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Escape from Colditz» Forums » Variants

Subject: Guard Blocking rss

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Adam Rees
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Liss Forest
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The new walkway rules still allow the guards to block various areas in the inner courtyard - - a few spaces in the corridor with the parcel office and the sick bay, along with the doorway to the south that leads into the dentist, wc and laundry, and do nothing to stop the guards double teaming to block access to the main courtyard for POWs coming out of solitary. This was against the intention of the original rules, that specifically stated that guards could not block doorways and passageways anywhere in the inner courtyard. It may be the case that the new rules want to allow this, though why they would want to do this i don't know, but I have come up with a variant that stops this, to make the game keep to the design goal of the original rules.

In addition, the new rules also use walkways in the outer courtyard, the ones adjacent to the main gate and outside the safe area. This stops some blocking that would have been allowed in the old rules, as blocking was only banned within the inner courtyard in the old rules. My variant does keep these walkway restrictions - in fact walkways all stay in place and work as the new rules state. However, I do keep the original rule idea that blocking is allowed in the outercourtyard, just not by using spaces which are designated walkways - so a sort of hybrid of the two rules.

So my proposed new blocking rules are:

1. POWs in the inner courtyard can move through a guard, at the extra cost of +1 movement to enter the space*. A POW, however, cannot move through a guard in the outer courtyard.

2. A POW moving onto a guard space can choose to be arrested if they wish (insult the guard etc!). A POW wishing to do this does not have to pay the extra +1 movement point to enter a guards space.

3. A POW cannot finish its turn on the space of a guard.

4. Walkways still work as normal i.e. they prevent a guard from ending their turn there.

* a +1 for moving through a space occupied by a guard makes the movement cost for moving from one side of a guard to the other the same cost. i.e. it takes 3 movement points to move around a guard, and it costs 3 movement points to move through a guard. This does allow guards to be in doorways and corridors, in certain locations (those spaces which are not walkways, as per the new rules), but stops them blocking them, as per the restriction in the old rules. There is an extra +1 movement cost for POWs moving past guards in corridors and doorways over what would have been the case in the old rules (where there would have been no guard at all!), but I think this is not really a problem - I view it as the POWs sneaking past the guard, or waiting until he is distracted etc before moving past, which slows them down somewhat.
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Well. That's an idea that we should test during our next play. Because many locations on the board can be used by the German to block the POWs.

Besides, the most problem with this game is the time spent to play : more than 3 hours for a 4-players game in 50 turns. Really awful for such a light game.

30 turns game seems to be a better choice.
 
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Adam Rees
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Liss Forest
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Mickski wrote:

Besides, the most problem with this game is the time spent to play : more than 3 hours for a 4-players game in 50 turns. Really awful for such a light game.

30 turns game seems to be a better choice.


If you stop the Guards being able to block then it should make things harder for the Security Officer, thus shortening the amount of turns will help restore some balance back to SO. Blocking of routes is a valuable tactic for the SO, especially early on in the game, with the main benefit being slowing down the POWs. So, if the SO cannot do this, then shortening the game sounds like a good idea, with the added benefit of obviously reducing playing time.

I just want to point out that in my original post I said that blocking was against the intention of the original rules. This was not totally accurate, as blocking was only outlawed in inner courtyard doorways and passageways - outside of that restriction it was allowed. Taking that on board, my variant does remove a valuable tool of the SO i.e. it removes all blocks anywhere in the inner courtyard.

So I feel that if you want to use this variant then Mickski's idea of reducing the amount of turns in the game should probably be added. What the new turn limit should be I am not sure, as only play-testing would reveal that. Thirty turns may be a good place to start - I would interested to know the results of Mickski's playtesting with it.
 
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Iorwerth is right : only playstings could bring some answers.

I will write any feedback here as soon as we had tested these houserules.
 
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