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Solution to the trolling, chasing, etc.


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Poll: What do you think the best solution is? (87 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you think the best solution is to prevent trolls, chasing, etc.?

  1. Implement a forced game ending (see question below) (46 votes [48.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.94%

  2. Introduce a 'fatigue' system (6 votes [6.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.38%

  3. Voted Implementation of the ISF game rules section 11 (More-squares rule) (23 votes [24.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.47%

  4. Implementation of HmmNess' anti-chase system (19 votes [20.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.21%

About the forced-game ending solution, which do you think is better?

  1. When no attack has been done for X moves, the game is ended in a WIN for the player that has the piece with the highest ranking (that can still move). If both players have this, the game ends in a DRAW. (27 votes [31.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.03%

  2. Voted When no attack has been done for X moves, the game is ended in a DRAW. (60 votes [68.97%])

    Percentage of vote: 68.97%

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#1 M-D

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:19 PM

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.
 
Fatigue system
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:

# 11.1
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.

# 11.2
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.

# 11.3
Definitions:
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.

Hereby:
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.
 
Other ideas?
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.


#2 Lt. Jones

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:33 PM

#Forced game endings What if for instance a player does make moves the whole time but his opponent doesn't but he can't stand it any longer and he's charging with a Marshal/General but his opponent is able to capture the Marshal/General? And I can understand after that you don't have the intention to play further because you lost your Marshal/General and the concept of forced game endings says: the player with the highest remaining piece wins. So the player who attempt to make moves during the game loses then ? If it's going that way I vote no for this option.


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#3 Designated Baby

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:00 PM

HmmNess's solution is by far the best. It simply stops chasing alone without interfering with the core mechanics of the game.

Also for the second question, the first choice should not even be a choice. that is completely against stratego in every way. I think if that were implemented most, if not all, of the good players here would not play again.


gg


#4 GaryLShelton

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:35 PM

First of all, M.D., thank you for bringing up this subject. It is very, very nice to know you're thinking about these problems.

Up front, I want to say I agree with D.B. that "fatigue" stinks. It comes from the mind of the android phone game user, I feel.  And I absolutely do not understand what follows "Hereby" in option #3. 

I would like to comment, mainly, that your post is trying to address TWO SEPARATE ISSUES in the same poll. Namely, the 1st option addresses an automatic draw/game end and the 2nd and 4th, an anti-chasing rule. These are two different issues. We could certainly have both the forced game end with no CAPTURES after 100 total moves, as you suggest, but that wouldn't dampen the need for the anti-chasing rule to be in place. We have to deal THAT issue separately and thoughtfully.

To clarify, a simple problem with 100 total move limit is that if a person can chase for 50 moves--and that is his and his opponent's 50 move limit--it only means that he, the chaser, can end the game prematurely. Therefore, I think the idea of ending the game in an automatic draw or win/loss should be considered carefully in light of the anti-chase rule. In other words, I feel that you have to make the number of moves for the requirement of a CAPTURE (which prevents the automatic game end) dependent upon the anti-chasing rule you implement.

If, for example, you cut off chasing after a mere 5 moves (5 "full binds") as HmmNess proposes, you could very well enact your auto game end at 100 total moves. However...and I say this with deepest feeling, I don't feel the 5 full binds is nearly enough. Often, chasing becomes an ugly affair, but usually the complainers remark they were chased an incredibly long time (HmmNess himself complained of being chased an hour and twenty minutes in these forums recently.) Ending chasing at merely 5 full binds may appeal to someone who has a fresh memory of wasting more than an hour of his time being chased, but I submit it is not nearly enough time to differentiate whether a person chasing is doing so with a purpose or is just being a jerk. And let's not forget that the chasee CAN ALSO LEAD the chase to where he wants it to go. After an extensive back and forth on my opponent's side, recently, I myself led a chaser's Marshal to my zone near my Spy where I was able to trap the Marshal and win the game. Had my opponent, the chaser, been limited to only 5 full binds, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to pull off my trick.

