I’d like to discuss and hopefully play a multiplayer (>2) capture Go variant. @stone_defender deserves credit for inspiring this with a suggestion made elsewhere.
More than two players, each with a unique color.
Players take turns playing in a fixed order.
On each turn, a player must play a stone on an empty point or resign (passing is not allowed).
After playing a stone, first remove any opposing chains without liberties, before checking/removing for suicidal moves.
A player is eliminated as soon as one of their stones is captured, or if they choose to resign.
When a player is eliminated, the rest of their stones remain on the board until captured.
The goal is to be the last player remaining, or outlast as many other players as possible.
Communication and Collusion
For an initial game played on these forums, I suggest the following rules for communication
Collusion and coordination between players is allowed.
Promises and deals can be made, but are not enforced by the rules.
All communication involving the game must be done in public view on the forum thread for the game.
Kibitzers are welcome and may openly comment on the game in the game thread.
There is no ko rule, as it is not necessary, since any cycling is prevented by players being eliminated through capturing.
Since passing is not allowed, one might eventually be compelled to fill in one’s own territory, giving the player with more territory (minus group tax effects) the decisive advantage.
Suicidal (self-capture) moves are allowed, but results in the player being eliminated. A player might choose to do so, rather than just resigning, if they wish to leave the board in a more preferable state. In some situations, where being the next to be eliminated is inevitable, a player might choose to play a suicidal move that impacts the remaining players. The possible threat to do so might even give that player leverage to avoid that situation in the first place.
Who’s interested in playing?
For an initial game, I hoping for at least six players, and ideally more, in order to ensure maximum chaos.
In two-player Capture Go, White is alive (until later forced to fill in the eye for lack of other moves), since Black cannot play inside without being captured first.
However, a third player, that is doomed to be eliminated anyways, might play a stone inside in order to eliminate White next. This leverage could possibly be used for gain some compliance from White to play to save that third player.
I do have another idea, depending on how the initial games with these rules pan out.
What about another variant with a slightly different goal and determination of the winner. What about
The first player to capture a stone is the winner
That could be interpreted in a couple of interesting ways in theory. Maybe one could still allow suicides for a player to lose and be eliminated but not end the game, and one has to capture a non-eliminated players stone or be the last player left.
Or one could forbid suicides and the first to capture any amount of any number of opponents stones is the winner.
I think that’s poor wording then. I think it’s intended to be an informal proof that the game will be guaranteed to end, with an implied clause that a dead players’ stones being captured reduces their total number of stones, thus eventually leaving only eliminating captures left.