Permute Update: Now available in Ai Ai! (10/13/2020) - Since my first post on my game Permute, there’s been a very exciting development.  Thanks to the efforts of Stephen Tavener — thank you, Stephen! — Permute is now playable in his wonderful abstract-gaming mega-package Ai Ai! Ai Ai is a fantastic, and free, collection of many dozens of excellent abstract games, all playable online […]
Permute: A Game About Twisting Things (10/4/2020) - As some of you are aware, one of my hobbies besides games is solving twisty puzzles, also known as 3D rotational puzzles.  The most famous example is the legendary 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube, but since that set the world alight some decades ago a fascinating community of twisty-puzzle designers has emerged, producing some truly outrageous puzzles.  […]
Dai Shogi, Part II: A Sample Game (9/13/2020) - What with one thing and another, I haven’t had the time or energy to write gaming-related posts for a while, and in particular annotating very long games of large Shogi variants just seemed a bit too much to handle.  However, lately I’m in desperate need of distractions to keep positive and motivated, so it’s a […]
Symple: a game that matters (4/28/2020) - UPDATE 1 MAY 2020: Added ‘Playing Symple over the board’ section, and downloads for the Ai Ai .mgl files for large/oblong Symple boards and HexSymple. Way back in Connection Games III: Havannah and Starweb, I praised designer Christian Freeling’s games but expressed a bit of skepticism regarding his list of six ‘games that matter’: Christian […]
Dai Shogi, Part I: How to Play (4/13/2020) - Following on from my previous two posts about Chu Shogi (Part I, Part II), I plan to provide a full annotated Chu Shogi game for you.  This is still in the works, but Chu Shogi games are long, so that post will take quite a while to prepare. In the meantime, I’m going to work […]
Chu Shogi, Part II: Attack and Defence (4/9/2020) - “Despite this complexity, after playing [Chu Shogi] a few times, one begins to feel that each piece has its own personality, and that not one of the pieces could have been left out without harming the character and charm of the game.  A game as large as Chu could easily have been dull and ponderous; […]
Chu Shogi, Part I: How to Play (4/5/2020) - As some of you out there already know, I’m a huge fan of Shogi, the Japanese version of Chess, and its many variants.  Shogi is a dynamic, attacking game enjoyed by millions of players around the world, and in my view is the most exciting of the major Chess variants played today.  Chu Shogi is […]
Powerful pieces in Chess games (4/1/2020) - In preparation for writing up some detailed articles about my favourite Shogi variants in the future, I spent a bunch of my insomniac hours making Shogi diagrams in Illustrator recently.  I thought I might give these a trial run before the main event, so here’s a more off-the-cuff opinion piece of sorts, about the dominant […]
Connection Games VIII, Part I: ConHex (3/27/2020) - ConHex is a unique connection game invented by Michail Antonow in 2002.  You may remember that Hex was inspired by Piet Hein’s interest in the four-colour problem, which is related to map-colouring; ConHex makes this inspiration much more explicit. In ConHex, players compete to claim the corners of spaces on the board until they gain […]
Connection Games VII: Onyx (3/22/2020) - Today I’m going to talk about a game with a highly unique visual presentation and capture mechanism: Onyx.  I’m really fascinated by this game, which is helpful, because making all the boards and diagrams for this post took a lot of time! Onyx was published by Larry Back in the year 2000 in Abstract Games […]
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