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FAQ for Schotten Totten
List of game FAQs

Official English rules

There are English rules by Reiner Knizia himself (the game's designer) and Kevin Jacklin. The current official version of them (Version 1.0, 20 February 1999) is downloadable here:

What if a player can't play a card?

It is possible that a player already has 3 cards at all unclaimed stones, and thus cannot play a card. The rules unfortunately don't address this case.

If you can't play a card, presumably you simply don't play a card - analogous to how if you can't draw a card (because the deck is empty), you simply don't draw a card.

By analogy with some other games, one might guess that the game should end with that player losing, or that the game should end with scoring based on stones claimed so far. But ending the game seems arguably wrong, since the rules do clearly say "The game ends immediately when one player has claimed three adjacent boundary-stones, or a total of any five boundary-stones." (And no other reason for ending the game is given.)

Note that if all unclaimed stones have 3 cards of both players at them, then each of those "full" stones can be claimed by somebody. So simply not playing a card in such a position won't lead to a deadlock.

A straight need not be played consecutively.

It's like a poker hand. The 3 cards of a straight don't have to be played consecutively. 2,3,4 is the same as 2,4,3. Published illustrated rules (e.g. German and Dutch versions) show examples of this.

You must have 3 cards at a stone to claim it.

In some cases you can logically prove that a stone will be yours even though you've only played 2 cards. E.g. you have 9-6 (wild rabble) and your opponent has 1-4 (provably weaker wild rabble).

Nonetheless you cannot yet claim the stone, because the English rules explicitly say that "you must have a complete three-card group on your side of the respective boundary-stone." You need to play a 3rd card before you can claim it.

You claim stones before playing a card.

The English rules explicitly say that "before you play your card, you may claim one or more boundary-stones."

Some rule translations (e.g. French) changed or mistranslated this, and Battle Line changed it to let you claim any time, with claiming at the start only as a suggested advanced rule.

Ties at a stone

In case of a tie at a stone (e.g. both players have 8-8-8), the player who completed their group first at that stone may claim the stone.

The proof to claim a stone can only use visible cards on the table.

The English rules say that "you may exclude cards already displayed face-up, but you may not use any information from your own hand." Thus even if the deck is empty, you cannot use the now certain knowledge of cards in the hands of you and your opponent as part of the proof.

Action cards

Originally Schotten-Totten had no special action cards. Battle Line introduced them, calling them "Tactics Cards", after which some later editions of Schotten-Totten included them as an option.

Proofs and Action cards

Does the proof of a claimed stone need to take into account action cards (e.g. Fog) as well?
The original rules don't say, since of course there were no action cards.

The rules for Battle Line say specifically (paragraph two under the header "Flags") : "Unplayed Tactics cannot prevent a Flag claim."

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