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Feb 27, 2001, 04:33 AM
Does anyone here play Mornington Crescent?

For those who have led such a sheltered existence that they think that Mornington Crescent is just an area of London, you ought to be told: there have been live broadcasts of entire Mornington Crescent games on British radio for the last 30 years.

I think it's time that CivFanatics were introduced to this quintissentially English game. Well?

Feb 27, 2001, 04:47 AM
No I don't and I have never hear about Mornington Crescent before!! What is it and what is that gameplay???

I have been to London a few time and even in the Mornington Crescent area but newer hear about no game on the Radio over there...

Veni Vidi Vici.

Coolbook: Cunobelin Of Hippo, Hkan Eriksson, vladmir_illych_lenin, Stormerne, PaleHorse76.

Feb 27, 2001, 06:22 AM
I think it's tragic that you've visited the home of this wonderful game and yet never experienced it. The broadcasts I mentioned have been on BBC Radio 4 as part of the long running "I'm sorry I haven't a clue" - a show that has been going for about 30 years and that still has some of its original participants (who have of course become revered masters of the game). It's fair to say that this programme has done more to popularise the game in recent decades than anything else.

Mornington Crescent is a turns based game which is ideally suited to radio, or email, or face to face confrontations, or forums like these. At least two people are needed to play it (though I have seen MC robots on the web for a solitaire version against the "AI"). I have seen many more than that play a single game. Four people play it on the radio show and that makes for a quick and lively game.

To an onlooker, it seems that each player's turn results in one thing: the announcement of a place name. Nowadays these place names are usually (but not always as it depends on the rule set being used) the names of London Underground railway stations as could be found on a "Tube Map". Of course there are many other things that are said, usually discussions of the finer pointers of the rules, but the important thing is always the progression of place names. The game ends when one player announces "Mornington Crescent". There are no second places.

I recommend that you investigate via Google, though I've noticed that some of the sites listed are not quite up to date. (There is usually a big student interest in MC and they tend to use their university sites.) It's of course well worth a trip to "Encyclopaedia Morningtonia"...
That really is not a beginner's tome, but you'll get a flavour of the game from it.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin

[This message has been edited by stormerne (edited February 27, 2001).]

Algernon Pondlife
Mar 05, 2001, 07:27 PM

you are truly evil.

I have just lost an hour (or is it a lifetime?) by following your pointer. I thought I understood the game on the radio despite only tuning in now and then. I never dreamed it would be out there in the electronic ether either.

I may have to give up civ just to spectate.
sorry just lost another twenty minutes.
....and found this:

Morningside Crescent

A more refined, Scottish version of the game which nonetheless follows standard rules
quite closely. Shunting and straddling generally are considered unacceptable.

So I'm going off to learn the rules.

The tactician must know what to do whenever something needs doing;
the strategist must know what to do when nothing needs doing.

Mar 09, 2001, 06:12 AM
Thank you for that accolade Algernon!

I must admit that the variation of Mornington Crescent called Morningside Crescent is intriguing, though I consider its conception somewhat naive. The main problem comes when novices start out on this variation and then think they've mastered the game. Mornington Crescent without shunting and straddling would be like playing football on Wednesdays only. Refined you call it? Pah! In this case refining only means leaving bits out.

But you pose an interesting question. We know that both Civ and Mornington Crescent can be a lifetime's work. Is there enough time to master both?

<IMG SRC="" border=0>

duke o' york
Nov 16, 2001, 11:00 AM
Surrey Quays then....... :)

Crazy Eddie
Nov 17, 2001, 06:45 AM
Heron Quays...

duke o' york
Nov 19, 2001, 07:17 AM
Pursuing the water theme, rather than the potential bird one:

Crazy Eddie
Nov 20, 2001, 07:06 PM
Mmm, Brixton then...

duke o' york
Nov 21, 2001, 03:46 AM

Crazy Eddie
Nov 22, 2001, 08:11 PM
Heh heh, you'll get stuck on the Circle line if your not carefull... :D

duke o' york
Nov 23, 2001, 05:59 AM
I don't mind at all :).
Reminds me of the character in Anthony Buckeridge's Jenning's books and his splendid moon-man helmet.

Nov 23, 2001, 01:47 PM
Thank you for the invitation to join in Duke. Glad to see someone maintaining a fine old English tradition.

I notice you're both playing rather defensively. Which is fair enough for a first time. One can't help thinking that a measure of risk needs to be injected. Therefore, and concomitant with the rules governing with a late start, I would like to hazard the following:
Mile End

Crazy Eddie
Nov 23, 2001, 03:54 PM
Oooh, a feisty strategy!
This calls for a technological gambit...
Tottenham Court Road

Nov 23, 2001, 07:38 PM
That's a worthy reply Eddie. So you really do know how to play the game. Perhaps I shall have to be less impulsive in future.

Hmmm... you're not the famous G. Eddy in real-life are you? You know, the one that played the famous marathon game against W.H. McKenzie in 1983 (and lost).

Crazy Eddie
Nov 25, 2001, 09:09 AM
No, no relation. ;)
I used to listen to ISIHAC quite a lot some years ago, I think I can safely say I know the rules to MC as well as anyone. :D

Nov 25, 2001, 11:21 AM
I listened to ISIHAC this lunchtime in which Tony Hawkes won an impressive game of MC. Humph declared he had scarely witnessed better. I wish I had had a notebook and pencil with me to record the game, but capturing all its nuances using Henri Venbacker's standard notation AND continuing to drive safely at the same time is something I could have only done in my younger days when I played for my county. You didn't record it by any chance did you?

Nov 25, 2001, 11:38 AM
Spent quite a lot of time on the link but I hardly get the strategy... I'm surely a moron but I think I'll need a bit of time before joining you. And I haven't been in London long enough to know everything, although all those names remind me a far far far memory :)

Crazy Eddie
Nov 25, 2001, 01:06 PM
Sorry stormerne, I missed it completely. :(

There is a Mornington Crescent book Genghis, that I'm always meaning to get....

Nov 25, 2001, 06:28 PM
I'll see that. Thanks a lot for the piece of information anyway.
Just a question, though. I think I need to learn by heart my whole map of London streets before being able to play that eh? ;)

duke o' york
Nov 26, 2001, 07:12 AM
Tottenham Court Road, eh?

How's about Wembley Park then?

Storm, sorry for the rather pedestrian start, but I didn't think that it would be fair to open the inaugural Civfanatics' Mornington Crescent game with a blitzkrieg. Shame, as it would have been entertaining :(. Since Eddie has upped the ante, then things should be a little speedier :).

Nov 26, 2001, 08:29 AM
Nice one Duke, pre-empting the huff, though you had to go to Zone 4 to do it. So with the play a lot more open, I'll venture
Green Park
I'll have to watch my Line Velocity, but I think it's worth the risk.

duke o' york
Nov 26, 2001, 09:16 AM
White City :D
Smug, but legitimate I believe.

duke o' york
Nov 28, 2001, 12:09 PM
Come on! It's been a couple of days now! :(

Crazy Eddie
Nov 28, 2001, 10:13 PM
Excuse me, a little known game from Firaxis is taking most of my spare time up at the moment. :D

It's a rushed move, but I think I'll risk breaking the cascade...
Shepherd's Bush

(or is this a BBC cascade? ;) )

Nov 29, 2001, 07:11 AM
You may come to regret such a hurried move.
You must have overlooked the pseudo-straddle.
A simple reverse shunt and I call Fairlop.
Now how are you going to escape the Hainault Loop?

duke o' york
Nov 29, 2001, 09:55 AM
Well to return to the nascent BBC cascade that was nipped in the bud by Stormerne, then I shall hope to confound him in the entanglements of the Grange Hill loop, and try to draw attention from the fact that I have no idea how I can possibly escape the Hainault loop at this relatively early stage of the game.

Nov 29, 2001, 10:35 AM
Nipped in the bud, eh? Ah, you see through the fact that I am admirer of the games of that great West Countryman Hector Framilode. His famous bung was developed for just such occurences. It is sad that few modern players appreciate the delicacy and depth of his work, a fact precipitated no doubt by the difficultly one has nowadays in obtaining his long out of print books.

I find cascades are like a sweet wine. One is often attracted to them in one's youth, forsaking them in maturity for something dryer, only to return to them in one's elder years. From your obvious great love of cascades Duke, does this imply you are in the latter category? I ask this in gentlemanly politeness, as I know thaumaturgy takes years to master.

How would you rate the difficulty level of this BBC cascade (or "Broadcast Cascade" to give it its international nomenclature)? The old Parks and Greens Cascade by contrast causes little problem to any but the most naive opponent. But I would hardly call the players of this game naive.

duke o' york
Nov 29, 2001, 11:13 AM
I grant that thaumaturgical study is a lengthy process and one done absolutely no favours by the engagement in such fripperies and bagatelles as Civilization or indeed Mornington Crescent, but as one who has taken a sabbatical from the more learned pursuits, I feel that this is an excellent opportunity to pit one's wits against those worthy folks equally enamoured of over-long sentence structure.
My fondness for cascades cannot be traced to any kind of youthful obsession with waterfalls, nor for particular chains of old favourite stations. It is founded, rather, in the opportunity to play with words in the hope of one day introducing such an atrocious pun into an otherwise impeccable cascade as to astound the next player into letting his eclair fall from his hand and appeal to the referee for an illegal move while I chuckle and increase my LV to such an extent as to render my pitifully small pile of tokens negligible. The BBC cascade is a remarkably easy one, as many famous television programmes have been set all across the Underground map, although I am yet to see a sitcom concentrating on the lives of those people living around the Mornington Crescent tube station. Rather fortunately, as I am sure that it would put Birds of a Feather to shame with its awfulness. It has the interesting quirk of disallowing some old chestnuts purely for the fact that they are not on BBC. I suppose that if you played the Radio variation then you would be entitled to move from the Kennington Oval to Wembley Park as the sporting occasions at these grounds are still broadcast on BBC radio, despite the fact that the television coverage has been lost to Channel 4 and SKY respectively. (Although technically Wembley is no longer used but if anyone can construct an Underground extension leading to the Cardiff Arms Park by tomorrow then I shall look rather a fool)
Cascades are fun, but sometimes simplicity is equally potent, even by a simple single-station move from Fairlop to Grange Hill. :D

Nov 30, 2001, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by duke o' york
I shall hope to confound him in the entanglements of the Grange Hill loop, and try to draw attention from the fact that I have no idea how I can possibly escape the Hainault loop at this relatively early stage of the game.

Ha! You cannot distract me so easily! Surely we both know that the Grange Hill 'loop' is a loop by name only. The terrors of Hainault still await you both. And the longer you stay the more difficult it will be for you to escape.

Some players will recount the received wisdom that LV and token count are the only factors deciding escape, and they have fears mirroring yours if they find themselves in a holding loop early on in the game. Fair enough.

