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Subject: Pond Hockey - Current Rules. Version 20100206 (Feb. 6, 2010) rss

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Sean Ross
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The latest revision of the Pond Hockey rules, version 20100206, is now available. The files have been uploaded to BGG and can be found in the files section. Here are links to the files you'll need to play the game:

Pond Hockey Rules (v20100206) (PDF, 2MB)

Pond Hockey Half Rink (Part A) (JPEG, 4MB)

Pond Hockey Half Rink (Part B) (JPEG, 4MB)

There are also some files, submitted by other BGG members, that include cards and player aids. You may want to look into downloading those as well.

CHANGES from v20090212:

1. The first thing you'll notice is that the board has been changed. Areas of snow have been scraped away at the corners and end boards to accommodate some rules changes for those areas of the board (more on this soon). The crease appearance has been changed so that the similarly scraped away area from the previous version would not cause confusion with the the rules outlined for the corners and end-boards in this version. I changed the colour of the lines used to mark out the grid from blue to white (I think it looks better) and I've also added a Period Track along the left side.


2. Players may now skate diagonally as well as orthogonally. The cost to do so is 2 movement points (MP). This is of course the same cost as, for example, skating to the left one square then forward one square. This keeps the cost for skating identical with the previous version but provides for more natural movement of players around the board. Honestly, I'm embarrassed not to have thought of this before....

3. With the above change in place, it seemed only natural to also allow for diagonal poke-checking and diagonal body checking. The rules for both are outlined in the updated PDF. A diagonal poke check costs more than other forms of checking to help balance out the benefit of not needing to skate over to an orthogonally adjacent square before performing it as well as to keep its cost in line with the diagonal body checking (the cost to check is only 1MP, but it costs 2MP to skate into the checking square).

4. The other benefit of allowing diagonal player movement is that it allowed me to remove the restriction on the number of players that could stand at the top of their team's crease: it used to be at most one, now you can fill all 3 squares if you wish. Here's an example image taken from a play-test by Lars Rose:

Pay no attention to what the pig meeples are doing at the other end of the rink....shake

5. An extra movement point is no longer awarded for deflecting the puck off the board. This was a necessary change as it led, occasionally, to a degenerate situation in which coaches could score nearly at will.

6. To help keep the puck moving after losing the extra MP from the change above, the cost to perform an orthogonal poke check has been reduced from 2MP down to 1MP.

7. Additionally, to help get some of the "dump-and-chase" style of plays happening in the game, I've made changes to the squares in the corner of the rink and along the end boards (the 3 squares behind the net). If you look closely at the initial setup image posted above (click it to see a larger version), you'll see where I've scraped down the edges of some squares to show some darker ice. Each scraped area covers a block of 3 squares. The puck can be passed into one of those blocks for one movement point and it may stop at any of the 3 squares inside; players still have to pay one movement point to skate through each square.

8. I've changed the name of Extra Movement Tokens to Energy Tokens to help reduce the likelihood of confusion between these and the extra movement points gained through passing and taking possession of the puck in open ice (the former can be saved and used on future turns, the latter must be used as they are earned).

9. I've added an optional Regrouping action to the game to try to help players who've over-extended their positions get their formation back into better shape after a goal has been scored. The attacking team is given up to 4MP to move one player wherever they wish; then the defender gets 6MP to move one player to wherever they wish, after which the regular rules for after a goal finally kick back into effect. You need to decide, before the game begins, whether or not this rule will be used.

10. Other than that, there was some general editing for clarification, and some additional examples added.

I think that covers all of the major points. If you get a chance to try the game, please do feel free to send me some feedback: you can send me a geekmail here at BGG, or you can use the email address I've listed in the credits at the end of the rules PDF. You may also contact me if you have any questions about these new rule changes.

Cheers,
Sean
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Samuel Hinz
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played most of this rules on saturday night, prior to you posting the pdf, it was the first time we played, and accoring to the old rulebook, we didn't know what to do after a third, so we set back to default, which didn't really work.

but overall, fun game and keen to play again, with all the new rules.
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Sean Ross
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abodi wrote:
accoring to the old rulebook, we didn't know what to do after a third, so we set back to default, which didn't really work.
Hm. I'm hoping this write-up will be clearer on that point: you never reset back to the initial setup. It's odd - this isn't the first time I've heard of people doing this, yet no where in the rules does it say to reset back to the initial setup... strange.... In any case, I've added "The players and puck remain where they were on the ice" to the Between Period rules. Hopefully that will help. Also, regarding overtime: in the rules overtime is referred to as a "period", so all of the rules for what to do between periods apply in exactly the same way for overtime periods.
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but overall, fun game and keen to play again, with all the new rules.
Cool. I hope you'll like these new rules even more.
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Peaceful Gamin'
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seandavidross wrote:

4. The other benefit of allowing diagonal player movement is that it allowed me to remove the restriction on the number of players that could stand at the top of their team's crease: it used to be at most one, now you can fill all 3 squares if you wish. Here's an example image taken from a play-test by
Peaceful Gamin'
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Actually, it looks like the goal is tightly protected. To all of you trying this, save your movement points - I had 4 (one in the back-row) meeple-skaters in the crink, and was still scored-upon. And then, I could not pass the puck anywhere. Great to allow it (the new rules are good!), in a scuffle around a goal, but long-term-wise the strategy does not work well.

Edit: 4got "not"
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