cookie monster: Thanks for your input and correction. I am so accustomed to the word "move" for a draw situation that I didn't realize I was using it where "turn" is the appropriate word for this game type.
On the Spy issues, I like Dark Prince's proposed wording change for the additional information it provides even though the current wording appears consistent.
On the Draw rule, I think we can ignore both repetition of position and moves that prevent that (e.g. a piece being revealed by a Spy) and focus solely on the number of TURNS without a capture. (Other approaches would hit the clause eventually anyway). As for the number of turns, I would suggest 60, but will happily go with a higher number if someone links a game that includes more than 60 and still resulted in a decisive outcome on the board.
As far as turtling, I again agree with Dark Prince's statement: "The fact that "turtling" is a well known and widely used strategy does not necessitate that rules do not discourage their use. On the contrary, rules are commonly used as a mechanism to deter such strategies. "
If one player wishes to sit back and do nothing but defend then, obviously, the second player can sit and not attack and a draw is the natural outcome. Letting a person not attack and then refuse a draw indefinitely seems sub-optimal to me.
Nothingness: I think a minimum number of moves with no capture is a good rule to force a draw, if one of the opponents claims for it: 1) it is simple to remember for everyone 2) it helps preventing games to go on years, when only a player is very slow 3) if two skilled and defensive players agree on going on, it does not oblige to end up the game as a draw, if no opponent asks for it.
I think the most important thing here is to help games to go on faster.
"The fifty-move rule in chess states that a player can claim a draw if no capture has been made and no pawn has been moved in the last fifty consecutive moves (fifty moves by each side). The intended reason for the rule is so that a player with no chance to win cannot be obstinate and play on indefinitely (Hooper & Whyld 1992), or seek a win purely due to an opponent's fatigue. All of the basic checkmates can be accomplished in well under fifty moves. In the 20th century it was discovered that some positions of certain endgames can only be won in more than fifty moves (without a capture or a pawn move). The rule was changed to include certain exceptions in which one hundred moves were allowed with particular material combinations. However, more and more exceptions were discovered and in 1992 FIDE abolished all such exceptions and reinstated the strict fifty-move rule."
I hope it's not a problem that I copied the text and pasted it here. The point is that though it was found that a game could be won beyond the 50 moves, the 50 move rule was eventually reinstated. Again, this rule ensures that a game must progress or a player will have the right to call a draw. I assert that such reasoning applies or should apply to Espionage as well.
Nothingness: I would say the wins I have against you and others here playing Espionage and my very high win percentage in Sabotage variations at IYT adequately refute your claim that I am inexperienced.
The fact that "turtling" is a well known and widely used strategy does not necessitate that rules do not discourage their use. On the contrary, rules are commonly used as a mechanism to deter such strategies. The following is copied from the site you linked in your message.
"In practice, however, games are often designed to punish turtling through various game mechanics. Consequently, while turtling strategies are usually simple enough for novices to learn and are effective as such, they are easily defeated by experienced players who understand the game's methods to counter turtling."
That being the case, I strongly suggest that a draw rule be used to inhibit the use of turtling.
Nothingness: i apologize for my approach and the wording but it is a fundamental gaming strategy to stall. removing this will ultimately hurt the strategic/ defensive minded players. i will leave the game if such a rule is adopted.
Dark Prince: your obviously new to gaming. Stalling aka turtling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtling_(gameplay)
is a strategy that has been utilized for years. Read the definition before you criticize a legitimate game style that you are incapable of overcoming. the move amounts are a joke and ridiculous. 30 moves is barely enough time to set up a proper defense especially in small volcano versions. 60 moves in a large version is not close enough either. i was looking more at 80-100-120-150 as a gear for implementing a non-attack.
Dark Prince: Another option to my multiple choice suggestion would be for those voting to specify the numbers for the variations they choose to vote on and then a bell curve analysis to determine the outcome. I don't know the minimum number of votes for such an analysis to be accurate or for multiple choice for that matter. I'm interested in the input others may have on that.
Just because a strategy of stalling can be employed does not justify its support in rules. Here is where the voting should hold for those who either wish the game to be pushed towards advancement or to reward defensive play. I have previously addressed the option of a beginning move from which the count begins for the threshold of moves agreed upon for a draw situation.
I suggest multiple choices as follows, but feel free to add more choices than those I list below. i.e. 45, 50, 55, 60 for each of the large board variations. 30, 35, 40, 45 for each of the small board variations.
Start move for draw count. 0,10, 20, 30, 40 for each of the large variations. 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 for each of the small variations.