What they are missing is the often overlooked dashed service lines, i.e. peak hour running. The way to break the Hainault loop, at least in this instance and perhaps in slightly less than a third of most other cases, is to wait for peak hours to play in the Grange Hill 'loop'. You can then build LV on successive rotations and quickly slingshot your way out, either directly on Hainault or via a parallel cascade as in my case.

Thus I play Gants Hill.

If you're quick, you'll just manage it Duke. Eddie may not be so lucky.

Note: for peak hour calculations, international players would first agree their governing convention, whether they are playing "zoned" or "non-zoned" (referring to Timezones, of course, and not travel zones in this case). Naturally for games taking place solely in the UK this is not normally an issue. We are however playing internationally with local timezones available for display. I don't think this has been considered before. We may be breaking new ground. And it's all compounded by the fact that the Civ clock is about hour fast. Therefore I am declaring the Zoned convention valid as adjusted by both our local timezone and the Civilization Fanatic's host server clock. This is, I think, the most lenient method. The practical upshot is, provided I post this after 4.00pm as displayed on the message timestamp on my machine, I shall be operating in peak hours and can successfully use all the effects I've outlined above.

duke o' york
Nov 30, 2001, 11:28 AM

...phew, but it's no longer my turn...........:eek:
Eddie, pull something clever out of the bag!

Crazy Eddie
Dec 01, 2001, 11:17 AM
I can see that stormerne is playing a very strong game here. Normally I might play a huff back into Gants Hill, or even head for Chalfont and Latimer to be on the safe side, but a bold play here might be a better tactic:
Heathrow (Terminal 4)

Dec 02, 2001, 07:57 AM
Bold? Certainly. But also risky. I admit I had more than half expected you to play Chalfont and Latimer, though if it had been my move I would have gone for quite a different option (that would be telling! ;) ).

As it is, your boldness has presented me with an unexpected bonus. I play Liverpool Street and because of the overland connection to Stansted via the Stansted Express that gives me a token windfall. But coupled with the other overland connection to Hook of Holland via Harwich and the Boat Train, the windfall comes in three colours: red, white and blue! :lol:

OK, so I admit my position is only marginally better than the rest of you, as evaluated by a quick Fronsky Diagram. But I now have resources to initiate attacks while still staying resilient to any counter-manoeuvre, a rather nice state of affairs with which to begin the middle game. I just have to ensure I don't become complacent.

Dec 03, 2001, 03:41 AM
I am completely-American....I mean stumped. I need to do that search on google!

duke o' york
Dec 03, 2001, 11:42 AM
Having just returned, nigh exhausted, from those cultural trips to erm, Stanstead and the Hoek van Holland, I am feeling hungry for a return oop north by waiting for a train at Kings Cross (St Pancras if anyone insists on being pedantic), but blocking off Euston so that although you can hear the wonderful street musicians who frequent Mornington Crescent, you can't quite get there yet......

Phew, just managed to avoid the dangerous inner Circle!!!!!

duke o' york
Dec 03, 2001, 12:04 PM
Bored, I decided to look up MC on Google and came up with this: Play MC online!!!!!!! (
The AI's not especially dumb either, although it did somehow manage to knip itself on its first move!!:eek:
I hope that others will enjoy this site, which can be used for perfection of skills, although clearly nothing beats the adrenalin rush of real competition and any further competitors would be most welcome here!:D

Crazy Eddie
Dec 03, 2001, 08:37 PM
Exellent site Duke. :goodjob: Hopefully this will bring the joys of MC to many more people, it seems that few people outside the UK these days can really grasp the subtleties of "The Game of Games" in recent years.
However, your move of Kings Cross / St Pancras gives me a chance to take advantage of the Xmas shopping season and Knerdle both of you with Oxford Circus :)

Quote from The Little Book of Mornington Crescent", the Humphrey Lyttelton interview:

Dimbleby: In view of some of the more unfortunate incidents during the early stages of competition, would you be in favour of a more formal process of drug testing?

Lyttelton: Certainly the drugs should be properly tested before we take them.

duke o' york
Dec 04, 2001, 05:11 AM
Hmm, in an attempt to bring the Harris Three-Blocking shunt into effect, I shall drag you away from the crowded shops and let you get a better perspective of things atop Sudbury Hill.

Amusingly, having just played Graeme Garden in the version I posted above, Northern Line rules, I objected to his moving directly to MC out of strile at the Seven Sisters with the quibble "You look like a monkey", and Humph upheld my quibble! :lol:

Dec 04, 2001, 04:52 PM
Nice move Duke! :goodjob: That was an acid little counter by Eddie and you've done both of us a favour with your deft reposte.

But I know no fear: Dollis Hill

duke o' york
Dec 05, 2001, 04:50 AM
Well one of the first semester's fixed modules at thaumaturgical college is prestidigitation, and my mastery of legerdemain proves most useful in the necessary quick responses to Eddie's lightning style. I wonder if he plays so well when the pace is slower......
For a river view, follow me to Gunnersbury :D

duke o' york
Dec 05, 2001, 11:12 AM
Here's a game I just played against (the AI version of) Barry Cryer. He was clever, but I bided my time and then struck when he seemed to have it sewn up. Would anyone care to analyse this (more than likely fluky) triumph?

Tudor Court Rules with optional straddling

1 duke o' york - Aldgate East (duke o' york is commencing a pincer movement)
2 Barry Cryer - Chesham (Barry Cryer is playing a Forced Pass)
3 duke o' york - Walthamstow Central (duke o' york is now in spoon)
4 Barry Cryer - Bermondsey
5 duke o' york - Grange Hill
6 Barry Cryer - Hyde Park Corner
7 duke o' york - Elephant & Castle
8 Barry Cryer - Warren Street (Barry Cryer is playing Huguenots Gamble)
9 duke o' york - New Cross Gate
10 Barry Cryer - Dollis Hill
11 duke o' york - Sudbury Town (duke o' york has been placed in croop)
12 Barry Cryer - Lancaster Gate (Barry Cryer has played a strile)
13 duke o' york - Maida Vale (duke o' york has boxed out the F, J, O and W placings)
14 Barry Cryer - Oval (Barry Cryer has played a diagonal knerdle and is now in nidd)
15 duke o' york - Brondesbury Park
16 Barry Cryer - Lambeth North
17 duke o' york - Fulham Broadway (duke o' york has quartered the Central Line)
18 Barry Cryer - Bermondsey
19 duke o' york - Mornington Crescent
duke o' york has won!

You can tell my fondness for out-of-the-way stations from this game, and my reluctance to venture inside the circle line except when necessary. Have to chide myself for some of the moves, but a few were particularly noteworthy. :) What does anyone else think?

Dec 05, 2001, 12:36 PM
This really must be simply chalked-off as "one of those British things"... as a very American person with a good understanding of "one of those German things"... I simply don't get the point to this "game".

Must be one of those British things...

Crazy Eddie
Dec 05, 2001, 08:30 PM
Looking at your game duke, I think that AI Cryer's play of Hyde Park Corner to break out of the Grange Hill Loop was a bit suspect - Your following move south of the Thames seems to have put it onto the defensive for the rest of the game. My last game I tried to be too clever and played Brompton Rd, usually a good move to throw players into confusion, but the AI was less easily thrown off balance - he quickly declared MC. Doh! My usual psychological tactics were useless against a lump of doped silicon, of course. ;)

My move? Let's keep the pace slow, then. Passports at the ready - it's Pimlico

duke o' york
Dec 06, 2001, 09:55 AM
Well I'm afraid that I left my passport at home and so was unable to enter the People's Republic of Pimlico, instead using the time to take in the art at the Tate Gallery. Inspired, but in need of a little change, I invite you to examine something a little more up to date at the new Tate Modern, a short walk from Southwark tube station.

Dec 06, 2001, 06:30 PM
I thought about following Duke's example and playing something needlessly obscure. But perhaps that is his plan, to lull the rest us into a stupor where we play carelessly. Then I thought, "Damn it, no one is going to make me play anything other than my naturally aggressive style." So time for a little gravitas: Westminster

Crazy Eddie
Dec 06, 2001, 09:46 PM
Hmm, entering Westminster with such a low LV gives few options without being placed in knip. :(
I'll try to open the game up a bit, so: Baker Street

Dec 07, 2001, 05:26 AM
I'm following this competition for a while :) and well, I think I got the goal purpose, although I don't always understand the strategy... :) but anyway that seems a tough fight eh :)
PS: how can you switch from westminster to baker street? :confused:

duke o' york
Dec 07, 2001, 09:28 AM
I'm wondering if Eddie hasn't placed himself in croop with that last move, but will press on regardless as we didn't establish a specific rules variant before we began and so I assume we are playing a good old-fashioned MC.
From Baker Street to: Arnos Grove. :D

Dec 07, 2001, 05:31 PM
Duke: I think it would ungentlemanly to invoke Tottershaft's Law against Eddie. As you say, we didn't agree a variant at the outset so we ought to play the default rules.

Khanh: Eddie's move was a simple reverse shunt along the Jubilee line. He really didn't have much option as his line velocity was so low. His only alternative would have been to "pass", but that would only have reduced his LV further. However, he will have to halve his LV anyway because I have the token power to now declare a "bifurcation" allowing me to split the game into two parallel threads and play Chalk Farm and Cutty Sark simultaneously! All players must now move in both threads every turn and, while bifurcation lasts, the game can only be won by playing Mornington Crescent in both strands simultaneously.

You may reasonably enquire why I have played a bifurcation. It is simply to thwart Duke! The best way to beat him is actually to continue to play aggressively. But then I would have to do all the work, and it's the end of the week and I'm feeling lazy! If I bifurcate, Duke's strategy of obfuscation will work against him and he'll end up obsfuscating himself into oblivion unless he breaks out of the pattern and hands me the advantage. In other words, he does all the work and I still end up ahead.

It's a very English twist to this very English game, Khanh, that I'm openly telling him all this.

Crazy Eddie
Dec 08, 2001, 07:53 AM
Well at least the peculiarities of the quadrant 5 "Docklands Triangle" allow me to boost my LV a bit (although with some degree of curvature), but I'm still struggling on the Northern Line.

Camden Town and Gallions Reach then.

duke o' york
Dec 10, 2001, 06:48 AM
This split could make things a lot more interesting from a tactical standpoint, but for the moment I shall continue my slow drift away from the Circle line, in the, admittedly vain, hope of luring you into a false sense of security and then striking with serpentine swiftness. As Clive of India once watched dumbfounded when the Raj followed Camden Town with Perivale, so I hope shall you. I do also hope, however, that your reaction does not lead you to the extreme lengths that did Clive's. From Gallions Reach to Totteridge and Whetstone may seem foolhardy, but I'm sure that such seasoned competitors as yourselves will not rush to judgement, especially in a game such as our beloved MC.

Dec 10, 2001, 06:14 PM
Perivale / Totteridge and Whetstone ? Hmmm...

Russell Square which I declare as my Home Station on that thread, and
Mornington Crescent on the other thread.

