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sunday silence
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Hi Nick. This seems like a real clever idea. I have not studied much Hex and it's progeny but this game I will probably sit down and study it.

Question: do the corners of the edges count for either edge that they abut? I would assume yes, as this is the rule in Havannah or whatever game that was a precursor to this, but is not explicitly stated on your site.

Numbering the spaces on the board seems so inelegant and also a bit artificial. It's not that I'm opposed to games where the terrain dictates the movement it's just that here this game seems to close to the basic evolutionary line of Hex that adding numbers to the hexes seems so contrived. Isnt there a more obvious and more organic way to limit movement? I.e. a way to limit movement that is based on the strategic placement of stones themselves.
 
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Nick Bentley
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sundaysilence wrote:
Hi Nick. This seems like a real clever idea. I have not studied much Hex and it's progeny but this game I will probably sit down and study it.


Excellent. I haven't studied it much myself so I'll be interested in what you'll find.

Quote:
Question: do the corners of the edges count for either edge that they abut?


Yep. As you can see, I've worded the rules to avoid this ambiguity by referring to the win condition in terms of touching the different colored edges.

Quote:
Numbering the spaces on the board seems so inelegant and also a bit artificial. It's not that I'm opposed to games where the terrain dictates the movement it's just that here this game seems to close to the basic evolutionary line of Hex that adding numbers to the hexes seems so contrived. Isnt there a more obvious and more organic way to limit movement? I.e. a way to limit movement that is based on the strategic placement of stones themselves.


I agree with you there. I came up with the invention quickly, and didn't spend time thinking about how to do what you propose. Finding the right rule may be difficult. If you or someone found such a rule, I totally want to hear about it. I think that would endow its creator with co-designer status, at the least!

The first idea that comes to mind: unconnected stones have more movement power than connected stones. More specifically: stones with no adjacent friendlies have the biggest range, stones with 1 adjacent friendly have a more limited range, and stones with 2 or more adjacent friendlies have the most limited range. Don't know if that will be a strong enough incentive to avoid clumping in the middle, but it's worth a shot. Virtual connections may be too strong.
 
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sunday silence
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yes well the first solo playtest ended in a draw which was a bit shocking to me, as I thought the idea was to ensure that there was no draw. But then I found out even Havannah has draw possibilities so it was possible. That first game saw both sides construct walls across the board that connected two of the sides and sort of walled each other off. One side did construct a ring (part of a main wall) so under Havannah rules would have won.

Two more games did end with decisions so that was a bit better. One thing I notice is that slide moves really play little or no part at the beginning of the game as its far more important to simply drop stones in the right spots. Late in the game a well placed slide can actually be decisive as the pieces sort of slither around each other. Most of the slides though proved uneventful so this is sort of problematical if it is to be a defining feature of the game.

The movement rule I come up with is almost the opposite of what you are saying: a stone can slide one hex for every directly adjacent friendly stone it has. So a stone sitting alone cannot move. Most stones have like 1 or 2 neighbors so they can slide one or two. A few stones have 3 so they go a bit further. The idea was to encourage clumping in order to get more mobility but at the same time, someone who spreads out there stones may cover more ground but the individual stones have little or no mobility. It's interesting that your idea on movement was a little different so it be interesting to see more elaboration on that.

I played the last two games with those rules and the last game was pretty interesting. Again slide moves really dont seem to have much effect until the board starts to really fill up.

I think if the idea is to avoid clumping in the middle, then the "ring" victory condition of Havannah might be more relevant.
 
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Nick Bentley
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Hmmm. Draws should be impossible, so I've either written the rules wrong or you read them wrong. Can you describe the board in the "drawn" position?
 
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sunday silence
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there was like a straight wall of white stones, that was off center (so did not cross the center) and so connected two edges but was nowhere able to get to a third edge. This wall had a loop near the middle of it and encircled one black stone. I didnt remove this, as I dont think the game has captures.

So there seemed to be a series of parallel walls, alternately black and white and so each seemed to cut off the other from getting to three walls.

EDIT: perhaps I did not realize the corners of the colored, double edged, sides can operate for either color. In the recent games I played there has been more action near these borders.

