Forum Archive : Chouettes

Order of succession

From:   Albert Steg
Date:   11 June 1995
Subject:   Re: Some chouette questions

Robert Johanson wrote:
> I have a few questions about the order of succession in a
> multi-cube chouette.
> Scenario A:
> Suppose the captain doubles and the box drops, but the other
> members of the team donÕt double wishing to play on for
> gammon.  I assume the next in line then completes the game as
> captain (pro tem).  But suppose the box manages to win.  Does
> the box stay the box (because he won)?  Or does the original
> captain become the box (because he also won)?  And if so does
> the box go to the end of the line (hardly seems fair since
> everyone else lost), or does he become the new captain?

Conventions vary with regard to this question. In Boston (at least in
Harvard Square) we tend to make it a straight question of whether or not
the box beats the Captain: the box must beat the Captain in order to keep
the box.  Elsewhere another convention holds that the box must *show a
profit* from the current game in order to retain the box.

There are arguments for both systems (and probably for othetr variants).
What's important is for your chouette to adopt a clear practice and adhere
to it.  Part of the fun of chouettes is that any given set of rules gives
rise to interesting cube play strategies: whether to double all or some;
whether to take the captain or dump him to let weaker crew members to take
over, etc.

> Scenario B:
> Suppose the box doubles and the captain drops but some others
> take.  I assume the highest ranking team member takes over as
> captain.  If the box then loses the game is he inserted
> before or after the former captain at the end of the line?

Huh!  Is it possible that over the course of the last several thousand
chouette games I've been in this has *never* come up?  Since the captain
is usually more, rather than less likely to take a cube in a "split
decision" scenario (he want's to get the box), this event will rarely
occur.  One reasonable way of thinking is that the Captain lost first, so
he would prcede the ex-box at the end of the line.

> Scenario C:
> If everyone on the team doubles and the box takes some cubes
> and drops others (yes, I know this seems bizarre but the
> rules donÕt prohibit it, do they?) and then goes on to win,
> who goes where?  Surely the box wouldnÕt stay there as that
> would encourage a strategy of taking only the cube of the
> weakest player hoping to pull out a win in bad positions.

Good thinking.  As you can see, the "beat the Captain" rule that I mention
in Scenario A somewhat answers this question.  In addition, we say that
the box must take *at least half of the cubes* sent to him if the field
doubles all at once.  (So if 2 cubes come at him, he must take at least
one ---if 3 cubes, he must take 2 ---if 4 cubes, still 2...etc.).  This
practice keeps more than half the players in the game (the box plus at
least half the team), so that there's a minimum of "dead time" for dropped
players waiting for an often long game to play out.

"Split decisions" on the part of the box are not necessarily illogical, as
has been discussed here before.  It may be the right thing to do when you
genuinely cannot decide whether a position is a proper take or not, and
depending on your consulatation rules (another area for variation), it may
be worth paying a small "non-consultation" equity fee to get a strong team
member out of the game.

> Is there some over-arching principal that is applied in these
> and similar situations?

> DrBob on FIBS.

There are over-arching principles ---but some of these principles vary
from state to state (or street to street).  The main thing to consider
when choosing your rules is: "What effect will this rule have on the way
our chouette is played?"  Some of the relevant considerations are:

      1) Do our rules encourage time-wasting playing out of proper
"drops", where a number of players sit idly on the sidelines?

      2) Do our rules favor stronger players, and make it hard for less
experienced players to learn the subtleties of the game? (consultation
rules).  A visiting New Yorker once (unfairly, I thought) referred to our
Boston conventions as "soak the fish" rules.  But then, we cannot all be
as generous and selfless as I have heard New Yorkers to be in this regard.

      3) Do our rules force players to play against their own best
judgment? (The rule that says a Captain must *beaver* if he alone wishes
to take a cube that his teammates have unanimously dropped is such a
rule.  He alone may have the right answer).

      4) Are our rules simple enough to apply clearly, with a minimum of
confusions and argument?

Good luck with your chouette.

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Automatic doubles with carryover  (Alexander Zamanian, Jan 1999) 
California rule  (Peter Anderson+, Nov 2001) 
Captain drops and others take  (Grafix8888+, Sept 2000) 
Chouette cube strategy  (Stanley E. Richards+, Mar 2011) 
Cube proxy  (Ilia Guzei+, June 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Dream chouette  (Phil Simborg+, Sept 2009) 
Extras  (Daniel Murphy, Feb 1997) 
Extras  (Albert Steg, July 1996) 
Extras  (Anthony R Wuersch, Mar 1995) 
Fish-hunt rules  (Chuck Bower+, Feb 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Interlocking chouette  (wintom+, Jan 2008) 
Jacoby rule  (Doug Doub+, Aug 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Legal plays only  (Gregg Cattanach+, Aug 2001) 
Los Angeles Rules  (Joe Russell, Apr 2013) 
Los Angeles Rules  (Justin N.+, Aug 2011) 
Lure of the chouette  (Bob Koca+, July 2004) 
Mandatory beaver  (Roland Scheicher+, Mar 2002) 
Mandatory beaver  (David Montgomery, Jan 1999) 
Money management  (Albert Steg, Sept 1998) 
Online chouette rules  (John Graas, July 2003)  [Long message]
Order of succession  (leobueno+, Aug 2011) 
Order of succession  (Albert Steg, June 1995) 
Procedure when captain doubles  (Bill Riles+, Feb 2010) 
Split cube actions  (Neil Kazaross, June 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Strategy  (Michael J. Zehr, Sept 1998) 
Variable stakes  (Christopher Yep+, Apr 2000) 
Waiting for teammate to double  (Øystein Johansen+, July 2001) 
When box takes a partner  (Dan Pelton+, Mar 2009) 
When does player retain the box?  (Daniel Murphy, Jan 1997) 
When is consulting allowed?  (Dave+, Mar 2000) 

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