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Subject: Bug puzzles rss

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Russ Williams
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We had a couple of interesting games on the size 3 hexhex.

1. One game ended unexpectedly quickly, in only 6 moves! (I.e. on the 7th move, player 1 had no legal move and won.) Can you find such a sequence of moves? I suppose this is the shortest possible game on a size 3 hexhex. (Or can anyone find an even shorter complete game on a size 3 hexhex?)

Spoiler (click to reveal)
x goes first and wins if the game proceeds like this:
. . o
. x . .
o . . x .
. x . .
. . o



2. One game ended with a group of 6 stones, which was unusually big (in our admittedly limited experience) on a size 3 hexhex. (E.g. we played on the much bigger size 5 hexhex and ended with multiple groups of 5 stones, but no group had 6 stones.) What is the largest possible group which can legally arise on a size 3 hexhex? (I don't know the answer... obviously it can't be more than 10. Is 10 reachable in a real game?)
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Nick Bentley
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russ wrote:
(Admin, please move this to Bug's General forum; I misposted it in the Rules forum by mistake, doh...)

We had a couple of interesting games on the size 3 hexhex.

1. One game ended unexpectedly quickly, in only 6 moves! (I.e. on the 7th move, player 1 had no legal move and won.) Can you find such a sequence of moves? I suppose this is the shortest possible game on a size 3 hexhex. (Or can anyone find an even shorter complete game on a size 3 hexhex?)

Spoiler (click to reveal)
x goes first and wins if the game proceeds like this:
. . o
. x . .
o . . x .
. x . .
. . o



2. One game ended with a group of 6 stones, which was unusually big (in our admittedly limited experience) on a size 3 hexhex. (E.g. we played on the much bigger size 5 hexhex and ended with multiple groups of 5 stones, but no group had 6 stones.) What is the largest possible group which can legally arise on a size 3 hexhex? (I don't know the answer... obviously it can't be more than 10. Is 10 reachable in a real game?)


Someone once told me a game has merit if people post puzzles about it. I don't know if that's totally true, but still you've made me feel good here!

Your "shortest game" is also the shortest game I've found. The largest group I've seen on *any* board is 7, but I have also seen a 7 on hexhexh3.

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Russ Williams
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milomilo122 wrote:
Someone once told me a game has merit if people post puzzles about it. I don't know if that's totally true, but still you've made me feel good here!

FWIW another sort of "milestone" I've sometimes heard about a game is if people have dreams about it; I have had dreams about playing Bug.
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Nick Bentley
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russ wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
Someone once told me a game has merit if people post puzzles about it. I don't know if that's totally true, but still you've made me feel good here!

FWIW another sort of "milestone" I've sometimes heard about a game is if people have dreams about it; I have had dreams about playing Bug.


That's even more flattering. Thank you!
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Russ Williams
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In a breakfast game, we stumbled upon another amusingly short game, which has only 1 move more than the one I mention in my original post upthread:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Here were the first 6 moves:

. O .
* . . *
. . . . .
O . . O
. * .

And now the current player must play on the center point (7th move of the game), and then the next player has no legal move and wins.

Unlike the earlier game which ends one move quicker, this one is symmetric: it doesn't matter which player went first, whoever has to move on the 7th move will have to place on the center, and then lose.
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