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Subject: Help me see the light: Isn't this game just a race? rss

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Cris Whetstone
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I really wanted to like this game. I love the design with the variable piece movements, abstract strategy, adjacency creating the playing space, etc. But after playing it 10 times or so it seems to just come down to a race with the first player playing a piece next to the opposing queen often winning. I keep wanting to make a cool set up to let the pieces interact but since the queen has to come in early that part is extremely limited.

Am I missing something? It feels like it needs a tweak to how the adjacency works or the queen's movement allowance in order to open the game up for more complex game play. The race to surround the queen is such a let down after seeing what looks like a wide open, complex game.

 
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Matthew Roskam
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I would not call it a racing game. You want to gain a beat on your opponent by forcing them to make moves to counter you in order to gain a turn on them... but that isn't really a race. It should feel more like strategic wrestling to you than a race. You may be in a single strategy rut, or you may need to add some of the expansion pieces to create some variety.

There are fast optimal strategies, but the other pieces can create some creative alternatives. Stick with it, it is a great game.
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Loren Cadelinia
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When you are going second, and all you do is try to surround 1st player queen, they will win that race, since you are one-turn behind.

Playing second requires you to play defensively, such that you are able to lock up opponent pieces, and cause them to displace some pieces adjacent to your queen. By doing so, you can gain race advantage, and the 1st player needs to defend.

I don't want to rob you of the satisfaction for discovering these strategies for such an amazing abstract. But, to get you started, as second player, try to get as many pieces as you can down at your disposal, careful not to make it easy for your opponent to lock several pieces in a single move.

Placement is key, trying to prevent the last or second to last space around your queen until 1st player runs out of pieces and must start shifting things around.

Edit:I recommend not adding the expansion pieces until you firmly understand the strategies with the base game. Extra pieces gives 1st player more advantage to keep pressure on imho.
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Cris Whetstone
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dyepbr wrote:
I don't want to rob you of the satisfaction for discovering these strategies for such an amazing abstract. But, to get you started, as second player, try to get as many pieces as you can down at your disposal, careful not to make it easy for your opponent to lock several pieces in a single move.


Thank you but this is somewhat cryptic. What exactly are you trying to say? And how can I do these things if the other player is still placing pieces around my queen?
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Loren Cadelinia
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WetRock wrote:
dyepbr wrote:
I don't want to rob you of the satisfaction for discovering these strategies for such an amazing abstract. But, to get you started, as second player, try to get as many pieces as you can down at your disposal, careful not to make it easy for your opponent to lock several pieces in a single move.


Thank you but this is somewhat cryptic. What exactly are you trying to say? And how can I do these things if the other player is still placing pieces around my queen?


Let them place pieces around your queen. You will want one piece to lock their queen from moving if you can. Just prevent your opponent from filling the last piece around your queen, you use your pieces to block the space from opponent sliding pieces into last space and lock up other pieces that could otherwise jump into that last space.
 
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Ryan James
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from the way you are phrasing things, I would like to make sure you are playing correctly:

When playing a new piece to the board, it can not be adjacent to your opponent's pieces.

So the first player can not simply drop a piece next to your queen, they must place it somewhere else first and then move it, giving you a chance to pin it with, for example, and ant before they can get it next to your queen.
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Keng Leong Yeo
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May I self-promote two session reports in the form of videos that my Significant Other and I made more than four years ago to complement some of the replies above? Here are the links:

A lengthy game of Hive with the Significant Other
A game of Hive with the Significant Other, played over two weeks during our honeymoon

Both games included the Mosquito and Ladybug, but they do not detract from the fact that there is much strategy involved in Hive and it is not a race.

