Hive is a chess like game created by John Yianni in 2000 for two players that is not restricted by a board and can be played anywhere on any flat surface. Hive is made up of twenty two hexagonal pieces, eleven black and eleven white, resembling a variety of insects each with a unique way of moving.
With no setting up, the game begins when the first piece is placed down on an imaginary infinite hexagonal grid. As the subsequent pieces are placed this forms a hexagonal pattern that becomes the playing surface. The placed pieces themselves in a sense become the board. The pieces are never eliminated and not all have to be played. The object of the game is to totally surround your opponent’s queen bee, while at the same time trying to block your opponent from doing likewise to your queen. The player to completely surround his opponent’s queen bee first wins.
There are strategy books written: Play Hive Like a Champion
There are a few proposals for game notation similar to chess notation. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2322246/new-hive-movement-notation-system-part-1 https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2456962/standardised-unique-notation-placement-system-hive/page/1 https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2799564/article/39367711#39367711
Just as with chess alternative pieces with their own movement rules have been made by fans.
The Parasite is John Yianni’s favorite fan expansion: https://www.inquisitivemeeple.com/the-mind-behind-hive/ https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2017722/guide-designing-future-expansions-mosquito-approac
I’m partial to the black and white tiles, one can change the images by unzipping and zipping the vmod file. Hive 0.5.7 has the classic pieces, 2 expansions and fantasy pieces but not the Pillbug. Dragonfly, Scorpion, Moth, Butterfly, Flee, Walking Stick et. https://vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Hive
Print and Play
2 solo variants
hive solo kingofrohan@bgg
The Ladybug is included. The Mosquito and the Pillbug are excluded.
Random choices are made using a 12-sided dice. For example, if there are two possible options, 1-6 represent the first option, 7-12 represent the second option. For another example, if there are five possible options, 1-2 represent the first option, 3-4 represent the second option, etcetera, and 11-12 are re-rolled.
Opening Play begins with the human player. On the hive mind’s first turn, the hive mind randomly places a piece, then places another piece.
On the hive mind’s second turn, the hive mind randomly places a piece, then places another piece. This fourth piece must be the hive mind’s Queen Bee if it has not yet been placed.
On each subsequent turn, the hive mind randomly places a piece (if any remain), then moves, using special priority rules for placement and movement.
Priority Rules for Placement
- Next to a piece surrounding the human player’s Queen Bee.
- Next to any other piece except the hive mind’s Queen Bee.
- Next to the hive mind’s Queen Bee.
Priority Rules for Movement
- Checkmate: If any piece can move to “checkmate” the human player’s Queen Bee, it does.
- Defense: If any piece can move to pin or block a piece “checking” the hive mind’s Queen Bee, it does.
- Offense: If any piece not surrounding the human player’s Queen Bee can move to surround the human player’s Queen Bee, it does.
- Patrol: If any piece can move, preferably not the hive mind’s Queen Bee and preferably not a piece surrounding the human player’s Queen Bee, it does.
Exception for the hive mind’s movement: Pieces which, by moving, will no longer pin or block a piece “checking” the hive mind’s Queen Bee, or which, by moving, can only move to surround the hive mind’s Queen Bee, are excluded unless there are no other options.
Exception for the hive mind’s Ants: When Ants make a patrol move, roll to determine whether it slides one way or the other around the hive, then roll to move a number of spaces, skipping illegitimate spaces. (Otherwise, Ants are sometimes needlessly complex to move.)
Exception for the human player’s Beetles: The human player cannot totally surround the hive mind’s Queen Bee by dropping a Beetle or placing a piece. (Otherwise, Beetles are too difficult for the hive mind to block.)
hive solo karen robinson karinsdr@bgg
If the automa hasn’t put all its pieces out yet, you draw from a face-down set and place and move that piece. If it has, you use a die to determine which piece is going to move. You try to get the automa piece as close as possible to your queen. Meanwhile on your turns, you play as you would in a two-player game. All moves must be legal. The only exception is that sometimes the automa places and moves a piece in a single turn.
The automa’s play depends on what phase of the game is being played. For ease of explanation, I’m going to assume that the player is using the black pieces and the automa is using the white pieces.
Setup: find the automa’s white Queen and set it aside.
Turn all the other white tiles face down and shuffle them (stir them around on the table.) Pull out three of them, still face down, and add the Queen to them, also face down. Shuffle the four pieces. These will be the pieces the automa plays first. The player keeps their black pieces face up. (Note: if you leave the black pieces face down also and draw randomly, the game is more balanced, but less interesting.)
Phase one: before the automa’s white Queen shows up. The automa plays first by selecting one of the four white face down tiles. The chosen tile is turned face up and placed. The player places their black piece. Then the automa chooses another piece. If the black Queen has been played, the automa places the white piece as close to the black Queen as possible. If the black Queen has not been played, the automa places the white piece as close to the first piece played as possible. When the white Queen is drawn, place it as far from the first piece as possible.
Phase two: when the automa has played the white Queen but still has pieces left to place: Draw a piece from among all the face-down white pieces, turn it face up and place it. Then on the same turn, move the same piece. If possible, place the piece so that after it’s moved, it will be adjacent to the black Queen. If that’s not possible, place it so that after the move it will be as close to the black Queen as possible.
Phase three: when the automa has all its white pieces on the board: Roll one six-sided die. The result tells the automa which kind of piece to move.
If you’re using more pieces, maybe use an 8-sided or 12-sided die.
If no piece of that type that can move, roll again. If more than one piece of that type can move, chose the one that can move closest to the black Queen. If it’s a tie, use a die roll to select one.
Queen exception: At the beginning of the automa’s turn, if the white Queen is surrounded by 3 or 4 pieces, and can get out, see if a usual Queen’s move of one step would bring it to a place where it’s surrounded by fewer pieces. If so, move the Queen one step to a place where it has the fewest number of adjacent pieces, instead of doing the move described above. If it’s a tie, use a die to determine which place to move it. If the Queen can’t move to a better place, then use the move described in either Phase two or Phase three.
Note: I haven’t playtested this much. From what I have, the player seems to have an advantage over the automa, but it’s still fun to play. If you keep the player’s pieces turned face downward, it seems more balanced, but isn’t as much fun because you don’t have as many choices. When I tried it, both Queens were nearly surrounded before half the pieces were out, and I won shortly thereafter.
3 player variant: a third color
4 player variant: bughouse hive
summarize solo rules
create black/white solo module
daily solo game notation