Zex is a variant of the board game Hex, created by Steven Metzger in 2009.


The objective of Zex is to create a connected chain of player's stones linking the opposite edges of the board marked by player's color.



Zex is traditionally played on a traditional Hex board, which is a hexagonal grid in the rhombic shape shown below. Standard sizes range from 11x11 to 19x19, although the size suggested by John Nash (14x14) and the most commonly played size (11x11) are suggested as defaults.



A game begins with an empty board. Each player has an allocated color, usually Green and Yellow.

Starting with Green, players take turns placing a stone of their color on any empty cell of the board. However, instead of using the pie rule to make the game relatively fair, Zex borrows the game concept from Shintai, a Gomoku variant:

Every third turn, starting with turn 3, a player does not place a stone, but instead moves one that they have already placed to any other spot on the board. This means that Green will move a stone instead of placing one on turns 3, 9, 15, etc., and Yellow will move a stone on turns 6, 12, 18, etc., and over time the two players will not have material advantages for very long.

Zex is considered to be relatively fair, and the "moving" element replaces the pie rule in standard Hex, making every game even and adding intrigue to the game even when it appears to be decided.

Like Shintai, the game may be played using every fifth turn instead of every third turn as a "moving" turn, populating the board faster and making the game feel a little closer to standard Hex.


End of Game

The game ends when one of the players forms a connected chain of his stones linking two opposite board edges marked with his color.

No draws are possible in Zex.


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