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Who Wants the Two Square Rule Eliminated and Why?


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#1 Gwynplaine

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 03:43 PM

Dear Stratego Players,

 

On a different thread, one participant has elected to describe their dislike of the Two Square Rule. I thought it would be great to see who are the who's who on that side of the fence.

 

So...if you feel it should go, please introduce yourself and offer a quick sentence or two about why you think it should be obliterated. (Personally, you might have already guessed that I am an ardent supporter of the Two Square Rule)

 

Thanks!  :D

 

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#2 sevenseas

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 07:37 PM

It should stay. It prevents chasing and it's a key strategic tool in the game to understand when one has the two squares advantage, and how to win pieces using this tactic. 


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#3 trickz

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 08:08 PM

It should stay.

However,....there must be one exception and one exception only.

I think it's really unfair that you can't defend your cornersealed flag with two higher ranks against two miners.

According to the rule, I can't chase him till eternity which means I would lose the game since they're already in position.

But this doesn't make any sense at all!

Why you ask?

 

1) First of all : the rule states that I can't chase continuously.

The meaning of the word continuously, literally : uninterrupted in time.

So therefore it's impossible to continuously chase with two pieces two different pieces.

A continuous chase can only occur with one piece (in theory) but since the two square rule prevents that, it's impossible.

However, with the more square rule it would be possible to chase endlessly (following non stop around the lakes).

The definition of the word would only be appliable in this specific situation.

Otherwise : there is no continuous chase going on.

Why?

I fullbind the first time, he pulls away, I fullbind the other one and he goes away.

After every attack, the chain is broken for that piece which allows me to attack the other piece.

There is a clear interruption going on.

 

2) However,...this would suggest that, according to the definition of the word, that it's terefore legit to double, triple and quadruple chase pieces.   Here's where I cross the line.  

Only problem is : you can argue,...that if it would be possible to defend your flag and go for a tie,....then others can also say it's also possible to double chase from the very start or in midgame.

And I think it's higly unlikely you can program this properly.

The system should recognize if you have a sealed flag or not, it should be able to detect the pieces on the board and knowing all you can do is to defend the flag.  But the chance is more likely it will automatically detect it as double chasing and not as the exception on the rule.

 

3) There are two ways to win this game : or you take the flag OR you kill all his pieces.

Then why is it that in this specific situation 'taking the flag' suddenly gets the upperhand?

Because my opponent would so called be 'in position' with his miners?

I have the power to block 'm off but the two ranks up don't balance the fact that his miners are suddenly now 'much stronger' and can win the game.  They're not stronger, they're weaker, they can't go through.

He can only win if I screw it up.  

 

4) It's just common sense and a mathematical equation.

You need the miners to get rid of the bombs but you need the power to get the flag!

I took care of the power, he took care of his miners so it's a tie, end of discussion for me :)

 

 

In live games, this could perfectly be accepted but in the online game, it's gonna be a major issue to program it.

Nevertheless,.....my vision stays the same.

Yes, the two square rule is great for the game but you need the exception being build in.

 

 

P'z


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#4 The Prof

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 12:46 AM

Trickz, I'm not sure if you know this, but you were truly the inspiration for Gary and me to completely avoid using the word "continuously" or any of its forms when we rewrote the rules for the ISF.  We didn't include your exception though.

 

http://forum.strateg...tegoio/?p=65165


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#5 scottrussia

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 04:05 AM

It should remain.

 

What should be changed?

 

1. Scouts should NOT be allowed to attack from more than one space away.  Why you ask?  Because stratego is about information and position.  If you want information you should have to sacrifice something - in this case board position.  Scouts attacking from afar make the price of information much too cheap. 

 

And this leads to too much defensive playing.  The purpose of stratego is to capture the flag.  The opponent's flag is on the other side of the board.  When players sit on their side of the board the entire game I don't believe I'm playing stratego anymore.

 

2. When one player creates an advantage using the 2 square rule - the other player should NOT be allowed to then chase using the 2 square rule where there is no advantage.  Being aggressive and creating the advantage should be rewarded.