Crazy Eddie
Dec 10, 2001, 08:35 PM
Mornington Crescent ? ah you taunt me Stormerne. :p I'll refrain from declaring a home station even with my low LV, I'm still out to grab as many tokens as I can.
There's a nice move I can make here - Paddington (Circle & District) and Paddington (Hammersmith & City)
When play is bifurcated I just love to play moves like this. :D

duke o' york
Dec 11, 2001, 04:20 AM
In a cunning plan to debifurcate this game and to try to lessen any further complications our esteemed occasional French visitor may be having in understanding the game, I shall propose a cunning ploy to try and bring the game back to a unilinear motion.
So from the depths of Mr Gruber's shop, having bumped into Paddington, I find myself en route(s?) to Heathrow Terminal 4 and Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3 respectively. If you can get out of this particular one-way system and still manage to keep the bifurcation going then I doff my hat to you.

In case of any doubt, I meant that Genghis is an occasional spectator on our game, not occasionally French. :D

Dec 11, 2001, 08:01 AM
Thanks a lot for your help duke, it's true I got lost with the ending of the game though... had to look at the London map often:crazyeyes
Anyway, yeah I'm spying and lurking over this bloody battlefield thread quite a lot;)
sigh, missing the good old time spent in London... :(

duke o' york
Dec 11, 2001, 09:18 AM
But it's not over yet Genghis!
Stormerne may have played Mornington Crescent, but under the split route system, bifurcation, it is necessary to reach MC simultaneously on both lines. And so the game goes on! :D

Dec 11, 2001, 12:59 PM
yum, lot of blood in perspective.... :D

Dec 11, 2001, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by duke o' york
If you can get out of this particular one-way system and still manage to keep the bifurcation going then I doff my hat to you.
We'll see. I'm no newcomer to bifurcation, both in attack and in defence, and once upon a time I would myself have played as you have just played. But years of bitter experience have taken their toll and the Heathrow ploy is simply not good enough nowadays.

So straight in with the killer stroke... I'm not going to beat about the bush. Or maybe I am, for here is my eponymous move, Stormerne's Rebuttal:
Shepherd's Bush (Central line) and Shepherd's Bush (Hammersmith and City line).


duke o' york
Dec 12, 2001, 07:25 AM
Well..... I shan't be too concerned for Genghis this time and shall continue to push ahead with the bifurcated (but never truncated) game: Amersham and Lewisham spreads the play quite nicely, with Eddie needing something rather special to avoid placing himself in croop.

Crazy Eddie
Dec 12, 2001, 08:30 PM
Indeed there is something special :)
With play still bifurcated I have a very powerful reply ready. Playing simultaniously "Crusher" Hall's favorite response and the "Engelbert Maneouvre" -
Aldgate East and (using one of my hoarded tokens) Bank
A cunning plan, I think you will agree. ;)

Dec 13, 2001, 04:04 PM
Very nice Eddie. I see you have recovered all your position and done it with not a little elegance and even some panache. I have a new respect for you.

In which case, I need to take special measures myself. Let's see you both get out of this loop:
Dollis Hill and Dollis Hill.

Crazy Eddie
Dec 13, 2001, 09:51 PM
:eek: Extremely nasty stormerne.
Duke, we could be in trouble here. :sad:

duke o' york
Dec 14, 2001, 04:20 AM
Stormerne has a very peculiar fondness for Dollis Hill, and although I am sure it is a very pleasant area and have no intention of causing the inhabitants of Willesden any offence, it does not seem to have any better charms than its neighbours Willesden Green and Neasden. Or Elephant and Castle or Brixton even. So there is something at Dollis Hill that irresistibly draws Stormerne there. It'd be tempting to declare it my home station to stick a sneaky spanner into the works, but I don't think that it would be a tactically sound manoeuvre at this stage of the game. Maybe for the next game though......
From Dollis Hill we can go to Ravenscourt Park, by grace of a neat lateral strile, and from er, Dollis Hill again, the Arbuthnot riposte dictates another visit to Mornington Crescent.

Crazy Eddie
Dec 15, 2001, 07:49 PM
A neat move Duke, but difficult for me to find a move that Stormerne won't be able to take advantage of.
As it would be dangerous for me to declare Squonk at this point, I'll play a waiting move here - From Ravenscourt Park & Mornington Crescent to:
Mornington Crescent & Ravenscourt Park

Dec 16, 2001, 08:35 AM
Hmmm... you beat me to it Eddie. I was going quibble the legality of Duke's last move but ended up going to a party instead. There really was enough gravitational attraction to force everyone into the Dollis Hill loop - and I think you guessed that. I would like to have seen Duke do the maths publically which showed that he could simply ride roughshod over such basic rules. But I lost my opportunity with the delay.

However, it's a gentlemanly game isn't it? :mad: All this will do is make me move up a gear. I am beginning to suspect that Duke is a closet Trellisite. How very twee. But I have not forgotten the patient mentoring of my childhood hero Eamon Ruttsborough. So far, you have seen the gentle and forgiving side of my play. Now you will see Stormerne uncloaked. Prepare - if you can - to savour the darker side of Mornington Crescent...

But first a little preparation. Some weaponry from Arsenal, and I need to stop by the British Museum to pick up some "other items", so I'll return to my Home station of Russell Square.

Crazy Eddie
Dec 16, 2001, 08:49 AM
It's a fair cop guv :blush:
As I could see a quick way out of the Dollis Hill Loop - even if the rules were "bent" a little in the process - I went for it.

duke o' york
Dec 17, 2001, 07:36 AM
Well from the position at Arsenal, any kind of lateral shift would put me in nidd, so this will require a token pay-off to avoid my LV being reduced to a negligible rate. By moving to Gloucester Road, and placing a yellow token there, I effectively claim the circle line as my own and manage to escape the peril of nidd for another turn at least. The momentum change caused by that diagonal sweep means that, whereas my triple Helsinki from Russell Square would ordinarily take a natural progression toward Lambeth North, it now turns with the reverse spin of an Anil Kumble googly and we are catapulted instead to Ladbroke Grove. :eek:

Crazy Eddie
Dec 17, 2001, 08:57 PM
I'll take a leaf out of Stormerne's book and get ready for a stiff fight. First stop, Lancaster Gate, for some airpower, then to the ghost station of Down Street, and Winston Churchill's war room. :soldier:

Dec 18, 2001, 05:20 PM
Ho ho - that's more like it! A fight at last...

But I didn't say I was going to play fair anymore. Having acquired weapons from Arsenal, I now return to Surrey Quays and visit the Millwall ground. The fans are fearsome at the best of times, but heavily armed they are unstoppable. (I don't toy with my prey - I prefer direct action, short and brutal...)

And how very appropriate, Eddie, that you are employing a "ghost" station. My call at the British Museum :egypt: furnished me with a number of allies of spectral origin :vampire: which I have sent to the outer termini. If you find yourself blocked in the suburbs you'll know why. They have a tendency to burrow inward towards their home in the museum, and the blocking loop gets smaller and smaller until you are caught in its net... And of course the British Museum is the home of the Podume of Ultimate Evil. Or rather was its home until the weekend. Mwahahaha! Now I can unleash my ultimate weapon - the Septimus Divergence - as I "possess" Seven Sisters.

A note for the audience - well, Khanh at least - by way of explanation:
"Rumoured to have its origins in the arcane playing style of Aleister Crowley, the Septimus Divergence is a seven-way line bifurcation centred upon Seven Sisters, with underlinks made automatically to the next seven moves made by any of the players. Initialised at the right time, this can prove devastating - the underlinks effectively put Seven Sisters a level below the other stations, and with careful choice of targets this can lead to an almost incredible token buildup. Being one of the Underground's three Holding Stations, it is possible to gather every game token at Seven Sisters, and strile unimpeded to Mornington Crescent with several dozen bonus points." - Encyclopaedia Morningtonia
Fortunately this kind of bifurcation is one of time not space. We still keep our two threads.

duke o' york
Dec 19, 2001, 07:18 AM
Well if there's going to be a ruck then I'll need to equip myself properly. Where better to start than Cannon Street, to allow me a greater range of attack and to defend my position, dug in at Tower Hill? Stormerne's spectral legions may have siezed control of suburbia, but woe betide those who try to make headway in range of my cannons within the Circle Line. Let battle commence!!

Dec 19, 2001, 04:53 PM
Learning everyday even more from both of you :)

Crazy Eddie
Dec 20, 2001, 07:03 PM
I hope you're learning from me as well Genghis. (even if only how to make rash and unconsidered moves ;) )

A special move for each of you:
First to counter Stormerne's Millwall fans, I'll stop at West Ham The fans there will be only too ready for a scrap with the Millwall lads. And to pound Duke into submission I'll move to Tower Bridge, just along the river from HMS Belfast and her 12 6" guns - just the thing to breach the walls of the Tower.

The forward turrets are apparently aimed at the Gateway Motorway services on the M1, so I might as well give them a salvo as a complaint about motorway services in general. :D

Dec 21, 2001, 01:10 AM
West Ham??? You really know how to put a torrent of Millwall fans in a good humour don't you Eddie. As a result, there seems to be an air of defiant incredulity in their ranks, and mutterings of "with one hand tied behind our backs". News reports suggest that they've gone to Tottenham Court Road to pillage the many electronics shops there for consumer goods. On the other hand they're also chanting "Come on, if you think you're hard enough" as a taunt to your fans Eddie.

And while you two sort it out by the River, I'm simply raking in the tokens as a result of my last move to Seven Sisters - but that was expected. There's still a few more tokens to squeeze out, and the wraiths are tightening the noose, so I will simply pass on this move.

duke o' york
Dec 21, 2001, 04:16 AM
Things seem to be heating up in our capital's stadia, although the atrocious quality of football at both Upton Park and the New Den may have something to do with this. I am tempted to bring my own team's fans into play, but can't face trawling round the underground system in search of Newcastle fans still celebrating the victory over Arsenal and so will let them return to the eminently less confusing Newcastle Metro system (ideal for quick MC games!). Instead, I shall pop into New Scotland Yard by the St James' Park tube to get some riot gear for dealing with the hordes of frustrated football purists of West Ham and Millwall. I can always create some kind of warp gate here linked to St James' station on the Metro system and use it to transport some Geordie fans if necessary.:enlighten
In order to fend off the threat of Stormerne's spectral legions, I shall be visiting St Paul's to fill my water pistol with holy water and thereby reopen the suburban stations.

Merry Christmas to my fellow players and to our guest Genghis. I shall be off work, and therefore without CFC access until Thursday and then between Saturday and Thursday over New Year. I do hope you don't let the LV of our game drop in this time, and I shall return to take my turns on Thursday. I was tempted to knerdle myself so that I could pass the next two turns and not have to worry about taking a MC break, but war is on the horizon and I would have been surely vanquished if I tried to "do a Switzerland".

Crazy Eddie
Dec 22, 2001, 06:55 PM
While the football hooligans and Duke's riot police fight it out I'll nip to Charing Cross and arrange some ambulances.
Meanwhile, I'm off to Barbican to book a ticket for Koyaanisqatsi which is showing there on the 11th Jan. :goodjob:

Merry Xmas Duke! :santa:
though if your offline until thurs maybe it's too late to say that now...

