The fight for the web

The board is filled randomly.

After the initial setup, each player may swap any two pieces in turn; this modified pie rule allows the players to balance unlucky start positions. Note: in Ai Ai, the swaps have been deduplicated, so if you can'd do the swap you want with one piece, try the other one!

Spiders move any distance in a straight line, over friends and empty spaces but must end on an enemy spider or a fly. The number associated with a piece is its strength; a spider may only eat a piece of lower or equal strength. Captured pieces must have a number <= capturing piece.

Movement is compulsory if possible; if you cannot move you must pass; but may be able to move later in the game.

The game ends when all players pass in succession.

The player with the largest spider(s) at the end of the game wins.

There are several spaces on the web that are not occupied by spiders at the start of the game. By default, these are occupied by tasty flies, which can be captured by any spider. Instead, you can play with rocks, which cannot be captured.

Web of Flies is an evolution of an earlier design of mine, *Box of Spiders*. The original version was inspired by a magazine article on farming spider silk, which noted that **If you start with a box of spiders, pretty soon you'll be left with just one rather mean-looking spider.**

General comments:

- Has random setup.

Play: Random Setup,Combinatorial,Themed

Mechanism(s): Capture,Scoring

BGG Entry | Web of Flies (2p, rocks) |
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BGG Rating | 6.96429 |

#Voters | 14 |

SD | 1.5637 |

BGG Weight | 3 |

#Voters | 1 |

Year | 2010 |

User | Rating | Comment |
---|---|---|

Oliphant | 4.5 | Cute name. Cool spider graphics. Not my favorite PnP abstract game but definitely worth a play through! |

mrraow | 10 | Disclaimer; I'm the inventor. Mini design story... The first iteration of this game was a card game called Box of Spiders, which I designed for a card game competition. (BoF was, itself, inspired by a magazine article on commercial uses of spider silk, which pointed out that if you start with a box of spiders, it isn't long before you end up with a box containing one big, mean looking spider. But I digress.) The game was fun, with a feel similar to DVONN, but the endgame was somewhat lacking. After the competition, I played the game a few more times, and realised that it would work better on a hexagonal grid, something that has since become an axiom - if it works on a square grid, try it on a hex grid; it will probably be better :) ... and it was. Anyhow, I'm really, REALLY pleased with Web of Flies. The asymmetry (move over friendly pieces, not over enemy pieces) gives lots of scope for revealed threats, sacrifices, and the like. Look at the end of the rules here on BGG for some puzzles, which will show you some of the potential of the game. AI now available - send me a geekmail with your email address if you want a copy (java 8 required) |

Jedrique | 7 | |

Kaffedrake | 4 | This is reminiscent of a much simplified Tzaar: a number of stacks of constant size bashing each other on a hexagonal grid. Play revolves around capturing your opponent's biggest pieces, your weapons including move starvation and sniping from behind your own pieces. The result feels a little like Stratego without any way to recover from a setback. Note that there are starting positions that cannot be balanced with a piece swap, making the game seem unfinished. |

slaqr | 6 | [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPrsjtw4dsk]Dice Tower Reviews - Web of Flies[/url] |

Jugular | 6 | |

dolzandavid | 6 | |

pleclenuesse | 8 | |

Josquin | 8 | |

tuskel | 7 | |

Arcanio | 7 | |

zefquaavius | 8 | As a 2-player game, this is a tricky game, well-themed with the spiders: Sneaking around and keeping yourself poised to trap and devour the important pieces is crucial. Sacrifices can't be made lightly, due to the run-off tie-breaker: You may win by having more 5-leggers (or weaker ones still!) than your opponent. |

comandantedavid | N/A | nestor |

nestorgames | 9 | |

The Player of Games | 7 | Nice little abstract game with a cute spider and fly theme. Interesting by itself and easy to get to the table (when playing kids and casual gamers) due to the funny theme. I have the expansion for 3-4 players. |

AI | Strong Wins | Draws | Strong Losses | #Games | Strong Win% | p1 Win% | Game Length |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Random | |||||||

Grand Unified UCT(U1-T,rSel=s, secs=0.01) | 36 | 0 | 0 | 36 | 100.00 | 61.11 | 28.08 |

Grand Unified UCT(U1-T,rSel=s, secs=0.07) | 36 | 0 | 2 | 38 | 94.74 | 63.16 | 29.66 |

Grand Unified UCT(U1-T,rSel=s, secs=0.55) | 36 | 0 | 11 | 47 | 76.60 | 55.32 | 29.77 |

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.

