Friday, July 18, 2014

Tabletopper Friday - Can't Stop by Sid Sackson

There is a wonderful dice game, called Can't Stop, that some friends of mine and I play fairly regularly.  It's a Sid Sackson design, has very simple rules, and has been under the banner of a nearly a dozen game companies over the decades, including Parker Brothers, Asmodee, and Gryphon Games.  It debuted in 1980 but, on eBay or Amazon, you'll still shell out $20-30 for a complete version of it, depending upon the condition.  I hear the industrious among us might luck out and find one at a thrift store for a couple of dollars.  I keep my eyes open.  The Board Game Geek description runs as follows:
In this Sid Sackson classic, players must press their luck with dice and choose combinations tactically to close out three columns. The board has one column for each possible total of two six-sided dice, but the number of spaces in each column varies: the more probable a total, the more spaces in that column and the more rolls it takes to complete. 
On their turn, a player rolls four dice and arranges them in duos: 1 4 5 6 can become 1+4 and 5+6 for 5 & 11, 1+5 and 4+6 for 6 & 10, or 1+6 and 4+5 for 7 & 9. The player places or advances progress markers in the open column(s) associated with their chosen totals, then chooses whether to roll again or end their turn and replace the progress markers with markers of their color.
A player can only advance three different columns in a turn and cannot advance a column which any player has closed out by reaching the end space; if a roll doesn't result in any legal plays, the turn ends with that turn’s progress lost.

We recently developed a variant on this old favorite whereby someone can use the dice in any combination, even utilizing several singularly to advance a progress marker three spaces.  We tried this to attempt a faster game but found it didn't play a whole lot faster though it did play differently.  Rather than the inside columns being claimed early, more focus was placed on outside columns.  This leaving aside the 2s column and 12s column which get claimed as quickly as possible in either game.

Keep your peepers pealed for this one round secondhand stores in your neck of the woods.  It's a fun game to play and a complete game one, even in standard-used condition, can turn a few bucks for you online, if you so desire.

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