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   Author  Topic: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games  (Read 489948 times)
christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #60 on: Apr 21st, 2009, 2:15am »

I've uploaded the lot in the mindsports site, though 'a late arrival' still must be added to the essay's menu (a bit tricky for me, so I'll leave it for Ed, presumably tonight).
 
HanniBall
A late arrival
 

1. Hf4-e6-f8/Lg2-f4
2. Hf8-g10/b4-c6/Lf4-g6
3. Hc6-a7-c8/Ed3-e4
4. Ee4-e7
5. Hc8-e9/H*e9-g8/*gh8
6. Ee7-g9/Hh4-i6
7. Lg6-h8/*h8-i10/Hg10-h12
8. Lh8-i10/*i10-h12-i13
9. Lc2-d8
10. Hh12-f11-d10/*c9
11. Hg8-e9-d11/Li10-g11
12. Ld8-b7/*b7-c9/Hd11xc9
13. Hd4-f5-d6-c8
14. Eh3-f5/*f5-g3
15. Hi6-g5-i4/Ke1-g2
16. Hi4-h2/*h2-g2^b7-a9
17. Lg11-e10-c9-a10
18. Lb7-a9/L*a9-b11/*b11-a13
19. Lb11-b13/La10-b12
20. Lb12-a13/L*a13-b14/*b14-a16
21. Lb14-a16/L*a16-c15/*c15-a14
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10

Hd14-c12/Ed15-d14-e13
Hc12-d10/Hb14-c12/Ee13-e12
Ee12-d11/Lc16-d14-e12
Hf14-f10/Hh14-g12
Hg12-h10/Lg16-g12
Hf10-g7/Hd10-f9
Eh15-i12
Ei12-i13/*i13-g12-e11
Lg12-f10/Hc12-e11/*e11-d10
Ed11-c9/*c9-b7
Hh10-f11/Eb15-c13
Lf10-d9xc9/*c9-d9
Lc9-d9/L*d9-e7/*e7-f5
Hg7-h5-g3/*g3-h2
Le7-g6-h4/Hf11-e9
Ec13-b12-a11/Le12-c11
Ea11-b10/Hf9-d8-b9
He11-c12/Ef15-d15
Ed15-c15/Eb10-a11/Lc11-d13
Ke17-d17/Ec15-b16/Ld13-c14
Eb16-b15/Ea11-b12/Ei13-h13
...

 
* = ball
^ = ricochet
 
This is better: position after white-22
With a black elephant on b16 and the Keeper on d17, I had to move the ball two steps away from the elephant, or it would grab the ball, return to b16, and ricochet the ball via the Keeper back into the field.
 
Black crept nearer to the ball with an elephant and lion (and the far elephant at h13) and I called in reinforcement too.
 
In the current position black can capture either the horse on c13 or the lion on c15, but the latter loses the game, and the former ... well let's see, if and when.
 
One request if you're not Adanac: please do not comment on the actual position - we both like to enjoy our own brand of stupidity Wink .

 
« Last Edit: Apr 21st, 2009, 11:43am by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #61 on: Apr 21st, 2009, 2:44pm »

on Apr 21st, 2009, 2:15am, christianF wrote:
With a black elephant on b16 and  the Keeper on d17, I had to move the ball two steps away from the elephant, or it would grab the ball, return to b16, and ricochet the ball via the Keeper back into the field.
 
Black crept nearer to the ball with an elephant and lion (and the far elephant at h13) and I called in reinforcement too.
 
In the current position black can capture either the horse on c13 or the lion on c15, but the latter loses the game, and the former ... well let's see, if and when.

 
I知 not falling for that trick Shocked I値l decline both captures and kick the ball upfield instead.
 
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10   Eb15-a14/*a14-b12-c10
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #62 on: Apr 21st, 2009, 11:26pm »

on Apr 21st, 2009, 2:44pm, Adanac wrote:

 
I知 not falling for that trick Shocked I値l decline both captures and kick the ball upfield instead.
 