Dark Prince: i agree with mostly everything you stated. the only thing is the moves without a capture especially in the beginning of the game. this is a tricky situation. Solid defense is not attacking 1st or never attacking PERIOD! a threshold count should not be implemented since it is a defensive strategy in the volcano versions. Ialwayswinsam and I used to have on a normal basis 400 move games where no capture occurred for the 1st 200 moves. this was the way the small volcano version have to be played at a high level.
Chaos: There is no good reason for a draw rule to be excessively complex or subjective. All rules must be objective in the ability to enforce them. I assert that ratings differences can have no place in any rule other than how ratings change with a win, draw or loss. There is no stalemate in any variation of Espionage since the inability to make a legal move is a loss (if I understand it correctly). There are two other ways to lose. They are losing the HQ to enemy capture and losing all movable pieces to enemy capture.
The situation of various pieces that can avoid capture need not be addressed subjectively with their relative positions since it can be addressed objectively with the number of moves made without a capture being made by either player. When that threshold is met, either player can call it a draw without agreement by the opponent. If it were to require agreement, it would not be a rule and could not be enforced. Regardless of any objections to such a rule, it would serve to keep the game moving at a more reasonable pace than would be the case without it.
If the move threshold without a capture is met, and a piece is subsequently captured prior to either player calling a draw, the threshold count is reset on the move the capture was made.
I suggest there are two things to discuss for draw rules. One is the number of moves for the threshold for each variation. The other is a three-time repetition of positions draw (with it being the same player's turn to move). Such a rule may be difficult with unidentified pieces, but possible since there is tracking with the move list. This might have the additional benefit of compelling development early in a game.
Justaminute: as for moves.. to you the moves are are sequential but to the opp (when you move) they are simultaneous). so its a matter of perspective. this is a turn base game. it just so happens you make more than one move per turn. but after the turn is over all 5 movers happened simultaneously( sort of but not really)
A non-volcano version is tougher to determine. Espionage is geared towards the aggressors favor in this determination. If a 5 attacks a 5 Both are not destroyed. the defender is. so we must not deter solid defensive play. lets say no one attacks for 1st 50 moves in a large open version. We will now look at the ratings of the players if a 2000 rated player is playing a 1500 player and they have gone 50 moves we must assume that the 2000 player is waiting for the 1500 player to move carelessly to get an early advantage. the 2000 rated player might not move first in fear of sacrificing to early. it is possible to force a draw every game if it is played properly. mirroring a position can be quite daunting to overcome. so we must be careful in forcing draws. It has always been my contention if you cannot crack a solid defensive style than you are not that good of a player anyways, why force a person to play your style b/c your too weak to crack a solid defense?
Here is one scenario for a volcano draw situation. Opp material: 4,2,Spy protected base with bombs. You: 3,1,1, protected base with bombs. in this scenario... if the 3 and 4 are separated by more than 2 squares this is a drawn position. i call it the ring around the rosie. the four can never catch the 3 and the 3 can never get to the base since it is protected by bombs and neither player has any sabs. if however either base is exposed then it is not a draw. if a base is exposed and there is sufficient material to win IF the 2nd most powerful piece remaining must be more powerful than the 2nd most powerful piece remaining of the opp that has his base exposed. if not than it is still a draw.
Chaos: Several things demonstrate that the moves within a turn are sequential rather than simultaneous. The move list shows the order of moves and vacating a square must occur prior to another piece occupying it, but I agree that these do not definitively eliminate the simultaneous move possibility. I don't care for the analogy of cars moving on a road since continuous movement doesn't reflect a turn based game. When vehicles in a particular lane start from a traffic signal turning green, in reality, they do not all start moving at the same time except in some cartoons. So that analogy demonstrates sequential better than it does simultaneous moves. The existing state of spy identification as described in previous messages clearly demonstrates that moves within a turn are not simultaneous, but are in fact sequential.
Chaos: If the pieces move at the same speed the front piece is vacating the square at the same speed the new piece is entering it and the moves occur at the same time. For example take cars in a road, the car behind does not wait for the front car to have moved before it moves. It relies on the fact by going at the same speed the car will have vacated by the time it gets there.
Nothingness: It seems clear to me this way.Within a turn the moves are one after another - proven by the fact you can go to the spot just left by one of your other pieces. So within a turn a spy can identify (an) opponent's piece(s) before dying.
