Richard Rognlie's Abstract Games Server

This entry is part of the PBM List.

Type: 2 or more player abstract games
Email: pbmserv@gamerz.net (with "help" in subject)
Email: rrognlie@gamerz.net (Richard Rognlie, the moderator) [ok]
Status: continually accepting new players
URL: http://www.gamerz.net/~pbmserv/
Keywords: free, closed-ended, email, computer, abstract
Last-Update: 1997Apr17

Description

This generic Play-By-eMail currently supports a variety of games. The games currently supported are:

Chess, QuickChess, Abalone Andantino Ataxx and Hexxagon Backgammon Capablanca and GrandChess

Chex Connect4 and Connect4x4 Connexxions Dots and Boxes Connectris

Entropy Gomoku Hex Jungle Lines-of-Action

Othello, Reversi Neutron Oddthello and Pente and Philosopher's Reverse-Othello Keryo-Pente Football

Plotto Quadrature Qubic Renju Rings

Score4 Spangles Survival Susan Tanbo, Tanbo3D and Hexbo

Terrace Trax, 8x8Trax Tug-of-War TwixT and LoopTrax

To play games via the PBeM Server, send mail to pbmserv@gamerz.net with the command as the Subject: line. Use the signup command to choose a PBeM userid and password. It may be anything you wish provided if contains no spaces, quotes or colons. As a matter of form the name should be based on your real name. Popular methods include using your first name by itself, or prepending your first initial to your last name.

The password is a personal choice, but the key is to pick something you can REMEMBER. If you forget your password, it is a real nuisance to fix it. The only restriction on your choice is that no spaces, quotes, or colons be included in the password. The password is designed to prevent accidentally moving for someone else rather than acting as a tight security measure, so remember that whatever you choose you are going to have to type EVERY TIME YOU MAKE A MOVE, so don't choose anything which is going to be a problem.

The server will automatically maintain a history of your games as well as a picture of the boards. Each time a player moves, a copy of the board will be sent to each of the players in that game. If you want to peek at the status of someone else's game or just check up on one of your own to make sure you haven't missed some e-mail, use each game's 'show' command. The server will respond to queries to recall the history and position of any of its boards.

As an additional social feature, the PBeM server will forward mail to all the players of a given game so you can make comments (taunts) to your opponents. You can also send non-game specific messages to any PBeM Server user via the message and broadcast commands or via the PBeM Server mailing list (pbmserv-users@gamerz.net)

Response time is usually very quick (not much more than roundtrip email time), and you should always get a response (unless something goes wrong) If the PBeM Server does not respond to a command, you can try the simple command "help" to see if the system is down or not. If the PBeM Server responds to "help" and you don't have a response from your other command still, something has gone wrong. Try again or ask rrognlie@gamerz.net for help if problems persist.

Comments, suggestions and assistance are welcome.

In Case of Fire, contact:

* Richard Rognlie <rrognlie@gamerz.net>

Getting Help:

help [ subject [ ... subject ] ]

Administrative commands:

signup userid password [ e-mail address(es) ]

Adds you to the PBeM server. You must sign up before you are allowed to participate in any PBeM games. userid is any sequence of characters not including colons, spaces, or quotes. The same goes for password. If you have multiple E-Mail addresses or have a particular favorite account you wish all PBeM mail sent to, specify it after your password. Otherwise, the PBeM server will assume the return address of your signup request is where all PBeM mail should go.

change password userid current password new password

This allows you to change your PBeM password. You may wish to do this periodically. The PBeM server uses the passwords for its own purposes. (It stores them as clear text, so you probably do *not* want to use the same password as you use for your login accounts!)

change address userid password [ e-mail address(es) ]

This allows you to change the PBeM servers mail address for you. Any mail that the PBeM server send will normally go to this address. If no address(es) is(are) specified, the PBeM server will assume the return address of the request as the desired address.

delete userid password

When you have decided that you have wasted enough of your life playing these silly games that can last for weeks, delete your user account as a courtesy to the other players.