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10 Eb15-a14/*a14-b12-c10

It was worth a try Smiley  

1. Hf4-e6-f8/Lg2-f4
2. Hf8-g10/b4-c6/Lf4-g6
3. Hc6-a7-c8/Ed3-e4
4. Ee4-e7
5. Hc8-e9/H*e9-g8/*gh8
6. Ee7-g9/Hh4-i6
7. Lg6-h8/*h8-i10/Hg10-h12
8. Lh8-i10/*i10-h12-i13
9. Lc2-d8
10. Hh12-f11-d10/*c9
11. Hg8-e9-d11/Li10-g11
12. Ld8-b7/*b7-c9/Hd11xc9
13. Hd4-f5-d6-c8
14. Eh3-f5/*f5-g3
15. Hi6-g5-i4/Ke1-g2
16. Hi4-h2/*h2-g2^b7-a9
17. Lg11-e10-c9-a10
18. Lb7-a9/L*a9-b11/*b11-a13
19. Lb11-b13/La10-b12
20. Lb12-a13/L*a13-b14/*b14-a16
21. Lb14-a16/L*a16-c15/*c15-a14
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10
23. Eg9-d9
24. Ed9-d8/*d8-b9/Hd10xb9

Hd14-c12/Ed15-d14-e13
Hc12-d10/Hb14-c12/Ee13-e12
Ee12-d11/Lc16-d14-e12
Hf14-f10/Hh14-g12
Hg12-h10/Lg16-g12
Hf10-g7/Hd10-f9
Eh15-i12
Ei12-i13/*i13-g12-e11
Lg12-f10/Hc12-e11/*e11-d10
Ed11-c9/*c9-b7
Hh10-f11/Eb15-c13
Lf10-d9xc9/*c9-d9
Lc9-d9/L*d9-e7/*e7-f5
Hg7-h5-g3/*g3-h2
Le7-g6-h4/Hf11-e9
Ec13-b12-a11/Le12-c11
Ea11-b10/Hf9-d8-b9
He11-c12/Ef15-d15
Ed15-c15/Eb10-a11/Lc11-d13
Ke17-d17/Ec15-b16/Ld13-c14
Eb16-b15/Ea11-b12/Ei13-h13
Eb15-a14/*a14-b12-c10
Eb12-c10/*c10-d8
...

* = ball
^ = ricochet
 
position after white-24

 
« Last Edit: Apr 22nd, 2009, 5:14am by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #63 on: Apr 23rd, 2009, 2:00am »


position after white-25


1. Hf4-e6-f8/Lg2-f4
2. Hf8-g10/b4-c6/Lf4-g6
3. Hc6-a7-c8/Ed3-e4
4. Ee4-e7
5. Hc8-e9/H*e9-g8/*gh8
6. Ee7-g9/Hh4-i6
7. Lg6-h8/*h8-i10/Hg10-h12
8. Lh8-i10/*i10-h12-i13
9. Lc2-d8
10. Hh12-f11-d10/*c9
11. Hg8-e9-d11/Li10-g11
12. Ld8-b7/*b7-c9/Hd11xc9
13. Hd4-f5-d6-c8
14. Eh3-f5/*f5-g3
15. Hi6-g5-i4/Ke1-g2
16. Hi4-h2/*h2-g2^b7-a9
17. Lg11-e10-c9-a10
18. Lb7-a9/L*a9-b11/*b11-a13
19. Lb11-b13/La10-b12
20. Lb12-a13/L*a13-b14/*b14-a16
21. Lb14-a16/L*a16-c15/*c15-a14
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10
23. Eg9-d9
24. Ed9-d8/*d8-b9/Hd10xb9
25. Ef5-d6/*e8
 
* = ball
rules

Hd14-c12/Ed15-d14-e13
Hc12-d10/Hb14-c12/Ee13-e12
Ee12-d11/Lc16-d14-e12
Hf14-f10/Hh14-g12
Hg12-h10/Lg16-g12
Hf10-g7/Hd10-f9
Eh15-i12
Ei12-i13/*i13-g12-e11
Lg12-f10/Hc12-e11/*e11-d10
Ed11-c9/*c9-b7
Hh10-f11/Eb15-c13
Lf10-d9xc9/*c9-d9
Lc9-d9/L*d9-e7/*e7-f5
Hg7-h5-g3/*g3-h2
Le7-g6-h4/Hf11-e9
Ec13-b12-a11/Le12-c11
Ea11-b10/Hf9-d8-b9
He11-c12/Ef15-d15
Ed15-c15/Eb10-a11/Lc11-d13
Ke17-d17/Ec15-b16/Ld13-c14
Eb16-b15/Ea11-b12/Ei13-h13
Eb15-a14/*a14-b12-c10
Eb12-c10/*c10-d8
Ec10xb9/E*b9-c8/*c8-d6
...
 
