Discussing the Game of TwixT
14 Nov 2012 1:30 AM
Hey, Dble T.  Thought this might be a better forum for exchanging thoughts than the game chats. 

re. your question about those comments in the Twixt Commentator site: Some of those guys over there are serious students of the game.  I've had difficulty following their discussions sometimes because of the lingo and abstract concepts.  For instance, that TwixT guru Alan talked about balance, but I don't know what that means exactly or how to apply the concept. 

When I looked at some of the games played between the top ranked players, it was like trying to decipher sanskrit.  Players would putting pegs all over the board that made no sense to me, passing up what I thought were obvious attacks.  I have a better understanding of the strategies and tactics now, but still am very clueless relative to those players in the top 20-30. 

There's not a book or indepth Web site that I know of.  The closest might be a set of pages on a site call Wetpaint.  I'll have to dig up the URL.  And Alan Hensel has a Web site with articles he's written and a database, but it seems geared to those who already have a lot of experience and don't need some of the basic concepts explained to them.  The Wikipedia page has a lengthy write up of some of the patterns.

But the best way is just to look at other played games and watch.  I thought I knew the game pretty well when I rediscovered it last January and started playing here.  But Mark showed me how naive I was and LG games have really put me through the ringer and pushed me to evolve.  I'm better now, but still have a ways to go.  I think I'm starting to plateau now though.
Dble T
14 Nov 2012 2:23 AM
Thanks Yibyab. You and others that I am starting to get acquainted to have been helpful but none more than you so thanks. If you find that URL let me know as it also would be much appreciated. Now that I know about following moves aver at LG I hope to make that a staple to evolve my game however twixt is like a snowflake and no two games are alike. So, like you, I'll just keep at it by playing players like you and have a bit of fun while doing so.

Also, if you ever find out how to limit the # of games or between the same player more than 1 at one time I'd like to know that. I remember when going through the setup that I believe it required me to input something like "5" but can't find how to change it on the home profile to perhaps another number. Right now I have one column, all under "My Games" that indicate "Tournament" at the top but have two games going with Jewdy, three with bill and another two with Jerpderp. So some of those have to be 1 on 1 right?

Game Time Opponent Rating Tournament Moves
#1493959 2012-11-16 Eowyn info 1720 twixt.ch.33.4.2 Size 24 0
#1493633 2012-11-18 bill info 1525 Twixt PP Size 24 3
#1493636 2012-11-18 bill info 1525 Twixt PP Size 24 3
#1494807 2012-11-21 bill info 1525 twixt.mc.2012.nov.1.1 Size 24 0
#1494813 2012-11-21 SamFloyd info 1500 twixt.mc.2012.nov.1.1 Size 24 0
#1493966 2012-11-21 nietsabes info 1639 twixt.ch.33.4.2 Size 24 5
#1493984 2012-11-23 gawel info 1400 twixt.ch.33.4.2 Size 24 10
#1493985 2012-11-23 Gerald info 1298 twixt.ch.33.4.2 Size 24 1
#1493983 2012-11-24 Roberto info 1457 twixt.ch.33.4.2 Size 24 9
#1493982 2012-11-24 Myszcz info 1476 twixt.ch.33.4.2 Size 24 8
#1492298 2012-11-24 BikingJeff info 1466 Twixt PP Size 24 34
#1493635 2012-11-24 Jewdy info 1591 Twixt PP Size 24 31
#1494814 2012-11-24 jerpderp info 1537 twixt.mc.2012.nov.1.1 Size 24 5
#1493634 2012-11-24 jerpderp info 1537 Twixt PP Size 24 19
#1494810 2012-11-24 Yibyab info 2013 twixt.mc.2012.nov.1.1 Size 24 11
#1493632 2012-11-24 Jewdy info 1591 Twixt PP Size 24 30
14 Nov 2012 3:34 PM
Right.  The ones that say TwixT PP are just head-to-head matches, not part of a tournament structure.  The system paired you with those opponents after your signed up for rated games.  It's somewhere in the user preferences how many games you want the system to set you up with.  I'd have to go back and see where that is set or changed. 