This situation did not go unnoticed by me, but I figured it was natural because HAVANNAH has DRAWS, if I am not mistaken.

If Havannah can have draws why cant Snype? Since Havannah's victory conditions are more liberal than Snype and the slides, could in theory, not put the stones in any better position then when they were initially dropped, then...wouldnt draws be possible? In other words sliding itself does not necessarily get the stones in any better position than simply dropping them as in Havannah, so there's nothing that actually demands that Snype have sharper, more tactical play.

The only thing I can think of is that Havannah seems to allow for a more liberal mix of three walls where in your game, the three walls have to be specifically one each from those three colored edges. I was not sure if this aspect of the game was designed for this purpose or what. In any event, if you could explain why made the choices you did it might be more enlightening on how the game can be evolved.

The other thing that kept bugging me was why did you not simply try the Havannah victory conditions with the simple added rule of sliding stones? If you could explain this part of your process this might be illuminating....

In other news. I played two more games yesterday using the added victory condition of forming a ring. (I am also using my modified rules for sliding, as per above). Forming rings did not seem to add much if anything to the strategy which sort of suprised me. Again an understanding of the purpose of the rings in Havannah would be useful, so I wonder what statements Freeling has made on this issue.

Both games ended in decisive outcomes, so maybe the first game draw was some sort of fluke or I overlooked something.

All games have been played on hex board having 6 hexes per each edge. The last two games were 22 moves and 28 moves for each side. (I might have resigned a move or two in advance in that 22 move game)

Sliding again seems to have little to no effect until at least the middle part of the game. If you one can slide a stone from one group to a different group that is part of a threatening chain, such a move can be of some usefulness. It seems like only the last 8 or 10 moves of the game are the only times when such a stone can threaten to do that. In other words, a stone that can slide to another chain of stones, in order to create another threat, is operating efficiently.

EDITED that last sentence...

It almost seems like the game is a sort of more efficient version of Havannah where the ability to slide a stone actually is sort of more forgiving for placement purposes. So one can maximize the placement of a stone and so elimate less than ideal play. I think this gives the first player some advantage (I used a pie rule in these games; player two gets to choose his side after initial placement) I think player one has won the last three games.
 
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Nick Bentley
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Don't have much time to post now, but one note:

This game is an attempt to address some issues I have with the The Game of Y (and the proof that it's drawless is similar). Havannah is unrelated.

I have a whole other set of games which take Havannah as the starting point, but this isn't one of them.

I'm having trouble understanding the first game. I guess I would need to see an image of the endgame position to better understand what you're saying.
 
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sunday silence
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I think we can just assume I messed up on victory conditions when I played that first game. I dont think I was counting the corners between the colors as shared, either that or I wasnt paying attention to which borders were which colors (I didnt color them in originally, so I may have transposed them).

To further clarify, Snype has more in common with Y because of the type of victory conditions? Namely three distinct edges as well as shared corners.

Obviously I do not have much experience with this family of games but am doing my best to catch up.
 
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Nick Bentley
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sundaysilence wrote:

To further clarify, Snype has more in common with Y because of the type of victory conditions? Namely three distinct edges as well as shared corners.


Yep, although what's more important is that this particular win condition has neat properties. Specifically, both players have exactly the same win condition and when the board is full one and only one player must have achieved it. It's a very rare kind of game that way. I geek out over symmetries and stuff, so that's why I'm interested.

 
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sunday silence
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Okay it helps a lot to know what the concepts you are going for here.
 
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Nick Bentley
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sundaysilence wrote:
Okay it helps a lot to know what the concepts you are going for here.


Cool. I should also mention that I never intended this or a bunch of others of my games to end up in the BGG database. Someone put them all in, but I can't vouch for all of them. This is one. I mean, it could be good, but I haven't studied it enough to know, and it could also be bad. I post a lot of works-in-progress on my blog and I guess I'm not clear enough about distinguishing between them and finished games.

The only games I can really vouch for are Ketchup, Odd, and Glorieta.





 
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sunday silence
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Right, that helps explain the more undocumented nature of some of the entries. getting back to Snype: has anyone tried playing Hex with these sort of movement rules? It just seems natural to start with one of the seminal games and add proposed variant to that and see what happens.

 
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