Tumbleweed

Overview

Tumbleweed is a two-player abstract game played with white and red stackable pieces on a hexagonal board, invented by Michał Zapała in 2020.  It belongs to the territory family of games such as Go, Yodd or Amazons.

Board

Tumbleweed is played on a hexagonal board with 8 or 11 cells per side.

Terminology
  • stack is one or more pieces of the same color placed on the same cell of the board.
  • A stack is said to be "seen" from a cell, when they are on the same straight line with no other stacks in between.
  • A cell is owned by a player if there is a player's stack placed on it.
  • A cell is controlled by a player if it is empty and it "sees" more player's stacks than the opponent's. This is not a part of the original rules but a useful notion to help calculating the score at the end of the game without the need to fill the entire board with stacks.


The highlighteed empty cell "sees" two White pieces and one Red piece.
This cell is therefore "controlled" by the White player.

Objective

The objective of the game is to have more owned and controlled cells (in total) on the board than the opponent when both players pass.

Play

At the beginning of the game the board is empty. One of the players puts a stack of two neutral (not belonging to either player) at the middle of the board and then puts one Red and one White piece on any empty cell. The other player decides what color they want to play: Red or White. The player with the Red pieces makes the first move.

The players take turns placing a stack of their pieces on some cell. The height of the newly placed stack is equal to the number of stacks of the same player "seen" from the selected cell. The selected cell must meet one of the following requirements:

  • any empty cell that "sees" at least one stack of the player making the move;
  • any occupied cell if the occupying stack (of either color) is smaller than the one to be placed. This works with both opponent or neutral stacks ("capturing"), or player's own stacks ("reinforcement").


All possible moves for the White player are highlighted with yellow dots. The small yellow dots are the cells where the White player would put a stack of one piece because all those cells "see" only a single White piece. The large yellow dots are the cells where the White player would put a stack of two pieces because those cells "see" two White pieces.

In addition to the marked empty cells, the circled Red piece can be captured by the White player because the White player would put a stack of two pieces on that cell (it "sees" two White pieces) - it would be larger than the existing Red stack on the circled cell.

However, the White player cannot capture the Red stack of two pieces - because the White player could only put a stack of two White pieces on that cell and it wouldn't be larger than the mentioned Red stack.


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