OCTI: Player Options

 (II) Edgeless board

Instead of treating the borders of the 9x9 grid as a rigid edge, assume that the bottom of the board links up to the top and that the east side of the board connects to the west side (as would be the case if the board were arranged on the outer surface of a taurus). Thus, a piece can move east from the (9,5) square and end up at the (1,5) square. Or it can move southeast from (3,1) and wind up at (4,9). By this same logic, a piece moving northwest from (1,9) ends up at (9,1). See diagram . Playing on an edgeless surface further increases the range of strategic possibilities.

(I) Superprongs

Each player begins the game with 25 prongs, one of which is a distinct color. A pod equipped with this prong may move or jump (only) in the direction of its superprong before the player exercises any of the move-jump-build options listed above. In effect, the prong entitles the player to a certain type of free move prior to the usual turn. For example, a player with a superprong facing north may move or jump that pod north, then add a prong to another piece. Or the player could move a pod with a superprong north and then move that pod again, say, to jump (as always, no captured pieces are removed until the entire turn is completed).

Superprongs that are captured may be placed by the capturing player in the usual manner. Thus, a player may conceivably place two superprongs on the same pod, in which case that pod may move or jump twice (once in the direction indicated by each superprong) prior to the usual phase of a turn. Once placed, superprongs may not be repositioned. However, by jumping and eliminating a friendly piece armed with a superprong, a friendly player gains an opportunity to redeploy the superprong on a different pod.

The superprong version of OCTI is best played on an edgeless board.