Blitz Play

The design of Aranea lends itself to an even more intense mode of play - blitz mode.  In this mode, both players start rolling and placing stones simultaneously.  Neither player needs to wait on the other to continue playing.  This makes the game very intense and fast.  The board and pieces need to be of a solid, stable construction so they are not sent flying easily.  Sensible cooperation to not physically interfere with each other is required.

This mode of play creates the occasional circumstance of deadlock - both players want to place a stone on the same space at the same time but whoever goes first will have their stone removed.  Neither wants to go.  This is a deadlock.

Deadlock is resolved with a coin.  Before play begins, each player is assigned either the heads or the tails side of a coin.  The coin is tossed and the face up side will be used to resolve the first deadlock.

When a deadlock occurs, either player may call for a deadlock resolution.  The other player must either move next or acknowledge the deadlock.  When a deadlock is acknowledged, the player whose coin side is face up must move next and turn the coin over for the next deadlock occurrence.  Play then continues as furiously as before.



As A Sport?

Could Aranea be played as a sport?  Consider the play of Aranea in blitz mode.  Now visualize an Aranea game board laid out on a playing field with chalk lines.

On each side of the playing field is a team of spot runners in their team's colors.  The team has a few callers on a raised platform on their side of the field.  There is also a team of pitchers for each team.

Playing in blitz mode, a team's pitcher throws a small bean bag at a set of six, two-sided plates.  When a bag hits one sufficiently, it causes the plate to rotate briefly and then come to a rest with one of its two numbers facing the pitcher.  This is the equivalent of tossing the dice except a pitcher can aim at a plate with strategically desirable numbers on one or both sides.

The team's caller can call to one of his team's spot runners to run according to the number just turned facing by the pitcher.  The caller can direct a spot runner from his team's pool of runners not on the field to take the square on the outermost ring of that number, or he may direct one of his team's spot runners standing on one of the rings to run clockwise that number of squares.  When the runner gets both feet into the final destination square, the pitcher may throw another pitch to spin up another number.  If a team has exhausted their pool of runners not on the field, the caller may direct one of his runners on the field to vacate their current spot and assume a spot as if they just came from the outside pool of runners.  This also applies to a runner that has achieved the inner rectangle although it would rarely be to a teams advantage to make this move.

The team that wins will be the team with good pitchers, good strategist callers, fast spot runners and good communications.

Normal rules of Aranea apply.  If a spot runner's destination is occupied by another runner of the opposing team, that opposing runner must leave the field.  A team's pitcher does not need to wait for the displaced runner to leave the square before spinning up another number.  If the destination square is occupied by a fellow team runner, the destination is the next innermost ring just like the board game.

There will need to be referrees to ensure that the rules are followed and that spot runners are arriving at the proper destination, that pitches aren't made until the prior pitch's runner has both feet in his destination and displaced runners are leaving the field appropriately.  Violations will cause the violating team to pause while the other team makes another complete move or two.  There will be a deadlock resolution method similar to the deadlock resolution in blitz play of the board game.

Visualize these two teams of people with spot runners running, callers calling to the runners and pitchers aiming for the desired numbers to spin up next.  There will be a lot of entertaining activity occurring all at once.

Could this be a fun and healthy intramural activity involving dozens of students?