Maybe this was brought up at a different time. However could there be a variation where we can place our own frogs on the board. If both players select the same square for a frog placement then the computer will randomly place both players frogs in different open squares so that location of the frogs will still be unknown to the opponent. Currently you are held to the setup the computer randomly places them which in some games for me, sucks. Just a request.
I keep shooting a frog on my first move. This seems like a statistical anomaly. I have 5 in a 139 chance of hitting a frog. There are 134 empty spaces and I miss all of them. Why can't I beat the odds when I buy a lottery ticket? lol
Argh, it's happened again. I was reading through the old threads on this board and I am relieved that I'm not the only one who realizes the inherent disadvantage of incurring a heavy penalty on the first move. It's utterly deflating and nearly renders the game meaningless for the first player. One should not be punished so harshly for having to take a wild guess. What about reducing the penalty from negative 5 to negative 2? This would at least give the player a better chance to get back into the game. I also like the idea of starting with neutral spaces.
Thom27: I like the Windows Messenger-style of Minesweeper. Just shoot and get one point per mine shot. If you shoot a mine, shoot again. (That would make a total different game though)
For Frog Legs it is better to hide the guesses. The version on jijbent.nl http://www.jijbent.nl/java/mijnenveger/index.php (Warning, it's Dutch!) states the guesses are secret which makes it a better game I think. Also there are some more mines added (15 instead of 9). Maybe Frog Legs can be improved so to make it a better game.
I thought of two ways that may solve or reduce this problem:
1. give a bonus for every guess, instead of punishing a wrong guess. Currently it is a disadvantage to guess even if there are only two squares where a frog may be: the player who guesses first can earn 5 or loose 8 points, with probability 1/2 each, so the expected win is negative. It should be positive instead.
2. Don't allow to shoot at a square X if all squares adjacent to X are shot or guessed or adjacent to a shot square that shows a number equal to the guessed or killed frogs around it. This means that there cannot be further unknown frogs around, and shooting X gives no information (except if there is a frog on X that will be killed).
BTW I can't see a reason not to display the wrongly guessed squares on the board (e.g. by a '-' sign), they are in the move list anyway.
It might also be good to increase the number of frogs. 9 I find a bit few...
joshi tm: Well, you could count the number of safe shots. If it's your turn and there's an even number of safe shots, your opponent can force you to take a risk eventually. If the number is odd, it's the other way around.
This game can last long because of the empty sure shots - giving away no extra information because they always result in a zero. Because guessing costs lots of points, players wo'nt even think about doing such unless they have to... is there any way to prevent this?
Maybe it will take a tourney, much like the Tourney "Backgammon as you may not have known it before" (another serious bug!) to fix this bug (if it is the way Puupia described it - I had thought about it actually being a "mistake" by the creator of the tournament). I know this is not the place for this message, just wanted to comment on the "Serious Bug" topic.
puupia: OK, if that is true, it is indeed pretty screwed up. I noticed this for the first time in a Frog Legs game in the chessik's tournament, and then in yours.
Anyway, this is not the best place to report it. Although I believe there is little chance of Fencer fixing it anytime soon, he should be made aware of the bug either directly via PM or on the BrainKing.com board.
Pedro Martínez: In frog finder only tournaments it does not work like that. Eventhough that option is set all the games will still be randomly assigned! But it does seem to work differently on random games tourneys.. Which is quite screwed up.
puupia: Actually, it is not a bug. It is your fault. :) When you created the tournament, you set it like this: “For games with a random start position generate: the same position with all opponents”. That's why the distribution of frogs is the same in both games between the same players.
In random game tournaments frog finder starting positions seem to be the same in both games against same opponent! This does not happen in frog finder only tourneys, even with "the same position with all opponents" option selected. Only in random games tourneys with frog finder. There are already players taking advantage of that..
AbigailII: "Neither is the auto revealing of squares neighbouring a 0 - that will make the game shorter, but it still doesn't pay to reveal information."
But it does work - since you basically *HAVE* to reveal information on every move, since you are no longer able to make "dummy" shots - every shot will at least say something new about at least 1 square. They you have to start to look at your shots - and of course you want to shot somewhere that will reveal as much information about as many squares as possible - since if you just reveal it about 1 square... well then you could be giving your opponent too much information.
