The Rules of HQ
HQ is a discrete-time, two-player board game. All the
pieces move during each time interval. The board is a continuous
2D map - there are no squares or hexes. The pieces move according to
their given speed and direction of motion. A player makes a move by
altering the speed and direction of motion for a single piece.
Pieces have energy, and a piece may be captured by draining all its energy.
This generally takes several time intervals.
A piece only captures one piece at a
time. Pieces automatically capture the closest piece within their capture
range. Captured pieces are removed from the
game. Each player has a single HQ piece, and the object of the game is to
capture the other player's HQ.
The position and motion of the other player's pieces are not known unless
they are visible to one of your own pieces. The map terrain effects
visibility and motion. Likewise, the ability to drain the energy of another
piece is effected by terrain.
The HQ User Interface
An interface is provided to allow a user to play a game against any of the
contestant programs, or to observe a game between any two programs. Select
the programs as the Alpha and Beta players. Choose "User" as the Alpha player
if the user is to be the Alpha contestant. Select a "Time per move" and
then click on the "Start" button. If the user is not the Alpha player,
the game between the two selected programs can be observed one turn at a
time by clicking on the "Make Move" button in the control panel, or during
multiple turns using the "Continue" button.
The Time per move specifies the wall-clock time interval per turn of the
game. Although players alternate control of the CPU for computing their
moves, the moves are executed simultaneously at the end of the time interval.
Only computer players are timed. Moves from a user contestant are not timed.
A computer contestant may delay and take more time to make a
move than specified by the Time per move. However, the other player is
then allowed multiple moves before the delayed
move is executed. For example, suppose the Time per move is 10 seconds and
the contestant player delays and takes 30 seconds to make a move. The other
player can then make 3 moves prior to the execution of the contestant's move.
Getting Information About a Piece
To obtain information about a piece, merely click on the piece. Whatever
information is available to the player is displayed in the control panel.
Note that the number and desired speed of the contestant pieces are not
available once the game starts.
The sensor and capture areas of a piece can be obtained by selecting one or
both of the corresponding checkboxes on the control panel and then clicking
on the piece. The resulting detection areas can be cleared from the map
display using the "Clear" button.
Making a Move
Select a piece by clicking on it. Set its speed using one of the "Desired
Speed" checkboxes. Set its direction of motion by moving the mouse onto
the map, and clicking when the direction vector points in the desired direction
of motion. The length of the direction vector is proportional to the
desired speed. Enter this move using the "Make Move" button. Direction
changes occur immediately, whereas speed changes may take several turns
(depending on the acceleration of the piece in its terrain).
The "Continue" button can be used to continuously make a pass move. The user
can make a move again by clicking on the "Stop" button.
Capturing a Piece
Pieces automatically attempt to capture contestant pieces if they are within
capture range. The piece does not have to be within sensor range of the
capturing piece, only within sensor range of at least one of the player's
pieces. Pieces can regain energy if they are not being captured during
The End of the Game
The game ends if an HQ piece is captured, or if there are no non-HQ pieces
left on the board.