 

3.  If #1 is not changed, then the spy should not be allowed to move until the 100th or 200th move or unless immediately threatened by an opponent's piece.  Again, we already have way too much defensive play - put your spy somewhere and it sits for a while.  Try going to the other side of the board with some pieces.


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#6 GaryLShelton

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:53 AM

It should stay.
However,....there must be one exception and one exception only.
I think it's really unfair that you can't defend your cornersealed flag with two higher ranks against two miners.


trickz, because you play here, you have the best rule for you. The programming will not block double chase in a flag defense scenario or any scenario should those miners each have the Two Squares advantage. You will even have a draw that the MT would uphold for no progress after awhile.

In the ISF view (and also the SMT one The Prof referred to that he and I wrote) the two miners will win against two higher pieces and a corner-sealed flag if they each have the Two Squares advantage. Of course, if one miner has the 2S but not the other, then it's a stalemate. And, naturally, the miners will lose if neither one has the 2S advantage.

Interestingly, when it comes down to the flag defense and a corner flag, the defender is better off without the bombs to protect the flag. With a completely naked flag neither RBP of the ISF nor SMT from us will prevent your flag defense. Remember the famous Enigma/ABSH game?

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#7 GaryLShelton

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:07 AM

1) First of all : the rule states that I can't chase continuously.
The meaning of the word continuously, literally : uninterrupted in time.
So therefore it's impossible to continuously chase with two pieces two different pieces.


The Two Squares Rule is Article 10 currently, and the More Squares Rule is currently Article 11. The Two Squares Rule that is the subject of this topic does not mention "continuous chasing" or even anything about the chasing at all. It's strictly just a prohibition on the movement of one piece more than three times between two squares in 10.1, also a special provision for scouts in 10.2.

The current Article 11 is where you'll find the hated word "continuous". As The Prof said, thanks to you we have completely eliminated the word from our SMT proposal.

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#8 trickz

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:12 AM

trickz, because you play here, you have the best rule for you. The programming will not block double chase in a flag defense scenario or any scenario should those miners each have the Two Squares advantage. You will even have a draw that the MT would uphold for no progress after awhile.

In the ISF view (and also the SMT one The Prof referred to that he and I wrote) the two miners will win against two higher pieces and a corner-sealed flag if they each have the Two Squares advantage. Of course, if one miner has the 2S but not the other, then it's a stalemate. And, naturally, the miners will lose if neither one has the 2S advantage.

Interestingly, when it comes down to the flag defense and a corner flag, the defender is better off without the bombs to protect the flag. With a completely naked flag neither RBP of the ISF nor SMT from us will prevent your flag defense. Remember the famous Enigma/ABSH game?

 

 

Hi Gary,

 

I was just gonna mention this indeed.

Yesterday I had a game with GKAROS and I had a naked cornerflag.

The endgame was my two captains vs his two scouts, few miners, couple of lieuts and a serg :)

All I had to do was move the two captains.

He thought I was gona kill pieces but I refused to do that of course.

Is this also considered chasing then?

I just move and he couldn't do anything.

 

Really curious the ISF considers this also as chasing.

In fact it's just innocent moves without a single intention to kill.


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#9 trickz

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 05:44 PM

It should remain.

 

What should be changed?

 

1. Scouts should NOT be allowed to attack from more than one space away.  Why you ask?  Because stratego is about information and position.  If you want information you should have to sacrifice something - in this case board position.  Scouts attacking from afar make the price of information much too cheap. 

 

And this leads to too much defensive playing.  The purpose of stratego is to capture the flag.  The opponent's flag is on the other side of the board.  When players sit on their side of the board the entire game I don't believe I'm playing stratego anymore.

 

2. When one player creates an advantage using the 2 square rule - the other player should NOT be allowed to then chase using the 2 square rule where there is no advantage.  Being aggressive and creating the advantage should be rewarded.

