Game Icehouse: Martian Chess

Played 20100116 Steve (14) Josh (17) Me (14) Remainder (9). Me first. Josh won.
Played 20100129 Matt (9) Me (12). Matt first. I won.
Played 20100129 Matt (15) Me (18). Me first. I won.
Played 20100129 Matt (14) Me (16). Matt first. I won.
Played 20100129 Matt (15) Arash (12) Me (15). Me first. Matt and I tied.
Played 20100129 Matt (17) Arash (20) Me (13). AMT MTA ATM TMA MAT ATM ATM TAM TAM AMT ATM AMT ATM MTA. Arash won.
Played 20100423 Caroline (15) Me (16) Remainder (5). Caroline first. I won.
Played 20100525 Josh (13) Stephanie (9) Me (14) Remainder (18). Stephanie first. I won.
Icehouse: Martian Chess
Icehouse: Martian Chess page @ IcehouseGames.org here
Icehouse: Martian Chess page @ BoardGameGeek.org here
Icehouse: Martian Chess page @ Wunderland.com here

20100116:
[20100119 10:04 PM]
It's interesting in taking something old and making something new. I enjoy and while it has depth, does not reach the depth of traditional chess.

previous game (Martian Tic-Tac-Toe):next game()
20100129:
Some pretty interesting things came in the way of opening moves. You make a move that you think can guarantee you a point, but not really... A two player game is much different than a three player game. For one, in a two-player game, you are on opposite sides. In a three-player game, you are on the same side as the two other players. Also, in a two-player game, you can't undo the opponent's move. But in a three-player game, you have less control over your opponent's immediate move. Thus in a two-player game, you can move your pawn forward. Then move the drone forward. But as a defensive move, the opponent, in response to your pawn, can move his/her own drone:
QQD.;QQD.;QQD.;
QDP.;QDP.;QDP.;
DPP.;DPP.;.PP.;
....;....;....;
....;..P.;D.P.;
.PPD;.P.D;.P.D;
.PDQ;.PDQ;.PDQ;
.DQQ;.DQQ;.DQQ;


The second game -- between Matt, Arash, and I -- we played with randomized turns. That is, after each round, we each roll a six-sided die. If it's a tie, those two players should roll a second die. I don't think that ever came up. About halfway through, one of either Arash or Matt realized HOW to take advantage of the randomization. Normally you put yourself into a position of taking someone's piece, and then they can obtain your piece. But if you went last in one round, and had the chance of going first in the next round, then you would lean towards taking their piece. Because if you did get to go first, you would get the piece you just sent over. Example (Left side to play):
Lucky: QQ.....Q;Q......Q;.......Q; Left gained 6 points. Right gained 0 points.
Not Lucky: QQ.....Q;Q......Q;Q.......; Left gained 3 points. Right gained 3 points.

An interesting setup was, with top to move:
Xabcd;abcd;abcd;abcd;
1...D;...D;...D;...D;
2Q..D;...D;...D;...D;
3.QQQ;QQQQ;QQQQ;.QQQ;
4...P;...P;...P;...P;
5....;....;....;....;
6....;....;...D;...Q;
7...D;...D;....;....;
8...D;...D;...D;...D;

Top (Matt) decided to move a2 to a4. But I would have moved a3 to a4. Obviously there was still a lot left in the game in either case, but I wonder if either would be better. If a2 was moved to a3, then d7 and d8 would get captured in any case. But which situation is most desirable. Immediate benefit to... d7b7? no. d7c7? no. d8b8? no. d8c8? no. d7d5? no. d7d6? yes, if Top wants d6 immediately, then Top moves a3d6. But I can't think what should happen beyond that?

20100423:
The game started out with me in the lead. But as I wanted to end the game, I made some sacrifices that ended up in a tie. At that point, one point would have made a big difference. It came down to me making a move that I thought would end it for me. But I eventually saw a way out of it, should Caroline had made the move I thought she would make. Then she made a move that secured a win for me, versus possibly prolonging the game. I told Caroline how the three player game has its advantage and disadvantage. The advantage is the movement possibilities and the disadvantage is the turn order. Oh, but I forgot about the random turn order we tried. Which causes for risk taking to happen. Hmm... In any case, when I asked what happens if you go down the center diagonal, without a pause Caroline pointed out you can choose to travel down either opponent's diagonal. ::Round of Applause for Caroline::

previous game (Treehouse):next game (Pikemen)
20100525:
[20100526 9 AM]
This type of game played with three players suffers more of the following problem: one person being able to choose which of the other two he/she wants to win, if not himself. Theoretically, one should make the move that is most beneficial to him/herself. Sometimes this is hard to determine, because it involves the gains and losses of other players. Thus, perhaps, since I have enough pieces, the better option is to play two-on-two all at once. That is, with players A, B, and C, there should be a match A vs. B, B vs. C, and C vs. A all at once!

[Cat.#88]

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