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Subject: Already Know How to Play, Indeed! rss

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Omar Germino
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A friend picked this up during one of his regular thrift shopping trips. Based on its supposed similarity to chess, a game which I casually enjoy, I agreed to go for a short 2-player game of it.

The rules seemed straightforward enough, except for one thing we were confused about: the instructions say that all captured pieces go into a "common discard pile." Later on, they say that, when it comes time to fill your home row again, and you don't have any more cards in your hand, you draw from the "discard pile," which—it would seem—means that your opponent's pieces could potentially find their way into your base camp. (We also considered the possibility that those pieces enter your control, but ultimately decided on their remaining under the opponent's control, facing them.)

We started out straightforwardly enough, sending our pawns in to wrangle in the center. As the game progressed, we gradually sent out our more powerful pieces, and we spent most of the mid-game simply jockeying for position, with neither of us risking a capture move that could very well turn out to be a trap. Some good moves—including knight forks, and some not so smart moves, were done on both sides.

This line and variations were said a few times
Image uploaded by GROGnads


Finally, when it came down to the wire, I set down the very last card I drew from my deck: the king. (Really, I don't see anyone ever bringing out their king until the very last second anyway.) A few more moves around the center of the board, and then my opponent makes what seems to be a fatal error: he moves his queen to threaten my king, but I have a knight handy to dispatch her. Trouble is, I forgot about the part where you must fill your home row again (and if you don't have anymore cards in your hand, you take from the discard pile). Well, the top of the discard pile was now my friend's queen. And the knight I used to capture said queen was right next to my own king. Thus, I put his queen in perfect position to capture my king on his turn (there is no concept of check or checkmate; capturing the king is what wins you the game).

My downfall (except imagine the queen being green and facing the opposite direction)
Image uploaded by EndersGame


I found the game to be rather interesting, but as my friend said, I was thinking too much like a regular chess player, not as a Bosworth player. The tagline "The game you already know how to play" is a bit of an exaggeration, I'm afraid.

Afterword

It seems that the rules for the game have changed a bit since the printing of my friend's edition. Apparently, the editor thought that giving a player the chance to infiltrate an opponent's base by means of the discard pile was a bit too much, as now, once you run out of cards in your deck, that's it. They also added the concept of check, but it doesn't sound like they changed any rules regarding it.

The pawn rules seem to be different (unless we read our instructions incorrectly). It was established in our game that pawns could only move sideways if there were 3 or 4 players, and that they could not move backward, even to capture. In the new instructions, they can move sideways at all times, and they can capture backwards. (There were a few times when the backwards capture would have come in handy in our game.)
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Seth Owen
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You misunderstood a key point.

When you don't have any more pieces to place from your hand you take a card from the discard pile in your home base face down. This removes the space from play.

The only time a captured piece can return to play is when you capture an opponent's king and his queen has already been captured. As a reward you get to go through the discard pile and retrieve his queen and add it to your hand.

From the rules:

Fill all unoccupied spaces in your field camp with pieces selected from your hand. You may only fill unoccupied field camp spaces during your turn, and only after you have completed the movement and/or capture phase. When you run out of pieces, cover any unoccupied spaces in your field camp with a face down piece from a discard pile–movement is no longer allowed in these spaces.
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Omar Germino
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Ah, the "face down piece from the discard pile" is what threw us off. We took the "face down" to be a qualifier for the discard pile, rather than the card itself when it goes on the board.

However, I believe our misinterpretation makes for a more interesting game.
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Bill H
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"Shijuro" in Awatum (Serpent's Tongue)
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"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation." LP Jacks
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wargamer55 wrote:
The only time a captured piece can return to play is when you capture an opponent's king and his queen has already been captured. As a reward you get to go through the discard pile and retrieve his queen and add it to your hand.

Wait, doesn't capturing the opponent's king take them out of the game (possibly ending the game)?

Couldn't you then take their queen regardless of whether it had been previously captured?
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Seth Owen
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Shijuro wrote:
wargamer55 wrote:
The only time a captured piece can return to play is when you capture an opponent's king and his queen has already been captured. As a reward you get to go through the discard pile and retrieve his queen and add it to your hand.

Wait, doesn't capturing the opponent's king take them out of the game (possibly ending the game)?

Couldn't you then take their queen regardless of whether it had been previously captured?


yes, if it happens to still be on the board when you eliminate the player.
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