# Order and Chaos

(a summary of play-tester feedback on the rules found here)

This game was a hit! One of the more popular offerings to date.

Most folks found it easier to play as Chaos. But as you continued to play, the balance seemed to shift toward Order.

This was my own experience, too, and one of the reasons I’m so fond of the game. Your first few rounds seem to favor Chaos (because Order keeps lunging for 3-in-a-rows, which are then easily thwarted). But a more patient Order can set up traps, and in fact, my reading suggests the game is a guaranteed (albeit difficult-to-execute) win for Order.

I appreciated Glen Lim’s analogy to Connect 4:

In Connect 4, if both players play generally strategically and don’t make any silly mistakes, you normally end up with certain columns that would be losing for either player if they put a piece there (because then the other player would put a piece on top of that and win). This was kind of similar: Order could set up squares that would be bad for Chaos to fill in with either symbol, and Order can’t touch that square either without reducing possibilities for himself.

Scott Mittman situated the game in Greek mythology:

An ancient Greek battlefield. I could imagine the x’s and o’s as warring cities with each individual believing the war was about the goal of getting 5-in-a-row not realizing that they are just pawns of Apollo and Dionysus involved in this grander struggle of order and chaos.
Andrew Havens and Eric Hanson tackled the question of “Why 5 in a row on a 6×6 grid?” and drew similar conclusions. As Andrew put it:

6 by 6 seems like a curious sweet spot; I wonder what the game looks like for (n+1) by (n+1) boards with a goal of forming/obstructing lines of n adjacent common symbols. For n smaller than 5 the game loses interest/becomes trivial and impossible for Chaos to win, and for large n it seems like Chaos could likely construct sufficient noise to always obstruct, and might even be able to approach optimal configurations of obstructions more easily than in the n=5 (6×6) case.

And Sara Jensen offered a great suggestion for a different name:

My husband said it should be called “parents vs kids.”