This is a variation of Edward De Bono’s famous L-game, but played on a 5x5 board (instead of 4x4) with social distancing rules in place. More specifically, two players (Blue and Orange) take turns moving according to the following rules:
- (mandatory) Move their L-piece to a new location, not occupied by or orthogonally adjacent to the enemy L-piece or a happy star. Diagonally adjacent is OK.
- (optional) Move one of the happy stars to a new location, not occupied by or orthogonally adjacent to the other happy star or either L-piece.
Victory is attained if the opponent has no legal move. If neither side can force victory the game is a draw.
IMPORTANT: if a happy star is moved, steps 1 and 2 must be performed in that order and you can’t have an illegal position “between” steps 1 and 2.
What is the correct result with best play on both sides?
Does the result change if a pie rule is used (i.e. player 2 has the option of swapping sides on his first move)?