before reaching single-digit kyu. That was a long time ago, and I haven't played Go other than to teach it for over a decade. So even a fairly shallow knowledge of Go helps a lot in getting Cartography.

So I have a bunch of questions for and about stronger Go players who have tried Cartography.

Q1. Do concepts of Go more advanced that the ones specified in (1) apply to Cartography? I'm thinking of concepts such as sente.

Q2. Does strength at Go grant strength at Cartography? Or is mere familiarity with Go helpful, and after that, Go strength is irrelevant?

Q3. Is Cartography solvable? If so, to what extent is the solution related to Go?

Q4. Would a Go-like handicapping system work for Cartography?

Q5. Might Cartography provide an on-ramp to get people, particularly kids, into Go? Go's austerity is part of its beauty, but it can be forbidding at first.

My answers to the above questions are tentative, and increasingly so as we go down the list of questions. But I'll include them anyway: Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Maybe.
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Bradley Zakany
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Stuart
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Q3. Is Cartography solvable? If so, to what extent is the solution related to Go?

A. While I have not solved Cartography, I would say it is simply due to the nature of the game. It is an open information strategy game. Nothing is hidden, there is no random chance at all. All the information is there. This makes the game like Chess, Go, Connect Four, and Tic-Tac-Toe. There is a solution. Unlike the latter two I mentioned, the first two and Cartography have such a depth that books either have been or could be written about the strategies and it takes a life-time to actually master the game.

In short, Yes and not enough experience at Cartography to say for sure, but there is likely to be a strong correlation.
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Andrew Watson
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Thanks, Bradley, for your reply.

I'll also add a sort of reply (to the topic I started). There's a very good review of Cartography by "a tournament Go player" in GameNite magazine. By "good" I mean both: favorable; and informative, in that it might help people decide whether to buy Cartography.

Now, a Go tournament may include a wide spectrum of ability. That's one of the beauties of Go's handicapping system. But someone who describes himself as a tournament player is probably at least strong-ish.
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Jon Adams
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demonbunny3po wrote:
it is simply due to the nature of the game

I would tend to agree. From what I can tell Cartography does changes two things. It resets with wrote openings and adds variables to the decision tree.

Coincidentally The solvability of Go was in the news today.
 
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Scip Scip
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I'm not a strong Go player (3k), but opened a thread about general strategy in Cartography: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1515104/cartography-strateg...

Overall it seems much harder to capture groups in Cartography than it is in Go.

Perhaps I misunderstood a rule about territory or Player 1 winning in the event of a tie?
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Jon Adams
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Scippy wrote:
It turns out we misread the rules...This should make the game much more interesting...

Awesome! Glad the rules are more clear now.
 
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H.M. Woggle-Bug, T.E.
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demonbunny3po wrote:
Nothing is hidden, there is no random chance at all. All the information is there. This makes the game like Chess, Go... There is a solution.

WTF are you folks talking about?
I doubt Chess and Go are solvable until I am presented mathematical proof (of course the game will always end with either a win or a draw. So technically it is solvable).

That's not what you guys mean, I guess. I assume, by claiming the game was "solvable" you claim there is a way for one specific Player (let's call him "Smartass") to always win the game by perfect moves (i.e. Go-Moku). Where is your proof?
 
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