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Draft Noughts and Crosses

In keeping with the principle that “any game can be improved by drafting,” we present a game that we’ve been sitting on for a while: Draft Noughts and Crosses, or Draft Tic-Tac-Toe, or DraftOX for short (and for people who like nonstandard arrangements of uppercase letters).

The board consists of a 4×4 grid. (We made it bigger than the standard 3×3 so that it’s an even number.) Randomly separate the squares into two equal groups. One way to do this is to write the coordinates of the squares on sixteen cards, then shuffle and deal them into two piles of eight.

Each player looks at one of the piles, chooses a card, and puts it face down. Both players reveal their card simultaneously, mark the square they chose with an O or X, and put the chosen card aside. Then they swap piles and repeat.

The winner is the first to get 4 in a row. If both players win at the same time, it’s a draw.

You can play against The Hyperstig online. He’s pretty good, but he tends to get annoyed and make mistakes if he thinks he’s losing. (The online version doesn’t use cards; it just shows a blurred O where O can move, and a blurred X where… you get the idea.)

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