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Subject: MOVE rules are nonsense & unintelligible rss

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Dan Fielding
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Looking at the 4 player version, seems to be the original; rule sheet says copyright 1980 on tan paper.

"A MOVE is made by PLAYING any piece...from one space to an adjacent space..."

This begs the question of what "PLAYING" means. If it is synonymous with "move" then the rule is nonsense; its a circular definition. Otherwise, the rules don't explain what "playing a piece" means.

You may move 20 pieces once, or 4 pieces 5 times, or move any combination of pieces to total 20 moves per turn.

But each piece has a limit; for example:

"SOLDIERS Move one or two spaces per turn."

This implies, but does not actually say, that you can only "play" any particular piece once per turn.

(There is an exception; after a capture, the piece is "reset" and may make another "play." It is unclear whether that option must be exercised immediately or if you can "play" another piece first)

However, that implication is contradicted:

The moves of the pieces need not be consecutive.

Which might mean that
1) you can "play" one piece again and again, either consecutively or after "playing" some other piece
and/or
2) that a piece can be "played" by moving only PART of its maximum distance, and use more of its remaining distance after some other piece has been "played."

All of these implied rules mean that you have to somehow remember which of your 20 pieces has already been "played" that turn. And possibly, you have to remember how many "moves" each one has already used from its allotment.

The word "move" seems to be used for two different concepts, and it is up to the reader to guess at which meaning applies in each instance:
1) the act of displacing the piece
2) the number of spaces displaced

POSSIBLE RULE:

1. TURN LIMIT: You may move any combination of pieces up to a total of 20 spaces in your turn. You must keep count of your Turn Limit.

2. MAXIMUM DISTANCE FOR EACH PIECE: The number of spaces any particular piece may move in one turn may not exceed its Maximum Distance (either 2,6, or 8).

3. A piece may be moved less than its Maximum Distance, then another piece(s) moved, and the first piece moved again in the same turn, subject to rule 2. You must keep track of Distance Moved for each piece.

4. Modification of Rule 2: When a piece makes a Capture, its Distance Moved becomes 0 again. Thus it regains the use of its full Maximum Distance. It may continue moving now or after other pieces have been moved. Note that the spaces already moved do count against the player's 20 space Turn Limit in Rule 1. This rule applies after each Capture, and is an important strategy to understand.
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patrick stevens
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Yes, you have it correct.
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True Blue Jon
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I wonder if you're trying to learn the rules or just ranting.
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Dan Fielding
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Poorly written rules are the number one cause of rants.

If my suggested interpretation is correct, then the rules themselves are problematic because of the need to remember the current movement use of each piece.

I would prefer that a piece can no longer be moved once you have started moving another piece. The ReCapture exception would have to be utilized immediately.

SO what does the publisher intend (the author is deceased)?
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Russ Williams
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Gronak wrote:
the rules themselves are problematic because of the need to remember the current movement use of each piece.

Problematic merely in the sense that the players must develop that skill (and any interesting deep game requires players to develop some skill or another, doesn't it?), not problematic in the sense of being ill-defined or inconsistent or something more serious like that.

Despite your thinking the rules are "problematic", certainly plenty of people have evidently successfully played and enjoyed Conquest for several decades.

But I agree that the counting is a barrier to entry for some people. I played and enjoyed Conquest many years ago and in the past few years I nostalgically thought about getting a set, but after trying it a couple times with my wife at Essen, she said this issue of keeping track of various pieces' movement expenditures while spending your 20 movement points made the game not so appealing for her.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Gronak wrote:
SO what does the publisher intend (the author is deceased)?

That's hilarious. This is a highly respected game, which has been played for nearly 50 years by people around the world, and you expect the publisher to change the rules because you don't like them?

Your rants about various games have irritated me in the past, Dan, but this one was good for a belly laugh, so I thank you for that much.
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Dan Fielding
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Not change. Merely state unambiguously.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Gronak wrote:
Not change. Merely state unambiguously.