 

3.  If #1 is not changed, then the spy should not be allowed to move until the 100th or 200th move or unless immediately threatened by an opponent's piece.  Again, we already have way too much defensive play - put your spy somewhere and it sits for a while.  Try going to the other side of the board with some pieces.

 

1. I totally don't agree with you.  This game is all about info and position, true.

But how do you gain quick and effective info?  Right, with the scouts!

Look at the stats : it's highly likely that a scout will discover a crucial piece or bomb in each game that is being played on this site!

If we have to follow your vision, then why should the miner be able to diffuse bombs for instance?

Why should the spy be able to kill your marsh? 

Scouts and miners are weak pieces but the difference is : they can be used for any situation on the board, the majority of your pieces are scouts and miners so they start and make the game proceed, they play crucial roles in the endgame.

I think scouts are essential with their function.  They're ideal bluffers : for the cheapest price you can really screw the mind of your opponent.  They give you time, they're fast, they're cheap and you can play them like they are really big guns.

I don't know if the original rule was like this but I'm glad it involved into a flying piece.

It gives this game an extra dimension what it deserves.  Otherwise it would be really onedimensional and without the scouts, guarantee you will get a lot more blitzers from move one.  Would that be good for the game? I don't think so.

So if scouts didn't fly, people would play more agressive you say?

I think it's the other way around.  People will become more agressive (being agressive is not the same as to blitz btw) cuz' they know they have cheap fast detecters to figure out what to do.

If the scout couldn't fly, then people would play more defensive.

It's faster gameplay, it stimulates process in the game and it makes sure you have to think defensive but attack at the same time.

They bring the right balance on the board.  It's not good to be overly defensive nor overly agressive.

 

2. Being in position with the two square rule should indeed be rewarded EXCEPT for the classical flag defending.

You should not be rewarded if your two miners are at my cornersealed flag and my two captains block you off.

The reward you get should be a tie in this case, just common sense.

Funny part : with the bombs you should win according to ISF but WITHOUT THE BOMBS, you can get a valid tie!

Cuz' all you do is move your captains in a constantly repeatin' pattern.  They just move, you don't kill anything so ISF can't see this as chasing.  Chasing means to make an attempt to kill that piece.

But if my opponent still had a scout left, he literally forces me to............don't attack.

Ironic isn't it,........my opponent is in position, in advantage with the two square rule, he doesn't want me to attack but in fact he needs to be attacked or he won't ever win the game.

That's my entire problem with this rule regarding flagprotection.

With the bombs, my opponent should gain the advantage but without the bombs, he clearly lost this advantage but even then, he still should be rewarded.

According to ISF, the miners are the stronger pieces on the board to go for the flag in the endgame.

But if there are no bombs, they are suddenly no longer the stronger pieces although technically they still have the same advantage and position on the board, LOL!

It doesn't make any sense at all.

 

3. You say the target of the game is to capture the flag.

This is absolute bs.  No, it isn't,....at all!  I hardly play for the flag. 

In ninety percent of my games I go for the kill and I don't care about the flag at all.

I rarely grab flags (only if I'm behind in fact). 

The target is to take the flag OR to kill all his pieces.

I think both styles of play should be treated equally.

In the classical situation, I am going for my target to kill the miners and the miners are going for the target to get the flag.

Both players can't do it, both ways are equally to treat so mathematically it's therefore a TIE.

 

And that's the only exception on the 2s rule in my eyes.


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#10 The Prof

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:51 PM

Hi Gary,

 

I was just gonna mention this indeed.

Yesterday I had a game with GKAROS and I had a naked cornerflag.

The endgame was my two captains vs his two scouts, few miners, couple of lieuts and a serg :)

All I had to do was move the two captains.

He thought I was gona kill pieces but I refused to do that of course.

Is this also considered chasing then?

I just move and he couldn't do anything.

 

Really curious the ISF considers this also as chasing.

In fact it's just innocent moves without a single intention to kill.

 

The flag can be defended legally in this case according to ISF.  To be chasing you need to threaten a piece on every move and he needs to evade.  But in this situation, after perhaps a couple chasing moves, you can always make a move back toward your flag with one of your captains which does not threaten anything, and this move breaks the chase sequence.



