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Subject: Storisende - a sneak preview of the rules. rss

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christian freeling
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I'll officially publish Storisende in January but here are the provisional rules, not yet public. They're no different from those in the Stiles thread, but now hopefully more clear and concise (without overdoing the latter).
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Rey Alicea
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christianF wrote:

I'll officially publish Storisende in January but here are the provisional rules, not yet public. They're no different from those in the Stiles thread, but now hopefully more clear and concise (without overdoing the latter).


Reminds me a little of Battle Sheep
 
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Julien Griffon
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Isn't the setup part too long?

I know you said it felt contrary to the spirit of the game in the other thread, but I would rather start with an empty field and place a hex every time I leave a cell. The wall hex could be thicker than the "empty" hex to have the wall effect.
 
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christian freeling
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reyalicea wrote:
Reminds me a little of Battle Sheep

You're right, it looks like a fine abstract game with a sheepish theme pasted on it. Presumably the way sheep like it

Storisende by the way can also be played with more than two. But abstract p.i. games are poorly guarded against collusion and if extermination is part of the equation (like in Mu and Storisende) then players may be eliminated while others play on. Thus, in terms of social interaction, multi player p.i. abstracts may lead to division and exclusion.
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christian freeling
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captncavern wrote:
Isn't the setup part too long?

I know you said it felt contrary to the spirit of the game in the other thread, but I would rather start with an empty field and place a hex every time I leave a cell. The wall hex could be thicker than the "empty" hex to have the wall effect.

Since it's merely a matter of representation and since adapting the Mu applet is easy this way around, it's more convenient to keep it the way given in the rules. I don't really expect a physical version any time soon
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Julien Griffon
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You're selling yourself short. If the game is as good as it looks, surely a clever publisher will produce it shake


christianF wrote:
captncavern wrote:
Isn't the setup part too long?

I know you said it felt contrary to the spirit of the game in the other thread, but I would rather start with an empty field and place a hex every time I leave a cell. The wall hex could be thicker than the "empty" hex to have the wall effect.

Since it's merely a matter of representation and since adapting the Mu applet is easy this way around, it's more convenient to keep it the way given in the rules. I don't really expect a physical version any time soon
 
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christian freeling
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captncavern wrote:
You're selling yourself short. If the game is as good as it looks, surely a clever publisher will produce it shake

Selling something is a different cup of tea, ask Nick.

I'm interested in Storisende's behaviour because I sense a strategy game capable of rewarding a thoughtful approach. I have a limited array of clues to support this view.

For one, I know the implications of "selectively porous borders", as Nick called them, in this context. A piece on the Wall is an "advantageous sub-goal with some considerable permanency", and calculable at that.
Being first on a section of the Wall means that you can pick off an opponent's offspring if one emerges on a new adjacent wall cell. It would suggest that creating many wall cells with offspring is a good strategy.

But there's this weird and arbitrary rule that only doubles breed offspring. If you hop with the double and leave offspring each time you are bound to the pattern of the grey cells:


The cells between them will invariably turn into wall cells, and preferably with offspring. But each patch of territory is only one cell. That's hard to defend.
If you want larger areas of territory you'll have to go roundabout ways that may slow growth, but make the areas better defendable. Decisions seem necessary in the opening that will have their impact felt till deep in the endgame.

Meanwhile there's the elimination aspect: pieces eliminate one another in an almost chess like fashion (with differen pieces having different powers), there's an inherent territorial aspect, a connection aspect and even a race aspect. Careful manoeuvring appears to be the clue. But I'm still relatively in the dark too.
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Julien Griffon
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christianF wrote:
captncavern wrote:
You're selling yourself short. If the game is as good as it looks, surely a clever publisher will produce it shake

Selling something is a different cup of tea, ask Nick.


I was being sarcastic

Now I'll just follow your analysis as it goes deeper into the game.
 
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Richard Moxham
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captncavern wrote:
I was being sarcastic

Well, I suppose you ought to know. But my suspicion nevertheless is that someone else is selling himself short here. The intention of sarcasm is by definition to wound. Otherwise it's irony or something else - usually irony.

And I can't believe you really wanted to hurt a harmless old hippie with a penchant for organic produce...

