Full Report for Adaptoid by Néstor Romeral Andrés

Full Report for Adaptoid by Néstor Romeral Andrés

Capture 5 enemy pieces to win


Each turn, perform the following actions in order:

  1. Move (optional): move a piece up to as many spaces as it has legs; a piece may capture by replacement if it has more pincers than the opposing piece; if both pieces have the same number of pincers, they are both captured.
  2. Grow (required): add a leg or pincer to an existing piece, or add a new piece adjacent to an existing one
  3. Starvation: enemy pieces with fewer adjacent empty spaces than the number of limbs they have are captured

The first player to capture five enemy pieces wins; if both players reach this goal simultaneously, the active player wins.


General comments:

Play: Combinatorial,Themed

Mechanism(s): Capture,Movement

BGG Stats

BGG EntryAdaptoid
BGG Rating6.89538
BGG Weight2.1333

BGG Ratings and Comments

mrraow8There is a wonderful balance here between the power of the pieces and their vulnerability. Thematically, it works very well also. Rating may go up with further play. My one reservation at present is whether the first player has a significant tempo advantage.
bravucon6Not bad at all, but Adaptoid is a very hard game to play from time to time. I prefer more forgiving and less tight abstract games.
Hollyhock7The deluxe edition is expensive, but it is worth it! Adaptoid is a very nice and refreshing abstract. Each turn, your game pieces may grow in strength or speed, but at the same time they become more vulnerable to death by starvation. Strong pieces are most powerful when the board is empty, but as soon as new pieces spawn or the battle reaches a table border, strong pieces become suddenly weak, as smaller and faster adaptoids are able to kill them by surrounding and starving them. So while you combat, you have to balance properly the evolution of your pieces and avoid stacking all evolutions on the same dude.
thepackrat7A good game, players seek to move and grow their adaptoids around the board to capture the opposing side, of course, you capture through starvation as well so the more powerful the creature, the more easily it starves to death. A little too paralysed by thinky moves, but still an interesting different little abstract that goes strongly against intuition of what you should do. Probably area control under the hood. With a few more plays, there are multiple different strategies and ways of playing simply to react to the other player. Suddenly the 'obvious' bad moves can be useful after all.
Markus Hagenauer8
dolzandavid7A brilliant abstract that actually makes a perfect sense thematically. Simple rules, engaging games, coupled with an ingenious rule to make the strongest pieces the most vulnerable. I am enjoying this game immensely.
ellyssian8Played this when I first got it, and didn't comment until years later... It's a good lightly themed abstract.
Andy Parsons7An abstract with a well integrated theme, if such a thing is possible. Building up a critter so that it can move faster and/or fight better also makes it more vulnerable as it needs to be surrounded by more empty spaces. That's the very clever core of this game. Strategic options seem abundant. My one concern is that the first player advantage is quite strong. Can't say I'm a fan of the mouse mat board, though the adaptoids themselves are nicely done. It was much too tight a fit squeezing everything into the pencil case the game came in, so that has been dispensed with.
krainerN/Awant super adaptoid most of all
out4blood6I like this game. It has some neat mechanics that fit in directly to the theme - as if an abstract can have a theme! - that also creates some interesting decisions.
munchkinloser77Brilliant game. I like the variety of options and strategies and the feeding mechanism. Very good abstract game.
brandoncorgi10One of the most interesting and original game designs that I have ever had the pleasure of playing. Masterpiece! Now if I can only master the strategy! Please note that my comments are for the "Super Adaptoid" edition which is beautiful and very functional. The high cost is justified.
Wentu6.7Original mechanics, quite interesting indeed. Fantastic material gives you the feeling of something moving and pinching. Unfortunately , it seemd to me quite a brain-burner in the negative aspect of the word. It seems, from a 2 plays experience, that after you win the first "skirmish", it's much much easier to win the entire game. it seems rather difficult to catch up .... i'll play it again for sure
lsamadiN/AOrdered Dec 2010. Very interested in the Super Adaptoid version.
walkie8Really elegant and clever little game.
AdrianPHague7Nice, light, semi-abstract lunchtime filler. Fills a similar niche to Hive.
barnyams368Really good abstract with theme. Your bugs may move, attack or develop themselves in order to kill a certain number of the other side. But the stronger you are, the more freedom you need... Really clever game, to play slowly, with a nice presentation.
rizkar6.5Abstract where you build adaptoids, giving them legs (movement), pincers (capturing opponent pieces), and free space (feeding, required to stay alive).
nestorgames9My baby. This game changed my life. :)
no_where_dense7A lot better than I initially thought from reading the rule. It is very clever that stronger piece can be killed easily by having not enough free neighbor spaces.
pagames6A quirky little game that's very portable. The bits are a bit small, but I enjoyed it.
glsonnN/A2p abstract
dave doma9
TalisinbearN/Athis looks promising
sweetsweetdoughnutsN/AThe definitive Nestor Games product.
pumilla3a bit expensive...
glanfam7.5Reminds me of Octi on steroids. This is the better game tho. Whipped 3 times in 30 minutes.
enzian1N/AWill be handed over at Essen'16
wwscrispin7Pretty cool little abstract
taragalinas7Clever game with some interesting mechanics. Too much manouvering for my taste, but still good.
fateswanderer6Clever, thematic 2-player combinatorial game. There are many different approaches to the game!
leffe dubbel7
Unholy Frog7
GerenukN/ACheck Schatz 20m 2p
zefquaavius9Brilliant!! Balance, agony, tradeoffs at every turn! To quote [geekurl=/user/Erulisse]Daniel Wilcox[/geekurl], "Your strongest pieces are your weakest!"
