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Subject: Semi-Official Diceless Variant rss

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Darryl Boone
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I call this variant semi-official because, though it doesn't appear in the board game as far as I know, it does make an appearance on the Clue PC game published by Hasbro Interactive.

This variant uses an action-point system instead of dice. Each player has nine action points on his or her turn.

- Move one space in the hall: one action point
- Move through a secret passage: three action points
- Make a suggestion: three action points
- Make an accusation: three action points

Other rules are the same as in the original rules. For example, you cannot make a suggestion in the same room twice without moving out and in again, and, once you do one of the latter three things, you cannot Move again until your next turn. This means that you may have points left over in your turn that you cannot use.
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colin oatway
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Played this version on the PC a few times, and now we rarly play using the dice, as this version seems much fairer, and less luck based (as there is always the chance that you could get a run of 1's and so not really move between rooms)
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booned wrote:
- Move one space in the hall: one action point
- Move through a secret passage: three action points
- Make a suggestion: three action points
- Make an accusation: three action points

Other rules are the same as in the original rules. For example, you cannot make a suggestion in the same room twice without moving out and in again, and, once you do one of the latter three things, you cannot Move again until your next turn.


Even with the movement restriction, does this mean you can make two suggestions in a turn by moving into the hall and back into the room to make a second suggestion?

Aside from that one clarification, this method seems sound, but keeping track of action points also seems like it might bother some children and less experienced players. It'd be second nature for seasoned gamers, though.
 
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Darryl Boone
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Radien wrote:
booned wrote:
- Move one space in the hall: one action point
- Move through a secret passage: three action points
- Make a suggestion: three action points
- Make an accusation: three action points

Other rules are the same as in the original rules. For example, you cannot make a suggestion in the same room twice without moving out and in again, and, once you do one of the latter three things, you cannot Move again until your next turn.


Even with the movement restriction, does this mean you can make two suggestions in a turn by moving into the hall and back into the room to make a second suggestion?


No. Once you make a suggestion, accusation, or travel through a secret passage, you cannot do a Move action again until your next turn. So if you make a suggestion, then you're stuck there until your next turn, then you can move out, move in again, and suggest again. I did say so above, but I could have phrased it in a better way.


Quote:
Aside from that one clarification, this method seems sound, but keeping track of action points also seems like it might bother some children and less experienced players. It'd be second nature for seasoned gamers, though.


Agreed. Note that this is from the computer game, where the software will keep track of action points used. To use in a live environment, you probably want to keep some beads or beans handy for this purpose.
 
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Jonathan Warren
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We played Cluedo using the diceless variant the other night. I really liked it. I have drafted together a summary card (ArtsCow ready) for players who are new to this variant:

 


Have I missed anything? Are my rules correct? Is there a better way to word, etc.?

I read above that the game was played by not allowing a player to remain in a room. This seems to be against the official rules, which allow a player to remain in the room. Does the video game operate like this with the diceless variant?
 
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booned wrote:
No. Once you make a suggestion, accusation, or travel through a secret passage, you cannot do a Move action again until your next turn. So if you make a suggestion, then you're stuck there until your next turn, then you can move out, move in again, and suggest again. I did say so above, but I could have phrased it in a better way.

Aha. Well, I understand now, and it makes sense.
 
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Darryl Boone
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Hi Jonathan,

The description as-is works. Your assumption about not being allowed to stay in the same room (and do a suggestion repeatedly, for example) is correct.

I just thought of a simpler way of describing it, though.

Once you enter a new room, you cannot move out of that room that turn. You can't use 7 Action Points to enter a room, then another 2 AP to leave that same turn without doing anything else.

As a result, it can be simplified as follows:

- Each player gets THREE Action Points (AP).
- The following actions each cost ONE action point:
1. Move your pawn one to three spaces
2. Use a secret passage
3. Make a suggestion
4. Make an accusation
- These actions must be done in the above order. You cannot make a suggestion and then enter a secret passage, or move your pawn into the hall after passing through a secret passage.
- You CAN skip actions, however.
- You can only make at most one suggestion (action 3) on your turn.

I believe this is simpler than having to deal with 9 action points.

I just fired up the ol' Clue computer game on the ol' (real ol') PC. Interestingly, if you walk in the hall and use 7 AP to enter a room (ending your turn due to lack of AP), on your next turn, you cannot make a suggestion! This seems silly to me, but it's not a bug -- AI players deliberately do NOT enter a room even when they are able to, if they don't have enough AP to make a suggestion that turn. Not sure what to do with this rule however, it doesn't seem to fit the nice simple explanation and doesn't seem to add much to the game. I'm tempted to ignore it.
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Jonathan Warren
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Summary card for the Diceless Variant from my ArtsCow deck:

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Lee Benson
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These seems like it would have the added benefit of speeding the game up as well, as you can move more easily from room to room. Any comments on this from people that have played it?
 
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Jason Lott
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It works really well - the other even simpler way to speed up the game is to just say each player can move up to 6 spaces per turn. That pretty much guarantees players are suggesting each turn, with the occasional pause as you try to move to a room further away.

What I like about these variants is that they remove the unnecessary tedium of roll-and-move and put the emphasis on the meat of the game - deductions based on pointed questions.
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Hola Planeta
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DancerInDC wrote:
It works really well - the other even simpler way to speed up the game is to just say each player can move up to 6 spaces per turn.

As I understand it, you could use just another "Action Point" to move again up to 6 spaces in total on your turn. The only Action you can´t repeat on your turn even if you have Action Points available is to Make a Suggestion.
 
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John Furlong
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Interesting to find this thread now. I've already been playing with a similar dice-less variant where players move X spaces instead of rolling each turn (I set X to either 4 or 8 depending on whether the group likes or does not like the travelling salesman mini-game). The AP system seems a little more complex with only very minor benefit (you can move up to 9 spaces if you burn all your AP on moving). Allowing 6 moves seems reasonable. The only choices that are not reasonable are 1 and 7 because it would advantage Mrs. Peacock, whose start is only 7 spaces from Conservatory while all others must move 8 to their nearest room.

I think I prefer to just replace the dice and not use AP. It seems odd to only occasionally prevent Accusation; why not just always allow both Suggestion and Accusation decoupled from the movement system?
 
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