Joel Uckelman on 2 Dec 2000 22:52:21 -0000

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spoon-business: Political Go proposal

Ok, so here's the first draft, for which I am greatly indebted to Tom 
(Jenny?) Mueller's proposal from Berserker. This looks extremely 
complicated, but it's really not. The rules for Go are intuitively simple, 
but are difficult to describe precisely, especially when they are expanded 
to include more than two players. A few things to note:

1. I have not specified how this affects the larger game.
2. I have not specified how long turns last, and whether extra-Go things 
affect how many turns Go players get.

These two things are purposely omitted, since I don't know what people want 
with regard to them.

I will likely split up the rules for Political Go somehow just to make them 
more readable. Some of the dealings w/r/t alliances need to be checked to 
ensure they don't lead to any paradoxes, like the rules dictating that a 
dragon is both captured and causes the capture of another at the same time, 

So, the proposal:


Create a Rule entitled "Subgames" with the following text:

"Subgames may be played by any Agent who publicly indicates a desire to 

Each Subgame must have a Subgame Administrator."

[[There's a little more to say about this, obviously. Something about 
generalized features of Subgames. Actually, this should probably be a 
separate proposal.]]

Create a Rule entitled "Political Go" with the following text:

"There exists a Subgame called Political Go. The Go Consul is the Subgame 

Political Go is played on a square grid of 19 rank lines and 19 file lines, 
lettered horizontally from "a" to "s" and vertically from "1" to "19".

Each vertex on the grid must, at all times, either be empty or have a stone 
on it. Two vertices are adjacent if a grid line can be followed from one to 
the other without crossing any other vertices. A set of vertices is 
mutually adjacent if it is possible, by passing through only vertices in 
the set, to trace a path along grid lines from one vertex in the set to all 
other vertices in the set.

The stone is the playing piece in Political Go. Each stone is owned by one 
and only one Go player. Two stones are friendly if they are owned by the 
same Go player or by allies; otherwise, the stones are unfriendly. A set of 
stones is mutually friendly if all pairs of stones in the set are friendly. 
Two stones are adjacent if they occupy adjacent vertices. A stone is 
adjacent to a vertex if the vertex it occupies is adjacent to that vertex.

A dragon is defined as any set of mutually friendly stones occupying 
mutually adjacent vertices in which no stone in the set is adjacent to a 
mutually friendly stone not in the set. A dragon is adjacent to all of the 
vertices adjacent to the vertices occupied by its stones. A dragon has a 
number of liberties equal to the number of unoccupied vertices to which it 
is adjacent, with no vertex being counted more than once. A dragon is 
considered dead if has only one liberty; otherwise, the dragon is live. A 
dragon is friendly to a Go player if it contains only friendly stones. Each 
vertex from which no path may be traced to a dragon unfriendly to a Go 
player is counted as one territory for that Go player. A dragon has an eye 
if its liberties are territory for a Go player to whom it is friendly, and, 
barring a change of alliances, it would be impossible for that territory to 
be lost. Any dragon with two distinct eyes, barring a change of alliances, 
may never become dead.

The turn list is a list the names of all Go players. The first Go player on 
the turn list must make exactly one move, after which eir name is moved 
from the head of the list to the tail.

For each move, a Go player must do one of the following:

1. Place a stone.
2. Pass.
3. Offer an alliance.
4. Declare war on an ally.

If a Go player places a stone, e may place a single stone on any unoccupied 
vertex, with the following exceptions:

1. Stones may not be placed on vertices on which the Go player had a stone 
during eir previous turn.

2. Stones may not be place on vertices on which the placement of a stone 
would cause the formation of a friendly dragon with no liberties, unless it 
would also cause the formation of an enemy dragon with no liberties.

If a Go player passes, eir turn ends.

If a Go player offers an alliance, e must name a Go player whose stones are 
not friendly to whom e is making the offer. If that Go player accepts the 
offer, the two Go players become allied.

If a Go player declares war on an ally, the two Go players cease to be 
allies, and eir former ally's stones are no longer friendly.

On making a legal move, a Go player's turn ends. Before the next Go 
player's turn starts, the stones of enemy dragons with no liberties are 
captured and removed from the grid.

If a captured dragon is adjacent only to stones owned by a single Go 
player, that player is credited with all of the stones in the captured 
dragon. If a captured dragon is adjacent to stones owned by more than one 
Go player, the captured stones are divided thusly by the Go players whose 
stones are adjacent to the captured dragon:

The Go player with the most stones adjacent to the captured dragon receives 
the first stone, the next most the next stone, and so on, with ties broken 
randomly, until all captured stones are exhausted or every Go player 
capturing from that dragon has received a stone.  The process is repeated 
until all stones from the captured dragon are exhausted.

If ever all Go players pass three times consecutively or no Go player may 
legally place a stone, the Subgame ends.

At the end of the game, all live dragons which could not gain two distinct 
eyes  if play were to continue without a change of alliances are considered 
dead. All dead dragons are captured by the Go players whose unfriendly 
dragons are adjacent to them. Live unfriendly dragons adjacent to the 
liberties of dead dragons are considered to be adjacent to the dead dragons 
for the purpose of dividing the captured stones. After the removal of dead 
stones, each Go player's territory is counted. A Go player's Go score is 
the sum of eir territories and captured stones. The Go player with the 
highest Go score is the winner of the Subgame.

Play Nomic!