# MacBeth

MacBeth is a hexagonal variant of Othello and is played on a 6x6 hexagonal board with the following setup:

TURN - On each turn, each player pass his turn or drops a stone on an empty cell if at least one opponent stone is between that stone and another friendly stone.
 All opponent stones that were between those stones flip their color. The flip may occur in more than one direction in the same turn.
GOAL
 When both players have passed, wins the one with more stones.

 An opening exampleBlack begins by dropping a stone at g8, flipping the white stone into black (the marked back stone).

Some comments from the author: Note a peculiar difference with Othello, where a move may capture in no less than eight directions. Although, or rather because MacBeth is hexagonal, its directions of capture are along straight lines only - not along diagonals. On top of that one main direction is excluded for every cell by the nature of the board. This makes MacBeth somewhat easier to handle: colors do not switch quite that dramatically.

[Strategy] The starting point of all reasoning is obviously the fact that there are six corners with the same same feature that is makes them so popular in Othello: a man on it cannot be captured and becomes an anchor to capture along the edges. The fact that corners are strong makes the adjacent cells weak, so these should be avoided. And so on: the basic reasoning is the same as in Othello, and 'minimal capture' - capturing as little as possible during the earlier stages, to reduce the opponent's options - also seems to apply. The finer points of strategy are admittedly no less of a mystery to me than those of Othello.

A note concerning the "holes" in the MacBeth board: what happens is that those cells with holes cannot be reached using the Othello flipping rules. Bill Taylor, Cameron Browne and me tried a 3-player hexagonal game of Othello with a regular hex board. To solve that feature, we introduced an extra rule: when a player cannot capture stones (passes were not allowed), he plays at the central cell (no captures required for that move) and the game continues as normally. Using this rule mutator, MacBeth could be played on an uniform hexagonal board.