Talk:TwixT

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WikiProject Board and table games (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
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How to improve Start Class assessment?[edit]

What can be done to improve this article? There are very few references about this game to cite, and those that have been published offer little in the way of useful additional information, although they might be more approachable for general readers. Should I publish a book on Twixt and then cite that? Most of the information provided is a result of personal experience.

Besides the citation issue, what actual information about Twixt is lacking here? One might even argue that the tutorial on how to play extends beyond the purview of an encyclopedia, although I'm grateful that it has been allowed to remain.

A detailed critique on the writing style exhibited on the article page, and how it might better conform to the standards expected of a Wikipedia article, would be welcome. Thanks for your time. --Twixter (talk) 17:25, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I would suggest radically cutting down the page. The detailed discussion of specific strategems is really inappropriate for a Wikipedia article about a game, and I say this as a big Twixt fan. This article should be about a third of its current length, or less. — crism (talk) 03:55, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I disagree that strategy is inappropriate for wikipedia. There are plenty of high-quality pages which include strategy information (Chess#Strategy and tactics (FA), Go (game)#Tactics (FA), Stratego#Strategy (B)). --Quantum7 18:19, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
The game play notation is never explained. I'm not sure that the game play should be in the article at all, but if it is included, it should be explained. From context, I'm guessing that the *-notation means to add a connection, and ** means to add two? Or something like that? 69.247.154.15 (talk) 06:18, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
As a reader with no prior exposure to TwixT, I actually thought the article was pretty clear. I probably would have rated it a C class page. It meets the 'substantial' content criterion, and I don't see any major holes. It is weak on references regarding the rules and strategy, but is adequately referenced for the historical information. To bring it up to B standards would take a bit of work:
  • Original research in Basic Patterns. Unfortunately, but the section is very helpful to a beginner TwixT player, so I would hate to see it cut entirely. Can we take you up on your offer to publish a book, Twixter?
  • The Sample Game section doesn't really fit on the main TwixT article. There are some sample games on wikipedia for other games (eg List of chess games), but they seem to be either notable for the game itself or else used to illustrate specific strategies. Maybe if there were a TwixT Strategy article the sample game could be moved there, but as of now there's not enough content to justify two pages, IMO.
  • As 69.247.154.15 suggests, the notation could be mentioned briefly. It was obvious to me, but I've read a lot of chess games.
  • The 'Where to Play' section should be combined with External Links.
  • Significantly more references regarding rules and strategy
--Quantum7 18:31, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

variants[edit]

Rather than risk deletion from the main Twixt page, I place some info on variants here.

Twixt Variants[edit]

Perhaps the most popular variant is called Twixt PP where PP means paper and pencil. The rules are almost identical to standard Twixt. The only difference is with regard to link removal. When you play with paper and pencil, links are never removed (no erasure necessary,) but your own links are allowed to cross each other. This means, for example, that a winning path might loop across itself. Crossed links are not inherently connected to each other. In other words, the object is still to form a sequence of pegs of your color, each directly linked to the next, which connects your border rows.

In terms of game outcome, for the vast majority of games, this rules change makes no difference. On the Little Golem turn-based server, thousands of games have been played, all using the PP ruleset. Of those, only a handful, less than 0.1%, can be pointed to as reasonably clear examples of games that probably would have ended differently under standard rules. Most of those are games which would have been a draw under standard rules instead of a win for one side. But one game almost certainly would have been a win for one side instead of the other. Here is a contrived example on a smaller board:

PPrules.png

Under PP rules, black to move has an easy win with F9, linking to both E11 and H8. But under standard rules, black would have to first remove the F8/G10 link in order to place F9/H8, and that would allow white to then play at E9, double linking to D11 and G8. White is also threatening to play either i9, which is a triple link, or H10, which is unstoppably connected to the bottom. There is no way for black to effectively block all these threats.

Some players might argue that PP rules are cleaner than standard rules. For one thing, the incidence of draws is reduced. But draws are already quite rare under standard rules, my personal preference. I believe the extra complications that result from link removal add depth and beauty to the game. In the Randolph series of puzzles, link removal is an essential part of several of those puzzles, and they would not be particularly interesting or challenging positions under PP rules.

Row handicapping is another variant which offers a way for players of different strengths to both enjoy a challenging game together. The simplest handicap is to eliminate the pie rule. Beyond that, one dimension of the grid is reduced. The weaker player moves first and also has less distance to cross. On a physical board, this might be implemented with two extra pieces of neutral color which look nothing like pegs but which fit in the holes. These are placed in the two new corners of the board, which are out of play, to indicate the new location of one of the weaker player's border rows. Six rows plus move might be a reasonable handicap between an experienced player and a beginner. The idea is to find a handicap where each player wins about half the time. Of course there is no pie rule for any handicap game.

On the main article page, someone modified the last sentence above to:

Of course there is no pie rule for any handicap game, silly.

