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   Author  Topic: Rekushu  (Read 14326 times)
The_Jeh
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #30 on: Jun 5th, 2009, 8:03am »
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I sent my program to your Yahoo account, by the way, in case you don't check it.
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The_Jeh
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #31 on: Sep 1st, 2009, 9:44pm »
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I was so inspired by chessandgo and Fritzlein's excellent videos, that I decided to make a video commentary of a live game of Rekushu. You can view it here:
 
http://www.motionbox.com/videos/7a99ddb51f1eedcbf5
 
I hope it goes some way towards attracting new players.
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clauchau
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #32 on: Sep 2nd, 2009, 5:40am »
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Wow, thank you a lot for that warm demonstration. By watching it, I immediately get convinced Rekushu is an elegant, fascinating, deep, classical new game. I love it. Congratulations.
« Last Edit: Sep 2nd, 2009, 5:43am by clauchau » IP Logged
Hirocon
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #33 on: Oct 29th, 2009, 9:59pm »
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I haven't played this yet, but it seems like it would be very easy to force a draw by playing completely defensively.  Just place your stone as close as possible to the last stone the opponent placed, on the side that blocks off as many partial score threats as possible.  I challenge The_Jeh to a match where I will play completely defensively.
 
I suggest adding a rule: you can't place a stone immediately adjacent to the last stone the opponent placed.  This would allow the first player to easily force a 1x1 score, but maybe that is not such a terrible thing.
 
I suggest adding a pie rule: at the beginning of the game, allow the first player to place one black stone and one white stone, then let the second player choose to play as either black or white.
 
Playing on a board with an even number of vertices along edges will not prevent ties, because it is unlikely that all tiles on the board will be occupied when the game ends.  Since ties are unavoidable, you could just allow draws, or you could just pick one of the two colors/players to win in the case of a tie.
 
I suggest getting rid of the rules against mirror moves.  Mirroring is only really a problem if the second player does it for the entire game, because if the symmetry of the board is broken anywhere at any time, the mirroring strategy will not be guaranteed to work from then on.  With the pie rule suggested above, the first player could prevent mirroring by placing the first two tiles asymmetrically.  Mirroring also wouldn't be a problem on a board with a center vertex, which, as I describe above, is no more susceptible to ties than a board without a center vertex.
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The_Jeh
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #34 on: Oct 29th, 2009, 10:58pm »
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on Oct 29th, 2009, 9:59pm, Hirocon wrote:
I haven't played this yet, but it seems like it would be very easy to force a draw by playing completely defensively.  Just place your stone as close as possible to the last stone the opponent placed, on the side that blocks off as many partial score threats as possible.  I challenge The_Jeh to a match where I will play completely defensively.

 
I accept your challenge, although I don't know when I'll be available. Fritzlein and I already played a game in which he played completely defensively, following the same strategy you mentioned. In the end, I was always able to forcibly score. That is not to say you can't obtain better results, however, so I look forward to the challenge.
 
on Oct 29th, 2009, 9:59pm, Hirocon wrote:

I suggest adding a rule: you can't place a stone immediately adjacent to the last stone the opponent placed.  This would allow the first player to easily force a 1x1 score, but maybe that is not such a terrible thing.  

 
That's an interesting variant and worth trying. Still, the ability to play adjacent to a stone is part of what creates the "feel" the current version has.
 
on Oct 29th, 2009, 9:59pm, Hirocon wrote:

I suggest adding a pie rule: at the beginning of the game, allow the first player to place one black stone and one white stone, then let the second player choose to play as either black or white.  

 
In general, I find the pie rule to be somewhat of an ugly patch. But it could be included as a match rule if both players have a preference for it. Actually, I think a komi would be a more fitting correction, but I would prefer to have zero komi unless the need becomes obvious. In my experience, the game is fairly balanced from the beginning, with almost all opening moves, except those very close to the edge, being roughly equal.
 
on Oct 29th, 2009, 9:59pm, Hirocon wrote:

Playing on a board with an even number of vertices along edges will not prevent ties, because it is unlikely that all tiles on the board will be occupied when the game ends.  Since ties are unavoidable, you could just allow draws, or you could just pick one of the two colors/players to win in the case of a tie.  

 
I know this does not prevent ties. That is not the intention of having an odd number of tiles. Draws are already allowed, and I wouldn't have it any other way, as I believe an ideal game should be a draw with perfect play, and therefore the rules of a game should render it at least possible that perfect play results in a draw.
 
on Oct 29th, 2009, 9:59pm, Hirocon wrote:

I suggest getting rid of the rules against mirror moves.  Mirroring is only really a problem if the second player does it for the entire game, because if the symmetry of the board is broken anywhere at any time, the mirroring strategy will not be guaranteed to work from then on.  With the pie rule suggested above, the first player could prevent mirroring by placing the first two tiles asymmetrically.  Mirroring also wouldn't be a problem on a board with a center vertex, which, as I describe above, is no more susceptible to ties than a board without a center vertex.  