Therefore, I suggest as a starting point, that chasing be limited to 50 full binds, and that the chasing cache can be broken two ways

  • By the creation of one full space between the pieces after the chaser has moved, or
  • The capture of either piece (both as HmmNess suggests).

This large amount of binds could allow for chasing to go twice around the ponds. It would in no way last an hour, but it would allow for natural things to happen, such as commonly happens when the chaser forces the chase to where his backup piece can assist in the kill. Of course, when the chasing counter reached 50, the chasing piece would be forbidden to make another full bind. Allow for a warning if you like.

I further make the proposal that there be a severe penalty for a player committing 200 full binds within a single game. This could be four 50 move chases, or ten 20 move ones, or any combination that reached 200 full bind chasing moves. Upon committing this level of chasing, the player would forfeit the game automatically. Put another warning in for this if you like.

I like the thought of putting in a "cumulative chasing counter" in the lower corner of the screen telling a player how many chasing moves he has left to commit in the game. Make the chasing counter divided and show per-incident and game totals, for each player, and make this visible to both players, I say.

Unlike HmmNess on one issue, I don't feel the initiation of the "full bind" should be born of the "pre-bind" condition that he lays out, but rather "full binds" should be begin when any "full bind" is created. Further, I submit that the definition of "chasing" could begin when the AI registers, say, 5 consecutive full binds between any two pieces. Prior to 5 consecutive full binds, the movement would be purely incidental and would not count as "chasing", and would be erased from the AI's cache. It wouldn't affect the chasing counters whatsoever.

My limits are high at 50 per incident and 200 total per game, and they can certainly be debated by everyone here on the site. But I offer that they are conservative, and that is where we should probably start. That I have spent this much time on anti-chasing probably tells you that I feel it is the more important of the two issues you bring up. At my level, currently Bronze Colonel, I haven't yearned for the fix of the automatic end game nearly as much as the anti-chasing problem. And to me it could be addressed more simply. I'll let others address the draw issue.


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#5 Sohal

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:38 PM

can you add in your pool : recrute (free) mods/admin to stop the chasers ?

 

 



#6 SuperDrew2k

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:01 PM

i havnt had a problem with it yet and im sure the stratego team will figure out a solution someday. my advice though...DONT go strictly by ISF game rues & gameplay. doing so will limit this site from future improvments.

 

 

btw....  i love how "trolling" was used to describe the culprits.....i cant wait to see what the future webster dictionary definition for the words troll and trolling will be..

 

the other day i was at the grocery store / cereal isle....and some kid called me a troll for taking the last box of lucky charms. then karma got me back...i went out to the parking lot and some troll scratched my car with a shopping cart. i called the police but they were busy trolling for traffic violators. then when i got home i caught my girlfriend with another troll!  


Hmm....i wonder where that marshal went

#7 Midnightguy

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 02:41 AM

I believe Hmmness had it right with his idea of anti chase system.  I've yet to really run into a chaser, but his rule is a bit complex as it is explained seems the most logical. 

 

As for forced games or as I call it Automatic Draw System, there needs a system to be in place if both sides can't or won't make any progress to end a game yet one or both sides refuses to accept a draw or the three draws request have been used up already. 

 

Example of Can't:

 

Player A has a Colonel left but his flag area surrounded by bombs was opened up by a miner.  It is the only piece player A has left and player B has only a Major and captain left.  Clearly Player A can't leave the flag area or will lose flag and Player B won't be able to get past Player A's Colonel to get to the flag.  This game CAN'T be won by either side. 

 

Example of Won't:

 

Player A has only a Colonel left but his flag is safely surrounded by bombs.  Player B has two sergeants left and their flag is in the middle of the board surrounded by what appears to be three bombs.  Player B has only two bombs left but, one of them is a Sergeant disguised as a bomb and will only move the other Sergeants around to avoid being captured by the Colonel.  Player A is not willing to risk guessing what piece around the flag is a bomb or not.  This is an example where Player A CAN win the game but, WON'T play to win. 

