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Subject: Rules Clarification(s) - Capture, The Sacrifice Zone, and Emperors rss

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Dungeon Of Doom
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Got this game yesterday and while the components are absolutely top notch, the rules are lacking in a number of ways.

Here's a link to the official rules so that you can reference it as I go through my questions: http://www.blueorangegames.com/elements/dragon_face/dragon_f...

Captures
The rules state that

"A piece can capture another piece by jumping over it. When capturing, pieces must move in the usual way, with the exception of the Governors, who can only capture on a diagonal move. The square immediately beyond the piece being captured must be empty for the
capture to be possible."


Does this mean I can use an ambassador to move across the board and jump over another piece, assuming there's space on the other side of the figure for the ambassador to occupy after the jump? Or do pieces have to be adjacent prior to a jump?

Example:



Can the ambassador at (A) capture the general at (B)?

The Sacrifice Zone

Far too little information is given in the rules regarding the sacrifice zone. I've made several leaps in assumptions about it but wanted to see how you guys had interpreted the rules for it. As a quick refrence, here are the rules for the sacrifice zone from the rule book:

"The Sacrifice Zone is only used to complete a capture. When a
Governor enters the Sacrifice Zone, it stays there for the rest of
the game. When an Ambassador enters the Sacrifice Zone, it must
remain there until a Governor reaches or crosses the opponent’s
back Line.

At this point the player may choose whether or not to return one
Ambassador in the Sacrifice Zone to the Territories. To do so the
player just places the Governor (that just reached or crossed the
opponent’s back line) underneath the Ambassador that will now be
'activated' and free to move back into the Territories whenever
suitable, using any of its usual moves. The Governor that was used
to 'activate' the Ambassador stays in place in the Sacrifice Zone (just
the Ambassador move back in the Territories)."


Here are my assumptions

The Sacrifice Zone
1.) Emperors can never enter the sacrifice zone, whether via regular movement or capture. It IS called the sacrifice zone after all
2.) Pieces can not normally move directly into the sacrifice zone. To enter the sacrifice zone, you must capture into it. For instance:


In the above image, Ambassador (A) can capture Governor (C). Ambassador (A) would enter the sacrifice zone at (1). Ambassador (A) could not however move directly into the sacrifice zone at (3).

3.) Once a piece is inside the sacrifice zone, it is "frozen". It can not move nor can it be used to capture. This includes capturing or moving within the sacrifice zone itself. For all intents and purposes, the piece is "dead". The only exception to this is for Ambassadors, who may be unfrozen if a governor reaches or crosses the opponent’s back line.

4.) Once an ambassador is unfrozen, it may be used immediately to capture another piece, even if this would put it back into the sacrifice zone. For instance:


In the above example, after the governor at (A) takes the ambassador at (C), the governor has "passed the opponent's back line" and can be used to unfreeze the ambassador at (B), which threatens capturing the opponents Emperor at (D).



Hopefully these assumptions are correct. If not, I'd love to hear from you guys regarding the differences in play. I'll update this as a mini-FAQ once we come to a consensus.

Cheers!

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Mark Berger
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I just opened a copy of this for a demo in my store, and I wondered the very same thing about capturing.

Personally, I think it would seem odd, in context, to be able to capture from across the board in this case, considering that capturing a piece represents turning someone to your own point of view. It stands to reason that this would not be something you could do suddenly, instead requiring time for discussion, with this time represented by the time you must wait (your opponent's turn) between approach and capture. What do you think of that?

The rest of your assumptions make perfect sense to me, and I agree.
 
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Nello Cozzolino
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Hello good morning...
The rules are pretty clear: Each type of piece moves in a distinct way and therefore are capturing according to their power range/move. Why the ambassador should be adjacent prior to a jump? see -> -> 4.) Once an ambassador is unfrozen, it may be used immediately to capture another piece, even if this would put it back into the sacrifice zone. Your ambassador could move 3 squares diagonally and jumping over the emperor at D ..it is not in an adjacent position(square)...the ambassador can move straight 6 or more squares and capturing jumping over the piece -> if obviously there is a free square behind.
 
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Karl von Laudermann
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I'm not the designer or anything, nor do I have any kind of inside info, but I'm pretty sure I've got the correct rules to this game figured out. So I will answer your questions.

DungeonOfDoom wrote:

Does this mean I can use an ambassador to move across the board and jump over another piece, assuming there's space on the other side of the figure for the ambassador to occupy after the jump?

...



Can the ambassador at (A) capture the general at (B)?

Yes, ambassadors can capture from a distance. This is no more strange than a rook, bishop, or queen capturing from a distance in Chess. In Dragon Face, a "capture" flips a piece rather than replacing it like in Chess, so it is done by jumping over rather than landing on the target piece, which in turn is why the space beyond it must be empty. But that doesn't necessarily imply that the captured piece must be adjacent, if the capturing piece can normally move a large distance.

