One of the biggest issues we see with the game right now is the fact that not everyone plays as nicely as others. We get a lot of reports about people complaining about people chasing them constantly, people constantly running away, people constantly moving back-and-forth, etc.
Obviously this is a complicated problem: it would be very difficult to have a rule or system that can solve all the problems, which its also why it's taking us so long to find a solution and fix it. However, we've come to the conclusion that there probably isn't a one-rule solution.
So instead of waiting for the magical solution, we've decided to implement some systems and see if they work. We've gotten some good suggestions on how to fix them and I've made a list of the more popular ones I found on the forums.
Please read them and then vote in the poll for which rule you like most. I enabled voting multiple times, because we might implement multiple rules (so multiple rules running at the same time) depending on what you guys think.
Forced game endings (also see Midnightguy' topic)
The idea is that after X moves(100 for example, so 50 per player) of nothing happening, the game will just end in either a draw or a win for the player that has the highest remaining rank that can still move (If both players have this, the game ends in a DRAW). There will be a warning 20 and 10 moves before the game will be ended.
This one is quite controversial, some people love it and some hate it. Personally I like this solution the most: it is quite specific to games that run for a long time (100 moves with no pieces attacking each other is quite long) and (if the player with the highest remaining piece wins) forces the players to keep trying new strategies. It's also very easy to explain to newer players.
The idea of this rule is to prevent players from constantly moving the same piece over and over: pieces can move X places before they are 'fatigued' and can't move. For each turn a piece isn't moved the 'fatigue-ness' is decreased by Y points (for example: pieces can move 10 times, every time they move: -1. Each turn they don't move +1, with a maximum of 10). Note: this will have to be disabled if the player only has one moveable piece left!
Personally I think this solution doesn't sound too bad, although it has a big impact on the core gameplay. The main problem is it wont solve chasing issues when a player only has one piece left.
Implementation of the ISF game rules section 11 (More-squares rule)
The International Stratego Federation has the following rule which we don't implement:
It is not allowed to continuously chase one or more pieces of the opponent endlessly. The continuous chaser may not play a chasing move which would lead to a position on the board which has already taken place.
Exception: chasing moves back to the square where the chasing piece came from in the directly preceding turn are always allowed as long as this does not violate the Two-Squares Rule.
continuous chase: the same player is non-stop threatening one or more pieces of his opponent that is/are evading the threatening moves.
chasing move: a move in a continuous chase that threatens an opponent's piece that was evading during the continuous chase.
a/to move: a/to move plus attacking or a/to move to an empty square.
to threaten: to move a piece next (before, behind or besides) a piece of the opponent.
to evade: to move a piece away in the direct following move after it has been threatened.
This rule will be quite difficult to explain to newer players, I'm also not sure if this will actually solve the issues that you've been reporting.
Implementation of HmmNess' anti-chase system
You can read about this idea in HmmNess' topic. In short it is a system that defines a 'binding' system. If a piece chases another piece for X moves, the next move will be blocked.
I think this rule will also be quite difficult to explain to newer players, and (just like the ISF rule) probably also won't solve all the problems.
So you might have a better solution: great please post it in this topic!
However, keep in mind the following:
- It must be easy to understand to newer players
- Although Stratego has a lot of hardcore players, we also have a lot of casual / mid-core players.