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 Post subject: A comparison between Blooms and Go
Post #1 Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:01 pm 
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I designed a game inspired by Go. Someone wrote an article comparing the two. I thought Go players might find it interesting, so I decided to post here.

Here's the article

Excerpts:
Quote:
The key point of this rule, which will baffle the Go player at first, is that a group is surrounded, and thus captured, when all its liberties are occupied by differently coloured stones, even if they are friendly. In other words, you can and will take your own liberties when playing.

Quote:
Blooms at a high level of play (or what is currently the highest standard of play) has a lot of liberty fights and close races.

Quote:
Blooms has something similar to cross-cuts, but with a twist. Though each triangle cell has at least two adjacent friendly stones when filled, these can be of different colours, creating two friendly groups that nonetheless block each other and reduce each other’s liberties. What would be a cross-cut in Keil can now be a meeting of four groups of different colours...

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Interestingly, the game often ends in the board being shared as it would be in a normal game of Go.

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A big aspect of Blooms is it allows for many sacrifice plays. And I mean a lot! Here is why: players are allowed to place stones on any empty cells, including cells that render one of their own groups surrounded. After placing the stones, a player removes any surrounded groups of enemy stones, but not her own. Stones which "committed suicide" this turn remain on the board until the end of the opponent’s turn. This allows for many beautiful strategies.

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This situation happens quite a lot in actual play and I like to think about it with the proverb, ”A Big Eye is worth two eyes.”
Quote:Blooms has a very interesting family of seki-like situations. Enemy groups can share a single eye of three liberties, they can each have a proper liberty and share an eye of two liberties (or two of one for that matter) or each have two proper eyes and a shared one. But this is not limited to groups of enemy stones. Sharing eyes also is a powerful way of giving life to several (usually two) groups of your own.

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There is much more to investigate about Blooms, which is a deep and interesting game. I recommend it as a colourful, workable, and deep Hexagonal Go.

The article's editor also left some commentary at the end, and here’s a snippet from that:
Quote:
To my mind the tactics around sacrificing stones are particularly deserving of attention, although I suspect there is much more that Thibault did not touch on at this time. The sacrifice tactics emerge from the rule that only opponent's dead groups are removed at the end of your turn, a rule which obviously is a brilliant design decision. It is wonderful when strategy and tactics unfold in this manner from seemingly unrelated rules.

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