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Subject: Claiming flags on tied formations rss

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Gary Bradley
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There are 2 fairly clear rules in this game:

1) If a player can prove (by pointing out unavailable cards at other flags) that an incomplete enemy formation cannot possibly beat his complete formation, he can claim the flag "early".

2) If the 2 formations at a given flag are identical in power, then the person who played the last card there loses the flag.

My question is regarding a combination of these 2 rules. Say a flag has these cards at it:

Opponent: Red 10, Red 9
Me: Yellow 10, Yellow 9

Now if I play the Yellow 8 to that flag when there is no sign of the Red 8 anywhere else, can I still claim that flag on the basis that I will win it due to rule (2) above? I think yes, but the rules only mention making early claims where the formations are different or the "missing" cards have already been played at other flags. There seems no rule covering early claiming when the formations would be identical at best.

Thanks.
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We play that you can claim it.

First, we read rule 2 as once a formation is made, the second formation must be higher to beat it--same rule just worded in a pro-active way. The first rule states that if you can "prove" that your formation can't be beat, you can claim the flag. Using the shown cards is a way to show that a possible formation that "could" beat yours can't be made with the remaining playable cards. But, if you can prove that your formation is "impossible" to beat (reguardless of cards in and out of play), you also claim the flag.

For example, if the other player has a 6 showing, and I complete an 8-9-10 straight flush, I can immediately claim the flag because the highest formation that the other player could make using his 6 is a 6-7-8 straight-flush, REGUARDLESS of what cards have been played.

One offshoot of this is that if you complete an 8-9-10 straight-flush, you can ALWAYS and IMMEDIATELY claim the flag, because that is the HIGHEST formation-- it can't be beaten, only tied, and ties are won by first come.

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Matthew M
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GaryB wrote:

1) If a player can prove (by pointing out unavailable cards at other flags) that an incomplete enemy formation cannot possibly beat his complete formation, he can claim the flag "early".


Your example fits this criteria. Of course, your opponent's formation will probably be complete anyway by your next turn as he will use the opportunity to muck a useless card from his hand.

-MMM
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Adam Smiles
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Or to play a Tactics Card, so that he still has a change of winning.
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Tactic Cards are NOT taken into account when deciding if a hand can't be beat. If they were you really could practically NEVER claim a flag early.

Incidentally, we don't use the Tactics cards. In my opinion it takes away too much of the strategy of the game, because you really never know how well you sit with any given row until it is claimed.
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Adam Smiles
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If you're not using the Tactics Cards, then you're playing Schotten Totten, not Battle Line.

You are correct that when you evaluate claiming a flag before the other player has completed the hand, that you do not take Tactics cards into account.

The game comes with rules for a basic and advanced game (at least that's how I think they're named). In the basic version you claim flags at the end of your turn. In the advanced version, you claim flags at the beginning of the turn, so the other player always has a chance to respond to your play. That response can be to discard an unwanted card onto the about to be claimed flag, or to play a tactic card or to ignore that flag and play somewhere else.
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Bob Crane
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asmiles wrote:
In the basic version you claim flags at the end of your turn.


According to my understanding of the Battle Line rules, this is not quite true. Under FLAGS section, the rules state (that in the basic game), "On his turn and before drawing his card from the deck, a player may claim one or more Flags." So, you can claim ANY TIME during your turn before you end it by drawing a card.

I'm not sure that anyone here as answered the original question adequately. Here is the second rule in question:

If the formations of either side of a Flag are tied or at best could be tied, then the player who played (or would play) the last card into the formation loses the Flag. His opponent may claim it NEXT turn.

I think this second rule is contradictory with the first. What happens, for example, when both me and my opponents have two eights on the board and I place a third eight? According to the first rule, I have won this hand because I beat him first on a possibly tied hand. Consequently, I should be able to claim the flag immediately. But according to the second rule which addresses tied hands, I must wait until my opponent moves (regardless of what card he plays) and then claim it at the beginning of my next turn.

This seems unnecessarily complicated to me...why can't I claim it immediately after placing the third card to keep the rules simple?

I'm simply addressing the basic rules here. Does anybody have a copy of the Shotten Totten rules for possible clarification? I quickly went over to the Schotten Totten board and rules for different versions of the game seem to vary as to how and when you can claim flags.
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Frank Hollander
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Quote:
I'm simply addressing the basic rules here.


I'm pretty sure that Schotten Totten always uses what's called the "Advanced Rule" in Battle Line, that you can only claim flags at the beginning of a turn.

The sentence you are referencing is indeed a little bit flaky if you aren't playing the Advanced Rule. To be consistent with the spirit of the non-Adanced rules, the rules should probably be something like this:

If the formations of either side of a Flag are tied, then the player who played the last card into the formation loses the Flag. (His opponent may claim it on his next turn.)

(If an uncompleted formation on the other side of a Flag could at best be tied with a completed formation, then the player who played the completed formation may claim the flag normally.)
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Jeff Coon
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GaryB wrote:
My question is regarding a combination of these 2 rules. Say a flag has these cards at it:

Opponent: Red 10, Red 9
Me: Yellow 10, Yellow 9

Now if I play the Yellow 8 to that flag when there is no sign of the Red 8 anywhere else, can I still claim that flag on the basis that I will win it due to rule (2) above?


My interpretation of the rules is the same as the others in this thread - you can definitely claim it.

In fact, I was playing with my girlfriend last night, and we had the following:

Her: Green 10, Green 9
Me: (No cards)

On her turn, she played the Green 8 and was able to claim the flag, even though I had played no cards yet. Our logic was that she played the highest hand possible (8-9-10 straight flush). Even if I would have played the highest hand possible, too (same straight flush), she would have won because I would have been the last to play a card to the flag.

