PerSiVic Rules



PerSiVic is a strategy game that two people play using a 9x9 square board with 81 squares. Each square can be vacant, or have any number of stones in them.

Each player starts off with 27 stones, which are placed on the first row, 3 stones in each square, as indicated in the following picture:

Each player, starting with the red player, alternately plays the stones in a single square, as described in the next section.

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The nice thing about PerSiVic is its new form of movement, which is both simple and allows a large number of possible moves. There are only two rules for moving the stones from one square to others:

1.- Each tuen the player moves all of their stones from one square a distance equal to the number of stones that are in the square. For example, three stones can move a distance of three squares. Each stone in the square can move independently, but each one moves The same distance. The distances is defined as being the number of squares which are horizontally or vertically (orthogonally) adjacent to that square.

For example, one possible move for three stones is indicated in this image:

Also, each stone could move to three different cells, such as the following example:

The original rules are not clear on this, but the count of possible moves for three stones below make it clear that two stones can move to the same square, with the third stone moving to a different square, if desired.

Also, while not stated in the rules, subsequent comments made by the inventor imply that stones can only move outward from where they start their move. In other moves, if a stone or group of stones moves left during its move, it can not move right during the same move; if a stone or group of stones moves up durning its move, it can not move down during the same move.

As sone can see, naturally, that a single stone can only move one square to the left, right, up, or down.

2.- The squares the each stone or group of stones move over must be vacant. PerSiVic does not allow one to jump over one's own stones or the opponent's stones. One also can not go through or land on a square with stones. The only exception is the capture, which is described below.

The following figure indicates which squares the group of four stones can and can not move to. Movement to squares marked with a checkmark is allowed; movement to square marked with an X is not allowed.

Note, however, that a stone or group of stones can land in a square with stones of the same color. This allows one to create new groups with more stones in them, therefore increasing the movement range of the new group.

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The only stones that can capture are stones which are by themselves in a square. Capture is done by replacment, by moving the single stone one square horizontally or vertically; this is the same as the movement of the stone.

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Victory conditions

The first player who places three or more stones on their last row (the opponent's first row) wins.

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The following conditions cause a draw:

PerSiVic is a very intense game, but has yet to be extensively playtested.

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In the opening, it is vital to get as much space as possible.

In the midgame, the player needs to banance between having a large groups of stones, a number of single stones, and one or more groups with a few stones. Squares with only one stone limit the movement of the opponent, since they threaten the capture. Meanwhile, groups of stones, ideally containing three to five stones, are very mobile and can win the game in only one turn. The player needs to try to make a wall of 1-stone squares, which will block off enemy penetration.

It is not a good idea to have large groups of seven or more stones. These groups are not as mobile, and are easily captured by the opponent.

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Comparison with other games

When comparing PerSeVic to other games, the first game that comes to mind, due to its superficial similarity, is Chess. A simple analysis of the two games show vast differences. Chess has six pieces, each with their own movement. PerSeVic is far simpler, with only one rule of movement (there is a slight difference between a stone by itself and a group). Despite this simple rule, different number of stones have different movements. Since each stone in a square can move to a different destination square, there is a huge number of possible moves from even a small group of stones.

A group of three stones in the center of the board can make 12 different moves if they move together. There are 364 total moves after taking in to account that the three stones can each make their own move.

The way that PerSiVic has a far higher branching factor makes the game more similar to the Asian game Go, which also has simple rules and yet allows an almost infinite number of possible games.

Another obvious sources of inspiration for this game came from Mancala, an African game which also has game squares (well, bowls) in which one can sow any number of stones. The movement in Mancala, however, is completely different. Inspiration also came from Hex, a relatively modern game which also has simple rules (in fact, simpler rules than PerSiVic). The winning conditions are somewhat similiar.

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Last Spanish revision: 13 de julio de 2002.

English translation by Sam Trenholme; translation last revised December 18, 2002

© Ernesto Amezcua Montes, 2002

Translation © Sam Trenholme, 2002