Signed

The Phantom Pedant

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christian freeling
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I'll make a button: "Too harmless to hurt!"

Yesterday I fed Carolientje a 4 k. rabbit. She was in her half open terrarium (one sliding door) which is the only place to feed her safely. Outside the terrarium there's bath resting on metal trestles, and if the rabbit hides there and she strikes and misses, she could hurt herself badly.

So I dropped in the rabbit and closed that half, keeping a 100x60 cm. sturdy plastic shield in my hand to provisionally close the other half. The idea is that she smells the rabbit, finds it and grabs it. But she didn't.



Oh, she smelled it all right, but she suddenly had the idea that I was the source. So she attacked me for some 5 minutes and I had to ward off every strike with the shield, while trying to push her back into the terrarium. Those are real attacks, no sarcasm involved. She's perfectly able to kill me.
But I thought it was fun anyway. I lack the ability to panic when it comes to snakes and eventually she spotted the rabbit

P.S. No the rabbit didn't wear glasses, those are mine.

I got three more freeranging in another room. It's not all that often that they pose together for a photograph:



The left one came with a terrarium I bought, as a small 'female' but it's a male. So is the 16 k. albino. The middle one is a female so she grows much faster. Together they still weigh less than Caroline though.

And while I'm at it, drawing up the balance for 2017, here's how smart raccoon dogs get through the winter:



Blatantly off topic, but nice for a bit of context regarding my circumstances
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Julien Griffon
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mocko wrote:
captncavern wrote:
I was being sarcastic

Well, I suppose you ought to know. But my suspicion nevertheless is that someone else is selling himself short here. The intention of sarcasm is by definition to wound. Otherwise it's irony or something else - usually irony.

And I can't believe you really wanted to hurt a harmless old hippie with a penchant for organic produce...

Signed

The Phantom Pedant



I could argue my non-native English is at fault here, but I'm quite sure the same distinction can be made in French. Ironic I was, then

And now I understand why the walls are so important to Christian... for protection against the snakes.
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Nick Bentley
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Looks like it's time for this avatar now:

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christian freeling
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captncavern wrote:
mocko wrote:
And I can't believe you really wanted to hurt a harmless old hippie with a penchant for organic produce...


I could argue my non-native English is at fault here, but I'm quite sure the same distinction can be made in French. Ironic I was, then

And now I understand why the walls are so important to Christian... for protection against the snakes.

Lol, I actually didn't mind whether or not it was meant to be sarcastic. Marketing isn't a big enough issue for me. If there was a point to my post (was there I wonder?) it must have been to show that I'm quite capable of handling attacks

And to get on topic again, the Wall may indeed turn out to be vitally important and endgames, presuming a balanced game, will see fairly shrunk material in a very positional environment. Thus there may be a considerable impact of 'elimination' in what is essentially a territory game. I'm still chronically curious how it will affect (!) game play.
 
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christian freeling
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milomilo122 wrote:
Looks like it's time for this avatar now:


I considered that one, but in the current one I feel a sense of wonder in the snake, as if it just went through the looking glass. That's how I feel most of the time (looking for a 'puzzled' smiley).
 
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christian freeling
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Have a nice and uneventful 2018 everyone! The 'uneventful' is new but with the current state of the world I consider it appropriate.

Personally I started with flu. At my age the effects range from extremely annoying to fatal. I took yearly flu shots ever since the Fujian variant of 2004 and since then my average frequency of catching it actually increased. So I've had it with flu shots. The doctor makes 20 euros for a 3-second shot, so he seems more of an interested party than I.

Meanwhile I recuperated and even managed to take care of the snakes and Snowy without any help, which is reassuring. You guys are my main source of social contacts

Ed started on the Storisende applet. I still haven't moved a physical piece because my physical social contacts don't care for games (or flu, for that matter). So far as I can see it behave in my mind, I'm still faced with questions regarding strategy, in particular whether or not there is a drawback to simply pushing growth to the limit. I suspect there will be and in fact I trust there will be. But a very unusual merging of almost chess like capture and a territorial object makes it hard to be sure. Hold your breath ....
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christian freeling
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alekerickson wrote:
Can you just briefly explain how somebody would win the game or claim any territory? Nobody would grow their opponent's territory. So does it become a race? I'm having a little trouble understanding the tactics/strategy that you're imaging would happen.

