Welcome to the network Gates server. The challenge command is described here. Other commands are the same as for all pbmserv games.
gates challenge [-size=n] [-y] [-hex] [-cross] userid1 userid2
Starts a new game for two players.
The -size option sets the board size.
The -y option starts a game of Y Gates (default 10 cells per side).
The -hex option starts a game of Hex Gates (default 10 cells per side).
The -cross option starts a game of Cross Gates (default 5 cells per side).
Gates is a set of connection games played with special split path tiles.
Tiles: Two players, Light and Dark, share a common pool of identical hexagonal tiles showing the same pattern of white and blue paths on each side. Each tile side has three three white corners and three blue corners; there are three orientations (a, b, c) in which corners of the same colour lie in the same positions:
+o--+ +o--+ +o--+
/oo o oooo \ oo oo
+ oo oo+ + oooo+ + oooo+
\oo o oo oo oooo /
+o--+ +o--+ +o--+
a b c
Board: The board is a hexagonal field whose shape depends on the version being played. The board is initially empty.
Play: White places a tile on the cell of their choice, rotated as they wish. Blue may then elect to swap colours in lieu of making the second move (swap option). Players then take turns adding a tile to an empty cell in any of the three valid rotations.
Aim: A player wins by completing a path of their colour. The exact type of path required depends on the version being played. Each game will have exactly one winner.
Y Gates: A player wins by connecting the three sides of the board with a path of their colour. For example, Light ( ) wins the following mini-game.
+ oo oo+o--+
ooo oo o
+o + oo oo+o--+
oooo oo oooo \
+ oooo+o + oooo+o--+
oo ooo ooo ooo oo
+o + oooo+o + oooo+
oo ooooo oo oooo /
+ oooo+o + oo oo+o--+
oooo oooo oo o
+o + oooo+o--+
ooo oo oo
+ oo oo+o--+
Hex Gates: A player wins by connecting their sides of the board with a path of their colour. For example, Dark (o) wins the following mini-game.
(o) +o--+ oo oo+o--+ ( )
ooo ooo oo oo
+---+ oo oo+o + oooo+---+
/ ooo oooo ooo / \
+---+ +o + oooo+o + +---+
/ \ oooo o ooooo \ / \
+ +---+ oooo+o + oooo+o--+ +
\ / oo o oo oo ooooo \ /
+---+ +o + oo oo+o + oooo+---+
\ ooo ooo oo ooo oo
+---+ oo oo+o + oooo+o--+
ooo oo ooooo /
( ) +o--+ oooo+o--+ (o)
Cross Gates: A player wins by connecting three non-adjacent board sides with a path of their colour, but loses if a path of their colour connects two opposite board sides before doing so. If a move completes losing paths for both players then the mover loses. Corner cell edges shared by consecutive sides count as connections to both sides.
For example, Dark (o) wins the following mini-game; they have connected two opposite sides but have won by connecting three non-adjacent sides at the same time.
oooo \ oo oo
+---+ oooo+o--+ oooo+o--+
/ oo ooooo oooo oo o
+ +o--+ oooo+o + oo oo+
\ / oo o oo ooo o
+---+ +o + oo oo+o +
/ \ /oo ooo oo o
+ +o--+ oo oo+o + oo oo+
\ oo oooo oo ooo o
+o--+ oooo+o + oo oo+o +
oooo ooo oooo oo oooo \
+ oooo+o--+ oooo+o + oooo+
oo oo oo ooo ooo oo
+o--+ +o--+ oooo+o--+
\ / oooo /
gates move <game#> <userid> <passwd> c:d3 Play tile rotation 'c' at position d3.
gates move <game#> <userid> <passwd> swap Swap colours (second move only).
The -align option allows all six tile rotations, with colour clashes aligned to the tile just played. A tile cannot cause a colour clash unless it also has at least one matching neighbour (i.e. clashing moves require a support piece).
The -invert_min option allows all six rotations with colour clashes resolved so that minimal inversions occur. Clashes are aligned to the tile just played if the choice is equal.
Gates rules by Cameron Browne and copyright © Cyberite Ltd 2008.
The name “Gates” refers to the way in which each tile directs connective flow in one direction or another. Any association with famous software monopolists - living, dead or somewhere in between - is coincidental.
Cross Gates was designed to address problems with the original Y and Hex and versions. The Y version has a serious phase problem due to its three-fold radial symmetry; the three tile rotations connect more strongly to the three board sides as well as the interior for Light (the -align and -invert_min options help address this). The Hex version is rather awkward in shape, requires large board sizes for meaningful games and may suffer from a winning strategy as it appears that the first player to establish a strong connection along the short diagonal can extend it at will. The Cross version addresses these problems by providing six-fold radial symmetry and equivalent goals within an elegant, compact board shape.
The Gates tiles are equivalent to duotone (white/blue) Mambo tiles.
More details are available at the official Gates page.
Implementation and Help file by Cameron Browne, May 2008.