Dec 23, 2001, 05:45 PM
Don't blame you Eddie. But take your time... you have plenty (see below).

Duke: In all the times I have played Crowley's Invocation and sent my ghastly minions abroad, no one has ever before come up with the simple counterthreat of holy water before. That is an inspired riposte Sir, though I fear your dramatic inspiration will lead to nought.

Gentlemen, this aggressive stance of mine has all been a ruse, a diversion, to draw your gaze away from my real intention. It is difficult, I admit, to ignore the ragings of 20,000 Millwall supporters. And it is probably unwise to ignore the insidious chill of vampiric shades which have their own interpretation of what "terminal" means. But the idea was to distract you both with these highly militant manoevres and leave the way open for simple endgame play.

Thus, while you are busy with entrenching and otherwise preparing for a scrap around the City, it is my duty to inform you that the scrap will not materialise. For in thread 1, while your attention is elsewhere, a simple reverse shunt now takes me unopposed to Mornington Crescent. And in thread 2, I can cash in the massive token fall that came from my Septimus Divergence at Seven Sisters, translate this to Line Velocity, and - in the words of Encyclopaedia Morningtonia - "strile unimpeded to Mornington Crescent with several dozen bonus points".

Since I thus reach Mornington Crescent on both threads simultaneously, the game is mine gentlemen. But I must say you have both been worthy opponents and in particular I am recommending Duke for a citation in MC Monthly for his ploy at St. Pauls - a stunning move utterly belied by his earlier stodgy play.

Crazy Eddie
Dec 23, 2001, 06:51 PM
Well, I didn't see that coming... :eek:

Dec 26, 2001, 06:36 PM
How long do you plan to deceive foreigners for???

Mornington Crescent as played on "I'm sorry I haven't a clue" isn't for has all the trappings of a game without actually being one.

If some people have gone away and devised rules I think that is very sad and certainly would have ruined my "gaming" many a time when "playing" this game in "Bar24" at Durham.

In which other game would people continuously make comments about each others styles, the sublety of their moves etc? None but a fraud!

It is a typically English/British joke and like Pantomine the rest of the world look on amazed and confused! (Americans and other foreigners don't do pantomine ;) )

Dec 26, 2001, 06:43 PM


This really must be simply chalked-off as "one of those British things"... as a very American person with a good understanding of "one of those German things"... I simply don't get the point to this "game".

Must be one of those British things...

Dec 26, 2001, 07:00 PM
You're a very sad and cynical person Kitten. I will not allow you to detract from the brilliance of my win with your hysterical comments. If you were truly a connaisseur of this game, wouldn't your efforts have been better spent in joining in the play rather than in spreading vicious rumours?

Or do I detect a note of envy in your post? Could it be that the real reason for your scandalous remarks is that you'd simply find yourself outclassed and out of your depth in such exalted and experienced company if you risked playing with us?

Dec 26, 2001, 11:14 PM
When it comes to bull****ting you beat me every time :p

duke o' york
Dec 27, 2001, 03:57 AM
Ho ho ho.:santa:

Your fanciful notions will only lead more people to think that this game is a hoax and deter potential contestants. Shame on you Kitten.

Congratulations storm! :goodjob: A clever subterfuge certainly handed you the game and Eddie and I can only shake our heads in disappointment and return to studying the Admiral Nelson's little-known treatise "How I beat Johnny Foreigner at MC and wot I done" in the British Museum library.

Although the temptation to broaden our horizons with a game of Etienne Marcel on the Parisian Metro or have a "quickie" by playing on the Newcastle Metro is strong, I think that this is too optimistic for our nascent MC culture here and shall propose a game using the Ancient Modern rules and beginning with a visit to Borough.......

Dec 27, 2001, 04:22 AM
Many thanks for your congratulations Duke. :blush:

I'm pleased to see that you have read Nelson's work before. Sad to say that many young players - of whom Kitten is obviously one - don't even know of its existence. I put this down to the increasingly spoonfed modern culture where television documentaries are seen as a substitute for personal research. So in the circumstances, I fear you're right about branching out just yet.

Of course we could demand that Kitten put his money where his mouth is. Perhaps he should play one of us in single combat, with another of us acting as umpire to resolve quibbles. Therefore I will pause without making a reply as yet, and if Kitten should perchance respond to your fine opener, I will honoured to take the place of Humph.

Algernon Pondlife
Dec 27, 2001, 03:49 PM
Stormerne, sorry, I missed your reply. Anyway I think I got you this time.

"refined" is a matter of social goegraphy and, as you probably know "those and such as those" need not concern themselves with the rules that govern the more common sorts.

(you really have to imagine listening to this in Maggie Smith's best Edinburgh accent to really understand).

I hope I'm being far too obscure:D

Jan 03, 2002, 10:31 AM
Hi everybody. I was away for a while, but obviously i didn't miss lot of things. :)
Btw, congrats Storm :goodjob:

a bit off topic but, how was Christmas in Mornington ? ;)

duke o' york
Jan 04, 2002, 02:34 AM
You'lll be glad to know that everything was as usual this Christmas on Mornington Crescent. The spirit of seasonal goodwill was in abundance as the young ragamuffins and urchins of the area were invited into the parlours of well-to-do houses and offered Christmas treats. The bootblacks gave lusty voice to their favourite carols as a light sprinkling of snow ensured that the Northern Line passengers had pleasant views but were not too badly delayed as they went about their business. Even the local bawdy houses gave in to the festive spirit and invited the gentlemen to partake in their varied delights at a reduced rate, or even just to pop in for a quick game of MC.

I too have been concerned about the relative lack of activity at our virtual tea room here, and suspect that the Kitten is still off frolicking and shall not be returning to take up the challenge offered by Stormerne. In that case, I say that we ought to fill in the time until he tires of rolling in snow and chasing snowflakes with another game of MC! Quite a notion, I think you'll agree, but I believe that we're up to the task. Who would like to respond to my admittedly tentative opening at Borough? Feel free to join in this round our Mongol friend. :D

Jan 04, 2002, 04:56 AM
Well what a nice invitation. :)
But I fear I'll spoil that round more than play it.
I'll kindly decline but I'll keep on lurking and wait for another Stormerne's victory ;)
Yes, this sentence was totally provocative :D

Jan 04, 2002, 06:47 PM
As always, Khanh, you are too modest. We shall make allowances like the gentlemen we are. Come: don't be shy.

While you reconsider, and since I'm in a fairly relaxed mood after the seasonal break, I shall respond to Duke's opener by playing West Ham.

duke o' york
Jan 08, 2002, 03:01 AM
Hmm... A bit disappointed that no-one else has responded to Storm's ham acting yet, and so I shall break convention and take the next turn in a no doubt vain effort to inspire some more players by increasing the line velocity and promising a fast-moving action-packed game.

To slingshot us back into the fast lane and hopefully attract new contenders, I shall play the Parson's gambit, and double our line velocity with a double strile to Ongar. Widely acknowledged as a risky tactic, particularly in the opening exchanges, and played without the safety net of a declared home station, this brave or foolhardy move may just inject the required LV into the game and prevent it becoming one of the slow-paced tactical struggles so beloved of purists and so detested by newbies. Will someone pick up the Ongar gauntlet?

Jan 08, 2002, 06:08 PM
Ah... a ghost station, and so early in the game too.

Should I continue in my ebullient mood? Should I tread the leafy lanes around Ongar and, despite my being heathen, visit one of my two very favourite churches (the Saxon one at Greensted; the other is at Thaxted), maintain my magnanimous smile and play something uncharacteristically gentle such as Upminster? Truly a benign response and, after all, in total keeping with the Parson. Or should I play true to form after the manner of my childhood hero Eamon Ruttsborough?

It will have to be Ruttsborough. Even the mention of his name fires me with imagination (albeit dark imagination). And with Line Velocity suddenly to the fore, how could I help but expose the waywardness of your last move except to force Victoria. OK, it's playing to the gallery, but mine is the showmanship of the gladiator.

duke o' york
Jan 09, 2002, 02:36 AM
A splendid riposte! I made no secret that mine was a risky play, but I thought that something a little flashy was required to spark interest in the watching lurkers. I should have realised that it is never a good idea to showboat against an opponent as accomplished as yourself Storm, especially so early in the game, but I managed to bag a couple of black tokens to help me through the difficulty my hotheadedness has placed me in. I shall therefore return to more measured tactics, albeit typecasting myself again as one who just loves to go "south of the river, down Mexico way!" (getting a bit carried away there, but I might remember that and employ a twinkly Sinatra shuffle later in the game if I find myself in trouble) with a trip to Colliers Wood. I realise that this places me in nidd for the next turn so I hope that another (more worthy) opponent rises to the MC challenge or else you will be having the next two turns to yourself and I will be left in a sticky mess indeed. If no-one shows their face then I suppose that I could expend my tokens to get out of nidd next go, but I would prefer to save them for later, no doubt to save my own skin. :D

Jan 09, 2002, 10:06 AM
OK, I'll take you up on your double-blind, if only to give you a bit of a shunt.....presumably at this advanced level we are allowed sidings? Saxmundham! Of course this journey is 'Pullman', since it is 'to the country'.
I think you were wise to retain the tokens, o'york!

Jan 10, 2002, 04:02 PM
Ouch! Welcome, polymath, to the mle! Your intervention has caught me somewhat by surprise, having girded myself for an in-city match only and having reconciled myself to a single if capable opponent.

Saxmundham eh? You know you will confuse the audience with that wild swipe. Just when they were beginning to feel comfortable with the old city rules, you come and introduce the arcane Anglian Rollback. You deserve to be cooked in Sizewell 'B'.

OK, I suppose I can rise to the bait. Your own evil designs will be used against you. I will simultaneously block and straddle at Stratford - and get a token windfall into the bargain. Hoist by your own petard!

duke o' york
Jan 11, 2002, 05:57 AM
Well things are certainly getting "a bit tasty" now, as Storm's legions of Millwall fans would have it.
I think that the necessary injection of pace into the game has brought unexpected bonuses, especially in the form of polymath, evidently already an accomplished player. I shall have to be more careful this time then, and avoid the potential traps that Stormerne has already begun to set. His moves so far seem to follow the classic Cartesian treble block, so woe betide those who venture to Seven Sisters in the next few turns, but this could also be a front for another potential Gordon's gin trap at Green Park. I shall have to avoid those two stations until Storm has made a few more moves and I have a better idea of what he is planning.
Thanks to polymath's very gracious shunt, I still hold the tokens from the round before, but from Stratford no ideal opportunities to use them would present themselves and so I shall have to play the holding game once again. With a reverse helix I can drag the play away from its southward tendence and by employing the Gant's Hill transition, I bag another handful of orange tokens at South Woodford. While taking the turn after Stormerne's denies me the chance to place him in nidd, I will do all I can to ensure that another player can register a victory and be catapulted into the CFC MC Hall of Fame by leaving polymath with a prime opportunity to knerdle our Saxon opponent. Whether he takes it remains to be seen, but if too many such opportunities are ignored then we shall surely remain as we have just been placed, on the back foot. :o

Jan 11, 2002, 06:01 AM
Sorry, I posted too late, I must re-formulate.

