Senket — For the Last Time, Senket is not Go ;-)

I only published the rules of Senket a few days ago, but I’ve been playing it with friends for several years. The only change in the rules in that time is the method of scoring: I added the “square the area of your territories” aspect about a year ago, as a way of providing incentive to link together territories to make larger ones.

None of the friends I’ve played with thought that Senket was particularly similar to Go.

That said, several people online have responded to my description of Senket with “Good for you, you’ve (re)invented Go.”

I disagree. The main similarities between Go and Senket are in the generalities: both are  territory claiming games (scroll about halfway down for descriptions of game types). By comparison, both Chess and Shogi are royal elimination games.

In actual gameplay, Go and Senket are very different. It’s easier to make territory in Senket than it is to form a live group in Go, so very often the player’s goal is not so much survival as it is figuring out how to claim territory most efficiently. The mechanics of connection in Senket are nearly the same as those in TwixT — in TwixT you can remove and reposition fences, which changes tactics and complicates things, hence why I eliminated that aspect.

The gameplay and connection aspect being as important as they are, I would expect to get my butt handed to me if I played Senket against a TwixT master after only a few games. I would expect a Go master to have a much harder time of it.


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