XIMAERA

Copyright (c) 2001 L.Lynn SmithThis game is played on the following board.

There are, off board, sets of three stones for four different types (a total of 12 pieces). The stones of one type are called pivots. All pieces are neutral and can be used by either player.

TURN- On each turn, each player must drop or move one piece.

- A piece off board may be dropped on any empty cell.
- Pieces on board, may slide over a line of empty cells ending their movement on an empty cell (there are no captures). However, any piece adjacent to a pivot cannot move (so, two adjacent pivots cannot move for the rest of the game).

- Pivots may also jump over an adjacent piece landing on the immediate cell (which must be empty).
- It is invalid to move the last stone dropped or moved by the opponent.
GOAL- A player wins by (a) connecting three stones of the same kind; (b) if he has no valid move (so, a stalemated player wins); or (c) if the opponent repeats a board position for the third time.

Winning patternsThese are the three ways to connect three pieces on a hexagonal board.

A game sampleIn this position (black pieces are the pivots) the next player wins if he can move the bottom red stone.

This is because he may move it, without any possible opposition, to join the remaining two red stones. Since the player always move that red stone, the adversary cannot touch it.

In fact, the two connected pivots immobilize themselves and all the six adjacent pieces. So the other player can only move one green piece and the remaining pivot.

Some words from the author:

This game may appear to be a simple alignment game. On the surface, this is true, but underneath it is also a move-elimination game.

Remember that all pieces which are adjacent Pivots may not be moved. If a Pivot becomes adjacent another, both of them can not be moved the remainder of the game. Subsequently, any piece which is also adjacent or becomes adjacent is thus stuck for the game. Creating these types of situations can lead to a stalemate win. Just be careful of the opponent going for the three Pivot alignment.

Another technique is the formations around a Pivot, or Pip. By strategically placing Pips of the same colour around a Pivot, or another Pip, the player has effectively created a 'frozen' piece. One that if moved would assure certain victory for the next player. After forming such a pattern, the player should attempt to reduce the number of moves available the opponent, forcing the movement of that particular piece. This works best when the Pivot is the center of such formation since it must be moved before the others.

It is also possible to win the game without placing all the pieces on the board. The new introduction of a piece is also of great consideration. Even off of the playing field, that third piece can be dropped to complete an alignment.There is a ZRF to play Ximaera with Zillions.