^ = ricochet
history
« Last Edit: Apr 23rd, 2009, 4:42am by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #64 on: Apr 23rd, 2009, 5:48am »


position after white-26


1. Hf4-e6-f8/Lg2-f4
2. Hf8-g10/b4-c6/Lf4-g6
3. Hc6-a7-c8/Ed3-e4
4. Ee4-e7
5. Hc8-e9/H*e9-g8/*gh8
6. Ee7-g9/Hh4-i6
7. Lg6-h8/*h8-i10/Hg10-h12
8. Lh8-i10/*i10-h12-i13
9. Lc2-d8
10. Hh12-f11-d10/*c9
11. Hg8-e9-d11/Li10-g11
12. Ld8-b7/*b7-c9/Hd11xc9
13. Hd4-f5-d6-c8
14. Eh3-f5/*f5-g3
15. Hi6-g5-i4/Ke1-g2
16. Hi4-h2/*h2-g2^b7-a9
17. Lg11-e10-c9-a10
18. Lb7-a9/L*a9-b11/*b11-a13
19. Lb11-b13/La10-b12
20. Lb12-a13/L*a13-b14/*b14-a16
21. Lb14-a16/L*a16-c15/*c15-a14
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10
23. Eg9-d9
24. Ed9-d8/*d8-b9/Hd10xb9
25. Ef5-d6/*e8
26. Ed8xg7
 
* = ball
rules

Hd14-c12/Ed15-d14-e13
Hc12-d10/Hb14-c12/Ee13-e12
Ee12-d11/Lc16-d14-e12
Hf14-f10/Hh14-g12
Hg12-h10/Lg16-g12
Hf10-g7/Hd10-f9
Eh15-i12
Ei12-i13/*i13-g12-e11
Lg12-f10/Hc12-e11/*e11-d10
Ed11-c9/*c9-b7
Hh10-f11/Eb15-c13
Lf10-d9xc9/*c9-d9
Lc9-d9/L*d9-e7/*e7-f5
Hg7-h5-g3/*g3-h2
Le7-g6-h4/Hf11-e9
Ec13-b12-a11/Le12-c11
Ea11-b10/Hf9-d8-b9
He11-c12/Ef15-d15
Ed15-c15/Eb10-a11/Lc11-d13
Ke17-d17/Ec15-b16/Ld13-c14
Eb16-b15/Ea11-b12/Ei13-h13
Eb15-a14/*a14-b12-c10
Eb12-c10/*c10-d8
Ec10xb9/E*b9-c8/*c8-d6
Hc12-d10-e8/H*e8-g7
...
 
^ = ricochet
history
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #65 on: Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:55pm »


position after white-27


1. Hf4-e6-f8/Lg2-f4
2. Hf8-g10/b4-c6/Lf4-g6
3. Hc6-a7-c8/Ed3-e4
4. Ee4-e7
5. Hc8-e9/H*e9-g8/*gh8
6. Ee7-g9/Hh4-i6
7. Lg6-h8/*h8-i10/Hg10-h12
8. Lh8-i10/*i10-h12-i13
9. Lc2-d8
10. Hh12-f11-d10/*c9
11. Hg8-e9-d11/Li10-g11
12. Ld8-b7/*b7-c9/Hd11xc9
13. Hd4-f5-d6-c8
14. Eh3-f5/*f5-g3
15. Hi6-g5-i4/Ke1-g2
16. Hi4-h2/*h2-g2^b7-a9
17. Lg11-e10-c9-a10
18. Lb7-a9/L*a9-b11/*b11-a13
19. Lb11-b13/La10-b12
20. Lb12-a13/L*a13-b14/*b14-a16
21. Lb14-a16/L*a16-c15/*c15-a14
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10
23. Eg9-d9
24. Ed9-d8/*d8-b9/Hd10xb9
25. Ef5-d6/*e8
26. Ed8xg7
27. Ed6xg7
 
