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    Feb 9th, 2014 at 23:28:21     -    Gomoku (Other)

    GOMOKU

    History
    -------
    An ancient game of oriental origins. The name is Japanese and literally translates to "five stone row".

    Objective
    --------
    Place five stones in a row

    Rules
    -----
    The player of the black stones always moves first. Players take turns placing a single stone on the intersections of the grid until on has placed five stones on consecutive intersections either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

    Affordances
    -----------
    The game is perfect information.
    The edges of the board. ( I have yet to play a game that reaches the edge)

    Limitations
    -----------
    The players are only able to place one stone at a time
    Stones once placed can not be moved again.

    Cardinality
    -----------
    It's hard to give this game a dimension of play because once a stone is on the board it is not moved again. So it's not like chess which is definitely 2-D but it's definitely not less than 1-D. The dimension of play is more temporal than spacial.

    My Opinions
    -----------
    I like Gomoku because it is a simple strategy game. It's simple rules make it easy to learn but not necessarily easy to win. It's also like-able because the games are short and usually last less than 10 minutes. I like to play several games in a row and try out various strategies and opening set-ups. There is a down side to the games being so short and that is that you can become burned out on it very quickly, especially if you're playing a opponent of differing skill levels. It has been found that the black stone player has a definite advantage over the white stone player simply because he makes the first move. If black plays perfectly white can only hope to draw. Still I feel it is a perfect game for non-perfect players and would recomend it to anyone.

    Variants
    --------
    Due to black having a inherent advantage over white a stricter version of Gomoku has been created called "Renju". Renju places more restrictions on what moves the black stone player can make so as to balance the playing field for the white stone player.

    Sessions
    --------
    I decided to play my wife for two sessions. A session consisted of a best of 3 games style of play.
    Session 1: For the first game, and for all games as it turns out, I decided to play as white because I'm more confident in this type of game. I won the first game easily. Then being overconfident I lost the second game. I collected my thoughts and calmed down. Game three lasted the longest but I claimed victory in the end. After a few hours we came back to play session 2.
    Session 2: We set down to start our second best of 3 session. Again game 1 went to me. Game two proved to be a little more difficult and I found I need to work on my game mannerisms as when I realized a had made a mistake I let out a groan which tipped my opponent off as to my situation. So she seized the opportunity to snatch victory....(twice)
    So it turns out that me and my wife are somewhat evenly matched.

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