new meta rule: Trike Hex, Havannah

10 replies. Last post: 2020-04-14

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new meta rule: Trike
  • spartacu5 ★ at 2020-04-13

    Imagine playing a game on the same board as Hex, with the same goals as Hex, but with the following additional rule. A player’s next move must be in the “line of sight” of the last move played. This may be extremely disruptive to typical Hex strategies, but nonetheless it is possible to play this way. 

    Trike meta-rule:

    Materials: use the appropriate board, and a neutral pawn, black/white checkers, stones, or two differently colored pens.
    Players take turns moving a neutral pawn around on the board (passing is not allowed).
    The neutral pawn can move any number of empty points, in any direction in a straight line, but cannot move onto, or jump over occupied points.
    When a player moves the pawn, first they place a checker of their own color, onto the destination point. Then they move the pawn on top of it.
    It follows that the pawn will inevitably get trapped, so:
    Trike-Even: players finding themselves with the pawn trapped can place anywhere.
    Trike-Odd: players who traps the pawn can place anywhere. 

  • spartacu5 ★ at 2020-04-13

    Similarly, Havannah-Trike is easily possible. 

  • David J Bush ★ at 2020-04-13

    Where is the pawn at the beginning?

    Is the pie rule involved?

    I don’t follow the trike-odd rule. What does it mean, to trap a pawn, and yet it is still your move?

  • William Fraser at 2020-04-13

    I assume for trike-odd, it means that when you play the move which traps the pawn, you decide your opponent’s next move.

  • spartacu5 ★ at 2020-04-13

    Hey Twixter you’re absolutely right about pie rule, that’s how it gets started. However, in theory, it functions without it, just the first player places their first piece and sets the pawn up on it. 

    The trike-odd rule means when you trap a pawn, it is still your move. You get to move again. I don’t expect Hex players to enjoy this version. 

  • Tony at 2020-04-14

    Hi Spartacus,

    I like the concept, but it seems redundant to just limit the movements without adapting the goal of the game. So why dont you say: the player who cannot move the pawn on his turn loses the game? Without any connection goal like hex or havannah? 

  • spartacu5 ★ at 2020-04-14

    Hi Tony, thanks for the reply.

    Of course, the first thing I did was develop two games based on the movement protocol, with what I consider to be win conditions that organically emerge from the mechanic. That can be found at this discussion here:

    But since Trike is a meta-rule, I also was interested in seeing how it adapted to other games such as Hex. I am not claiming to make any sort of improvement, merely noting that this movement protocol is compatible with all typical connection games on a bounded hexagonal grid. 

  • Tony at 2020-04-14

    After trying the game without a connection goal I think the game is playable but rather boring until the endgame. Filling a hole between the stones robs your opponent of any liberties to play so wins the game. To make this game more exciting fom the start you could either use a very small board (hex size 6) or add another winning condition like in havannah. So encircling any number of stones of your opponent or making three in a row would create attractive winning conditions. I suggest three in a row as winning condition next to losing by lack of liberties. 

  • Tony at 2020-04-14

    Three is too little. It needs to be four in a row

  • spartacu5 ★ at 2020-04-14

    Hi Tony, I am surprised and glad to see you are involving yourself in designing games based on the Trike meta-rule.

    Did you read the thread I posted in my previous reply? In the thread I describe Trike-Zero, which says the game is over when the pawn is trapped. It also contains the rules to the game Pure Trike, which I believe is the best win condition so far. It goes like this: 

    Pure Trike: Play on a triangular board of hexagon-tessellated cells of side length 5-12, with sufficient black/white checkers/stones and pawn to mark the last move. Employ Trike-Zero movement system. When the pawn is trapped, the game ends. Players gain points for pieces of their color adjacent to, or underneath the trapped pawn, and the higher score wins. 

    This game is drawless, finite, completely decisive, scalable, partisan, and extremely simple. I have solved it for boards sizes up to 4. For base 3-4 boards, the first player will win, but will lose if an inferior first move is made. Thus, for larger boards, the pie rule suffices to balance the game. 

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