We have since played many more games of Hive and have discovered so many new strategies. For example, we almost never start a Hive game with the spider now ninja.
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Joe Thompson
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No, it's not a race game; unless chess is a race to checkmate the king

Randy Ingersoll has written some excellent books on playing Hive, which might help you start to see the tactical tricks:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1095784

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Randall Ingersoll
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ShallowThought wrote:
No, it's not a race game; unless chess is a race to checkmate the king

Randy Ingersoll has written some excellent books on playing Hive, which might help you start to see the tactical tricks:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1095784


Thanks for the positive comment!

WetRock wrote:
Am I missing something? It feels like it needs a tweak to how the adjacency works or the queen's movement allowance in order to open the game up for more complex game play. The race to surround the queen is such a let down after seeing what looks like a wide open, complex game.


If you are interested, go to my website www.PlayHiveLikeAChampion.com and request a sample chapter. I will send you chapter 7.2 - Defending the Queen. It will help see how to make sure that it is not just a race.
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Robert Sell
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WetRock wrote:
I really wanted to like this game. I love the design with the variable piece movements, abstract strategy, adjacency creating the playing space, etc. But after playing it 10 times or so it seems to just come down to a race with the first player playing a piece next to the opposing queen often winning. I keep wanting to make a cool set up to let the pieces interact but since the queen has to come in early that part is extremely limited.

Am I missing something? It feels like it needs a tweak to how the adjacency works or the queen's movement allowance in order to open the game up for more complex game play. The race to surround the queen is such a let down after seeing what looks like a wide open, complex game.

I didn't like it much after my initial sitting. And to be frank I still don't like it. I come from a chess background, and my enjoyment is the early game and development of pieces in chess. I love opening lines and countering with anticipation of where the game is going. When is the exchange happening. Hive develops quickly, and I agree it feels like a race because strategy is secondary to tactics.
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Joe Thompson
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Quote:
I didn't like it much after my initial sitting. And to be frank I still don't like it. I come from a chess background, and my enjoyment is the early game and development of pieces in chess. I love opening lines and countering with anticipation of where the game is going. When is the exchange happening. Hive develops quickly, and I agree it feels like a race because strategy is secondary to tactics.


I'm not good enough at Hive to disagree with you. But I feel that strategy is hugely secondary to tactics in Chess. Until you've got some basic tactics skill there's no point even worrying about strategy, and below a rating of ~2000 I'd say the majority of games are decided by tactical mistakes.
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John Yianni
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WetRock wrote:
dyepbr wrote:
I don't want to rob you of the satisfaction for discovering these strategies for such an amazing abstract. But, to get you started, as second player, try to get as many pieces as you can down at your disposal, careful not to make it easy for your opponent to lock several pieces in a single move.


Thank you but this is somewhat cryptic. What exactly are you trying to say? And how can I do these things if the other player is still placing pieces around my queen?


I think Ryan is right, Cris you may be playing the game with a misinterpretation of the rules.

 
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Robert Sell
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ShallowThought wrote:
Quote:
I didn't like it much after my initial sitting. And to be frank I still don't like it. I come from a chess background, and my enjoyment is the early game and development of pieces in chess. I love opening lines and countering with anticipation of where the game is going. When is the exchange happening. Hive develops quickly, and I agree it feels like a race because strategy is secondary to tactics.


I'm not good enough at Hive to disagree with you. But I feel that strategy is hugely secondary to tactics in Chess. Until you've got some basic tactics skill there's no point even worrying about strategy, and below a rating of ~2000 I'd say the majority of games are decided by tactical mistakes.
No doubt that lower level chess is decided by tactics/mistakes. Its my opinion that one cultivates tactical opportunities through strategy/positional play. The goal of chess is to checkmate the king, a strategy in chess might be to form a stonewall, a tactic in chess would be fork a Q/K and windmill into another fork.

Granted my plays of Hive are limited, but I found there is a clear goal/objective and the tactics are relatively clear. Its the strategic element I'm not seeing, and that's what I think the OP is saying as well. You are really trying to get pieces onto the board, and there are not many opportunities to gain tempe unlike chess where the tempo is palpable and is another layer of strategic play.
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Cris Whetstone
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autoplectic wrote:
from the way you are phrasing things, I would like to make sure you are playing correctly:

When playing a new piece to the board, it can not be adjacent to your opponent's pieces.

