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Topic: Penju
Replies: 6   Views: 4,332   Pages: 1   Last Post: Jul 24, 2022, 3:34 PM by: watsu

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t0afer

Posts: 43
Registered: Jan 7, 2021
Age: 30
Penju
Posted: Feb 10, 2022, 7:08 PM

Cross post from BGG, but think it would be valuable here as well.

Been thinking about a Ninuki Renju/Pente Variant that combines the Renju forbidden rules, with Pro Pente, and Boat pente as a way to balance the FPA issues of both Pente and Ninuki Renju.

Renju currently has an FPA of 54%, which is actually lower than chess' when you exclude draws, and, because of its asymmetric rules, it also has greater depth and variety to it than gomoku in terms of strategy.

The highest ELO rating in Renju is currently in the 2800's while Gomoku is only around 2600.

With Penju I wonder about the best of both worlds. The simplicity of the Pro rule vs Soorsov-8, the balancing effect and asymmetric play of the forbidden rules, the tactical richness of Pente's captures, and the ninuki renju "boat" rules added on for good measure.

I think it would be a really interesting and deep game to play.



watsu

Posts: 1,265
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Re: Penju
Posted: Feb 10, 2022, 9:47 PM

So, to be clear... you're proposing overlines forbidden for the first player, but the second player can win with them unless they can be broken with a boat capture? I suppose a ninuki draw could still occur in that case, unless the overtime boat capture rule doesn't apply for both sides. Hmmm.

Retired from TB Pente, but still playing live games & exploring variants like D, poof and boat
t0afer

Posts: 43
Registered: Jan 7, 2021
Age: 30
Re: Penju
Posted: Feb 10, 2022, 9:55 PM

Yes, I would just borrow the forbidden overline rule rather than using the overlines don't win rule from Ninuki.

Not from any great insight, just to see how well the concept plays before seeing if overlines allowed but don't win improves it.

watsu

Posts: 1,265
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Re: Penju
Posted: Feb 10, 2022, 10:25 PM

What I'm not clear on, though, since I don't play renju much is whether they're forbidden for both players in renju? I think if it's to get more traction than ninuki has (so far) it needs to follow renju rules as closely as possible.

Retired from TB Pente, but still playing live games & exploring variants like D, poof and boat
t0afer

Posts: 43
Registered: Jan 7, 2021
Age: 30
Re: Penju
Posted: Feb 11, 2022, 12:17 AM

Renju forbidden moves only restrict the first player. The second player is free to create open double threes, double fours, and overlines to win.

watsu

Posts: 1,265
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Re: Penju
Posted: Feb 11, 2022, 12:53 AM

Gotcha. I thought 6s could win for 2nd player but wasn't sure. So, in your proposal it seems like the first player could achieve a ninuki draw by making a fifth capture across an imperfect 6 and leaving a 5. But, in boat Pente, that would be a losing move, rather than creating a draw.

Retired from TB Pente, but still playing live games & exploring variants like D, poof and boat
watsu

Posts: 1,265
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Re: Penju
Posted: Jul 24, 2022, 3:34 PM

I've been thinking more about different variants lately (ninuki, Rollie's ultimate Pente, swap2 variants, etc.)
I think it's still an open question how much of a FPA there actually is in pro rules ninuki. I think swap2 options are ultimately going to be less than optimal in games which don't have the possibility of drawn positions (penju, ninuki and ultimate do have draw possibilities, but swap2 boat doesn't). Ninuki has been available for play with pro rules at PBeM for well over a decade (perhaps 2 by now) but never caught on here or elsewhere. 13x13 Pente, where overlines don't win (draw possible, but I don't know how their code counts a fifth capture which makes an overline into a 5 - anyway, likely a strong FPA) has been playable for a long time on flyordie, but hasn't ever caught on elsewhere. S Pente, proposed by Oleg Stepanov has 3 swaps, but no draws. It's playable on PBeM, but hasn't been explored much (to my knowledge). Swap2 Pente (and variants) seem to be making recent progress on other sites, but once again no draw possibility. Ultimate is a swap2 variant, close to gomoku in that overlines don't win and allows for draws without asymmetrical rules. Whether it will catch on anywhere remains to be seen, of course.
ETA: I think unless someone with access to a supercomputer takes it upon themselves to evaluate different variants in terms of FPA, we have more than enough variants. Unless one or more of them converts gomoku and/or renju players as new players, I don't think any of them have much to recommend them above the others beyond single game decisiveness in live tournaments (swap2 variants) and draw potential (overlines don't win variants).


Message was edited by: watsu at Jul 24, 2022, 4:33 PM

Retired from TB Pente, but still playing live games & exploring variants like D, poof and boat
Replies: 6   Views: 4,332   Pages: 1  
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