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Andantino (game)

Andantino is a two-player abstract strategy[?] dynamic[?] board game invented by David Smith[?]. The game uses no fixed board; instead, the players place tiles according to the rules, creating the "board" as the game progresses.

One player is Black, and plays black tiles; the other player is White, and plays white tiles. The tiles are regular hexagons, and should have no discerning features other than their colour.

The game is played as follows:

  • White starts by placing a tile; after that, play alternates, with one tile placement per turn.
  • Black must place their first tile so that it matches edges with the starting tile. After this, every tile played must share sides with at least two of the tiles already played.
Note that due to these required rules, the first three plays of the game are forced; using number signs to represent black tiles and zeroes to represent white tiles, after the third move the game will always look like this:

This may be rotated or reflected, but the gameplay will be identical.

  • A player wins by accomplishing one of two goals:
    • They can complete a straight line of five tiles of their own colour, or
    • They can surround one or more of their opponent's tiles in a continuous group of their own colour. There can be empty spaces in the surrounded group, as long as there is at least one enemy tile.

There seems to be a considerable first-move advantage in Andantino; playing two games, where the players swap first play, is common.

David Smith[?]'s games commonly use a dynamic board; see Spangles[?] and Trax[?] for others.

Andantino is playable on Richard Rognlie's play-by-eMail server. Like many connection games[?], where pieces typically do not move or become captured, Andantino lends itself well to play as a pencil-and-paper game. It can be considered a considerably deeper replacement for Tic-Tac-Toe.


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