 
I'm not sure that the presence of a center vertex would eliminate mirroring. It might just make it so that the first player can do the mirroring - play in the center and then play the rest of the game mirroring the second player's moves. Sure, I could then disallow the first player from playing in the center, but I don't really like the idea of having a central point at all, because I'd rather the set of a species of points have an even number of elements. The central point would be one-of-a-kind, so only one player would be able to use it. I agree that the mirror rules are a tad inelegant. On the other hand, they are only rarely invoked, and it is exceptionally rare that they actually prevent a player from playing where he would like to play. I'm not sure what the effect would be of a game without the mirror rules but where at least one deviation is forced. It could turn out to be as acceptable as the effect in Go, or it might be that the mirror rules mix the game up just enough in a justifiable way.
 
 
« Last Edit: Oct 29th, 2009, 11:02pm by The_Jeh » IP Logged
Fritzlein
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #35 on: Oct 30th, 2009, 4:41am »
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As a casual observer, my reaction is that a pie rule is less of a kludge than the current mirror rule.  That's just my intuition, though, and others may feel differently.  I might even suggest a three-stone pie rule, i.e. one player places two black and one white stone before the other gets to choose.
 
I am curious as to whether Hirocon will have better luck playing defensively than I did.  I'm eager to hear the results of your game.
« Last Edit: Oct 30th, 2009, 4:42am by Fritzlein » IP Logged

Hirocon
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #36 on: Oct 30th, 2009, 4:44am »
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After experimenting some more, I've changed my opinion about defensive play.  Defending forever is not trivial (though it may still be possible).  I wrote very simplistic defensive AI for the white player using the following evaluation:
 
I define a "threat" to be a rectangle with no white corners and no stones of either color in the interiors or edges.
 
1) Minimize the number of threats with three black corners
 
2) Among all moves satisfying (1), minimize the number of threats with two black corners
 
3) Among all moves satisfying (2), minimize the number of threats with one black corner
 
4) Among all moves satisfying (3),  minimize the number of threats with zero black corners
 
When this AI searches only one move ahead, it puts up a very strong defense, but with some work I was able to score against it.  It usually played immediately adjacent to the most recent stone I played, but not always.  I modified the AI to always play immediately adjacent to my most recent stone, and again I was able to score against it.
 
I still think it is much easier to defend than to score, and it may in fact be possible, with perfect play, to defend forever.  But I no longer believe there is a trivial way to do it.
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The_Jeh
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #37 on: Oct 30th, 2009, 8:59am »
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on Oct 30th, 2009, 4:44am, Hirocon wrote:
After experimenting some more, I've changed my opinion about defensive play.  Defending forever is not trivial (though it may still be possible).  I wrote very simplistic defensive AI for the white player using the following evaluation:
 
I define a "threat" to be a rectangle with no white corners and no stones of either color in the interiors or edges.
 
1) Minimize the number of threats with three black corners
 
2) Among all moves satisfying (1), minimize the number of threats with two black corners
 
3) Among all moves satisfying (2), minimize the number of threats with one black corner
 
4) Among all moves satisfying (3),  minimize the number of threats with zero black corners
 
When this AI searches only one move ahead, it puts up a very strong defense, but with some work I was able to score against it.  It usually played immediately adjacent to the most recent stone I played, but not always.  I modified the AI to always play immediately adjacent to my most recent stone, and again I was able to score against it.
 
I still think it is much easier to defend than to score, and it may in fact be possible, with perfect play, to defend forever.  But I no longer believe there is a trivial way to do it.

 
I was hoping that someday there would be an AI to play against, but I lack the skills to create it myself. If this simplistic white-playing AI's defense is as strong as you say, I would love to test myself against it. Better yet, feel free to use it as a tool when we play.
« Last Edit: Oct 30th, 2009, 9:02am by The_Jeh » IP Logged
Hirocon
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #38 on: Oct 30th, 2009, 6:01pm »
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The_Jeh played against my AI today.  He was able to score against it pretty quickly.
 
This is a fun game.  My only concern when I read the rules was that it would be too easy to defend,  but after playing it I see that isn't the case.
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Re: Rekushu
« Reply #39 on: Jul 31st, 2010, 12:09am »
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I just came across this thread.  The game looks interesting and I'll have to give it a try soon.
 
Particularly since several people suggested a triangular grid, I thought I'd mention that the game has some similarity to a game called Fencing which John Brunner invented for his book "The Shockwave Rider".
 
It also strikes me as having some relation to Mark Steere's Quadrature and another game, Quads and Quazars, by G. Keith Still.
 
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