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Category Board, Space, Connection


A square connection game where crosscuts are resolved by swapping stones. Resolve was designed by Alek Erickson in July 2020. The rules were finalized through critical playtesting session with Dale Walton and Luis Bolaños Mures. The game was partly inspired by the swap mechanic from Michael Zapala's Slyde. The original idea for swapping stones to resolve crosscuts can be traced to Phil Leduc's Thruway and Bill Taylor's Swapway as early as 2008, but the notion of a resolving stone where a single stone gets serially swapped to fix cuts in Resolve is novel.


Resolve is a connection game for two players: a player with Black stones who wins by connecting the East/West sides, and a player with White stones who wins by connecting the North/South sides. Players take turns placing and swapping stones on the intersections of a square grid which is initially empty. Passing is forbidden. Same-colored stones with orthogonal adjacency are connected. The game is over when a player wins by connecting their designated sides of the board with a single group of connected stones of their color, at any time during their turn or their opponent's turn. Cutting stones are any four stones in a generic crosscut configuration.


On your turn you must select the following one of two actions.
1. Place a stone of your color on an empty point. If that stone creates a crosscut, swap it with different adjacent enemy stones that share a crosscut with it, until that stone is no longer part of a crosscut.
2. Choose a stone of your color that is part of a crosscut, and use it to resolve crosscuts as in 1. Then place a stone of your color on an empty point, if possible.


Alek Erickson

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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