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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Its Go Time!


Covai Seriba
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Covai twirled one of the black stones between his fingers as he stared at the board. It was a little weird playing a game by himself, but it did give him time to think and focus on his own weaknesses. Admittedly, he usually didn't see his errors for a few more moves, but that just made them all the more clear to him.

 

Clicking the stone down near the corner, Covai leaned back in his seat as his eyes gazed the board. Everything was spread out much thinner than usual, so it was a different pace for him. He tended to focus on one or two areas of the board at a time, so now he was trying to control the entire board at once. It was causing some unexpected problems, but it was good to try different tactics every now and then. Falling back on the same tactics all the time led to predictability, which lead to defeat.

 

Yawning as he stretcheds his next, Covai suddenly noticed he had a newcomer to the game watching. Grinning, he scooped up a white stone and tossed it to the man. "So do you play, or just watch?"

 

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The clack of stone on stone attracted Ze'el's attention. It wasn't an uncommon sound, in the Farm, but it didn't sound like blades crossing or any weave that he knew of. It was a more gentle sound, like dropping pebbles into a cup, one by one. His curiosity had been sparked, and so he went to investigate. He didn't know of anything that would make that kind of sound, and Ze'el wasn't comfortable having unknowns around him. Plus the sound was almost mesmerizing, like watching a drop of water drip from a bucket. It wasn't too hard to locate the source of the odd noise, but what he found wasn't exactly what he expected.

 

The Storm Leader sat facing a strange square board, covered by black and white stones. At first he thought that they were just random designs, an odd pastime that struck the man's fancy. It wouldn't be the first time that the Storm Leader amused himself in some way that didn't make sense to the men around him. He would have walked away then, but he hesitated. The Storm Leader was an odd man, but definitely a smart one, perhaps there was some hidden meaning behind the oddly placed stones. The more he watched, the more he realized that the stones weren't random, but in patterns. He would alternate placing a black stone and a white stone, and they seemed to advance. It reminded him of something, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

 

After a few more stones were placed on the board (and a couple stones moved from their previous positions to new ones) he realized what it reminded him of- it was like those boards where generals representing their army facing the enemy's. The black stones were trying to flank and capture the white stones and vice-versa. Ze'el deduced that it must be some sort of strategy game, where the black battled the white. It did look very similar a sort of battle simulation, but it was also complex. Just when Ze'el thought that he understood some of the rules the Storm Leader did something to enlighten him. Finally, he decided the only thing he understood about the game was the the black was trying to flank the white, and the white was trying to flank the black.

 

Ze'el didn't realize that he had wandered closer to the other man in his examination of the game, and so he was surprised when he found a white stone tossed at him. In his surprise, he nearly forgot to act meek. "Err... I've never seen the game before, sir," Ze'el admitted. "But from watching you it looks like you're trying to flank the other person?"

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Toram was at the Inn getting a meal on one of the rare occasions when he didn't have anything to do immediatly. It seemed as if all he did since getting here was run there, fetch that, and all sorts of things in between. I haven't even started what I really want to do. Learn all sorts of new weaves. They have already jammed my head full of what the different elements can do and what they cant do. Finishing his late lunch Toram looked around at the people wondering what he could do to appear busy so that anyone who came in would not send him on another errand. It was at that time that he noticed the Storm Leader sitting at a table by himself apparently playing a game of stones. Toram had heard of the game but never tried it out, supposedly all the great generals and rulers played the game and it was said to be something like controlling an army on the field. Well I guess that if he's willing to teach then I'm willing to learn. As he got up from his spot he noticed a dedicated standing there watching the man play by himself. Heading over to the table he caught the words that the Storm Leader said to the dedicated.

 

"So do you play, or just watch?"

 

Toram knew that he was talking to the other man but said, "I don't know how to play sir but I would be willing to learn if you would like to teach me." He waited for the man to answer and hopefully it was a yes so that he wouldn't feel like a complete foll standing there.

