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Hex / Connection games
The object of a connection game is to connect pieces to themselves or with the sides of the board. Games which fall into this category include Hex (HX), Havannah (HV), and Lines of Action (LA).





Hex (HX) The object of Hex is to build a continuous line of pieces connecting your two sides of the board. For example, if you have the green pieces, your object is to connect the green sides of the board with one uninterrupted line of pieces. It does not have to be a straight line, but it does have to be uninterrupted.

Since the first player to move (green) has a big advantage, that player cannot put a piece in the center row on the first move. After the first move, either player may places pieces in any unoccupied spot.

We have 12 different boards (4 colors and 3 sizes) to choose from, so if you get bored of one color you can switch to another.

Enjoy!
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Lines of Action (LA) Background:
Lines of Action was invented by Claude Souci, and received exposure in Sid Sackson's 1969 book A Gamut of Games.

Object:
The object of Lines of Action is to "connect" all your pieces into one group, so that they are connected vertically, horizonally, or diagonally.

Setup:
Lines of Action is played on an 8x8 board, and each player starts the game with 12 pieces. The dark border around the edge does not denote any special squares-- it's only there to differentiate between other games on our site that use this same board (Breakthrough and Hasami Shogi).


The board above shows the starting position. Each player starts with 12 pieces distributed around the edges of the board.

Movement:
Players take turns making moves-- black moves first. Pieces can move in 8 directions -- horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. The number of spaces a piece can move is determined by how many pieces are in its line of movement. (See example below for clarification).

A piece can JUMP over any number of its own pieces, but cannot jump over enemy pieces. A piece can LAND on an empty square, or a square occupied by and enemy piece. If you land on an enemy piece, that piece is captured and removed from the board permanently.

Example:


In the position above, the black piece inside the red circle can move to the squares under the other red circles. It can move 3 squares vertically because there are 3 pieces in that column, 2 squares diagonally because there are 2 pieces in that diagonal, and 4 squares horizontally because there are 4 pieces in that row (and it also captures the white piece in the process). Remember that you can jump as many of your own pieces as you want, as long as you land on an empty square or an enemy piece.

If this piece had been in the middle of the board, it could possibly move in all 8 directions if it isn't blocked by an enemy piece (remember, you can't jump over enemy pieces).

Winning the game:
You win the game when all of your pieces are connected horizontally, diagonally, or vertically. If both players connect all their pieces on the same move (this can happen if a piece is captured), then the game is a draw.

The board above shows a winning position for White, because all its (remaining) pieces are connected.

More information:
More examples and a basic strategy section can be found on the
Wikipedia Lines of Action page.
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Havannah (HV) Background:
Havannah was invented by Christian Freeling in the early 1980's. It is featured here on ItsYourTurn.com with his knowledge and kind permission. You can read more about Havannah and other games invented by Freeling at
Mind Sports Arena (or more specifically, the Havannah page, which has a link to a section on Havannah strategy).

Object:
The object of Havannah is to create any one of three formations: to connect two of the six corners on a hex board, to connect three of the six sides on a hex board, or to form a "ring" of pieces completely surrounding one or more hexes.

Setup:
Havannah is played on a hex board with 8 cells per side, containing a total of 169 cells. The initial board is empty.

Placement:
Like Hex, you can place a piece on any empty cell. Once a piece is placed, it remains on that cell for the rest of the game. There is no capturing.

Winning the game:
You can win the game in one of 3 ways:
  • BRIDGE: Form a continuous line connecting any two corners of the board
  • FORK: Form a continuous line connecting any three sides of the board
  • RING: Form a closed loop around one or more cells


The following examples will illustrate the different winning conditions:

The example above shows a bridge. The purple pieces have joined two corners in a continuous line. The red dots show the pieces involved, and the large red circles show the corner cells that have been joined.

The example above shows a fork. The green pieces join three sides in a continuous line. The corner cells do not belong to any of the sides, and do not qualify for the fork winning condition. The red dots show the line of green pieces involved, and the red circles show the green pieces on the sides of the board.

     
The two examples above show rings, in which pieces form a closed loop around one or more cells. The surrounded cell(s) may be empty or occupied by either player. Both examples above show a ring around a single cell. The first example shows purple pieces surrounding an empty cell, and the second example shows green pieces surrounding one of its own pieces.

     
The next two examples show rings around more than one cell. The surrounded cells may be occupied or unoccupied, in any combination.

In actual practice, winning a game with a ring is rare, but the threat of a ring can often influence the outcome of a game.
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