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Subject: Dameo rule set rss

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Craig Duncan
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For some reason today I was moved to compose a set of Dameo rules, in a fashion somewhat re-arranged from the rule set on Christian's Mindsports site. The goal was to produce a concise and complete set of rules, so that I could consult them when I need a refresher. I'm posting them below in case they are of any use to anyone else. Please let me know if you see any mistakes or omissions.



===============================================================

DAMEO by Christian Freeling



Basic Summary
-------------


Soldier movement: forward short slides (that is, one-space straight-advance or diagonal-advance) as a singleton or line; orthogonal short jumps (forwards, backwards, sideways) as a singleton.

King movement: singleton movement only; queen-wise long slides and orthogonal long jumps.

Capturing is compulsory, and maximally so.

Win by leaving your opponent without a move on his/her turn.



Complete Rules
--------------


There are two types of pieces: soldiers and kings. All pieces begin as soldiers, arranged on an 8x8 grid as below:

x x x x x x x x
. x x x x x x .
. . x x x x . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . o o o o . .
. o o o o o o .
o o o o o o o o


On his/her turn, a player must move one or more pieces; passing is not allowed.


Soldiers

Soldier movement is either advancement or jump.

Advancement:
Soldiers can advance as a single piece or as a line of pieces. In both cases, soldiers only advance one space forward (diagonal right, straight ahead, or diagonal left), and can only advance into an empty square. A line of soldiers advances one space in the direction of the line.

Jump: A single soldier can jump a single enemy piece (enemy soldier or king), so long as it is orthogonally adjacent (right, left, front, or back) to the enemy piece and the space immediately beyond the enemy piece in the direction of the jump is empty. Thus, soldier jumps can be forwards, backwards, or sideways, but never diagonally. A jumped enemy piece is captured.


Kings

If a soldier ends its movement on the opponent's back row, it is promoted to a king. If a linear move reaches the back row, only the head soldier is promoted.

Kings can slide or jump.

Slide: A king moves queen-wise as in chess, and only as a single piece (that is, linear movement does not apply to kings).

Jump: A king captures by jumping over a single piece any number of empty squares away in an orthogonal direction (that is, rook-wise) and landing on any empty square that lies beyond the captured piece along a straight line consisting wholly of empty squares.


Jumping – Additional Rules

Rules that apply to both jumps with soldiers and jumps with kings are as follows:

** Compulsory capture: If a capture is possible, then a capturing move is compulsory.

** Multiple captures: If, after having made a capture, the jumping piece from its landing spot can make another capture, then it must do so.
--> If a jumping king can land on a spot from which a new capturing jump can be initiated, then it must do so.
--> If a soldier, as part of a multiple jump, moves on to the opponent’s back row and then off again, it is not promoted to king.

** Removal:
During a sequence of captures, the captured pieces are only removed at the end of the turn, and it is illegal to jump over the same piece twice in that turn, although vacant squares may be passed over more than once.

** Majority capture: if a player has a choice of captures, then he must choose the sequence that results in the largest number of pieces being captured (kings and soldiers counting equally). If there is more than one way to do this, then a player is free to choose which way.


Winning the Game

A player wins by leaving his opponent without a valid move, either by capturing all his pieces, or by blocking them completely.

Draws may be occasioned by mutual exhaustion of materials. Draws occur by mutual consent of the players.
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christian freeling
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cdunc123 wrote:
For some reason today I was moved to compose a set of Dameo rules, in a fashion somewhat re-arranged from the rule set on Christian's Mindsports site. The goal was to produce a concise and complete set of rules, so that I could consult them when I need a refresher. I'm posting them below in case they are of any use to anyone else. Please let me know if you see any mistakes or omissions.

I love the way Dameo moves you .

cdunc123 wrote:

** Compulsory capture: If a capture is possible, then it is compulsory.

This may lead to the assumption that this particular capture is compulsory and although majority capture would clarify this, I wonder whether "If a capture is possible, then a capturing move is compulsory" might be better.
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Craig Duncan
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Good idea, Christian. I changed the text.
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Craig Duncan
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A question about draws, Christian. I realize they tend to be rarer in Dameo than in other draughts/checkers games. But in tournament Dameo, say, would one use the draw rule from international checkers, as below?

If the players agree, or if the same position repeats three times with the same player having the move, the game is a draw.
 
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christian freeling
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cdunc123 wrote:
A question about draws, Christian. I realize they tend to be rarer in Dameo than in other draughts/checkers games. But in tournament Dameo, say, would one use the draw rule from international checkers, as below?

