Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ikabegamá - a game to explore

Here is a game I would like to explore. Let's call it Ikabegamá, which means "nesting over the other" in Kotava, because it is about swarming into the other player's nest:
  • The features listed in my previous post apply.
  • There are two players. Let's call them Light and Dark and color their respective tokens accordingly.
  • Before the game really starts, the players agree on some board tile to be called the Light nest and another to be called the Dark nest. I'll picture them with an hexagonal ring with their owner's color, for example:
    The farther the two nests lie from each other, the longer the game is going to last.
  • The game starts with only two tokens on the board -- a Light token in the Ligth nest and a Dark token in the Dark nest. All the other tiles start empty. For example:
  • The goal for each player is to get a token of his or her own into the other player's nest.
  • The game is turn-based, the players alternating moves on the board. Light starts the game with a valid move of his choice, changing the board accordingly, then Dark follows with a valid move of her choice, changing the board accordingly, then Light follows and so on.
  • The rules for valid moves are the same as for the game of Hexxagon. In other words, a valid move for Light is
    • either a growth -- Light fills in some empty tile of his choice with a new Light token, provided at least one of the 6 adjacent tiles is already occupied by a Light token. For example the following position
      yields 3 valid growths for Light, which I'll picture with small Light tokens hovering above the empty tiles:
      Light is allowed to choose only one of them during a single turn.
    • or a jump -- Light moves some Light token of his choice on the board two tiles away from the tile it currently occupies, provided the destination is empty. (Two tiles away means adjacent to an adjacent tile, but not immediately adjacent nor the same tile. There can be from none to twelve possible destinations). Except for the source and destination, it doesn't matter whether any other tiles are empty or not. For example the position above yields 12 valid jumps for Light, which I'll picture with small Light tokens hovering above the empty destination tiles and a small empty tile hovering above the jumping token:
      Light is allowed to choose only one of them during a single turn.
  • After Light has either grown up or jumped and changed the board accordingly, some automatic flipping occurs : any Dark token adjacent to the newly occupied tile is turned into a Light token, thus changing owner and color from Dark to Light. I'll picture them with small light tokens hovering above them. For example if Light chooses to grow onto the left, two Dark tokens are replaced by Light tokens. Here is the position, the chosen move, the resulting flipping and the resulting position :
  • It is then Dark's turn and the same rule applies to Dark, with Dark tokens instead of Light tokens and Light tokens instead of Dark tokens. For example on the last position above, Dark may now choose to jump downwards, thus turning two Light tokens into Dark tokens :
  • The players must always choose a valid move as above if they can -- either a growth or a jump, not both, and only one. If they can't because they don't have any token left on the board or their tokens are completely surrounded by opposing tokens at distance 1 and 2, they pass and it is the other player's turn.
  • The game is over as soon as
    • either some Light token occupies Dark's nest, in which case Light has won the game,
    • or some Dark token occupies Light's nest, in which case Dark has won the game.
    It doesn't matter whether the nest is newly occupied from growing, jumping or automatic flipping.

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