Storisende was invented 'inside out', that is, starting with finite core behaviour. The most fundamental one is the emergence of different areas of territory by the very interaction of pieces with the initial layer of hex tiles. Once all tiles have vanished (and often even before that) the board will have been divided into a number of territories separated by a web of walls. It's easy to imagine the process in your mind: areas of territory grow, but never merge, so what remains automatically constitutes a wall.

In the same process, both armies grow. A natural strategy is to grow as fast as possible, but here the very process sets limitations. The one rule that isn't founded in any a priori logic - only doubles can grow - sets part of them. The other part is the interaction of pieces: they merge if they're of the same colour, but capture by replacement if they're the opponent's, regardless of size. You can attack a single with a 'three' but if the single is covered by another single (or double, triple ..) then you'de better think it over. Defensive moves are necessary, but they usually prevent you from growing in the same turn. The interaction of pieces is basically chess-like: different pieces with different properties (although not all that different) capturing by replacement.

In the endgame pieces on the wall are very important, but you can claim territory only by occupying it, which means: getting off the wall. But pieces off the wall are more limited in their options and more vulnerable to attacks. Stalemate situations may occur in which basically neither can occupy a territory because the other would capture.

For the record, I've played it for the first time yesterday (over the board) and it behaved in every way as I had hoped it would. Ed nor I are in a hurry but he is working on the applet, and when he's done we'll officially publish it. It will be my last game, even if another one or two come out of the blue, because I feel it's worthy of being my last game.

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Richard Moxham
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christianF wrote:
It will be my last game.


Even if the claim were convincing, it would still be self-dramatisation. Why can't you leave your oeuvre - whenever its final shape becomes apparent - to speak for itself?


 
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christian freeling
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mocko wrote:
christianF wrote:
It will be my last game.


Even if the claim were convincing, it would still be self-dramatisation. Why can't you leave your oeuvre - whenever its final shape becomes apparent - to speak for itself?



I prefer self-dramatisation over self-glorification and proceeding in that vein, I'd like to choose my 'last game' based on its merits even if facts eventually may prove otherwise. At my age such idiosycracies are considered to be charming
 
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Richard Moxham
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christianF wrote:
mocko wrote:
christianF wrote:
It will be my last game.


Even if the claim were convincing, it would still be self-dramatisation. Why can't you leave your oeuvre - whenever its final shape becomes apparent - to speak for itself?



I prefer self-dramatisation over self-glorification and proceeding in that vein, I'd like to choose my 'last game' based on its merits even if facts eventually may prove otherwise. At my age such idiosycracies are considered to be charming

Self-dramatisation is a form of self-glorification, and even if it weren't why would it be necessary to choose between the two? The roster of games you've assembled places you unassailably au-dessus de la mêlée. This kind of thing, along with all the stuff about snakes and raccoon dogs and dope, drags you back down amongst the rest of mortality.

And please don't say anything 'humble' in response to that

 
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christian freeling
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mocko wrote:
This kind of thing, along with all the stuff about snakes and raccoon dogs and dope, drags you back down amongst the rest of mortality.

I'm quite comfortable being amongst the rest of mortality. But the thread is actually about Storisende and I posted a reply to Alek's questions which now threatens to be overshadowed by your opinions about what I should or shouldn't do.
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Alek Erickson
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OK, well it sounds really interesting, but I need to re-read the rules again to fully understand what's going on. And the rules page is kind of long so I was hoping for a TL;DR description of basically what happens, which I suppose you just gave me. But from that description still would not know how to play.

Which is fine! It sounds like there is a lot going on and when I get the applet from you I'm sure I'll understand quickly as I did with Starweb (and kicked that computer's rear end!)
 
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christian freeling
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alekerickson wrote:
OK, well it sounds really interesting, but I need to re-read the rules again to fully understand what's going on. And the rules page is kind of long so I was hoping for a TL;DR description of basically what happens, which I suppose you just gave me. But from that description still would not know how to play.

Which is fine! It sounds like there is a lot going on and when I get the applet from you I'm sure I'll understand quickly as I did with Starweb (and kicked that computer's rear end!)