We hadn't seen that happen before. It was a good play for her. After thinking about it, she claimed the flag before I had a chance to alter it using a tactics card (prime candidate for a mud if the 7 of that color was out), and it gave her the opportunity to play and draw another card, which is pretty important. It also closed off an entire flag for me, where I couldn't play any cards.

(I still won, though)
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Christopher Dearlove
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asmiles wrote:
If you're not using the Tactics Cards, then you're playing Schotten Totten, not Battle Line.


The latest Schotten Totten has (different) tactics cards.
 
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Nasty McHaggis
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Jeff wrote:
GaryB wrote:
My question is regarding a combination of these 2 rules. Say a flag has these cards at it:

Opponent: Red 10, Red 9
Me: Yellow 10, Yellow 9

Now if I play the Yellow 8 to that flag when there is no sign of the Red 8 anywhere else, can I still claim that flag on the basis that I will win it due to rule (2) above?


My interpretation of the rules is the same as the others in this thread - you can definitely claim it.

In fact, I was playing with my girlfriend last night, and we had the following:

Her: Green 10, Green 9
Me: (No cards)

On her turn, she played the Green 8 and was able to claim the flag, even though I had played no cards yet. Our logic was that she played the highest hand possible (8-9-10 straight flush). Even if I would have played the highest hand possible, too (same straight flush), she would have won because I would have been the last to play a card to the flag.

We hadn't seen that happen before. It was a good play for her. After thinking about it, she claimed the flag before I had a chance to alter it using a tactics card (prime candidate for a mud if the 7 of that color was out), and it gave her the opportunity to play and draw another card, which is pretty important. It also closed off an entire flag for me, where I couldn't play any cards.

(I still won, though)


This is how my friend and I have been playing it. I'm so tired of trying to decipher bad rules, lazily written sentences and worrying about the designer's intent. It's better to just go with what seems reasonable and if a problem arises later, tweak it and try something different.
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Randy Miranda
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Jeff wrote:
GaryB wrote:
My question is regarding a combination of these 2 rules. Say a flag has these cards at it:

Opponent: Red 10, Red 9
Me: Yellow 10, Yellow 9

Now if I play the Yellow 8 to that flag when there is no sign of the Red 8 anywhere else, can I still claim that flag on the basis that I will win it due to rule (2) above?


My interpretation of the rules is the same as the others in this thread - you can definitely claim it.

In fact, I was playing with my girlfriend last night, and we had the following:

Her: Green 10, Green 9
Me: (No cards)

On her turn, she played the Green 8 and was able to claim the flag, even though I had played no cards yet. Our logic was that she played the highest hand possible (8-9-10 straight flush). Even if I would have played the highest hand possible, too (same straight flush), she would have won because I would have been the last to play a card to the flag.

We hadn't seen that happen before. It was a good play for her. After thinking about it, she claimed the flag before I had a chance to alter it using a tactics card (prime candidate for a mud if the 7 of that color was out), and it gave her the opportunity to play and draw another card, which is pretty important. It also closed off an entire flag for me, where I couldn't play any cards.

(I still won, though)


i interpreted the rule as, if there was any possible way you could tie the formation (eg 8 9 10 of yellow were all still available), she would only be able to claim the flag on the turn after playing her green 8.

the rule states: "if the formation on either side of a flag are tied or at best could be tied, the player who played (or would play)the last card in to the formation loses the flag. His opponent may claim it on his next turn."

in this situation, you would be the person who would theoretically play the last card in to the formation.

this is using the regular (non-advanced) rules.

is my interpretation correct?
 
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Andrew Gray
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fungamebob wrote:
Jeff wrote:
GaryB wrote:
My question is regarding a combination of these 2 rules. Say a flag has these cards at it:

Opponent: Red 10, Red 9
Me: Yellow 10, Yellow 9

Now if I play the Yellow 8 to that flag when there is no sign of the Red 8 anywhere else, can I still claim that flag on the basis that I will win it due to rule (2) above?


My interpretation of the rules is the same as the others in this thread - you can definitely claim it.

In fact, I was playing with my girlfriend last night, and we had the following:

Her: Green 10, Green 9
Me: (No cards)

On her turn, she played the Green 8 and was able to claim the flag, even though I had played no cards yet. Our logic was that she played the highest hand possible (8-9-10 straight flush). Even if I would have played the highest hand possible, too (same straight flush), she would have won because I would have been the last to play a card to the flag.

We hadn't seen that happen before. It was a good play for her. After thinking about it, she claimed the flag before I had a chance to alter it using a tactics card (prime candidate for a mud if the 7 of that color was out), and it gave her the opportunity to play and draw another card, which is pretty important. It also closed off an entire flag for me, where I couldn't play any cards.

(I still won, though)


i interpreted the rule as, if there was any possible way you could tie the formation (eg 8 9 10 of yellow were all still available), she would only be able to claim the flag on the turn after playing her green 8.

the rule states: "if the formation on either side of a flag are tied or at best could be tied, the player who played (or would play)the last card in to the formation loses the flag. His opponent may claim it on his next turn."

in this situation, you would be the person who would theoretically play the last card in to the formation.

this is using the regular (non-advanced) rules.

is my interpretation correct?


I would say that this is the correct interpretation. I think this would give the person who would be the tying chance to play a tactics card or at least play a card into that formation.

If you come up with a tie then you have to wait just one turn before claiming.
 
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