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New abstract game : Damkolo

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ichbin
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Hi,

Here is one of my games.
I wish to have some feedback to improve it.
Thank you for any useful comment.

Game : Damkolo

Category : Abstract strategy
Age : 8 and up
Playing time : 30-40 minutes
Number of players : 2
Mechanic : Area control

Components :

http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/damecolori.JPG

Board 6x6
18 black checkers
18 grey checkers
12 red squared tiles
12 yellow squared tiles
12 blue squared tiles

Technical precision : the checkers diameter is at most equal to 2/3 of the tile side. When moving checkers you have to know and to visualize the color of the tiles.

Goal : to win the game you have to be the first player to take control of at least 2 territories.

Definitions :

A territory is a set of same-color tiles. There are 3 territories : red, yellow and blue.

Taking control of a territory means that the territory is occupied by your checkers and your checkers only. It could be one or more.

Set up :

Place the board between the 2 players. The board is empty at the start.
Place randomly all the 36 tiles (red,yellow and blue) on the board
Pick the first player
The first player take the blue checkers.

Rules of the game :

2 steps :
- Placement
- Move and/or capture

1. Placement

Starting with blue, players alternate placing checkers.
Players in turn can place one checker of their color in an empty squared tile anywhere on the board.
Players proceed like this until the board is full.

2. Move and/or capture

Move :

Checkers are moved chess queen like (horizontally vertically and diagonally). But no color change is authorized. A checker is moved from a red squared tile to a red squared tile. From a yellow to yellow and from blue to blue.
No jump is authorized.

Capture :

Capture is mandatory.
If your checker land on a squared tile occupied by your opponent checker you have to capture it and remove it from the board

End of the game

The game ends when one of the player take control of 2 territories.

RacNRoll Gaming
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I like it but...

....I can see there being some games that don't play out "right" with however the random tiles come out.

Perhaps reducing it to 11 tiles of each color..and then adding 2 tiles that allow you to use it as a "wild card" and a 3rd tile that allows you to swith color paths might add some new twists to the game.

You could even just add them as a variant.

rcjames14
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Something Really Works Here

This has promise.

As an App, you would probably be able to create an algorithm that randomly distributes the tiles by color without creating impossible moves (islands for example). Under those circumstances, I can see this game working well as a random generated board. But, I think that if you plan to make this a tabletop game, you will want to create a standard board configuration. Because: (a) the games complexity does not really rely upon random tiles at the beginning and (b) any type of implementation of it is going to decrease the quality of the physical product by introducing more moveable pieces and (c) it is going to add time to the game, you should think of one standard configuration for the tabletop version. And, as RacNRoll mentioned, you might consider special wild tiles which allow pawns to change their color-identity.

And, I would recommend that rather than randomly distributing the tiles, you randomly distribute the pawns. Using a fixed board, the game is setup by placing all 36 pawns in a bag and then drawing them one by one and placing them from left to right, top to bottom until the entire board is full. Ultimately, I think that the skill/strategy of this game comes from seeing patterns of move/capture in a highly complex environment. And, if the board is set up well and there are enough pieces, I think that there may be enough decision-tree depth to compensation for any initial 'good luck' in the draw. To help mitigate it further, you might consider granting the player with the fewest pawns on any of the colors to go first. After all, he is the most likely to lose that territory, all things being equal.

I think you want to keep the focus of this game on the move/capture. And, if you first do a placement phase, you risk running into some severe paralysis analysis as people contemplate all the possible options that may develop. If you find a way to start with everything on the board, then the decision tree gets smaller as the game goes on and pieces are eliminated. Which is definitely something that you want.

Regardless of what you decide to do with the design, you are going to need to be very clear about how the move/capture process works. Based upon your description, it is not clear to me whether you capture/eliminate everything in your path as you move from one legitimate spot to another or whether you only eliminate the piece you land on. I think you mean the latter. But, in that situation, you are indeed 'jumping' as a knight does in chess... even though you say you don't jump. So, it's confusing. However, if it is the former, then you need to be clear that it is the case and that in such a circumstance you may eliminate a lot of pieces at once.

As far as the move and capture part does go, I'm not sure what the most interesting dynamic is: a. jump and capture. b. slide and clear, or c. slide towards your color until you hit something, capture and then remain on whatever color you stop on. In each instance, I think it's going to have an impact on how players play the game. And, it's not clear to me which is the most fascinating. But, you're going to want to adopt that one. If it IS indeed b. that you like the most, you might consider allowing players to eliminate their own pieces as they slide... since it will force some interesting strategic questions.

