Kiki's Games Blog

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Chinese Checkers

Chinese Checkers is a very simplistic game of strategy.
The main board is laid out as a six-pointed star, with 10 holes in each corner, and holes laid out in the hexagonal middle area.
The aim of the game is to move all of one's own pieces (marbles or pegs) from one corner of the star to the opposite corner, while competing players attempt to do the same. Only one piece may be moved per turn, and only moved one hole at a time; however, playing the "hop across" rule variation, movement is helped by allowing jumping over adjacent pieces (in a straight line) to another empty space. Additionally, more than one jump per turn is permitted. This created strategy as good placement of pieces was vital to further either one's own piece, or hinder an opposing player's.
However, Chinese Checkers suffers from a critical flaw -- the dominating strategy is to NOT move one's own piece from the starting corner, and move pieces into the corners of all other players. Thus, since no player can completely capture any corner, play is brought to a stalemate.
As it is, Chinese Checkers has good ideas as regards strategy, and can even bring in some good teamplay between non-opposing players. However, with such a critical flaw in its core rules, it stands as a game which could have used more time developing its rules.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Overview: Stacks

This game is a simple game of strategic defense & offence, coupled with a little luck.
Best played between 4, Stack gives each player 14 6-sided dice, with 4 colours (1 colour each). The players roll the 56 dice into the playing area, then take turns stacking dice on top of other players'.
Only dice of the same number may be stacked; in addition, no stack may be more than 4 dice high (though it can contain any permutation of colours), and players may not stack on their own dice. Once any one player cannot move at the beginning of his turn, the round is over.
The scoring system lends this game depth -- since scores are face-value for 2-6, but not for a 1 (1 being 10 points), players usually try to get lots of points with 1, 4, 5 & 6. With 2 & 3, they usually roll the die to obtain a new (and hopefully higher) face-value.
Also, since no stack may be more than 4 dice high, strategy emerges in that players are reluctant to be the 3rd die on the stack -- in case another player has the same face-value die & claims the stack for the round. Only when there was no immediate danger of losing the stack would the player set the 3rd die. Then, other players had the option of continuing with their own scoring agenda, or they would roll one of their lower-value dice to attempt to claim the stack.
Another strategy that emerged was that of stacking on top of certain other players' dice, in order to stop them scoring or to end the round quicker (make them run out of dice).

Stack is a fun game, and its strategy is helped by a requirement for luck at times. It is very cut-throat, and all the better for it.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Testing, testing

1, 2.
1, 2.
and a 1,2,3 4!!

And on that cheesy note I stop.
Articles on Chess, Stacks & Chinese checkers should be up within 10 days (assuming I don't forget about blogger...) Oh, and Jenga, too.

Kiki out