Topo - a game

Is anyone familiar with the game Topo? I read about it in a book and found on online site about it, but can’t find any other mentions of it. The problem is that the rules are explaining very clearly and I’m not sure I have them all correct.

It seems to me that, as the rules are written, the second player to place a number is guaranteed a win. You should just place 100 in any space adjacent to the space your opponent assigned his first number to. Your single space cannot be captured because it’s impossible for your opponent to outnumber it. And you’re guaranteed to capture at least his first space.

The only defense against this tactic is for the first player to assign 100 to his first space. This will result in all games being ties with neither player being able to capture a space.

I can think of ways to avoid this situation. The most obvious is to allow players to capture empty spaces. Is that how the game is supposed to be played?

A bump. Anyone?

The link doesn’t seem to work.

That’s weird. It was working when I posted it, I checked. Maybe the additional hits from this post overwhelmed the site’s bandwidth but that doesn’t seem likely with only 85 views.

Your interpretation is that you use your own regions to capture the regions of others. It seems to me that you can only capture your own regions. Therefore, since each player has a set of ten regions they are allowed to capture, the strategy of the game is in depriving your opponent’s regions of sufficiently high-valued neighbors for him to be able to capture them.

Right. If you just put 100 in one region, (and you play two player) you’ll be unable to make any captures, and your opponent will be able to capture all of his numbers.