Masked Thudplayer challenge!

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The Sparing Troll

There was a discussion in the ThudBoard forum about a very fine point of the rules: a troll can spare any or all of the dwarfs it lands by.

I had a confirmation from Trevor today:

Trevor Truran (via email) wrote:

It's in the rules - capturing is not compulsory (see under the heading CAPTURE). Therefore taking some dwarfs but not all is perfectly legit.

[....O]f course, any dwarf left uncaptured next to a troll can capture the troll on the dwarfs next move - so why leave it when it can be taken along with the others?

The Mystery

This question was answered by a mystery player (whom we've dubbed "the Masked Thudplayer"), anonymously posting a layout that demonstrated a situation where a troll sparing a dwarf would be The Right Thing To do (and not just because that troll, him diamond).

The Charm

One great charm of the Masked Thudplayer's layout is that it's feasible: the trolls have moved at least 17 squares. There are 14 displaced dwarfs, each of which can be returned to a unique edge square in one move, and two missing dwarfs by the troll in the top right, at least one of whom must have moved. So both sides have moved about the same amount.

I believe this ability for it to be played was either a deliberate point of the layout, or a product of how the Masked Thudplayer developed the layout.

So not only do we have a layout the demonstrates a situation where a troll might wish to spare a dwarf, but it's possible to recreate a minimal (though as pointed out in the original post, improbable) game that could produce this layout.

The Example

Here's one game. The order I have the moves is fairly arbitrary, though many of them must be made in sequence, moving into position before they're blocked. I admit I've not verified this works in any way, though: ThudBoard itself might laugh at me for it Smile

dE2-E10 
TG9-D9xE10
dF1-F2
TD9-C9
dN4-K4
TH9-G9
dM3-M4
TG9-F10
dO8-O5
TF10-E11
dF15-O7
TG8-F8
dP7-P8
TF8-E7
dC12-H12
TE7-D8
dD13-H13
TD8-C7
dB5-J12
TG7-F6
dK15-K11
TF6-E6
dL14-K13
TJ7-H6
dG15-K12
TH6-G5
dJ15-J13
TG5-F4
dM11-M14
TF4-F3xF2
dN11-N13

The Competition

Since the limiting factor is the number of dwarfs displaced, I believe it may be possible to get the game ONE move (troll + dwarf) shorter, by not moving the dwarf from E2 (and just taking it in situ instead). Since that would only allow the trolls 14 moves to travel 17 spaces, it will require some VERY cunning shoving, if it is even possible.

So: try to produce the layout below, in 14 troll moves and 15 dwarf moves!

Any takers?

I'll try (no promises, though!) to find some prize of sorts for anyone who manages it, or who manages to prove that it's conclusively not possible.

   a b c d e f g h j k l m n o p
 1           . d . d d            1
 2         . . . . . . d          2
 3       d . T . . . . . .        3
 4     d . . . . . . d . d .      4
 5   . . . . . . . . . . . . .    5
 6 d . . . T . . . . . . . . . d  6
 7 d . T . . . . T . . . . . d .  7
 8 . . . . . . . X T . . . . d d  8
 9 d . T . . . . . T . . . . . d  9
10 d . . . . . . . . . . . . . d  10
11   d . . T . . . . d . d d d    11
12     . . . . . d d d . . .      12
13       . . . . d d d . .        13
14         d . . . . . .          14
15           . . . . .            15
   a b c d e f g h j k l m n o p
--Yet another geek.

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Re: Masked Thudplayer challenge!

Dewi Morgan wrote:

The Sparing Troll

dE2-E10 
TG9-D9xE10
dF1-F2
TD9-C9
dN4-K4
TH9-G9
dM3-M4
TG9-F10
dO8-O5
TF10-E11
dF15-O7
TG8-F8
dP7-P8
TF8-E7
dC12-H12
TE7-D8
dD13-H13
TD8-C7
dB5-J12
TG7-F6
dK15-K11
TF6-E6
dL14-K13
TJ7-H6
dG15-K12
TH6-G5
dJ15-J13
TG5-F4
dM11-M14
TF4-F3xF2
dN11-N13

Erm... while copying this to ThudBoard, I noticed a few mistakes.
The fifth dwarf move should be: d O5-O8, not d O8-O5;
The fifteenth dwarf move should be: d M13 - M11, not d M11-M14;
The sixteenth dwarf move should be: d N12 - N11, not d N11-N13.
All three otherwise give a "no dwarf there" error.

With these changes, I've uploaded a savegame for this Dewi Theory Wink to my downloads page.


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Thanks! Smile


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I wonder

Bronze Member

That's all nice and wonderful but...

I wonder why it is better for the troll to spare one dwarf. Maybe I missed one moving option or something. Can someone help me with telling me what move the troll does do and which dwarf should be spared?


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Re: I wonder

Druid

Gods in the Heavens!! This is ancient stuff. Do you know what kind of a headache you just caused me??!!
I was absolutely certain there was a previous discussion on this, but any kind of intelligent search came up empty. So after an hour or more, all that was left was brute force, ie go down one node at a time. Hells, it's only 137... I should've done that earlier.......
Here's your answer: go to node 123 and on the second page of that thread you'll need to find the FIRST november 6, 2005 post by one Anonymous. That will give you an answer to your question.

I know.
It's a blessing.
And a curse.

But thank you all the same. I noticed
1: the above link to my pages is ancient and not in use anymore (please check my signature for the new one), and what's more
2: that downloads page should have pointed to node 123 in the first place. I will update ASAP. But not today. Right now, I've got a headache Wink .

Happy Thudding!
Axe Board Club


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