Overall, I think you've got something potentially interesting here, as an abstract parlour game goes... and I think it's worth pursuing further. I also see no reason at all that it cannot be adopted to accommodate 3 or 4 players (with silver and gold pawns).

ichbin
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Some precisions

Thank you both for your comments.
While waiting other comments I will try to answer some comments.
1. Jumping is not authorized.
All you can do to capture an opponent pawn is to slide your pawn from one color to the same color. The path between the starting squared tile and the target squared tile have to be free of any other pawn.
The idea behind the design is that players can use some of their pawns as blocking pawns.

2. You can not take all the pawns in the direction move. It will be absurd. The game will be very unbalanced and will finish in less than 5 minutes. Like chessgame. The queen can capture only the targeted piece not more. And then you wait for the opponent move.

3. The average of any color is 2 per line (or per column). There is no risk of islands. Try to simulate randomly thousands of configurations and you will observe that it is almost impossible to have islands.

4. Adding pawns with the ability to change color will lead to draw situations. The game is designed such as there is no draw : 3 terrirories, 3 battle fields. Every player has to find the best way to cope with the three.

5. The placement step is very important. I know it adds time to the game that is why I had choosen 6x6 board. Only 18 pawns to place. If you skip the placement step you will finish any game in 10 minutes or less.

Thank you for all your comments.

rcjames14
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Observations

It is possible, though not likely, to create an island:

R X X X X X
X X 0 0 0 0
X 0 X 0 0 0
X 0 0 X 0 0
X 0 0 0 X 0
X 0 0 0 0 X

As long as there is no R in any of the Xs, then R cannot move anywhere and cannot be attacked. Since there are 20 0s and only 11 other Rs to place, it is technically possible, however unlikely, to create an isolated spot. Fortunately, I believe that there is no way to design 2 separate islands of the same color... though it would be possible to create an island for two colors. Unlikely... but possible. These conditions do not create an unplayable game by themselves... but they would make it possible to create a draw condition if the player who controls the 'mainland' is different than the one who controls the 'island'.

With regard to RackNRoll's suggestion that you add 3 wild tiles, it makes sense that rather than counting them as three color territory, they would count as no color territory for purposes of control/victory. So, you could use them to change the color paths of a pawn, but the space itself would not be counted when checking for victory. You could even color it gray or something, in order to make it easier to see that it is a special spot.

You probably want this game to take 15 minutes to play. Think of the other abstract games on the market and you will notice they don't take hours to play. Checkers, Parcheesi, Backgammon, Mancala, Bejeweled, even Chess is frequently played with a 5 minute clock. Go is an exception, but probably one that proves the rule. Plus, people like the challenge of dealing with a set of circumstances they did not choose, playing with the cards fate dealt them, or in this case, where they started off on the board.

ichbin
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In the beginning....

In the beginning my first idea was :
- to create a standard board with 6 colors.
- to create pawns with 2 colors (face down and face up). It will give me 15 pawns for each player ((6*5)/2=15)
- to set up 2 camps where each player can place its pawns

and all what those constraints imply.

Quickly I saw that I will need to write a lot of rules to explain my game.
I changed my mind and choose to build an abstract game with few rules but very strategic one where each placement and each move lead to consequences.
The probability to have an island by placing randomly the tiles is very very thin. So it is almost (I said almost) impossible.
Anyway I'm thinking to add another rule. Only one. It will be about the right to promote a pawn so you can change the color of one of your pawn. Example : You won the red territory (no opponent pawn in red territory) you could then take one of your pawns in red territory and place it on yellow or blue territory.
I'm not sure. It depends on what such added rule will imply for the game : more balance? enough power to balance the game? and so on.

ichbin
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Solving the island problem

It is easy to solve the island problem by creating tiles 2x3.
You will then have to place only 6 tiles randomly.
With good design of the colors for each tile the island problem will not happen.
More than that you will reduce significantly the time used to place the tiles.

rcjames14
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Progress

You have already changed the game quite substantially and it sounds like you are open to more changes to make it even better. This is an invaluable trait.

However, at this point, I do not know how much more can be changed from theoretical discussion alone. Regardless of how the game is setup, it seems clear to me that the interesting part will come from the move/capture phase. And, ultimately how that move/capture dynamic works will make or break the game.

