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Subject: Eam's Review #12, from when the game was out-of-print rss

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Eamon Bloomfield
23569 Lübeck
Schleswig Holstein
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Pagode is, without doubt, one of the finest games I have ever played. Now sadly out of print (these review was written in 1981/82), it was published by FX Schmid in West Germany. It comes with very nice pieces, plastic, but nice all the same. Each player has a colour, red or green and each player has 14 pieces in their colour, 7 round (called Columns) and 7 square (called Stones). The board has 9x9 squares.

The object is to form shapes on the board, called Buildings.
A Hut is when you have 4 pieces on adjacent squares, forming a square. There are 64 possible Huts.
A House needs 4 pieces separated by 1-3 squares to form a square. The smallest house is thus 3x3 squares and the largest measures 5x5 squares.
A Castle requires 4 pieces separated by 4-7 squares to form a square. It must be built on straight lines and not diagonals. There are 30 possible Castles.
A Tower requires 4 pieces forming an extended rectangle, with all the pieces on the edge of the board, and each pair on adjacent squares and opposite to each other. There are 16 possible Towers.
A Pagoda requires 4 pieces on diagonal lines forming a square, with all pieces standing on the delineated cross which divides the board into four. There are 4 possible Pagodas.
The above are all positive Buildings.

In addition there are negative buildings.
A Fence is 3 pieces in a row, separated by equal distances. Fences do not occur on diagonals.
A Wall is 4 pieces in a row, whatever the distance from 1 piece to another. Walls do not occur on diagonals.
A Ruin is a Hut, House, Castle, Tower, or Pagoda consisting only of Columns.

During play, you can form these buildings or, when all 14 pieces are on the board, you can 'demolish' i.e. to remove as many of your pieces as you wish. These removed pieces can be played again but you cannot demolish again until the other player has demolished.

A player can also 'tear down' his opponent's Fences, Walls and Ruins, these pieces are taken away, not to be used again.

The scoring is based on shapes formed, which pieces were used in that construction (only Stones have a value, columns do not).

A match is played over several games, 10 is recommended.
Squares on the perimeter and on the central cross are strongest. The coloured squares are stronger than black ones. The centre square is particularly weak.

Do not concentrate pieces too much but spread them widely over the board.

To seek to directly form a Building is usually an ineffective way to win the game; it is much more useful to use the threat of a Building, in order to force the opponent to operate in an unfavourable way. For example, he can be forced to create lost squares, or place his Columns disadvantageously, perhaps all standing on red or black squares, allowing you great freedom of movement on green squares.

The effective completion of Buildings often depends on the development of two at a time, so that either could be completed in the same move. The opponent can only prevent one of them.

It should be remembered that one game does not decide a match, and if an opponent's victory cannot be avoided, it is best to keep his score as low as possible, by timely resignation
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