SOMA News 4 Jan 2004 E-Mail.

A SOMA board Game

Through the years, some people have asked if there is a game for two persons, using the SOMA cube. And aside from the description in the manual, of "Who is fastest to solve a figure" I knew of none.

Now however I found a description by Andreas Gunnarsson.
Andreas notes that he haven't given it much thought so there could be a trivial win for one side, or perhaps all games turn out to be draws when both players play decently.
So if you have any suggestions, improvements or comments, then please write to me at <thorleif@fam-bundgaard.dk>.

The Game

Two players, each one has a set of the seven Soma pieces.
The two sets should be distinguishable (e.g. one white and one black).
Use a board with 6x6 squares where the size of each square matches the pieces (e.g. the 'T' piece can be laid out on the board to exactly cover four squares).
 SOMA board game.

The players alternate making moves.
Each move can be done in one of two ways:
• A player can add a piece to the board.
The piece must be in contact with the board (So - don't build a tower)
No part of it may be outside the board and there must not be any empty space below any part of the piece (e.g. the 'Z' piece can only be placed in an upright position if it rests on some other piece).
The pieces must be aligned with the squares on the board.

• A player can remove one of his own pieces if no other piece rests on it.
When a player places his last piece on the board, the other player makes one more move and then the game is over.

Each player gets as many points as the sum of the heights of all columns of which he owns the topmost piece.
The player with most points wins.
In the unfinished game above, Red hold 7 points and Yellow hold 9 points.

If a player is not able to make a move when it's his turn (i.e. he is not able to place a piece and none of his pieces are removable) it's a draw.

I don't know if this can happen - can it?
If it turns out that it's easy to make this happen, then perhaps it should be a win or loss instead. Depending on if it's easy to make it happen for yourself or for your opponent.

Submitted by Andreas Gunnarsson <aghp@zzlevo.net> Gothenburg - Sweden. http://puzzles.zzlevo.net/soma.html
Read about Andreas' "Sticky cube" at the newsletter N030412.HTM
Edited by Thorleif Bundgaard <thorleif@fam-bundgaard.dk>

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