You have wanted the colors to be separate dimensions, once one piece is on a color it cannot change its color. But, it can be used to block movement by other colors. My sense is that you really want to flip those rules around completely. That instead, a piece 'slides' towards another space of its color and stops/captures whenever its another piece, regardless of what color it is on or whether it is your piece. Under those circumstances, pieces would constantly be changing color/idenity, but it would be impossible to use them to block others. However, at this point, I cannot see which one (your idea or mine) is best. It is too complex.

Have you tested the game out yet? It is not always straightforward how games will play out once players get a go at them. And, in fact, an abstract game almost requires a lack of straightforwardness. If a game's rules are too complex or its strategies are too simple, it is almost by definition not an abstract game. So, testing these game will give you a lot of guidance at this point.

But, I do want to stress the need to reduce decision-tree explosion as much as possible. Since it is a complete information game, you only want to go so far in this reduction... but in generally, I think you want the pace of the game to accelerate rather than decelerate through time, and the way you do this is by getting rid of choices, not expanding them. This is why I think you want to start with a fully composed board and you want to have a move/capture mechanic that is conducing to piece capture rather than piece blockage.

ichbin
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Blocking pawns

Here you have a picture of the board :

http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/blocking.JPG

Black to play.

Look at column 5th line 3rd.
The black is blocking the grey (c5,l4) to capture the black (c5,l2).
The black pawn (c3,l3) can capture the grey (c5,l1)
The black pawn (c3,l3) is blocking the grey (c2,l3) from capturing the black (c5,l3)
and so on.

Now you can see the rules at work. How pawns are acting as blocking pawns. Even when you try to capture the play sequencing is VERY important.
Each case is a headache at first glance. But you can build some ways of thinking to solve the problem. It is not easy but it is doable.

RacNRoll Gaming
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ichbin wrote:Here you have a

ichbin wrote:
Here you have a picture of the board :

http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/blocking.JPG

Black to play.

Look at column 5th line 3rd.
The black is blocking the grey (c5,l4) to capture the black (c5,l2).
The black pawn (c3,l3) can capture the grey (c5,l1)
The black pawn (c3,l3) is blocking the grey (c2,l3) from capturing the black (c5,l3)
and so on.

Now you can see the rules at work. How pawns are acting as blocking pawns. Even when you try to capture the play sequencing is VERY important.
Each case is a headache at first glance. But you can build some ways of thinking to solve the problem. It is not easy but it is doable.

Using that same picture though...the blue territory can be ruled out of the game with the placement of the first checker for each player since there are 2 islands unattached to any other blue square. So in all reality there is no reason to place 10 of the checkers on the board at all (5 for each player)

ichbin
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Step capture and move

In the picture it is the capture/move step.
You can easily understand it because I was talking about capture.
The blue territory is not decided yet who is going to win it.
You have to keep in mind that you can move your pawns such as you force your opponent to capture and be captured.

RacNRoll Gaming
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ichbin wrote:In the picture

ichbin wrote:
In the picture it is the capture/move step.
You can easily understand it because I was talking about capture.
The blue territory is not decided yet who is going to win it.
You have to keep in mind that you can move your pawns such as you force your opponent to capture and be captured.

I was referring more to the layout of the red yellow and blue tiles...If I as the grey player went first then I can place a tile on one of those 2 blue spaces...and then you are the black player can place on the other. Since neither space is accessible by any other blue space then there is no way to oust the checker from the spot and therefore no one will ever control it alone.

ichbin
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No blue islands

The grey pawn on blue square (c3,l6) have 4 connections
The square (c1,l6) have 4 connections too.
It seems to me that there is some misunderstanding of the rules.
When you try to move a pawn in the blue territory it is like if others territories do not exist. But the pawns between 2 blue squared tile are acting like blocks. You can not jump to capture. You have to go through other territories but you can not place your pawn starting from blue territory in others territories.

ichbin
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RacNRoll Gaming wrote:ichbin

RacNRoll Gaming wrote:
ichbin wrote:
In the picture it is the capture/move step.
You can easily understand it because I was talking about capture.
The blue territory is not decided yet who is going to win it.
You have to keep in mind that you can move your pawns such as you force your opponent to capture and be captured.

I was referring more to the layout of the red yellow and blue tiles...If I as the grey player went first then I can place a tile on one of those 2 blue spaces...and then you are the black player can place on the other. Since neither space is accessible by any other blue space then there is no way to oust the checker from the spot and therefore no one will ever control it alone.

