WHY on earth is this variant so groundbreaking compared to any other variants?
At the risk of pissing people off, let me start with a bold statement. If you are a sensitive person, just stop reading.
Eskgammon will transform the field of backgammon in a manner similar to the widespread usage of the cube, at least short term.
I told you it would be a bold statement :). If the cube transformed the field 100% for those that adapted it, Eskgammon should create a similar effect, maybe on the scale of 25-50%. With minimal reasoning below (because I could write a book about it already and those that get trapped, seem to stay trapped and the conversion percentage is higher than 90% currently).
The change to the game is minimal, all rules stay the same and only one dice is converted to a d10 dice.
Compared to other variants this transforms the entire game even if not apparent at first.
No bots! Or at least no bots yet (and there is a plan for that). This is one of the main benefits (1) which results in…
Playing is FUN again! Players actually discuss moves and cubes again and virtually no one would bet their life on anything. In other words, I haven’t had this much fun in a decade.
Players leaving backgammon because every bot trained shark in the world beat the living crap out of them… are now playing again. Another main benefit (2).
Most opening moves are out the window, seriously.
Having 60 rolls instead of 36 rolls makes calculations fun again (ok, for some people).
The cubing is STILL totally unknown territory. So far there are only two loose predictions about cubing and cube windows. People are still learning the basics after 7 years which means no one has decided it’s worth their time to investigate things at this stage. Sure, basic cubing strategy still works but when you are in serious trouble already with the take point… I think anyone reading this catches the drift.
The amount of ‘I never saw that one coming’ rolls is much higher, even after 7 years of play, trust me.
You feel enlightened when you figure out some of the new common traps (I had one last weekend, after playing this for 7 years – I don’t even remember when I got exited last about a new discovery in backgammon).
Eskgammon seems perfectly suited for Swing tournaments. This is actually huge for Tournament Directors. In short, today you have a problem with people travelling far to a live tournament and drop out just after a few matches. There are lots of fixes but none are really good (and I know people will disagree here but it is a problem). Swing tournaments have a guaranteed speed (typically around 2h for a dozen players) so people coming to a tournament might get to play at least 3-4 games in 3 separate tournaments in just one day. No more going home fast. No more having to play side games all evening. The benefit here is actually huge enough to be a main one (3). To simplify, players are more likely to come to tournaments and more likely to enjoy themselves (not getting bot killed). In essence, what a lot of backgammon communities on their last breath really need today.