 

However, the main problem is....what to do if chasing can lead to a draw?  For example Player A and B have both a General and Colonel left as their high pieces both players have a variety of lower piece left.  However player A is leading the game being a Major up and Player B suddenly uses their General to chase a Colonel of Player A.  There is no way to capture Player B's General with their General without losing their Colonel and Player A clearly doesn't want to risk losing their Colonel to a possible bomb in Player B's zone.  So Player A will continue to chase player B until a draw comes up.  What do we do with this situation?  Is it fair here that Player B who is losing the game midway or perhaps early in the game to expect to get a draw because down a Major? 



#8 Designated Baby

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:53 AM

If a game is drawn, it should be drawn. If no piece has been captured after x moves, the game is drawn regardless of whether one side has a scout and the other side as a marshal, two colonels, a general, five miners, three seargeants, etc.


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gg


#9 SpacemanSpiff

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:25 AM

Ash - I also want to say how great it is to see the staff's active participation on the forum and especially the staff's interest in community feedback - it is very encouraging.

In my humble opinion, HmmNess' anti-chasing solution is the most non-intrusive solution to traditional Stratego game play. It is not important for the chaser to understand the dynamics of how the anti-chasing system works - all that matters is when they chase, they will be warned - that will do the trick. To the unknowing, it would be as if the system were 'watching' them which should have an excellent psychological effect.

Conversely, if a player wants to protect themselves from chasers, it would be very good to know the dynamics of the anti-chasing solution so they could invoke the necessary movements to trigger a warning - i.e. if you were being pursued in a straight line, you could convert that pursuit to a four-square chase situation which would trigger the warnings for the chaser.

HmmNess' anti-chasing solution would not be any more difficult for players to understand than the 2-square back 'n forth rule which we've used on this site from the beginning.

I personally think that the kinds of players that you can build a lasting community around will very much appreciate that Stratego.com is the only Stratego site that has done something about chasing.

Looking forward to the anti-chasing roll out.

Spiff
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#10 Hardstyle

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 02:40 PM

The HmmNess anti-chase system looks good.



#11 M-D

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:56 PM

can you add in your pool : recrute (free) mods/admin to stop the chasers ?

 

We looked into this, but it will require way too much work to set this up. Not to mention the fact that we'll need to start recruiting moderators that will need to be trained and need to be available at all times.



#12 GaryLShelton

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:29 PM

There should be nothing about moderating a game that cannot be programmed directly into the game's rules.  At least this should be the programming goal, in my opinion.  So I don't think we need a bunch of manual moderators whose raison d'ĂȘtre will, slowly but surely, be eliminated by each new programming achievement.


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#13 GaryLShelton

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:17 PM

The HmmNess anti-chase system looks good.

 

The HmmNess anti-chase system looks good for A STARTING POINT.  With HmmNess's system as laid out, ONLY CHASING BEGUN FROM A "PRE BIND" situation (diagonal position) is affected.  Do we want this?  We all know how to use the 2 Space rule to attack from the horizontal or vertical.  With HmmNess' plan this kind of horizontal or vertical approach would NOT be labeled as "chasing" in the AI cache and could go on forever as it does now.  Only the approach from the diagonal would initiate the "chasing count" in the AI cache.  Do we want this lop-sided chasing rule?  

 

I ask:  Of what value is this notion of the "pre bind"?   It is artificial to say a "full bind" needs a "pre bind" first; it does not.  A "full bind" in real play can occur whether it begins from the diagonal OR the horizontal/vertical positioning.  If we just ignore the whole concept of "pre binds" and just count the "full binds" when they happen, it seems much simpler to me.  We don't need to artificially limit a "full bind" as a thing that is prefaced by a "pre bind".  That's not reality.

 

Furthermore, HmmNess lays out a limit of 5 "full binds" to be the end of chasing.  Is this good?  Think how, with that rule, you will be unable to push an opponent's piece around the board to where your other piece is lying in wait to help.  You couldn't do it any more.  So if 5 "full binds" is too small a number, what number would be good?  We have to think about this.  I say 50, but no less than 40.  40 "full binds" allows you to push a piece twice around the ponds if you are hugging them.  Do we want it to be only once around the ponds?

