“The intervention of chance in a game is, in a way, a mechanism that takes the decisions out of the player’s hand. As combinatorial games are determinated, that is, without chance, there is a finite set of possible solutions, and therefore there is always a succession of moves which leads to victory (or to a draw). We can therefore build a winning strategy, which leaves full control to the player over the game, even if he has to anticipate the opponent’s moves.”
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.