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Covai nodded and waved both of the men to sit. He had only been speaking to the first one, but he figured the latecomer's timing was lucky enough to include him in the lesson as well. Holding his hand out for the stone he had passed to Kassian, Covai droped it into the dish to the side of the board before seperating the stones he had been placing, dividing them up evenly back to their starting bowls.

 

"Alright, the basic aim of stones is simple enough. Control more area than your opponent. If your pieces are captured and taken off the board. It is possible to fortify your positions though so you can't get captured, but you to do at the risk of loosing out on gaining more territory. You take your moves in turns. First black, then white, then black, then white, so on and so on. The game is over when you can't make any more worthwhile moves, you someone surrenders."

 

Taking a white stone in each hand, Covai placed them near opposite corners on the far side of the board from him. Taking his time to let the demonstration sink in, Covai then pulled some black stones out and proceeded to surround each stone on all but one side. "Now, when I move here.." Covai clicked the stone down on the fourth side of one of the white stones, "it's surround, and is captured. To stop this happening, you need to make sure your stones aren't surrounded on all sides..." Covai proceeded to place a white stone in the other corner, where he had placed a black stone previously. "This will leave some part of your stones open."

 

Covai paused to let the idea sink in. "Make sense so far?" Covai waited for a slightly hesitant nod from each of them. "Alright, so lets see here then...." Covai busied himself setting up a some different patterns of stones around the edges of the board. "Alright then."

 

"Each of these groupings need just one stone placed to capture the other colours. Kassian, you look at the ones that want to capture black. Toram, you can take the ones looking to capture white."

 

 

 

EDIT: Sorry about the half post, not sure what happened with that :S If you guys want a link to some actual Go problems I can send you some, but its a bit tricky without graphics on these message boards :P

 

 

 

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Ze'el jumped when the other man (a Soldier, he noted) spoke. He was a little irritated that he had interrupted, but he was far more irritated at himself for not noticing that he was not alone. He had been so absorbed in the game that he was completely oblivious. He studied the Soldier briefly, noting that he was taller than average, but overall having a normal appearance. His eyes were a little lighter than most, though. He blinked a little at the Storm Leader's outstretched hand, but then remembered the stone that he had caught.

 

He suppressed the urge to smirk when Covai explained the rules of the game. Obviously he had been fairly accurate in his analysis of the game. He listened to the explanation of the conquering of territory, and then how to capture individual pieces. The game seemed fairly simple the way the Asha'man explained it, and so Ze'el set off to do what the Storm Leader instructed. He was supposed to look at "the ones that want to conquer the black" or in other words: the white pieces. One he knew what to look for, the jumble of black and white seemed to sort its self out in his mind. After that, finding pieces that looked like they were going to be taken was fairly simple. In fact, it was so simple that Ze'el found himself looking beyond the individual pieces.

 

The point of the game was to control more area than your opponent, and so Ze'el looked beyond the pieces and at the groupings themselves. You had to gain more ground while fortifying your own position, because if you left your pieces by themselves they would just be picked off by your opponent. Ze'el scratched his chin as he scanned the board. His first impression was to control the area directly in front of him, imagining the board as a battlefield, but he noticed that Covai had placed the stones hardly caring about which area was closest to which player. He kept that idea in mind, because the all of the areas were worth equally as much.

 

He then proceeded to look at the groupings of the stones. It didn't look like they were concentrated in one area, but instead they were spread out into different groupings all across the board, like skirmishes. He frowned and thought that it would be better to focus all of your stones in one area, so that you couldn't be surrounded, but then he tried to think of where you would focus your stones. If you placed all of your stones in the middle of the board, then you would be easily surrounded and your opponent could focus on conquering the rest of the board. Likewise, if you put all of your stones in a corner, then you would be boxed in.

 

The next thing he noticed was that you couldn't think of the board two-dimensionally. You didn't have one group facing another group, for your stones could be taken from all sides: forward, backwards, right, and left. There was one group of white stones that looked like it was overwhelming another group of black stones, but then there was a group of black stones behind the white ones that could easily overwhelm them. While examining the board that was no longer a simple board, Ze'el found himself frowning. This 'simple game' was a lot more complicated than it first appeared.

