Walter Joris is a prolific composer of pencil and paper games. Some of these were recently highlighted in Math with Bad Drawings including Sequencium which is the subject of this étude. Here’s a brief description of the standard form for Sequencium.
Play takes place between two players, Red and Blue on a 6 × 6 board. Initially, there is
a blue 1 in the lower right corner of the board and a red 1 in the upper left corner.
The players alternate turns and, in each turn can write a number of their own colour
onto an empty square of the grid which must be adjacent to another square containing a
number of their colour (vertically, horizontally, or diagonally). The number they write
down can be at most one greater than the largest number written in a neighbouring
cell of their colour. If a player has no legal move they must pass (their opponent can
continue). The player who writes down the largest number wins (if the highest numbers for both players are the same, the game is a draw). A partially-completed game is
2 6 7
You need to develop a program that chooses a move in a Sequencium position.
What’s the goal of your Sequencium player? To win as often as possible? To score as
highly as possible? To achieve the maximum possible winning margin? You need
to know the answer to those questions in order to design a good algorithm for playing.
Your agents will be evaluated against one another in a tournament where the winning
player gains a number of points equal to the difference between their highest cell number and the loser’s highest cell number. If you like, the agents are gambling and the
COSC 326 2022 Summer School Étude 10
outcome is that the loser must pay the difference of the scores to the winner. Obviously,
this prioritises winning by the largest possible margin.
The main tournament will be played on the standard 6 × 6 grid, but side tournaments
will be carried out between the agents on other grid sizes (always rectangular).
• Choose a team name.
• Keep and submit a project diary. This should be a PDF file which informally
documents your work (it could well include, e.g., scanned handwritten notes and
comments like “Stuck because of a bug in Michael’s tournament framework”.)
• Submit one or more Java implementations of the sequencium.Player interface.
The name of your implementation should be TeamName.java (with the obvious
substitution!) and it should be part of the seqtournament package.
• Submit a short formal report (from one to two sides of A4 at 10 to 12 point size
for the body text, slightly longer if you include illustrations as you should) that
explains your strategy and the processes you used to come up with it. Think of
this as a sales pitch to a client who is not only interested in the direct comparisons
between competing versions of the current product, but of evidence about good
processes for future projects.
Relates to Objectives
1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.7, 2.9, 3.4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.7, 4.8.
(2 points, Group)