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Subject: Pachisi - Battle of Barricades rss

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Mr. Chris
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Ohio
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Pachisi is one of the first games I ever played. For about 10 years whenever I would mention it, all I would get is blank stares from people. (You've seen those stares, like when you tell you're non-gaming friends about your new game purchases.) It is a roll and move game with simple strategy, but can be fun to play.

You may play this game as Parchesi.

Components: Most of us are playing this with plastic animal pieces or non-descript wooden pawns. However I have seen some very pretty sets made from wood.

Game play: The object of the game is to advance all 4 of your pawns around the board and into a home area. Pawns enter the board on a roll of 5 on 2d6. For example: 2+3=5, take a pawn out; or 5+4=9, take a pawn out and move 4 additional spaces. If a pawn ends its move on the space of an opposing pawn, the opposing pawn is sent back to start. The player may then move any pawn they control 20 spaces. Each time you land on an opposing piece you gain this 20 space bonus. there are a few "safe" spaces around the board which prevent opponents from sending you back to start.

If you land on a space already occupied by another of your own pawns; you form a blockade or barrage. No pawns, including yours, may move onto or past such a formation. Since all pawns must go around the board, barrages startegically placed can bottle up multiple pawns for multiple players.

There is also a 10 space bonus when a pawn reaches "Home." This can be used by any pawn on the board that the player controls.

That is basically the general gameplay.

If the game is played "Trouble-style" is can be boring. The real fun is setting up the roadblocks so that your opponents are bottled up, but you have 1 or 2 pawns moving freely around the board. One tactic is to form a barrage on the opponent's entry space. This will prevent them from entering a pawn. (Which pretty much sucks for them)

More than in some other games, who sits next to you can determine your success or failure. If the person to your right is intent on forming a barrage early, well you're going to be trapped and "stomped on" by the players to your left. Especially if the player on your left is pursuing a "get a few pawns out and around as fast as possible." If you choose to play multiple games, it would be wise to change seating order between games.

As I play with children of different ages at one time, I usually try to sit to the right of the oldest child playing. It usually provides the needed handicap which allows the younger children to enjoy the game longer. Also, I try to form a barrage "late" rather than early - usually after I have all 4 pawns entered and have advanced partway around the board.
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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GreatAtuin wrote:
Game play: Pawns enter the board on a roll of 5 on 2d6. For example: 2+3=5, take a pawn out; or 5+4=9, take a pawn out and move 4 additional spaces. If a pawn ends its move on the space of an opposing pawn, the opposing pawn is sent back to start. The player may then move any pawn they control 20 spaces. Each time you land on an opposing piece you gain this 20 space bonus. there are a few "safe" spaces around the board which prevent opponents from sending you back to start.


Wow, never heard of that ruleset before. We play it under the guise of Ludo. We play with 1d6, you can only enter a pawn on a roll of a six. If you land on someone, their pawn is sent back to the start, no bonus move. Your version sounds like it should play quicker meeple
 
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Mr. Chris
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Not quick enough sometimes!
 
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
Australia
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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GreatAtuin wrote:
Not quick enough sometimes!
Melissa and I played a game with Daughter the Elder when she was almost five. Melissa and I were actively trying to finish the game, we were not trying to block anyone, just get our pieces home. Daughter the Elder was not, she was setting up vicious blocks and generally enjoying herself. With the two adults trying to make the game go as quickly as possible it still too 45 minutes shake

Ludo was banned as a just before bedtime game after that!
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Jared Hayter

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Drop the special roll to leave home rule
I particularly dislike some of the rules idiosyncracies which set this family of games apart from backgammon-related games. One of the worst offenders is the rule that pieces can only move from home on a special roll of the dice. This makes the game take longer than necessary and deprives players of meaningful choices or even any actions at all. Try letting pieces come out on any number that is not blocked and I think you will find the game to play considerably faster with more decision making to be had for everyone.
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Doug Webber
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I have the game of Parcheesi, and recently discovered that the rules of Parcheesi are modern rules, different from the original rules of Pachisi which comes from India. Here are some of the differences between Parcheesi and Pachisi:

1. In Parcheesi, its everyone for himself and everyone starts in the circular "prison" in a corner of the board. In Pachisi, its typically a four player game, and the person across from you is your partner. You don't start in the circular prison, instead everyone starts in the middle "Home" area, and proceeds out down the middle row, and then proceed around the board.

2. In Parcheesi, you roll two six sided dice, with a special rule for doubles, and a roll of 5 lets you out of prison. In Pachisi, you roll six "binary" dice (can be cowrie shells or tetrahedrons), which have the following meanings:

0 = move 25 spaces
1 = move 10 spaces
2 thru 6 = normal, move 2-5 spaces

A roll of 0, 1 or 6 is special: you get what is called a "grace", meaning you can move a pawn out of the home area, and get to roll again. On the first roll you are allowed to move the pawn out on any roll, however.

3. In Pachisi, there is no "blockade" to block other pawns. In fact, if you have more than one pawn on one space and an opponent lands on you, they capture all of them. There is no bonus for capturing or returning home.

4. Once a pawn goes around the board, a player can choose to go home or go around the board again. A player may do that to help his partner.

5. The only way to win is to have the pawns from your ENTIRE TEAM return back home.

I have played Parcheesi many times, its simple for everyone, but I have not played with the original Pachisi rules. In my opinion, the original rules will make for a better game. The team nature of it will encourage cooperative play. Moreover, I always felt that the "blockade" rule upsets the balance of the game. Once a player forms a blockade, all other players can get logjammed behind it and have to simply wait for the other player to get his other pawns around the board.

The original Pachisi rules seems to be a bit more dynamic, and I have not tried them yet, but plan to do so this weekend - I happen to have a bunch of binary dice from another game of mine. I think Parcheesi gets a low score because the rules were changed to add the blockade, which can shut out people and make them bored. With Pachisi, it seems like everyone will always be involved, and the game will move a little quicker.
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