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Subject: Trying to make sense of the advanced game rss

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Adam Kopczenski
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I've heard nothing but great things about this game, and I'm thinking about making a very nice copy of it for personal use. I've been looking at the rules document that was posted here, and I'm having a hard time understanding the how the full game works. The rules seem to be internally inconsistent. Let's start with the capturing conditions:

Quote:
On your turn, you can capture a group of stones on the board providing all of the following are true:
1. The group matches your pattern.
2. The group is isolated (not connected orthogonally to any other group).
3. The group has at least two stones in it.


I'd bet the parenthesized phrase should really say "(not connected orthogonally to any other stone)," because that makes slightly more sense. I'm not sure how two groups can be connected without their constituent stones being connected.

Moving on...

Quote:
Capturing and Moving
1. On your turn you can:
- Move [Remove a stone from the board and add it to your personal pattern.]
- Capture
- Move then capture
- Pass (only if no legal moves are available)
2. After any capture you get an extra move.


If I'm understanding this correctly, I could replace the last sentence above with an extra step at the end of the capturing rules. If we added a step that said something like, "After you capture, you must make a single Move action (to start your next pattern) if possible." There's no possibility of multiple captures in a row, because a one-stone capture is impossible. Would that keep the gameplay the same, but remove the oddity of having more than one turn in a row?

Quote:
To Accomplish a Capture
1. Remove all of the stones in the group you are capturing from the board.
2. Remove all of the stones of your pattern from your playing area.
3. Put all of these stones in your captured pile.
4. Although you cannot destroy an opponent's pattern by taking a stone out of it, you may attempt to capture your opponent's pattern in its entirety.
5. If your pattern matches more than one such group you may only capture one of them.
6. You must make a complete move, i.e. remove a stone from the board and add it to your pattern before you can capture.


What does that fourth step in accomplishing a capture mean? If your opponent's pattern matches a subset of the group you'd like to capture, does that mean you're not allowed to? Or does this only refer to blocked stones?

"You must make a complete move before you can capture" directly contradicts the list of move options, doesn't it? Why would they list "capture" separately from "move, then capture" if this restriction exists? Do they just mean that you can't capture twice in a row? Isn't that covered by the fact that you can't capture with a one-stone pattern?

And how precisely does blocking work? As I understand it, a player stops his opponent's single-piece move or a multi-piece capture by blocking and indicating a single stone that would've been taken off the board, and this has several consequences:
- The blocked stone is bound to remain on the board until the blocking player takes it by capturing.
- The blocking player's pattern has a new requirement for being matched: a matching group must include the blocked stone.
- The blocking player's next capture must be of the (whole, isolated) group that contains the indicated stone.
- The player whose action was just blocked still gets a turn; it just means he has to move on to Plan B. (This may entail devising Plan B first.)

Can a player block more than one stone? If not, then blocking a piece with only one neighbor is suicidal: the opponent can then take all the neighbor immediately and leave the blocker totally stuck. Similarly, blocking when you have a larger group may also lead to being trivially and game-endingly thwarted. If a player can block multiple stones, this adds a lot of wrinkles, and creates a memory condition...

Can both players have a blocked piece (or pieces) on the board at the same time?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
 
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Adam Kopczenski
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Here's another question. When the rules day "3. Put all of these stones in your captured pile," are they referring to the stones in the pattern you built, the ones you've captured from the board, or both? (Does capturing a three-stone group give you six points?)
 
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Stephen Tavener
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MrStickman wrote:
Here's another question. When the rules day "3. Put all of these stones in your captured pile," are they referring to the stones in the pattern you built, the ones you've captured from the board, or both? (Does capturing a three-stone group give you six points?)

Both (6 points).
 
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