The game of GO is one of the simplest games in the world played on a 19x19 grid board. The size of the board can be intimidating for a first time player, I know it was for me!
This led me to try a few variants of the basic GO game several years ago. Unfortunately these early attempts were not sufficiently interesting, due to the basic game's simplicity. In 2016 an idea occurred to me to use additional neutral pieces that I call 'Henge' pieces. The word Henge, pronounced "Hain-gay" or 変化駒 in Kanji, refers to the changing nature of these pieces. Introduction of the Henge piece lead is the basis of my newest game, GoRoGo. The game was tested at the Tokyo Game Market in December of 2016 where it received outstanding reviews and was in high demand. GoRoGo is a great option for those who are interested in GO but are hesitant to begin learning the full game. The "Henge piece" is the key to making GoRoGo an exciting alternative to GO.
GoRoGo(五路碁) is a two player game with a total of 25 pieces (10 black, 10 white, 5 Henge) and is played on a 5x5 grid board. The compact grid board has the possibility of 25 interactions and 40 paths! The goal of this game is to obtain more of your opponent's pieces rather than trying to claim the most area (like the original GO.) Since the game has 25 pieces any game played will not exceed 24 moves. A player cannot pass or play a Henge Piece as their last move. If you don’t have a legal move, you lose.
For those who are unfamiliar with GO.
In Japan, we say piece(s) keep 'Kokyu-ten' (Breathing point) in the classic GO game. You create intersections to supply the connections with air, each piece needs air to live. If your pieces don’t have air (by being surrounded by the other players pieces) they die and are removed from the board and captured by your opponent. In other words, a piece or solidly connected group of pieces of one color is captured and removed from the board when all the intersections directly adjacent to it are occupied by the opponent pieces.
The game in the video was played on the standard size board.
- Each player has their ten pieces and two Henge pieces, the remaining Henge piece is placed on the board by White to complete the board setup.
- Black begins play by either playing a black piece or a Henge piece and play then alternates between Black and White.
- Pieces cannot be moved once they are placed.
- A piece or same color group pieces chained with path(s) need one or more open intersection(s) linked with path(s). If they have no open intersection surrounded by opponent pieces, they are captured to be removed from the board as opponent’s score.
- The exception is the Henge pieces, they take on color of the player's piece as they take their turn. Black when black plays, White when white plays. Henge pieces can be placed on any intersection and can never be captured because of their shifting nature.
- You cannot place your piece in a position that is completely surrounded by your opponent's pieces unless it leads to capturing an opponent piece(s). Henge pieces however, can be placed at any intersection.
- You are not allowed to pass on your turn. If the player doesn’t have any legal moves, you lose.
- Players should use Henge pieces prior to their last move, if a Henge piece is used last, you lose.
When all pieces have been played, the game is over. The player who has the most of their opponents pieces is the winner. If the score is tied then White wins the game.
- GoRoGo can be played quickly since it is played on a 5x5 grid board. Both players will play all of their pieces within 24 moves.
- Five Henge pieces are added to the game. They change depending on the player’s turn.
- Players may place a Henge piece that intersects with any piece with no restrictions.
- Henge pieces may not be removed from the board.
- The goal of the game is to capture more of your opponent’s pieces rather than capturing the most area as in standard GO. ·
- Passing on your turn is not allowed. If you have no legal moves. You lose.
- Players can’t use a Henge piece as their final move.
Example of prohibited move by the white player
1: You can’t place your piece anywhere that is surrounded by your opponents pieces.
2: You can place a Henge piece anywhere on the grid even if is surrounded by your opponents pieces.
3: As stated above, Henge pieces change their color according to the player. Therefore White can place his piece in the middle (as pictured below) because the Henge piece is considered “white” for their turn. An important thing to remember is that when the Black goes next the white piece that was placed can now be removed from the board since the Henge piece is now considered “black” for their turn.
The effect of Henge pieces
The Henge pieces are both black and white. That is, on Black's turn, a Henge piece is a black piece. Then on White's turn, it is a white piece. This allows moves that are normally prohibited in GO, such as 'Kou'. A player can attack into an area that in standard GO would be protected.