 

OOC: sorry if my thoughts are a little jumbled, I was trying to keep an eye on my little brother while writing it :)

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Huh... sounds simple enough, but I bet it's anything but, Toram mused while looking at the board. So the point is to capture all the opponents pieces. And I'm supposed to be trying to capture the white ones. Looking at the board Toram seen that all the pieces were spread out, like they were randomly set down. But there was little pockets of groupings all over the board. Most of the groups were about even with a couple having the advantage to either side. You wouldn't want to spread yourself too thinly because then you would be easy to "conquer," but then again you also don't want to put them all in one group and get surrounded on the first couple of turns. ...I bet the key is to find a good mixture of both.

 

 

OOC: Sorry this is a kind of short post but I'm getting tired. Are we actually going to play a game of stones?

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  • 3 weeks later...

OOC: Well, since this seemed to come to a screeching hault I guess I'll just post something... :)

 

IC: Once they had studied multiple games for a suitable enough length of time, the Storm Leader suggested that they should play a real game. It was rather simple: Covai would be playing both of them at once (on two different boards) and would be teaching them while doing so. He found that the game was a lot harder than it looked. The first game he had gotten completely crushed. Ze'el could see that he had been completely crushed, but he didn't even know where he went wrong. The next game, he learned a very important rule- you can capture more than one stone at a time. As long as you surround a group of stones completely, so that there are no more places the group can extend to, the entire group is captured. That increased the complexity by a lot, because no longer were groups of stones safe.

 

That knowledge made him last a little longer, but he was still being destroyed by the Storm Leader completely. Luckily, however, Covai was giving them tips along the way. The next crucial thing he realized was that he was going after individual stones. In other words- Ze'el had been playing to capture stones, while the real point of the game was to capture territory. Once he realized that, he realized that sometimes you had to sacrifice stones. For example, Ze'el began to see that there were situations where trying to get his stone out of danger would just put even more stones in danger, and so he began to abandone stones, or even whole groups, and try to attack elsewhere.

 

He was getting better every game he played, but he still wasn't up to Covai's par. The man was a good teacher, however, and after a few games he could definately see improvement. Ze'el wouldn't call himself good at the game; in fact, he was still quite bad, but he could see why he was loosing. He still wasn't good enough to prevent Covai's attacks from working, or to keep from falling into his traps, but he could see why he lost, and improve from there. It was definately a complex game, but Ze'el liked it. It was very mentally stimulating, and very rarely did he ever get any mental challenge. Phsycial challenges were as common as brown eyes, and challenges with the Power were just as common, but a good mental challenge was more than welcome.

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OOC: Sorry you guys I thought that since no one had said anything that we were done with this or something. I don't know much about these things, I'm new to rping.

 

Once Covai had taught them about the game for a little while, he challenged both Toram and Ze'el to a game. Both at the same time, on two different boards. After one game Toram was about ready to give up, but wouldn't be able to live with himself after disrespecting himself in front of the others, especially the Storm Leader. And there was one important thing that the Storm Leader forgot. You can capture more than one stone. Maybe he had neglected to mention it or maybe he just forgot or something, but it put Toram at a severe disadvantage in that first game.

 

For the next game Toram was still decimated. But not quite as badly this time due to Covai's tips along the way. This time he learned a couple more things, like don't worry too much about seeking out the opponents stones, try to take more territory than the other person also. And there was the fact that you had to sometimes sacrifice some stones in order to let some others get an advantage.

 

After a few more games Toram didn't notice much of a difference in his playing. He actually at one point thought he was getting worse, but then some turn of fate had him place a stone at apparently just the right spot because Covai had backed off for a second and seemed to actually think about a move. He learned a few tips and maneuvers that night but didn't think he would be playing stones too often. And going on what he had thought earlier in the night he wouldn't be a great battle leader either.

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