I haven't registered for any head-to-head games since getting into the tournaments.  I haven't played in any user-generated tournaments, but there are two types that Little Golem manages.  One is the monthly cup and the other is the championship tournament. 

Monthly Cups run well past the month in which they were started.  For instance, I'm still competing in the September monthly cup.  When it's finally over, one person will be left having won the "Cup" for that particular month.  You can enter multiple times between the first and last day of the month, but once the calendar rolls over, then a new monthly cup begins concurrently. 

Whenever there are 5 entries ready, the system will put those 5 into a round robin-format tournament, and then keep doing that throughout the month as more people sign up.  And like I said, you can get in multiple ones of these, without even having to wait to see if you won or lost the first one.  There can be half a dozen of these 5-person first round monthly cups going on at any given time.  After they've all been played, the winners are put into a final round robin contest, and the winner of that will be the Cup winner for the month the whole thing began.  And because games can be excruciatingly slow (since they give you so long to make a move before you forfeit, it could be 3-6 months before a winner is decided.

The championships are less frequent but sequential. One doesnt' start until the previous one is completely done.  And instead of it being by rounds, they do it by leagues (Championship level).  The top level is just one round robin tournament and only consist of 10 contestants: the top 6 from the previous championship and 4 new contestants who fleet up from level 2 by having either won or come in 2nd in those level 2 tournaments.  There are two level 2 tournaments, each of which is independent.  The bottom 4 from the just completed level 1 championship are demoted to level 2 and have to win their ways back up to level 1. 

So, it's kind of like a pyramid.  There are more level 3 tournaments and even more level 4.  Not sure if there are level 5, but the ratings descend in order with 1 being the highest.  The system plugged me into level 3 at first since I had won a few games and my rating was rising above the starting 1500 mark.  I won my level 3 tournament so moved up to level 2 for the next one.  I tied with someone in that tournament, so both of us fleeted up to level 1 where we are now...and I'm finding myself at the bottom of the heap and will likely be demoted next time. 

Frankly, I like doing the tournaments better.  I think the supply of games is better than just signing up for random pairings, although it got a little out of hand this past week when I suddenly got flooded with a ton of games.  I have a hard time playing more than a half dozen at a time.  I lose track of where I am and takes me a while to remember to reacquaint myself with a particular game and remember what my strategy or logic had been. 

Man...look at me ramble.  Read through the FAQ on the LG site.  It explains the tournaments and ratings a lot better.  And after awhile you'll get used to the conventions used at LG for the board (colors, index, lines, posting mechanism, etc.).  Like I said, aesthetically, I like this site better but there are some features LG has that would be cool if Mark had the time to implement here.  I'm just grateful he (or anyone) took the time to implement the game in an online format for us freeloaders.

I'll see if I can find the Twixt links I mentioned.  Shouldn't be hard.
14 Nov 2012 3:44 PM

And this guy, Alan Hensel, has some tools and pages that TwixT experts refer to:

I believe he is the person credited with the TwixT Commentator site/tool that is linked to from the Little Golem games.  They're not affiliated but complement each other. 


It's very educational to sift through past games where folks have talked about the game afterwards.  They're usually the most competitive of the LG games and played by those in the top tier, so you wind up learning a ton once you get used to the jargon.  I still have a hard time digesting game analysis by reference to the grid index.  I'm a more visual person, so to me it's genius how you can post hypothetical moves and actually see it projected up on the game board. 

I think that's all I know about.  LIke I said, the Wikipedia page for TwixT is pretty detailed.  In fact, I think Alan Hensel may have edited much of that.  He seems to be the acknowledged expert. 
Dble T
14 Nov 2012 11:35 PM
Man, thanks for the wealth of info yibyab. I really appreciate it!