If the players agree, or if the same position repeats three times with the same player having the move, the game is a draw.

If two players agree to a draw, that's fine with me. An actual '3-fold' is unlikely to occur but drawn endgames are usually not difficult to recognise. But it's in the nature of the game to harbour positions involving kings, in which the outcome may be less than clear.

As an inventor I tend to disregard tournament rules and to presume reasonable players. Should it ever come to some serious match- or tournament play, then rules governing draws would have to be made more explicit. Draughts itself might serve as an example.
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Craig Duncan
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christianF wrote:
If two players agree to a draw, that's fine with me. An actual '3-fold' is unlikely to occur but drawn endgames are usually not difficult to recognise. But it's in the nature of the game to harbour positions involving kings, in which the outcome may be less than clear.

As an inventor I tend to disregard tournament rules and to presume reasonable players. Should it ever come to some serious match- or tournament play, then rules governing draws would have to be made more explicit. Draughts itself might serve as an example.


Thanks for the reply. And, sure, let's leave tournament rules to tournament organizers.

What if I were to emend the draw comment in my OP above to the following:

Draws may be occasioned by mutual exhaustion of materials, and occur by mutual consent of the players.


Sound good?

-----------------------------

On the subject of draws, I'm curious to discover some stark differences in statistics at the two online Dameo sites that keep statistics of games. (If Mindsports keeps statistics, I do not know how to access them.)

Here are the Dameo stats from BrainKing:



And here are the Dameo stats from igGameCenter:



The differences are stark, and surprising.

Why would the game at igGameCenter have three times the percentage of draws as the game at BrainKing?

Why would the game at BrainKing have just an ever-so-slight first player advantage, and the game at igGameCenter have a huge second player advantage?

All I can think is that the population at igGameCenter has included many people who have played just one game, say, which they abandoned, and this has skewed the statistics. (Only a dozen of the Dameo players at igGameCenter have played more than 1 game, for instance.)

BrainKing's stats don't tell us the number of players, but there have been 3000+ games of Dameo played there, compared to just over 400 games at igGameCenter. So I think the BrainKing stats are likely more trustworthy -- and they paint Dameo in a very favorable light indeed.

(It's interesting to compare the checkers stats at BrainKing. Only Hawaiian Checkers has a lower draw rate than Dameo, but it has a very significant first player advantage, and in any case is a quite different game. Canadian checkers comes close to Dameo's draw rate, and Turkish checkers is not far behind, but Turkish checkers has a first player advantage much more significant than Dameo's, and Canadian checkers has a second player advantage that is larger in quantity than Dameo's first player advantage.)
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christian freeling
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cdunc123 wrote:
What if I were to emend the draw comment in my OP above to the following:

Draws may be occasioned by mutual exhaustion of materials, and occur by mutual consent of the players.


Sound good?


Yes, and first time I see 'occasion' used as a verb by the way.

cdunc123 wrote:
On the subject of draws, I'm curious to discover some stark differences in statistics at the two online Dameo sites that keep statistics of games. (If Mindsports keeps statistics, I do not know how to access them.)

Neither do I, we don't keep finished games all that long. Maybe Ed does, but he's away for the weekend. Don't expect too much though, we used to accomodate quite a few Draughts players and they use to distrust variants. I don't think the number of players in general has risen because java isn't the most convenient platform. Mindsports is more a window on my work than an active players' site.

cdunc123 wrote:
Here are the Dameo stats from BrainKing:



And here are the Dameo stats from igGameCenter:



The differences are stark, and surprising.

Why would the game at igGameCenter have three times the percentage of draws as the game at BrainKing?

Why would the game at BrainKing have just an ever-so-slight first player advantage, and the game at igGameCenter have a huge second player advantage?

All I can think is that the population at igGameCenter has included many people who have played just one game, say, which they abandoned, and this has skewed the statistics. (Only a dozen of the Dameo players at igGameCenter have played more than 1 game, for instance.)

BrainKing's stats don't tell us the number of players, but there have been 3000+ games of Dameo played there, compared to just over 400 games at igGameCenter. So I think the BrainKing stats are likely more trustworthy -- and they paint Dameo in a very favorable light indeed.

(It's interesting to compare the checkers stats at BrainKing. Only Hawaiian Checkers has a lower draw rate than Dameo, but it has a very significant first player advantage, and in any case is a quite different game. Canadian checkers comes close to Dameo's draw rate, and Turkish checkers is not far behind, but Turkish checkers has a first player advantage much more significant than Dameo's, and Canadian checkers has a second player advantage that is larger in quantity than Dameo's first player advantage.)

