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Hex Strategy: Making the Right Connections [Paperback]

Cameron Browne
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 30, 2000 1568811179 978-1568811178 1
Hex Strategy is the first book to offer a comprehensive look at the game of Hex, from its history and mathematical underpinnings to discussions of advanced playing techniques. This is first and foremost a book on strategy aimed at providing sufficient knowledge to play the game at any level desired. Numerous examples illustrate an algorithmic approach to the game. Hex Strategy is a book for board game enthusiasts, recreational mathematicians and programmers, or simply those who enjoy games and puzzles.

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Editorial Reviews


It it quite the best single-game book I have seen. If you love abstract games it is essential reading. -- Kerry Handscomb, Abstract Game Magazine, Autumn 2000.

The book is a must for any recreational mathematician. -- Ian Stewart, Scientific American, September 2000.

The first in-depth examination of Hex and how to master it. -- Mark Chadbourn, Oce Image Magazine, January 2001.

The only substantial study of the game so far... highly recommended. -- D. V. Feldman, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October 2001.

From the Author

Invented by Piet Hein and John Nash, two of this century's greatest mathematicians, Hex continues to intrigue board game players and mathematicians around the world. This book is an attempt to draw together everything known about Hex that is relevant and interesting to the player, from basic and advanced strategies to puzzles. I hope "Hex Strategy" conveys my enthusiasm for this wonderful game.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 1 edition (May 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568811179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568811178
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
While I had heard of the game of Hex, until I read this book, it had been of little interest to me. My interest in games like this extends very little beyond the analysis of strategies. In most cases, I find detailed treatments of tactics to be uninteresting and rarely complete an article much less a book. However, this time I read it completely and not just because I needed to for the review. I am not sure whether it is the game itself or the writers explanation, but my interest never wavered throughout. While many of the questions regarding the best next move had clear solutions, there were times when I did not believe that the given move was the appropriate one. However, once I read the explanation, there was no doubt.
It is this feature that most likely kept my interest. Some of the strategies are obvious and easily seen. The point where my interest was really generated was when the subtlety of play began to become evident. Seemingly foolish moves are suddenly understood to be brilliant ones that force the conclusion. It is easy to prove that every game must have a winner and also that there must be an optimal strategy that will guarantee victory. The problem of course is that the next best move that guarantees victory often appears as one of little consequence.
This is the first book about games that I have read from cover to cover in many years where my interest never wavered. I tackled most of the problems and came away with a deep appreciation for the game and the difficulty of play. It is strongly recommended.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Minute to Learn: A Lifetime to Master July 7, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hex is a deterministic, zero-sum, abstract board game. If you know what this means, and appreciate such games, then you will find the game irresistible. The rules are so simple that you can "see" far down the strategy tree. Draws are impossible. Hex was invented independently by two eminent mathematicians, Piet Hein and Nobel Prize winner John Nash (the latter of _A Beautiful Mind_ fame). The feel of competition that this game provides is intense; one player compared it to a "knife fight in a phone booth." The game demands your best efforts, and rewards them.
If you are talented mathematically, there are chapters which deal with the game in a way that appeals. If not, you will still love to study how the book progresses from the simplest templates to tactics to overall strategy. Annotated games are given, as well as quizzes and problems. Game of expert play are taken from the internet. Hex programs are dicussed. There is a rich treatment of the variants and offshoots of the basic game, although perhaps basic 11 x 11 hex is probably still the best of the bunch. The author creates a rich vocabulary to describe the different aspects of the game, and while the reader may have to slow his reading occasionally and ponder, he will find everything in its proper order and will find that everything makes sense. I found a useful colection of blank boards of different sizes at the back of the book which I photocopied to make studies of the games I have now in progress on the net, and thereby explore the different possible avenues of play by using pencil-and-paper diagrams. Anyone who enjoys abstract games such as chess and go will be cheating himself by not exploring the richness of this book, and the richness and challenge of this game. There are a few typos here and there, but relatively few, and not very distracting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "Hex" Bible August 4, 2002
Being hex rules so simple, there are only 2 possibilities. Either you never heard about hex or you know how to play it. In the first case there are good odds that you can like this book,especially if you like games such as chess or checkers. But in the second, this book is a must. There is everything about this wondeful game, from strategy to historic notes, from variants to computer-play and algorithms, from sample games to a great reference section.
So this is THE hex book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start January 30, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a good start for beginners at the game. It could have used some editing to eliminate the typos and garbled strings of play. Some of the annotated games and puzzles leave one a little short as to why the game or puzzle is now won or solved. At least we learned about bridges, ladders, templates, etc., so it's worth having.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best reference for Hex January 4, 2013
By Cuc
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hex has very simple rules but is more profound than chess. The writers make a good effort to explain the basic strategies and go more into detail about best play. A knowledge of these principles will increase the playing level of any Hex player. Up to date, this is the best Hex reference.
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