You're the guy who said they were unintelligible, yet you got them right. I got them right myself, back when I first read them 40 years ago. They aren't nonsense, and they aren't unintelligible.
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patrick stevens
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In reading rules to many games for the first time is can be tough to grasp new concepts. The game would not be "new" if it did not have something different about it. Conquest for it's time was quite revolutionary, yet also quite chess like in nature. The having to remember part can be tricky, as some have stated. But usually you can keep track of the one piece on the fingers of one hand (exceptions; Galleon or Chariot) or it is a soldier who has moved to mount and then later after other pieces have moved, the soldier dismounts (remember the number 1). It only comes up occasionally when moving a piece out of the way (which is often 1 space), then using the piece later, or when using the piece to intersperse for a blocking maneuver and then moving the piece again once the purpose for the block is executed. When combined with regeneration, it easier as you can restart counting. With all the flexibility of the system it does become quite a bit to think about and includes some memory, but in practice it is actually very easy as your opponent(s) will not let you get away with extra moves and if you execute less moves you have not made a mistake rule-wise. When the occasions arise to execute moves with this memory challenge, they are so much fun and you feel so clever that the memory tax is far outweighed by the elation of tactical victory.
The German version and the 2 player Grand Conquest boards come with 20 dots on them to help keep track.
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eric hogan
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Yea that exception doesn't come up much, you should have stated "if the chariot or galleon moved less than 2 spots". Seven year olds have no problem learning this game.
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Roger Hobden
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Sphere wrote:
I got them right myself, back when I first read them 40 years ago. They aren't nonsense, and they aren't unintelligible.

thumbsup

Same comment.

Conquest : super-easy, super-fun game I used to play all the time with my children when they were pre-teens to introduce them to wargaming .
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Dan Fielding
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I didn't get them right; I made two interps and was told one was correct.

A dot track is a good idea; could also have mini tracks of 2/6/8.
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True Blue Jon
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Gronak wrote:
A dot track is a good idea; could also have mini tracks of 2/6/8.


Here you go:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/325214/count-sheet-keeping-t...
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chris schott
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If you logged in to boardgamegeek.com, then Jon's cc link may show that you are not logged in. That's not necessarily an issue unless you try to thumb the thread like I did. If it matters, this link brings you to same thread:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/325214/count-sheet-keeping-t...
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True Blue Jon
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Thanks, Chris! I updated my link.
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Russ Williams
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Better yet (I think) use Insert Geek Link / Thread which (I hypothesize) might create the appropriate domain for the one you're viewing it on (if anyone on bgg.cc or some other domain wants to confirm or deny that, I'm creating it while on boardgamegeek.com) :

Count Sheet (keeping track of action points) and Variant
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chris schott
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Also, while I don't find the above rule example to be confusing, rulesets should define terms. Turn, round, hand, move, and action can be synonymous but can also have widely different and inconsistent meanings.
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Russ Williams
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spacerx wrote:
Also, while I don't find the above rule example to be confusing, rulesets should define terms. Turn, round, hand, move, and action can be synonymous but can also have widely different and inconsistent meanings.

A famous example of that confusing people is the "step 1, step 2, step 3" of Power Grid...
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patrick stevens
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/72177/ages-eras-phases...
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Dan Fielding
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Excellent player aid. Printed.

I dislike games where memorization or remembering counts gives an advantage.
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Tom Swider
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You could always use numbered cardboard counters to show how many points various pieces moved to make it very explicit. However, I think that people who play a lot of Conquest plan out their turn ahead of time and know exactly how they will expend each of their 20 points. With practice and experience this becomes easy enough. Consider that good Chess players can play blind because they memorize the positions of all piece on the board, thinking more about positions and relationships to other pieces and specific spaces on the board. Experience provides rules of thumb that make planning move execution easier.

I suspect that most Conquest players never had the problem you encountered because they started with the two player version, which states the rules differently for some reason. It would have been better if they were identical in this regard.

As an alternative for a game of that is more dynamic than Chess and doesn't require memorization, I would recommend Shogi.
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Robert Stuart
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Gronak wrote:
Poorly written rules are the number one cause of rants.

If my suggested interpretation is correct, then the rules themselves are problematic because of the need to remember the current movement use of each piece.

I would prefer that a piece can no longer be moved once you have started moving another piece. The ReCapture exception would have to be utilized immediately.

SO what does the publisher intend (the author is deceased)?


Your interpretation is correct (as far as I know; that's how I played the game).

I used to have a game afternoon for neighborhood kids (now middle-age adults), and they absolutely loved Conquest.
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Aidris Co
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Your interpretation is correct. I think you have to understand that this game was written by a single individual, way ahead of it's time. Therefore, the rules could now be written better for a modern audience with the advantage of decades of play. For it's time, the rules were written just about as accurately as was possible.
 
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Dan Fielding
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If its still popular, somebody must have re-written the rules in a better style of presentation by now ?
 
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