 

Furthermore, shouldn't we add to HmmNess's idea a total game limit on "full binds" that cannot be breached, so as to end any possible chance of the one to three hours chasing that has been reported in these forums?  Again, I say that a player should be allowed a total of 200 "full binds" per game, and upon the 201st chasing move, he loses the game.  

 

I conclude by saying that, yes, the HmmNess idea is a wonderful beginning point.  But we all need to look at it before just signing on, hook, line, and sinker.  

 

You can read HmmNess's original proposition at the link below.  

 

http://forum.strateg...i-chase-system/


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Draw Refusal Rules, specifically, can be read here: http://forum.strateg...604#entry339604

#14 Designated Baby

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:31 PM

Any of these limited chances to do something are piss poor attempts at fixing problems. You can chase 20 times a game. You can pause 3 times. Tie 3 times. Etc.

That is not the way anything should be programmed ever. We do not need more of those. We need less.

I am very in favor of the hmmNess system.


gg


#15 GaryLShelton

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:36 AM

D.B., I guess I get the frustration with limits on everything.  There seems to be more of these, that's true.  

 

Realistically, though, the programming of rules can only be about limits.  They can't corral any behavior by lessening programming limits; that can only be done by setting or increasing them.  

 

And please understand that HmmNess's plan is also about limits.  His proposal will limit an attacking player to 5 "full binds" against another and then that player is prohibited from making another move to cause a 6th.  So this is clearly a limit.  The question of anti-chasing is not about whether there should be limits, but rather what the parameters of those limits should be.  

 

Although HmmNess's plan does give a plan for the per-incident limit, it does not address a total game limit on any chasing violation, nor does it have one unified rule for the different attitudes of attack.  As such, I have laid out a plan above that speaks to what I see are the key issues to be determined.  In a nutshell those would be:

 

  1. What should be the number of "full binds" allowed per incident?  (HmmNess's 5, or higher?)
  2. What should be the number of "full binds" allowed per game in total?  (Should there be a game limit?)
  3. Should we, or should we not, have separate rules for chasing based upon the attitude of the initial attack? (diagonal or vert/horiz, as with 2 Space Rule)

 

The complaint against chasers in recent forum pages is that they chase for from one to three hours.  This must be limited.  I think those who have experienced it want limits.  I just implore everyone to consider with their best judgment what those numbers should be.  One thing I submit is that proposition #2 above should be adopted with a specific number, and a game loss results if violated.  Give the limits teeth.  

 

All the best.


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#16 Designated Baby

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:33 AM

I am fine with limits. My problem is with limitys that expose the fact that this is an internet game problem rather than the true game problem.

What the programmers should try to do is make the experience as close to how it would be in reality as possible. In reality you can offer as many draws as you want. You can never chase. (as soon as you chase in a game, your opponent says that is illegal so you stop) You can not draw glitch or do anything.

What they have now is analogous to a chess website having an error sometimes with the move en passant, so they limit it to 3 times a game. Yes, that is way more of an extreme case.  This is just admitting to the players that you do not know how to create a suitable program so you find little tricks to fix it at the expense of the players.

1. HmmNess's suggestion is fine for the moment. That is easily changeable with play testing.
 

2. I oppose all full game total number limits on anything period. It is not in the spirit of the game. This is not a computer game. It is a board game played on a computer.

3. I do not fully understand what is meant by diagonal and those. I think chasing as with full bind and pre bind as HmmNess laid out addresses it. You cannot chase without having a full bind and a pre bind back to back.

I very rarely use full bind pre bind chasing for more than 5 times to move my opponent because they could simply move back the way they came and not be chased anywhere. If you want to chase your opponent away, attack them vertically and get them with the 2 square rule. If that cannot happen, oh well.


gg


#17 GaryLShelton

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:18 AM

I am fine with limits. My problem is with limitys that expose the fact that this is an internet game problem rather than the true game problem.

