# Capture Mechanic

2 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

I'm making an abstract called "Penumbra", in which the object is to connect a line of pieces so as to draw lines through specific points on the board. The catch is, each piece you place must form a line with a previously placed piece, making a chain of pieces to the starting piece. (It's played on points of a grid, so pieces can only be "connected" along grid lines). I'm trying to figure out a good capture mechanic that works with the game. After a few plays it seems there needs to be one. Here are the main problems I'm having:

A) In order for the game to work, player's "connections" can pass through opponent's "connections" and pieces. Otherwise, the game would be to easy to block and completely prevent one player from winning.

B) Defensive moves usually consist of either placing a piece where an opponent would have played next turn or a few turns in advance, or claiming points closer to the center to hassle your opponent, giving him less options.

I feel like the game needs a capture move for defensive reasons (since capturing isn't the point of the game) because the defensive options are limited. I'm trying to figure out how to make a capture move work. I was thinking one of these two:

Enclosure:
x---o----x
o is captured

(maybe if it's x-o-o-x the o's aren't captured, so players can defend their position via extra moves)

Interposition:

x--o--x
x's are captured

(this is easier to defend against, but may be too powerful.)

Also, I'm wondering what to do if a group of pieces are completely cut off from the starting piece. Should they be captured, left dormant on the board, or can they still be built off of?

Starting set up is an 8x8 point grid (7x7 squares) starting piece in opposite corners for each player. "Nodes" are placed a 3x4 knights move from each of the corners, so that no "node" is in the same row as another.

0 - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - -
- - - o - - - -
- - - - - o - -
- - o - - - - -
- - - - o - - -
- - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - x

DSfan
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Capture Mechanic

I like the idea for adding a capture mechanic, it sounds like it will make it harder on the offensive side. I like the enclosure idea better, because like you said the interposition sounds to powerful, and it will lead to early victories.

Quote:
Also, I'm wondering what to do if a group of pieces are completely cut off from the starting piece. Should they be captured, left dormant on the board, or can they still be built off of?

Well leaving them there would'nt make to much sense because it would take up valuable board space, and as you said with problem A...

Quote:
in order for the game to work, player's "connections" can pass through opponent's "connections" and pieces

Which sparks a question of my own. If the pieces were left dormant, would you be able to pass through those pieces?

jpfed
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Capture Mechanic

It should be clarified that there are a few possible meanings to "capture". "Capturing" a piece might mean removing that piece from the board, or it might mean replacing that piece with one of your own.

Any removal style of capturing (enclosure or interposition) is vulnerable to cycles or repetitions of board positions presuming perfect play- like "ko" in the game Go. The cycles have a longer period (it takes longer to arrive at the original position) under interposition capturing. Some rule could be added to prevent this, like a repetition stalemate, or a Go-like rule that says you can't be the one to place a piece that would exactly replicate a previous board position.

In my cursory playtests, capturing with enclosure by replacement worked better than capturing with enclosure by removal. Capturing with interposition by removal worked better than capturing with interposition by replacement. However, these were limited playtests and it's encouraged that other people replicate these findings before they (the findings, that is) influence decisionmaking.