Plans of Action

Players 1
Length 10-20 minutes
Required Bits single standard piecepack
Designer Edward Pulley
Version 1.1
Version Date 2004-01-19
License custom license: Copyright © 2003 by L. Edward Pulley. Permission is granted to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, to make derivative works, and to make commercial use of the work, as long as credit is given to the original author, and if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.


Rearrange the coins until a set of six matching coins are together in a group.

 Example of the (random) setup
Example of the (random) setup

Example game

Here is an example game (of the author's preferred variation) in PortablePiecepackNotation:

    Name: Plans of Action
(5,3)-4U; (3,3)-2L; 5(5.5,5.5)$>90!; (5,5)-4L; (2,5)-3R;-2D; (3,5)-2D;
({2..7},3)-2D; (3,4)-3U; (4,5)-2U; (6,4)-3L;-4U; (6,6)-2U; (2,6)-4R; (1,5)-4R;
(7,6)-3D;-2L; (4,6)-3R; (6,6)-3D;-3L; (5,3)-3L; (7,6)-3D; (3,3)-2U; (7,3)-3L;
({3,5,6,7},5)-2D; (5,4)-4L; (1,3)-3U; (5,7)-3D; (1,4)-5R; (1,6)-2D; (7,4)-2U;
(3,6)-3R; (5,6)-2L;-2D; ({1..6},4)-2D; (4,7)-2D;-2R; (3,7)-3D;-2R; (3,8)-2D;
(6,8)-2L;-2D; (6,5)-3U;-2R;-2D; (5,4)-2U;
 Example game of Plans of Action
Example game of Plans of Action (author's preferred variation)

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Reviews & Comments

Plans of Action might employ the "move as far as pieces there are in the line you're moving along" mechanic at the core of the classic Lines of Action, and its goal might also be gathering all pieces in one colour together, but its solitaire format, the initial flow of pieces from the inside of the board outwards (instead of from the edges inwards) and the lack of captured pieces give it a relaxed, comfortable feel that is radically different from the cutthroat tension of Lines of Action.

The other new ingredient in Plans of Action is the possibility to rotate or move a tile to a different place in the board before each move. After a handful of plays, though, players will have probably found quick sequences of moves that make these two options unnecessary. Rotating tiles can still make the player's inexorable way to the goal a couple of moves shorter; moving tiles to the edges of the board (thus leaving gaps in the middle) might make the geometry of the board more exciting, but it actually impedes the movement of the pieces in the long term.

Joining pieces of one single suit can be a task of negligible difficulty provided the right (random) initial setup. Plans of Action is therefore more entertaining when aiming to join together the pieces of each of the four suits in the Piecepack, and more exciting when trying to do so in as few moves as possible.

To sum up, Plans of Action is a laid-back puzzle that departs far enough from its original inspiration to have its own, less challenging but still enjoyable flavour.

--Antonio Recuenco Muñoz

Entry in the SolitaryConfinement contest.

CategoryGame SolitairePuzzlesCategory