Contents of the QUINTA.DOC file
QUINTA - Version 1.0
QUINTA is a game that runs on IBM and IBM-Compatible computers. It
requires a mouse and an EGA or VGA display. QUINTA is similar to Go-
Moku, GO and the board game PENTE (registered trademark of Parker
Rules of Play
The game is actually quite simple to play. There are two players who
alternate placing their "stones" on the board. There are three modes:
a) two players, b) one player against the computer and c) computer
against computer. There are two ways to win. First, you may win by
placing five or more of your stones in a straight row. The row may be
horizontal, vertical or diagonal. (Like winning at Tick Tack Toe but
with five pieces instead of three.) Second, you may win by capturing
five of your opponent's pairs of stones. You capture a pair by
enclosing them with two of your stones, one at each end. You may
capture more than one pair at a time. Always make your first move in
the middle of the board as indicated by the mark. That's all there is
to it. Of course you must defend yourself from being attacked in the
The only file you will need is QUINTA.EXE. The game is started by
entering QUINTA at the DOS prompt. (Remember, you must have an EGA or
VGA display adapter and you must have your mouse driver loaded.) The
default mode is "1 Player". In this mode the player plays against the
computer. By pressing the mouse button in the PLAYER box you may
cycle through 0, 1 or 2 Players. When 0 Players is selected the RUN,
HALT and STEP boxes are available to control automatic play with the
computer playing both sides. When 2 Players are selected two people
play against each other. The stone at the top center of the board
changes color, showing whose turn it is.
In 1 Player mode (you against the computer) you go first. If you want
the computer to go first just place your piece off to the side.
You may turn the SOUND on and off. You may select the Novice or
Advanced SKILL level. Take back a move at any time by selecting
To place a stone just point to the intersection and press any of the
mouse buttons. When a pair has been surrounded it will be moved to
the stack at the side of the board where you can keep track of the
score. When five-in-a-row is found or five pairs of one color have
been removed the game is over.
You may switch between 0,1 and 2 Players during the course of a game.
This will let you see what the computer's move would be under certain
circumstances. You may set up a situation in the 2 Player mode then
switch to 0 Players and select STEP to see the computer's next move.
A note about taking back moves: the first few moves made by the
computer are randomized to prevent repeating the same game each time.
When a randomized move is taken back and another is made in its place
the computer may not repeat the identical move. So taking back and
then stepping forward may not always duplicate the same sequence.
Each time the computer makes a move, a phrase appears above the board
at the right. This phrase indicates the tactic used for its previous
The computer has been taught fourteen different tactics. They are
rank ordered in importance. The computer starts with the most impor-
tant and searches for the situation calling for that particular
tactic. If the situation exists, the appropriate move is made. If
not, it works its way down the list of tactics until a move is re-
quired. The last tactic is to make a pseudo-random move which is
always done if no previous move has been made. The tactics are a
combination of defensive and offensive moves. The rank ordering for
some is fairly obvious but becomes somewhat arbitrary as you approach
the end of the list.
The computer does not "look ahead" to plan its strategy though it does
employ a few subtleties when set to Advanced SKILL. Strategies that
are unique to Advanced SKILL are indicated with "(ADV)" below. If it
can block a row by placing a stone in more than one position it will
try to use the position where it will not be captured on the next move.
If it can block a row by removing one of the opposing stones as part
of a pair, it will do that in preference to placing a stone at the end
of the chain. It will not make a random move where it can be im-
The fourteen tactics are explained below but it is necessary to agree
on some terminology.
Open Row - A row of stones with open positions at both ends.
Closed Row - A row of stones with an opposing stone at one end.
Split Row - A row of stones in a straight line including an empty
space. This has the potential to become a long row if the space
is filled with a stone of the same color.
To Block - Placing a stone at the end of an opponents row.
To Extend - Lengthening a row by placing a stone of the same color at
There are a few basics to understand about the game strategy. If a
player gets an open four, (four in a row, open at both ends) then he
will win on the next move unless one of the stones can be captured.
If the opponent blocks one end of the open four, the player can form
five-in-a-row by placing his stone at the other end. Since this is
true, if a player has an open three, it must be blocked or it may be
made into an open four on the next move, leading to a win. Similarly
a split three or a split four is equally dangerous and must be block-
It is desirable to place a stone that forms two rows (of three or
four) simultaneously. The opponent will only be able to deal with one
threat at a time. The computer does not recognize this strategy and
so can be beaten with its use. Sometimes the computer's move creates
this double threat and you will be beaten but it was not intentional.
The Fourteen Tactics
1.MAKE 5 - This is the highest priority tactic for obvious reasons.
It makes the game-winning move by extending a row of four to five
2.BLOCK 4 - This is the defensive counterpart to tactic 1. It
blocks a row of four to prevent the opposing win. If the oppos-
ing row of four is closed, the block will succeed. If it is
open, the opposing player will win on the next move unless a
piece in the row can be captured.
3.EXTEND SPLIT 3 - An offensive move that tries to create a winning
row of five stones from a split row of 3.
4.BLOCK SPLIT 4 - The defensive counterpart to tactic 3. Tries to
block creation of a long row. It will block by remove a stone if
it can (ADV).
5.BLOCK SPLIT 3 - The defensive counterpart to tactic 3.
6.EXTEND OPEN 3 - An offensive tactic to lengthen an open row of
three. It will try to choose an end where it will not be captured
on the next turn (ADV).
7.BLOCK OPEN 3 - The defensive counterpart to tactic 6. It will
try to break up the open three by taking a pair if that is
possible (ADV) and will try to choose an end where it will not be
captured on the next turn (ADV).
8.TAKE 2 - This tactic will capture an opponents pair. It will do
so even if the placed stone can be captured on the next move.
9. EXTEND CLOSED 2 - This is the defensive counterpart to tactic 8.
It tries to prevent a closed pair from being captured. It does
so even if the placed stone can be captured on the next move.
10.EXTEND OPEN 2 - An offensive move to lengthen an open two. It
will only extend the row if the placed stone can not be captures
on the next move (ADV).
11.BLOCK OPEN 2 - (ADV) A defensive move to prevent an open two from
being lengthened. It will only place the stone if it can not be
captured on the next move.
12.BLOCK CLOSED 3 - (ADV) A defensive move to prevent the lengthen-
ing of a closed three. It will try to remove on of the stones
first. It will only place the stone if it can not be captured on
the next move.
13.EXTEND CLOSED 3 - (ADV) The offensive counterpart to the tactic
12. It will only place the stone if it can not be captured on
the next move.
14.RANDOM - When all other tactics are not required this move will
place a stone in a pseudo random position. It will not place a
stone where it can be captured on the next move. The search
begins at the center a spirals outward. There is a random factor
applied to the first several moves to give variety to the com-
This program is being distributed under the Shareware concept.
Rather than incurring expensive marketing costs it is distributed
through bulletin boards, computer clubs, database services such as
Compuserve, and software distributors who specialize in Shareware
programs. You are encouraged to copy it and distribute it to anyone
who may be interested. Anyone who tries the program and continues to
use it is obliged to send a registration fee of $10 to the author:
25 Shadow Lane
Great Neck, NY 11021
Send any comments and suggestion to the above address.