Miscellaneous commands:

list [ game type 1 [ ... game type N ] ]

List the status of the game types specified. If no game types are specified, a list of PBeM users will be displayed. For privacy reasons, only their PBeM userid will be displayed.

message userid password toUserid1 [ ... toUseridN ]

If you wish to send a message to a PBeM user, but do not have their eMail address, you may send it via the PBeM server.

broadcast userid password

If you wish to send a message to ALL PBeM users, use this. Please limit use of broadcast to topics of potential interest to all players. You may want to use the PBeM Server mailing list (pbmserv-users@gamerz.net) as an alternate to the broadcast command. Please include your pbmserv userid in your message so people know to whom they should address their responses.

Games supported:

Abalone

On a hexagonal board (radius 5) two to six players have armies of marbles. Players take turns "pushing" 1, 2 or 3 linearly connected marbles, attempting to push their opponents' marbles off the board.

Related Help Subjects: abalone abalone.rules abalone.tips

Computer Opponents: AI-Aba

General Abalone Interest: Dan's Abalone Page

Andantino (Copyright (c) 1995 David Smith)

The players take turns attaching pieces of their color to two or more other pieces (in a hex-like lattice) in an attempt to form a line of 5 or more pieces of their color in a straight line, or to fully enclose a group of one or more opponents pieces.

Related Help Subjects: andantino andantino.rules

Ataxx and Hexxagon

On a 7x7 board, the two players of ataxx fight to controll a majority of the board via growth and jumps that flip opponents pieces to their color.

Hexxagon is Ataxx played on a hexagonal board of radius 5.

Related Help Subjects: ataxx ataxx.rules hexxagon hexxagon.rules

Backgammon

A classic. Backgammon via eMail.

Related Help Subjects: backgammon backgammon.rules

Chess, QuickChess, Capablanca and GrandChess (Copyright (c) 1984, Christiaan Freeling)

Chess is the classic game. QuickChess is a variant played on a 5x6 board. Capablanca and GrandChess are variants with 2 extra pieces on 8x10 and 10x10 boards respectively.

Related Help Subjects: chess quickchess capablanca grandchess chess.rules

General Chess Interest: The Chess Variant Pages

Chex (Copyright (c) 1994 David Smith)

Unlike standard Chess, Chex is played on a dynamic board which grows and shrinks to enclosed the pieces currently in play. The board is not limited to 8x8. It may grow to any width and/or height.

The players' pieces do not start on the board. Rather they are off the board, and "drawn" randomly to be added to play.

Related Help Subjects: chex chex.rules

Connect4 and Connectris

On a 7x6 board, two players alternate dropping their pieces from the top of the board, down a column, attempting to form four in a row.

Connectris has the same rules and commands as Connect4. The only difference is that when the bottom row is full, all of the pieces in it disappear, and all of the other pieces move down one row, similar to the computer game Tetris.

Related Help Subjects: connect4 connect4.rules

Connect4x4

On an 8x8 board, two players alternate inserting their pieces from the edges of the board, across a row or up/down a column, attempting to form four in a row.

Related Help Subjects: connect4x4 connect4x4.rules

Connexxions (Copyright? David Gale)

On a 13x13 board, players take turns connecting posts of their color in an attempt to connect their sides of the board the board while preventing your opponent from doing the same.

Related Help Subjects: connexxions connexxions.rules

Dots and Boxes

On a 7x7 board, players take turns connecting the dots to form boxes.

Related Help Subjects: dots

Entropy (Copyright (c)1994 Dansball Inc.)

Entropy is played on a 5x5 grid. Each player starts with 7 pawns and tries to scatter them about.

A player wins if all 7 of his or her pawns are uncharged and unisolated, unless the 7 opposing pawns are also uncharged and unisolated, in which case the game is a draw. If neither player can move and no one has won, the game is a draw.

Related Help Subjects: entropy entropy.rules

Gomoku

On a 15x15 board, the two players of gomoku try to be the first to create a line of 5 or more stones in a row of their color.

