Your Favorite Rule
Andrew Faehnle
United States
Euclid
Ohio
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What's your favorite rule? I never had one until I read for the first time the rules to Revolution: The Dutch Revolt. Feel free to add your favorite. (1 per person, please.)
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26. Board Game: Industria [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1222]
Chris Bailey
United States
Broomfield
Colorado
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When you're the auctioneer, if you put something up for auction and nobody bids on it, you have to take it and you're no longer the auctioneer, and the person to your left becomes the auctioneer. Since you get to keep the money from all auctions, this hurts. Bad.
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27. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:10947]
Nanich .
Canada
Victoria
BC
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I do not own this game, nor have I ever read the directions, but I am sure my all time favourite rule will be found in this game!
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28. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:104]
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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The End of Game rules section (25.0) states the following:

The regulation requiring a full sequence of railroad operations after each opportunity to play the stock market is to prevent a financial swindle which is too devastating even for 1830. As the rules now disarm this ploy, you need not worry about it. But if you haven't yet worked out what it is, you ought, perhaps, to be asking yourself whether you are a big enough crook ever to make the big time as a stock racketeer.

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29. Board Game: Under the Shadow of the Dragon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1897] [Average Rating:6.53 Unranked]
Werner Bär
Germany
Karlsruhe
Baden
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If the hero defeats the dragon, an epic victory has been achieved! He or she is the rescuer, the hero, whose praises will be sung throughout the ages, and can run around the table singing loudly in celebration, but this is not required. As a side effect, the player also wins the game.
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30. Board Game: Lords of the Sierra Madre (second edition) [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:4858]
Roger Taylor
United States
Unspecified
Virginia
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"Running against the incumbent president of Mexico is a crime."
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31. Board Game: Illuminati: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:992]
Alexandre Leblanc
Canada
Longueuil
Québec
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An optional rule in this game actually allows you to cheat. There is only a few things you can't do (that would make the game unplayable), but the worst is that there is no penalty for cheating, you must simply undo what you did.
The rulebook says: "We recommend you play the cheating game only with very good friends, or with people you will never see again..."
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32. Board Game: The Legend of Robin Hood [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3224]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Rule 15.3: The Bigamy Prohibition

Classic Avaon Hill folks
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33. Board Game: Gangsters [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:3465]
Paul Denhup
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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GANGSTERS: the player who was shot gets a soaking (one trigger press only) with the *included* water pistol.
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34. Board Game: Circus Imperium [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2746]
Mike N.
United States
Brunswick
Maine
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Object (p. 8):

"The object of Circus Imperium is to be the first live Driver to complete three laps of the course (but not necessarily in the same Chariot). Note the term live. Drivers who die before crossing the finish line cannot stand up to receive their victory laurels, and the local Senator is not going to stoop down to place them on a cadaver's head. That would look too silly in the newspaper."

Trampling (p. 13):

"A Trampled Driver cannot perform any other action for the rest of the turn, except to bleed on the sand."
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35. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:2334] [Average Rating:6.02 Unranked]
Karl Benisch
Sweden
Stockholm
Stockholm
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"Starting and finishing the game"

"Decide who hoes first by rolling the dice and arguing about the results and the meaning of this sententance and wheter the fact that a word seems to be missing any effect"

This can be more fun then playing the game
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36. Board Game: Alsace 1945 [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:7509]
Duncan Flint
England
Unspecified
Worcs
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Not a favourite rule as such, but I was reading rules fo this at work the other day and a colleague(non gamer) asked "whats That ?". So I read them the zone of Control rule (you know the one, all 6 hexes next to occupied hex are in Zoc yadda yadda )- her face was a picture.
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37. Board Game: Battle of the Halji [Average Rating:5.33 Overall Rank:9245]
Stephen Tavener
United Kingdom
London
England
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I no longer have the game, so can't check the exact wording if the rule, but creatures that squelch themselves go blind, IIRC.
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38. Board Game: Risk: Godstorm [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:1738]
Dave Shapiro
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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"Table talk, including alliances, threats, coercion, whining, pleading, backstabbing, invocation of the divine wrath of your ancestors, and other verbal tirades, is not only allowed, but also encouraged."
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39. Board Game: Middle-Earth [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:689]
The Middle Earth Card Game had a reputation for being one of the more complicated CCGs but my favourite rule (from the Wizard's Casual Companion) was, roughy, "if you're not sure about the rules, go with the outcome that sounds most like it would have happened in the book". Best thematic rule ever?
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40. Board Game: Orcz [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:9109]
Dane Peacock
United States
Stansbury Park
Utah
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My favorite rule:

If one person is taking too long for their turn, the rest of the players start to slowly chant, "You're as slow as a dwarf, cowardly as an elf, and clumsy as a human!"

