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Veloop (Square)



Category Experimental


Veloop is an original game with a loop forming goal. There are two versions: this shorter Hexagonal grid game, and a longer game played on a square grid. While the game in theory can cycle cooperatively, in practice it is decisive. The concept to form a loop by means of placements that also involve forced stone swapping. The swapping allows either surrounding an opponent's stone with a loop, or enveloping it into a loop by swapping, possibly forming the loop with the swap at the same time. The game, when played by competitive players, typically needs only a limited space. This is enforced with a minimal board. The board, in turn, affects play by providing greater security for pieces along the edges, and by forcing the board to reach densities that limit move choices. This area restriction is offset by a soft phase change that allows placement over existing opponent's pieces when no placement to an empty site would allow swapping. This phase greatly increases the opportunity for game-ending moves by opening up many move choices, but it also allows cycles. To ensure the game is finite, any given site may only be over-placed once. (On a physical board this would be tracked by stacking, in this implementation, it is tracked by shading the site.) If there are no moves left for either player, the game is a draw. However, on all but the smallest board sizes offered here, games typically end with a winner, even before the piece replacement phase is reached. The larger size boards additionally minimize the edge effects and the transition to the replacement phase. Playing on even larger boards, does not affect play very much.


Goal: Form an orthogonally connected path of friendly stones that surrounds at least one non-friendly stone.

Two stones, one of each colour, are placed next to each other adjacent to the center of the board.
Then Black starts by taking one turn. After that players take DOUBLE turns in alternation.

Each turn has two parts that both must be completed: A PLACEMENT and a SWAP.

-- The PLACEMENT is made a knight's leap away from a selected stone of the same color.

-- The SWAP is done by exchanging the contents of the 2 squares that lie between the selected stone and the placed stone. For a SWAP to be valid, the contents of these squares must be different, i.e.: two stones of different color, or an empty space and a stone.

If a turn cannot be completed with a placement to an empty position, the placement must be made by placing on top of an opponent's stone.
The placement and swap rules apply to the visible stones and must still be followed.

Voluntary passing is not allowed. When neither player can move, the game ends in a draw.

To help visualise the moves, the 'Show Last Move' option shows an arrow from the placement site to the supporting friendly piece and the swap pieces are to either side of this arrow.

Optional Variants:
-- Larger Board to reduce the strategic effect of the edge squares. / Smaller board to focus on stacked play as a significant part of the game.
-- Normal single turn alternation for a more fine-grained experience, but with a first player advantage.


Dale Walton

Creation date


Ludeme Description

Veloop (Square).lud


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