Welcome to the network Osbox server. The challenge command is described here.
Other commands are
the same as for all pbmserv games.

` osbox challenge ``[-size=n] userid1
`

starts a new game for two players.

The

Osbox is a pure strategy game in which two players push knotwork dice onto a board in order to create closed paths.

**Dice: **Players share a common pool of six-sided Osbo dice showing knot segments on each face. Note that two of the faces are identical:

.-----. .--#--. .-----. .-----. .-----. .--#--. | | | # # | |#### | |#### | |#####| |## ##| | ### | | # # | # # | # # | # # # # | # # | | # # | |## # | |## # | |## ##| |## ##| `--#--' `--#--' `--#--' `--#--' `--#--' `--#--'

**Start:** The game is played on a 4x4 square board which is initially empty. The first player (Horz) owns the left and right sides and the second player (Vert) owns the top and bottom sides. Players can only move along their home sides.

**Play:** Players take turns placing a die of their choice on one of their home side positions and pushing it onto the board, which may cause dice already on the board to be pushed one space along the same row/column (dice cannot be pushed onto rows/columns that are full). Path segments do not need to match those on neighbouring dice.

The current player scores points for each path closed by their move which visits more than one row and more than one column. A path's score is given by the number of crossings it contains, with self-crossings counting twice. The dice through which scoring paths pass are then removed from the board as they occur.

For example, if Horz pushes the die face indicated below onto the board as shown, it will push two other dice along the same row. This creates two closed knots, one of which scores 8 points and is removed from the board. The smaller knot on the left does not score any points as it lies along a single row.

+-----+-----+-----+-----+ +-----+-----+-----+-----+

| | | | | |

| | ### | | | ... |

| | # # | | | . . |

+-----+-----+--#--+--#--+ + +-----+-----+ . + +

----> | ###|### | # # | | | ###|### | . . |

Push | # # # | # # | | gives | # # # | . . |

----> | ###|### | # # | | | ###|### | . . |

+-----+-----+--#--+--#--+-----+ +-----+-----+ . + +

| | # ##|### | | . .. ... |

| | # # # | | .. . . |

| | # ##|### | | . .. ... |

+ + +--#--+-----+ + + + . + +

| | # # | | | . . |

| | ### | | | ... |

| | | | | |

+-----+-----+-----+-----+ +-----+-----+-----+-----+

**Aim: **The game ends there board is full is won by the player with the highest score. The game is tied if scores are equal.

The fact that paths cannot lie completely within a single row or column ensures that players cannot simply push a thin knot along a single row/column to score it multiple times and reduces the number of cheap points from trivial pairings along the board edges.

The capture rule makes this game a sort of celtic knotwork Tetris. Each scoring move will free up the board making games longer and more complex, hence it can be played on smaller boards (e.g. 4x4). This rule introduces some interesting tactics in that players may tempt the opponent into completing small knots whose removal opens the way for larger knots next turn.

**Any Side:** The current player may enter their die from any side of the board, not just their own side.

**Multiplayer Osbox:** There's no reason that Osbox should not work with three or four players each owning a single board side. Then again, there's no reason that it should work either.

The move syntax is:

` `` osbox move board# userid password f12`

This command pushes die face 'f' onto the board from position 12.

The following command line options are provided for testing:

` ``-any_side`: Players can push dice from any side, not just their own.

`-capture`: Tiles visited by scoring paths are removed from the board each turn (Osbox Tetris).

`-no_capture`: Tiles visited by scoring paths are not removed from the board each turn.

`-thin_knots`: Allow knots that lie along a single row or column to be counted.`
-thick_knots`: Knots must pass through tiles of more than one row and column to be counted.

Osbox rules copyright (c) Cameron Browne, April 2008.

Osbox is a pure strategy game for players like the Osbo dice but don't like the random element of Osbo. Osbox is similar in principle to a knotwork version of Tetris as suggested by Dan Isdell.

More details are available at the official Osbox page.

Implementation and Help file by Cameron Browne, March 2008.