The Hive Move Challenge

This challenge came about when a real hive position exceeded the number of moves I expected to be the maximum possible, which crashed the robot.  Bits are cheap, so I just boosted the limit by a lot, but what should the limit really be?   I posted this question as a challenge, with Geek Gold as the prize, on this BGG forum thread.   This page summarizes and presents the results to date.  Note that for positions than include unplayed pieces,  multiple pieces of the same type do not count as different.

Starting Position

This is the original position which crashed the robot, which has 131 possible moves for black.

I knew there were probably some easy improvements, but that's the point; to leave a challenge that can be met.  Also, keep in mind that I didn't reveal this starting position.


Rathstar 149

The first improvement was this position submitted by Alan Aspinwall, which he developed without seeing the position above.  It incorporates some clever clustering to maximize the mobility of the grasshoppers and beetles.


Dyer 154

Based on Rathstar's design (an unfair advantage) I added a trick of my own, by bending the lines to create a door and positioning the spiders just outside the door, you can increase the mobility of the spiders.


Dreadpirate 162

A completely different approach by "Dreadpirate" produced this 162 move masterpiece.  The closed loop frees all the pieces to move.   I suspect that if the challenge was to find the most moves for both players, this would be close to the best possible for that, too.


Rathstar 174

Or perhaps, "deathstar" would be a better name.   Using a completely different approach, leaving three undropped pieces and maximizing the spaces available to drop into.  This one broke the bank that was funding the challenge.

Kudos to Woswoasi who pointed out the the previous published count of 204 for this position  was incorrect.

Dyer 178

Combining ideas from all the previous setups.  Put the placed beetle on top for maxumim mobility, and position the spider at a door for 2 extra points of mobility.

Kudos to Woswoasii who pointed out the the previous published count of 214 for this position  was incorrect.


Woswoasi 198

Reverting to a symmetric plan, Woswoasi came up with this simple pattern which maximizes the spaces to place new pieces.

woswoasi 198


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