When you have 2 pawns against 1 you will always find a way to oust your opponent pawn.
Try to use the blocking strategy combined with the mandatory capture.

RacNRoll Gaming
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???

Ok so the blue square in the lower left corner can be captured by the blue square above it and to the right of it even though they dont touch?

ichbin
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There is no pawn on the blue square

There is no pawn on the lower left corner.
They do not need to touch.
If there is a black on square (c1,l6) and grey pawn on the square above it (c1,l4) then the black pawn could capture the grey pawn.
Why?
There is no pawn between (c1,l4) and (c1,l6)
There are black on (c1,l6) and grey on (c1,l4)
If it was the grey turn then the grey can capture the black.

Ps : c = column and l = line

ichbin
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RacNRoll Gaming wrote:Ok so

RacNRoll Gaming wrote:
Ok so the blue square in the lower left corner can be captured by the blue square above it and to the right of it even though they dont touch?

The tiles can not capture or be moved.
You move only the pawns.

rcjames14
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Ok But Frustrating

I agree with you that it would not be too difficult to come up with a way to lay the tiles out so as to avoid any islands. It is actually very hard to create an island even by chance, because of the direction and distance you can cover as long as you can move as far as you want as long as you are unimpeded.

However, I see this game as extremely path dependent. If you cannot move to a matching color unless the path is entirely clear, then your own pieces are going to be just as much a problem for your movement as your opponents. At the beginning, only pieces which are adjacent to each other of opposite colors will be eligible for capture. And, then, very quickly it will become a bunch of walls throughout the board.

My suspicion is that these walls will eventually, more likely than not, create a draw condition. As one player conquers a color, he will use his pieces to block any moves against a second color and it will become impassable. When both players have a lock like this on the board, then neither has an incentive to change the status quo and the game will draw.

To use your board as an example, suppose that black has one piece in the upper left yellow tile (c1,r1) and the yellow next to it is empty. Now, let's also say that he controls red and has managed to move three of his black pieces on red to the near by red tiles (c3,r1) (c2,r2) and (c1,r3). No matter what white does, as long as black does not move his three red pieces (which he doesn't because he controls the territory), white can never capture yellow and win. And, if black runs into a problem with his own yellow conquest, he can always move his yellow black to the adjacent space and back and forth to force a draw.

rcjames14
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The Rules I Would Suggest

Damkolo

Components
18 Black Pawns
18 White Pawns
4 double-sided boards with a different configuration of 3 blue, 3 red and 3 yellow space in a 3 x 3 lattice on each side
8 cards
1 four-sided die
Game Bag

Setup
Assign the black pawns to one player and the white pawns to another
Shuffle the cards together
Draw a card and roll the four-sided die.
Then find the board side that corresponds to the number on the card you drew and place it face up, rotating it until the symbol in its upper left corner matches the symbol on the die result.
Repeat this process three more times, but place the each subsequent board in clockwise order around the first one until you have a giant 6 x 6 board.
Place all the pawns in the game bag.
Shake it up.
Draw a pawn and place it on the upper left corner of the board.
Repeat this process, placing each piece in the next unoccupied space on the board from left to right and top to bottom until all pawns have been placed.
Add up the pawns on each color for each player.
The player with the lowest number of pawns on any color goes first.

Object of the Game
You control a color if you have one or more pawns on that color and your opponent does not have any pawns on that color. Whenever one player controls two out of the three colors, he wins.

On Your Turn
When it is your turn, you must move any one pawn you control on the board.
You may move the pawn in any direction - horizontal, vertical or diagonal - you choose, provided that there is another space in that direction with the same color as the color your pawn is currently moving from.
If there are no pawns (of either color) on all of the intervening spaces, complete your move by placing the piece on the next space of matching color in the direction it moved. If it is occupied, remove the occupant before you do so and place it aside.
If there is one or more pawns (of either color) on intervening spaces, stop moving your pawn as soon as you reach the first space (of any color) with an intervening pawn. Then, remove that pawn and replace it with the pawn you moved.
Once you have moved your pawn and/or eliminated another pawn, your turn is over and it is the other player's turn.

End of the Game
Keep taking turns until one player controls two out of the three colors. He wins.

ichbin
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Good!