I've copied the rules here for convenience - are they really that long?

Quote:
Storisende is a territory game featuring a modular 'layered' board.



The board
The board is made up of 7-cell modules. Their number and lay-out is up to the players, but beginners are advised to use a convex lay-out without 'lakes' or peninsulas.
The board is 'layered': initially every cell is covered by a hex tile, here represented as beige. The module underneath is the actual 'territory', here represented as green. If a hex tile is reversed it shows a dark colour representing a cell of 'the Wall'.
Note: Storisende can equally well be played on regular hex hex boards of base-4 and upwards.

Mechanism
Each player has a sufficient number of men, flat checkers that are easy to stack. A 'piece' may be a man or a column of like coloured men. A piece may only move straight in one of the six main directions and must move exactly the number of cells equaling its height. A piece may split in the process, so a player may move a column of one or more men from the top, leaving the remainder behind. The top part that leaves must move according to its own height.
If a piece lands on a like coloured piece, the two merge. If it lands on an opponent's piece, it captures by replacement, regardless of size.

The interaction of the board and the pieces
The board is initially empty, but every cell is covered by a hex tile. If such a tile is occupied by a piece and next vacated by it, then the tile immediately

- disappears, exposing a territory cell of the module underneath, or
- it is flipped over, making it a cell of the Wall.

The first happens if the removed cell creates a new territory or if it expands exactly one existing territory. The second happens if the removal would cause the merger of two or more existing territories.



Areas of territory never merge
Here you see a 'one-module board' in which three of the seven top tiles have been removed and one has been flipped. The territory top right and the one on the left were already there when the top left tile was vacated. Removal of this tile would cause two areas of territory to merge, which is not allowed, so the tile was flipped to show a cell of the Wall. The centre cell, if vacated, awaits the same fate as does eventually one of the two remaining top cells.

Growth: only doubles breed offspring
If and only if a tile is vacated by a 'double' - a column of two men - it will sprout one new man on the cell that was just vacated, regardless of whether this cell becomes part of the territory or part of the Wall. This is actually the only way to get a man on the Wall.

Movement and capture
Players move in turn, one piece at the time. Movement is optional: a player may pass his turn without losing the right to move on subsequent turns.

- Any lakes or inlets outside or inside the modular board are not part of the board and may not be jumped over or landed in.
- A piece on the Wall may jump over any cell, whether occupied or vacant, and land on any target cell.
- A piece that is not on the Wall may never land on it. It may jump over a cell of the Wall if and only if this cell is occupied by a piece of like colour. Other than that it may jump over or land on any cell.

Start of the game
Both players agree on a board. Then one takes a role as placer, the other as chooser. The placer places a double on a cell of the board. The chooser then decides to either accept that double as his first move, leaving placement of the second double to his opponent, or he accepts that first placement as his opponent's first move, so that it is now his turn to place a double. These two placements end the placement stage.

Object
The game ends after both players pass on successive turns. The winner is the player who controls most territory. Top tiles, if any are left, count as territory. Pieces on the Wall don't control territory, only pieces inside a territory do. Territories that feature both players in a stalemate situation do not count for either. Games may end in a draw.
 
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Alek Erickson
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so your whole army gets built from a single man?
and each turn is a single movement?
 
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christian freeling
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alekerickson wrote:
so your whole army gets built from a single man?
and each turn is a single movement?

A column of two actually, and yes. The applet will allow the first player to set up a board (after his/her own choice) and make the 'placer move', which is a double. His/her opponent then may choose to either or not swap.

The foundation of the game is organic, 'growth' being one of the features of it, and the goal is territorial. But it naturally blends with chess-like interaction of pieces (different powers, capture by replacement), which is probably not a unique feature (Russ might know) but certainly a highly unusual one.
In the end 'elimination' will play a key-role in the control of territory. Endgame positions revolve around the fact that pieces on the Wall have more options but cannot claim territory, while pieces off the Wall do claim the territory they're in, but their options are more limited. They can't get back up the Wall for instance.
 
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Alek Erickson
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Is a first turn kill possible with the given rules?
Also so occupation is necessary to claim territory?
 
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