* = ball
rules

Hd14-c12/Ed15-d14-e13
Hc12-d10/Hb14-c12/Ee13-e12
Ee12-d11/Lc16-d14-e12
Hf14-f10/Hh14-g12
Hg12-h10/Lg16-g12
Hf10-g7/Hd10-f9
Eh15-i12
Ei12-i13/*i13-g12-e11
Lg12-f10/Hc12-e11/*e11-d10
Ed11-c9/*c9-b7
Hh10-f11/Eb15-c13
Lf10-d9xc9/*c9-d9
Lc9-d9/L*d9-e7/*e7-f5
Hg7-h5-g3/*g3-h2
Le7-g6-h4/Hf11-e9
Ec13-b12-a11/Le12-c11
Ea11-b10/Hf9-d8-b9
He11-c12/Ef15-d15
Ed15-c15/Eb10-a11/Lc11-d13
Ke17-d17/Ec15-b16/Ld13-c14
Eb16-b15/Ea11-b12/Ei13-h13
Eb15-a14/*a14-b12-c10
Eb12-c10/*c10-d8
Ec10xb9/E*b9-c8/*c8-d6
Hc12-d10-e8/H*e8-g7
Hg3xg7/Ec8-d7
...
 
^ = ricochet
history
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #66 on: Apr 24th, 2009, 7:56am »


position after white-28


1. Hf4-e6-f8/Lg2-f4
2. Hf8-g10/b4-c6/Lf4-g6
3. Hc6-a7-c8/Ed3-e4
4. Ee4-e7
5. Hc8-e9/H*e9-g8/*gh8
6. Ee7-g9/Hh4-i6
7. Lg6-h8/*h8-i10/Hg10-h12
8. Lh8-i10/*i10-h12-i13
9. Lc2-d8
10. Hh12-f11-d10/*c9
11. Hg8-e9-d11/Li10-g11
12. Ld8-b7/*b7-c9/Hd11xc9
13. Hd4-f5-d6-c8
14. Eh3-f5/*f5-g3
15. Hi6-g5-i4/Ke1-g2
16. Hi4-h2/*h2-g2^b7-a9
17. Lg11-e10-c9-a10
18. Lb7-a9/L*a9-b11/*b11-a13
19. Lb11-b13/La10-b12
20. Lb12-a13/L*a13-b14/*b14-a16
21. Lb14-a16/L*a16-c15/*c15-a14
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10
23. Eg9-d9
24. Ed9-d8/*d8-b9/Hd10xb9
25. Ef5-d6/*e8
26. Ed8xg7
27. Ed6xg7
28. Ef3-f5/Kg2-g3
 
* = ball
rules

Hd14-c12/Ed15-d14-e13
Hc12-d10/Hb14-c12/Ee13-e12
Ee12-d11/Lc16-d14-e12
Hf14-f10/Hh14-g12
Hg12-h10/Lg16-g12
Hf10-g7/Hd10-f9
Eh15-i12
Ei12-i13/*i13-g12-e11
Lg12-f10/Hc12-e11/*e11-d10
Ed11-c9/*c9-b7
Hh10-f11/Eb15-c13
Lf10-d9xc9/*c9-d9
Lc9-d9/L*d9-e7/*e7-f5
Hg7-h5-g3/*g3-h2
Le7-g6-h4/Hf11-e9
Ec13-b12-a11/Le12-c11
Ea11-b10/Hf9-d8-b9
He11-c12/Ef15-d15
Ed15-c15/Eb10-a11/Lc11-d13
Ke17-d17/Ec15-b16/Ld13-c14
Eb16-b15/Ea11-b12/Ei13-h13
Eb15-a14/*a14-b12-c10
Eb12-c10/*c10-d8
Ec10xb9/E*b9-c8/*c8-d6
Hc12-d10-e8/H*e8-g7
Hg3xg7/Ec8-d7
Lh4-f5xg7/Ed7-d6
...
 
