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Qubic» Forums » Strategy

Subject: go first and always win rss

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Caleb Martin
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You know, when I first got this with 23 other board games on the PSP I thought, WOW this should have more strategy because it's like playing 3 games of tic tac toe at the same time plus interaction with other boards. When after about the 5th game I found out that if you know what to do you win everytime if you go first!

This is like regular tic tac toe with 3 boards. Except if you get the same square on every board you can also win and you can get 3 in a row in these shown way.

x - -
- - -
- - -

- - -
- x -
- - -

- - -
- - -
- - x

you can do this all 3 ways horizontal, vertical, and diagonal.
So if you do the center square in the center board and then center in another board. It's an easy win! If they block take the corner of one of the boards you have the center of and work from there.

Now if on there first move they take an end board center square. Just take a corner on the center board! You can win from there.

So remember... just go first and win!!!
 
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Kelly Bass
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Except that you need 4 in a row. And I'm hoping this is the joke, right?
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Caleb Martin
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chockle wrote:
Except that you need 4 in a row. And I'm hoping this is the joke, right?

No, I'm talking about the 3x3x3 version
 
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Michael Kandrac
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There is no 3x3 version in the database. Perhaps you've hit upon a variant that ought to be included, eh?

Gg
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Caleb Martin
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though it's not on this database I learned about it from playing a psp game 'ultimate board game collection' and they had 3x3x3
 
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Steve Bachman
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So, it actually does not apply to Qubic at all and probably explains why Qubic is 4x4x4.
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Caleb Martin
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Ward wrote:
So, it actually does not apply to Qubic at all and probably explains why Qubic is 4x4x4.

Ya so just don't play 3x3x3.
 
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Just call me Erik
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zeruf wrote:
Ward wrote:
So, it actually does not apply to Qubic at all and probably explains why Qubic is 4x4x4.

Ya so just don't play 3x3x3.


Okay. I won't play Qubic by the wrong rules for no reason. Thanks for the tip!
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S. Deniz Bucak
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My books are forgeries. Nobody wrote them. - Philip K. Dick
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My grandmother had a 3x3 game like this. It stank. I don't know what it was called, but the OP is correct about going first.
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Tom Lehmann
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Search on "tic" and you will find a number of versions of 3D Tic-tac-toe; is there some reason that you can't move this article to one of them and leave poor Qubic alone?
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David Bush
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The first player does have a winning advantage in 4x4x4, although it's not as obvious. One pattern to be alert for is when one player has 3 tokens in any planar 4x4 cross section of the grid, and the opponent has none, this is usually a winning threat, and the opponent must play somewhere in that cross section to block. Also the 8 corner cells plus the 8 central cells are generally more valuable than the other cells, since each of these cells has 7 rows passing through it, while the other cells have just 4 rows passing through them.

A possible workaround for this imbalance is to forbid the first token from placing in any corner or central cell. The first player still has a winning advantage, but the advantage is significantly reduced.

http://members.cox.net/javacoco/ features a Java computer opponent, which might be the best way to understand all this. Click on Setup on the bottom left, click on the BIN tab, scroll down a bit and click on Fourcube. Press 6 for the strongest opponent, which is not perfect but nearly so. The left and right arrows will rotate the board around a vertical axis. Up and down will scroll the cursor through vacant cells, like reading the pages of a book. If you scroll off the bottom, the cursor will reappear on the top. Press Enter to make your move at the cursor. If you want the cursor to disappear, rotate the board. If you want to use the above mentioned workaround, make your first move in any non-corner, non-central cell. Or, at the game start, press F for "Faircube" and the computer will make such an initial move. Press H for a help screen. D is for Demo mode.

If anyone manages to beat this engine at level 6 under "faircube" rules, either moving first or moving second, I would be interested to hear about it! Tactically, at level 6, the engine can routinely find winning sequences of 12 moves or more (24 ply), although it may not be the fastest win. Its opening understanding is crude, but on this small grid that doesn't seem to matter much.
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Kevin O'Gorman
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Back around 1980 there was an article in Mathematics Magazine where Oren Patashnik (sp?) described how he proved that Qubic is a win for the first player. It took him around 1500 hours of computer time, if I recall, so I'd agree it's not obvious.

Some time later, I got a copy of the dataset he preserved from that effort, and changed a game program I found on SourceForge so that it could read that dataset and do the win.

Get the program at https://sourceforge.net/projects/qubic/ if you are interested. If you set it to the highest level, it will tell you how to get the data (it's on Google). The program was written for Linux.

I don't know if there's a proof of a first-player win when you're starting with other than those 7-row cells. I suspect it's true, but can't be sure (yet).

I'm currently working on improving that dataset (making it win quicker) as a hobby.
 
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Caleb Martin
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wow, talk about gravedigging
 
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