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I'm designing some lessons on Game Theory, various versions to adapt to grades 1 through 9. In one of them I use the game of Hex to talk about games where we can prove some stuff about it even though its game tree is ridiculously huge. (For instance, that somebody always wins, that there is a winning strategy for player one even though we don't know what it is.)

I am wondering what board size would be appropriate so that a game can be played in about 15 minutes. The usual 11x11 is definitely too big.

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I've found 7x7 to be a pretty good size for my non-math major college students to play a few games in a reasonable time frame. My own (kindergarten and 2nd grade) children find it a good size as well. Here's my rendering of the board: https://www.instanton.org/hex-board.pdf

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you find that size to be appropriate all the way up to grade 9, or is a bigger board better at that age? Another thing I'm noticing after experimenting more is that the length of a hex game depends a lot on the players' approach. A first game is likely to be faster I find, then once a person becomes aware of the complexity, games tend to slow down. I'm thinking about starting with a large board, even 10x10 say, then go to a smaller board for the more analytical part. $\endgroup$ – j0equ1nn Jun 19 '18 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ I'm only exposed to college students and my own children, so I don't know about 9th grade specifically. I have my college students do 4 runs of the 7x7 game and then in-depth analysis of 2x2 and 3x3 boards. Most of the students try something like a straight line "strategy" at first and get to at least one more interesting game by the end of the 4. $\endgroup$ – Adam Jun 19 '18 at 19:46

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