sytran base-10-board

The idea to use the Symple scoring system in combination with the placement protocol of Nick Bentley's game Strands was first used in China Grove. The notion came when I had a fleeting thought that connecting groups in China Tangle and its immediate ancestor Strands was "always good". "Not always", my mind objected, "only if the groups matter". A boring kind of thought of course, but I often suffer from those overscrupulous corrections of my own thoughts. However, in this case it made me think of another game in which connecting groups is always good, namely Symple. "But in Symple", my mind proceeded, "they're indeed always good, regardless of the state of the game".

And then I thought "hey, what about the China Tangle placement protocol and the Symple goal"? That resulted in China Grove and after having devised it I inevitably thought "what about the Strands placement protocol (which is the same) and the Symple goal"? That seemed a very good match, so I mailed Nick Bentley about it and then left it, because there was China Grove and in its wake the invention/discovey process had of course culminated in China Squares.

Then, while working on the essay on the emergence of the China games the idea of a Strands/Symple merger came back, just as inevitably. Since Nick didn't seem interested, I decided to do it myself. It was winter, and I had little else to do except taking care of four Burmese Pythons and a raccoon dog and watching BBC First and the rather depressing news. Then, a few days after, I got up and while making coffee I suddenly saw the Sytran board (without the name yet, of course) and the game morphed itself into its current form like a tangled up rubber band that suddenly springs to its original form.

In May 2024 Ed added the square version of the game.

It has been fun, now I'm done.

Enschede, December 2023 / May 2024

christian freeling