^ = ricochet
history
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #67 on: Apr 24th, 2009, 11:58pm »


position after black-28


1. Hf4-e6-f8/Lg2-f4
2. Hf8-g10/b4-c6/Lf4-g6
3. Hc6-a7-c8/Ed3-e4
4. Ee4-e7
5. Hc8-e9/H*e9-g8/*gh8
6. Ee7-g9/Hh4-i6
7. Lg6-h8/*h8-i10/Hg10-h12
8. Lh8-i10/*i10-h12-i13
9. Lc2-d8
10. Hh12-f11-d10/*c9
11. Hg8-e9-d11/Li10-g11
12. Ld8-b7/*b7-c9/Hd11xc9
13. Hd4-f5-d6-c8
14. Eh3-f5/*f5-g3
15. Hi6-g5-i4/Ke1-g2
16. Hi4-h2/*h2-g2^b7-a9
17. Lg11-e10-c9-a10
18. Lb7-a9/L*a9-b11/*b11-a13
19. Lb11-b13/La10-b12
20. Lb12-a13/L*a13-b14/*b14-a16
21. Lb14-a16/L*a16-c15/*c15-a14
22. Hd10-e12-c13/Hc8-d10
23. Eg9-d9
24. Ed9-d8/*d8-b9/Hd10xb9
25. Ef5-d6/*e8
26. Ed8xg7
27. Ed6xg7
28. Ef3-f5/Kg2-g3
29. white resigns
 
* = ball
rules

Hd14-c12/Ed15-d14-e13
Hc12-d10/Hb14-c12/Ee13-e12
Ee12-d11/Lc16-d14-e12
Hf14-f10/Hh14-g12
Hg12-h10/Lg16-g12
Hf10-g7/Hd10-f9
Eh15-i12
Ei12-i13/*i13-g12-e11
Lg12-f10/Hc12-e11/*e11-d10
Ed11-c9/*c9-b7
Hh10-f11/Eb15-c13
Lf10-d9xc9/*c9-d9
Lc9-d9/L*d9-e7/*e7-f5
Hg7-h5-g3/*g3-h2
Le7-g6-h4/Hf11-e9
Ec13-b12-a11/Le12-c11
Ea11-b10/Hf9-d8-b9
He11-c12/Ef15-d15
Ed15-c15/Eb10-a11/Lc11-d13
Ke17-d17/Ec15-b16/Ld13-c14
Eb16-b15/Ea11-b12/Ei13-h13
Eb15-a14/*a14-b12-c10
Eb12-c10/*c10-d8
Ec10xb9/E*b9-c8/*c8-d6
Hc12-d10-e8/H*e8-g7
Hg3xg7/Ec8-d7
Lh4-f5xg7/Ed7-d6
*g7-f5/Lg7xf5-f4
...
 
^ = ricochet
history

 
Congrats Adanac, on winning the first ever recorded game of HanniBall Grin !
 
On a personal note
on Mar 16th, 2009, 8:11am, Ciribot wrote:
I cannot see how one can simply look at a board, create a game, and never revise it. With or without some gift for board game making.

That's why I feel priviliged that HanniBal 'happened'. And I didn't 'look at a board'. I looked at Jeson Mor and my mind wrapped itself around a kind of 'advanced' Jeson Mor with a 'grab-the-treasure-and-run' theme. I am familiar with that 'wrapping' process - that's what the essay is in part about. It took over unexpectedly and uninvitedly. There was nothing deliberate about it and it left me somewhat surprised at the outcome, because mechanisms employing chess type pieces usually aren't all that 'organic'. And in my mind it feels like an organism or a certain spirit taking shape. The pieces and the unusual capturing mechanism came first, the board and the actual numbers came last. This is how it happens, and I can't change it. Neither can I decide to 'invent another game', and nor do I want to.
 
on Mar 8th, 2009, 6:30pm, Fritzlein wrote:
On the other hand, Freeling has so many acute insights into why rules make a game good or bad that I can't quite dismiss his claim to supernatural powers. Just because I can't judge a game from its rules (and just because I have read a ton of trash from self-styled experts trying to judge a game based on its rules) doesn't mean that it is wholly impossible. Given that Freeling will not profit monetarily if we believe him or suffer if we disbelieve, I am convinced that his motive is exactly what he says it is: he wants to leave his mark on the world by sharing what he knows.