Related Help Subjects: gomoku gomoku.rules

Hex

On a 11x11 diamond board, players take turns placing stones of their color on the board. The object is to connect your sides of the board while preventing your opponent from doing the same.

Related Help Subjects: hex hex.faq

Jungle

Jungle is sort of a cross between Chinese chess and Stratego. It's popular in China as a children's "stepping-stone" to Chinese chess. It's also an interesting game in its own right.

Related Help Subjects: Jungle Jungle.rules

Lines-of-Action (LoA)

The object of the game is to move all your pieces into a configuration where they are in a single group connected horizontal, vertically, or diagonally. Pieces may move horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, but they must move exactly the number of spaces as there are pieces on the row they are moving in. You may not jump over opponent's pieces, nor may you land on your own piece. If you land on an opponent's piece, it is captured and removed from the game.

Related Help Subjects: loa loa.rules

Other LOA Pages: loa home page

Neutron (Copyright (c) 1978 Charles Wetherell)

On a 5x5 board, the two players of neutron fight to either move the neutron to their back row or trap it so the opponent cannot move it.

The winner is the player who is able to trap the neutron or gets the neutron to his or her own back row. It does not matter if it is your opponent who moves the neutron to your back row -- you still win.

Related Help Subjects: neutron neutron.rules

Oddthello

On a dynamic hexagonal lattice, two players play othello without a fixed board. And with 6 directions for tile flipping.

Related Help Subjects: oddthello oddthello.rules

Othello (Copyright (c) 1973,1990 Pressman Toy Co.), Reversi and Reverse-Othello

On a 8x8 board, the two players of othello fight to control the majority of the board by outflanking and flipping their opponents pieces.

Reversi is the same as othello, but allows for an alternate opening set up.

Reverse-Othello (ROthello) uses the same command structure and movement notation as othello, but the object is to control the fewest points on the board.

Related Help Subjects: othello othello.rules reversi reversi.rules

Pente

On a 19x19 board, the two players of pente try to be the first to create a line of 5 or more stones in a row of their color *or* try to capture 5 pairs of their opponents stones. You capture a pair of stones any time you sandwich the stones between a pair of your stones.

Related Help Subjects: pente pente.rules

Keryo-Pente

On a 19x19 board, the two players of keryo-pente try to be the first to create a line of 5 or more stones in a row of their color *or* try to capture 15 of their opponents' stones. You may capture 2 or 3 opponents' stones any time you sandwich the stones between a pair of your stones.

Related Help Subjects: k-pente k-pente.rules

Philosopher's Football

On a 19x15 board, players take turns either adding men to the field, or moving the football. The football moves by jumping lines of adjacent men (and removing them from the board). The object is to move the football to (or past) your goal line.

Related Help Subjects: phutball phutball.rules

Plotto (Copyright (c) 1995 David Smith)

The players take turns placing one hex shaped piece in turn onto an open space (no board). Pieces are numbered either 1, 2, 3 or 4 and you may play a piece of any number at each turn. The object is to place a pair of pieces with your number in a straight line with two pieces in between.

Related Help Subjects: plotto plotto.rules

Quadrature (Copyright (c) 1995 Mark Steere)

Starting on opposite sides of an 11 by 11 board, players take turns moving their checkers a single space forward, diagonally forward or sideways. Quadrature employs a unique aggressive maneuver called "squaring". To "square" your opponent, you move to form a rectangle on the board with four checkers: three of your own checkers and one enemy checker. Upon doing this you "convert" the enemy checker to one of your own, by removing it from the board and replacing it with one of your surplus off-board checkers.

Related Help Subjects: quadrature quadrature.rules

Qubic

On a 4x4x4 grid, two players alternate placing their pieces, attempting to form four in a row in any direction.

Related Help Subjects: qubic qubic.rules

Renju

On a 15x15 board, the two players of renju try to be the first to create a line of 5 stones in a row of their color.

Related Help Subjects: renju renju.rules

Rings (Copyright (c) 1995 Stephen Linhart)

On an unusual hexagonal board, the players of Rings, place pieces on the board in an attempt to convert other pieces to their color and to control the more rings than any other player.

