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Subject: I just submitted to BGG my 4 player xiangqi game rss

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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Basically one needs two sets of pieces and four half-boards. Orientation of pieces marks ownership; they're read as right-side-up to the owner. The river is expanded into a sea and all four half-boards occupy a side of it. Across the sea is no different from across the river. Lateral boards are entered as if one rotated the board a piece moves from toward the half-board it moves onto. again, all half-boards connect at the "sea", an enlarged version of the river. All rules are otherwise as in standard xinagqi.

Play is clockwise. A player who is "checkmated" (to avoid Chinese terms) at the start of their turn removes only their "king" and is eliminated from play thereafter. Essentially their pieces stay on the board but their turn is skipped. Checkmates may be from a single player's pieces or multiple players' pieces in combination. The last player standing wins.

Does anybody else care to playtest this for me?
 
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Variants from Korean chess, etc., seem straightforward. Honestly, a 4-player version of Western chess set up similarly also seems possible. The odd number of rows in shogi make that game more difficult to give a similar treatment. Adding a row to the shogi-ban so that it can be divided in half would be the simplest to implement but I think I prefer a distinct middle row shared by each pair so that the 5th row has three distinct versions so to speak.
 
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Russ Williams
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whac3 wrote:
Honestly, a 4-player version of Western chess set up similarly also seems possible. The odd number of rows in shogi make that game more difficult to give a similar treatment. I think I prefer a distinct middle row shared by each pair so that the 5th row has three distinct versions so to speak.

If I understand you right, the center 9x9 array of squares (all indicated below with underscore _ instead of period .) would actually be treated as a single big square (with 9 neighbors to the north, south, east, and west)?

L N S G K G S N L
. R . . . . . B .
P P P P P P P P P
. . . . . . . . .
L . P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P . L
N B P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P R N
S . P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P . S
G . P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P . G
K . P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P . K
G . P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P . G
S . P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P . S
N R P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P . N
L . P . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . P . L
. . . . . . . . .
P P P P P P P P P
. R . . . . . B .
L N S G K G S N L


(But would a rook moving from the left side to the right side be free to change rows as it leaves the center megasquare?)

How would you treat the center 8x8 array of squares in this sort of variant of Western chess?

---

PS: (in case you don't know) there exists a 4-player shogi variant which takes a different approach, played on the standard 9x9 board: Yonin Shogi
 
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Moshe Callen
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For 4-player shogi:

I think it simpler to picture that the board has no center spaces. Each player's 5th row has 3 entirely separate tracks each linked to one of the other players' board.
 
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christian freeling
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In terms of social interaction between players, multi player p.i. games are prone to collusion. If the goal is elimination and being the last man standing, this implies that one or two players are at some point excluded from further participation for as long as the game lasts.
I just wonder if that always pans out right.
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Moshe Callen
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christianF wrote:

In terms of social interaction between players, multi player p.i. games are prone to collusion. If the goal is elimination and being the last man standing, this implies that one or two players are at some point excluded from further participation for as long as the game lasts.
I just wonder if that always pans out right.

Why would it not?
 
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whac3 wrote:
christianF wrote:

In terms of social interaction between players, multi player p.i. games are prone to collusion. If the goal is elimination and being the last man standing, this implies that one or two players are at some point excluded from further participation for as long as the game lasts.
I just wonder if that always pans out right.

Why would it not?

Way back in a century gone by I played regularly at 'Fanaat', the game club of Twente University, and over the years we played several multi player abstracts (the notorious Atlantis for one). More often than not there would be some resentment during and afterwards. I remember Martin once shouting "If you do that I'm forced to break the treaty!" - not directed to me by the way, but it shows that the option of collusion doesn't always seem to bring out the best in man.
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I was probably an adult before I ever saw my first game without player elimination. To my mind, it always seems the default.
 
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Russ Williams
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FWIW I have no problem with player elimination; it is a separate independent issue from collusion/alliances/etc, which is the annoying problem/feature which I see with some abstract strategy games generalized to more than 2 players: negotiation skill often becomes dominant and skill in the actual game mechanisms can become almost unimportant.

E.g. in a 2-player non-handicap game of Go, a stronger player will normally win vs a weaker player. In a multiplayer game of Go, two weaker players can easily collude to defeat the stronger player.

If one enjoys negotiation as the primary part of the game experience, then cool, but for me this phenomenon is more of a bug than a feature.

(There is also of course the issue that a weak player who makes a blunder can inadvertently hurt some other opponents as collateral damage -- e.g. accidentally handing victory to some other opponent -- while in a 2-player game, a player who blunders only hurts themselves.)
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Nick Bentley
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I've learned from experience collusion almost always ends up damaging multiplayer last-man-standing elimination games. But there's also a solution that usually fixes the problem (it doesn't eliminate collusion but it makes the collusion interesting instead of annoying)--> change the win condition to the following:

The game ends when 1 player is eliminated. The player who eliminated that player wins.

If one player is positioned to eliminate another, the other player(s) will come to the latter's rescue. The players with the poorest positions are kept in the game through collusion with the others. It eliminates games where everybody gangs up on the strongest player from the beginning until he's eliminated. They may gang up for a while, but if they get him on the ropes they'll turn against one another and he can recover.

The alliances are less arbitrary, more predictable, and they shift in logical ways. That recovers some of the planning and strategy which is destroyed in last-man-standing multiplayer elimination games.

