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Complaining vs reading rules

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Gravon Administrator

Joined: 30 Nov 2014
Posts: 20

PostPosted: 04.08.2021 17:32    Post subject: Complaining vs reading rules Reply with quote

Hello, Stratego players,

recently, complaints about the behaviour of other players reached the admin team again and again. Player X complaints that Player Y would be "unfair" or would do "illegal" things; but then it turns out that it has more to do with Player X not reading the rules, rather than with Player Y having "cheated" in any way. So I leave this posting here, as an attempt to settle those unnecessary disputes.

Gravon is based strictly on the rules written by the International Stratego Federation (ISF).
The rules can be found on

1: "That dude attacked the same of my pieces again and again; that is illegal!"

Surprisingly - no, it is not. At least, not always.

Agreed, the ISF rules are a bit confusing here:
"11. Repetition of Threatening Moves: More-Squares Rule
11.1 It is not allowed to continuously chase one or more pieces of the opponent endlessly.
The continuous chaser may not play a chasing move which would lead to a position on the board which has already taken place."

Huh? The first sentence says this is not allowed; and that is where some players stop reading. But the second sentence contains a big "only if".
So, attacking the same piece is legal(!) as long as the pieces do not end up on the same squares where they have already been.

And that is what the server checks.
Moves that would be against the rules are blocked by the server.

2: "Player XYZ enforced a draw when lost!"

A complaint we get again and again. Look at the rules here:

"14.9 Instead of moving a piece, a player can claim a draw by time if his personal clock time exceeds the remaining net playing time of the Main Period."

Stratego has two clocks. One is white, that is the time for the game as a whole. The other is either red or blue, that is the player's time. But this red / blue clock does not start to tick down immediately after the opponent's move; there is a delay of 2-3 seconds. That means if a player is fast enough, he can make a move but lose no time on his clock.

In rare cases, this can result in the player having more time left than the game as a whole can last.

Such a player would have two options: He can simply wait and do nothing until the time for the game as a whole is up, which would lead to a draw. Or he can enforce a draw right away.

To make it clear: Nobody is forced to give up. No matter what pieces may or may not be on the board.
It may be annoying if your opponent wants to see if you know how to play with that general, a colonel, two majors and three captains against his last mere sergeant (and your missing marshal could not watch this anymore, and preferred to get drunk instead); but there is nothing in the rules that says he must surrender.

Somehow, this reminds me of a chess player who still has his queen, his two rooks and a bishop against just a bunch of scattered pawns - but fails to find a way to checkmate, and moves his pieces allover the board aimlessly. Should such a player have "won" just because he has more material (but no idea what to do with it)?

Best regards
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Alter Hase

Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 344
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: 11.08.2021 22:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like some of the mob who have come over since it closed. People used to bitch and moan terribly there about people not giving up when a draw was still possible. Like, if you had a scout left and they couldn't catch it, they would moan because they thought they had won and suddenly realised now, they can't get that scout, so they can't win - but in their mind they already did so they just moan and moan.
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