Category talk:Freeform board

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I understand the distinction you're trying to make, between boardless games, freeform board games, and imagined board games, but I'm not sure how useful a distinction it is; generally, people want to know whether the game will require a board or not, not whether there will be some sort of geometric relation between pieces but no predefined spaces. Also, I think that you're mis-applying your own definition; in Zendo, there are spacial relationships within each koan, but not between the koans, just like in Treehouse there are spatial relationships in each tree but not between trees. Also, you can basically see Treehouse as having each tree on an imagined, linear board, with 3-spaces, where you always just move the pieces to fit within the board when you need to, so it would fall in the same sort of category as Martian Backgammon. Furthermore, Homeworlds is really an entirely boardless game; there are no spatial relations that matter between any of the pieces, there are just sets of different kinds of pieces that could be located anywhere. You use how the pieces are pointing to indicate who owns them or if they're the star, and you use vague proximity to indicate the different sets, but those relationships aren't really fundamental. Because of all of these issues, I'd say that having a category that encompassed freeform and boardless games would be more useful than one that just focused on freeform games. — Lambda 22:36, 26 Jan 2006 (GMT)


Agreed. "no board" is a good category. "No board; a lot of iffy rules about what counts as a valid 'spatial relationship'", not so much. The reason these categories are useful is that people can use them to find the kind of game they can play - no one who has a table can play zendo but not Tic-Tac-Doh or vice-versa. Perhaps subcategories would be in order for those who care about the finer distinctions, but all boardless games should be viewable in one place. Also, if more surfaceless games than the one I just made get made, a subcategory for those might be nice for people looking for games to play in the car, etc. Personman 06:34, 27 Jan 2006 (GMT)


  • I agree with some of the points both Lambda and Personman have made. I created the freeform board category out of interest rather than utility. Since the freeform board is an oft-trumpeted innovation of Icehouse, I wanted to explore its uses in other games in its purest form. As far as useful categories, we already have chessboard, Volcano board and hex board. It would make sense to follow through with unique board and boardless, as well. I still consider this particular category valid from a mechanics standpoint rather than an equipment one, but I do feel like I'm splitting hairs in determining which games have a freeform board and which are just boardless. Perhaps a name change is in order. How about free placement instead, as a subcategory under boardless? That would also open up the category to include Homeworlds and Zendo without a doubt. Lastly, I agree that Treehouse uses an imaginary board, rather than freeform/free placement. Thanks for your thoughts on this! - Cerulean 19:33, 27 Jan 2006 (GMT)
Okay, if you're interested, fine, but can we choose terms that make sense? "Boardless games are games where the pieces are the board" - are we reading Kant all of a sudden? Seriously, we could just reshuffle these terms and reduce confusion for a lot of folks (if we must taxonomize at all). Games you call "freeform board" games would be more sensibly described as "boardless," games you are calling "imaginary board" would be better described by "freeform board," and games you currently describe as "boardless" don't really appear to need distinguishing from (what I would call) "freeform board." - misuba 21:58, 18 Apr 2006 (GMT)