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GAMMONTOOL(6)                    Games Manual                    GAMMONTOOL(6)



NAME
       gammontool - play a game of backgammon

SYNOPSIS
       /usr/games/gammontool [ path ]

AVAILABILITY
       This  game  is  available  with the Games software installation option.
       Refer to for information on how to install optional software.

DESCRIPTION
       gammontool paints a backgammon board on the screen, and then  lets  you
       play against the computer.  It must be run in SunWindows.  The optional
       path argument specifies an  alternate  move-generating  program,  which
       must be specially designed to run with gammontool.

       The  game has three subwindows: an option window on top, a message win-
       dow in the middle, and a large board on the bottom.  The buttons in the
       option window are used to restart, double, etc.  The message window has
       two lines: the first tells whose turn it is, and  the  second  displays
       any errors that occur.

   The Initial Roll
       To start the game, roll the dice to determine who goes first.  Move the
       mouse arrow onto the board and click the left button.  One die  appears
       on each side of the board: the die on the left is yours, and the die on
       the right is the computer's.  If your roll is greater, then  you  move;
       if not, the computer makes a move.

   Making Your Move
       When  it is your turn, `Yourmove' appears in the message window.  Place
       the mouse over any piece of your color,  and  click  the  left  button.
       While  holding  down  the button, move the mouse to drag the piece; the
       piece follows the mouse until you release the button.  The tool  checks
       each move and does not allow illegal moves.  When you have made as many
       moves as you can, the computer takes its turn; after it  finishes,  you
       may either roll again, or double.

       Doubling
              To double, click the Double button in the option window and wait
              for the computer's response.  If the  computer  doubles  you,  a
              message  is displayed and you must answer with the Accept Double
              or Refuse Double buttons.  The Forfeit button can also  be  used
              to  refuse  a  double.   If the game is doubled, a doubling cube
              with the proper value is displayed on the  bar  strip.   If  the
              number is facing up, then you may double next.  If the number is
              upside down, it is the computer's turn to double.

       Other Buttons
              If you want to change your move before you have finished it, use
              the  Redo Move or Redo Entire Move buttons in the option window.
              Redo Entire Move replaces all of the pieces you  have  moved  so
              that  you  can  redo them all.  Redo Move only replaces the last
              piece you moved, so it is useful when you roll doubles and  want
              to  redo only the last piece you moved.  Note that once you have
              made all of the moves your roll permits, play passes immediately
              to  the  computer,  so  you cannot redo the very last move.  The
              Show Last Move button allows you to see the last move again.

   Leaving the Game
       If you want to quit playing backgammon, use the Quit  button.   If  you
       want  to forfeit the game, use the Forfeit button.  The computer penal-
       izes you by taking a certain number of points, but the program does not
       terminate.

       To  play  another  game after winning, losing, or forfeiting, click the
       New Game button.  To change the color of your pieces, click  the  mouse
       button while pointing at either the White or Black checkboxes.  You may
       change colors at any time, even in the middle of a game.  Changing col-
       ors  in  the  middle of a game does not mean that you trade places with
       the computer; your pieces stay where they are, but they  are  repainted
       with  the new color.  Your pieces always move from the top right to the
       bottom right of the board, regardless of your color.  As an  additional
       cue  as  to your color, your dice are always displayed on the left half
       of the board.

   Log File
       If a there is a gammonlog file your home directory, gammontool keeps  a
       log  of  the  games  played.  Each move and double gets recorded, along
       with the winners and accumulated scores.

FILES
       ~/gammonlog         log of games played
       /usr/games/lib/gammonscores
                           log of wins and losses

BUGS
       The default strategy used by the computer is very poor.

       If a single move uses more than one die (for instance if you roll 5,  6
       and  move  11  spaces without touching down in the middle) it is unpre-
       dictable where the program will make the piece touch down.  This may be
       important  if  there is a blot on one of these middle points.  The pro-
       gram will always make the move if possible, but if two midpoints  would
       work  and  there is a blot on one of them, it is much better to explic-
       itly hit the blot and then move the piece the rest of the way.



                               21 December 1987                  GAMMONTOOL(6)