The slow player must finish his turn by the end of the chanting.

You are really cool if you say it in Orcish (translation provided).

We use this rule in most of our games now.


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41. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:2334] [Average Rating:6.02 Unranked]
Don't have Munchkin handy, but I think I can give it a solid whack. To determine the starting player, the rule is something to the effect of, "Everyone roll a die and argue about what it means."

It's funny to me both because in my early D&D'ing years, about all we did was argue about the rules and also because I once rolled lowest and argued my way into going first, mostly because several players had tied for highest roll.
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42. Board Game: Black Sea Black Death [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:5262]
Mark Guttag
United States
Fairfax
Virginia
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<p>I have to add the famous (among wargamers at least) "Paratroop Rule" from Jack Radey's Black Sea - Black Death:

<p>"Paratroops

<p>*****

<p>To perform an airdrop, it is necessary to determine whether the paratroops scatter. To do this, take the paratroop company and hold it between your two fingers at least two feet above the target hex. Announce the target hex and let the counter drop and place it in any hex in which it comes to rest. If it lands upside down it is Disrupted. If it lands in a Lake, All Sea, Partial Sea, Woods, or Axis occupied hex, the unit is destroyed. If it lands in an Axis ZOC, it must assault the Axis unit, should the assault fail the paratroop is destroyed. If the Paratroop unit lands in any hex other than the target hex, the unit is Suppressed. Believe me, this technique has been carefully playtested and it avoids plenty of rules complications as well as working quickly and nicely. come on, give it a try."

<p>A similar rule appears in the Sainte Mère-Église scenario in Memoir ’44:

<p>“Special Rules

<p>Before the Allied side takes its first turn, the Allied player has an additional airdrop.

<p>Hold 4 infantry figures in your hand about 12 inches – roughly the height of the box set on its side – above the battlefield.

<p>Drop the figures. If a figure falls off the board or lands in a hex with another friendly or enemy unit, this figure is out of action and placed back into the box. No Victory Medal is awarded to the Axis player on this occasion.

<p>If the figure is not out-of-action, place an additional 3 figures from the box into the infantry figure’s hex. The unit landed safely and is read for action.”

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43. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:124]
I always liked Gun Duels in ASL. If you're targeting a tank rolling down the street and declare a shot at it, the owner of the tank can declare a shot back at you, and in fact that shot could go first, destroying your tank, and thereby obviating your shot. Or in their words...

2.2401 GUN DUELS: Vs a non-concealed, non-Aerial DEFENDER's declared Defensive First Fire attack on it, a vehicle may attempt to Bounding First Fire (D3.3) its MA (/other-FP, including Passenger FP/SW) at that DEFENDER first, provided the vehicle need not change CA, is not conducting OVR (D7.1), its total Gun Duel DRM (i.e., its total Firer-Based [5.] and Acquisition [6.5] TH DRM for its potential shot) is < that of the DEFENDER, and the DEFENDER's attack is not Reaction Fire (D7.2). Neither the +1 DRM for a Gyrostabilizer nor the doubling of the lower dr for other ordnance in TH Case C4 (5.35) is included in the Gun Duel DRM calculation. The order of fire for non-ordnance/SW is determined as if it were ordnance [EXC: TH Case A can apply only if this unit/weapon is mounted-on/aboard a vehicle that is changing CA; all such non-turret-mounted fire is considered NT for purposes of TH Case C, and; A.5 applies to any type of FG]. If the ATTACKER's and DEFENDER's total Gun Duel DRM are equal, the lower Final TH (or non-ordnance IFT) DR fires first - and voids the opponent's return shot by eliminating, breaking, stunning, or shocking it. If those two Final DR are equal, both shots are resolved simultaneously. Any CA change the DEFENDER requires in order to shoot (5.11) is made before the ATTACKER's shot if the DEFENDER's total Gun Duel DRM <= the ATTACKER's; otherwise its CA changes (if still able to) after the ATTACKER's shot. After the initial Gun Duel had been fully resolved, and if otherwise able and allowed to, that DEFENDER may announce another attack vs that ATTACKER who in turn may declare another Gun Duel; this time the printed ROF of one firing weapon on each side may be included as a -DRM in that side's Gun Duel DRM calculation. Only the ATTACKER may declare a Gun Duel [EXC: not if the DEFENDER has done so per 5.33].

