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flock rule
Rulestring 12/3
Character Chaotic

Flock is a cellular automaton with the ruleset B3/S12. It differs very strongly from Conway's Game of Life and similar automata. It is the third most searched rule on Catagolue as of late June 2016.


Due to the missing S3 survival condition and addition of the S1 survival condition, almost no patterns from Life are compatible with Flock and vice versa. Random starting soups rapidly degenerate into dominoes and still duoplets.

There are small p2 oscillators which resemble the ship, long ship and very long ship when played, one of which looks like a bipole in one phase. This family of oscillators does not appear to be extendable.

Familiar fours

Despite the vastly different behaviour of patterns, some patterns can still settle naturally into familiar fours and related constellations. One, for example, is called flock, a constellation of four duoplets, which evolves from a 3x3 square of cells as in the traffic light sequence. Another familiar four is known as radiator, composed of four dominoes.


Spaceships also exist in this rule, although they are much larger and not naturally occuring like the glider.


Many oscillators occur naturally in this rule. There are many extremely common p2 and p4 oscillators. p3 oscillators are somewhat rare but have been observed.

Oscillators with higher periods have been known to occur naturally. One of the most common of these is the Tetris shuttle, consisting of a tetromino (which is a beehive grandparent in normal Life) being hassled by two dominoes. There is also a p9 which is a bit less common, along with one occurrence of a p7.

File:Flock p2.jpeg
Small p2 oscillators
File:Flock p4.jpeg
Small p4 oscillators