Michael Stone
United States
Astoria
New York
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I played my first game of Hextris with
Erik Karhan
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at a Meetup today. It didn't get really interesting until the last third of the game. You start with fifteen pyramids, every time you get five in a group, you remove from the game, first person to get all fifteen on, and then off the board, wins. This naturally divides the game into thirds. The first two thirds we didn't really come to grips with each other. There was some attempts at interfering with each other's play, but not deep in their tactics and not very successful ones.

But the last third of the game, oh man, it was stunning. Move to block, trade positions to break up groups, back and forth, cut and thrust. I spent most of the endgame making sure that Karkids couldn't finish his last group and win the game. This was difficult, because he started two pieces ahead of me at the top of the third "inning". But I managed to delay and block, until I had the initiative and could place more pieces on the board, until we were even. It also helps that eventually, Karkids had no more pieces to place on the board, removing that tactical option from his choices. And during that process I managed to disrupt his groups enough that I had the initiative, and then managed to place one of my last pieces in a double threat position.

As the Subject line says; If your a fan of Looney Pyramid games you have to try Hextris. Our play with only two players only used most of the board during the last third of the game. But with three players this would get really interesting earlier in the game. (Cautionary note, it inevitably would make the game longer as well. Maybe try it two player for one game first, then jump into a three player game.)

The board is easy to make. We used nineteen poker chips in a three per side hexagon.

I can not wait to play this with three players.
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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Interesting - my wife and I played it in July (during a month of trying various pyramid games) and my one play log says:

"I was worried it would have a first player advantage, and indeed I went first and won, just straightforwardly making my groups. Perhaps more plays will reveal more to it."

I guess we need to try it again.
 
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Michael Stone
United States
Astoria
New York
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There is a first player advantage, undoubtably. Especially in a two player game. I actually went first in our game, but made the mistake of moving rather then dropping a new pyramid on my turn, and I lost the initiative. The first two groups were taken first by Karkids, quickly followed by me, because, having removed his group, he could no longer effectively interfere with me quickly finishing my group.

So, a couple of thoughts. Don't even try to form your first or second group without have started on your next one. You want to be able to continue the fight, even as your pulling troops off the board. Even if your opponent removes a group first, if he does so without leaving some pieces in place, you will be able to control the entire second or third "inning" to your hearts desire. Second, if your the second player, your first priority is to gain the initiative. Look for opportunities to build traps and double threats, and look for opportunities to break up your opponents groups. This is difficult to do in a straight forward manner, your opponent will read anything obvious and respond accordingly. Thus, the aforementioned double threats and traps. This will also be easier if your working within the assumption that your going to be playing with more then five pieces on the board at a time.

Finally, a three player game is going to be much more mixed up. I suspect the focus for each player is going to be on building their own groups, rather then breaking up the other players. Otherwise, between evenly matched players, all focused on breaking up their opponents groups, this game could go on for a LONG time. Still really looking forward to it. (Now I'm thinking ahead about defensive formations . . .)
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David Bush
United States
Radiant
Virginia
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Thanks for your encouraging words. I'm glad you enjoyed playing. I tried this on a local gaming club, and the reaction was also positive. We were able to play with five players, because, as one player noted, someone is likely to make a sub-optimal move which gives someone else a way to keep playing, even with just 37 cells. I encourage experimentation. Maybe I will edit the game parameters to include more players.

I wrote a Zillions file to play test, and ZoG made a tough opponent. It usually beat me in two player games regardless of who went first. Maybe I just don't play my own game very well Sorry I never uploaded it to the Zillions site and now I can't find that script blush But there are some strategy and tactics tips in the files section here, verified by Zillions so there should be no tactical errors.
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