Size (bytes) | 26324 |
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Reference Size | 10293 |

Ratio | 2.56 |

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.

Playouts per second | 25830.18 (38.71µs/playout) |
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Reference Size | 1379310.34 (0.72µs/playout) |

Ratio (low is good) | 53.40 |

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.

1: White win % | 60.15±3.07 | Includes draws = 50% |
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2: Black win % | 39.85±2.99 | Includes draws = 50% |

Draw % | 0.50 | Percentage of games where all players draw. |

Decisive % | 99.50 | Percentage of games with a single winner. |

Samples | 1000 | 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.

Label | Its/s | SD | Nodes/s | SD | Game length | SD |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Random playout | 28,851 | 119 | 889,969 | 3,691 | 31 | 2 |

search.UCB | 43,661 | 12,525 | 31 | 2 | ||

search.UCT | 42,262 | 12,219 | 31 | 2 |

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.

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 | 30.11 | |
---|---|---|

Branching factor | 54.76 | |

Complexity | 10^28.56 | Based on game length and branching factor |

Computational Complexity | 10^6.01 | Sample quality (100 best): 31.95 |

Samples | 1000 | Quantity 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.

Distinct actions | 908 | Number of distinct moves (e.g. "e4") regardless of position in game tree |
---|---|---|

Good moves | 311 | A good move is selected by the AI more than the average |

Bad moves | 596 | A bad move is selected by the AI less than the average |

Terrible moves | 38 | A terrible move is never selected by the AI Terrible moves: g4-c4,g2-e6,a5-e1,b7-b3,b5-f1,c4-e2,c4-f1,c4-g4,c4-a4,c4-b4,b4-a7,b4-a6,d4-a4,d4-b4,f4-f2,a6-f1,e3-a4,f3-e3,d1-c4,a6-c7,e1-c7,f3-b5,e1-d4,f1-c7,f1-b6,a4-b5,g1-f5,f1-d6,b4-e4,g1-d7,g1-e4,f1-a5,b3-d7,d3-e6,c3-b6,d3-a7,e3-d7,d3-c5 |

Samples | 1000 | Quantity of logged games played |

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 3% of the game turns. Ai Ai found 1 critical turn (turns with only one good option).

Overall, this playout was 45.45% hot.

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

Measure | All players | Player 1 | Player 2 |
---|---|---|---|

Mean % of effective moves | 61.98 | 58.23 | 65.96 |

Mean no. of effective moves | 14.33 | 21.76 | 6.44 |

Effective game space | 10^17.28 | 10^11.54 | 10^5.74 |

Mean % of good moves | 36.72 | 71.29 | 0.00 |

Mean no. of good moves | 3.94 | 7.65 | 0.00 |

Good move game space | 10^12.08 | 10^12.08 | 10^0.00 |

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.

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.

0 | 1 | 2 | 3 |
---|---|---|---|

1 | 641 | 197722 | 7279492 |

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.

No solutions found to depth 3.

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

Size shows the frequency this move is played.

Puzzle | Solution |
---|---|

Black to win in 19 moves | |

Black to win in 19 moves | |

Black to win in 19 moves | |

Black to win in 16 moves | |

Black to win in 19 moves | |

Black to win in 19 moves | |

Black to win in 15 moves | |

Black to win in 17 moves | |

White to win in 17 moves | |

Black to win in 17 moves | |

White to win in 11 moves | |

Black to win in 18 moves | |

White to win in 13 moves | |

Black to win in 17 moves | |

Black to win in 13 moves | |

White to win in 15 moves | |

Black to win in 15 moves | |

Black to win in 13 moves | |

White to win in 13 moves | |

Black to win in 15 moves | |

Black to win in 12 moves | |

Black to win in 11 moves | |

White to win in 11 moves | |

Black to win in 21 moves | |

White to win in 11 moves | |

White to win in 13 moves | |

Black to win in 13 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.