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Subject: Why Storisende matters - its strategic dilemma explained rss

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christian freeling
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Muemmelmann wrote:
It is because it is the only thinking entity which is interested in playing Storisende?
At moments it certainly seemed that way
 
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I am just kidding i just did a rewrite for the game rules to check if I understood them, so I am actually very interested myself. I should seek membership of this Freeling Fanclub.
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David Buckley
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RobertBr wrote:

It is how Dominion or a dozen other board games work, posing a challenge to players where they can pursue victory points now or the resources to acquire victory points later. Its fairly old, it goes back to at least Mine a Million in the 60s.

I agree with that but....

Quote:

Now it is certainly a rare strategic dilemma in abstracts

I find that observation more significant.

Quote:

Does it work here? Hard to say without playing, and as already pointed out that is difficult without the rules. In those games it works because a player can just win by going directly for victory points. If another player pursues resources (analogy, focuses on the wall) they might find its too late to catch the leader. Thus creating a tension between the pursuit of the resources needed for victory and victory itself. Does this game do that? Or is it simply always in some-one's interest to pursue the wall?

I wouldn't hold it against Storisende if it was the latter. In Saint Petersburg it is always in some-one's interest to pursue money in the beginning and always in some-one's interest to pursue victory points at the end of the game. It's still a fine game. The dilemma is when to make the switch.

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Now it is certainly a rare strategic dilemma in abstracts (though as I say well known elsewhere) though not entirely unknown (Hive has some of this in its attack/defence balance). Is that enough to justify a game in the same family as Battle Sheep/Hive which is more complex, takes much longer to play, feels a bit clunkier in terms of components, and will only handle two players? Hard to say.

I don't understand why you consider Hive part of the family but I think there's room for more than one territory control game that features moving pieces.

 
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Russ Williams
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christianF wrote:
BGG storage is not unlimited.
Tangent, but in case you're seriously concerned about that (and not merely joking):

BGG storage is unlimited for all practical purposes, as far as a user manually uploading images is concerned. Putting a game board image of every 2 moves instead of every 10 or 12 moves would be a complete non-issue in terms of BGG storage. Many users upload FAR more bytes of data in images than you would upload just to give more detailed annotations of an abstract game like Storisende.

The only real practical bottleneck is at your end: the additional work for you to describe the game moves in more detail and the additional tedious image preparation and uploading.
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christian freeling
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russ wrote:
christianF wrote:
BGG storage is not unlimited.
Tangent, but in case you're seriously concerned about that (and not merely joking):

BGG storage is unlimited for all practical purposes, as far as a user manually uploading images is concerned. Putting a game board image of every 2 moves instead of every 10 or 12 moves would be a complete non-issue in terms of BGG storage. Many users upload FAR more bytes of data in images than you would upload just to give more detailed annotations of an abstract game like Storisende.

The only real practical bottleneck is at your end: the additional work for you to describe the game moves in more detail and the additional tedious image preparation and uploading.
Strange as it may seem to some, but I am rather reluctant to impose too much even if it 'doesn't matter'. I'd say I keep your comment at heart, but it's rather unlikely that I would have to. I'm done. I'd like to live the rest of my life clueless and happy, while communicating with my main social circle, that's you guys, and with my limited actual social circle. And I got a couple of animals that always require the attention I'm very happy to give them.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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"Many of you don't understand this game, so to help, let me post a detailed explanation of advanced tactics that will be incomprehensible to my announced target audience"

 
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David Buckley
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Slight tangent: This is the first link that came up when I Keyed "Storisende mindsports" into Google

http://www.mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/696-storisende

Two games by the same designer with the same name!
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Buckersuk wrote:
Slight tangent: This is the first link that came up when I Keyed "Storisende mindsports" into Google

http://www.mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/696-storisende

Two games by the same designer with the same name!
Se also: Storisende
Confused me a bit.
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christian freeling
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Buckersuk wrote:
Slight tangent: This is the first link that came up when I Keyed "Storisende mindsports" into Google

http://www.mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/696-storisende

Two games by the same designer with the same name!
That's a game I ditched.
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christian freeling
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The Player of Games wrote:
See also: Storisende
Confused me a bit.
Storisende is a town in the books of the Life of Manuel, by James Branch Cabell. I like the name, especially for a final game. In the earlier use, misuse actually, the game didn't live up to it. A typical 'outside in' invention, starting with the object and trying to find matching mechanics (because I felt challenged or something). So I ditched it.
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christian freeling
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Statalyzer wrote:
"Many of you don't understand this game, so to help, let me post a detailed explanation of advanced tactics that will be incomprehensible to my announced target audience"

So I've lived half of my life to provide the community with better games, and I like to think that I succeeded occasionally. I did that for free because I'm only interested in game behaviour, not in other agendas that tend to accompany game inventing. You're pissed off because you could not immediately understand the rules. Did you immediately understand the rules of Go? Do you think your comment is fair or helpful in any way?
 
