Friday, July 28, 2017

Game Description: NoCanDo

For the tournament game at Fundy and Games, we played a variant of Domineering known as NoCanDo.  (We spent the first day deciding on the name.)  This is a very nice mix of Domineering with a little splash of NoGo: each domino on the board must be adjacent to at least one uncovered square.  That's it.  You're not allowed to play a domino if it would be completely surrounded or if would cause another domino (already played) to be completely surrounded.

This little rules change makes a huge difference! 
  • You can place pieces aggressively to force an opponent to leave spots open.
  • You need three spaces in a line for a free move, instead of two.  (And sometimes you can't play in those three anyways because it blocks other dominoes.)  Five in a line can often net you two plays, but I don't think I ever had a group worth three.
  • The "liberty" rule is still different from Go and NoGo, because each domino needs the free space, not just each connected group of similarly-oriented dominoes.
  • When the game breaks up into subregions, sometimes they're not all independent.
We held human and computer tournaments at Fundy and Games.  RJN won the human tournament, and my program won the computer tournament.  Richard handily beat my computer player to win the overall title.

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