Jan 11, 2002, 10:28 AM
OK, I admit the "Stratford Staddle" (or "Bard's Gambit" as it is known in the South) was unexpected, as experts in the historical aspects of the game are rare nowadays. And Duke O'York's reverse helix was an elegant manoeuvre, but it does allow me to use one of my Compass Cards as a joker.
I'll make a blind draw, the card pulled is West, which takes me to Hereford. It still leaves the 'knerdle' operative but avoidable. You must think think me naive, given that a 'knerdle' can easily be doubled leaving Duke O'York with the win. Well sir, I am not so naive. And don't forget that we still haven't seen the Ticket Inspector. Yet.

Jan 11, 2002, 09:06 PM
Ok, I have been looking at this thread for quite a while now, and I still don't get one bit of this games object! I see you have to name a place in London, but what, how do you play? What is the object? Is there a winner or loser? It sounds interesting. I hope I don't have to know anything about London... :D

Jan 11, 2002, 10:03 PM
"Don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to"

Ohwell, welcome nonetheless. Before polymath's intervention, I would have said that all you needed to follow this game was a map of London's underground railway system and your wits. (Actually you would have needed a whole suite of maps from different eras because we were allowing reverse transit moves via ghost stations. But you get the picture I'm sure.) All I can say is "Watch and Learn". Mornington Crescent is too deep a game to be taught in a few short paragraphs in a public forum. Trust me when I say it is better to learn by osmosis. You will need to be patient and alert. But rest assured that winners there are.

For future reference please consult the Online version of The Encyclopaedia Morningtonia ( Also you can use a map of the London Underground ( or "Tube" map as it is affectionately called. There you will find, arrayed in black on the Northern Line, the Mornington Crescent of which we speak.

Having said all that, those maps will help you little in the face of polymath's open play. His advanced tactics are likely to leave newcomers like yourself more confused than ever. I did elliptically reprimand about this but he continues unabated. And, I fear, I cannot play woodenly and transparently in response. So I suspect that my own moves will leave you puzzled for a while until we regain Mornington Proximity.

To return to the game in hand...

polymath, you cannot lull me into a stupor by engaging the wily ways of the world's best cider country. I have the measure of you and I am beginning to suspect your true identity. I can play you at your own game: take Gilberdyke sir!

Jan 12, 2002, 01:19 PM
The Wise Stormerne said:
"All I can say is "Watch and Learn".
That's why I'm not taking part at the feast yet ;) Hehe, the little scarab still has a long way to go before becoming a Mornington Jedi :D

Jan 12, 2002, 11:39 PM
Stormerne, as you pointed out my manoeuvres were not standard, and since there are beginners present it is best to return to a straightforward tube system. I feel, for the benefit of those beginners, and not least because of your thorough understanding of the rules which I was hoping would not stretch this far, I should quote the following from the rule book:
"Mornington Crescent is still, technically, a gentleman's game. Therefore, it is automatically assumed that all moves are legal unless an opposing player takes the trouble to question the legality of the move, in which case the rules are consulted."
But by continuing "to the country" you have given me leeway, so I can at least move back without penalty, for which my thanks.
So, my move is thus:
To Barnet, and orthodoxy.

duke o' york
Jan 14, 2002, 07:17 AM
I wouldn't be overly concerned at your expansion of the boundaries of play for in the last game Storm continued his move to Liverpool Street by taking a trip to admire the Dutch tulip fields. We are not, therefore, likely to be stymied by such excursions, seeing them rather as bracing and a pleasant change of scene from which we can return to the more traditional zones with renewed vigour. It would be a particularly boorish and cynical player who tried to upbraid you for your inventive style and one I hope who would not be welcome in this game.
Having said that, I had trouble finding whereabouts orthodoxy was on the tube map and will assume that your move finished with Barnet and you haven't bifurcated. (Apologies to all for that atrocious joke, but I'm in the mood for atrocious humour and decided to indulge myself :D).
Having chosen to try and capitalise on the orange token windfall I siezed last turn I shall unfortunately be unable to entrap the next player at Shoreditch until peak time comes around again as I have also missed it, but will leave you at Shadwell to gaze upon the forbidden fruit of the DLR (Ancient Modern rules, remember) and admire the shiny if equally unreliable new trains :D.

Jan 15, 2002, 03:02 PM
Well perhaps I shall relax a little after all.
I shall visit my chums in Sloane Square for cocktails.
Care to join me anyone?

duke o' york
Jan 17, 2002, 02:48 AM
Don't mind if I do, that would be simply delightful old bean. How you come to have friends in Sloane Square is beyond me, but I am growing nervous and too aware of the yawning social chasm as we hobnob with the glitterati and yearn for something more down to earth. I therefore propose a trip to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub on Fleet Street for some Sam Smith's real ale, at the right price! Having indulged in the charms therein, I stagger back to Blackfriars and incredibly manage to find a seat on the platform for better easing of my aching head.

Jan 22, 2002, 01:54 PM
This is great! I used to follow in my Usenet days, but that was about ten years ago and I'm amazed to see what variants have spawned since then. Still, like the evolution from Civ1 to Civ2 and Civ3, I think that they enhance the gameplay even if they do make it a bit complex and occasionally frustrating for old-timers.

An amusing story about my own introduction to MC: my father taught me a game called "Foggy Bottom" that uses the Washington DC Metro system, when I was a wee lad in the early 1980's. It wasn't until the 90's and my introduction to Usenet that I realized that Foggy Bottom was nothing but a cheap Americanized version of Mornington Crescent!

I wonder how many other ignorant Americans fell into this trap...

Jan 22, 2002, 03:26 PM
Welcome to our little thread Jimcat. Perhaps you can enlighten our audience further about Foggy Bottom. How does it compare to MC? Are the basic rules the same? Does it allow for the depth and complexity that goes hand in hand with MC? Or is it strictly for beginners only?

It seems that either I have scared polymath away or that he is taking a short skiing holiday. Either way I shall take advantage of the hiatus.

Duke, I have friends everywhere. It comes of marrying into Sicilian blood in part. Though I would seem simply to be a social chameleon, my designs are much deeper. You shouldn't let it tax your brains, especially with a head in your condition.

Blackfriars eh? That reminds me, I must visit some 'colleagues' down in the East End. We go on, via Aldgate East to Bangla Town and discuss business over a curry. You're not invited to this one.

duke o' york
Jan 24, 2002, 02:45 AM
Although chicken tikka masala may be the new signature dish for Britain, at this time of the morning I don't particularly feel like expressing my Britishness in such a spicy way, especially given the nasty jolts that the Underground can give you. I might have had to alight early to search for an empty cubicle were I to have a curry this early. Not that I was invited..... :cry:
I am intrigued by these wild tales of versions of civilised sport in other lands and shall instead travel to Tottenham Court Road to ask at the American Embassy for more details of Foggy Bottom. For those who have seen the Coen brothers' seminal O Brother Where Art Thou? I wonder if there are Foggy Bottom Boys who travel the country delighting the crowds with their close harmony singing and skewed version of MC :).

Jan 24, 2002, 06:36 AM
Contrary to rumour and surmise, I have neither been scared nor skiing, at least not in the last month or so. In fact, I have been unwell in the stomach, thankfully not with the virus that causes one to be able to spraypaint a large radius with vomit.
Well, well, Tottenham Court Road? And onward, one short stop past the gaudy electronic retailers to Oxford Circus, since the journey will be much easier to bear in my invalid condition.

Jan 24, 2002, 09:45 AM
The BASIC, as in most basic, rules of Foggy Bottom are the same as those for Mornington Crescent. But you have to keep in mind that the Washington Metrorail is far less complex than the London Underground, and that right there takes away much of the original game's richness. On the other hand, it is much easier for beginners, children, and Americans to learn. I for one am glad that I had a few years of Foggy Bottom under my belt before trying to take on Mornington Crescent.

One intriguing thing about the evolution of Foggy Bottom over the years has been the expansion of the Metrorail subway system itself. When I first learned the game in 1981, there were no Green or Yellow Lines at all! It's hard for recent players to imagine not being able to play the Potomac Cutoff or the Chinatown Bypass, to name just a couple of classic plays that have emerged as the system construction expanded. Just the extension of the Orange Line past Rosslyn did wonders for the skilled player's ability to recover from a formerly untenable position.

As far as the music goes, I'm a fan of American traditional music myself, but there's no connection between the Foggy Bottom Boys and Foggy Bottom, the game. The place name does seem to be a popular one in the south, which says a lot about the area.

Jan 25, 2002, 03:26 PM
Welcome back polymath. With all this sickness going around, it's the perfect excuse to open the fifth quadrant. (For beginners or for those think that's clearly ridiculous, that's the first octave by way of right ascension.) Thus I will play Elephant and Castle, get a little exercise by walking down the Walworth Road and call in at Baldwins at number 173 to stock up on herbal remedies. The more astute observers will recognise this as the key move of the Black and Tan Foldback, generally regarded as a safe strategy in the circumstances. What?? Stormerne playing safe?? Hmm... perhaps not... we'll see!

Jan 28, 2002, 06:10 AM
E&C? Mmm, isn't there a trick here I can't see? That seems a bit quiet. Too quiet :) Maybe he's preparing something...

duke o' york
Jan 28, 2002, 07:37 AM
My my, Stormerne has actually just told us of his Black and Tan intentions, which ought to immediately signal to all the other players that he has no intention whatsoever of playing out this tactic. But where else will he move, and to what effect. Since my own, slightly smaller, MC version of Deep Blue, Deep Puce as I call it, has ceased to function reliably since the move to Saxmundham exposed my negligence in not pre-programming all possible shunts, I shall be forced to wing it in a foolish Biggles style. Complete with stiff upper lip, beige scarf and mighty whiskers. :eek:
Employing the Stoker's Shift from Elephant and Castle to Latimer Road, I notice that if I boost the trip a little further to Royal Oak, then with my casino chips rake I can use a little sleight of hand and end up with a lap full of tokens. :mwaha: Players of your calibre really oughtn't fall for the old "Look over there" token swoop.

Jan 28, 2002, 03:47 PM
Overlook? I think not, my dear Duke, I think not. Those in our audience who are familiar with chess (as I know Khanh is) will know the "Poison Pawn" variation of the Sicilian Defence, and they will shortly see the Mornington Crescent version of it.

I would not have your tokens Duke, if Mrs. Trellis herself handed them to me! Under the circumstances, you will find they are only of use to you if you can convert them into some more tangible advantage such as Line Velocity, and you will have little chance to do that. Otherwise they will simply weigh you down, and I think you will find a little greed goes a long 'weigh'.

