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 Post subject: Asli, a Go-like game, is available on Abstract Play
Post #1 Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 5:12 pm 
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Asli is a game that feels like Go from another planet. Play it here: https://play.abstractplay.com/games/asli

The key rule is this: a group is captured if there is no path of connected empty points between that group and any other group of its color. The path does not need to be a straight line.

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 Post subject: Re: Asli, a Go-like game, is available on Abstract Play
Post #2 Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2024 8:48 am 
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I'm usually skeptical about some of these "go-like" games. But I checked it out anyway, and it is actually a fascinating and elegant looking game (though maybe its predecessors more so). So I look forward to trying it/them out!

Tracing the essential game, it seems to have three nearly identical incarnations.

1. Meridians: on a hexagonal board, using go-like intersections (six way) https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/333775/meridians
This game however, insists on straight lines as connecting paths.
2. Lifeline: by the author of Asli, also a hexagonal board, but placing stones inside the hexes, and allowing non-straight paths https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/358196/lifeline

3. Finally Asli, which is Lifeline using a square grid, reverting to placing stones on intersections, but with a bizarre "minimum incursion" rule that I would like to see explained. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/393166/asli

Haven't seen much difference otherwise?

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 Post subject: Re: Asli, a Go-like game, is available on Abstract Play
Post #3 Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 3:58 am 
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hzamir wrote:
I'm usually skeptical about some of these "go-like" games. But I checked it out anyway, and it is actually a fascinating and elegant looking game (though maybe its predecessors more so). So I look forward to trying it/them out!

I'm glad it caught your eye! We could definitely use more players.

Quote:
Tracing the essential game, it seems to have three nearly identical incarnations.

1. Meridians: on a hexagonal board, using go-like intersections (six way) https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/333775/meridians
This game however, insists on straight lines as connecting paths.
2. Lifeline: by the author of Asli, also a hexagonal board, but placing stones inside the hexes, and allowing non-straight paths https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/358196/lifeline

3. Finally Asli, which is Lifeline using a square grid, reverting to placing stones on intersections, but with a bizarre "minimum incursion" rule that I would like to see explained. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/393166/asli

Haven't seen much difference otherwise?

That's it in a nutshell, but the three games are quite different in practice.

A minimal incursion in Asli is a placement in enemy territory that captures exactly one group. There cannot be back-to-back minimal incursions: if your opponent just made one, you cannot make one on your turn anywhere on the board. This makes a lot of sense when you see the game in action. You can think of it as a ko rule of sorts, with one notable difference: unlike the ko rule, the incursion rule in Asli prevents all known forced cycles, and does so without the need to keep track of previous positions. (Cooperative cycles are still possible, but require a whole lot of cooperation indeed.)

Abstract Play has a playground feature that lets you test any available game against yourself. I encourage you to play around with it to get a feeling for the game. Or you can just challenge me to an actual game. There's komi bidding, so we can agree to give you a large komi in your first game if you want. :)

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