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Subject: Escape from Atlantis 1986 dolphin rules rss

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Rick B
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I recently traded for the Waddington's Escape from Atlantis (1986 with spinner and wooden pawns). The rules are very clear, but I'm having trouble interpreting one thing: dolphins. I think the discussion of this in another thread that involved the inventor of the game served to confuse me more. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Okay, the issue. If the current player moves his pawn onto a space with a dolphin, is the pawn automatically sent to safety at that point? Does the dolphin automatically move to the "drop-off" space between the corals or remain on the current space? Or, does the player get to use any remaining movement points to move the dolphin and his/her pawn toward safety? In addition, the player could have moved the dolphin into the same space as his pawn after spinning. Obviously the player's turn is over. Are his pawn and the dolphin moved automatically to safety or do they simply sit on the same space until his/her next turn, where he/she uses normal movement points to move both the dolphin and pawn toward safety? Thanks for any advice.
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Mike Banks
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puckhead wrote:

Okay, the issue. If the current player moves his pawn onto a space with a dolphin, is the pawn automatically sent to safety at that point? Does the dolphin automatically move to the "drop-off" space between the corals or remain on the current space?


Neither -- Both swimmer and dolphin remain where they are, until the player decides to move them together in the normal fashion on a later turn, or another player moves the dolphin elsewhere. The dolphin only serves as a "bodyguard" for the swimmer, preventing sharks or sea monsters from attacking him. Other than that, all standard movement rules still apply (tho, the dolphin does not cost any movement points). It will simply follow the swimmer the whole way to a safety island, unless another player moves it away with the spinner.

puckhead wrote:
Or, does the player get to use any remaining movement points to move the dolphin and his/her pawn toward safety?


Once in the water, a swimmer can only move one space TOTAL per that player's turn, with or without a dolphin escort.

puckhead wrote:
In addition, the player could have moved the dolphin into the same space as his pawn after spinning. Obviously the player's turn is over. Are his pawn and the dolphin moved automatically to safety or do they simply sit on the same space until his/her next turn, where he/she uses normal movement points to move both the dolphin and pawn toward safety? Thanks for any advice.


Both dolphin and swimmer stay put -- making it possible that someone else will move the dolphin before that player gets another turn. As I understand it, there is *no* circumstance that allows a pawn to automatically move to safety.

Also, once you're more comfortable with gameplay, I would recommend checking out the variant that models the "Survive!" version of the game -- where each of the pawns has a secret numerical value (stickers or written in with a Sharpie) on the bottom -- known only to the player that places them on the island. The version you and I have easily allows this mod, but you are also not obligated to follow it, either. It adds a neat element of decision making or further randomizing, if you will.

Hope that helps!
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Mike Banks
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schlappy wrote:
puckhead wrote:

Or, does the player get to use any remaining movement points to move the dolphin and his/her pawn toward safety?


Once in the water, a swimmer can only move one space TOTAL per that player's turn, with or without a dolphin escort.


I should also add that: if a pawn jumps or falls from an island tile, it cannot move again until the player's next turn -- a pawn should never have "remaining movement points" once it hits the water.

Good luck!
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Rick B
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Thanks a lot. That's a very clear explanation. I had some strange picture in my head of a swimmer "riding" the dolphin to safety somehow.

Much appreciated!
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Rick B
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Just a note, now that I actually have my version's rule booklet in front of me. It's actually clearer than I remembered...

I think the rule set concerning dolphins that came with my version is a little different, although I think I like the "protecting" rule that schlappy mentions better. My rules state the following (the only explanation of dolphins in the book):

"When a Dolphin is moved onto a sea space occupied by a Swimmer (or vice versa) a player may use his move of three spaces to rescue his Atlantean with the Dolphin which carries him to the safety of any of the Coral Islands. The Dolphin is then placed on the sea space between the two pink coral reefs that protect the Coral Island."

Anyway, it sounds like this rule set does allow an automatic jump to safety, as long as he/she has a swimmer on the same space as a dolphin and also has 3 remaining movement points. Thus the jump could only happen at the beginning of a turn.