● Using Henge piece(s) creates opportunities that are not available in regular go as in the example below.
We had a GoRoGo test meetup before the Tokyo Game market release. Players including a SHOGI professional player, skilled GO player and IT programmers who are very familiar with abstract and strategy games attended the meeting. The results verified the integrity of the rules and game-play and we thank all who attended.
I received a photo from Duki Sojce. He made self-made print & play board and enjoyed playing GoRoGo with ordinary GO stones and glass gems.
We have prepared several backer’s rewards.
- Post card board and ceramic pieces 4 x 6in
- Tile board mini size 4 x 4in
- Tile board standard size 6 x 6in
- Tile board large size 8 x 8in
- Wood framed Tile board large size 9.5 x 9.5in
Piece size : 10mm(0.4in) for Mini and post card board, 18mm(0.75in) for Standard board, 27mm(1.08in) for Large board.
Game set consists of each ten black and white, five Henge pieces, one board and a rule paper in the solid card box. Post card board set doesn't include a box.
●Post card board and ceramic pieces set one copy $5 and two copies $8 USD free shipping anywhere in the world
●Make 100 KS limited edition Tile board mini size printed edition number and signature on the back face one copy + plus post card board set one copy $18 USD free shipping anywhere in the world
We had an inquiry from a backer about the possibility of requesting a specific number for the limited edition mini board.
Yes, we can accept your backers request when we send the survey email. If your request is unique, you will receive your requested limited edition board number. If multiple backers request the same number, the earliest backer has priority. This is another incentive to sign up early to obtain your limited edition board number. 13th Jan. LOGY GAMES creator Mitsuo Yamamoto
●Tile board mini size one copy $18 USD free shipping anywhere in the world
●Tile board standard size one copy $28 USD + $12 shipping anywhere in the world
●Tile board large size one copy $48 USD + $18 shipping anywhere in the world
●Wood framed Tile board large size one copy $78 USD + $22 shipping anywhere in the world
Our next goal is to fund over $3,000. If we meet that goal, 'Henge piece' design will be changed from black-and-white bull's eye to yin-yang mark.
Next stretch goal
Thank you for your backing and support. Fortunately with your help, we met our stretch funding goal of $3,000 in a few days.
I received inquiries and suggestions from some backers about our next stretch goal. There were several good ideas. I am a game creator so I have created a new post card board variation of GoRoGo last night as our next stretch goal.
The new stretch reward is a 4 x 6 board for GoRoGo. As a bonus, it not only works with GoRoGo but you can also play another game "KOUMORI" using the GoRoGo game pieces. "KOUMORI" is a Japanese word meaning bat. There is an old story about a bat that changed his stance based on which group was in power in the animal war. Due to his constant shifting he lost his confidence and in the end received no rewards. The KOUMORI is very similar to the Henge piece in GoRoGo. The KOUMORI rules will be revealed when the stretch goal is reached.
We are fixing this stretch goal at $6,000. All backers at the mini and standard levels will receive this post card board without pieces. With this new board you can play with both the mini size and standard size pieces you receive as part of your GoRoGo reward. Large board pieces are too large to play on this board, so large size and wood framed backers will receive board pieces in addition to a post card board.
17th Jan. LOGY GAMES creator Mitsuo Yamamoto
Risks and challenges
All games are craft articles made by hand. High demand could possibly delay our reward delivery schedule.
We are sure it is very valuable and unique game despite somewhat expensive international shipping from Japan. You could not get GoRoGo from any other place in the world.
Rewards are shipped by Japan Post’s “international E-packet” which is registered as air small packet. You may receive tracking information from Japan Post. The post card board and tile board mini size rewards are shipped by ordinary SAL air mail. Backers will not receive tracking information for these rewards.
VAT & Tariff
We provide our games by international shipping from Japan, your country may impose VAT and import tariff on the products according to its own policy. Since we are not up to date with the information about VAT/tariff policy of each country, it is recommended that each backer check with their country's policies beforehand. (Usually it is not imposed when the total price is below a certain threshold.) The typical procedure is that the backer pays these fees to the delivery company personnel when receiving the product.
- (18 days)