Have you tried it yet - I think it works very well.
coan.net: Frog Legs is missing something - it ends up being a very long drawn out game.
IMO, this comes from the fact that it doesn't pay to reveal information. And that stems from the fact that after you reveal information, your opponent will be the first one to be able to use it. So, if you make a move that reveals information from which the location of a frog can be deduced, your opponent will score, not you.
That is, IMO, the essential flaw in the game. None of the suggestions that assign different number of points is going to resolve it. Neither is the auto revealing of squares neighbouring a 0 - that will make the game shorter, but it still doesn't pay to reveal information.
I can think of one rule change which may fix that: after shooting, you have the option of guessing as well. So ones turn is one of:
Shoot, then guess
Thus, if your shot reveals information that locates the position of a frog, you're the first one that can use this information.
On this site - Frog Finder is a great game - but even in my opinion, Frog Legs is missing something - it ends up being a very long drawn out game.
Over on YourTurnMyTurn.com & Jijbent.nl - they now have a Minesweeper game based on the Frog Legs concept, with some changes: (1) You don't see where your opponent guesses wrongly - so you can now guess without the fear of giving your opponent too much information. (2) Spaces which give no new information is automatically shown - so there is no more just making "dummy" shots so you don't reveal anything new (3) Slight scoring change - losing only 2 points for a guess - making it much better to try to guess.
AbigailII: Oh, don't get me wrong - I'm 100% for the request of showing guesses on the board. That along with some other minor changes in other games would be great so I don't have to have the move list open at all.
But it does kind of stink that I have to leave the move list open (which slows down page load) because of a few games in which you have to have information from the move list to play the game correctly.
AbigailII: In the current version, I agree it would be nice to see where you have guessed at - but not 100% needed since you can see it in the move list. (which a long term request is to make all games be able to be played without having the move list on - but I've given up on that request.)
Anyway, yes - if the guess would be hidden from your opponent, there has to be a way to show you where you guessed at yourself... even though I see Fencer solution would be just hide the wrong guess ? from the move list from your opponent - but would be nice to have it shown on the board.
By hiding the guess from your opponent I think will stop many of the people making "safe" moves - probable not all, but I think it would help out a lot.
coan.net: Hide from your opponent where you guess at.
That won't stop people from making "safe" moves. Granted, in some situations when a number other than 0 is shown and there are some unknown neighbours, it's better to guess than to shoot. But since the there's an advantage to guess before your opponent guesses when a number other than 0 is shown, it's better to shoot somewhere knowing where it will reveal a 0 than to shoot somewhere where it may reveal a number other than 0.
But with this proposed variation, it's even more important that squares you've guessed are marked in someway, and we haven't seen guessed squares marked in regular Frog Legs/Finder yet.
I agree that Frog Legs is not as good of a game that I thought it would be - I had imagined it as more of a game where you guess & taken chances - but as seen once brought here, the game is boring since there are players who will not take chances - and just "waste" shots - so half the game is just making stupid wasted "safe" shots.
I have gotten a different variant released on http://www.jijbent.nl/ (dutch language site) based on the Frog Legs concept with some changes - which makes it a REALLY fun game.
A slightly different variant is being worked on http://www.brettspielnetz.de/ (german language site) that also deal with getting points when you reveal a number... kind of what joshi tm is talking about I think. [note - not released yet]
Anyway, I'm not sure if Fencer could do this easily (or if he wants to change it), but I think there is one small thing that could be changed with Frog Legs to turn in back into the game which is was meant to be.... and that is where players take more chances and guess more.
Hide from your opponent where you guess at.
Right now, if you guess - you not only lose points - but possible give your opponent information where the frog is - so you end up losing A LOT of points. If the location of where you opponent guessed at stays hidden, I believe it would start to encourage players to start guessing instead of making "dummy" shots.
coan.net: .... which I will wait until after the server move is done... since if I bring it up now, he will be too busy with other stuff to think about it and the idea might get lost in his list of things to do..... but will bring up the idea soon after.
rod03801: Yes I agree but this way with the scoring adjusted for a wrong move on the first turn that the player has some sort of chance of winning. The way it is set up now the person has pretty much no chance of winning the game if they kill a frog on move one.