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New abstract game: Taifas

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 05/19/2009


An equal goals game without draws. For two players, played with black and white stones on a quad board. Each player takes possesion of all the stones of one color. On his turn, starting with Black, a player must place a stone of either color on an empty square. The pie rule is used: after Black's first turn, White has the option of swapping sides. When the board is full, the player with the most zones wins. In case of a tie, the owner of the last completed zone loses.


A player's zone is a square or an orthogonally adjacent group of squares, not occupied by that player, that borders orthogonally only on his own stones or on his stones and one or more of the board's edges. It is equivalent to Go's concept of territory, but without distinction between empty squares and squares occupied by the opponent. In the following example, both X's and O's have five zones:

x o x . o
o o x o .
. x o . .
x . x o o
. x o x .


Alternatively, you can value every zone 1/n points, n being the number of squares that the zone contains. The player with the most points win. This adds an additional layer of strategy, but it may be too complicated.

Any comment is welcome :-) .

adagio_burner's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008


I have a suspicion though that players will spend a lot of time independently building their 1-square zones, with little interaction.

Trying to get in the other player's way seems to be difficult in this case and proceeding with building your own zones is simpler and gives you immediate benefit.

Joined: 05/19/2009
Thanks. Any suggestions?

Thanks, adagio_burner.

I have the same suspicion, too. That's why I decided to allow both players to place either color's stones. But it may not be still sufficient to balance attack and defense, i.e. building your own zones and preventing your opponent from doing the same. Maybe some way of capturing of dislodging enemy pieces is needed. Any suggestions?

Anyway, playtesting is necessary to see how the game truly unfolds. I'll keep reporting.

Joined: 05/19/2009

Ups, I have just noticed that the winning condition of my game can be explained in an extremely simpler way: when the board is full, the player with less groups wins, groups being defined as in Go.

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