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Author Topic: Puzzle: Infinite loop  (Read 2286 times)

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carstimon

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Puzzle: Infinite loop
« on: July 25, 2013, 12:01:43 pm »
+1

Try to come up with situations in innovation where each player must do the same things over and over.  If they do something different, their opponent wins.

It seems like there should be something with the score stealing cards, but this is what I came up with using physics/alchemy:

Player A Board:
Alchemy
City States
Bicycle

Player A Hand: Empty

Player B Board:
Physics
Lighting
Road Building

Player B Hand: Publication, Antibiotics

[Note: Both have 3 castles and 3 lightbulbs]

Piles:
4: Gunpowder  (Important part: red)
6: Encyclopedia, Atomic Theory, Canning (Important part: two blues)
9: Some cards

Both players have 5 achievements, and 40+ points.  Achievement 8 is still available.  The point is they both want achievement 8.  To achieve 8 they need to meld an 8.  But they start with no 8's in their hand, and their opponent has an 8 which they are threatening to meld next turn.

So it goes like this:
Player A starts. Player B has an 8 in hand, so player A must either achieve 8 this turn, or somehow remove the 8 from player B's hand.  A's only option to do that is Alchemy.  A can do alchemy has its first or second action.  I claim A has to do it on its first actoin.  For now, let's see what happens if A does alchemy on its first action:
B Draws gunpowder, returns gunpowder, a 7, and an 8.
A Draws gunpowder, returns gunpowder.
A Draws a 7 as a sharing bonus.
Now the 7 pile is empty, and A can draw an 8.

The reason A can't do alchemy on its second action is this: the sharing bonus will draw the 7, then B can draw and meld an 8.

The same thing happens on B's turn, but with physics instead.

Now I also claim that each player must draw an 8 at the end of their turn.  After their first action, the 7 pile is empty.  If they don't draw an 8, the opposite player is free to draw and meld an 8.  With no board attacks, score attacks, or insta-melding available, the opposite player will win on the next turn.
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theory

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Re: Puzzle: Infinite loop
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 12:12:52 pm »
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Machine Tools vs Rocketry/Mass Media often leads to these kinds of scenarios, though I suppose it might take a little more effort to create a situation where Machine Tools must Machine Tools or lose.
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carstimon

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Re: Puzzle: Infinite loop
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2013, 12:54:09 pm »
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So first I tried to do something simpler, but this was the simplest I could come up with.  I encourage you to try, I was surprised how tricky it was.  I'd also like to see other solutions.

Player A Board: Splayed right: [Machine tools, optics, pirate code], Stem Cells
Player B Board: Rocketry, Self Service
Piles: 2 9's, 1 10.
Player A's score pile is 16 points behind Player B's, and has no 10's (so Player A draws 9's with Machine tools).  Player B has achievements 1-4, Player A has 5-9.  (So a self service by B is a loss!)

Player A must score 2 9's with machine tools.  Otherwise, player B can draw 2 cards next turn and win on score.

Player B must, at least, return a 9: otherwise player A will win on score.  After that, player B has three options: Rocketry, self service, or draw.  I claim it must be rocketry.  Player A shares self service, so that's definitely a loss.  If player B draws, next turn player A palys machine tools, then draws an 11.  So both other options lead to losses.

And then we're back where we were.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 12:55:56 pm by carstimon »
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