You wrote :

"To use your board as an example, suppose that black has one piece in the upper left yellow tile (c1,r1) and the yellow next to it is empty. Now, let's also say that he controls red and has managed to move three of his black pieces on red to the near by red tiles (c3,r1) (c2,r2) and (c1,r3). No matter what white does, as long as black does not move his three red pieces (which he doesn't because he controls the territory), white can never capture yellow and win. And, if black runs into a problem with his own yellow conquest, he can always move his yellow black to the adjacent space and back and forth to force a draw."

So now you understand what I meant by using pawns to block your opponent.
What you have to keep in mind is that once you have protected one of your pawn using red territory to protect a yellow one then you can fight on the blue.

When the fight begin (move/capture) you have to understand that the more you clear the board by capturing the more the board become more clear. Pawns separated by 2 or 3 squares are going to become "adjacent" because pawns are moving like queenchess.
Try to play with someone with the goal to make the game tie.
If a black pawn capture a grey pawn the grey player has to capture the black one because the capture is mandatory. Even if he has another pawn to play for capture he has to capture the first one before any move. The only choice he has is that if 2 of his pawns can capture the same black one he can choose one or the other.
Test it first.
I did it by trying to find ways to win a territory even when the battle is one against one. It is winnable if you combine your move with mandatory capture.
In my example (blocking.jpg) :
If the black (c3,r3) capture the grey (c5,r1) the grey has no other choice than to recapture the black with his grey pawn (c6,r1). The grey can not escape and capture the black pawn on (c6,r3).

ichbin
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The placement step is very important

I have an idea to make this step faster.
Each player in turn place 3 pawns : one by color.
So it will take 6 turns to finish the fisrt step.
4 tiles 3x3 will not give enough board forms.
Each tile have 4 rotations
24 permutations on the board
At least tiles 2*3
The best way is to put the tiles face down and you mix all the tiles (like dominoes). You do not need cards or dice.
I will add 2 rules :
- you can jump your own pawns (move or capture) not your opponent pawns
- if you win a territory you can promote one pawn (only one) to color changing
That's it.

Now I'm goig to bed.
Good night.

rcjames14
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Clarifications

I was not aware from reading the rules you described at the top of the thread that "Recapture" was mandatory. I have been operating under the assumption that capture was mandatory. But, when it is your turn, you can move any piece you want, or even choose any piece to make a capture you want. This changes things... it becomes more like an exercise (or puzzle) in complex dependencies than a game.

As for board permutations, it is actually much more. Unless my math is incorrect, the 4 boards chosen are determined by 8c4 (70), their rotational configurations are determined by 4^4 (256) and their position with respect to each other in clockwise order is 4! (24). Multiplying all these numbers together and you get over 400,000 permutations. Probably enough for any one person.

hulken
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Question about the game

Just a question, after reading youre rules and looking at the gameboard one thing comes to my mind. If you and me have 1 pawn on the same color why woyld i want to move mine? unless to capture yours ofcors. Is it nor very likley that the game vill just end in a stalemate?

It feels like a chess game where you try to set up a "if you take me I will tak you..." but it seams to me like you are likley to know who wins after the placement is done just by looking at the board. So it al comes down to the placement, and that means you should be able to se where the most"important" places to place should be, or am I simplyfing things to much?

(also you might have already adressed this, I did not read throug al the posts here just youre first one)

ichbin
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Re-write the rules

rcjames14 wrote:
I was not aware from reading the rules you described at the top of the thread that "Recapture" was mandatory. I have been operating under the assumption that capture was mandatory. But, when it is your turn, you can move any piece you want, or even choose any piece to make a capture you want. This changes things... it becomes more like an exercise (or puzzle) in complex dependencies than a game.

As for board permutations, it is actually much more. Unless my math is incorrect, the 4 boards chosen are determined by 8c4 (70), their rotational configurations are determined by 4^4 (256) and their position with respect to each other in clockwise order is 4! (24). Multiplying all these numbers together and you get over 400,000 permutations. Probably enough for any one person.

First : when I said capture is mandatory I did not express it well (english is not my mother tongue).
The pawns can move and capture like queenchess.
So it will be a non sense if any pawn is obliged to capture any other pawn in the same line or column or diagonal.
So when a pawn is captured the opponent has to recapture. By forcing him you can use that move to capture another pawn using the blocking system.
When you play checkers where capture is mandatory you move your pawn and your opponent has to capture it (assuming that all capture conditions are satisfied).