So the first player can not simply drop a piece next to your queen, they must place it somewhere else first and then move it, giving you a chance to pin it with, for example, and ant before they can get it next to your queen.


Strange assumption many are making given what I wrote but I do understand and have been playing by the rules. In fact, half of my plays have come from online play where the software controls the rules.

I'm not sure why people would interpret my post differently given that rule though. You still have to play close together due to the early entry of the queen and the adjacency placement demands. Once a player gets a piece on your queen you are stuck unless they did not place carefully and allow you to place another and gain a quick retreat.
 
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Cris Whetstone
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oddtime wrote:
WetRock wrote:
I really wanted to like this game. I love the design with the variable piece movements, abstract strategy, adjacency creating the playing space, etc. But after playing it 10 times or so it seems to just come down to a race with the first player playing a piece next to the opposing queen often winning. I keep wanting to make a cool set up to let the pieces interact but since the queen has to come in early that part is extremely limited.

Am I missing something? It feels like it needs a tweak to how the adjacency works or the queen's movement allowance in order to open the game up for more complex game play. The race to surround the queen is such a let down after seeing what looks like a wide open, complex game.

I didn't like it much after my initial sitting. And to be frank I still don't like it. I come from a chess background, and my enjoyment is the early game and development of pieces in chess. I love opening lines and countering with anticipation of where the game is going. When is the exchange happening. Hive develops quickly, and I agree it feels like a race because strategy is secondary to tactics.


I'm finding a lot of what people call strategy these days is simply tactics and mechanism optimization.

With Hive it just feels like once someone places a piece on a queen the game falls into trading placement of the next piece you will move onto the enemy queen. With those foci it fails to develop into a richer game for me. It's sort of an interactive puzzle with some tit-for-tat though it feels like it should be more.
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Cris Whetstone
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rmingersoll wrote:
ShallowThought wrote:
No, it's not a race game; unless chess is a race to checkmate the king

Randy Ingersoll has written some excellent books on playing Hive, which might help you start to see the tactical tricks:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1095784


Thanks for the positive comment!

WetRock wrote:
Am I missing something? It feels like it needs a tweak to how the adjacency works or the queen's movement allowance in order to open the game up for more complex game play. The race to surround the queen is such a let down after seeing what looks like a wide open, complex game.


If you are interested, go to my website www.PlayHiveLikeAChampion.com and request a sample chapter. I will send you chapter 7.2 - Defending the Queen. It will help see how to make sure that it is not just a race.


Thanks. I'll read your site tonight and see if that would change the game for me.
 
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Chris Fell
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WetRock - I read that you are aware of the rules. And it is a race to surround your opponent's queen but there is a lot more to it. It never just seem like a race to me after many many plays of game.
Just check the rules again and see if you are playing the game right.
-On the first turn a player should not play a queen. The queen does have to come out on your forth turn if it is not out yet tho. The second players first turn is the only turn that a piece can be put out touching your opponents color.
-You cannot move any pieces until the queen is out. You can only put out pieces until the queen is out.
-When putting out pieces they may only touch your color not your opponents color.
-The one Hive rule is also very important. Never break the chain.
Try playing Hive on www.boardspace.net See if you can win against the dumbot(ai player). Let us know how you do.
I hope this helps.
edit:
If your looking for a game with a more complex opening check out Shuuro. It like chess with more flexibility.


 
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Rex Moore
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WetRock wrote:
With those foci it fails to develop into a richer game for me. It's sort of an interactive puzzle with some tit-for-tat though it feels like it should be more.


It never feels like a race or a puzzle to me (and I dislike puzzle games), but huge props for using "foci."
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Ryan Hackel
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A race has to have a finish line. Hive doesn't have one.
 
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