One player takes the side of Order and the other takes the side of Chaos. Order wants to bring order into the game by getting 5 red checkers or 5 black checkers in a row, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. If he achieves this he wins the game. If he fails then Chaos wins. Order and Chaos alternate turns with Order going first. At each move, a player chooses to play either a black or a red checker. Moves are made by dropping a checker to the lowest unoccupied space in a column.
This game is inspired by Order and Chaos, a game invented by S. Sniderman, played on an horizontal (traditional) 6x6 board. Vertical Order and Chaos introduces the concept of gravity taken from Vertical Tic-Tac-Toe (also known as Gravitational TicTacToe, 4-in-a-row, and Connect-4). Somewhat surprisingly, Vertical Order and Chaos seems to remain a balanced game (more or less) on many different board sizes. In this program several board sizes have been implemented. The standard game rack for Connect-4 (7x6) can be used for this game, but remember that one must achieve five in a row, and not four.
As in Go-Moku an open-four (4-of-a-kind with two open ends) is an unstoppable threat. Chaos must watch out for this. Order should look for ways to force Chaos to play in spaces where either a black or red checker brings order.
You can download my free Vertical Order and Chaos program here, but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it. (I recommend the download version.)
© M. Winther (June 2010).