The Unbearable Awesomeness Of Being

Sunday, October 16, 2005

And Now A Board Game

My main man Kevan once came up with a weird concept in answer to a 'make concepts that correspond to words' game:

sko - Ancient Japanese board game where the object is to make the other player unsure of whose turn it is.

I'm obviously in a game making roll here, since I've just thought up a game that could do that.
  • Start with an empty game board (any board is good, even the Fubar board) and lots of pawns on hand for each player, as well as a six-sided dice.
  • On each player's turn, that player places a pawn, then rolls a dice and moves each of his pawns the indicated number of steps, backward or forward. His turn ends once he has moved all pawns.
  • If a player moves a pawn too many steps or not enough steps in their turn, forgets to move a pawn during his turn or moves a pawn during an opponent's turn, they lose and are out of the game.
  • (optional rule) If a player is not sure whether he made an illegal move, he loses as well.

Perhaps this would be best with a time limit between pawn moves of five seconds or so.

Edit: Kevan's criticism of the game is that there's no way to verify who's right when there's a discussion with two equally vocal sides. Ideally there would be a way to record the result at the end of each turn, maybe by using a computer-board or a digital camera or something. If anyone has ideas on discovering the 'parity' of the board, do tell.


  • Hm, I think my criticism was that any implementation of Sko had to have provably complete turns, and this doesn't - if I start taking my turn thinking that you've moved all your pawns, but you claim (in all honesty) that you thought you had one left to move, there doesn't seem to be any way to resolve the dispute.

    By Blogger Kevan, at 10/17/2005 2:44 AM  

  • Yeah, you're right. Let me re-edit.

    By Blogger Zaratustra, at 10/18/2005 6:10 PM  

  • It might be enough just to make the turn events more memorable; "you've already moved that one, it took my King and you got an extra piece" is a more convincing and memory-checkable claim than "you moved that third pawn two squares".

    Perhaps "play one pawn, then roll a die and move any number of your pawns that many squares each, so long as they all capture" (which seems an interesting enough game in itself).

    But hm, there's a problem in that if the moves become complex and easy to miss, then a player might think their turn's over when it isn't. And if you add filler rules to cover the possibility of missed moves ("pawns that cannot capture must be removed from the board"), then you're back to unmemorable boringness.

    By Blogger Kevan, at 10/19/2005 5:47 AM  

  • Hmm...if you wanted to keep parity, you could use bits of paper or something for pawns, then when a player puts down a pawn, they have to initial it and put the initials face down. Then, if there's a dispute, a third party can check.

    By Blogger Edgy, at 6/10/2007 9:13 AM  

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