Again, it seems to me schlappy's "protection" rule is less "sudden" in a way, and makes more sense to me. Thanks again for explaning the alternative rule set.
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Doctor Apollo
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Thanks for this extremely timely rules discussion.

Played Escape from Atlantis last night and again, inevitably, the ambiguous dolphin rule came up.

I dunno what rulebook schlappy's got hold of but it ain't the one we're playing.

You, IMHO, are SPOT ON. Dolphins ARE used to rescue Atlanteans in the manner you mention, provided dolphin & swimmer share a common sea hex immediately prior to the beginning of a turn and all 3 movement points are still available to that player.

Perhaps a lot of the ambiguity here would have been removed by the addition of a few simple words: AT THE START OF HIS NEXT TURN.

Quote:
"When a Dolphin is moved onto a sea space occupied by a Swimmer (or vice versa) a player may, AT THE START OF HIS NEXT TURN, use his move of three spaces to rescue his Atlantean with the Dolphin which carries him to the safety of any of the Coral Islands. The Dolphin is then placed on the sea space between the two pink coral reefs that protect the Coral Island."

So then, none of this jumping into the sea & being immediately home free should the player before you turn over a dolphin tile.

Cheers for reinforcing what has taken me half-a-dozen shake plays to work out!
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Dan Scott
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..it's a bit late to chime in here, but..

I recently acquired the 80s German Schmidt Spiele version of this game, but while I was awaiting its arrival I wasn't sure what version I was going to get.. So I did a bit of research and looking around the BGG database..

Seems to me that Escape from Atlantis AKA Survive was published several different times with varying rule discrepencies. I believe that some verisons utilize the Dolphin as protection, other versions (like the one I have) utilize them for automatic Atlantean dropoff.

So, I only say this because although this thread shows several different ways of dealing with dolphins (explicit at that), the 'dolphin' rules will basically be whatever your version of the rules stipulate.

As a side note, I think I remember reading that there is a version of this game where pawns have varying values (supposedly random, revealed after capture?) and the dolphin as a 'protectorate' may help to compliment this version.

/2 geekcents
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Yea that one was a tough one for us too. Just played it last night and had the same discussion. After reading and rereading it and discussing it then we came to the same conclusion as "The Doctor". Also, I do not see anywhere in the rules where the dolphin "protects" a swimmer. So we played that a swimmer in the same space as a dolphin can still be eaten by a shark or sea monster. I didn't see anything in the rules to suggest differently (Waddingtons version escape from atlantis).
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Simon Taylor
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We have an old Waddingtons version that must have come from the 80s some time.

The rules are as quoted by puckhead:

"When a Dolphin is moved onto a sea space occupied by a Swimmer (or vice versa) a player may use his move of three spaces to rescue his Atlantean with the Dolphin which carries him to the safety of any of the Coral Islands. The Dolphin is then placed on the sea space between the two pink coral reefs that protect the Coral Island."

and I agree it could dow with rewording. I'd reword it as:

"When a Dolphin is on the same sea space as a Swimmer, a player may use his move of three spaces to rescue his Atlantean with the Dolphin which carries him to the safety of any of the Coral Islands. The Dolphin is then placed on the sea space between the two pink coral reefs that protect the Coral Island."


My understanding of this was:

1) There is nothing to suggest that a dolphin can protect a swimmer from sharks. Additionally, it makes no logical sense that a dolphin can fend off a shark anyway. So I play that if you're sat in a hexagon with a dolphin, and a shark/monster comes along, then you get eaten, but the dolphin remains where he was.

Also, therefore, if you dive into a hexagon occupied by both a dolphin and a shark/monster, then you get eaten.

2) Any number of swimmers can occupy a dolphin space.