#11 trickz

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:35 PM

The flag can be defended legally in this case according to ISF.  To be chasing you need to threaten a piece on every move and he needs to evade.  But in this situation, after perhaps a couple chasing moves, you can always make a move back toward your flag with one of your captains which does not threaten anything, and this move breaks the chase sequence.

 

It's still weird if you ask me.

Common sense would state my flag is safer around bombs than without.

But it's the exact opposite here,...a sealed flag costs me the game and a loose flag gives me a tie according to ISF.

 

Why can't the ISF just accept a cornersealed flag is a perfect tie as well?

This is the main reason I don't do live tourneys.

Cuz' I play for the rank, I'm mister draw and I can't count the occasions where I had the classical situation with my two ranks up.

There should be no difference between hunting the flag or hunting the pieces.

If I had this in a live tournament, I would throw the board and the pieces on the ground and leave the building immediately. :)


Edited by trickz, 29 August 2016 - 09:35 PM.

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#12 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 10:15 PM

... guys I have a quizz for you: see here: http://forum.strateg...-forum/?p=66771


If you don't know where you go ... you have a lot of chance to arrive elsewhere ...

#13 Dr. Zomboss

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 01:02 AM

Stay



#14 scottrussia

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 04:48 AM

The object of the game certainly is to capture the flag.  If it wasn't it wouldn't be on the board.  You'd have another 4 or 8 or another piece.

 

And since I played the game for many years with no scouts attacking from afar, I can say that the game is much more enjoyable.  There is no ability to simply sit on your own side and do nothing.  In order to get information you give up a space on the board.  That is a fair trade-off.

 

What happens is that you see more pitched battles in the middle of the board.  You advance with support - as using scouts now requires some thinking and skill.  There is a lot more bluffing.  And there is a lot more creativity required.  More unknowns and assumptions. 

 

In essence, the rule change HAS diminished the role of capturing the flag.  And that is not a good thing. 

By allowing the scouts to attack from afar, stratego is turned into quasi-chess.  If I wanted to play chess I'd play chess.


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#15 GaryLShelton

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 01:19 PM

The flag can be defended legally in this case according to ISF.  To be chasing you need to threaten a piece on every move and he needs to evade.  But in this situation, after perhaps a couple chasing moves, you can always make a move back toward your flag with one of your captains which does not threaten anything, and this move breaks the chase sequence.


This was precisely what was learned from the Enigma/ABSH case. :)

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#16 GaryLShelton

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 05:38 PM

The object of the game certainly is to capture the flag.


I disagree here a bit, Scott. The object is to EITHER take the flag, or to beat the other guy's army. If you get the flag, it's an automatic win. But if you beat the other guy until he surrenders or can't stand and fight any longer...these are also valid objects for playing the game.



And since I played the game for many years with no scouts attacking from afar, I can say that the game is much more enjoyable. There is no ability to simply sit on your own side and do nothing.


Scott, although I've never been as incensed about this issue as yourself, I agree that it would be nice to return to this as well. For some reason when I first learned the game I learned it playing scouts could attack from afar. Then an older, more learned kid in my neighborhood pointed out that the actual rules said scouts could not attack from afar. Sure enough, when we checked the rules inside the box lid of our old 1961 Milton Bradley rules, they did indeed show scouts could NOT attack from afar. So we began playing that way and this became the way I played back for most of the 60's and 70's growing up. Oddly, I recall that we also occasionally played where scouts could still attack from afar, though I don't recall why we went back and forth. I remember thinking it was very "freeing" to play the "attacking afar" way, though I did prefer the official MB way.

Fast forward 35 years and I'm playing on this site--the official Jumbo site--which has the scouts attacking from afar. At the time I did wonder when this scout attacking rule changed, but I didn't let bother me. I was just excited to come across this game I'd loved a kid again after all those years. As I'd actually played that way for part of my time decades before, I wasn't uncomfortable playing it that way again, I guess.

