STT (stack-tac-toe) AN ABSTRACT GAME FOR TWO

In 2014, I tried to invent a game. I knew by intuition that it would work and it was based on relationships between father, mother, man, woman, with the verbs eat, create, complete and block. I called it TruthStones. I struggled to initiate any gameplay on the 4x4 rice paper board.




Then early in August 2023, it struck me that I could assign powers to each piece, like a miniature version of chess. In the end, it became so complex that I had to simplify it YET use JavaScript to enable the gameplay. So I did, and the result was Sekk which I announced on Board Game Geek to a lukewarm reception.




Sometime around my birthday in November that same year, while shopping for a new chess set, I thought of a way to translate Sekk's heavy complexity from digital land to classic pieces on a board while maintaining some of the rules -that stones impinge on neighboring stones.




I needed, therefore, 3 sizes of stones which were stackable to represent power. The 2 smaller would sit on the corners of a set of at least 3 big pieces while "impinging" on the stone they surrounded or abutted. For a while this fascinated me and I let the concept develop naturally from then on.

One of the first developments was: how to win? There was't any clear way so I decided to use a points scoring system like Scrabble (TM). For example:

5 stones (stacked of course) ganging up on 1 opposing stone: 5x2 = 10

5 stones ganging up on 2 opposing stones: 5x1 = 5

4 stones ganging up on 1 opposing stone: 4x1 = 4

3 stones ganging up on 2 opposing stones: 3-2 = 1




Then it occurred to me, I had to limit the amount of stones a player had to place -severely (5 big, 4 medium, 5 small), otherwise nonsense and chaos ensued. There was an added level of depth when I discovered sacrificing some power to score, to block an opponent from placing on a certain square. At that point I fell in love with STT and began to think of ways to manufacture the game for sale. I came up with plastic "stools" filled with silicone sealant and to use discarded plastic for the tops/frames so that each set would look different if not unique.

That last idea tanked as my cheap Mr. DIY silicone caulk oozed with less adhesiveness than gone-bad toothpaste. I wound up at ACE one morning where I got rubber door bumpers for $4 a pack. Quite pricey and had to be chiseled to size but I now have a pro-grade STT set.