3) Your turns consists of three "moves". To move a swimmer one hexagon requires all three moves, hence if you move a swimmer on your turn, you can do nothing else. This works the same for dolphins (see (4))

4) Any player who has a swimmer on a dolphin can, instead of moving his man one hexagon with all three moves, move his man to safety using the dolphin. The man goes to an island of his choice, and the dolphin takes him there, ending up on the hexagon next to the coral island. Since this takes all three moves, it can not be done on the same turn as swimming or diving onto the dolphin.

5) Only one person can travel on a dolphin, so if there is a hexagon with one dolphin and three people, the first one to choose to move the dolphin can move his piece, and the dolphin, to the coral island, leaving the remaining two people swimming.

I have tried this a couple of times and it seems to make sense and play well. If you get a dolphin move on a spinner, you can try to move dolphins towards your own swimmers, or away from your opponents'. If you can get a dolphin onto your swimmer, and no-one moves it off before your next turn, you can shift your swimmer direct to safety. This works nicely to give the last few swimmers a chance to reach safety, otherwise, the last couple of swimmers have to try to swim all the way to the islands on their own, but other players just dive the seamonsters and sharks to block the final hexagon to each island, so they can never get home.
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psymann wrote:
We have an old Waddingtons version that must have come from the 80s some time.

The rules are as quoted by puckhead:

"When a Dolphin is moved onto a sea space occupied by a Swimmer (or vice versa) a player may use his move of three spaces to rescue his Atlantean with the Dolphin which carries him to the safety of any of the Coral Islands. The Dolphin is then placed on the sea space between the two pink coral reefs that protect the Coral Island."

and I agree it could dow with rewording. I'd reword it as:

"When a Dolphin is on the same sea space as a Swimmer, a player may use his move of three spaces to rescue his Atlantean with the Dolphin which carries him to the safety of any of the Coral Islands. The Dolphin is then placed on the sea space between the two pink coral reefs that protect the Coral Island."


My understanding of this was:

1) There is nothing to suggest that a dolphin can protect a swimmer from sharks. Additionally, it makes no logical sense that a dolphin can fend off a shark anyway. So I play that if you're sat in a hexagon with a dolphin, and a shark/monster comes along, then you get eaten, but the dolphin remains where he was.

Also, therefore, if you dive into a hexagon occupied by both a dolphin and a shark/monster, then you get eaten.

2) Any number of swimmers can occupy a dolphin space.

3) Your turns consists of three "moves". To move a swimmer one hexagon requires all three moves, hence if you move a swimmer on your turn, you can do nothing else. This works the same for dolphins (see (4))

4) Any player who has a swimmer on a dolphin can, instead of moving his man one hexagon with all three moves, move his man to safety using the dolphin. The man goes to an island of his choice, and the dolphin takes him there, ending up on the hexagon next to the coral island. Since this takes all three moves, it can not be done on the same turn as swimming or diving onto the dolphin.

5) Only one person can travel on a dolphin, so if there is a hexagon with one dolphin and three people, the first one to choose to move the dolphin can move his piece, and the dolphin, to the coral island, leaving the remaining two people swimming.

I have tried this a couple of times and it seems to make sense and play well. If you get a dolphin move on a spinner, you can try to move dolphins towards your own swimmers, or away from your opponents'. If you can get a dolphin onto your swimmer, and no-one moves it off before your next turn, you can shift your swimmer direct to safety. This works nicely to give the last few swimmers a chance to reach safety, otherwise, the last couple of swimmers have to try to swim all the way to the islands on their own, but other players just dive the seamonsters and sharks to block the final hexagon to each island, so they can never get home.


I just found this game in a secondhand store today & after reading the rules (1986 version) I agree with nearly all of your points except the second part of 3.

Quoting from the rules:

"On his turn a player may move either his Atlanteans or Boats a combined total of THREE spaces."

and

"A player may only move a swimmer ONE SEA SPACE AT A TIME, per turn."

I don't understand these to mean "To move a swimmer one hexagon requires all three moves" but just that "a player may only move a swimmer ONE SEA SPACE AT A TIME, per turn." If you had three swimmers you could move all of them one space each.

I agree with the rest of what you said & found it quite helpful. Thanks.

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