MikeBwithoutadot7.5Bought at Essen '09. Good looking 2-player abstract, comes with a foldable and washable board. Easy to take along. Very nifty mechanism: the "better" your pieces get, the easier they are too kill. Very thematic game for an abstract by the way. NL: 2 persoonsspel waarbij je elkaars "adaptoids" (een soort aanpasbare microbes) probeert op te vreten.
patchwerqN/AAwesome! A really cool 2-player abstract strategy game! Yet again, a great Nestor game with super components and storage! This game is like no other, it's tricky and fun creating little clever Adaptoid creatures that move and attack! Having to feed the little guys is the tricky part! You might create a wonderful little Adaptoid or more, but if you don't leave enough surrounding spaces free...the poor thing will starve...making your opponent gain points! While my wife is not fond of abstract strategy, she enjoys this game quite a bit!
gwenN/A10/2015 Thanks Santa Dave !
nconcN/Aアブストラクトゲームなんだけどテーマって言うかそういうのがある珍しいタイプだと思う 進化したり手が生えて足が生えるとかっていう要素は面白いと思う
erakN/AWould love a copy of Superadaptoid, but the cost is waaay too high. ($250!)
Furan4Interesting design, although it lacks something.
HeyswyndonN/AImplement with IceHouse: Rules card needed, Each player: 2 stashes (Lights & darks) etc. 1: Raygun (for capture) 2: Base 3: Boosters (for movement) Mining: must have space to mine (eat) Upgrade (or your oppentn getws piece) 2x can trade one of your pieces for your base captured by opponent. (Gives effective 12 bases) Use hex on Martian Chess back, or Poker Chips for bd.
franchi8.5Reminds me of Dvonn or Tzaar (games I like), in how 'strong' pieces become fragile, but here there is a theme too.
ludopath9Ingenious and innovative concept, great fun to play!
Striton6A great edition of an interesting abstract.
russ6I wanted to like it more than I did: the physical implementation is too cumbersome (trying to add new legs and claws to an adaptoid; trying to move an adaptoid without its legs or claws falling out). This distracted us from the gameplay itself.
D Beau6.5Relatively low rating is after one slightly unsatisfactory play, but I expect it to raise with more. The rules seem (and are) quite simple and elegant, yet we had some confusion regarding a few of the details (which were only clarified afterward, by checking threads here). The pieces are on the small side, yet an adaptoid with appendages is too large to be contained by the circular spaces. Add to this the necessity (since they're fragile little things) of sliding your pieces around, rather than picking them up, and the game becomes somewhat fussy, with pieces being pushed around, errant appendages falling, and needless repositioning. With all due respect to Nestorgames, this game really should have chunkier pieces (which [i]are[/i] available, but for an exceptionally high price). Still, it's an interesting game, and shows signs of greatness, so it's worth putting up with a bit of bother. Charity; St Gall's 2019
drbobjack7Adaptoid is a nice little movement game that has more subtleties than it seems. The core of the game is a set of pieces with ever-growing powers that feature chesslike capture, but as pieces grow stronger they require more area. This leads to stronger pieces moving through space, trying to capture loose pieces while keeping enough territory to feed and produce more pieces also vulnerable to capture. The scoring system (first to capture 5 pieces) is perfect for what the game is, forcing weak pieces to be carefully husbanded by stronger ones. It's a cool dynamic, if more limited than the best abstract games. And the nestorgames production is both lovely and perfect for the game.
Ottia9Quick, addictive and just as compact as anything on the GIPF series, Adaptoid has two players putting their own pieces onto the board and then developing them in order to eliminate rival pieces either taking them or occupying a certain quantity of spaces around them. Players must "grow" or develop pieces in every turn and the more powerful pieces are, the easier they can be attacked, so that the first movements in a game (especially by the first player) can lead it to very different routes: one powerful piece sweeping the board, many slow pieces building and/or eroding barriers, suicide attacks... The whole catalogue of Nestorgames is full of refreshing, portable ideas making any fan of abstract games dribble in anticipation; Adaptoid might be its very highlight.
Kaffedrake4In theory there's a lot of ways to equip and position your pieces, but in practice your moves are mostly constrained by your opponent's - and in particular the second player is responding to the moves of the first, as there seems to be a significant first-player advantage. It also seems the game would often be settled after the first mistake, since a player who is ahead can just go for exchanges.
Nalex2228I'm not usually a fan of abstract games but this is the exception. A brilliant little abstract with theme! Plays quick so multiple plays in one sitting is possible, allowing you to try out multiple strategies. One of the many gems in the often overlooked nestorgames range.
KrisVerbeeck7Well I respect Nestor as a publisher making lots of abstracts available through his company. This was a really tough evolution game where it easy to make a mistake. As a design it really works. Pretty good
s3rvantN/APlayed a few times, didn't care for it.
dbucak9A cool abstract with, paradoxically, a well fitting theme. There are many trade-offs to balance, do I go with fighting power or mobility, a few strong units or many weaker ones. Adaptoids with more legs and pincers can move further and fight better, but are more vulnerable to starvation. There are two ways of capturing, a chess-like move-on-top-of capture and a go-like take-away-liberties capture (eat vs. starve in terms of the theme.) This makes for some interesting tactical possibilities. So far I'm enjoying it very much.
voynitsky3I had to point on a doll to show where the game made me hurt.
captncavern8Very interesting game. I wish I had more opportunities to play it.
qswanger8.5Awesome game! Still learning it. Strategy seems allusive, but I like that. Theme works great.
rabid bearN/ALooks tre chill

