### An early idea for what to do about the Shotgun

My friend Jake Davenport has been kicking a plethora of butt with his signature strategy, the Shotgun, coming this close: | | to back-to-back championships.

Andy suggested at one point on-list (perhaps I'll get his mail into this message at a later point in time) that the general level of frustration with the shotgun indicated a kind of stagnation period prior to a growth spurt, and if someone came up with a good way to beat the Shotgun, the game as a whole could only benefit.

I honestly don't think that this is it. Actually, it's technically flawed, to the point of really only slowing a shotgunner down. But I'm hoping to get people thinking about it again by leaving this page active.

Anyways, it started out, in August of '98, as a virtual game of Mercenary Icehouse that I proposed to Jake as just a little sideshow in the game of (play-by-email) Nomic that he and I were playing. He immediately described setting himself up for the Shotgun and reminded me that he had three prisoners, as a feature of the variation. I read his message early in the morning, when I logged before work, and got into the shower burning some neurons about the situation.

The idea that I came up with: make your attacking pieces into crash traps. Consider the following semi-slapdash diagram:

Say that Jake is yellow (white) and I am green (grey). He places defenders on the table, a drone (2a) and a queen (3a), not necessarily real close together, but close enough to work with.

Now, the important thing is to "seal" in the attack pieces, buy making the piece more or less impossible to move without lifting it perfectly straight up. I've managed to use 2b and 3b to seal in 2c, for example.

I wrote the above in a purely conceptual vein. Maybe it looks good to you in 2-D; maybe it doesn't. But when I got out my pieces and attempted to construct it in realspace, I realized that it doesn't work. It's not that hard to lift a piece straight up without crashing. It could slow a shotgunner down, which is better than nothing. I've got another idea percolating, too. I'll post it when I can get a supporting image together.

###### Last updated 1998/12/17

Kind enough to let me live here, gratis: