Full Report for Side Stitch by Craig Duncan

Full Report for Side Stitch by Craig Duncan

Players alternate placing pieces until the board is full or both pass. The player with the group that connects most colors is the winner.


On each turn, a player plays a single stone of his/her color to any empty cell; once placed, stones do not move. Play continues until the board is full or until both players pass in succession. The pie rule applies (that is, once the first stone is played, the second player can opt to switch colors with his/her opponent).

A group of same-color stones has a value equal to the number of border colors it touches. (Note that a stone in the cell where two colors meet touches both of those colors). At the end of the game, each player identifies his/her highest-valued group. The player whose highest-valued group is highest is the winner. In case of tie, each player identifies his/her highest-valued group among the groups other than the two tied groups that were just compared; highest value wins. This process is repeated until the tie is broken. Draws are not possible.


General comments:

Play: Combinatorial

Family: Combinatorial 2017

Mechanism(s): Connection,Strict Placement

Components: Board

BGG Stats

BGG Entry Side Stitch
BGG Rating 7.66667
#Voters 3
SD 1.24722
BGG Weight 0
#Voters 0
Year 2017

BGG Ratings and Comments

User Rating Comment
luigi87 9
russ 6 Hex grid connection game -- experience with Hex, Havannah, Cross, etc seems very helpful for basic tactics. For me, the scoring didn't add enough interest -- I'd rather play Havannah or Hex. cf. Starweb, which uses different scoring but also encourages you to make a big group connecting to multiple parts of the edge.
cackleton2 N/A A connection game where the goal is to create the group that connects the most sides of the board, if there is a tie, compare the next most-side-connecting groups until a winner emerges. The scoring is done when the board is full or when a player resigns. I would play on a hexhex board using its 6 sides as the sides used for scoring.
TumbleSteak N/A Also try the Sivannah variant. You can also win by forming a loop.
pezpimp 8 You play one pieces each turn in an attempt to link link as many sides as you can game with a continuous set of pieces. We also played a variant where you can win by creating a loop. The strategy to ensure your links don't break is fairly straightforward but as you both have the same goal it is a give and take which I tend to give more than I take. We played a variant where you play three pieces and based on a die roll you get two of them and your opponent gets one, sure it adds luck but I found in a game where the mechanics are so straight forward this add a nice playful element and quite enjoyed it with that varient rather than simply playing a pieces with a back and forth reactive mechanic.

Levels of Play

AI Strong Wins Draws Strong Losses #Games Strong Win% p1 Win% Game Length
Grand Unified UCT(U1-T,rSel=s, secs=0.01) 24 24 0 48 75.00 75.00 69.88

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) 33723
Reference Size 10293
Ratio 3.28

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 second 49559.66 (20.18µs/playout)
Reference Size 360334.26 (2.78µs/playout)
Ratio (low is good) 7.27

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 % 51.65±3.05 Includes draws = 50%
2: Black win % 48.35±3.04 Includes draws = 50%
Draw % 0.19 Percentage of games where all players draw.
Decisive % 99.81 Percentage of games with a single winner.
Samples 1032 Quantity 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

Label Its/s SD Nodes/s SD Game length SD
Random playout 125,474 2,525 21,330,668 429,620 170 12
search.UCB 76,878 1,104 168 22
search.UCT 75,553 911 167 22

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 length 156.21  
Branching factor 92.85  
Complexity 10^287.95 Based on game length and branching factor
Samples 1032 Quantity of logged games played

Move Classification

Distinct actions 171 Number of distinct moves (e.g. "e4") regardless of position in game tree
Good moves 113 A good move is selected by the AI more than the average
Bad moves 58 A bad move is selected by the AI less than the average
Samples 1032 Quantity 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.


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

0 1 2 3
1 169 28730 2456415

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)


3007 solutions found at depth -1.


Moves Animation