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Subject: The ol' stranded-island question... rss

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Cody Kunka
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Lately, I've been branching out from abstracts into different areas of gaming in search of new experiences. Surprisingly, I've liked a few from among those with cube pushing, dice rolling, worker placement, war, hidden movement, escape room... Anyways, I realized that I've barely explored combinatorial abstracts. I usually default to Chess-like games, and I imagine many of you have your niche too. Hence, I thought it might be neat to ask:

"You are stranded on a tropical island / dessert oasis / deep jungle / high mountain / library / moon (pick your favorite isolation). You will be air-dropped 3 combinatorial games. You cannot use the components to play any other games. You have an eager opponent who will enjoy any game. Which 3 do you choose?"

In other words, if you could have only 3 combinatorial games, which would you choose? I imagine you'll want variety. For example, I'm not including two Chess-like games on my list:

1. Hive (special movements and placement)
2. Go (pure placement and area control)
3. LYNGK (stacking and drafting)

Bonus: Feel free to pick your favorite place of isolation. I'll go with my old house's upstairs game room adjacent the unfinished part of the house during heavy rainstorm.
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Daniel Piovezan
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1. Go
2. Dameo

And now realizing that I know many games, but have never played the absolute majority of them, I'd take a leap of faith with

3. Toğızqumalaq

as it's very different from the others and very respected.
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Eric Farmer
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I'm just scratching the surface of combinatorial games, but my picks are:

1. Zértz
2. Lines of Action

And my as-yet-unplayed selection,

3. Shogi

And I'd spend the rest of my days at my grandparents old cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
 
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Nick Bentley
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1. Slither
2. Dameo
3. One of my games, but not sure which.
 
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Russ Williams
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Go and Shogi for sure.


Beyond those 2, dozens of candidates would be rather similarly appealing, so I guess I could just make a list of many abstracts I like and randomly pick one. Or, looking at what I've logged the most plays of as a partial guide, maybe I'd pick Trax, since it is very different from Go and Shogi.
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christian freeling
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Go, Dameo and Storisende.
 
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Alexandre Santos
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Chess
Go
Tzaar
 
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TPoG
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ISBN: 1-85723-146-5
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Go
Shogi
Santorini
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Craig Duncan
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Go
Hex (19 x 19)
Either Dameo or Shogi (I need more experience with both before making a decision. So I will take both games on the ship with me and play them lots during the cruise. Then when the shipwreck occurs I will by that time know which to save!)
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Stephen Tavener
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Go
Navia Dratp
Third one is tricky - too many good candidates. I'm going to cheat slightly and go for Lemma for maximum contrast to the first two.
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Cheat harder -- with Nomic you can handle the island's governance and create all other games as sub-games. I'd much rather get a list of components that people would want to have for playing games.

I'm sure that I would continue to extend Santorini and Jotunheim, starting with coconut husks and creating ever-more elaborate sets.

It would be a good time to attempt to master Go; also easy to improvise.

Navia Dratp is a game where you really need to have brought a copy with you. Had I brought one, I could sacrifice Santorini to the cause.
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Rex Moore
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Go
Tzaar
Tak

Maybe we could be marooned on the island of Santorini… and then someone will invent Santorini. (No god powers needed.)

And because this post was framed the way it was, Go is on top. As I said in my Abstracts I've Known Through the Years GeekList, where I noted I'd reached a level of frustration with Go:

"Unfortunately, this is not the kind of game you can dabble in... playing just once or twice a year. I've found frustration in that because I've plateaued at a certain level of mediocrity, and I know I won't get past it without some real study and commitment.

So oddly enough while this might be my choice if I were forced to play only one game the rest of my life, it's ranked where it is because I find I don't relish making my moves any more on Little Golem."
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Carlos Luna
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It is very hard to make such a decision... I'm quite sure I will get bored of any game, no matter how deep and interesting it is...

For a shorter period of time, up to 10 years, I would pick 3 well tested abstracts. I would trust common lore rather than my current ranking of abstract to make the decision because it will be terrible to get stuck with a game that looks interesting now and turns out to be rather shallow and boring after a while. Lets say:

1.- Go
2.- Dameo or Emergo
3.- Boxes or Flume

For a lifetime... Well, I don't think any particular abstract game will keep me interested for that long. I will probably pick 3 games that let me develop my creative side in a less constrained way:

1.- Nomic: More specifically, the following 1-rule variant: "All players must agree to any changes to the game".
2.- Jewels in the Sand: A generic variant of Zendo.
3.- A storytelling game: Either a generic RPG or some simple storytelling improv rules such as The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

I'm quite sure that I can keep finding interesting alleys to explore in this kind of games whereas I will end up hating any abstract if that abstract is all I got to play forever...
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Daniel Piovezan
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WellMoustachioed wrote:
I'm just scratching the surface of combinatorial games, but my picks are:

1. Zértz
Ha! I almost went for that one as my third choice, but I already had one jumping capture game on my list.

WellMoustachioed wrote:
Not sure I'd recommend that. I've played it dozens of times, and I don't think it can get past the minor classic status. Though I wonder if bigger boards could make it better...
 
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Antonie van der Tweel
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If I get to take a fair selection of literature of the games, I'll go for:
1. Shogi
2. Chinese Chess
3. Mah Jong

If I can't get any literature I'd choose:
1. 4-handed chess
2. King's table
3. Ploy

In both cases I'd need 2 more players, on top of the one already allocated ....
 
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Stephen Tavener
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mlvanbie wrote:
Cheat harder -- with Nomic you can handle the island's governance and create all other games as sub-games.
I enjoy Lemma. I don't enjoy Nomic much.
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Carlos Luna
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mrraow wrote:
mlvanbie wrote:
Cheat harder -- with Nomic you can handle the island's governance and create all other games as sub-games.
I enjoy Lemma. I don't enjoy Nomic much.

Then just propose "we are going to play by the rules of Lemma" as your first Nomic rule...
 
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Trevor Kvaran
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I think those are my three. Nadia Dratp and Dameo were close to making the cut as well.
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