Limitation Go (Variant) (alternatively War Go or Morale Go, idk what to call it)


So I was thinking recently on trying to think of how to make a game that was more similar to war,
and I had an idea:

What if you could force your opponent to make peace?

So it works kinda like this:

Before the game, both players choose how many points they want to win by, and set aside that many stones: these are now morale counters.

The game progresses mostly like normal except for one thing except that every time one of their stones is captured, they lose a morale counter. When a player runs out of morale counters, they are forced to make an unfavorable peace (loss).

If the game manages to progress to the scoring stage, the one with the most points only wins if they win by the amount of points they had chosen during the beginning stage, otherwise it is a tie.

A few things are still needed to consider (as I have not managed to play a game of this yet…):

  1. Is the amount of ties going to be too large? or should you need to win by the amount of points you have chosen minus the amount of points your opponent had chosen?

  2. Should the player with the most morale counters go first? Should the player who goes second get komi? Who should go first?

Just a thought, I wanna know y’all’s opinion. Does this seem as interesting of an idea to you as it does to me?


I feel like any variant that gives extra value to captures just makes the game dull by making sacrifice plays infeasible for the most part. Much of the nimbleness of the game comes from the fact that stones themselves are dirt cheap, their value is mainly decided by what they accomplish.


I get it’s different from the spirit of modern Go, and that’s part of the point…

I think this adds a certain nuance, like how battles can sometimes end real wars by making the cost of continuing war appear higher than the cost of a negative peace, but you’re still aiming for a point objective.

It also makes sense that the stones (soldiers) are not dirt cheap, but that you actually need to manage them so as not to be forced out of the game (war).

Yes, this is in a completely different spirit, and I’m not sure how great it is, but it adds a special strategic consideration when selecting the amount of stones (At this point I’m leaning towards the player who picked X stones must win by X-Y points), but it parallels Von Clausewitz’s Vom Krieg’s idea of the difference between a pure, theoretical, war and a real war in how it begins to bring the war closer to reality.


I just realized what this would be perfect for:


We make a larger (More Grand Strategy) type of game that has each game of Go as a smaller conflict!

It makes sense given how if you’re going to limit Go like this, you should at least provide the surrounding context for why you’re limiting it!