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Escape from Colditz» Forums » Variants

Subject: Fix for POWs in Solitary for too long rss

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Chris Fawcett
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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We have found that the requirement that POWs may only exit solitary on a doubles roll led to too many of them filling up every available space. It also made many POW player turns totally pointless (fewer than four can't get an escape kit and fewer than two can't even get any equipment).

To fix this issue, we played that POWs that are arrested are placed ahead on the turn track a number of game turns equal to a single d6 roll. At the end of any game turn where POWs are on the track, those POWs are placed into the Appel on any starting place for that player. If doubles are rolled by a POW player when any of that player's POWs are on the turn track, he/she may choose to return that POW from solitary as per the normal rules (depart via the white arrow on the board, first space counts as one of the spaces for movement, etc.).
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Adam Rees
United Kingdom
Liss Forest
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Did you use this rule just for the inner solitary? If for both, how did you tell which POW on the track was in which solitary?

Out of interest, did you decide on a D6 just for simplicity and ease (i.e. the game has D6 so it was simplest just to use a D6) or because you felt that being in solitary for 1-6 turns was the right amount? You could have gone for 3+D3, for example.. I am not arguing a D6 is wrong, just wondering if there was method behind it, or whether it just the simplest solution.

I do like the idea of this variant. My biggest caveat is an aesthetic one really - as the POW pawns are on the turn track, you don't get to see them actually locked up in solitary!

Also, why send the pawn straight back to the appel? Doesn't that make things much easier for the POW players and rob the Security Officer of one of his strongest tactics of potentially blocking the route back from solitary and re-arresting a POW before they get to safety? Why not just make the POW who gets out have to exit as per the normal rules, namely come out on the white arrow?
 
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Chris Fawcett
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Yes, a single d6 was chosen for simplicity's sake. Also, we felt the "tactic" of the guard camping out and re-arresting the POWs essentially broke the game. It's already enough of a challenge for the POWs, we felt.

And we didn't care which Solitary location was the "location" as it didn't really matter. They all ended up back at the Appel.
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Adam Rees
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thanks for the reply. The camping guard and re-arresting is a prime tactic of the Security Officer, but i am not sure it is overpowered. The POW can play a move fast card to avoid the issue, and POWs can swap equipment cards, so they have none on their turn and can't be arrested. So the POW player does have options.

Also, being in the outer solitary can be the basis of some escape attempts, so losing that possibility seems a bit of a shame.

Despite all that the variant is interesting, and if the re-arresting and camping is proving too big a problem in your game, then this sorts it out very nicely.

If you wanted to use this variant but still keep the outer solitary escape possibilty, then you could tweak the variant in one of two ways I think:

1. Outer solitary doesn't use the variant. Simple change, that stops the problem in the inner courtyard, but keeps outside of that as per RAW.

2. Keep variant as is, but a roll of doubles allows a POW in solitary on the turn track to exit outer solitary. So rather than returning to appel, they exit the outer solitary as in RAW. This keeps the ability to use the outer solitary as an escape base, but limits the chances to do so to rolling doubles. However, it would allow a POW arrested in the courtyard to get into the outer solitary. Not sure if that really matter too much.
 
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Chris Fawcett
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I do like the adjustment suggestion for the outer solitary cell. We didn't think that it made much difference, as we hadn't really gotten too far out of the inner courtyard with the RAW.
 
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