May 28, 2004


In the main desert of Konn'ex homeworld I found a bonding game. The rules are: "In a hexagonal board (of size 5 per edge), 11 stones for each player are placed in the two initial rows (players stand on opposite sides). For each moved stone, the player must also move another friendly stone in the same direction and an enemy stone in the opposite direction (e.g., if you move northwest, the enemy moves southeast). Captures are by replacement and mandatory (with a max-capture rule). Wins the player that stalemates the adversary."

The natives explained me that in the desert, strong bonds (be friend or foe) are essential as water, and so their games reflect that concern. How alike are we all... [T.Sagme, Travels]

May 26, 2004

Non-reversible moves

In the Orion sector, a traveller showed me a book of games concerning reversible and non-reversible moves. In most of these games, pieces were judged by the notion of piece gradient. For example, a stone could move thru a friend if it was moving forward, but it could not jump again backwards. Transparent in one side, opaque in the other.

Earth has games with piece gradient (like Chess and its pawns) and games without gradient (like Go). I personally like games without gradient but it was fascinating to find a complete family of games using this specific concept. [T.Sagme, Travels]

Further biographical remarks about our patron saint, Trabsact Sagme.

Trabsact Sagme was a mystic and game player of the late BC years, Tibetan. Widely regarded as the mother of abstract games, and in particular Go. She had an affinity with Parrots, Snails and Spiders (qv). Her writings on abstract games were preserved for posterity by Megas Bactras, (or Bacttras), a central Asian of mixed Bactrian/Greek, who transmitted them to the West soon after Alexander's conquests. Though eventually lost sight of, they were rediscovered by Bart MacStages, a British adventurer of late C19, (who incidentally helped Col Younghusband's expedition to Tibet).

Trabsact Sagme was the Earth's 1st serious ExoLudologist. She was born around Ulan Bator, in 2293.

Yes; widely regarded as being the same Sagme!

The mystics and physicists at both ends of this great journey, as well as we here in the middle, have all para-simultaneously been groping toward this same conclusion. Trabsact Sagme of BC 454 and Tabsact Sagme of AD 2293 are in fact THE SAME ONE. Apparently this can be achieved by some sort of Quantum gravity effect involving trivalent logic, snail-shell spiral symmetry, and other physico-mystical effects. I'm a bit hazy on the details; it's the sort of thing you chaps would know more about than me anyway. I gather it has something to do with the timelessness and non-locality of abstract games in particular and the abstract world in general; (OC, as a mathie I am more familiar with these concepts.)

The fact that we play almost all our games with o and x symbols these days is in honour of Sagme's fondness for snails and spiders. That she was also fond of parrots is not so much reflected in our games, though we often quote from the Book of Parrots, one of Sagme's most popular!

"The novice squawks loudly, but the wise parrot plays her eggs silently on the board." - The Book of Parrots (Trabsact Annals)

May 25, 2004


It is difficult to balance offense/defense. Many games are flawed because offensive or defense is too strong. The initiative cannot always be good or always be bad. It must depend on the context created by the best player. [T.Sagme, Meditations]

May 24, 2004


Trabsact Sagme was (will be) the Earth's first Exoludologist. She was born around Ulan Bator in 2293. Since her infancy, she was very interested by all knowledge created and gathered in the 20th and 21st centuries about abstract board games, a subject almost forgotten on those exciting days. Alien civilizations were found across the big black sky, and Humanity finally read Encyclopedia Galactica. After collecting the most important games on Earth, she decided that her life goal would be to study games from alien civilizations. She was one of the few people with the right to enter into some alien homeworlds. It was no coincidence the ones allowing her to enter were exactly the ones which had more respect about abstract board games. Some of the civilizations she visited:

  • Civ-3: They use trilogic as a foundation for all mathematical activities, i.e., instead of true/false logic, they use true/false/unknown.
  • Konn'ex: They see all objects and concepts as connections of others, and their games reflect these way of seeing things.
  • Zet: Everything is a part of something. Their games, usually create complex pieces from atomic ones.
She found many resemblances with Human games, especially in connection and pattern games, namely, Hex and Gomoku were found in almost all home worlds (however in different board sizes and move equalizers). Curiously, no game similar to Chess was ever found!