I've seen some draws at Little Golem too that were clear wins, where the winning player obviously failed to notice. Presumably the players at BrainKing are more seasoned.

Generally speaking, Draughts variants do not display any significant turn order advantage. I had never any worry about Dameo, Hexdame and Buskka, for that matter. I always considered Dameo's margin of draws to be 'close to Turkish' without much need to specify it any further. But I do completely trust the game.
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Craig Duncan
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christianF wrote:
Generally speaking, Draughts variants do not display any significant turn order advantage. I had never any worry about Dameo, Hexdame and Buskka, for that matter. I always considered Dameo's margin of draws to be 'close to Turkish' without much need to specify it any further. But I do completely trust the game.


Interesting. I suppose that if neither Turkish Draughts nor Dameo suffers from a first player advantage problem, and they both have similar draw rates, then you believe Dameo to be superior to Turkish Draughts because there is more strategic / tactical richness to Dameo -- right?

And just out of curiosity, do you have any sense of a typical draw rate in Turkish Draughts when played at a high level? (It seems there is now a "World Championship" in Turkish Draughts but I've no idea how to find out the draw rates that occur there.)
 
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christian freeling
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cdunc123 wrote:
christianF wrote:
Generally speaking, Draughts variants do not display any significant turn order advantage. I had never any worry about Dameo, Hexdame and Buskka, for that matter. I always considered Dameo's margin of draws to be 'close to Turkish' without much need to specify it any further. But I do completely trust the game.


Interesting. I suppose that if neither Turkish Draughts nor Dameo suffers from a first player advantage problem, and they both have similar draw rates, then you believe Dameo to be superior to Turkish Draughts because there is more strategic / tactical richness to Dameo -- right?

And just out of curiosity, do you have any sense of a typical draw rate in Turkish Draughts when played at a high level? (It seems there is now a "World Championship" in Turkish Draughts but I've no idea how to find out the draw rates that occur there.)

Omni-directional capture makes that both tempo and pace may fluctuate, making it difficult to use any advantage or perceived advantage based on them.
Dameo and Turkish differ in this respect so I must confess that my comparison is guesswork. But I consider the margin of draws in both games, but certainly in Dameo, to be unproblematic so I haven't actually given it too much thought.

And I do think Dameo is superior, if not in strategical depth, then certainly in tactical richness and general consistency. Turkish's method of capture, that is: like a vacuum cleaner, imo. lacks style, its vacant back rank is a means to an end to remedy a consequence of the lack of forced progress, and declaring the 'lone king against lone man' a win for the king's side doesn't reflect an abundance of style either.

But there's a long standing misunderstanding that rule evolution always takes the right direction. In that vision games evolve, but inventing them does not.
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Craig Duncan
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Thanks, Christian!
 
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Craig Duncan
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One more question, Christian, if you don't mind. It's about the design of Dameo.

I have a fondness for games with simple, even austere, rule sets. That's one reason for the Dameo-rules-rewrite in my OP, namely, to see how concisely the rules could be written.

I've got a question about the rule which says captured pieces remain on the board till the end of the turn, and cannot be re-jumped.

The elegance-lover in me thinks, "Hmmm... We could get an even more concise set of rules if this rule were eliminated."

But then I wonder how game play would be affected. Clearly, with that rule eliminated, some jumps would become possible that are now impossible in the current rules.

Here is one. Imagine a king K with enemy pieces at each of the numbers:


. . . . .
. 5 . . .
. . 2 . .
. 1 . . .
. K . 3 .
. . 4 . .
. . . . .


With the current rule the maximum capture is four pieces (1-4). After jumping piece 4 and returning to file B, the king cannot reach enemy piece 5, since 1 is blocking the way. By contrast, if captured pieces were removed as they were jumped, then the path would be clear, after jumping piece 4 and landing in file B, for the king to jump piece 5.

Here is another such case:

. . . . .
. o . . .
. . . . .
. K . . .
. o . . .
. . . . .
. o . . .
. . . . .


With an alternative "remove captures immediately" rule in place, the King could perform a capture by choosing an initial direction in which to capture (i.e. an up direction or a down direction), and then move 180 degrees opposite for another capturing move, thereby eliminating all enemy pieces.

I'm curious the reason for forbidding captures such as these two cases above.

One possible reason is that the latter case feels "strange" -- that is, very un-draughts-like. But I'd guess the stronger reason for forbidding captures such as these, perhaps, was a worry about kings being overpowered if moves like these are permitted?