One of the things I've discovered since being here and learning about the ISF is that the scouts attacking from afar causes a logical rules problem for the ISF. That is, the ISF recognizes that a piece only threatens another if it moves adjacent to the piece it is going to attack next. So if a scout moves in line with, but let's say three squares away from, a piece it wants to attack on its next turn, the ISF does NOT recognize this as a threatening move by the scout since it has not moved adjacent to its object piece.

The problem this causes is that because the ISF does not recognize this scout movement as threatening, it cannot block double chasing involving a scout at a distance, because to double chase a player must threaten on each leg of the double chase...or it's no double chase. This was shown to even be true on Gravon where they have the strong reputation of being ISF compliant. The double chase there involving a scout at a distance was never blocked by the Gravon programming.

Now, rectifying this problem can be approached two ways. Either we can return to the old rule where scouts cannot attack from afar, or we can officially recognize the threatening of a scout at a distance.

For the first option we'd just need to go back to requiring the scout to stop adjacent to the piece they wish to attack on their next turn. By doing this the scout threatens exactly the same way any other piece does, and the ISF problem is solved simply and cleanly.

But for the second option...to officially recognize a scout's ability to threaten at a distance... this opens up a much bigger concern. That is, it would fix the double chasing quandary with the scouts, true. But any such rule would have to make sure that information was not divulged by the action of the rule that should not be given away. This issue may be why the ISF never bothered to recognize the threatening of scouts and just proverbially swept the matter under the rug. It's not as simple as it at first seems.

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#17 trickz

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 07:08 PM

Yo Gary,

 

Scouts are dope, scouts are fly!

Don't doubt it guy

cuz' with this piece I take out your spy!

My scout will find the route disguised

as a mountain high...

piece and then suddenly he flies through the clouds to strike! :D

Yes, your stupid brat is about to die

and it's not by submission like a Ronda Rousey fight! :D

For me it's simple,....scouts don't need to bow their pride

so they will fly till eternity,.....admit it Gary, this sounds allright! ;)

It's always handy to counterstrike

when your opponent found a guy

who's about to die

so now's the sign

to browse your mind,

to intercept his lousy try

of a blitz right away

and for that you need to scout his lines!

Believe me, if you play this game very often,

they will save you at least a thousand times! :D

So don't worry if you're down with guys

cuz' with cheap detectors you can eat this clown alive!

Dare to invest and you'll get the crown in fights

but remember it good : this game will always be about the nines! ;)


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#18 The Prof

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 08:53 PM

@Gary, not only is double chasing involving a scout at a distance is not blocked by ISF, but single chasing by a scout at a distance is not blocked either.

 

The issue of divulging information is resolved in the following way.  If the player lining up his scout with another piece is blocked from continuing to move in this way, the opponent will not know if he was blocked or if he simply decided to move a different piece, so the fact that it is a scout is not divulged.  If the piece is not a scout and keeps lining up with another piece for more moves than would be allowed if it were a scout, then the player does divulge that his piece is not a scout, but this revelation was entirely under his control and avoidable if he didn't make too many repetitive moves, so I don't see this as punitive in any sense.  



#19 GaryLShelton

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 01:30 AM

Thanks, The Prof. To clarify, you're not talking about a back and forth movement by the scout over two squares because the simple 2S rule would stop this scout movement. You're speaking of a scout following an object piece at some distance and over a range of at least three squares so that the 2S rule is not a factor.

Commonly, the fifth chasing move is blocked with a range of three squares. So the concern is that the chaser will divulge his scout's identity by being blocked on that fifth move. But you say he won't because he might not be a scout anyway.

I see your point. Although I think I like the simplicity of just returning to the old scout rule, I am, of course, in the choir here. The scout-at-a-distance situation needs be resolved.

As I recall, there was a lot more vehemence running against this innocuous-seeming proposal than either one of us expected. Knowing that, it would be nice to see if any of those previously objecting could offer up their ideas on your argument concerning the information problem.

Napoleon 1er, you around?

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