I changed it back. For one thing, personal opinion is not appropriate. Also, I have seen intelligent people deliberately make a weak first move in a handicap game because they did not comprehend the implications of having no swap rule. Calling them silly does not help them learn. --Twixter (talk) 14:32, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Different size grids from the standard 24x24 could be regarded as variants. The 12x12 board shown here leads to a very short game. It might be useful for development of computer programs which play the game, but between humans it is not very interesting. Even on the 24x24 grid, tactical considerations tend to predominate. The opening phase is over quickly, and the rest of the game is spent attempting to tactically justify the plan which you are now stuck with. By comparison, Hex, which has a very similar game object, may have more monotonous tactics, but strategical considerations are much more important. In this sense, Hex is more like Go than Twixt is, since a single move is generally less committal, and mistakes may not be punished as quickly. In my opinion, a larger grid for Twixt would result in greater balance between tactics and strategy. Since most commercial sets use boards which are made from four "quadrants" which either clip together or are hinged, a 36x36 grid could be cobbled together from three sets of the same size. In Europe, there briefly appeared a Twixt knock-off called "Imuri" which used a 30x30 grid. The board had no holes, and lines were drawn to indicate where the links could be placed. But the manufacturing quality was not so great; for example, link paths were drawn at each corner between adjacent border rows (A2 to C1 etc.) This edition was removed from shelves after Mr. Randolph threatened suit.--Twixter 17:45, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Diagtwixt.png

I am indebted to Mark Thompson for the variant Diagonal Twixt. This has the same rules as standard Twixt, but the border lines no longer run parallel to the square grid of holes. Mark's idea was for border lines which run at a 45 degree angle to the grid. You can see an image of such a board at the link given. Scroll to the bottom of the page. My version has the border lines running parallel to link paths. These variants result in many different tactical patterns. They feel like completely new games in this respect.--Twixter 21:08, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Pie rule[edit]

The text currently says

This "one-move equalization" was added by Randolph after 3M published his game. It is present in the Schmidt Spiele edition and all later editions.

It is my understanding that Randolph had a pie rule from the beginning, but 3M omitted the rule. I have no cite.  Randall Bart   Talk  00:20, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

I used to think so as well, but Klaus Hussmanns told me that he and other players suggested the pie rule to Randolph after the 3M edition came out. --Twixter (talk) 19:10, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Sample game[edit]

This has clearly been copy-pasted by someone from their personal website, and clearly doesn't belong here. I don't even edit wikipedia but even I can tell that having some random guy's e-mail address on a wikipedia page is totally inappropriate. I was tempted to delete the whole lot but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings (or look like I'm vandalising). At most have a link in the external links section at the bottom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.27.55.215 (talk) 15:36, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Well no, this was never on my website, but you have a valid point. I appreciate you did not delete it. I reproduce the sample game here on the Talk page, where I originally put it. Someone else moved it to the Article page. I also return the images to a readable size, and I update my email. Twixter (talk) 20:35, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Online play external links[edit]

The external links section is a link farm. I've split out the online play links, including the "Where to play" links formerly embedded in the article. I think these are promotion, and should be removed. The AI links are also promotional. Some of the other external links are also superfluous to a scholarly presentation.Sbalfour (talk) 15:25, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

I've removed most of the external links - these should be to places where comprehensive or preferably scholarly information can be found; its not intended to be a link farm for online amusement. Wikipedia is not a gaming site.Sbalfour (talk) 14:46, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

lead needs reorged[edit]

The lead is supposed to be a summary of what's in the text, no new info presented here. But its bloated with mostly superfluous details that belong somewhere in the text. I think I'm going to be bold and fix it myself.Sbalfour (talk) 15:36, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Basic patterns section[edit]

This section is a WP:GAMEGUIDE, totally unreferenced probably original research. I'm working on a related article Stratego, with the same issue and the analogous section there also has the same tag. "How-to" manuals tend to swamp the article, and such text can grow without bound for a deep strategy game. It may just be acceptable to remove the text to a website, and list an external link to that site. But the text cannot remain in the article without citation, and the citation should be to a published source by a credentialed player or a historic champion and represent game experience in sanctioned competition, akin to a book on master play or combinations in chess.Sbalfour (talk) 18:15, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

I should say, that a Strategy, Basic Patterns, or similar section is not necessary for GA or even FA (with rare exceptions - chess is one). Nor is it even a significant part of a concise scholarly article. The article is 'about the game', not about 'how to play the game'. A section that details things like, "how do I make a good opening", "how do I block my opponent", "what are some good plays", "what are some traps to avoid", etc belongs in a game manual, not in the encyclopedia. A reasonable (and short) description of gameplay may be a good addition to the article - things of interest to a general audience considering buying or playing the game. It answers questions like, is the game thoughtful (chess) or casual (yahtzee); how are the board and pieces used/deployed during the game; are there phases or characteristic maneuvers in the game (for example, the scrimmage lineup in football); is experience required to play a good game; is the skill similar to that in some other (perhaps more familiar game)? For an exemplary Strategy/Gameplay section, see Hex (board game)#Strategy or Chess#Strategy and tactics. Note how concise and narrative they are, as well as devoid of jargon and detail. Sbalfour (talk) 18:59, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

I've (re)moved the Basic Patterns section here, under the [Show] button to avoid clutter on the talk page. Do not replace it until it has been properly sourced.Sbalfour (talk) 19:12, 14 January 2017 (UTC)