General Question

ragingloli's avatar

How would board games like Chess and Go change if you introduced the gameplay mechanic known as "fog of war"?

Asked by ragingloli (43591points) January 7th, 2018

Meaning that you can not see your opponent’s moves and pieces unless you have one of your own pieces in close proximity.

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11 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not sure how this would work if it was a real (physical) board game. How do you un-see the person’s king if it’s on the chessboard?

If it’s an electronic game, I think it would be pretty awful. Both chess and Go (but I am more familiar with chess) require a wholistic view of all the pieces all the time, because you need to think 5 – 6— 10 steps ahead.

So I think the quality of play would go WAY down, because the players would have no big picture perspective, and would only be able to make short-term, narrow decisions.

I don’t think chess would be a better game as a result of that. No more strategy.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

It would be frustrating. Like real war. Disconcerting and aggravating. Scary.

zenvelo's avatar

It would be like a complicated game of Battleship or Minesweeper.

Zaku's avatar

I think that’s actually a really interesting idea. I would play them. I’m almost tempted to implement them, but I don’t feel like trying to implement an AI opponent.

I liked Chess when I was younger, but started playing wargames that were more like simulations, and developed a distaste for Chess precisely because it is too predictable and would lead to out-predicting all the moves, which I was far less interested in than moving all units every turn and having probabilistic combat results based on unit strengths and terrain and so forth.

So, I think I might enjoy Fog-of-Chess at least for a bit, because it would add new sorts of strategies – scouting and predicting and feinting and so on. The game would be different depending on how you defined which units could see how far and in what directions.

Fog-of-Go would also be rather different and interesting. You would not know in the first several moves where the enemy was playing, unless you happened to place pieces in range of your opponent each time. The spotting range would again make for different games depending on what you set it as. There would be a guessing game about the undiscovered pieces. It would be rather different from Fog-of-Chess because in Go the pieces don’t move once placed (unless eliminated), so unless the spotting range was only 1 or 2, the effect would be greatest at the beginning and get less at the end.

In both games, the guesswork could tend to dominate the traditional strategies, and mitigating risks would be a new skill people would need to learn, as well as moves to gather information and (in Chess) screen your own units from discovery.

@elbanditoroso It could be done in a physical game if you have three sets and employ a referee who tracks the game position on a set the other players can’t see. The other players move their own units on their own set, and the referee lets them know if they’ve revealed (or run into) enemy pieces, and where.

An alternative could be to have a Chess set where the pieces all look alike but say what they are only on the side facing the owning player (and if players were allowed to place their pieces where they wanted during setup, ala Stratego).

Lightlyseared's avatar

They’d probably become a lot easier and games would be quicker.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Then it wouldn’t be chess.

LostInParadise's avatar

It would add a new dimension to an already complex game. @RedDeerGuy1 makes a good point. Chess is frequently compared to war, but real wars involve hidden information.

There are a number of games where players hide information from their opponents. In most card games you do not know what the opponents hold, and part of the strategy involves conjecturing what cards they have. I have never played stratego, but I know that it involves information hidden from your opponent. In the game battleship, each player hide’s their boats;.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The beauty in chess, however, is that it is a game of perfect information. No deceit, no guessing, no luck involved. You succeed or fail by your own actions.

Zaku's avatar

If there are two people here who want to try either of Fog-of-Chess or Fog-of-Go via email or Fluther, I will facilitate it as referee.

Rarebear's avatar

I’ve played chess with @ragingloli online. She cheated. :-)

ragingloli's avatar

Yes, and I won by doing so.
Victory is everything.

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