What the programmers should try to do is make the experience as close to how it would be in reality as possible. In reality you can offer as many draws as you want. You can never chase. (as soon as you chase in a game, your opponent says that is illegal so you stop) You can not draw glitch or do anything.
.
.
1. HmmNess's suggestion is fine for the moment. That is easily changeable with play testing.
 

2. I oppose all full game total number limits on anything period. It is not in the spirit of the game. This is not a computer game. It is a board game played on a computer.

3. I do not fully understand what is meant by diagonal and those. I think chasing as with full bind and pre bind as HmmNess laid out addresses it. You cannot chase without having a full bind and a pre bind back to back.
.
.

 

D.B., I appreciate the love of the board game, and I am a somewhat kindred spirit in wanting the online game to model the board game play as much as possible.  I am a 1972 Milton Bradley man all the way.  I know that in person chasing doesn't happen, and there are none of the pause and tie request glitches you mention, plus a few more no doubt.  But you have online the reality of people playing distant from each other, not face to face, and with all the opportunities for poor behavior that that can allow.  Yes, the programming makes it painfully obvious that we do not exactly have a board game here.  But there is no way of guaranteeing the same high level of civility that you would have with your board game without specific rules and programming in place to enforce them.  That's just a fact.

 

As to #1 above, I would strongly caution against the adoption of HmmNess's plan on its face.  There is too much time at stake in playing and testing not to be as close as possible to a good solution.  His suggestion is 5 "full binds". Mine is 50.  That's quite a difference.  It needs to be hashed out.  

 

As to #2 above, you are disagreeing with a total game limit of 200 "full binds" as being "...not in the spirt of the game."  But you agree with HmmNess's per-incident limit of 5 "full binds" in #1 above.  NEITHER LIMIT IS IN THE SPIRIT OF BOARD GAME PLAY.  NEITHER WOULD BE REQUIRED THERE.  Therefore, I submit that if you are in agreement with a per-incident limit, then a total game limit logically follows, and it shouldn't offend any more than the first one.  We're out of the board game spirit (and need) with either one.

 

As to #3 above, chasing can clearly happen when an attack is begun from the vertical or horizontal every bit as much as from the diagonal.   HmmNess's proposal only addresses chasing initiated from the diagonal ("pre bind") position.  IT SAYS NOTHING of chasing initiated from a vertical or horizontal "full bind" position.  Why do we want a PARTIAL CHASING RULE?


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Draw Refusal Rules, specifically, can be read here: http://forum.strateg...604#entry339604

#18 Designated Baby

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:46 PM

Strictly full bind chasing is simply not chasing. It is legal play. You can keep full binding all you want in every version as long as there is no pre bind in between.

Also, 50 pre and full bind is completely chasing. It is impossible to move a player around the lakes by chasing him. Chasing by definition is pre bind followed by full bind. In order to move a player around the lakes some would have to be full bind followed by full bind which is no longer chasing ( and is legal).


EDIT: To clarify, the farthest you can force a player to move by chasing is back and forth between three squares. Any turning of the player is impossible because it would necessitate full bind full bind.
The only reason for chasing is cheating and advocating chasing is advocating cheating.


gg


#19 trickz

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:31 PM

Repetitively creating the same fullbinds is chasing.

But with the 2s rule they call it : "offer myself a a tactic position on the board".

The only goal is to kill the piece that's been chased, no other intentions.

I do not have a problem when you hunt a weaker piece back to his own territory and get assistance on the other side so he's closed in.

Like this you also have a good position on the board but at least you didn't chase with the same repetitive fullbinds all the time.

That's why I also think it's not considering chasing if you hunt someone up is own territory, that is perfectly legal.


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#20 Designated Baby

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:45 PM

It is not illegal though to have many full binds. Every player does this to move a piece away. The key is that the piece can escape. While with the pre bind full bind the piece cannot escape because he is stuck forever in a line and cannot turn any corners.

In full bind full bind the piece can turn corners and move about.

If the piece cannot escape in full bind full bind even though he has access to all ends of the board, it should be a draw.


gg





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