Warning: the one thing you have to check for before committing to this mechanism is drawishness.

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christian freeling
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In two player games I know what my opponent is up to. I prefer that kind of clarity over 'interesting social interaction'.
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I think obviously the to player versions are going to be ideal but it's also interesting to see how the four player adaptations effects the dynamics.
 
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"effects" ≠ "affects"

TPP
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mocko wrote:
"effects" ≠ "affects"

TPP

That is a style change the Chicago Manual of Style bizarrely pushed while I was in college. Sorry, they're still wrong. "To affect" something it to put on airs of a thing, as when one affects a British accent. "Effect" when it's a verb is to cause a change.

Thank you for chiming in.
 
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whac3 wrote:
mocko wrote:
"effects" ≠ "affects"

TPP

That is a style change the Chicago Manual of Style bizarrely pushed while I was in college. Sorry, they're still wrong. "To affect" something it to put on airs of a thing, as when one affects a British accent. "Effect" when it's a verb is to cause a change.

Thank you for chiming in.

My pleasure.

As for Chicago, I'd need to know exactly what they said to know whether they were right or wrong, but you're definitely wrong now.

"To affect" means to have an effect / make a difference (of any kind) upon / to something or someone.

As in: "How did the adaptation affect the dynamics?"

"To effect" means to bring about (something unspecified, which is usually a change, improvement or similar, but needs to be made explicit).

As in: "I've effected the alteration you suggested."

But yes, "to affect" also has a quite separate meaning of pretension, along the lines you mention, as of course words often do. That's probably what led (newsflash to planet: NOT "lead") you astray.

Jolly Yuletide!



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mocko wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mocko wrote:
"effects" ≠ "affects"

TPP

That is a style change the Chicago Manual of Style bizarrely pushed while I was in college. Sorry, they're still wrong. "To affect" something it to put on airs of a thing, as when one affects a British accent. "Effect" when it's a verb is to cause a change.

Thank you for chiming in.

My pleasure.

As for Chicago, I'd need to know exactly what they said to know whether they were right or wrong, but you're definitely wrong now.

"To affect" means to have an effect / make a difference (of any kind) upon / to something or someone.

As in: "How did the adaptation affect the dynamics?"

"To effect" means to bring about (something unspecified, which is usually a change, improvement or similar, but needs to be made explicit).

As in: "I've effected the alteration you suggested."

But yes, "to affect" also has a quite separate meaning of pretension, along the lines you mention, as of course words often do. That's probably what led (newsflash to planet: NOT "lead") you astray.

Jolly Yuletide!




Sorry I'm not wrong now. I finished high school before that idiocy came into fashion. The distinction of the verb effect and affect where pounded into my brain. Affect is related to the word affectation.
 
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whac3 wrote:
mocko wrote:
whac3 wrote:
mocko wrote:
"effects" ≠ "affects"

TPP

That is a style change the Chicago Manual of Style bizarrely pushed while I was in college. Sorry, they're still wrong. "To affect" something it to put on airs of a thing, as when one affects a British accent. "Effect" when it's a verb is to cause a change.

Thank you for chiming in.

My pleasure.

As for Chicago, I'd need to know exactly what they said to know whether they were right or wrong, but you're definitely wrong now.

"To affect" means to have an effect / make a difference (of any kind) upon / to something or someone.

As in: "How did the adaptation affect the dynamics?"

"To effect" means to bring about (something unspecified, which is usually a change, improvement or similar, but needs to be made explicit).

As in: "I've effected the alteration you suggested."

But yes, "to affect" also has a quite separate meaning of pretension, along the lines you mention, as of course words often do. That's probably what led (newsflash to planet: NOT "lead") you astray.

Jolly Yuletide!




Sorry I'm not wrong now. I finished high school before that idiocy came into fashion. The distinction of the verb effect and affect where pounded into my brain. Affect is related to the word affectation.

Among other things.

I don't know when you went to high school, but I've been right about affect since at least 1631 and about effect since at least 1593.

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mocko wrote:
I don't know when you went to high school, but I've been right about affect since at least 1631 and about effect since at least 1593.


This is the most Moxhamy thing I've ever read.
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milomilo122 wrote:

mocko wrote:
I don't know when you went to high school, but I've been right about affect since at least 1631 and about effect since at least 1593.


This is the most Moxhamy thing I've ever read.

Glad you enjoyed it. I rejected a couple of earlier phrasings as insufficiently provocative

Seriously, though, my point was that the OED (the big one - 20 vols or whatever, with detailed examples of evolving usage) gives those dates as earliest sightings of the meanings I referred to.

Anyway, Happy Christmas everyone, with very sincere amitiés all round.

 
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milomilo122 wrote:
I've learned from experience collusion almost always ends up damaging multiplayer last-man-standing elimination games. But there's also a solution that usually fixes the problem (it doesn't eliminate collusion but it makes the collusion interesting instead of annoying)--> change the win condition to the following:

The game ends when 1 player is eliminated. The player who eliminated that player wins.

Another way (which I like) is "You win when your left-hand neighbor is eliminated" (as featured in the Sinister Variant of Homeworlds).
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I'd like to point out that there has been a rather successful genre (or two) of multiplayer, perfect information games. I'm thinking of the 18xx series and other economic / train games. Basing victory on a score (money) allows comparing success even among losing players. Seems appropriate given a multiplayer paradigm.
 
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