Second : assuming that all 4 boards are really different you will have only (4^4)*4! = 6144 possible boards.
The best way to set up the board is by using 36 tiles and placing them randomly (like dominoes). It will take at most 2 minutes to do it.

Third : The placement step is very important. There are good and ways to place your pawns. It is up to the players to discover them.

Maybe we can add a third rule to avoid situation where you can have access to some pawn because of the blocking process. At some stage of the game (we have to define it) any pawn that can not move will be removed from the board.

Thank you for all your comments.
I will try to re-write the rules and make additional simulations.

hulken
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ichbin wrote:Maybe we can add

ichbin wrote:
Maybe we can add a third rule to avoid situation where you can have access to some pawn because of the blocking process. At some stage of the game (we have to define it) any pawn that can not move will be removed from the board.

This onley helps if there is a 2 vs 1 senario, but if you have 2 vs 1 then you probobly will be able to outmanuver youre oponent annyway. The rule will speed things up and help with ilands so it should be a good thing to add.

But I still think there is a problem, there is 12 squares of each collor and the players have 18 playing pices. So the board will be filled. This is the setup correct?

So during the setup why would I place my pices in anny other way than 6 on each collor? The moment I shift the balance I win one of the colors and loos one other. The onley time this is good is when there is an isolated square. This the starting player will leav and it will be filld the last turn by the secound player. That should give the starting player an advantage in 1 or 2 collors.

Also becaus you have ro re-take/re-captur should not the starting player have an advantage here, he should be able to set it up so he capturs and become capturd and re-capturs and so forth untill he is the last one in the collor or at the leaast have a advantage in numbers abd then it is onley a mater of time as I se it.

I think i have a solution to the problem, you have 6 special squares, if a player moves here he is able to move to anny color he wants. This way a player can shift the numbers in a color. Also a player can re-captur a color. Or maby there should be a "once a collor is won it can not be recaptured and al pawns there are removed from the game"-rule. Also on thees 6 squares the player do not place anny markers in the setup.

ichbin
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To hulken

To hulken,

A starting player has no advantage.
Why?
You need to remember that the fight is not only on one battlefield.
When you start placing your pawns each battlefield (set of the tile same-colored) have its own specificity.
When you finish the placement step you start the fight. Each time you remove a pawn you clear a set-paths of one space. The sequence of the moves/captures is very important.

Fixing 6 squares where you can change the color will lead to more confusion. Removing all pawns belonging to a gained territory will accelerate the end of the game.
Be aware that after the first 10 moves/captures you will have only 16 pawns in the board.

Keeping in mind the balance of the game is important too.
To understand all this just try the first turns placement by analysing only one color. What is the best move for the blacks for the greys?
Do it for each color.

I do not want to design a game with a dozens of rules.
At most 5 rules.
You can create pawns moving like rooks or like bishops or any new kind of move and so on.
You can create some tiles with some properties and so on.
You can placate a theme and so on.
A thousand of ideas but for what?
The game itself with simple rules is very complex.
The placement step is about 2^36 for each board (3^36 possible boards).
A total of 6^36 possibilities.

rcjames14
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Joined: 09/17/2010
Different Directions

ichbin wrote:

First : when I said capture is mandatory I did not express it well (english is not my mother tongue).
The pawns can move and capture like queenchess.
So it will be a non sense if any pawn is obliged to capture any other pawn in the same line or column or diagonal.
So when a pawn is captured the opponent has to recapture. By forcing him you can use that move to capture another pawn using the blocking system.
When you play checkers where capture is mandatory you move your pawn and your opponent has to capture it (assuming that all capture conditions are satisfied).

Second : assuming that all 4 boards are really different you will have only (4^4)*4! = 6144 possible boards.
The best way to set up the board is by using 36 tiles and placing them randomly (like dominoes). It will take at most 2 minutes to do it.

Third : The placement step is very important. There are good and ways to place your pawns. It is up to the players to discover them.

Keep in mind, that I had in mind double sided boards so that you first pick 4 out of the 8... But, really, it doesn't matter too much, because we both agree that the probability of creating an island from random draw is very low. So, you can simply add a clarification to the rules that you should redraw if this happens. Easy enough fixed.

As for the issue of mandatory recapture, I see now why you think the placement stage is essential. And, I agree. Setup is very important if you can force a capture. However, this is not the game I envisioned and so I'm not sure there is much more I can say at this point. You have created a game that is sort of like Checkers with more options. It also has an aspect of Go to it, as players add pieces to the board. Whereas, I envisioned something that kind of crosses Chess with Bejeweled.

