Go Battle Royale: Multi-Color Capture Go

I think there is no way to balance a game with more than 2 players.
Some players will have an advantage over others. That is OK.

Are you proposing to give a different number of passes to players depending on some kind of metrics? That seems like its going to be impossible to write into a set of rules.

I think the example above I gave was fairly simple. The only case is what to do with ties. One could have it work the way liars dice does in that you have to increase the bid, or just have it that the second player posing the same amount follows the first player to propose it.

It wouldn’t be too hard to resolve.

Hmmm. I think I am not in favor of that, but we can certainly try it to see how it plays out.

I am not going to participate in or organize a game in following couple of month, but I can write more about how I see it (basing on The Second Go Battle Royale game) if you want.

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It was more just an idea if people didn’t like the random starting positions.

It could either supplement (everyone sees the random board and bids on which colour to be and/or turn order) or just replace it with some other starting setup rules.

Anyway just ideas part of a bigger discussion.

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@sokoslav and @shinuito: I hope you take my comments against your ideas as being nothing more than respectful discussion and debate on ideas. I have the utmost respect for everyone and nothing I say is ever meant to be an attack. We can disagree and none of us be wrong.

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Yeah that’s no problem.

Ultimately people have to want to play variants like these, some people might have to give in on one idea to try another etc. Some good sounding idea might not be great in practice etc.

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Thank you for your understanding. And let me expand by stating this:
If anyone wants to try a specific set of rules, they are welcome to host a game with whatever rules they like. If I have the time available, I will play it and give honest feedback from my experience.

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Personally I’d like a set komi more than an auctioned komi.

Maybe the first player gets no passes, the second player gets 1 pass, the third player gets 2 passes, an so on.

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I don’t think I like players having passes in this game.

I think it comes down to the game incentivizes non-aggression because players who get into a fight typically get a bad result while other players are gaining strength. So, the game needs to give more reward for aggressive play.

How about this:
Stones are never removed from the board, but when a player “captures” a group, it becomes their color.

I understand a group rarely has one liberty until the very end of the game, but this rule might lead to more cooperative aggression. For example, if a yellow group has 2 liberties, red and blue can make a mutual pact to allow the one who plays second capture it.

I think this rule might be most interesting if we do simultaneous moves and allow secret communication so:

  1. A group with more than one eye can potentially be captured
  2. An attack can be planned without the victim’s knowledge

I know people have argued against secret communication in the past. If communication must be public, then I think we should randomizing the play order for each set of turns.

If the turn order is always fixed, it will give an advantage to one player.
For example, if the play order is always yellow → red → blue, blue might always end up with the captures in an alliance of red and blue. Mixing it up will give red an opportunity to get some captures.

I dislike this for two reasons.

  • It’s often arbitrary who removes the last liberty. What should matter in my opinion is whether a group is dead or alive, not who captured it.
  • Your rule appears to heavily discourage aggression. With the usual rules, if I surround and capture your group, then I get some territory and eyespace as a result (by removing your stones). But with your proposed rule, I would get no territory at all, and wouldn’t even gain eyespace or liberties, since your stones, which have zero liberty, would become my colour instead of being removed and freeing space.
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I don’t understand the logical link between these two statements.

I agree that the main issue in the game we recently finished is that players who were not in winning positions did not have enough incentives to attack the players who were. But I don’t see how adding komi would make that better or worse.

In 2-player go we give 7.5 points to white to compensate black’s first-player advantage. The proposed rule to allow some players to pass a few times is exactly the same as komi in normal go. It means that when you reach the part of the game where you have nothing to do except filling your own territory, you have a few “allowed passes”, which are exactly like a few “extra territories”. If I have 3 allowed passes, it’s like having 3 points of komi in go. It means it will take 3 more moves before I run out of moves and have to put myself in auto-atari.

That is why I suggested simultaneous moves or randomizing the turn order.

Good point, I had not considered that.

How about this:
The player who captures a group chooses one of these two actions for each stone in the captured group:

  1. Remove it
  2. Change its color to any of the remaining players

This seems to give the aggressor a good benefit and it can also lead to more diplomacy – For example, blue can offer specific stones to red if they help kill yellow. Of course, such offers are not binding in the rules.

There is no logical link between allowing passes and my suggestion of giving people an incentive to attack. I was just responding to the ideas presented above that post in one response.

The only thing passing does is change the order of who is winning and losing. It does not change the fundamentals of the game.