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Subject: Concise rules? rss

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Alex G

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We're trying to get the mother-in-law to play (she likes solitaire and such) and the current rules seem to be a bit much for her. I'm trying to come up with a really short and totally unambiguous version of the rules, but it comes out a bit more dry and technical (and like an engineering manual, which doesn't surprise me) than I want. Any suggestions?

To play Cheese Chasers, shuffle all the cards and lay them in a stack beside the playing area. Each turn, you will draw the top card. You must place it horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent to the last card you played. You may not cover another card. If you cannot place the card you just drew, you lose this game and you score zero points. You finish the game and score points if you manage to play all the cards without losing the game.

In Cheese Chasers, there are four kinds of cards:

1. 20 Mouse cards: you use these cards to score points. You get one point for every active mouse if you finish the game. A mouse is active unless is shares an edge (horizontally or vertically connected, not diagonal) with a cat card.
2. 9 Cheese cards: you use mice and these cards to score more points. At the end of the game, you get one point for every active mouse that shares an edge with a cheese card (veritcal or horizonal, not diagonal). If a mouse shares an edge with multiple cheese cards, you get points for each cheese card. More importantly, you get lots of bonus points for surrounding a cheese card or group of cheese cards. A cheese card, or group of cheese cards, is surrounded if every cheese card in the group is "boxed in" by four cards (one on each edge), and those four cards are all either active mouse cards or cheese cards in the same group (see the picture -- it just means what you would think "surrounded" means). For a single surrounded cheese card, you score 10 bonus points. For larger groups, the bonus doubles: you score 20 bonus points per cheese card (three cheese is worth 60 points, four gets you to 80, and so on)!
3. 7 Cat cards: a cat card deactivates every mouse card that it shares an edge with (but does no harm to mice that are diagonal to it).
4. 4 Moustrap cards: if three mousetraps are ever active, you lose the game and score zero points. A mousetrap is deactivated if it is surrounded -- a mouse is on every edge. Unlike cheese cards, you cannot surround multiple mousetrap cards at once. If you place a mousetrap so that it touches four active mouse cards, the mousetrap is never considered active (so you don't lose the game, if it is the third trap).

Remember: it is important which cards are next to each other horizontally and vertically (sharing edges), but diagonal connections don't do anything, good or bad. But you can play a card diagonal to your last played card.

Scoring summary: You only score if you manage to finish the game (never get three active mousetraps). First, count all your active mice. You get one point for each of these. For every cheese card, count all active mice on the edges (even if you counted them for another cheese card, already). You get one point for each of these mice, for each cheese. Then add the bonus for surrounded cheese cards (+10 every time the "cheese stands alone", +20 for each cheese card in a surrounded group with more than one cheese card).

Hints and facts:

1. If you draw a cat just before or after a mousetrap, you'll never be able to deactivate that mousetrap!
2. If you draw a cat just before or after you draw cheese, you won't be able to surround that cheese card.
3. If you place a cheese or mousetrap in the middle of a group of four mice so it is surrounded, and then you draw a cat, you're going to lose at least two mice, and the mousetrap will end up active, or the cheese won't be surrounded.
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F H
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You need to say the cards are shuffled and placed "face down".
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bran mcmillin
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I'm really moved that you're sharing Cheese Chasers with your mother-in-law, PROF!

I've been thinking about it, for the dry and technical bit, maybe adding things like "break the Mousetraps" instead of inactivate. same kind of thing with the Mice, eaten if by a Cat or alive.

Maybe these kind of things may help break through the technicals a little better?

FNH1's Print and Play Podcast, did a wonderful explanation of Cheese Chasers and can be found here: http://printandplay.blogspot.com/2009/03/81-cheese-chasers.h...
Maybe listening to this might give some ideas?
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Alex G

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Thanks everyone!

Good idea on the podcast, "face down" (hmm, I wonder if face up becomes too easy, or just more "strategic")?
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Alex G

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bran wrote:
I'm really moved that you're sharing Cheese Chasers with your mother-in-law, PROF!


I'll definitely do the "less dry and technical" change, too. I'll toss it here again when I've got something better.

Hey! Don't call me PROF, man, I'm in civilian clothes round these parts. :) Makes me feel old!

Again, very neat little game. We're both addicted.
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