Bug

Overview
Bug is a two-player abstract board game played on a hexagonal board that was invented by Nicholas Bentley in 2017.

Board

Bug is played on a hexagonal board. Larger boards can be used for a deeper game. Initially the board is empty.

Definitions

1) A bug is an entire group of connected, same-color stones on the board. A single stone is also a bug.

2) The size of a bug is the number of stones it contains.

3) Growing a bug is placing a new stone of your color adjacent one of your bugs already on the board. You may not merge bugs, and you may not grow a bug to be larger than the largest bug on the board (of either color) prior to placement. Examples:

The size-2 black bug at the top left corner cannot grow to the cells B1,C2 and C3 because it would merge it with other Black bugs.
However, it can grow to B3 and A2.

The size-3 Black bug cannot grow at all because it would make it bigger than the largest bug already on the board (size-3).

 

3) Eating a bug is removing an enemy bug that is touching your own bug of the same shape (but not necessarily the same orientation!) but only if your own bug has an option to grow after the removal of the enemy bug. If your bug has no option to grow then no eating is possible and the enemy bug stays on the board. Examples:

Both White and Black size-3 bugs can eat each other. If it's Black's turn then it eats the White bug and grows by one in any possible direction. The eaten White bug is removed from the board.

The highlighted size-1 White bug cannot eat the adjacent size-1 Black bug because that White bug doesn't have options to grow after eating (it would merge it with other White bugs, which is not allowed). Therefore no eating happens for White player.

However, in this position size-1 Black bug can actually eat the adjacent size-1 White bug because it has an option to grow to D2.

Object of the Game

The first player who CANNOT place a stone in the placement step WINS. That is: you win if you’ve filled the ecosystem with your bugs so much you can no longer expand.

Play

The game begins with an empty board. There are two players in the game: Black and White. Starting with Black, players take turns performing the following actions:

  1. Place a stone on an empty space to either start a new bug or grow one of your preexisting bugs by one stone. Note that such placement is not allowed to merge two of your existing bugs together.
  2. If one of your bugs on the board can eat an enemy bug then you should do so and grow the "eater". If there are a few options you can choose between them.
  3. As long as you have options to eat again (either preexisting ones or new ones that appeared as a result of growing the "eater") you should continue eating. Whenever you're done with eating everything you could eat, your turn is concluded.

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