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Subject: New game: Dicess (need help for threefold repetition rule) rss

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Channing Jones
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I have designed a new game: Dicess

It has a little similarity with Chess but with dice as pieces, here are the rules:

Board
Play on a 8x8 square grid (Chess board). The two middle squares on the row nearest a player are marked with a star (see image).



Pieces
Every player has 16 dice in one color each.

Setup
Both players roll all their dice. Then the player with the lighter dice color places all his dice into his first two rows (one die per square). Then the other player then does likewise.

Play
Players alternate taking turns. The player with the lighter dice color starts.

Each turn you make a number of moves costing up to a total of 6 points (but at least 1). Moving a die to an adjacent square costs points equal to the die number. You can only move orthogonally. You may move multiple dice. You cannot move over other dice.

Capture
You can capture an opponent’s die by moving onto it. To do this the number of your capturing die plus all the numbers of all your dice orthogonally adjacent to the captured die must be equal to or greater than the number of the captured die. Capturing always ends your turn.

Promotion
If you move a die from the second-last row to the last row (i.e. the one nearest your opponent) then you may change that die to any number. You must do this immediately or forfeit the opportunity.

Win
You win by moving a die onto one of the two star squares of your opponent.

------

Now the question/problem:
Do you think this game needs the threefold repetition rule (like in in Chess)?

If so, can you suggest any changes to the rules to avoid that?

Any other comments on the game are welcome too!

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Russ Williams
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Re: New game: Dicess (need help for threefold repition rule)
Mageant wrote:
Now the question/problem:
Do you think this game needs the threefold repetition rule (like in in Chess)?

It seems like testing would be the only way to know for sure if such a rule is needed.

Quote:
If so, can you suggest any changes to the rules to avoid that?

Dice can move forward and sideways, but not backwards, so repeating loops become less likely (but I suppose still possible if both players move sideways back and forth repeatedly). You could go the more radical route of e.g. Breakthrough and permit moves only straight forward and diagonally forward.

But then I can imagine a (seemingly unlikely) deadlock situation where neither player can move or capture, e.g. if all dice are directly confronting enemy dice with the same value in a line like the following, so no one can capture:

12345612
12345612
12345612
12345612
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Channing Jones
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Re: New game: Dicess (need help for threefold repition rule)
russ wrote:
[q="Mageant"]Now the question/problem:
But then I can imagine a (seemingly unlikely) deadlock situation where neither player can move or capture, e.g. if all dice are directly confronting enemy dice with the same value in a line like the following, so no one can capture:

12345612
12345612
12345612
12345612


That specific situation cannot happen because you can capture a die with the same number.

Moving only forward would eliminate the problem, but that would limit the game too much for my liking.

Moving only forwards and sideways would eliminate nearly all cases, but not all of them (I think), but I wonder if the game would not be still better with allowing backwards movement even if you have to include a threefold repetition rule.

I tested it twice online and several times with myself. There were a few local situations where repetition seemed to be happening, but it was resolved by bringing in pieces from somewhere else. The nature of the repetition seems to be more a deadlock, where no side can gain an advantage (it's not that you have to keep moving to maintain the deadlock, it can be maintained without moving, so you have the time to bring in other pieces)
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Russ Williams
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Mageant wrote:
That specific situation cannot happen because you can capture a die with the same number.

Ah, yes; brainfart on my part, sorry! shake
 
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Channing Jones
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There game indeed needs a rule when a deadlock happens. This can happen even you forbid backwards movement (i.e. imagine each player having only a "6" left standing on the same column).

Therefore I will suggest the following Impasse rule:
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Impasse
The game ends when it has reached an impasse and the winner is instead the player with the higher score (see below). If that is tied then the player with the darker dice color wins (i.e. the player who moved second).

An impasse happens if in the last five rounds no die has been captured or promoted and neither player has a higher score than they did five rounds ago (i.e. there has been no net advancement of dice).

A player determines his score by adding up the score value of all his dice. A die's score value is 10 + it's row number from the owner’s perspective (e.g. a die in the first row is 11, a die in the last row is 18). Note that the numbers on the dice are not used.
-----
This also prevents any draws from happening.

 
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Dave Dyer
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The three repetitions rule is harmless. If it's not a problem, it
won't occur and will never be invoked.

However, deciding what outcome to dictate is important. Some player
winning is a very different result than a draw.

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