You're right, can't very well deny that, except that I haven't much 'knowledge' to share. For one thing: I can't explain what happens during the 'autoshaping' process. I don't know where the pieces of HanniBall came from, but there was never an alternative because they 'fitted' the organism. The unusual capturing mechanism fell into place almost at the same time, without any deliberation.
 
I have always trusted the systems that evolved 'of their own accord', so I implicitly trust HanniBall. That's my prerogative, and I don't expect anyone to follow suit. For me the first 'serious' game revealed exactly what I expected in terms of behaviour, despite the fact that playing any new game feels like riding a bike for the first time. My judgement is inductive and therefore of little value to the objective observer.
 
However, the same objective observer has seen a game that evolved in my head over the course of two days slip into it's final shape with, barring some details, only two modifications.
 
I want to thank JDB again for the generalization of the 'ball on the keeper' rule. That fits perfectly.
 
I want to thank Anadac again for bypassing my lame suggestions to solve the obstruction problem, and getting right to the core of it. It underlines my feeling that if the system is sound (this is not to be taken for granted, nor will it, hopefully) the rule will be there. And Adanac had no trouble finding it.
 
On a general note
Barring platitudes as 'pieces having to cooperate', I'm still very much in the dark about strategy.
 
The first thing to notice is the risk of having the ball in possession at the end of one's turn, in a field full of players (unless a player got his bases covered in terms of exchanges).
In the early stages the ball therefore is mostly kept 'afloat', which means that it has a tendency to go around rather fast.
In our game. on white 16 the ball was on h2, four moves later it was on a16, admittedly with a ricochet involved, but then, I got the feeling that ricochets will be part of defensive strategy quite often.
 
With the keeper on d17 and an elephant on b16, the opponent cannot leave a ball next to the elephant, because it can take possesion, return to b16 and ricochet off the keeper to midfield. It's just an example of the general idea of putting the keeper on the correct ricochet distance of a defender.
 
In the later stages, things change. A player who keeps the ball in possession, moves both the piece and the ball, doing in one move what in the earlier stages would take two. So when material has dwindled beyond a certain density, a player 'running with the ball' becomes an increasingly important factor: you'll have to stop the piece before it slaloms through the defense. See the end of my game against Adanac.
 
My opionions don't matter. The verdict on HanniBall is open. Next weekend it will be available on Zillions so many can put it to the test. And I hope many do and comment on their findings.
 
Enjoy Smiley
 
christian
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #68 on: Apr 25th, 2009, 7:52am »

Thanks, Christian, for posting the moves to your game with diagrams so that it was easy to follow to the dramatic finish.
 
The increasing tempo you describe sounds similar to what happens in Arimaa and shogi: the more captures have happened, the more the position becomes razor-sharp.  I didn't anticipate the consequences of being able to run with the ball.  If HanniBall is sharp enough with only 3 actions per turn, then 4 actions per turn seems likely to make the game worse.  But 4 actions per turn is unnecessary only if 3 actions per turn is sharp enough in the opening as well as the endgame.
 
I'm so enmeshed in Arimaa that I'm unlikely to be play-testing HanniBall, but I hope someone else tests it because I am curious about the result.  When strategy is better understood, will the gameplay look anything like it did in this game?  (For Arimaa the answer was no...)
 
Thanks for sharing your latest game with the Arimaa community first.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #69 on: Apr 25th, 2009, 8:18am »

on Apr 25th, 2009, 7:52am, Fritzlein wrote:
When strategy is better understood, will the gameplay look anything like it did in this game? (For Arimaa the answer was no...)

Fair chance it will not. I remember seeing some very early Havannah games years later. It didn't resemble 'Havannah' very much. This probably holds for any strategy game.
On the other hand, HanniBall may lean more towards a 'tactical' game, where strategy remains fairly obscure. Let's therefore say I hope it didn't look too much like hypothetical future games.
 
 
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #70 on: Apr 25th, 2009, 8:41am »

Technically, I recorded my final move incorrectly as I meant to play:
 
28. Ef3-f5/Kg2-g3   *g7-f5/Lg7xf5/L*f5-f4  (oops  Embarassed )
 
In any event, it was a lot of fun to try out a new game that combines strategy and tactics in original ways.  
 