So, either you have fallen into my trap, or you are simply accepting the gambit. Either way - and I think Acton Town will expose which - I think my bluff will have paid off.

duke o' york
Jan 31, 2002, 06:00 AM
Crikey! I have waited three days for another one of our increasingly occasional players to accept Stormerne's floored gauntlet, but alas no! :(
Very well then, since no-one else has neither the courage nor the gumption to chance their arm against our reigning champion, I shall have to see what LV I can muster by using tokens and the Circle Line. Please stand back ladies and gentlemen as this is a particularly dangerous manoeuvre and should most definitely not be attempted at home. :eek: From Acton Town I can slip down onto the Circle Line at Notting Hill Gate, using a couple of tokens to boost my LV and ensure I make it round the corner toward Bayswater. This will be followed by some rapid orbits of the Circle Line, using tokens to pick up even more LV each time, and of course with the potential danger of my shooting off and ending up in the Barking sludge beds each turn. In the manner of a spaceship using the earth's gravitational pull to catapult it towards the moon, so shall I rapidly circle Tottenham Court Road before releasing and shooting violently away, only managing to brake at Plaistow. Now with this bisection of the Circle Line, how will my rivals fare with the increasingly open play in these conditions?

Jan 31, 2002, 04:50 PM
That's a courageous move Duke, and I applaud your Yorkshire grit. You deserve recognition far beyond the dusty halls of CFC for that fine play, one that I would have been proud to make myself. Well done sir!

It puts me a bit of a quandry for, in making that move, you have showed creativity far beyond that of a run-of-the-mill opponent. Indeed I believe you are showing your true potential at last. But if I reply in like kind, we will effectively exclude anyone else from taking part as their moves will appear frivolous and scarcely credible. Whereas if I reply in a more modest fashion, I will not play you with the quality that you deserve in an opponent and you will rightly win in short order.

I have time for one waiting move and one only. In doing this I am passing the question to you and leaving you to decide whether we should be inclusive or exclusive. So since I have spent two of the last three days researching the Central Line at first hand, I will play Monument/Bank and translate all Line Velocity into Spin using that recent innovation by Mrs. Trellis, "The Englebert Manoeuvre". (It took me two days of solid practice before I could do it with the same grace and elegance that she exhibits, but it was worth it.)

duke o' york
Feb 05, 2002, 05:02 AM
Well it would appear that none of the other players have been invited to stay for the MC bar lock-in and so we shall have to continue playing by ourselves Stormerne. :(
Were you a MC newbie then I would forgive you your last move and be gentle on you but since I wouldn't want to appear patronising toward such a noble adversary then I shall press ahead regardless and take advantage of your generosity. Hopefully the game will henceforth be played at a pace and level of complexity that should wow the watching masses, if Genghis can really qualify as a mass, and we shall shirk all pretense of allowing the newer players an easy ride.
Having managed to successfully extricate myself from the sizeable hole I found myself in earlier, I shall once again bifurcate the game from Monument/Bank and thereby allow myself at least the chance to make it doubly difficult for you to reach MC. Speaking of MC, where better to take my first bifurcated move from Monument than Mornington Crescent itself? To further spice things up, from the Bank I shall make what many would consider a vainglorious gambit, using the risky Revy Centre to move to Ladbroke Grove which will bag me another green token but will give Stormerne an easy chance to put me in nidd next turn. I'll definitely have to keep my wits about me now that things are getting more serious here......

Feb 05, 2002, 02:41 PM
Excellent moves. OK, gloves are off now. No more shillyshallying. Keep up if you can Khanh!

Arnos Grove is my choice in thread one. In thread two I will forego the chance to put you in nidd, Instead I'm going to gain rather a lot of momentum with a long-range reverse shut to Ealing Broadway, since I think that the apposite response to your fork is to put you in spoon.

Feb 05, 2002, 06:05 PM
I'm actually reading this too. I have absolutely no idea what's going on, but I find reading this very interesting. Don't try to explain, it may spoil my interest.

duke o' york
Feb 06, 2002, 04:28 AM
Thank you to all the lurkers who reveal themselves. I assume that we have Cornmaster reading this thread too, since he's supposed to be moderating this forum. :) Hello Cornmaster.

Back to the heat of the action then. Although it is tempting to force a three-pronged attack and bifurcate one of my already-bifurcated lines, I think that I might just tie myself up in all the myriad possibilities so I have opted to continue playing as we are lest the trident attack detract from the panache and verve of this encounter. Your move to Arnos Grove would suggest a potential Hamilton Shift, although those MC historians among the lurkers will also detect a nascent Freya Flip from the lengthy archives of pre-Norman conquest games compiled by the venerable Friar Augustus. With both these options in mind I shall play a little safer than I have been recently and strile to Caledonian Road, in honour of our newest lurker. :D
Bespooned at Ealing Broadway is not as troublesome as it might
first appear. Although my range is significantly reduced as a result of your spoon, I can maintain my LV and dart to Hanger Lane by virtue of the lesser known Heimlich manoeuvre. (His real fame comes in restaurants, but this neat little straddle deserves equal recognition in the MC free house we have set up here :))

Feb 06, 2002, 02:54 PM
Welcome Sixchan.

I do believe you're trying to wrest the initiative from me Duke. But my waiting move at Bank was finely judged and I now return to the attack.

And I believe I can attack because you have, consciously or not, fallen in with my web of Synchronicity. As you no doubt remember, I am Heathen by religion, and talk of the old deities by the mention of Freya is bound to make me take notice. But the fabled flip is not on the cards, at least not yet. Juxtaposed with Hanger Lane, this is doubly synchronous since my patron god is Odin, the gallows god, to whom this game may yet become dedicated. And the final node of the synchronous net: close by to Hangar Lane station is the Fox and Goose Hotel where I am staying one night next week.

This gives me every justification for playing the Synchronous Cyclone. Since Synchronicity is a term originally coined by Carl Jung, I advance the second thread to Notting Hill Gate, because that is the home of the C.G. Jung Analytical Psychology Club. This will be the centre of the cyclonic vortex, a storm which - I fear - will engulf your play and cause your greedily hoarded tokens to be flung off in the maelstrom. Pity! :flamedevi A storm, eh? Another synchronicity for the Storm Eagle!

But what of the first thread? Dare I say it Duke but you were playing to the gallery with Caledonian Road. Still I shall not allow such showy play to unnoticed, nor - dare I say it - unpunished. We will swing over to Fairfield Road in Bow and visit the Caledonian Arms for a pint. Synchronously once more, my home in East Anglia stands upon a different Fairfield Road. Off we go then to Bow Road.

Feb 07, 2002, 05:36 PM
"Don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to"
Ohwell, welcome nonetheless.

Welcome Sixchan

I sence a little more hostility to me than to Sixchan...

That map you gave, stormerne, isn't working on my computer anymore, considering that I now use a mac. Do you know where I can find another "tube" map? I am still struggling to understand this game.

Crazy Eddie
Feb 07, 2002, 11:20 PM
Here's a useful map, including zones to help you judge your velocity...

Feb 08, 2002, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by Ohwell
[I sence a little more hostility to me than to Sixchan...

No hostility intended Ohwell. Quite the reverse. My quote:
"Don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to"
is from the 1969 hit single song called "Oh Well" by Fleetwood Mac. I was attempting to be gentlemanly by acknowledging a potential origin of your name.

Feb 08, 2002, 02:30 PM
Want to have a go at guessing MY name's origins?

Feb 08, 2002, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by stormerne
No hostility intended Ohwell. Quite the reverse. My quote:
"Don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to"
is from the 1969 hit single song called "Oh Well" by Fleetwood Mac. I was attempting to be gentlemanly by acknowledging a potential origin of your name.

Ah. My apologies, I never heard of the song. I do tend to take things the wrong way ;)

I really have no Idea where my name came from, but I like it.

Not to post off topic- I am even more confused with the concept of tokens... Maybe I will buy the book...

Feb 10, 2002, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by Sixchan
Want to have a go at guessing MY name's origins?
Surely something to do with Dolby Digital products (?).

Feb 10, 2002, 04:04 PM
What? Why the hell would it be that? No.

Feb 11, 2002, 01:36 PM
Because perhaps you are a discerning listener to high quality music and own one of these predigious systems. But apparantly not!

Well I really have no idea. :confused: Unless of course you come from a place where six rivers or channels flow together into the sea.

Feb 11, 2002, 03:57 PM
Okay, I'll explain the name.

the suffix -chan simply means little in Japanese. Many Otaku use this suffix for some reason (don't ask, we just do).

Six comes from that REALLY old TV show the Prisoner. I'm sure you've seen that before.

Feb 11, 2002, 05:02 PM
I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on, so being the semi-resourceful web surfer, I slapped "mornington crescent" and rules into google and came back with this, courtesy of some gent named Paul Crowley (homepage ( written in May '01. Here's his take:

"OK, so your favourite newsgroup or mailing list has become infected with people listing seemingly random London Underground stations, each annotated with justification to a rule that no-one's mentioned before. They're playing some sort of game! But oddly enough, they can't tell you where you can find a copy of the rules. And you've done a search for the rules, but with no success - you seemed close one time, but ended up on a 404. Hopefully, you also found this page.

The reason you didn't succeed is the obvious one. There are no rules to Mornington Crescent. The whole thing is an elaborate wind-up, a form of trolling [emphasis mine] which for some reason has become socically acceptable."

So is this some sort of joke? C'mon, admit it ...

duke o' york
Feb 12, 2002, 08:18 AM
:rolleyes: Youngsters these days.

I apologise for inadvertently giving the game a totally undeserved hiatus, but I spent the weekend with my girlfriend in Edinburgh doing touristy things. I did have a look at the Edinburgh bus map for a potential quick MC variation, but was not suitably inspired. And my girlfriend hasn't anything but the most basic grasp of the rules and will concede defeat before my pincer movement has even begun to take effect. Please do not make any lewd jokes apropos de what I have written here - I have tried to minimise the possibility of double entendres and would appreciate some restraint. This is a gentlemanly game and certain standards of conduct are expected.
Very well then. It seems a long time since the last move was played and with a combination of Notting Hill Gate and Bow Road, it would appear that several options present themselves for my consideration. From the lively haunts of the Notting Hillbillies an equally jaunty twostep would take us to Alperton on the Northern side of the Piccadilly fork, but at this time of the afternoon the switch at Turnham Green is not an option so instead I am forced to take the more pedestrian approach and sidestep to Stockwell.
I am tempted to make an obsequious pun here but will resist! From Bow then: while a speedy knip to Bermondsey would knerdle Stormerne, after much musing I decide that my chances of victory would be better served by taking the upper hand at Rayner's Lane. While this allows Stormerne the possibility of executing a perfect riposte at Leytonstone, he will have to be quick and make it before rush hour begins or else the move loses most of its potency and becomes downright risky. :D
Nice to see Crazy Eddie posting in this thread again, and the map will no doubt prove useful, but I was hoping for a late entry into the game really. But there is yet time..... ;)

[edit]: My spelling is a shadow of its former self :(.