EDIT: Here is another case, simpler than my first case above:


. . . . . .
. . . 2 . .
. . . . 3 .
. 4 1 . . .
. . K . . .
. . . . . .


Maximum capture with current rule = 1-3
Maximum capture with a "remove captures immediately" rule = 1-4
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Check out the (very cool) example here describing the Coup Turc combination:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dameo

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christian freeling
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cdunc123 wrote:
One more question, Christian, if you don't mind. It's about the design of Dameo.

I have a fondness for games with simple, even austere, rule sets. That's one reason for the Dameo-rules-rewrite in my OP, namely, to see how concisely the rules could be written.

I've got a question about the rule which says captured pieces remain on the board till the end of the turn, and cannot be re-jumped.

The elegance-lover in me thinks, "Hmmm... We could get an even more concise set of rules if this rule were eliminated."

But then I wonder how game play would be affected. Clearly, with that rule eliminated, some jumps would become possible that are now impossible in the current rules.

Here is one. Imagine a king K with enemy pieces at each of the numbers:


. . . . .
. 5 . . .
. . 2 . .
. 1 . . .
. K . 3 .
. . 4 . .
. . . . .


With the current rule the maximum capture is four pieces (1-4). After jumping piece 4 and returning to file B, the king cannot reach enemy piece 5, since 1 is blocking the way. By contrast, if captured pieces were removed as they were jumped, then the path would be clear, after jumping piece 4 and landing in file B, for the king to jump piece 5.

Here is another such case:

. . . . .
. o . . .
. . . . .
. K . . .
. o . . .
. . . . .
. o . . .
. . . . .


With an alternative "remove captures immediately" rule in place, the King could perform a capture by choosing an initial direction in which to capture (i.e. an up direction or a down direction), and then move 180 degrees opposite for another capturing move, thereby eliminating all enemy pieces.

I'm curious the reason for forbidding captures such as these two cases above.

One possible reason is that the latter case feels "strange" -- that is, very un-draughts-like. But I'd guess the stronger reason for forbidding captures such as these, perhaps, was a worry about kings being overpowered if moves like these are permitted?

I see you're unfamiliar with the irony that the 'Coup Turc' isn't possible in Turkish Draughts. It's a beautiful albeit rare combination made possible only by the rules as they are.

Did I mention capturing 'like a dog on a cookie trail'? It alters the position on the board during the move. That goes against my feeling for style. The famous 'flying king' in Russian Draughts is another example: during the move the man becomes king and proceeds as such.

In multi move games this may be another matter because it happens inherently, but in single move game I tend to avoid it. In Caïssa (and a couple of others) it is even explicitly stated that there is no 'during' a move.

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Keith Anderson
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Just found this game through another thread. I'll have to give it a try.

For new or young players does

** Majority capture: if a player has a choice of captures, then he must choose the sequence that results in the largest number of pieces being captured (kings and soldiers counting equally). If there is more than one way to do this, then a player is free to choose which way.

make the game harder to teach and play without error? It presumes the ability to see all possible capture sequences so that's why I'm curious.
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christian freeling
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GamePlayer wrote:
Just found this game through another thread. I'll have to give it a try.

For new or young players does

** Majority capture: if a player has a choice of captures, then he must choose the sequence that results in the largest number of pieces being captured (kings and soldiers counting equally). If there is more than one way to do this, then a player is free to choose which way.

make the game harder to teach and play without error? It presumes the ability to see all possible capture sequences so that's why I'm curious.

For a player with a bit of experience it's probably not too hard to see all available capture sequences. But to get to the heart of the matter, the obligation to capture the maximum number of pieces gives rise to a very important tactic: the sticker. A sticker is a piece that is under an immediate threat of being captured, but cannot be captured because the opponent must perform a majority capture elsewhere. Dameo tactics are pervaded by it, as are the tactics of International Draughts. Checkers variants that do not feature the obligation to capture maximally do not feature this particular tactic either. Russian Draughts is an example. It offers more choice, but on the whole less interesting and dramatic consequences.
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Rex Moore
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GamePlayer wrote:
...make the game harder to teach and play without error? It presumes the ability to see all possible capture sequences so that's why I'm curious.


It's not really an issue. If both players somehow miss the largest capture sequence, then it's not like it was set up strategically anyway. No one will even know!

Online, the rules are enforced so you'll be forced to see the largest sequence.

Just play on and gather experience, and welcome to a great game!

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