Mar 16, 2007

Cycle: a game that needs improvement

[This is a bit of a challenge. The original rules follows but they do not provide a good dynamics, the game needs, if possible, improvement]

Played on a square board with orthogonal bridge connections.

On each turn, each player may:

1) Pass, or
2) Drop a friendly stone on an empty cell, or
3) Connect two orthogonally adjacent friendly colors with a bridge, or
4) Capture a stone in custodian capture (both friendly stones must have
been played in previous turns, so it takes a turn just to capture)
* A corner stone may be captured if both adjacent cells are occupied
by enemy stones
* KO rule - not the same board position in two consecutive turns.

After two consecutive passes, wins the player with the largest cycle
concerning friendly bridges.


White has a cycle of size 4 (the smallest possible)
while black as a maximum cycle of size 12
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

.  .  o--o  .  .  .  .
      |  |
.  .  o--o  .  .  .  .

.  x  .  .  x--x--x  .
   |        |  |  |
.  x--x--x--x  x--x  .
      |        |
.  .  x--x--x--x  .  .

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Capture, since it wastes a move, may not be executed
at once, leaving a lot of potential threats in the board

Should White capture the black stone or just continue to extend
his groups? If Black plays at d2 it forces the capture at d4
and gains one tempo sacrificing one stone (it should then play d1)
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  x  x  .  .  .

.  .  o--o  x  .  .  .
.  .  .  x  .  .  .  .

.  .  o  o  x  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

I'm not sure if it's easy to make larger cycles, so probably the game score
could be the sum of all the max cycles on each group (probably the sum
of the squares of all max cycle sizes - in order to players to take risks in
achieving larger cycles)

The game does not provide tactical richness and thus is dull. If you can work out a better variant, please send your proposal.

1 comment:

Zandor said...

possible ruleset that might work:
The strength of a stone is equal to the numbers of bridges involving that stone.

On a turn, a player may:

1) Pass, or
2) Drop a friendly stone on an empty cell, or
3) Drop up to two bridges (each bridge connects two orthogonal or diagonal adjacant friendly stones, bridges may not cross)
4) Capture a stone in custodian capture. This is only allowed if the sum of the strength of the two involved stones is bigger than the strength of the captured stone. All brigdes involving the captured stone are then removed.

*Ko: You may not drop a stone on the place where a stone just was captured.

When both players pass, the game ends. The player with the longer circle (every stone may just be used once in this circle) wins.

I don't think that you have to make special rules for the corners, as stones there are not very useful for your circles.