Nate Smith


Xong Game rx221129a Sign In or Register to add photos

First Game played November 29th, 2022. Copyright © 2022 Nathan A. Smith Introduction XongTM is a two-player abstract game invented by Nathan A. Smith in 1996, evolved from another game he invented in 1982, QuintHexTM. QuintHexTM was the first game to employ the placement of pieces made of hexagon legs to surround hexagons for territory points. It used dual sets of the 12 quintastix, made by joining 5 legs together, one set for each color. It suffered from the most common abstract game problem: the first player has an advantage. A single-legged piece was initially given to the 2nd player to use as an attempt to even up the game. In the usenet group,, often this problem would crop up. Discussion would then frequently veer into such things as Progressive Chess. Progressive Chess is a fairy chess game that addresses this problem by giving each player at turn N a gradually increasing number of simultaneous moves equal to N. Xong took this idea, along with a familiar peculiarity of the sport of Baseball, and thus came into existence as a candidate for a solution of the first player problem. The Baseball peculiarity is the observation that, among the major sporting games, it is the only one to have each play begin with the ball in the hands of the defense. Xong employs the same idea, for without this concept, Xong would not work in bringing out the progressive nature of each move. The pieces used in the game, called Xoids, gradually increase in size according to the Rule that once a Xoid has been played it cannot be introduced to the game again. No repetition is allowed. Because of the finite size set at the beginning of the game, the remaining available space will shrink in an unpredictable way. As this occurs, habitats for certain types of Xoids will disappear. Keeping track of these events is a wise idea in planning ahead. Note that around the middle game are the arrivals of deadly Sea Snake moves - pieces along the edges that are too long to fit within the central portions of the board. Hint: When designing a Sea Snake you must make it unique in placement as well as netting less than 5 points (unless all the playable 5-ers have already been played) or you will not get its benefit. This Game was chosen to illustrate how lab testing is valuable. It also featured a tense Core War of Fours for 4, almost 5, straight turns.
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