CAMELOT and GRAND CAMELOT
PRIMARY WCF RULES CLARIFICATIONS,
INTERPRETATIONS, AND CHANGES
Current WCF Rule: The game is won if a player captures all of his opponent's pieces, and has two or more of his own pieces left.
This rule clarifies the question of whether two or more vs. one is a win. It is not a win; its outcome—possibly a draw—is yet to be determined. In the 1930 Parker Brothers Camelot rules, and in the initial editions of the 1931 Parker Brothers rules, a win by elimination required the elimination of all of the opponent’s pieces. In later 1931 editions, however, the wording was changed to “elimination of all, or all but one, of the opponent’s pieces.” This change in wording resulted from the fact that it is not possible for one piece to stop another (opposing) piece from entering its Castle. Thus, if one side has two pieces and the other side one piece, it is impossible (with normal play) for the one to stop the two, even if the stronger side already has one of its pieces in the opponent’s Castle, and even if the weaker side temporarily has the opposition (a position where the pieces are on the same rank, file, or diagonal with an odd number of squares separating them, and the stronger side must move, thereby allowing the weaker side to stop the advance of the stronger side’s piece). This change in wording, however, not only failed to take into account possible misplays by the stronger side; much more importantly, it failed to take into account situations where the weaker side could initiate a combination (a series of forced moves that leads to a significant change in positional or material advantage) that would, although reducing itself to one piece, reduce the stronger opposing side to one piece or no pieces, thus securing a draw.
Here is one example of the type of position that compelled the above rules clarification:
White is down two pieces and would lose the game, if not for the following combination: 1.B6-C7!
Black is forced to capture: 1....D6xB8
Under the poorly written late-1931 Parker Brothers Camelot rules, the game would now be over, and Black would be the winner. Under the current WCF rules, however, (as well as under the original Parker Brothers rules), White can continue play with: 2.A7xC9xE11xE9xG9.
Draw! Clearly, this is the correct way to interpret the rules of the game of Camelot.
Here are positions that illustrate Camelot's four possible basic material outcomes, as stipulated in the WCF rules:
Current WCF Rule: The game is won if a player has two or more of his own pieces left and his opponent is unable to make a legal move. Stalemate is a win for the stalemating player, a loss for the stalemated player.
Stalemate is unmentioned in all editions of Parker Brothers Camelot rules. Stalemate most commonly occurs when one side has only one piece, is in its opponent’s Castle, and has exhausted its two Castle Moves. As illustrated below, notice that Stalemate is a win only if the stalemating player has two or more pieces left; otherwise, with only one piece left, stalemate is a draw.
Although exceedingly rare, it is possible for a player to be stalemated outside of the opposing Castle. Pictured below is an admittedly artificial sequence of moves that would lead to one such position.
Current WCF Rule: If a player jumps over an opponent's piece onto one of his own Castle Squares, and the player’s piece is next to an exposed enemy piece, the jumping must continue (out of his own Castle) as a part of that same move.
This is a return to the 1930 Parker Brothers Camelot rules, as well as to pre-1930 Parker Brothers Chivalry rules. This return is a logical and natural consequence of two Parker Brothers rules from 1930 and 1931: a.) Having jumped over one enemy piece, the jumping must continue as a part of that same move if the player’s piece reaches a square next to another exposed enemy piece, and b.) A player who has jumped one of his pieces over an opponent's piece into his own Castle must, on his next turn to move, immediately move that piece out from his own Castle, with no exception. In fact, the Parker Brothers Rules of Chivalry state, "A player cannot canter a piece to his own starred squares to remain there, but he can make a knight's charge in and out again."
Here's an illustration of a jump into, and, as part of the same move, a continuation jump out of, a player's own Castle.
White is on move. Each player has five Men, but Black is threatening to move his Men into White's Castle. Luckily though, White has a combination at his disposal. 1.H5-F3!
Black is forced to jump. 1....E4xG2
White now has a multiple jump, into and out of his own Castle. 2.H3xF1xD3xD5
White is ahead by two Men, and now should easily win the game.
CAMELOT RULES EVOLUTION
Current WCF Rule: The starting positions are: Green Knights on G13, J13, F14, and K14, Green Men on H12, I12, H13, I13, G14, H14, I14, and J14, Yellow Knights on N6, M7, M10, and N11, Yellow Men on N7, L8, M8, N8, L9, M9, N9, and N10, Red Knights on F3, K3, G4, and J4, Red Men on G3, H3, I3, J3, H4, I4, H5, and I5, Blue Knights on C6, D7, D10, and C11, and Blue Men on C7, C8, D8, E8, C9, D9, E9, and C10.
This change from the 1932 Parker Brothers rules makes the Grand Camelot starting position closely resemble both the look and the dynamics of the Camelot starting position. You can find more discussion of this change here.
Illustrated below are the Camelot Piece setup, the WCF Grand Camelot piece setup, and the Parker Brothers Grand Camelot piece setup.
Current WCF Rule: If an enemy piece reaches a square adjacent to a non-opposite opponent's castle, a player may Jump, or make the jumping portion of a Knight’s Charge, over that enemy piece into that castle.
This change from the 1932 Parker Brothers Grand Camelot rules means that all non-goal castles (the player's own castle, his partner's castle, and his non-opposite opponent's castle) are treated the same. In the 1932 rules, players were prohibited from jumping into the non-opposite opponent's castle.
In the following example, Red is on move, and has the choice of four different Knight's Charges. Note that none of the Charges is mandatory since no Jumps are present. Also note that two of the Knight's Charges make use of a Canter over (Blue) partner's piece―a technique entirely legal in Grand Camelot.
Here are Red's four possible Knight's Charges:
1. E5-G3xI1 Red Charges into his own Castle; he must vacate the Castle on the next move―there is no exception!
2. E5-C7xA9 Red Charges into his (Blue) partner's Castle; he must vacate the Castle on the next move―there is no exception!
3. L12-N10xP8 Red Charges into his (Yellow) non-opposite opponent's Castle; he must vacate the Castle on the next move―there is no exception!
4. L12-J14xH16 Red Charges into his (Green) opposite opponent's Castle; he may not leave the Castle for the remainder of the game―there is no exception!
Current WCF Rule: A player who makes an illegal move must retract that move and make a legal move. If the mistake is only noticed later on, the game must be restarted from the position in which the error occurred.
This change from the Parker Brothers rules (which stated that a player had the choice of accepting or rejecting an illegal move) brings the Camelot family of games into alignment with the modern tournament rules of Chess, Checkers, and other board games.