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Subject: The classic connection game rss

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Tuomas Korppi
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Hex is a two-player game played on a diamond-shaped hex board. Two opposing edges of the board are marked blue, and the other opposing edges red. Blue and red players alternate in playing pieces of their color on the board. A player wins, if he manages to build a chain of pieces of his color connecting the edges of his color.

It's impossible that both succeed in building such a chain, and it can be proven that eventually one of the players will succeed in building the required chain. Thus, a draw is impossible.

Because of the facts presented in the previous paragraph, the only way to block the opponent from forming the winning chain is to form a winning chain by oneself. Thus, in Hex, there is no difference between attacking and defending moves, and each move can be thought of in terms of either attack or defense.

The building blocks of Hex strategy are templates. A template is a shape consisting of empty hexes plus edge and/or one's pieces that guarantees a connection either between the pieces or between the pieces and the edge if played correctly, no matter how the opponent tries to prevent the connection.

A simple example of a template is Bridge, see Hexwiki http://www.hexwiki.org/index.php?title=Bridge

Other strategical concepts include forks and ladders. A fork is a move that threatens to establish two different connections, and the opponent has time to block only one of them. A ladder is a sequence of moves near an edge, where one player threatens to connect with every move, and the opponent blocks the threat with every move. (The threatening player wins the ladder only if he manages to form a ladder escape, see Hexwiki http://www.hexwiki.org/index.php?title=Ladder_escape_fork.)

Strategical thinking in hex requires the player to combine concepts such as templates, forks and ladders and apply them to real-game situations. A strategically rich hex game can be played on a 11x11 board, and bigger boards enriching strategy are also used, 19x19 seems to be the biggest board in use.
 
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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You state that the game is played on a hexagonal bard. I thought it was played on a Go-ban. I've not actually played. Can you please clarify for me?
 
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Russ Williams
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whac3 wrote:
You state that the game is played on a hexagonal bard. I thought it was played on a Go-ban. I've not actually played. Can you please clarify for me?
Dude! You must rectify this immediately! How is that such an abstract fan as yourself doesn't know Hex? My worldview is shaken by this shock!

PS: The board is indeed a rhombus, with hexagon connection topology. Just poke around http://hexwiki.org and your questions will be answered.
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Dr Caligari
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Quote:
...a diamond-shaped hex board

"a diamond shaped board with a hex-grid " is what I think you meant to say.

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David Bush
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whac3 wrote:
You state that the game is played on a hexagonal bard. I thought it was played on a Go-ban. I've not actually played. Can you please clarify for me?
Perhaps you thought it was played on a Go board because of that tiny representative image at the top of this page. At such low resolution, it may indeed appear to be a Go board. It even has Go bowls and Go stones, which are all resting on a bamboo surface. But take a look at a higher resolution:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/36544/hex

Those lines form triangles, not squares. The board is diamond shaped. The stones are played on the intersections, but each interior intersection has just 6 neighbors not 8.

Hex is more commonly played on a grid of regular hexagons, like the structure of a beehive, where the stones are placed inside the hexagonal cells. It amounts to the same game.

Or perhaps you were thinking of Crossway, which is very much like Hex, but played on a Go board. That's a different game.
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Harald Korneliussen
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Twixter, I think your rendered Hex board is great, but I've long thought it's sad that the representative image for this game isn't a real board! And now whac3 has given another argument for changing it
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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vintermann wrote:
Twixter, I think your rendered Hex board is great, but I've long thought it's sad that the representative image for this game isn't a real board! And now whac3 has given another argument for changing it
but now at least I've downloaded a printable board!
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David Molnar
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russ wrote:
whac3 wrote:
You state that the game is played on a hexagonal bard. I thought it was played on a Go-ban. I've not actually played. Can you please clarify for me?
Dude! You must rectify this immediately! How is that such an abstract fan as yourself doesn't know Hex? My worldview is shaken by this shock!

PS: The board is indeed a rhombus, with hexagon connection topology. Just poke around http://hexwiki.org and your questions will be answered.

Seriously. I will add that Hex can easily be played on a Go board, and indeed Nash may have even invented it on one; I'm not clear on that. All one needs to do is agree ahead of time that diagonally adjacent stones are connected along the SE-NW diagonal of a square, but not along the NE-SW diagonal. Then every (interior) vertex has 6 neighbors, and all is right with the world.
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