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Simborg Rule: Possible Application

Posted By: Colin Owen
Date: Monday, 3 December 2012, at 2:25 a.m.

In Response To: Sportive Cubing (Phil Simborg)

As Phil implies, trying to get productive change in our game is difficult. His rule that you can't make a point on the opening roll, or run 24/13 with 65 may never be used in tournaments until it's use becomes very much more prevalent in private games. But is there a specific application for it that could get it started?

I, for one, used part of his rule in a regular heads up session I used to play. A friend and I had a weekly session for 18 months, playing over 3000 games. Very early on in this run, at my suggestion (I hadn't even heard about Phil's rule) we agreed that you can't run with an opening 65. Certainly led to more action in those games, in fact, the longest game that we had - a major back game with 3 or 4 anchors that took around 45 minutes - came from such a start. A terrific battle (I recall that the back game player won a recubed gammon); I doubt it would have happened playing 'Lover's Leap' (24/13)!

Apart from the added complexity that this rule brings, in the form of more blots being sent back, you are taking a little bit of the power of the dice away from the game. The latter, of course, is exactly what the weaker player needs to turn the tables. An opening 31 making the 5 point is worth a good quarter point according to rollouts.

Forcing players to play the rule throughout a match would be radical. But there might be a situation where its introduction passed a little more quietly: DMP. At this special score the effect on MWC of getting that initial headstart is at its greatest. Take the 31, 42 point making starts etc away from the players, complicating the game in the process, and the stronger player's chances are definitely boosted.

Applying the rule only in this way (at least initially, until maybe it caught on) would make it akin to the Crawford Rule, as it could apply only at a particular score (or range of scores in the case of the latter) and for one game only.

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