Alek Erickson
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I have been thinking about win conditions in abstracts.
Many abstracts are variations on a theme and share common win conditions.
In fact, a few very distinct win conditions dominate the abstract world.
As far as I can tell, here they are, more or less.

Have Territory
Connect sides
Unification
Annihilation
Make Big Group
create N in a row
Move some piece to a goal
Capture particular special piece.

Many games take the defining games that invented these objects, and modify the mechanics a little. Some games simply combine two of these goals, or modify some of the mechanics, and call it a new game. So...

We might as well take this mixing-and-matching to a whole new level right?
So I'm imagining a game that has ALL of these win condition.
This would be the ultimate modern abstract.

"But Alek, a player can't possibly focus on all these goals at the same time, right?"

Correct! That is why the game would play out like a relay race. When you finish the first goal, you move on to the next goal and so on. Your opponent would still be stuck on the first goal, when they finish that they get to move on to the next goal, etc. The person who makes it through all win conditions first, wins the game.

Of course it would never be that popular of a game, even among abstract gamers. But it should exist...and now the idea is out there. I will be working on a version. I invite others to help me in my quest to create this gargantuan monster.

*unless it's already been done years ago*

Alek
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Russ Williams
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Have the most points is another obvious goal. ("Have territory" is only one specific special case of that.)

And have the least points.

Also "surround" something.

Leave opponent with no possible move. (The archetypal/canonical combinatorial game win condition...)

PS: Some games have multiple possible ways to win, e.g. Havannah.
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Alek Erickson
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russ wrote:
Have the most points is another obvious goal. ("Have territory" is only one specific special case of that.)

And have the least points.

Also "surround" something.

Leave opponent with no possible move. (The archetypal/canonical combinatorial game win condition...)

PS: Some games have multiple possible ways to win, e.g. Havannah.




True...the territory issue is the hardest to include with other objects, since it isn't exactly clear when territory would be assessed (both players would have to catch up to the same object for this one to work, but I guess that is functional since the player that got there first would have a head start).

The "get points" object is somewhat of a "meta-goal"...since points are not physical, and can be used as proxies for any real measurement in space-time.
 
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Alek Erickson
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Leaving opponent with no options is a good one, although it is built in or included into a goal of annihilation. Leaves me with some stuff to think about...
 
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Alek Erickson
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I think in this game, the best way to deal with positions where a player *can't* make a legal move would be to simply allow the other player to make another move, until the frozen player gets freed up with some options. This way, it becomes tactical/strategic weapon for any given goal. That is, until the object becomes "deprive opponent move"

Current order of goals I'm thinking:

Each player begins the game by placing their single "special piece,", and signifying the opponent's "goal space", and determining which sides of the board need to be connected, on the board first, and then starts placing regular pieces. When pieces become capable of moving (after goal 1 is accomplished) they can move 1 space in any direction. Once you're on goal 4 (connect sides) you can either move or place. Capturing for goal 6 would be like chess.

1. create N in a row
2. Move a piece to a goal space
3. Unify
4. Connect sides
5. Surround a piece.
6. Capture particular special piece.
7. Annihilate

These goals I'm having trouble with...since they aren't objects in and of themselves, they are relative.
have territory (how much?)
make big group (how big?)

I am imagining this game gets played on a hexhex8 board currently.
 
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Raymond Gallardo
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Check out Regula, an abstract with a lot of winning conditions that players "activate" during the game at the cost of a turn. Sleepers also has a lot of objectives, which vary depending on the type of piece you place.

As for the idea of mixing-and-matching mechanisms and objects, isn't this the essence of your prototypical Euro game? Through the Desert has essentially four objectives: Territory, largest group, short-term connection, and long-term connection (for lack of a better term).

But perhaps the difference between your design goal and your typical Euro is that a Euro tends to mix-and-match mechanisms that can't exist by themselves as a game.

Quote:
"But Alek, a player can't possibly focus on all these goals at the same time, right?"


Why not? If Euros can do it, why not yours? I say go all out and make a monster beyond anything you expect and see what happens!

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Russ Williams
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rayzg wrote:
Check out Regula, an abstract with a lot of winning conditions that players "activate" during the game at the cost of a turn. Sleepers also has a lot of objectives, which vary depending on the type of piece you place.

Good example!
(And good game.) (Sleepers, I mean; I don't know Regula.)

Quote:
As for the idea of mixing-and-matching mechanisms and objects, isn't this the essence of your prototypical Euro game? Through the Desert has essentially four objectives: Territory, largest group, short-term connection, and long-term connection (for lack of a better term).

I'd say "no": a typical Euro (including Through the Desert) is simply "Have the most points to win". There are various ways to get points, sure, but it's all still "have the most points".

That is qualitatively different from e.g. Sleepers or Havannah where there really are several qualitatively different ways to win.
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Bill Cook
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So, basically Phase 10 but for abstracts instead of cards. Somehow I don't think Tom will like it. This review never gets old:

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Alek Erickson
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Hahaha, I mean, I totally see your point.
I think this would be better game than Phase 10 though!
 
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