Chaos: Current Wording: Spies: A Spy reveals an identity of all enemy pieces which are currently located one space next to its own position (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). Once a piece is "unmasked", it stays visible for the opponent to the end of the game. Such situation can happen either when a Spy moves next to enemy pieces or if a piece moves next to enemy Spy. A Spy can capture only another Spy or a Sapper and dies when steps on a Mine.
Proposed Wording: Spies: A Spy reveals the identities of all previously unidentified enemy pieces which are moved adjacent to its location or whose location is adjacent to the square to which the Spy is moved. This includes movement within a turn in which either that Spy is subsequently captured after a masked piece moves adjacent to it or a masked piece is subsequently captured after a Spy is moved adjacent to it. "Adjacent" means abbutting horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The identities of unmasked enemy pieces are shown upon submission of the turn and remain visible either on the board or in the capture list for the rest of the game. A Spy can capture only another Spy, a Sapper or the Headquarters and dies when it steps on a Mine or Ranked Soldier. A Spy can be captured by any enemy piece that steps on it.
Dark Prince: yes, you're right, that's consistent. Let's create what we think should be added to the rules (clarification moves within turn) and the draw issue, then I can go to Fencer to ask it to be included in the rules.
Chaos: I agree that individual moves within a turn cannot be viewed as simultaneous since one piece vacating a square allows another piece to subsequently move to that square the same turn. As such, it is consistent for a spy to identify a piece moved adjacent to it prior to its capture that same turn. It is also consistent for a spy to move adjacent to a previously unidentified piece, another piece capture that one subsequently the same move and that captured piece show up upon submittal in the capture list with its identity revealed.
Chaos: i have always viewed each turn regardless of the amount of moves as one move... 2-3-4-5 moves all the same to me...its the turn that i really look at... like in chess you move 1 at a time... if you were to be able to make 2 moves each turn its still 1 turn... so i combine them.
Dark Prince: the question is really are the moves in a particular game simultaneous or individual. in a 5 move game such as open fast you make 5 moves.. if you move and capture your opp spy first then move pieces forward that would have touched where the spy existed( 8 squares ) the pieces will not be revealed. But if you move those pieces there first then capture the spy than they will be revealed, what has to be decided is if we are going to use Turns or moves. if its turns than something has to be fixed. if its moves then it can stay the same and an explanation needs to be added to clear up confusion. i always was aware of this situation.
Chaos: "A Spy reveals an identity of all enemy pieces which are currently located one space next to its own position (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). Once a piece is "unmasked", it stays visible for the opponent to the end of the game. Such situation can happen either when a Spy moves next to enemy pieces or if a piece moves next to enemy Spy"
It seems to me, that a "move" is not the same as a "turn." That being the case, it could be argued that it is implied that the existing state of identification as specified in the message by Thom27 complies with the rule above (copied and pasted from the rules). The word "currently" in the first sentence of the rule, certainly doesn't imply the end of the turn but does at least seem to imply the end of the move.
I agree that rules should be clear and unambiguous. I would argue, however, that many rules fail that test more blatantly than this one.
Dark Prince: You got a strong point! It would be good to have it mentioned explicitly in the rules though. We could at least ask for that along with a draw rule. I haven't asked for that yet since we didn't get to the point of the definite set of draw rules we wanted implemented.
Chaos: Though I agree bugs should be fixed/eliminated, if the rule is that identification by spies can occur on the move the spy is captured (but prior to the capture within that move), it is not a bug. Furthermore, knowledge of the identification would be available through the move list by seeing what was adjacent to the square occupied by the spy prior to its capture. That would be the case for an unidentified spy that is revealed later as well.
Thom27: I guess it's the same effect as we discovered before with capturing an opponent's spy; if (in the same move) you place a piece next to the spy before capturing it, that piece will become visible for the opponent. As long as you know that it's no problem since you can avoid this by capturing the spy first.
What you mention seems to be unavoidedablt by your opponent. They won't even know you know what you captured. This seems to be a bug to me, does everyone agree on that? I suggest we should report it.
moving a spy next to an unknown opponent's piece which you capture afterwards (but still in the same turn) makes the opponent's piece visible. This means that you know what you have captured; it is displayed plain among the captured pieces.
Nothingness: What is the basis of your disagreement? The basis of my statement is on how rating systems work. My statement does not apply to the entertainment value of an exciting game vs. an hum drum game.
Nothingness: A win is a win regardless of how quickly it's accomplished. A loss is a loss regardless of how well played. A draw is a draw whether agreed or enforced. Even if a reasonable argument could be made to tweak the rating change for such a draw, I have no reason to think support would tweak it and doubt it would be a simple task to do so.