THAT certainly trips off the tongue.
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44. Board Game: Up Against The Wall, Mother****er! [Average Rating:4.40 Unranked]
 
Jay Richardson
United States
Lindsborg
Kansas
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"The winner is he who has the most points. The loser calls a press conference."
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45. Board Game: Blackbeard [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1805]
David A
United States
Los Angeles
California
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I love that torturing a hostage sometimes kills the hostage, sometimes gives you strategic information about the hostages home port but ALWAYS raises crew morale.

It's the single rule I quote to gameophobes to get them to play, and it has worked again and again.
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46. Board Game: John Carter: Warlord of Mars [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:4493]
Roger Taylor
United States
Unspecified
Virginia
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The only game with an Unspeakable Acts Table.

(Yes, I know I'm cheating by posting two favorite rules.)
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47. Board Game: Panzer Pranks [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:8674]
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
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Too many great rules to list, but here are a few tidbits:

Yet another game which encourages sound effects. "Everyone fights their best wargames when they are somewhere between 6-11 years old, when they are knowledgeable enough to have some idea of what men and equipment do, but not yet so inhibited that they give up the great pleasure of making funny sounds just because somebody else might be listening.... Opponents may at first be upset by your verbal barrages, or feel that they demean the game. Do not be deterred...."

Important game phase: "G. Bathroom Phase (optional)."

"A tank never stacks on top of friendly infantry unless it harbors a grudge"

"A player indicates that he wants to make an OF (Opportunity Fire) attack by shouting 'Opportunity Fire! Opportunity Fire!' and (optional) pounding on the table."

National Reaction Tables (bailing out). Roll 1d6:

"1: the unit's members die like the craven/ verdamt/ bloody/ bolshevic/ imperilist/ fascist/ capitalist swine they are"

"2-4: the unit's members die a glorious death in defense/offense (please circle one) of the Fatherland, the Motherland, the King, ...."

"5-6: the members bail out, performing as follows: Germans--only follow orders; British--salute and brew tea; Soviets--attend a politcal lecture; Americans--attempt to bribe someone with nylons and chocolate bars; French--cry 'We are betrayed' and hug each other; Italians--sign their opponent's national antehms; Japanese--check an ephemeris to see if the sun is rising."

"When a tank is KOed, it is removed from play, but the attacker rolls for movement poitns thrown out when the explosion occured.... Either side may use the movement points, but they must be used in the turn when picked up..."

9.6 Deals with the problems of stacking male and female tanks together.

"Enemy tanks may share the same hex if the players are willing to accept the consequences and risk AFV pregnancy.... Infantry and AFVs, while potentially affectionate, never fall in love... If pregnancy becomes possible, roll the die. If 1-3, the female tanks is expecting... On the third turn, roll for paternity suit...."

"9.8 For faster games, double all the movement rates."
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48. Board Game: Attack Vector: Tactical [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:3039]
Mike zebrowski
United States
Unspecified
Minnesota
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I really like the ramming rules in Attack Vector.

"If one side is heavily disadvantaged against the other by a majority opinion of all players, the player controlling the disadvantaged side may gain the ability to ram at will by making a speech."

"This speech should reference the historical context of the battle, and should be stirring, uplifting and moving. The delivery should be made without hesitation, with the knowledge that sending crewmen to certain death is required for a larger goal."

"The other players judge the effectiveness of this speech, as though they were members of the crews on the affected vessels. If a majority of them agree that it was a truly stirring speech, then the disadvantaged player may order his units to ram at will."
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49. Board Game: Legend of the Five Rings [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:741]
Doug Richardson
United States
Gresham
Oregon
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In L5R, one must formally annoumce the end of one's turn by saying, "The table is yours". Failure to do so early in the game's history would result in a 1 point reduction in a player's honor. Lose enough honor, you lose the game!
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50. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:148]
Steve Kearon
United Kingdom
Cardiff
Wales
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In Antiquity, at the end of each round famine must be dealt with by each player. You can build things to reduce or eliminate famine, but if famine still affects you, you must place graves on your (limited) city boards. First graves go on unoccupied cells, then graves go on cells that have buildings (rendering them unusable).

I can almost imagine the scene during playtesting, when someone asked “what if there are absolutely no cells left ?” I imagine everyone falling around laughing and saying “well, if you’re that *#&$£*@ dumb, perhaps you shouldn’t be playing!”

In the rules, this got written as …

If a player cannot place a grave, then he loses the game and quits (this rarely happens).

I just love the understated style of that line.
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