Welcome to the network Mambo server. The challenge command is described here. Other commands are the same as for all pbmserv games.
mambo challenge [-mamba] [-mamboa] [-mambogo] [-size=number] userid1 userid2
starts a new game for two players.
The -mamba option uses the "snake eyes" rules in which players try to form two loops in a single group.
The -mamboa option uses the combined rules in which players try to kill a group and/or form two loops in a single group.
The -mambogo option uses the territorial rules in which players try to enclose as much area as possible.
The -size parameter specifies the number of tiles (default 48).
Mambo is a boardless tile-laying game in which players strive to isolate enemy groups in the patterns that emerge.
Note: The game is much easier to see in the graphical web interface than in the ASCII version!
Two players, O and X, share a common pool of 48 hexagonal tiles called mambo tiles. One side of each tile has two O corners joined by a stripe and one X corner. The reverse side of each tile has the colours reversed.
x oo\ o xx\
xxx oo ) ooo xx )
x oo/ o xx/
O starts by choosing a tile and placing it (either side up) in the middle of the playing area, oriented as they wish. Thereafter, players take turns placing a tile (either side up) adjacent to at least one existing tile. Tiles must be placed so that their edge positions and colours exactly match those of adjacent tiles.
Null Points: Any space enclosed by three corners of the same colour is described as a null point, since no tile can possibly be played there to match all three colours. Null points are marked '-' and indicate dead end points that stop growth.
x oo ooo /
xxx oo .--oo
) oo -
\ xxx x oo\
`--xxxx oo )
Auto Moves: Any space enclosed by three corners of mixed colours constitutes an automatic as only one possible tile in one possible orientation will match those three colours. Players must automatically complete any such moves created by their tile placement (there may be several).
o xx\ o xx\
.--oooo xx ) .--oooo xx )
x ooo xx/ x ooo xx/
xxx oo .--xx xxx oo . xx
x oo/ x oo xx
) oo ----> ) ooooo )
/ oo / oo ooo /
xxxx `--oo xxxx . oo
\ xxx x oo\ \ xxx x oo\
`--xxxx oo ) `--xxxx oo )
x oo/ x oo/
Aim: A player wins by blocking any enemy group from further growth. If a move kills groups of more than one colour then the mover loses.
If the tiles run out before the game has been won, then the player with the largest group wins (tied game if equal). Only the dominant tiles in each group are counted.
The following two examples show wins for O who has killed an X group in each case. The losing X group on the left also demonstrates a single loop.
.--oo .--oo .--xx
/ ooo \ / ooo \ / xxx \
oooo `--oo oooo ) xxxx )
\ xx oo \ xx \ oo
) xxxxx `--oo ) xx - ) oo
o xx xxx x oo\ o xx\ x oo\
ooo xx . xxxx oo ) ooo xx `--xxxx oo )
o xx xxx x oo/ o xx xxx x oo/
) xxxxx .--oo ) xxxxx .--oo
/ xx oo / xx oo
oooo .--oo oooo .--oo
\ ooo / \ ooo /
Ladders: Any group with a single mouth (playable acute empty corner) constitutes a ladder, as the enclosed group must grow at the mouth point next turn or die. The following example shows a ladder in progress, with the mouth point marked 'm' in each case.
.--oo .--oo m .--oo
/ ooo \ / ooo \ x oo\ oooo ) a --> oooo `--xxxx oo )
\ xx \ xx xxx x oo/
) xx m ) xxxxx .--oo
/ xx / xx oo
oooo ) b --> oooo .--oo
\ ooo / \ ooo /
It is generally bad to be laddered. However, the "-largest_wins" option largely removes the importance and danger of ladders from the game. It is generally ill-advised to force a ladder as that just allows the defending opponent to grow their laddered group, especially if the defender makes the ladder zig-zag so that the enclosing pieces are broken up into multiple groups.
Mamba ("Snake Eyes"): Mamba is played as per the standard game except that a player wins by forming a group of their colour with two loops. If a move achieves this for both players then the mover loses.
If the tiles run out before the game has been won, then the player with the largest group loses (tied game if equal). Only the dominant tiles in each group are counted.
Mamboa: Mamboa is a combination of Mambo and Mamba; a player wins by killing an enemy group (as per Mambo) and/or forming a group of their colour with two loops (as per Mamba). If a move achieves either or both of these conditions for both players then the mover loses.
If the tiles run out before the game has been won, then the player with the largest group wins (tied game if equal). Only the dominant tiles in each group are counted. [Note: Mamboa uses the rule that the largest group wins rather than loses as this solves ladder problems that may arise when playing with the "kill a group" rule.]
The above figure also shows a Red win in Mamboa. Red has achieved both winning conditions, although only one is requried.
Mambogo: Mambogo is a territorial game played with full auto moves; pieces are automatically placed at spaces with two corners of the same colour. The game ends when the tiles run out, and is won by the owner of the group with most territory (enlcosed junctions). If both players are tied on territory, then the player who achieved their territory with the smallest group wins (only dominant tiles are counted) otherwise the game is a draw.