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
In fact my game is ....

In fact my game is driven by one idea : how to create multiple battle fields on the same board.
You talked about a go game. You can create an algorithm to generate 5 or 6 battlefields (but only on computer not on table) such as each territory have some compact form. No isolated tile on the board. The same number of tiles with 2,3 and 4 freedom points.
Then you can play the traditional go (same rules) in multiple sub-boards. You can add some additional rules such as each player in turn place one stone by territory.
It is easy to create the algorithm.
You pick randomly 5 squares on the board with some distance between them and you start building the territories around each choosen square. Each territory will have to be distinguished by its color or shape or anything practical easy to visualize.

My game could be very simple.
First players place their pawns alternatively
Second step : no move authorized unless you capture your opponent pawns.
No mandatory capture.
Jumping authorized. You can jump any pawn.
The winner is the player who has more pawns in each territory or in all the board.
The game will take less than 10 minutes to play.
It will be then a game of positions. The core of the game will be the placement step.
Easy even for kids 6 and up.

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
ichbin wrote:To hulken, A

ichbin wrote:
To hulken,

A starting player has no advantage.
Why?
You need to remember that the fight is not only on one battlefield.
When you start placing your pawns each battlefield (set of the tile same-colored) have its own specificity.
When you finish the placement step you start the fight. Each time you remove a pawn you clear a set-paths of one space. The sequence of the moves/captures is very important.

Well you still have not explained why the starting player do not have an advantage. If you have a litle luck in where the tiles are placed (and this is just to make my point a litle faster and clearer) you can set it up so that the starting player capturs, secon player re-captur, first re-captur and so on. This will leave the starting player with the controle in the teritory and 1 pice left. Now it is the second players moce and he starts the same secuence in one of the other two colors. So he is the winner there with 1 pice left and it is the starting players turn and he starts with the capturing in the third and last color. And wins with 2 colors.

Ok this is a litle extreem but this is what youre aiming for in the setup. And it should not be that hard to set up a simular cenario but without the chanreaktion (I have to move my pices a litle). youre aim in the setup as I se it is to set up your pices so you can gang up on one square (if the oponent is forced to recaptur this can lead to a autowin if the map is in a certan way) or try and set up youre pices so that if youre oponent capturs one of youre pices you get to captur it back without being captured.

To me it feels a litle like a solo playing game caled "starv the fox" where you try and cler out al pegs but one, you remove a peg by jumping over it. If youre game is played correctly as it is the startplayer will win. The onley thing that can "help" this is if there is to many variations for a player to read out. But this is not the case. I think as starting player it would not be to hard to set up a color so you auto-win it. Have you tried this?

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
Wrong thinking

Why you can not understand that the starting player has no significant advantage is mainly because you are thinking that the battle fields are independant.
That is not the case.
You opponent (the second player) can break your later attacks by building a system of blocking pawns.
Rcjames15 has given above a case of blocking pawns.
You can isolate opponent pawns using 5 or 6 of your pawns (depending on the configuration) and compensate the superiority of your opponent in some territory.
It is not because the first player is going to place more of his pawns in some territory that he will be sure to win it.
For each specific territory you have to find a way to be stronger than your opponent : some kind of mapping that will you some advantage how the game is running some advantage.
The first player has some advantage to set up an attack system but the second player has some advantage to counterattack by building a blocking system.
The best way to understand this is that you take any board (random configuration) to choose a color and to ask yourself what is the best position for the first player. When you finish the map of the chosen territory(6 black pawns) you try to build what is the best mapping to counterattack or to break that position. You will soon find that no player has significant advantage.
The black could a certified advantage if and only if the territory is composed by one block. That means that all the same-colored tiles share at least 2 sides.
The probability the configuration described above appears is very low (almost impossible).
Maybe now you understand why the first player has no advantage.
I could not explain more.
Using diagrams will be very helpful but it will take a very long time and a lot of posts.

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
Help with picture

Just to explain how to capture an opponent pawn by the pawn-blocking system see the picture below :

http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/images/blockingcapture.JPG

By using 2 black pawns the black can easily capture a grey pawn.
So each time you place a pawn on the placement step you have to be sure where to place your pawns.
If the grey knew that such situation will happen then his best move should have been to place another grey pawn in the square (c6,r2).
I gave you this case to show how important is the placement step.
I can give more examples.

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