The “Great War”: an abalonian vision

BLACK: CENTRAL POWERS
WHITE: ALLIED POWERS

Black begins (28 July 1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia).

CENTRAL POWERS:

Military mobilized: 25,6 millions
Military losses: 4 024 397 deaths & missing in action, 8 419 533 military wounded

ALLIED POWERS:

Military mobilized: 48,2 millions
Military losses: 5 696 056 deaths & missing in action, 12 809 280 military wounded

TOTAL:

Military mobilized: 73,8 millions
Military losses: 9 720 453 deaths & missing in action, 21 228 813 military wounded

(source: Jay Winter, The Great War and the British People, 1986)

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Full mobilisation

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Armistice of 11 November 1918

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(The Evening Standard of 11 November 1918, London, UK)

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(The Sudbury Star of 11 November 1918, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada)

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(The Chicago Daily Tribune of 11 November 1918, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

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NO MORE WAR!
ALWAYS MORE GAMES!

Peace, Love, Unity & Having Fun!

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The “official” 4-player rule

After the “official” rule for 3 players, here is the “official” rule for 4 players, from the same board game box: Abalone+ multiplayers.

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THE 4-PLAYER GAME

This variant opposes two teams of two players. Each player has nine marbles, disposed as shown on the diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Any communication between players of the same team is strictly forbidden.

GOAL OF THE GAME

The goal of the game for each team is to push six marbles of the opposite team out of play, into the board’s outer rim. The ejected marble can belong to one opponent or the other.

THE MOVES

They are exactly the same as those of the 2-player rule. Each player can move in a same time 1, 2, or 3 of his marbles to a free point. All the directions are possible, forward, backward (“inline moves”), and even laterally (“side-step moves”).

You are not allowed to push more than 3 marbles of your colour in the same time. Marbles over 3 are not considered, so it is impossible to have Sumitos of 4 against 3, 5 against 2, etc. The maximum marbles of your colour which can be moved is 3.

THE PUSHING MOVES

You can push opponents’ marbles if you are in a Sumito position, as shown on the diagram 2:

Diagram 2

2 marbles of the same team can push 1 marble of the opponent team.

3 marbles of the same team can push 1 marble of the opponent team.

3 marbles of the same team can push 2 marbles of the opponent team.

To make a Sumito, to can count the marbles (1 or 2) of your partner, but the first marble has to belong to you. You can push 2 marbles of the opponent team regardless of their colour.

THE EJECTIONS

A marble is ejected when a push make it go out of the board by any of the 6 sides of the hexagon, as shown on the diagram 3:

Diagram 3

Please note that the first team who pushed off 6 marbles of the other team wins the game.

The “official” 3-player rule

You probably will not find it in English on the Internet: here is the “official” rule of the 3-player abalone game, translated from two documents in French found in boxed sets.

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Doc. 1

THE 3-PLAYER GAME


“Official” starting position for 3 players

THE GOAL OF THE GAME

To push six marbles (in all) out of play, into the board’s outer rim. The ejected marble can belong to one opponent or the other.

THE MOVES

They are exactly the same as those of the 2-player rule. Each player can move in a same time 1, 2, or 3 of his marbles to a free point. All the directions are possible, forward, backward (“inline moves”), and even laterally (“side-step moves”).

You are not allowed to push more than 3 marbles of your colour in the same time. Marbles over 3 are not considered, so it is impossible to have Sumitos of 4 against 3, 5 against 2, etc. The maximum marbles of your colour which can be moved is 3.

THE PUSHING MOVES

You can push an opponent’s marbles if you are in a Sumito position:

  • 2 marbles can push 1 opponent marble:

3-p2

  • 3 marbles can push 1 opponent marble:

3-p3

  • 3 marbles can push 2 opponent marbles:

3-p4

But you can push your opponent’s marbles regardless of their colour. For example, with 3 of your marbles, you can push 2 marbles of the same opponent or 1 marble of each opponent (diagram).

THE EJECTIONS

A marble is ejected when a push make it go out of the board by any of the 6 sides of the hexagon.

3-p5

Please note that the first player who pushed off 6 marbles of his opponents wins the game which stops at this moment. The two remaining players do not continue the game, because the winner’s marbles are still on the board.

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Doc. 2

GAME VARIANT FOR THREE PLAYERS

 SET UP:

Each of the three players have 11 marbles of one colour, placed in 2 rows, symmetrically disposed on 3 of the 6 bases of the hexagonal board.


“Official” starting position for 3 players

 AIM:

Push the marbles of your opponents.

The game stops when one of the players succeeded in pushing off 6 opponent’s marbles of one or the other of his two opponents.

DEVELOPMENT AND PARTICULARITIES:

The players’ turns follow on clockwise.

A group of 3 marbles of the same colour can push 2 opponent marbles of different colours.

Every ejected marble is placed in front of the player who pushed it off in order to make the scoring easier.

Excepting these particularities, the other points of the rule stay the same as those for 2 players.

To increase and to balance the games, the players may agree to play it in 3 rounds, each begun by a different player.

The gaps between opponent marbles ejected and lost marbles of each player are noted in order to determine the winning player in case of a tie.

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In short:

The rules are the same as those of 2-player games, with these few exceptions:

– each player has only 11 marbles (see diagram above).

– with 3 marbles of their colour, a player can push 2 marbles of different colours.

– a player has to eject 6 opponent marbles, without distinction of colour.

Naturally, as always with abalone, you can adapt the rules as your fancy!

Keep calm and use logic!

October 28, 2018


John van der Wiel, Tilburg chess tournament, round 1, Netherlands, October 12, 1983

“When you absolutely don’t know what to do anymore, it is time to panic.”

John van der Wiel, Dutch chess grandmaster (1959-)

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All quotes in the Dictionnary of quotes.

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Another Abalone complicated position.

Don’t panic!

In this case, all you have to do is:

(^_-)—☆

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An Abalone game review, by Slouching towards Thatcham (reblog)

Read the complete post on Abalone game review — Slouching towards Thatcham

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Abstract (themeless) strategy games such as chess, draughts, Go and Reversi/Othello are among the most popular and enduring that people play. How does Abalone stack up against these? I was provided with a copy of this game for review purposes. The first thing you notice when you open Abalone’s eye-catching hexagonal box is how simple […]

I was provided with a copy of this game for review purposes.

The first thing you notice when you open Abalone’s eye-catching hexagonal box is how simple its contents are. Two pleasingly solid sets of 14 marbles – one black, one white – and a black hexagonal board. That’s it.

There are no convoluted rules to learn: it’s more like draughts than chess in this respect. The instruction booklet, such as it is, is just four pages long. From opening up the packaging, you can be all clued up and playing for the first time within five minutes.

The board itself initially seems light and plasticky but is actually strong and durable and stands up to repeated play. It comprises 61 holes that can hold individual marbles. A six-sided ‘moat’ runs around the outside, ready to catch any marbles that are pushed over the edge.

And that’s the aim of Abalone… [Read more on Abalone game review — Slouching towards Thatcham]

No challenge, no fun.

October 21, 2018


Jan Hein Donner playing in Beverwijk, Netherlands, January 12, 1960

“I love all positions.
Give me a difficult positional game, I will play it.
Give me a bad position, I will defend it.
Openings, endgames, complicated positions, dull draws,
I love them and I will do my very best.
But totally won positions, I cannot stand them.”

(Hein Donner in the Clubblad Doodzonde Denken, 1950)

Johannes Hendrikus ‘Jan Hein’ Donner, Dutch chess grandmaster (1927-1988)

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All quotes in the Dictionnary of quotes.

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An Abalone “complicated position”

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