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Subject: Last-Attack Ending Conditions rss

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Jack Bennetto
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Seattle
Washington
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The ending conditions always bothered me; they seemed more confusing than necessary. Having now played a large number of games on the iphone I feel they're actually flawed.

The rules for the Standard Game say that, after the last card is drawn, whoever has more cards at the current range wins. That means that if the last player moves into range the other doesn't have a chance to retreat. If the last player counts cards correctly that's a huge advantage, and so the final turns can be about planning for the last attack. In the Advanced game: if it ends in an advance/attack/retreat then the last-attack rule is ignored. While this protects the attacker from the opponent retreating into a victory, it denies the attacker who advanced close a chance at another attack.

It would be simpler to generalize the Basic Game rule in all cases. After the last card is drawn, the next player with a turn to attack could make a simple attack (not an advance/attack). If unsuccessful the game is scored by position.

So if the player A is the one taking the last card, the game could end with

A: adv or ret B: final attack
A: attack B: parry B: final attack
A: adv/att B: parry B: final attack
A: adv/att B: retreat A: final attack


That last option is the most arbitrary and could be dropped (as it is in the rules).

A different approach (perhaps even simpler to understand) is to say that after the last card is drawn, players may no longer advance but can pass instead of a normal turn, and that after both pass the game is decided by distance. The effect would be that a player in range but unable to make a final attack must choose whether to retreat (and lose position) or pass (and risk an attack).

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Robert Ernst
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When the last card is drawn, we simply play out the remaining cards in our hand until someone hits, or can not make a legal move.
We find that not only the simplest solution, but it leads to some of the more interesting situations.
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