KnightShade is the third game based on the hexagonal knight's move and the creation of doubles that can shoot a stone in a straight line. The first two are KnightVision and Uknight. KnightShade's reason for being is its goal of creating of a monocoloured loop. Simple as such an implementation as one of three goals may seem in a game like Havannah, making a game that has a loop as its only goal it is quite a challenge. So much so that even KnightShade doesn't wholly succeed. In case of mutual failure to reach its formal goal, the creation of a loop that satisfies a simple condition, the game has a territorial default goal that guarantees decisiveness.

Play KnightShade interactively

A base-6, -7 or -8 hexhex board and a sufficient amount of black and white stones.

A loop is a chain of like coloured stones around at least one cell. The status of the cell, black, white or vacant, is irrelevant. A cell is said to be contained by a loop if it is inside the loop but not part of it.

The diagram shows a board of which the centre cell and the penultimate ring of cells are highlighted. There are two players, Black and White, who each have a sufficient number of stones in their colour. The board starts out empty. White places one stone subject to the pie rule, that is: Black can either accept it as his own first move, or place a black stone. After Black's decision turns consists of either the placement of a single stone OR throwing the top stone of a double. Passing is allowed and doesn't impede the right to move the next turn.

KnightShade board On his turn a player may:
  • Place a stone of his colour. The stone must be placed a knight's move away from at least one friendly stone. A knight's move is the step between the sharp corners of a 2x3 arrangement of cells. A knight's move away from the bottom cell A1 we find D2, D3, C4 and B4.
  • Shoot the top stone of a double.

Stacked doubles
If a stone is placed on a cell that is at a knight's move distance of at least three friendly stones, it becomes a stacked double, indicated by a dot.

Shooting a double
A player can use a turn to shoot a double instead of making a placement. In that case only the top stone of the double moves, over any distance in a straight line in one of the three cardinal directions, stopping at will on any vacant cell or at the first opponent's piece, stone or double, it encounters. It then captures that piece and replaces it by the same piece of its own colour, stone for stone, double for double.

The first player who creates a loop that contains a coherent area of cells, including the centre cell and at least one cell of the penultimate ring of cells wins the game. If neither player succeeds then the player with the most territory wins, counting stones, doubles (they don't count double) and completely enclosed vacant cells.

How I invented ... KnightShade

KnightShade © MindSports