Strengths
 
1. With a cluster of slow-moving, slow-shooting pieces on a large field, I had expected the action would be slow.   But my game against Christian was surprisingly fast-paced with frequent ball movement and momentum shifts.
 
2. Playing a game that blends soccer, chess & even arimaa themes is quite fun!  While a 4-step variant would make HaniBall more arimaa-like  Wink, the 3-step variant has an amazing side benefit...
 
3. I completely overlooked this when I first read the rules, but the 3-step version of HaniBall (the version used in our e-mail game) has a brilliant feature that I never would have expected from such a tactical game:  as long as both players are careful not to blunder a piece away, virtually all trades are 1-for-1.  This unique concept implies that:
 
(a) This would be an excellent anti-computer game because the human can focus on strategy without worrying too much about tactical blunders.
 
(b) Beginners can have fun playing against experts.   As long as the new player learns some basic lessons about positioning & mutual protection, the material should always be fairly balanced.  This is in sharp contrast to virtually every other tactical game where a beginner will always fall behind in material very early in the game.
 
(c) Games are most often decided by strategy rather than unfortunate blunders.
 
Weaknesses
 
There are 2 weaknesses, but I知 optimistic that both can be solved quite easily.
 
1. The lions are far too powerful relative to the other pieces.  While an attack with only a few horses and/or elephants is very easy to stop, lions are quite dangerous.  However, lions are also extremely powerful defenders covering a full radius of 5 squares plus about half the squares 6 steps away.  One player might choose to keep both lions back leading to
 
2. A defensive player can create an iron curtain by keeping 2 lions back, supported by a few other defenders.  My game against Christian was very offence-focused because we both used lions on the attack.  I致e tested a few scenarios and it seems impossible to score against a talented and determined defender that keeps both lions back.  Obviously, if perfect defensive play makes it impossible to score then this will be a fatal weakness in the design.  Whether this is true or not will soon be revealed on zillions.
 
Possible Solutions
I think HaniBall is a potentially great game that needs only a few minor tweaks to overcome the impossibility of scoring against a perfect defender:
 
1. Add extra kicking power to horses and elephants.  This simultaneously solves both of the weaknesses mentioned above.  Possibilities include:
(a) Horses can shoot in any of the eight directions at a distance of 1, 2 or 3 squares.
(b) Elephants can shoot in an L pattern of 2-1 or 3-2 or 4-3 (i.e. the last option would be 4 square in one direction and 3 in the other).
(c) Lions would still kick like either a chess king or knight (no change from the current rules).  I believe that a Lion would still be the strongest piece due to its fast and flexible movement.
 
2. If option #1 doesn稚 work, perhaps just make pieces stronger in the attacking zone than the defending zone.  This isn稚 realistic, however, and I壇 much prefer the previous suggestion.
 
3. Adding a second ball would greatly increase the offensive chances, but it would completely destroy the soccer theme.  Again, I壇 much prefer the first suggestion.
 
If someone can demonstrate that it *is* possible to score against a perfect defender then I suppose my suggestions are pointless.  But if I知 right, then this game needs a bit of a fix.  I知 confident that HaniBall can easily become a classic strategy game with 1 or 2 very minor rule changes.   Smiley
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #71 on: Apr 25th, 2009, 11:01am »

on Apr 25th, 2009, 8:41am, Adanac wrote:
A defensive player can create an iron curtain by keeping 2 lions back, supported by a few other defenders. [...] Obviously, if perfect defensive play makes it impossible to score then this will be a fatal weakness in the design.

on Apr 14th, 2009, 12:37pm, christianF wrote:
[...]you worry too much Wink . It's hard to avoid excanges in close contact. 'Merely' avoiding capture isn't all that easy. Material dwindles.

So, we have diametrically competing claims.
 
I demand a rematch under the condition that Adanac can't win by scoring goal, he can only win by preventing goal for 100 moves. Christian doesn't have to worry about defending; he can move up all his pieces except the keeper in an effort to score. The stakes are whether or not the HanniBall rules as written are fatally flawed. The outcome will also indirectly support or undermine Christian's claim that he can see from the rules how a game will play.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #72 on: Apr 25th, 2009, 11:20am »

that sounds like a good way of finding out if its a viable flaw, hopefully the attacker wins!
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #73 on: Apr 25th, 2009, 11:22am »

on Apr 25th, 2009, 11:01am, Fritzlein wrote:

 
So, we have diametrically competing claims.
 