Feb 12, 2002, 03:08 PM
I only discovered MC a few weeks ago. Over at Apolyton, no less. However, since that time I have scoured the web looking for threads. An absolutely amazing game, gentlemen! Would that my skills were up to the task, but Crazy Eddie's post above is the first map I have been able to find, so while I have learned many of the names, I have had no real idea of their spatial layout.

Perhaps the next game, a Beginners Challenge, maybe? Meanwhile, I will follow this game eagerly.

For other lurkers, such as that Philistine, Franklyn, there is a very serious long game ( going on at the MC Is No Longer At York site. I have spent a couple of hours reading that thread, and am less than half through it. It has opened my eyes to many possibilities in play. During play, the IMCS even bumped it from a level 2b to a level 3a game, indicative of the high quality of play going on. A prime example being when one player drew six others into joining him at Seven Sisters, resulting in a Septimal Convergence, which is much less common than a septimal divergance. Truly a delight to witness.

Feb 12, 2002, 04:37 PM
Philistine? Ouch. That hurt. ;)

I'm up for a challenge. So, over my lunch hour, I wandered over to the library, where I stumbled upon a dusty volume entitled "Mornington Crescent: Abridged Rules." (The "Annotated Mornington Crescent" was out -- I checked.) I had enough time over a sandwich (and my fourth cup o' joe) to get through the first couple of chapters -- it's complicated stuff, though I'm not surprised, as the game comes from the country that invented the incomprehensible game of cricket.

Unfortunately, my knowledge of the London Underground is zip. However, if someone allowed me to start off in Kew Gardens, I could perhaps transfer to the NYC subway system, with which I'm better acquainted.

Crazy Eddie
Feb 12, 2002, 08:04 PM
It's nice to see the map was appreciated - I was half expecting a flame because of it's large size... ;)

My surfing is limited at the moment Duke, so I was going to sit this one out, though I have been lurking, and a very fine game it's been. :goodjob:

PS. My spelling is often poor, and as I'm too lazy to reach for the dictionary I let Google spell the word for me. I couldn't spell appreciated by myself if it was tattooed inside my eyelids. :D

Feb 14, 2002, 03:25 PM
Sixchan: thank you for the explanation of your name. I wouldn't have guessed. I haven't seen this "Prisoner" thing because I am one of the elite few who choose not to have a television in their house (and preferably none within bowshot, if the truth be known).

Franklyn: you are not alone in your struggle to find the rules for Mornington Crescent. The inference is clear, which is why generations of MC players have found the best way to learn or even teach MC is by osmosis. And I have to agree: there really is no substitute for the leap-in-and-have-a-go approach, all the while keeping a deferential ear open for the words of more experienced players. When you're more experienced yourself, that's when you can debate the finer points and browse through great works like Encyclopaedia Morningtonia ( and learn more advanced techniques. May I also suggest that, if you wish to join in, you start a new "MC beginners" topic? An opening move of Kew Gardens is a good beginner's ploy but, gentleman though he is, I fear Duke would treat such a move quite mercilessly.

Padma: I think a beginner's challenge thread would be good (see above).

Duke: Your Edinburgh jaunt sounds most delightful. You could have returned refreshed with a new perspective on this game, but do I detect just a glimmer of (dare I day it) overconfidence? Stockwell was a tempting play I concede, but don't you think a little too obvious? Time for a reality check: St. James's Park.

I quite like your move of Rayners Lane, but a reply of Leytonstone isn't really my style (at least not at this time of day), and I have to say that because of my recent training course I've had enough of the Central Line for one week. And why do it anyway? After all, I have the powerful resource of a Sling-Shunt to
South Wimbledon. The risk of inadvertently getting into knip I don't see as significant, especially with the interchange vector being so well toffed in that quadrant at the moment.

duke o' york
Feb 15, 2002, 05:47 AM
No-one is surprised to see the Duke stagger into the MC free house shortly after opening time, mutter "Ushual pleesh" in the general direction of the bar and then collapse into his customary corner seat and begin poring over an Underground map.
Once his first draught of Chuzzlewit's Old Baby-Eater has been appropriately savoured, a new life comes over this sozzled old aristocrat. He takes out a pad of paper and a pen and begins to scribble away at an astonishing rate. Nearer closing time, when they are satisfied that the Duke is asleep, one of the glass collectors is brave enough to go and pry this piece of paper from the gnarled hand. It was covered in a remarkable scrawl which seemed to make little sense, but a cryptologist who was stood at the bar taking too long to choose a cigar claimed to make some sense of it. The transcription of his interpretation is as follows:

"St James' Park eh? Clever, damnably clever. Crikey, my coefficients are all over the place and I may need to hole up somewhere quiet for a turn to recuperate. But where? If I adjust the angle of abstrusion a little then I have an easy three-quarter to Surrey Quays, but this will leave me open to a riposte on my left flank so is perhaps not the wisest strategy at this time. But if I activate the "sleeping" tokens I left at Green Park then I can bend the velocity to an extent that will leave me quite safe at Russell Square and knerdle that aquiline bounder into the bargain!
His other move was to South Wimbledon, which might lead the casual observer to a conclusion that this was some kind of retreat. Ah, if only 'twere so! Alas, his move into the quadrant in question if anything leaves him in a much stronger position and I'll need to be on my toes to guard against any shunting toward zone 3 next time. The best response here would be to move directly to the Cutty Sark, but the rules chosen will not allow use of the DLR so I'll have to come up with something more sneaky. Perhaps a swift straddle of both Chalk Farm and Kentish Town will leave me with enough LV to cruise comfortably on to Colindale and also apply pressure on my opponent by means of the little-known Selsey Squeeze."

I should warn that this is what sense could be made of the scribblings and may not convey the real intentions of the old sot, but since he is currently asleep under the table by the fire then who are we to presume he thought otherwise?

Feb 16, 2002, 09:13 AM
I did have a look at the Edinburgh bus map for a potential quick MC variation, but was not suitably inspired.

Why not take a look at the Glasgow train map?

I might get out the rules on Mornington Crescent tommorow, so mabye we could start a beginners thread.

Feb 16, 2002, 09:34 AM
Count me in ;) for it was quite a job trying to beat Stormy and the Great Duke together :D Now I'll add a new rule for the beginner's game: No Duke nor Eagle allowed! ;)

Feb 16, 2002, 11:08 AM
Not even kibitzing? :(

Feb 16, 2002, 12:47 PM
Of course yes :) Always welcomed. Btw, you're away from chess forum for a while :(

Feb 18, 2002, 06:10 PM
So you deflected my St. James's Park with Russell Square? Very neat and nicely knerdled. I have a fond affection for Russell Square, as you will remember from our last game and my visit to the less wholesome corners of the British Museum.

For our audience, a knerdle is "A move which deflects an opponent's attack, rather than blocking it completely, so that the new direction of the attack is advantageous to the knerdler. A way of using the opponent's strength against him. (Thus, most knerdles are "sideways", "diagonal" or "reverse", the latter meaning that the attack bounces back the way it came. A "forwards" knerdle, which is rare, forces the opponent's attack to overshoot.) -- Encyclopaedia Morningtonia.

Once more I am forced to dig deep to keep any initiative. Cannon Street is the next stop, for digging is exactly what is on my mind. It is no coincidence that the remains of that great but dark Mornington Crescent player Eamon Ruttsborough were thought have been found there recently. I go to commune with the spirit of a genius.

Meanwhile, Colindale has to be a poor substitute for a move. There is of course a reason that your Selsey Squeeze is little known, and that is because it's out-of-date! The North London overland line has sucked all the juice out of that old chestnut.

However, talk of Selsey reminds me of my old friend the astronomer Patrick Moore. Perhaps a visit to the Planetarium is in order and so off we go to Baker Street. Actually, we are not going stargazing. The real reason is to visit Madame Tussauds Waxworks and in particular the Chamber of Horrors where we may learn something to Duke's disadvantage.

These games are taking a decidedly sinister turn again.

duke o' york
Feb 20, 2002, 02:53 AM
To quote the far from illustrious Ray Parker Jr, "I ain't afraid of no ghosts", and to be honest, that was a rather weak ploy or yours. I have come to expect much more from you Storm, but maybe I have let my guard down a little too much and should prepare myself for a blitzkrieg riposte next time. And thanks for the explanation of a knerdle! ;)
Still, I shall take the game as I finds it and not adjust my play too much to react to something that has not yet happened. From Baker Street to the Sherlock Holmes pub, which of course used to be the Northumberland Hotel in which Conan Doyle wrote so many of the mysteries. This is easily found from Charing Cross, and with the link to the lands of my youth, I feel rejuvenated and can grab some extra LV with my new lease of life.
Cannon Street is an alarming prospect, and next time might I suggest that you use a ouija board or a medium when you want to commune with a departed hero of MC rather than the more direct approach of disintering them? I think that I shall take advantage of my very early start this morning and the peak hours that are brought into play, but I have already used the Shoreditch Stranding once recently and am loath to make it a motif in my play, preferring to mix it up and keep my opponents (opponent really :( - More players required!) guessing. Instead, I shall bag myself a token windfall by passing from Woodford to Roding Valley directly on the peak hours connection. While I appreciate that this is not a terribly attacking gambit and may spoil the pace of my technique somewhat, it ought to be recognised that this will make Stormerne ponder the next moves with care as I have set a little something up for his enjoyment/frustration....... Whether I will be able to reveal what this scheme entails will remain to be seen, dependant on his choice of move here.

Feb 24, 2002, 04:35 PM
I received a surprising communication whilst upon my excavations at Cannon Street. And it was wise of me to take the direct if messy and rather smelly route. (I care not for the oiuja board, unless it is this one ( that I created for my wife's Halloween website.) Old Ruttsborough has mellowed somewhat since his passing. I'd rather expected him to become more demonic, but his advice seemed rather - how can I put it - "benign". Still - he did just like the devil is wont to do, and he took me to a high place where I could see the entire underground map of London superimposed on the landscape, together with the working out of a great and splendidly simple MC plan (though whether I shall have the nerve and audacity to keep to his advice, I know not).

From Charing Cross we go to Brent Cross, initiating a simple cascade.

