NOTWO'S

Copyright (c) 2000 Vincent EveraertThis game is played on an 8x8 empty square board.

There is a common stock of 40 stones off board.

STACK- Three or more stones stacked on the same cell.PIE RULE- One player places two stones, the other chooses sides.TURN- On each turn, each player must do one of following things:

Dropa stone into an empty cellBuilda stack of stones using a (orthogonal or diagonal) straight and connected line of 3 or more stones. All stones are stacked on one of the two extremities.

Important Note- Building stacks are only allowed if the adversary can win on the next turn.It is invalid to build a stack so high that can never be distributed (check example). Distributea stack over a (orthogonal or diagonal) straight line - one stone per cell - starting after the cell where the stack was (that cell becomes empty).

The player cannot distribute a stack on a certain direction if some of the stones would be placed over the edge. At the end of the distribution, each stack with two stones are captured and removed from the board, returning to the stock. A distribution must lead to the capture of, at least, one stone. GOAL- The first player wins by making a chain of stones (not stacks!) connecting the top and bottom row (orthogonal and diagonal connections are valid). The second player wins by connecting the left and right column.

If a player achieves the chain using his opponent's edges, he loses the game even if he links his own opposed edges at the same time.

An exampleThe distribution of b3 to b6 or e3 is illegal because it allows no capture.

Distribution to b1 is impossible because there will be a stone left to place over the edge.

Capture to e6 is possible: stones are laid on c4, d5 and e6, then the two-stone stack at d5 is removed.

DistributingThe second player is about to win, so the first player may produce a stack. He cannot make a 7 stone stack at g5, because that stack could not be distributed (even if the player tried to distribute it to the west, the stones would be placed on f5, e5, d5, c5, b5, a5, and he still would have one stone left to drop...). However, he can make a stack at a5.

Another possibility is to create a 3 stack at d3, stacking the stones at d5, d4 and d3. If the second player drop another at d5, he can distribute d3 to the top, and capture two stones at d5. This is not a good move, because the east-west connection is still active thru the diagonal connection at d4 and d6.

Some notes from the author: Threatening straightaway the opponent is not the right way to play NOTWO'S. Banking on the conjunction of different little sections may prove efficient. The extra condition on the game permits an active defense that should be taken into account.