I demand a rematch under the condition that Adanac can't win by scoring goal, he can only win by preventing goal for 100 moves. Christian doesn't have to worry about defending; he can move up all his pieces except the keeper in an effort to score. The stakes are whether or not the HanniBall rules as written are fatally flawed. The outcome will also indirectly support or undermine Christian's claim that he can see from the rules how a game will play.

That seems like a correct assessment and an interesting proposition. I hope Adanac will agree - I'm all in for it Smiley .
 
on Apr 25th, 2009, 8:41am, Adanac wrote:
The lions are far too powerful relative to the other pieces. While an attack with only a few horses and/or elephants is very easy to stop, lions are quite dangerous. However, lions are also extremely powerful defenders covering a full radius of 5 squares plus about half the squares 6 steps away.

 
In the very early days of modern Chess, when the queen was just introduced, it was sometimes called the 'mad queen' because its power seemed so unbridled within the context of the still existing Shatransj community.
 
Nowadays no player would consider the queen outside the bounds of balance. It's not easy to establish at face value whether a piece is too strong.
 
HanniBall is not Chess however. Chess dwells in the highest realms of strategy, while HanniBall is a recreational pastime with no higher ambitions than intelligent fun. There's no 'strategical framework' that keeps a piece within bounds.
So I really can't tell - my feeling is that the pieces and their division are balanced, but that's only due to my implicit trust in the process of its genesis. The questions Adanac raises however, are very legitimate.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #74 on: Apr 25th, 2009, 9:10pm »

on Apr 25th, 2009, 11:01am, Fritzlein wrote:
So, we have diametrically competing claims.
 
I demand a rematch under the condition that Adanac can't win by scoring goal, he can only win by preventing goal for 100 moves.  Christian doesn't have to worry about defending; he can move up all his pieces except the keeper in an effort to score.  

I'll accept against all challengers.  I hope a few people take a shot at it (I have an Excel spreadsheet with a formatted HaniBall board if that helps).  
 
To speed things up, how about this...we'll fast-forward to the endgame and the game ends after:
1.  100 moves
2.  admission that it's impossible to score
3.  a goal -->  Embarassed  Shocked  Embarassed
 
Choose one of the following scenarios (or multiple scenarios if anyone wishes) and try to score on me:
 
1.  White: E-E on d2 & f2  // Black:  E-E on d10 & f10  
2.  White: L on e2  // Black:  E-E on d10 & f10
3.  White: L on e2 // Black:  H-H on d10 & f10
4.  White: L-L on d2 & f2  //  Black:  L-L on d10 & f10
5.  White: E-H-E on c2-e2-g2 // Black:   E-H-E on c10-e10-g10
6.  White: H-E-L on c2-e2-g2 //  Black:  H-E-L on c10-e10-g10
7.  White: E-E-E on c2-e2-g2 //  Black:  H-H-H on c10-e10-g10
8.  White: L-E-L on c2-e2-g2 //  Black:  H-H-E-H-H on a10-c10-e10-g10-i10
9.  White: L-H-L on c2-e2-g2 // Black:  E-E-E-E on a10-c10-g10-i10
10.White:  E-H-L-H-E on a2-c2-e2-g2-i2 //  Black:  E-H-L-H-E on a10-c10-e10-g10-i10
 
Rules
- The ball begins on e9 and the White Keeper on e1 in every scenario.
- I will never advance any of my pieces beyond the 9th row.
- I will play with the white pieces in every game.
- Otherwise, all the standard 3-step HaniBall rules apply, including the new 6 square rule for Keeper shots & ricochets.
 
Quote:
The stakes are whether or not the HanniBall rules as written are fatally flawed.  The outcome will also indirectly support or undermine Christian's claim that he can see from the rules how a game will play.

For the record, this isn稚 my intent.  I think HaniBall has tremendous potential and I知 very curious as to whether it痴 possible to score in these 10 scenarios.  If the game needs a only minor rule tweak to make it work, I won't lose any sleep over it  Wink
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