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Subject: Rules Clarifications rss

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I've had some trouble figuring out some of the rules of the game. Here's a couple of questions:

1) The QB passes to an open player. This counts as a "move" so the defense gets a move. Assuming pass is completed, this counts as a second "move". So on a complete pass, the defense gets two moves right? My problem is that it a) elminates check downs, and b) means that the defense can sit on routes all day. This is because the QB can only pass in five directions, so the defense knows where you need to throw, as you need to move a receiver to the right spot (defense moves), throw the ball (defense moves) and catch the ball (defense moves). Are we playing this right and our strategy is off or have we misunderstood the book?

2) "Defensive rush". First, can a defensive player elminate a receiver at the line ("rush" that player)? Second, how do blitzes work. Let's say you have a defensive bishop, and he has a line to the QB, does he need to move onto the D-LOS or O-LOS and THEN sack the QB, or can he go straight and sack the QB?

3) Can O-lineman go to the second level (linebackers one peg back from the D-LOS) before the ball carrier is on the D-LOS? Otherwise, it seems like runs up the middle don't work, as the O-Line once they've blocked a D-linemen become useless.

Thanks for the help.
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John Curran
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You are reading the rules right. The game is more abstract than realistic-- those are chess pieces after all.

1) Pass plays. Definitely the defense gets two moves. Why do you say that takes away check downs though? A screen can be extremely painful if your defensive penetration doesn't get to the quarterback in time. We also have found it hard to sit on routes and defend the pass (though our strategy may be off too.) A scrambling queen is hard to handle. It's more mobile than most pieces, and you have to block the run lanes, not just cover the receivers.

I'm hoping people will start posting game play sequences so we can get a better grip on whether the offense or the defense has an advantage. We need some sort of notation. I suppose we could label a row of pegs reading a-k(m for CFL?) from left to right from the offense's point of view. So Nc30-b40 would be a short out route by a tight end....

2) A defensive piece on the D-LOS may remove a piece on the O-LOS, regardless of what the offensive piece it is. Defensive pieces behind the D-LOS cannot take a piece on the O-LOS. (As I read it this is even true if the piece on the O-LOS is the ball carrier, which is annoying.) When you take a receiver I guess that amounts to bump and fall down.

For blitzes, you can enter the offensive backfield from the defensive backfield in one move provided you don't take anyone on that move. You can't take anyone behind the O-LOS unless you begin on or beyond the O-LOS. (The rulebook is very clear on this point-- p. 28) I guess this makes for sluggish blitzes but the point that the defensive player should "risk his position on the board" seems to make sense.

Related to this, I hope the unofficial FAQ stays unofficial. It says: "
A) Offensive ball-carrier is on or behind the O-LOS:
In this case, a defensive player behind the D-LOS cannot 'rush' an offensive player **that is on the D-LOS** nor on the O-LOS
". Why on the D-LOS? The part between the stars certainly seems like an addition to the rules in the Game Guide, which doesn't address this case at all. I can't think of a football or gameplay reason for this addition, but I suppose the situations where it matters are rare.

3) The O-lineman (white pieces only) cannot go to the second level (linebacker peg area) before the ball carrier is on/beyond the D-LOS. Again this is clear (p.29). I agree it does discourage runs up the middle, but I suppose that is true to the CFL roots. Also, the D-LOS peg holes are already 5 yards downfield from the LOS, so it probably is too much of an advantage to give the O-line much more scope, game-wise.
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