Hextiles Cameron Browne (2008) Hextiles are a new domino system based on hexagon pairs.

Hextiles are domino-like tiles composed of two conjoined hexagons, each marked with a number of pips between 0 and 6. The standard "double six" hextile set contains all unique pairs of pips for a total of 28 tiles:
00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34, 35, 36, 44, 45, 46, 55, 56, 66.

Figure 1.  The 26 and 35 hextiles.

For convenience, each hextile has a unique identifier ab where a is that tile's minimum pip count and b its maximum pip count.

Hextiles Games

Like dominos, hextiles are a not a particular game but a gaming system with which a number of games can be played. This section describes some examples; all are played with the following rules except where stated:

• All tiles start randomly shuffled and upside down in the boneyard.
• Players draw tiles until a double is drawn - this becomes the first tile played and the drawer the first mover.
• Players then draw seven tiles each to form their pool (players cannot see each others' pools).
• If the current player cannot move they must draw additional tiles from the boneyard until they can move.
• Tiles must be played adjacent to at least one existing tile, subject to the constraints for each game.
• Players must replenish their pool with a tile from the boneyard after each move.
• Players cannot pass unless there is no legal move and no more tiles.
• Play continues until neither player can move. Players then add their remaining pips to the opponent's score and the player with the highest score wins.

Hextol (Close Loops)

Played as per the rules above, except that the current player can only place a tile such that the pip count of both hexagons exactly matches the pip counts of all existing neighbours (hexagons can nestle into the crooks of doubles).

Figure 2.  Closing a loop for 30 pts.

Players score points for enclosing territory with their move, equal to the total number of pips around the enclosing perimeter. For example, the mover scores 30 pts in Figure 2. Players can play inside closed areas to create smaller closed areas; it is therefore possible to close more than one area with a single move.

Hextup (Join Group)

Hextup is played with two sets of hextiles, one for each player. Players draw from their own boneyard each turn.

Each turn, the current player must play a tile either:

• Such that any hexagon adjacent to one or more existing hexagons matches at least one of them in pip count; or
• Stacked on top of two separate tiles if it sits flat and the pip counts of both hexagons match those being stacked on.

Figure 3.  A game of Hextup won by Dark.

The game is won by the player who completes a connected group of their colour containing all seven pip counts (0..6). For example, Dark wins the game shown in Figure 3. The game is tied if nether player wins before the tiles run out.

A harder game can be played by requiring that a group does not win unless all pips can be vsisited in sequential order by adjacent steps within it.

Hextad (Triple Sums)

Each turn, the current player must place one of their tiles adjacent to at least one existing tile. Every intersection formed by the move must add up to a valid sum; a valid sum exists when the pip counts of three tiles meeting at an intersection can be arranged so that two of the pip counts add up to the third.

The mover scores a number of points equal to the sum's value for each valid sum formed on the move. For example, the mover scores 16 pts for the move shown in Figure 4 (right). The 16 pts comes from three valid sums (1+5=6) + (1+4=5) + (1+4=5) giving 6+5+5.

Figure 4.  Scores of 0 pts (middle) and 16 pts (right).

The largest possible score for any move is 60 pts.

Hextend (Match Tiles)

Each turn, the current player must place one of their tiles such that if either hexagon is adjacent to one or more existing hexagon then at least one of these must match in pip count. There must be at least two such matches per move.

This is probably the Hextiles game that is closest to standard dominos.

HextVI (Add to 6)

Each turn, the current player must place one of their tiles such that if either hexagon is adjacent to one or more existing hexagon then at least one of these must total 6 when added to the hexagon's pip count. There must be at least two such matches per move.

Hextwar I (Movement and Capture)

Players takes turns placing tiles such that an hexagon placed adjacent to existing tiles must differ by +1 or -1 in pip count with at least one adjacent neighbour. When all tiles are placed, players take turns adding a pawn of their colour to an unoccupied hexagon of their choice (players have six pawns each).

Each turn the current player must:

• Move a pawn; and
• Remove a tile with at least one free edge and no pawns on it.

Pawns move by stepping to an empty adjacent hexagon then optionally stepping through any number of adjacent hexagons such that the next hexagon's pip count is 1 more than its current position's pip count (pip count 6 cycles around to pip count 0). If the pawn has made o ne or more incremental steps, it is then entitled to move onto an adjacent enemy pawn to capture it by replacement.

As the game nears the end, players may be forced to move their pawns disadvantageously to free up tiles to remove.

Hextwar II (Movement and Capture with Stacking)

Played as per Hextwar I but tiles maay be stacked on two different tiles with matching pip counts. When moving, pawns may not step up or down more than one level per step. Pieces can only be captured by adjacent steps from the same level.

Any more?

There will be many more! I'm open to suggestions.

History

Hextiles were devised by Cameron Browne and copyright (c) Cyberite Ltd, 2008.

Some hextiles games can be played on Richard's PBeM server. Please challenge me (camb) to a game any time.

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Site designed by Cameron Browne © 2008.