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Subject: More Othello
From: David Litchman (Davel23_at_rcn.com)
Date: 2004-05-03


I've played some C-2 now, and it's fairly interesting. It seems like the
main tactic of C-2 is to make the move which nets it the most pieces
flipped to its color, even if it's not necessarily the best move
strategically. As the game stands now, that's not a bad tactic, since
whichever player has the most pieces at game end wins. And as the game
works now, if there's nowhere to go the game ends. Under more traditional
Othello rules this doesn't work quite as well. In fact, in the early to
middle stages of a game it's usually more beneficial to make moves which
net you *less* pieces rather than more. When you have fewer pieces of your
color on the board, it limits your opponent's options. You can force them
into making moves which benefit you, giving you access to side squares,
corner squares, etc. And it's even possible to maneuver your opponent into
a situation where they must pass multiple turns in a row, allowing you to
take solid control of the board. I think it would be interesting to see
how an AI which was programmed to make the move which netted it the least
pieces each turn did. Although it shouldn't allow itself to placed into a
situation where the opponent's next turn could flip all remaining pieces of
the AI's color, thus ending the game. Of course, there is a point in every
game where you must start thinking more about taking as many pieces as
possible. I don't know that I could definitively identify that point, though...

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