/ xxx xxx /
.--xxxxx . xx
o xx oo xx\
ooo xx . oooo xx )
o xxx ooo xx/
) xxxx oo . xx
/ xxx x ooo xx\ A position worth 10 pts
.--xxxxx . oooo xx ) for X and 0 pts for O.
o xx oo ooo o xx/
ooo xx . ooooo . xx
o xx oo xx xxx \
`--xxxxx . xxxxx )
\ xxx xxx oo
`--xxxxx . oo
\ oo ooo \
For example, the position shown above is worth 10 pts for X, as they have a group that encloses 10 junctions. O has not scored any points of territory in this position.
The move syntax is:
mambo move board# userid password a1
mambo move board# userid password 1a
- Place tile a at position 1.
The game has several additional hidden options. These are for play testing and not recommended for general use:
The -no_kill parameter specifies that blocking off an enemy so that it can't grow does not end the game.
The -num_loops parameter specifies how many loops win the game (default 2).
The -group_size parameter specifies what size group will win the game (default 0 = none).
The -largest_wins parameter specifies that if there is no winner when the tiles run out, the player with the largest group wins.
The -largest_loses parameter specifies that if there is no winner when the tiles run out, the player with the largest group loses.
The -full_auto parameter specifies that all known moves are automatically completed, not just forced ones.
The -no_auto parameter specifies that no automatic moves of any sort are made.
The -move_any_time parameter specifies that existing tiles may be moved at any time.
The -free_ladders parameter specifies that tiles belonging to groups being laddered may be moved to free them.
The -move_none_left parameter specifies that existing tiles may be moved when the tile pool runs out.
The -move_any parameter specifies that tiles do not have to be dominant to be movable.
The -move_non_dominant parameter specifies that tiles must be non-dominant to be movable.
The -kill_stripe parameter specifies that the game is not won unless the killed group contains a stripe (i.e. a dominant tile).
Use the "-no_kill" option to play the game requiring only loops or groups of the specified size to win.
Use the "-group_size" option to win the the game by forming a group of the specified size. A group's size is equal to the number of dominant tiles that it contains (as suggested by Alain Dekker).
Use the "-num_tiles" option to simulate a real mambo set with a finite number of tiles (say 48). If the tile limit is reached, the "-move_none_left" option is off and "-largest_wins" or "largest_loses" are set, then the game is a tie. [Note: The game could be awarded to the player with the most loops, but then there would be the danger of players abandoning any attempt to win the game outright and concentrating instead on the trivial task of making isolated loops as the tile limit approaches.]
If the "-free_ladders" option is on, then the current player may pick up an existing tile from any of their groups being laddered and play it elsewhere in lieu of placing a tile, which has the effect of creating a second mouth that frees the ladder. The tile to be moved must have at least one free coloured corner (i.e. no neighbours on that corner), its removal must not disconnect the board into separate groups, and it must not be either of the two tiles forming the ladder's mouth. For a laddered group of size N, there will be at most N-2 freeing moves.
For instance, the laddered group shown in the example above has two tiles 'a' and 'b' which may be moved to free it. Note that a ladder growing in a straight line may not provide any freeing moves if all of the enclosing tiles are fixed on all three corners; the player being laddered may have to make the ladder zig-zag in order allow a freeing move to develop.
If the "-move_any_time" option is on then the current player may pick up an existing tile and play it elsewhere in lieu of placing a tile. The tile to be moved must have at least one free coloured corner (i.e. no neighbours on that corner), its removal must not disconnect the board into separate groups, and the tile must be predominantly of the mover's colour (unless the "-move_any" or "-move_non_dominant" options are also used). If the "-move_none_left" option is used instead, then players can only move tiles if there are no tiles left to place. The tile may be rotated and/or flipped when it is replaced. Rotating and/or flipping a tile in-place counts as a move.
Use the "-full_auto" option to automatically complete all forced moves and known points as soon as they occur. This may result in a ripple-on effect as automatically filled known points may create further known points, filling in large sections of the playing area with ordered patterns of alternating lines in a single move. This can be bit random and tedious with some moves resulting in over a dozen automatic placements.
The "-kill_stripe" option specifies that the game is not won unless the killed group contains a stripe (i.e. a dominant tile). In other words, killing a 1/3 circular wedge or 2/3 circle is not enough to win the game. This reduces the number of trivial wins that would otherwise end the game prematurely, making games hard, deeper and longer.
The move syntax for moving an existing tile is:
mambo move board# userid password 7-b4
- Move the tile at position 7 to tile b at position 4.
Mambo tiles and rules copyright (c) Cameron Browne, June 2007.
Mambo is named for the abstract patterns that emerge during play, which can be reminiscent of the weird tribal artwork of Reg Mombassa.
Many thanks to the gamerz.net playtesters who patiently stress tested many rule combinations, in particular mrraow, wyons, fritzd, ndzied1, hhornet, gemini6ice and ctralau. Special thanks to Stephen Tavener (mrraow) for his excellent analysis of the game and suggesting the "largest group wins" rule which solved many problems.
Please see the official Mambo page for further details and examples: http://www.cameronius.com/games/mambo/
Implementation and Help file by Cameron Browne, June 2007.