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This is my second attempt at a little text on a board game, this time about Amazons. You can find it here:
Any kind of feedback is welcome. In particular, feel free to tell my bluntly where I mess up – quite obviously, I am not nearly an expert on the game. The goal is to popularise good board games by writing about them. The tentative audience would be non-players (so it starts with the rules) but I'd like to emphasis the appeal of these games by going beyond the mere rules: the first baby steps into tactics and strategy. Experts will not learn anything in there. Instead, they can help me improve the thing! :)
As with Slither, you can do me a huge favour by commenting with any of these: (1) further pointers on strategy, (2) problems, especially for the midgame!, (3) exciting positions/games, if you can provide some commentary. I would really like to have problems ranging from very basic (so beginners can check their grasp on the rules) up to quite advanced…
I am very curious if anyone is aware of texts on Amazons except Paul Yearout's in AGM 16 (2003). The game is old and good enough that something must've been written about it over the years. If you know anything, please tell me.
Thanks for reading this!
Nice work (again)! Regarding the presentation of the rules, you may want to make it explicit that the amazons can't cross over the arrows (I know you say “vacant squares” but some readers may take that to refer to just the amazons themselves).
Two more comments:
The solutions uses a coordinate system/notation but I don't think you explain this notation anywhere
The solution to the first problem gives “b5-b6/b6” as the first move, but that looks like an illegal move?
HappyHippo: thanks! Good point on the rules… for Amazons they're so incredibly short, I can sure find the space to spell that out, too :)
Problems: indeed, I didn't introduce Chess (“algebraic”) notation yet. I am not sure how I'll handle that. For now, I expect readers to be board-game literate enough to make sense of the solutions on their own. If/when this becomes something bigger, I may or may not say something about coordinates in some general part. And yes, the solution to the first problem had two typos.
I've uploaded an improved version, sitting at ten pages and containing nine problems. Enjoy!