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Subject: Which edition is best? rss

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George Leach
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I get the impression there are a great number of editions of this game, using many different styles of piece. Which set is the more portable, beautiful, classic or robust?

What are people's thoughts on this?
 
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David Bush
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Jugular wrote:
I get the impression there are a great number of editions of this game, using many different styles of piece. Which set is the more portable, beautiful, classic or robust?

What are people's thoughts on this?

Most of the sets are pretty much the same. 3M, Avalon Hill, Schmidt Spiele, and Kosmos all use the same post & spanner piece design, although the diameters may not always be the same. Klee uses "towers" and "walls" which do not physically connect to each other. I covet the Schmidt International edition with its blue board,

but as far as aesthetic quality goes, there's not a lot of difference among the above mentioned sets. They're all about the same size, all in four quadrants.

Robustness is also similar. Hinged quadrants last a while, and can easily be fixed with standard transparent tape. Kosmos has snap together quadrants which do not require separate clips, but their piece count was a little skimpy (about 35 each, 140 total) and some of the pegs in my set were malformed and unusable. These are all plastic boards and pieces. If you take reasonable care of them, they should last a long time.

Portability? The only solution I know is the home made route. Here is a Lego base plate, which most conveniently is 24x24 minus the corner holes. Round red and white Lego pegs are the pegs, and the links are made from wire. The yellow dots are supposed to be a visual aid. This is about 7" square. It is glued to a piece of plywood, with a Drueke magnetic chess board on the other side. This all packs inside my Travel Ingenious box, pieces included. The square grey pegs are for row handicapping. One drawback is, the pegs are difficult to remove. Good thing they don't move during the game.

The classiest set you can get, or the most expensive anyway, is a Felsberger.

http://tinyurl.com/ne87y8

As of today, Wednesday 12th August 2009, that's US $481.54 not counting shipping, insurance, and any customs fees. The board is stainless steel framed in wood. There are dimples for the red & green marbles, and channels for the wooden dowel links.

If you get a commercial plastic board, I suggest you add diagonal guide lines with an awl, straightedge, and neutral color pencil.

These help provide a frame of reference for the eye on this large grid.
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Randall Bart
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No preference. The clone called Imuri had lousy pieces, but all the ones called TwixT are about the same.
 
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George Leach
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Thanks for the replies, that Lego version looks excellent and fairly easy. How did you make the wire parts? I'll have to find somewhere online to try the game out, I enjoy connection games.
 
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David Bush
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The wire pieces were cut from red and white insulated wire. I stripped the insulation off each end and bent the ends down as though they were about to be soldered to a circuit board. The wire was strong enough to hold its shape, but was still easy to bend. There's a hole at the top of each peg which the links drop into. This design is arguably better than the post and spanner setup, because if you ever need to remove a link you won't discover that it is "double parked." See the enlarged original image. You needn't go gonzo with the paint like I did. If you glue the base plate to a piece of wood, you could just paint the four edges of the wood to indicate the borders. I still like the yellow guide line dots, though. I will submit a nicer image for the Twixt gallery.

The best place to play online in real time is www.iggamecenter.com which has tons of abstracts. Unfortunately, the Twixt "fad" seems to have passed there, but players do show up from time to time.

Turn-based Twixt is a whole other story, though. www.littlegolem.net has the largest field of players the Net has ever hosted. There are over a hundred of us, and we have tournaments and other games going all the time. One possible drawback is, well, it isn't exactly Twixt. Instead we have Twixt PP where PP stands for paper and pencil. This means that links are never removed, but your own links are allowed to cross each other. For more than 99% of the games, this slight rules modification makes absolutely no difference as far as the outcome of the game is concerned. I call it radioactive mutant Twixt, but I still play there.

For the record, http://www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/ is another turn based server which implements real and unsullied Twixt. If they would just add automated tournaments, maybe more people would play there.
 
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Randall Bart
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twixter wrote:
One possible drawback is, well, it isn't exactly Twixt. Instead we have Twixt PP where PP stands for paper and pencil. This means that links are never removed, but your own links are allowed to cross each other. For more than 99% of the games, this slight rules modification makes absolutely no difference as far as the outcome of the game is concerned. I call it radioactive mutant Twixt, but I still play there.

Isn't that the way Randolph invented it? Didn't 3M make the rule that you can't cross but may remove your own links to accommodate the physical realities of the pieces?
 
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David Bush
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Barticus88 wrote:
twixter wrote:
One possible drawback is, well, it isn't exactly Twixt. Instead we have Twixt PP where PP stands for paper and pencil. This means that links are never removed, but your own links are allowed to cross each other. For more than 99% of the games, this slight rules modification makes absolutely no difference as far as the outcome of the game is concerned. I call it radioactive mutant Twixt, but I still play there.

Isn't that the way Randolph invented it? Didn't 3M make the rule that you can't cross but may remove your own links to accommodate the physical realities of the pieces?

Randolph did create Twixt PP first. Then he created the board game. I believe link removal is Randolph's addition, not 3M's. 3M left out mention of link removal in their first editions, then later tried to rectify the situation and made a mess of it. I have heard that they did get the link removal rule right eventually. But AFAIK this is all due to poor communication on 3M's part. I cannot conceive that Randolph would not have thought of this. For example, he published a booklet of 40 puzzles, many of which require link removal to work, and would not be interesting under PP rules.

Apparently, at one time not all players were satisfied with Randolph's rule that you could add and remove as many of your own links as you wish on a single move. There is a database of games played by snail mail, where the players all agreed that you may add links only to the peg just played. So, if you want to add a link to a peg already on the board which you did not add at the time it was placed, you must spend a move which adds no new peg to the board. In other words you must remove the peg in question and then replace it in the same hole, so that you may add links to it. Klaus Hussmanns tells me the reason for this was to avoid the potential for "abuse" where a player might remove many of his links on one move and then add them back on the next move, etc. He tells me some players tried to convince Randolph to make this change, but he would have none of it. Fortunately no one plays this rules mod any more.

The swap rule is another matter, BTW. I used to diss 3M for leaving that out as well, but Klaus informed me that that was his suggestion to Randolph for the Schmidt and later editions.
 
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