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Subject: Re-Worded Rules rss

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Sheamus Parkes
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Because the current rules took me way too many passes to understand:


Game Play:

One player takes the black stones and one player takes the white stones. Players take turns adding one stone to the board. A stone may be placed in any empty space (Except the center star.) Stones are never removed from the board. Play until the board is filled. (Or quit sooner if you understand who will win.)

Group:

A Group is a series of like colored stones adjacent to each other that ALSO contains at least two stones on edge spaces. If a series of connected stones doesn't contain at least two stones on edge spaces, then it is not a Group. The center star space belongs to both players and can be used to form larger Groups. A Group controls all edge spaces covered by the Group and all edge spaces surrounded by the Group that are unowned by another Group.

Scoring:

Edge Scoring:
Each edge space controlled by your Groups is worth one point.
The player who controls the most corner spaces gets one extra point. (Corner spaces are still edge spaces are are worth a point each in addition to giving an extra point to the player who controls the most of them.)
At this point, the sum of the scores should be exactly equal to the number of edge spaces plus 1.

Group Scoring:
Count how many Groups each player has. If they have the same number, there is no Group Scoring. If one player has a smaller number of Groups, then the other player must give them a number of points equal to twice the difference in number of Groups. (This scoring rewards having fewer Groups)
The sum of the final scores should still be equal to the number of edge spaces plus 1.

Example: Bob has 5 groups. Alice has 3 groups. Bob owes Alice 2x(5-3)=4 points. Bob subtracts 4 points from his score and Alice adds 4 points to her score.


And that's that. I did leave out the Pie Rule: Choose a player to place the first stone. They may place a stone of either color. Now the other player gets to decide who plays with what color of stones for the rest of the game.

If I ever get this game played, it will definitely be using this much simpler terminology.

I must say the actual game does look interesting
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Mark Engelberg
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Here's the way I like to teach it:
At the end of the game, physically remove any connected group of stones that is not touching at least two edge spaces [I think the physical removal helps make some of the scoring clearer, and helps people understand that your group needs to touch two edge spaces to "survive"].

Each edge space you touch or surround is worth one point.
The person who controls the most corners gets a bonus point.

Then, you get a bonus for having fewer groups than your opponent, 4 points per group.

[This is the key difference -- I think it's easier to grasp 4 points per group given to one player, rather than 2 points given to one and taken away from the other.]
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Eugene
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Isamoor wrote:
all edge spaces surrounded by the Group that are unowned by another Group.

Can you clarify this? How would such an arrangement look?
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Sheamus Parkes
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garygarison wrote:
Isamoor wrote:
all edge spaces surrounded by the Group that are unowned by another Group.

Can you clarify this? How would such an arrangement look?


Couple possibilities:

A single empty edge space surrounded by your stones would still count for you.

A single enemy stone on an edge space otherwise surrounded by you would actually score for you.

Two enemy stones touching each other, but only one of them on an edge space; if you surrounded these stones, then that single edge space would score for you.
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Eugene
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Thanks, makes sense. This image was confusing me, ostensibly an end game shot, where it looks like white has some legal plays in the NW corner:

 
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Sheamus Parkes
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garygarison wrote:
Thanks, makes sense. This image was confusing me, ostensibly an end game shot, where it looks like white has some legal plays in the NW corner:



I think that is end game. The most white could get up there is a 2-edge stone group. And a 2-edge group is a wash due to the #-of-group penalty. The only way a 2-edge group can be worthwhile is if it:

Contains a corner and nets you the bonus point.
Or it chops up an opponent's group (Think a long skinny group that touches at the ends.)
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Eugene
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Ah, makes even more sense. Thanks. Looking forward to playing this real soon.
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Hi,

As regards the bonus point given for controlling the majority of corner cells, this point precludes the occurrence of a draw (for instance, in the image above (#147950), without the bonus the game would be drawn), since it makes the sum of the scores odd.
But that is due to the fact there are an even number of cells on the perimeter, which is true only when each side of the pentagon is composed of an odd number of cells (n cells per side gives 5(n - 1) perimeter cells).
Thus, I would propose that on an even-sided board, in order to avoid ties, no extra point should be given, whoever owns the corners.

It seems to me that the game would essentially feel the same (tell me if you think I'm wrong - I never actually played it yet), allowing more sizes for the board.
 
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Craig Duncan
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I'm coming late to this thread, but I think this would be another alternative rule set:

Definitions
A structure = set of adjacent stones
A stable structure = set of adjacent stones occupying two or more perimeter cells (two or more cells is an adequate foundation for the structure).

On his/her turn each player places a stone of his/her color on the board. Once placed, stones never move. The central cell is a neutral cell that belongs to both players (stones may not be placed in it).

A stable structure owns the perimeter cells that it occupies. A stable structure also owns any unoccupied perimeter cell that it surrounds, so long as there is no smaller enemy structure that also surrounds the cell.

Play continues until one player resigns or both players pass.

At the end of the game, unstable structures "collapse" and are removed from the board. (That is, you remove groups of stones that occupy only one perimeter cell or no perimeter cell).

Scoring:
Compute the score of the remaining structures as follows. For each structure, count the number of perimeter cells that it owns, then subtract 4. Next, sum the scores of your structures.

The player who owns the most corner cells gets an additional one point bonus.

The player with the most points wins.

-----

I think that this alternative is mathematically equivalent to the original rules. (I'd need to add the pie rule too, to be complete.)

You can think of the "minus four" that is subtracted from each stable structure's score as the cost of a "building license" to erect the structure. By combining structures you thereby avoid having to pay extra license fees, so to speak.


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