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christian freeling
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I hope the rules of Storisende are clear now, thanks everyone who suggested improvements.

The 'story of Storisende' has given me quite a few issues to consider in view of my intended article "Organicity in Abstract Games". Thanks also for that.
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Nick Bentley
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christianF wrote:
Statalyzer wrote:
"Many of you don't understand this game, so to help, let me post a detailed explanation of advanced tactics that will be incomprehensible to my announced target audience"

So I've lived half of my life to provide the community with better games, and I like to think that I succeeded occasionally. I did that for free because I'm only interested in game behaviour, not in other agendas that tend to accompany game inventing. You're pissed off because you could not immediately understand the rules. Did you immediately understand the rules of Go? Do you think your comment is fair or helpful in any way?

While I agree the poster is being nasty and unhelpful, I do think your rules could be presented more clearly, sometimes. Your rules often assume the reader has knowledge they don't have or understands words in ways they don't. I recommend running your rules by a couple of folks who aren't on your wavelength, and a good editor as well, before making them public.
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christian freeling
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milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
Statalyzer wrote:
"Many of you don't understand this game, so to help, let me post a detailed explanation of advanced tactics that will be incomprehensible to my announced target audience"

So I've lived half of my life to provide the community with better games, and I like to think that I succeeded occasionally. I did that for free because I'm only interested in game behaviour, not in other agendas that tend to accompany game inventing. You're pissed off because you could not immediately understand the rules. Did you immediately understand the rules of Go? Do you think your comment is fair or helpful in any way?

While I agree the poster is being nasty and unhelpful, I do think your rules could be presented more clearly, sometimes. Your rules often assume the reader has knowledge they don't have or understands words in ways they don't. I recommend running your rules by a couple of folks who aren't on your wavelength, and a good editor as well, before making them public.
Yes, that's right. My understanding starts from the inside out. In this case the way the wall is formed was one part of it's core behaviour and the goal was a priori territorial because of its ancestor Mu. Mu is a rather bizarre exercise in 'inside out' inventing but it shows that the results work without modifications to make them work. It is my considered opinion that Mu is a strategy game, albeit not one that an inventor would design on purpose.

Anyway the fatal chain of events that brought us here started when the question "what if a much simpler grow/move/capture protocol were used on top of the board's core behaviour, free of Mu's complex explosion mechanism?". You may recognise what happens to me if and when such a question takes hold. I can't shed it. Fortunately the contours of such a mechanism soon emerged, actually about everything except 'growth'. Then the thought "only doubles can breed" emerged out of nowhere and I suddenly saw the thing getting life. Growth opportunities would be limited, I saw, and not without having to face obstacles because I immediately saw the Medusa board:



The grey cells show the pattern that a single double can jump: a sub-grid. So to cover the grid in terms of growth you'd have to switch to more sub-grids. That was what tied it all together.

So now I had a simple game that had explained itself without much effort - how would it behave? And that's where it by and by became more mysterious and at some point I realised that I had an organism that merged elimination and territory in the most intricate way. Something really new in terms of behaviour. I don't say this to provoke contradiction but because I don't know of any other game that does it in quite this inherent way. It wasn't sought after, it just became apparent.

I finally understood the game well enough to share and there, as an interface, this familiarity works against me. I do indeed assume things that may not be all that clear to others. The rules are clear now I hope but I also feel they were always clear enough for someone who wanted to understand them. Being hostile and indignant because the rules of a major abstract strategy game are not immediately clear says more about a person than it does about a game.
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Russ Williams
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christianF wrote:

I hope the rules of Storisende are clear now, thanks everyone who suggested improvements.
I read through them again, and they seem much clearer to me now. As far as I noticed, all the things which had seem unclear or confusing to me before seem explicitly clear now.
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The rules are much better now.
However, I still miss an example illustration of a final position and the corresponding final score of the game.
 
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christian freeling
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The Player of Games wrote:
The rules are much better now.
However, I still miss an example illustration of a final position and the corresponding final score of the game.
I'll get one from the AI shortly, but not today.
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christian freeling
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The Player of Games wrote:
The rules are much better now.
However, I still miss an example illustration of a final position and the corresponding final score of the game.
Done.
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christianF wrote:
The Player of Games wrote:
The rules are much better now.
However, I still miss an example illustration of a final position and the corresponding final score of the game.
Done.
Thanks. Looks good.
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christian freeling
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I've mentioned the intricate merger of an 'existential' and a 'territorial' goal in Storisende. So here it is in a nutshell.



It's the position after Red-96, Purple to move. A game of Storisende is quite a story indeed. The provisional territory score at this particular moment is 26 for Purple and 4 for Red. But Red has won the Wall fight and can eliminate the two reamaining purple men. At that point Purple is locked in (!) and Red can try to find ways to claim a majority stake.

I'm Red and I'm not at all sure I can win, but the position clearly shows the existential fight on the Wall versus the formal territorial goal, and how they are interconnected.

