Over the years, players have come up with a number of variations to the basic simple rules of the game to add a little variety to what often is the "same old-same old" style of play.
While the name is somewhat incongruous, since the starting pieces for one side are pre-determined, not free, it came into use and has stuck.
It is just one simple change to the standard rules of the game:
One player, designated Player A, names the first blue piece to be played, and the first red piece to be played. The other player, designated Player B, then decides if he will play first (blue/red) or second (yellow/green).
The intent is that Player A will choose "Goldilocks" pieces that are neither "too strong" (in which case he will be at a disadvantage as Player B elects Blue/Red), nor "too weak" (in which case Player B will take the advantage by electing to play Yellow/Green), but rather, somewhere in the middle, "just right", so that the two sides start off more or less at equal strength.
This is in contrast to the "standard C2" game, where the first player, by virtue of being able to "connect" (blue with red on the 4th move), has a significant advantage, requiring games to be played in pairs. Freestyle games, especially in tournaments, are usually played as singles.
Each player starts by covering *3* rather than just one corner
multiple games are played by different players, but all using the
same 2 or 3 starting pieces of all the colors.
See this page for more details.
'Avante' in Spanish means 'forward'. This C2 game
starts away from the corners, with the starting squares
chosen at random within the 4x4 squares shown in this example.
Developed back in 2006/2007 years, this is also just a small tweak to the rules:
Everyone plays his 1-square piece first.
It makes for interesting games, because then just a single 1-hole is an effective block.
Suggested by one of our players, Growth goes beyond Pirate, and imposes the rule that you must play the smallest piece possible throughout the game.
Thus, play starts with i1's, followed by the i2's, v3/i3, and so on.
At some point, it may be possible to play a larger piece while you still have some smaller pieces remaining. In such a case, you play the larger piece, then revert to the smaller ones when play permits.
Arm and Brain:
A form of team play which can be a lot of fun.
Two players make a up a team, one is designated the "Brain" who selects the pieces. The other is the "Arm" and chooses the locations where they will be played. The two of them do NOT communicate other than the Brain telling the Arm which piece to play next.
A two-way game can be played by 4 players, and when playing with 4 colors, it's possible to involve 8 players, two on each color, either as 4-man teams or 2-man "individuals".
A particularly fiendish way to play, in this variation, players choose their opponents' pieces for them - with the opponent deciding where they will be played.
Any of the games can be played this way, C2, C4, Teams, or 2-colors, but be prepared for your head to hurt!
The pieces for the opponent's next turn should be named BEFORE you play your piece, so any think time for it is on your clock, not his.
Suggested by player 'crayon' in 2015,
this is a special two-piece start in 2-colors.
It makes for a different game from 'the usual', which so often starts with F or X.
The rules of play are unchanged in this variation, and the only change at all is this:
Low score wins.Any of the other variations of the game can be played this way, but it must be played Unrated, because the rating system is based on, naturally enough, the assumption that the higher score is the winner.
In past times this variation had names based on "golf", since in that game too, low score wins.