Levels of Play

AIStrong WinsDrawsStrong Losses#GamesStrong Win%p1 Win%Game Length
Rαβ + ocqBKs (t=0.01s)360036100.0050.0040.75
Rαβ + ocqBKs (t=0.07s)360124875.0052.0869.10
Rαβ + ocqBKs (t=0.20s)36054187.8046.3463.39

Level of Play: Strong beats Weak 60% of the time (lower bound with 90% confidence).

Draw%, p1 win% and game length may give some indication of trends as AI strength increases; but be aware that the AI can introduce bias due to horizon effects, poor heuristics, etc.

Kolomogorov Complexity Estimate

Size (bytes)33480
Reference Size10293

Ai Ai calculates the size of the implementation, and compares it to the Ai Ai implementation of the simplest possible game (which just fills the board). Note that this estimate may include some graphics and heuristics code as well as the game logic. See the wikipedia entry for more details.

Playout Complexity Estimate

Playouts per second21061.23 (47.48µs/playout)
Reference Size372093.02 (2.69µs/playout)
Ratio (low is good)17.67

Tavener complexity: the heat generated by playing every possible instance of a game with a perfectly efficient programme. Since this is not possible to calculate, Ai Ai calculates the number of random playouts per second and compares it to the fastest non-trivial Ai Ai game (Connect 4). This ratio gives a practical indication of how complex the game is. Combine this with the computational state space, and you can get an idea of how strong the default (MCTS-based) AI will be.