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christian freeling
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Red-100 has just captured on the tile in the centre. Purple has no other option than to recapture (or he'll lose the piece without compensation).



Red has one man less on the Wall now and another will be off when he in turn recaptures and thus secures 6 territory cells. But there are only four men left on the Wall then with a score of 20-10. Whether four men is enough to attack the 7-cell area on the right remains to be seen.

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christian freeling
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Red has claimed the six cells (move 103). The red man should remain there, moving would only divide and reduce it. Purle in the meantime can grow another man in the top-left territory, but they're stuck there.



One red single guards the last purple one on he Wall, the other is on its way to the red double to make a triple. That triple needs two jumps to get to M8 (south east tip of the Wall) from where it can capture the last purple man on the Wall. That won't happen because Ed will leave the Wall to save it. But where, to the 7-cell territory or to the 4-cell one?

Depending on that Red will attack, moving the triple to the cell vacated by Purple first, and the 7-cell one is the prime target.
I might need the help of the territory double at the top, but leaving it would split that territory: that's four points gone and only two points back if I can jump back with a single (from the Wall of course) after the fight for the 7-cell territory.

In that case I have 15 points and Purple has 13. But it still has to happen

P.S. Another scenario is conquering the 4-cell territory and neutralising the 7-cell one without help of the top double. That would give 14-9. Getting in the top double if necessary for help and returning a single later would give 12-9.
Chances enough but it's a first actual reconnaissance of this type of endgame.

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christian freeling
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One move on and Ed has decided to immediately leave the Wall and strengthen the defense of the 7-cell territory.



Now the best strategy would seem to conquer the 4-cell one which is defended by just one man. But Red won't allow capture with a single and I need two doubles to capture it with one of them (Red can evade a single double).

Then the score would be Purple-16 Red-14 with two reds in the bottom territory and two on the Wall. That's not enough for Red to neutralise the 7-cell one, and claiming two single cell territories gives a draw.

So the plan is to leave the top 4-cell territory and jump (under cover of the men on the Wall) into the 7-cell one. That costs Red 4 points, but if Red succeeds to neutralise the territory, then it costs Purple 7 points: Purple-9 Red-10.

It may still all fail though, and neutralising the 7-cell one with the four men left on the Wall is maybe still the better option not enough, unfortunately. Conquering it with the four may not be possible. I do have a draw, but other options are very tricky.


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Russ Williams
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I noticed that I am still confused by the rules. Trying to follow the recent game comments, I thought "Why can't your red double on the wall simple jump southeast 2 spaces (onto another wall space) and create a single where it came from, then jump northwest again after that single moves away, back and forth, making as many more red pieces on the wall as you like?"

Evidently you can't, or you'd surely be doing that.

So I looked at the rules at http://mindsports.nl/index.php/arena/storisende/747-storisen... and read:
Quote:
Growth: only doubles breed offspring
If and only if a tile is vacated by a 'double' - a column of two men - it will sprout one new man on the cell underneath

Is the Wall not a tile? Apparently not. And yet
Quote:
The board is 'layered': initially every cell is covered by a hex tile, here represented as beige. The module underneath is the actual 'territory', here represented as green. If a hex tile is reversed it shows a dark colour representing a cell of 'the Wall'.
I.e. the Wall IS a tile: it's the dark side of a tile, as opposed to the beige side of a tile. Turning a tile over doesn't make the tile stop being a tile...

So I suggest some further word-tweaking to the rules would be helpful.
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christian freeling
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russ wrote:
I noticed that I am still confused by the rules. Trying to follow the recent game comments, I thought "Why can't your red double on the wall simple jump southeast 2 spaces (onto another wall space) and create a single where it came from, then jump northwest again after that single moves away, back and forth, making as many more red pieces on the wall as you like?"

Evidently you can't, or you'd surely be doing that.

So I looked at the rules at http://mindsports.nl/index.php/arena/storisende/747-storisen... and read:
Quote:
Growth: only doubles breed offspring
If and only if a tile is vacated by a 'double' - a column of two men - it will sprout one new man on the cell underneath

Is the Wall not a tile? Apparently not. And yet
Quote:
The board is 'layered': initially every cell is covered by a hex tile, here represented as beige. The module underneath is the actual 'territory', here represented as green. If a hex tile is reversed it shows a dark colour representing a cell of 'the Wall'.
I.e. the Wall IS a tile: it's the dark side of a tile, as opposed to the beige side of a tile. Turning a tile over doesn't make the tile stop being a tile...

So I suggest some further word-tweaking to the rules would be helpful.
Ah yes, I'll see to that, thanks (edit: done). A tile is a tile so long as it is not vacated. If it becomes territory or wall, it is no longer a 'tile' (only applicable to the latter of course).

This endgame might indeed end in a draw, at least I have that option. If some higher power has heard my wish for a 'balanced endgame', I certainly got what I wanted. Yet, I'm still not sure whether I can't win after all ...
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