Dark Prince: That is difficult to say. The volcano variants are traditionally slower. i think that your suggestions seems reasonable. although for small volcano versions 50+20 is still short and will change the game on an elite level. it is reasonable though. I wish that the rating system would be tweaked for forced draws.
Nothingness: Yeah, that's cool. In fact, I think I was the one to first suggest a starting point even though my preference is move #1. Maybe Chaos will create a list once concrete numbers are ironed out. You suggested move 20 if I read correctly for Open Fast. What do you suggest for other variations? Do we agree on a 50 move rule for the 10x10 variations and 35 for the 8x8 variations? Will the volcano variations be the same with only the starting move yet to be determined?
Dark Prince: Starting at the first move of the game puts an immediate damper on the aspect of defense. You have to start attacking without backup. Sometimes revealing pieces early in the game requires time to resetting your pieces and placing them in the correct strategic position. This can take some time. Redeployment is something that can take quite a few moves as not to reveal too much by immediately moving the strong pieces. I think that a fair total would be about 15-20 moves into the game. Also there are certain volcano setups that aren't conducive to attacking and some are easier. What about these?
Chaos: I personally think that a starting point for the 50 move/35 move draw rule should be at the first move of the game but don't have a major problem if it's later. If that starting move is different for different variations, it could be addressed in the specific rules for those variations. If no draw rule is addressed in the game rules any time soon, perhaps an agreement list could be made once those draw rules are ironed out.
Nothingness: Above the opponent's side of the board there is a "Captured pieces:" list with the identities if those pieces the opponent has captured, and below one's own side of the board board there is a "Captured pieces:" list with the identities if those pieces you captured and "?" for unidentified captured pieces. Pieces show up on the list whether captured by successful attack or unsuccessful attack. Any time a piece is moved to a square occupied by an enemy piece, one of those pieces will be captured. There is no capture on a move that the pieces moved all move to unoccupied squares. Sorry for not properly linking my previous post.
That depends on what you mean. It is implied already if what you mean is losing a piece running it up onto an enemy piece that it can't capture. A capture of any kind shows up in the capture list. If it doesn't show up in the capture list, it isn't a capture and will not reset the the 50 move count.
Dark Prince: If the player to make move #50 wants to call it a draw and 50 moves by the opponent were already made without a capture, that player may invoke the draw rule before moving by stating the intention of not making a capture on that move. It must be clear, however, that the move choices available do not require any piece to move onto a square occupied by an enemy piece.
Offering a draw to the opponent under those conditions is considered invoking the draw rule even if the opponent refuses the offer. I would hope that support would be able to verify that the offer had been made. If that's not the case, and the opponent declines or doesn't respond to the offer quickly, the player wanting to invoke the rule should inform support before moving, and then move to avoid timing out.
Chaos: In chess, the 50 move rule is 50 moves for each player. That being the standard, it is implied unless stated otherwise. If one player makes 50 moves and the other had made only 49 since the last capture, the latter could prevent the draw rule taking effect by capturing that move. In any case, if a capture is not made and neither player invokes the draw rule, the game continues. The draw rule could be invoked any move thereafter until a capture is made. Once a capture is made without the draw rule being invoked, the 50 move rule starts over notwithstanding it could have been previously called a draw. That is to say, if a player wants to invoke the 50 move draw rule, it must be done both after 50 moves without a capture and before a capture is made. A sapper deactivating a bomb is considered a capture.
Dark Prince: I agree that a capture of a piece is an easy and objective criterium and a clear indication that the game is still in progress. I like your idea to have a 'starting point', only it would be nice to have 1 rule for all variants, to keep it clear.
Maybe 50 moves without capture starting after move 50 for the 3 volcano variants (the small volcano variant is often slower than Fast Espionage) and 50 moves after move 25 for Open and Small fast, to keep it simple?
SL-Mark: The advantage of such a rule is that, if refused and the indicated number of moves has been reached without a capture, it could then be enforced even though the opponent refused the offer.
I don't think advancement to some particular rank indicates enough of an advantage to justify it as a measuring stick in the draw issue. It would create difficulties in verification and possibly allow a temporary advancement. Whatever the number of moves, I think the capture of a piece by either player must be the criteria. To allow for slow starters, the 50 move rule could start at move 25 and the 35 move rule for smaller boards could start at move 15 for the open variations. 50 moves starting at move 50 and 35 moves starting at move 30 for the volcano variations.