Inventor: William I. Chang,
Ranks: Eight by Fifteen
Sowing: Fractured
Region: USA

Cascades was designed by the William I. Chang (China) in 2001, while he was living in Palo Alto, California. William I. Chang is the chief scientist of Baidu Inc. in Beijing, China, and a recognized expert in search technology, online community and advertising business models.

Cascades can be played with Zillions, a game package for Windows that uses a unique "universal gaming engine" technology. On November 21, 2006, it was also implemented on Super Duper Games. However, some players soon discovered that there is a simple winning strategy for the first player.

The game has a rather unusual "leave-a-trail" mechanism akin to sowing.

"For some time I have been toying with the idea of trying to model/abstract the flow of water carving out a mountainside. A related geometric pattern is the fractal on certain seashells. [...] The image in my mind is a root-pattern forming or tributaries of a river."

William I. Chang


Initial Position
Cascades is played on a hexagonal board as shown on the right.

At the start each player has four stones of his color in the upper row, which are placed in an alternate manner.

On his turn a player puts a stone of his color on an empty hexagon adjacent to and below a stone of that color.

The first player plays one stone at his first turn. After that a player may place one or two stones.

It is also permitted to pass the move.

The game is won by the player who occupies a majority of the squares on the bottom row.


Scalable Bord

Cascades can also be played on a smaller or larger board. Chang suggested a board with 10 hexagons at the upper, left and right side for tournaments.

Shape of the Board

The inventor also wrote that "after the bottom row is filled, the game can be continued where the board progressively narrows instead of widens." This would result in the board being a regular hexagon. For another variant see BigBasin, an experimental game.


Players score all territory occupied, instead of just counting the bottom row.

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