Related Help Subjects: rings rings.rules

Score4

On a 4x4 grid of pegs, two players alternate dropping their pieces from the top of a peg, down a column, attempting to form four in a row in any direction.

Related Help Subjects: score4 score4.rules

Spangles (Copyright (c) 1995 David Smith)

The two players of Spangles take turns adding triangular pieces of their color to the board in an attempt to create a 4 piece triangle with their pieces as the three corner pieces.

Related Help Subjects: spangles spangles.rules

Survival (Copyright (c) 1995 David Smith)

Survival is played on a hexagonal board made up of 19 numbered hexagons. Two players take turns placing pieces on the board with the "arrow" of the piece dictating the direction in which the next piece played by that player must be played. The first player who can not move loses the game.

Related Help Subjects: survival survival.rules

Susan (Copyright (c) 1994 Stephen Linhart)

On a hexagonal board (radius 5) two players take turns placing or moving a marble in an attempt to completely surround a opponent's marble with a combination of marbles.

Related Help Subjects: susan susan.rules

General Susan Interest: The SUSAN Page

Tanbo, Tanbo3d (Copyright (c) 1995 Mark Steere) and Hexbo (Copyright (c) 1996 Rognlie/Steere)

Played on a 19x19 Go board, Tanbo crudely models a system of plant roots. Roots which are growing, competing for space, and dying. In beginner play, the roots grow much as the roots in a garden. Over time, the roots become shrewd and calculating.

To win, a player must eliminate all eight of his opponent's roots. One player will always win. It's impossible to repeat a board configuration in Tanbo. Therefore a game cannot result in a draw.

Tanbo3d extends the game of Tanbo into three dimensions.

Hexbo is Tanbo played on a hexagonal board.

Related Help Subjects: tanbo tanbo.faq tanbo.rules

Terrace (Copyright (c) 1995 by Siler/Siler Ventures. All Rights Reserved)

Terrace is played on an 8x8 board consisting of 16 'L' shaped terraces. Two corners of the board are "High" and the other corners are "Low". Each player has pieces of 4 sizes ('A', 'B', 'C' and 'D'). 'A' pieces are the smallest, 'D' pieces are the largest. 'T' pieces are the same size as 'A' pieces and are each player's "key" piece.

The object of the game is to capture your opponent's "T" or move your "T" to the lowest square on your opponent's side of the board.

Related Help Subjects: terrace terrace.rules

General Terrace Interest: The Official Terrace Strategy Game Homepage

Trax, 8x8Trax (Copyright (c) 1983 David Smith) and LoopTrax(experimental)

Trax is a game played with square tiles. Each tile is identical to all other tiles, one side has a white line connecting opposite edges and a black line connecting the other edges, and the other side has a white line connecting 2 adjacent edges and a black line connecting the other edges. The object of the game is to create a loop of your color while preventing your opponent from doing the same. An alternate winning condition is to create a line extending from one edge of the board to the opposite edge of the board when the board is at least 8 tiles wide (or tall). 8x8Trax limits the board to 8x8. LoopTrax is simply Trax with no line wins. Only a loop wins.

Related Help Subjects: trax trax.faq

General Trax Interest: WWWTrax Information

Tug-of-War (ToW)

Up to four players take turns placing "bids". High bidder gets 1 goal point from each other player. First player to take an average of 5 points from each other player wins.

Related Help Subjects: ToW

TwixT (Copyright (c) Avalon Hill)

On a 24x24 board, players take turns placing pegs of their color on the board. Any time a peg is placed a "knight's move" from another peg of the same color, a strut is placed, connecting them. A strut can not cross over (through) another strut. The object is to connect your sides of the board while preventing your opponent from doing the same.

Related Help Subjects: twixt twixt.rules

Example TwixT Games: Notation, Game 1 (text version), Game 2 (text version)

TwixT Puzzles: Puzzles (text version / solutions)

      


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Greg Lindahl