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Lifeline

Period

Modern

Category Board, Space, Territory

Description

Lifeline is a territorial strategy game for two players. It was invented by Michael Amundsen and Luis Bolanos Mures in February 2022, and was inspired by Go and Kanare Kato's Meridians.

Rules

Lifeline is a territorial strategy game for two players (Black and White) that is played on the cells of a hexhex board (or, equivalently, on the points of a hexagonally shaped isometric grid).
Size 6 is the smallest recommended size.

Definitions:
A group is a stone along with all other stones one could reach from it through a series of steps between adjacent stones of the same color.
Two groups are said to reach each other if they are adjacent to each other or to the same empty region of the board.
A group is said to be cornered if it reaches enemy groups only.

Setup:
Starting with Black, the players take turns placing stones of their own color on empty cells, one stone per turn.
The setup ends when each player has two stones on the board.
These two stones must not be adjacent to each other.

Play:
After the setup, the players continue taking turns in the same order.
On your turn, place a stone of your color on any cell in an empty region that is adjacent to one of your groups.
After your placement, remove all cornered enemy groups.
At the end of your turn, there must be no cornered groups of your color on the board.

The last player to make a placement wins.

Optional meta-rules (for balance):
The pie rule:
When playing with the pie rule, White has the option to swap sides after Black's first move. If White chooses to swap, they become Black, and the player who started out as Black plays as White from the immediately next turn onwards.

12* protocol:
When playing with the 12* protocol, players make two placements each turn, except for Black's very first turn. To win you must be the last player to complete an entire turn by making both your placements.

Komi:
When playing with komi, a whole number of points is given to White as compensation for going second.
Instead of making a normal placement, White has the option to spend one point of komi.
This has no other effect than reducing the number of points they have available to spend, but, crucially, it formally counts as a placement (a null placement), so that White wins by spending a point of komi if Black has no legal follow-up.
In this implementation, komi is spent by clicking the shield icon next to White's name.

The 12* protocol and the pie rule cannot be combined in this implementation, but komi is compatible with either choice.

Author

Michael Amundsen and Luis Bolanos Mures

Creation date

2022-02

Ludeme Description

Lifeline.lud

Concepts

Browse all concepts for Lifeline here.

Identifiers

DLP.Games.1545

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lkjh Maastricht University Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE), Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands Funded by a €2m ERC Consolidator Grant (#771292) from the European Research Council