DungeonOfDoom wrote:

1.) Emperors can never enter the sacrifice zone, whether via regular movement or capture. It IS called the sacrifice zone after all

I agree.

DungeonOfDoom wrote:

2.) Pieces can not normally move directly into the sacrifice zone. To enter the sacrifice zone, you must capture into it.

I agree.

DungeonOfDoom wrote:
For instance:


In the above image, both Ambassador (A) and Governor (B) could capture Governor (C). Ambassador (A) would enter the sacrifice zone at (1), while Governor (B) would enter the sacrifice zone at (2). Ambassador (A) could not however move directly into the sacrifice zone at (3).

The Governor (B) most certainly can not capture the enemy Governor, as that is not a legal move. A Governor can only move forward (straight or diagonally), and can only capture forward diagonally. If the pieces (A) and (B) were swapped, your example would be valid.

DungeonOfDoom wrote:

3.) Once a piece is inside the sacrifice zone, it is "frozen". It can not move nor can it be used to capture. This includes capturing or moving within the sacrifice zone itself. For all intents and purposes, the piece is "dead". The only exception to this is for Ambassadors, who may be unfrozen if a governor reaches or crosses the opponent’s back line.

I agree.

DungeonOfDoom wrote:

4.) Once an ambassador is unfrozen, it may be used immediately to capture another piece, even if this would put it back into the sacrifice zone.

I agree.

DungeonOfDoom wrote:
For instance:


In the above example, after the governor at (A) takes the ambassador at (C), the governor has "passed the opponent's back line" and can be used to unfreeze the ambassador at (B), which threatens capturing the opponents Emperor at (D).

I agree.
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Dungeon Of Doom
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nello wrote:
Hello good morning...
The rules are pretty clear: Each type of piece moves in a distinct way and therefore are capturing according to their power range/move. Why the ambassador should be adjacent prior to a jump? see -> -> 4.) Once an ambassador is unfrozen, it may be used immediately to capture another piece, even if this would put it back into the sacrifice zone. Your ambassador could move 3 squares diagonally and jumping over the emperor at D ..it is not in an adjacent position(square)...the ambassador can move straight 6 or more squares and capturing jumping over the piece -> if obviously there is a free square behind.


I'd argue that the rules for this game are some of the most poorly written I've read in a long time. In fact, you had to point to one of my examples (and not a specific rule in the rulebook) to clarify the rules you were referring to. Seeing that the same questions continue to be asked over and over again, it would be nice if the publisher incorporated examples (like the ones I put together), or at the very least took the 10 minutes necessary to put together an official FAQ.

Another excellent question that I saw brought up recently:

Can you capture multiples?

The rules are NOT crystal clear on this as stated in the thread this was asked. Here's the rule directly out of the rulebook:

"The square immediately beyond the piece being captured must be empty for the capture to be possible."

This implies that multiple captures are allowed (probably thanks to the game comparing itself as a cross between chess and checkers on many promotional papers). We've been playing that multiple captures are not allowed, but I can see how someone could easily take that the wrong way.

The way we've been playing it (with the rules from the original post) has been really enjoyable, though admittedly it's not the best abstract we've ever played.

Maybe I'm just spoiled by crystal clear rules in board games these days. I really dislike ambiguous rules that can be interpreted in multiple ways. I usually enjoy abstracts because they're known for having crystal clear unambiguous rules that can be read and played in a single sitting. The rules for this game are hurting its reputation, which is a shame, considering the incredible workmanship and quality of the product.



karlvonl wrote:

The Governor (B) most certainly can not capture the enemy Governor, as that is not a legal move. A Governor can only move forward (straight or diagonally), and can only capture forward diagonally. If the pieces (A) and (B) were swapped, your example would be valid.


Good catch karl, I've updated my original post in case people refer to it at any point.
 
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Nello Cozzolino
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The square immediately beyond the piece being captured must be empty for the capture to be possible."


I understand only one piece (beyond the piece) it does not imply pieces, -> therefore multiple captures are not allowed,
once a (1) piece is captured your turn ends;there is not mention of capturing 2 or more pieces (a sort of chain capture).
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YaVerOt YaVerOt
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In my recent email exchange I did give them a link to this thread, so they might know other questions people are asking.
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DungeonOfDoom wrote:

The rules are NOT crystal clear on this as stated in the thread this was asked. Here's the rule directly out of the rulebook:

"The square immediately beyond the piece being captured must be empty for the capture to be possible."

is this rule for the main playing area AND the sacrifice zone? ie there must be an empty square in the sacrifice zone if that square is immediately beyond the captured piece?
 
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