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Through the Desert» Forums » Rules

Subject: what happens when there no more legal moves? rss

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jose barreto
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what happens when there is no more legal moves but u still have camels some say put it in ur enclose area but the rules say you cant put camels is the game over or wat?
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Shane Is Board
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I don't know if that's possible to happen...depending on how many people you were playing with, did you remove some camels from each of the piles? I can't recall where in the rulebook this is mentioned, but it's near the beginning in the setup section.

Also, were you ending the game properly? When *one* pile of camels is completely exhausted, the game ends.
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Russ Williams
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Shane Sather wrote:
Also, were you ending the game properly? When *one* pile of camels is completely exhausted, the game ends.

Yeah, I'm thinking something was being played wrong too. I've never seen a situation where a player was even close to having no legal moves.
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Brad Miller
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No, the new FFG ruleset allows this to happen by not allowing you to play camels inside your own enclosed area. You should go ahead and ignore that rule, then this question never arises.
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Russ Williams
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Windopaene wrote:
No, the new FFG ruleset allows this to happen by not allowing you to play camels inside your own enclosed area. You should go ahead and ignore that rule, then this question never arises.

I play with that rule, and I've never seen a situation where a player had no legal move. You're saying that all of a player's caravans are tightly surrounded with no adjacent playable spaces except in their own enclosed territory? I find it hard to imagine unless players were intentionally trying to create such a bizarre situation.
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jose barreto
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ohhh ok well it never happen to me i bought this game and its on the way but i have read some stuff about passing saying cuz they have no legal moves so i was just wounedring
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Christine Doiron
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This totally happened with us today. My husband managed to enclose a pretty large area early on in a 3 player game, and you cannot place any camels of any color inside an enclosed area. A couple of his other players ran out of room to move early on in the game because my husband and son had put camels of the same color near each other and got to where there were plenty of spaces near each other where they couldn't move.

Near the end, my husband was completely out of moves and we had him just sit there while the other two players tried to finish.

Even so, the two of us actually ran out of plays and still had 1 camel left in one color, and more than that left of all the other colors.

So, it's totally possible, because you CANNOT totally enclose an area that has another color of camels in it, and you CANNOT play camels in an already enclosed area.
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Russ Williams
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If your husband created a territory so large that you all ran out of legal moves, I'm assuming he won, right...?
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Tim Gilberg
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dagny21 wrote:
This totally happened with us today. My husband managed to enclose a pretty large area early on in a 3 player game, and you cannot place any camels of any color inside an enclosed area.


Erm, if it really was enclosed, you also couldn't place any of any color in there because they wouldn't join up with their caravans.
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Also, it doesn't count as enclosed if there is a oasis there either.
 
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Larry Welborn
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ptarth wrote:
Also, it doesn't count as enclosed if there is a oasis there either.


Huh? An enclosed area can contain an oasis.
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Bill Paradise
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This is totally possible. It just happened to me in a four player game and I came here to find out what to do. Has there been an official ruling on this yet?

Also you can enclose an oasis and if you haven't already connected to it. You will gain the five points, for enclosing it.
Though the oasis space itself doesn't count as an extra point when scoring the enclosure.
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Adrian Walker
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I actually quite like the new rule on not being able to place inside the areas you have enclosed, except for this problem.

Way I see it, it requires one of two house rules
1) No one can have turns after someone can't place.
2) Everyone else can continue to place until everyone can't play or until one of the colour camels runs out.

I've been playing with 2, but I'd make it clear to your group before you begin which way you will go. It happens often in 2 player, rarely in 3 player, and in my experience never in 4 player and up.
 
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Russ Williams
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intellismartness wrote:
I actually quite like the new rule on not being able to place inside the areas you have enclosed, except for this problem.

Way I see it, it requires one of two house rules
1) No one can have turns after someone can't place.
2) Everyone else can continue to place until everyone can't play or until one of the colour camels runs out.

I've been playing with 2, but I'd make it clear to your group before you begin which way you will go. It happens often in 2 player, rarely in 3 player, and in my experience never in 4 player and up.

Really? I've never seen it happen at all in any game, regardless of number of players. I find it hard to imagine a player not being able to add to any of their caravans. They would have to have surrounded territories with all their caravans (so they can't play inside the territories) and have no free spaces along the outside sides of all of their caravans, i.e. other caravans touching them at all point outside the territories. You're saying that this happens "often" in 2-player games for you?
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Adrian Walker
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Yes, it is my understanding, that unless it's more than 3 players, one of the players would have to try to end the game on the last camel before the other person/s can secure the last bits of territory.

It is highly likely we were just not very good at the game, and when we got better, intentionally running out the camels to end the game quicker was used more (I started off playing 2 player, then haven't in a while as I've gotten better, playing more 4 player, so coming back to it may change that). I have seen this used to great effect in 4 player games, cutting potential territory for the sake of longer camel trains and ending the game whilst ahead.

Nonetheless, I'm of the belief this house rule needs to be made clear, just in case, seeing as it isn't stated in the rules.
 
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Russ Williams
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I agree on principle that the rules should address it and not leave it undefined.

I think that in practice it will never matter with experienced players.

I'm still wondering if in your early games (when you say you weren't good at the game yet), you weren't somehow confused, though... Just because you can't place inside your territory doesn't mean you can't place outside your territory...

You're really sure that you had situations where some player couldn't add to any of their 5 groups because none of their 5 groups had any adjacent empty spaces outside their surrounded territory? All 5 of their groups were all completely smothered from the outside with no playable spaces? I can only imagine it happening if the smothered player was intentionally conspiring with the opponent to make it happen!

Or (just to sanity check) you didn't think the rule meant that if a caravan encloses a territory, then you can no longer add any camels to that caravan, right? The rules is just that you can't add more camels inside the territory.

PS: About strategy - yeah, whoever's ahead of course wants to end the game quickly!
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Adrian Brooks
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The "Official Rules" are what's in your box. But this set:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/1725/throughthedesertr...
says:
"It is impossible for another player to place camels into an enclosed area".
Which is a statement of fact as much as a rule.

I've certainly placed into my own enclosed areas while playing, to run out that camel flavour when the outside is surrounded.


This still doesn't prevent a theoretical lockout, though; player1 could enclose 3/4 of the board and player 2 not be able to place.

russ wrote:
I agree on principle that the rules should address it and not leave it undefined.


Another interpretation is that it's addressed by ommission: strict reading of the those rules suggests play just stops. A player can't place. The game-end condition has not been met, so there's no scoring. I.e. its a stalemate. Can the FFG rules be read that way?
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Russ Williams
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Slow Dog wrote:
russ wrote:
I agree on principle that the rules should address it and not leave it undefined.


Another interpretation is that it's addressed by ommission: strict reading of the those rules suggests play just stops. A player can't place. The game-end condition has not been met, so there's no scoring. I.e. its a stalemate. Can the FFG rules be read that way?

I like it.

If one were to write a computer program to implement the rules, I suppose the program would hang or crash in the event a player was unable to place 2 camels on their turn, since the specifications are undefined in that case.


I note in passing that this question "what if there are no legal moves" is independent of territories and whether or not one can play in one's own territory - the territory stuff is a bit of a red herring. Regardless of whether a player has territories or not, the player could theoretically have all their caravans smothered with no free adjacent spaces. (I think the player would have to be quite incompetent or intentionally trying to create such a pathological situation...)
 
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Adrian Brooks
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russ wrote:

I note in passing that this question "what if there are no legal moves" is independent of territories and whether or not one can play in one's own territory - the territory stuff is a bit of a red herring.


Yep. I was editing in the same point as you wrote your post.
 
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