Win % By Player (Bias)

1: White win %61.70±3.05Includes draws = 50%
2: Black win %38.30±2.96Includes draws = 50%
Draw %0.00Percentage of games where all players draw.
Decisive %100.00Percentage of games with a single winner.
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Note: that win/loss statistics may vary depending on thinking time (horizon effect, etc.), bad heuristics, bugs, and other factors, so should be taken with a pinch of salt. (Given perfect play, any game of pure skill will always end in the same result.)

Note: Ai Ai differentiates between states where all players draw or win or lose; this is mostly to support cooperative games.

Playout/Search Speed

LabelIts/sSDNodes/sSDGame lengthSD
Random playout2,799,06535,852207,130,8312,653,052740

Random: 10 second warmup for the hotspot compiler. 100 trials of 1000ms each.

Other: 100 playouts, means calculated over the first 5 moves only to avoid distortion due to speedup at end of game.

Mirroring Strategies

Rotation (Half turn) lost each game as expected.
Reflection (X axis) lost each game as expected.
Reflection (Y axis) lost each game as expected.
Copy last move lost each game as expected.

Mirroring strategies attempt to copy the previous move. On first move, they will attempt to play in the centre. If neither of these are possible, they will pick a random move. Each entry represents a different form of copying; direct copy, reflection in either the X or Y axis, half-turn rotation.


Game length65.06 
Branching factor11.87 
Complexity10^62.76Based on game length and branching factor
Computational Complexity10^5.51Sample quality (100 best): 80.16
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Computational complexity (where present) is an estimate of the game tree reachable through actual play. For each game in turn, Ai Ai marks the positions reached in a hashtable, then counts the number of new moves added to the table. Once all moves are applied, it treats this sequence as a geometric progression and calculates the sum as n-> infinity.

Move Classification

Distinct actions1012Number of distinct moves (e.g. "e4") regardless of position in game tree
Killer moves7A 'killer' move is selected by the AI more than 50% of the time
Killers: g4-e4,g2-f5,a5-d2,d7-e5,d1-d4,a6-d4,g1-f3
Good moves330A good move is selected by the AI more than the average
Bad moves682A bad move is selected by the AI less than the average
Terrible moves285A terrible move is never selected by the AI
Too many terrible moves to list.
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Change in Material Per Turn

This chart is based on a single playout, and gives a feel for the change in material over the course of a game.


This chart shows the best move value with respect to the active player; the orange line represents the value of doing nothing (null move).

The lead changed on 32% of the game turns. Ai Ai found 4 critical turns (turns with only one good option).

Overall, this playout was 79.66% hot.

Position Heatmap

This chart shows the relative temperature of all moves each turn. Colour range: black (worst), red, orange(even), yellow, white(best).

Good/Effective moves

MeasureAll playersPlayer 1Player 2
Mean % of effective moves63.7362.7864.66
Mean no. of effective moves8.198.727.67
Effective game space10^42.7110^21.9810^20.73
Mean % of good moves37.6233.7341.39
Mean no. of good moves5.124.975.27
Good move game space10^28.8210^13.8410^14.98

These figures were calculated over a single game.

An effective move is one with score 0.1 of the best move (including the best move). -1 (loss) <= score <= 1 (win)

A good move has a score > 0. Note that when there are no good moves, an multiplier of 1 is used for the game spce calculation.


Table: branching factor per turn.

Action Types per Turn

This chart is based on a single playout, and gives a feel for the types of moves available over the course of a game.

Red: removal, Black: move, Blue: Add, Grey: pass, Purple: swap sides, Brown: other.

Unique Positions Reachable at Depth


Note: most games do not take board rotation and reflection into consideration.
Multi-part turns could be treated as the same or different depth depending on the implementation.
Counts to depth N include all moves reachable at lower depths.
Inaccuracies may also exist due to hash collisions, but Ai Ai uses 64-bit hashes so these will be a very small fraction of a percentage point.

Shortest Game(s)


19 solutions found at depth 10.



Opening Heatmap

Colour shows the success ratio of this play over the first 10moves; black < red < yellow < white.

Size shows the frequency this move is played.



White to win in 5 moves

White to win in 2 moves

Selection criteria: first move must be unique, and not forced to avoid losing. Beyond that, Puzzles will be rated by the product of [total move]/[best moves] at each step, and the best puzzles selected.