Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tic-Tac-Toe Evolved

This game is for two players. Each player has a dice pool and a discard pool. Players choose which player will be Xs and which will be Os. The O player gets all the dice with the red markings, while the X player gets all the dice with the blue markings.

Each player should have 11 total dice. Ten of these dice are play dice and used to contest and hold squares. The 11th die is used the for declaring what the player will do with a given turn and determining the amount of dice recharged from the discard pool when recharging. In addition to these dice pools, the game board is a standard Tic-Tac-Toe three-by-three board.

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Play Dice: Play dice have six sides. Your mark (either X or O) is on four sides. On one side your opponent's mark. On the final side is an R. Rolling an R means you can elect to either re-roll this die or return it to your dice pool. If you roll an R on a re-roll, the die is automatically returned to your dice pool. Normally, all dice that are rolled are either discarded or placed to hold a square. You may never have more than 10 play dice total between the board, your dice pool and your discard pool.

11th Die: The 11th die has six sides. It is numbered 0 to 4. The final side is an R. The 11th die is used to declare how many dice are contesting a square and for use when recharging from the discard pool.

Green Die
: The green die has six sides, with two 1s, two 2s and two 3s. It is used every third turn to randomly contest a square. For a game with less randomness, ignore the green die.

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To begin play, each player puts six play dice into his or her dice pool. The remaining four are placed in the discard pool. On your turn, you may do one of three things:

1. Contest a square

Contesting an Empty Square
1. Choose a square to contest.

2. Bid dice. Each player takes their 11th die and chooses 0 to 4 without revealing that number. Once both players have chosen, reveal both dice. That is the number of dice each is using to try and claim the square.  If your opponent chooses 0 or R, the opponent may recharge 1 die. If you choose to contest a square, you must always bid at least 1 die.

3. Roll all of the dice. A player takes a square if, after all dice have been re-rolled or returned to their owner's dice pool, more of that player's marks (either X or O) are showing than the opponent's mark.

4. Winning the square. If a player wins the square, the player takes one die that was bid and came up with his or her mark and uses it to mark the space. You may use an opponent's die to mark your square if it came up with your mark. If an opponent's die is used this way, the opponent cannot recharge that die until the opponent reclaims the square (See Contesting a Held Square). All other dice that were not recharged move to the discard pool.

5. In a tie, all dice that did not recharge are moved to their owner's discard pool.

Contesting a Held Square
1. Follow the same steps as above, except, the player who currently holds the square automatically is considered as having one mark when determining who wins the square. Therefore, a player must roll at least two marks to successfully contest a square. As above, all bid dice that do not remain to hold a square are discarded.

2. In a tie, all dice that did not recharge are moved to their owner's discard pool. The square is now empty.

3. If at any point a player has three in a row, that player wins the game.

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2. Recharge dice from your discard pool.

1. Instead of contesting a square, a player may choose to recharge dice from the discard pool. To do so, roll the 11th die. Return the number of dice from your discard pool to your dice pool. If you roll an R, re-roll. If you roll an R on the re-roll, you recharge 0 dice.

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3. Relinquish a square.

1. If you have placed a mark on a square, you may return that die to its owner's dice pool. You can only return dice that are showing your mark. If you return an opponent's die to his or her pool, you may also return one of your dice that is showing an opponent's mark to your dice pool.

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Turn Order

Play begins with the first player, chosen randomly. The second player then takes a turn. After the second player's turn, roll the green die twice. The first number is the column, the second number is the row that becomes contested (per the diagram below). This is resolved the same as contesting a square, except that the players do not get to choose which square is contested, and both players may choose to bid 0 dice (choosing 0 or R). If both players choose 0 or R, neither recharges any dice. After the green die, play continues to the second player, then the first player, then the green die again. Thus, the turn order looks like this: Player 1; Player 2; Random; Player 2; Player 1; Random; Player 1; etc.

         1  2  3
1       _|_|_
2       _|_|_
3         |  |

An example play set.

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