Babamots' Homeworlds Puzzle Collection

Main HW page

Vague instructions

In all cases, you should assume that the Pyramid Quartet rules are being used. In particular, you may trigger catastrophes in the middle of a turn, and if both players are eliminated in the same move, the result is a draw.

Unless otherwise stated, the objective of each puzzle is to figure out what the current player should do. You must assume that the opponent will make their best move to stop you, so plan your responses appropriately.

You should be able to determine whether you should be trying to win, force a draw, or just survive the current threat. If I told you what is possible, I'd be robbing you of a chance to size up the big picture.

Unless the instructions say otherwise, achieve the highest possible objective on this list.

  1. If you can force a win, you should do so in as few moves as possible.
  2. If you can't force a win but can get a dominating advantage, do so. You may simply assume that you will win in this case, even though it would be tiresome to plan responses to every single thing your opponent might do. I'll compare this to a chess puzzle: if you capture your opponent's queen without giving up pieces or position, it's normal to assume that you will win even though there are billions of ways that the game might proceed.
  3. If you can't win, then prevent defeat. End the game in a draw if the alternative is losing.
  4. If your opponent has a big advantage and you can't win or get an advantage or draw, then equalize the positions so you and your opponent have about the same chances of winning.
  5. If neither player can get a big advantage in the next few moves, then find the best developmental move.
  6. If you are certain to lose (assuming a perfect opponent), then delay your loss as long as possible. (I don't expect to post many puzzles like this.)

I know some people won't like such ambiguous objectives, so each puzzle has a link to click that will reveal a hint about what the player on-move should be trying to do. Even if you think you'll want this hint, I encourage you to take a good look at the position first. It may be easier than you think!

To see my solution to the puzzle, first reveal the hint and then click the "Show solution" link.

The puzzles

  1. For beginners (basic skills)
  2. End game?
  3. Any means necessary
  4. Ketchup and mustard
  5. Nothing fancy (basic skills)
  6. Go time
  7. Out of gas (basic skills)
  8. Development 1 (basic skills)
  9. Development 2 (basic skills)
  10. Cornered
  11. Theater Five