In the meadows of Roding Valley I can almost imagine seeing a black horse grazing, and so with that tenuous link disguising my true intent, we go to Blackhorse Road. (After the spin-straddle, I know I'm facing the wrong way, but hopefully that will have pre-empted your intended coup.)

duke o' york
Feb 26, 2002, 09:31 AM
Well I feel that your move may have been better than first considered as I've got an awful headache and it has so skewed my play as to make all the moves in reverse and reduced my LV to practically nothing as I wander around stations in confusion.
At cross purposes, I hurry to King's Cross - St Pancras in order to visit the 24 hour chemist and soothe my aching head. I eventually get there, after weaving across stations frequently and going in the wrong direction so that my arrival there almost seems to be a result of good fortune on my part. If any MC aficionado were to spot me bumbling around the Underground in such a way then they would surely put me down as a newbie, or worse, a tourist, tut and move on with their business. Once my head has been cleared as a result of this medication, and my LV coefficient slightly boosted by the combination of cascade and straddle (although still nowhere near what it was when the headache kicked in :(), I am free to go about with business as usual.
Your equine gambit did indeed pre-empt my coup, but not terminally and it must now wait until next turn. I congratulate you on this stalling tactic, allowing you as it does to further muster your resources for a riposte. It therefore falls to me to play another stall, but one that ought to provide a threat of its own and keep you guessing. A variation on the Sudbury Sting moves us to Royal Park where it remains to see whether you are game enough to evade the attentions of historical huntsmen or will be ensnared.....
A quick hello here to all of those people who read my OCC story in the Civ 2 Stories and Tales forum and wondered what the hell all those Mornington Crescent references were about. Erm, this! :D

Feb 27, 2002, 05:18 PM
And so we return to Charing Cross - I know I needn't mention in which thread, even for any newbies in the audience.

My humble thanks for your congratulations on my stalling tactic. "The praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards." (I leave it for Tolkien afficianados to discover in whose mouth those words were put.)

I notice that once again synchronicity takes a hand - this time unbidden - with your use of the Sudbury Sting. For only last weekend my wife and I went to Sudbury's Quay Theatre on the edges of Suffolk to be entertained by their performance of William Inge's "Bus Stop". I always see synchronicity as an affirmation that one is treading the right path.

Sidestepping your ensnaring transposition on Park Royal, I am reminded of "Herne the Hunter" who tirelessly roams the royal Windsor Great Park. Thus by sojourning to Brixton, we arrive at another park, this time London's Brockwell, in order to visit "Herne Hill" overground station close by, and in doing so reverse my token deficit to a healthy surplus.

duke o' york
Feb 28, 2002, 05:17 AM
Aha! Herne the hunter is being brought into play, and despite the cold reception my use of the Freya Flip received before, I think I shall still dabble in your own mystical territory here and explore the mythical legacy. I hope that you are not hoodwinked as I optimise my token advantage and follow a strategy beloved of the Merry Men in their Sherwood MC tournies: the Odin diagonal! :eek: Although, as with the Freya flip, this move has fallen into neglect, it is as a result of a cover-up by jealous Christian monks, rather than through it's weakness and it proves potent once again now as I can easily slide from Brixton toward Mornington Crescent.
Having been shunted across platforms at Charing Cross I should be rather stuck, especially with the horizontal variable working against me, but fortunately I have been conserving energy over the last couple of turns and I feel that now is the time to unleash it.... Using the rather conventional Battersea Approach, I swing up to Euston, but with the wind at my back I can apply a little lateral inversion and arrive at Mornington Crescent.
Bloody hell I won! I'm quite shocked, as Stormerne certainly had something dangerous a-brewing, but whether it was anything more than a nice pint of Fuller's London Pride will never be known. To be honest, I haven't won yet, but I can't really see how Storm could raise a believable quibble and so I can embark on my spammy list of all the celebration smilies.......
Not really ;). I would, however, like to invite those lurkers who have visited our game to play in the inaugural CFC MC newbie challenge: to be played at US tourist level. It would be somewhat unfair to deny Storm and I the opportunity to play in this, but rest assured that we shall sheathe our claws for this one at least, and allow all those interested to play a more free and open game, ideally suited to learning the techniques. :goodjob: Who would like to open the play then?

Feb 28, 2002, 06:35 AM
One year of playing - eat yer heart out Humph

duke o' york
Feb 28, 2002, 06:57 AM
Storm did indeed begin the thread a year ago, but alas it was Nov 16th when I played the first term of our first game and it has gone on to confound many a newbie since. :lol: Despite the best efforts of Kitten of Chaos to sneer at our noble activity, we are still going strong and would welcome new players for our introduction game. :goodjob:

Feb 28, 2002, 05:08 PM
Well done Duke. I left myself wide open for that. It shows the folly of changing strategies mid-game. I should have stayed true to myself instead of unearthing outdated relics. Things have moved on. In future I shall not dilute my aggression midway.

I was going to raise a quibble until I realised we had agreed to play by Ancient Modern rules. Bugger! I am so used to playing by the Chalk Farm '84 ruleset (as adopted by both the IMCS and CAMREC) that I totally overlooked that your lateral inversion was completely legal after all. And normally you would have been delayed at least one move at Euston having been forced to change trains. But of course in Ancient Modern you can combine the quadrant potential and you're not penalised by your river crossing.

That'll teach me to take my eye off the ball. And you have not a little luck on your side Duke, because the Euston delay I'd expected would have given me just enough time for my secret plan - a Sopwith Stagger! That was a brew you would have most unpalatable. You'd have ended in double knip and I would have won in just two more moves. Ah, c'est la vie. I shall have to make do with a bottle of Bavarian wheat beer instead.

duke o' york
Mar 06, 2002, 02:46 AM
I find it difficult to believe that this most illustrious thread has lain dormant for several days now, and begin to wonder whether the proposal of a newbie MC challenge was in earnest. I seem to recall Genghis taking an interest, and in fact Franklyn played the opening move to Kew Gardens but since the prospective players were so kind as to delay the start until Storm and I had finished our game then maybe they have drifted away. I hope that this does not prove to be the case, and that we can make this thread a stayer in the Other Games forum to rival the Diplomacy threads. :goodjob:

Mar 06, 2002, 09:32 AM
Alas, I was kept busy for a few days, and only just now realized the previous game had ended. An excellent play Duke. :)

Kew Gardens for an opening. Hmmm. As mentioned in a previous post, I am a newbie at this game, but a careful study of the map suggests a strategy to me: St. James's Park.

Of course, this strategy depends on more players joining. With too few, I may have a hard time attaining the correct linear velocity for later moves.

Mar 07, 2002, 02:09 AM
Given the international flavour of these participants was going to play Heathrow Terminal 4 but this may be seen as playing into the hands of our insurrectionist colonial.

In these circumstances one requires some faster manoevering - Cutty Sark :cool:

duke o' york
Mar 07, 2002, 05:33 AM
This is a bit sneaky, especially seeing as how storm is not allowed to play in this little game, but I'll try to play as many turns as I can before someone realises and pulls the plug. I recognise that this is a more gentle game for intorductory purposes (or at least that's the theory, but it could get vicious later on :eek:) and so will not be trying to double-knerdle my opponents on their first turn or to di- or even converge with Septimus at the Seven Sisters. Instead I shall go with the flow and play what may initially appear to be an uncharacteristic move from myself, but remember that I am trying to allow the newbies to experience as much of the game as possible in this, their introduction. So from Cutty Sark to Galleons Reach in the hope of initiating a cascade for the benefit of our new friends. :goodjob:

PS - perhaps a marine cascade is not the easiest possible I could have chosen, but if there is no challenge then play might become stale.

Mar 07, 2002, 04:23 PM
If I'm not allowed to play in my own thread (sulk) then at least I can kibitz - or should I rather say advise or even coach our fledgling MCers.

Nevertheless, I will not insult our guests with cascade tips for they surely know the score there. I would instead point out that one should always have a long term strategy in mind when entering upon a cascade. A cascade is a means to an end and not an end in itself (as so many beginners forget).

But what end? A common ploy is simply to look for signs of weakness in an opponent's play. Another is to act as a smokescreen for something more insidious. I suggest that instead you simply visualise both the spin and the line velocity for two and a half moves in advance of a possible Cascade Culmination before playing. That way you will develop an instinctive feel for the right time to break out of a cascade. You will also develop an instinctive feel for the problems you will be setting your opponent.

A final note: a much overlooked tactic is to play a cascade immediately after a bifurcation because of the forcing nature it has on the other thread. The classic defensive manoeuvre against such a tactic is of course that known as "pickering". But few players, especially newcomers, have either the wit or the courage to do so correctly and it all ends in tears.

Mar 08, 2002, 05:58 AM
The initiation of a cascade can be so much more interesting if the bifurcation comes just after the start of the run . . .

So - Island Gardens

Mar 08, 2002, 08:16 AM
I am familiar with the Parks & Greens Cascade, and the Regal Cascade, and several others from observing other games, but I admit I am unfamiliar with a marine cascade. Still, newbie though I am, I shall try to rise to the challenge!:D

Aarrgghh! In order to have any chance at all for further strategy, I must reverse my spin, cross zones, and switch to the DLR all in one turn, draining virtually all of my L.V.! I nearly chose to *farkle*, but with as few players as we currently have, that would feel too much like surrendering at the first shot.

Therefore, with trepidation, (and much dizziness from the sudden reversal of spin) I play...

Canary Wharf!

Crazy Eddie
Mar 08, 2002, 09:05 AM
Padma, my Exotic friend, your trepidation is unfounded. Canary Wharf is a legitimate move to continue the cascade. But I belive Duke would take advantage of your low LV so I will insert the move Prince Regent. to keep you out of the "Bargain Basement" :)

Mar 08, 2002, 04:58 PM
That is a noble choice Eddie, in fact these are excellent choices all round! What these moves lack in sophistication, they certainly make up for in directness and enthusiasm. This will be an entertaining scrap. :)

I don't think I'll be giving anything away if I say "Watch out for any unexpected toffing in this situation". You may think the toff is still only a distant possibility as yet. But if you don't anticipate, the result could be disastrous, and the width of the straddle you'll need to get out of it will be painful in the extreme.

My only other advice at this stage in the game is to guard against tunnel vision. To those who argue that surely tunnel vision is exactly what you want when travelling through the underground, I can only say such attempts at humour belong in an entirely different forum.

Mar 11, 2002, 10:23 PM
While it has been a few days since the last play, I don't feel it would be sporting to make another move without giving the Duke and Strategoz at least a chance for a play. So consider this to be essentially a 'bump' of this thread.

PS. Crazy Eddie: Glad to see someone can recognize a representative of a Splinter Culture.:D

Mar 12, 2002, 01:31 AM
Sorry about the delay - nine house guests for the weekend travelling from Perth to UK via Ulhuru, Sydney, New Zealand and Mexico - hey, maybe there's an idea for a game. . . . .

Makes me think of home 12,000 miles away, the lost world of Radio 4 and the strains of the Minute Waltz - sorry, wrong show :crazyeyes.

Back to serious business. Since I consider toffing to be one of the more interesting spectoator sports I cannot but propose a slideways move to Barons Court

Marine segue into gentility.

duke o' york
Mar 12, 2002, 02:44 AM
I am delighted with the standard of play on display so far, and I believe that should things continue to improve in this fashion then it would be entirely against the spirit of MC and most ungentlemanly if we were to deny Stormerne the opportunity to make a late entrance, with the requisite penalties of course.;)

Continuing with the maritime theme that I was trying to set up before, I shall propose the seemingly unusual strategy of grafting a technique from one sport and supplanting it in the more familiar surroundings of MC. In sailing the luff is simply pointing the bow of the boat into the wind so that a reduction of speed allows better control and the chance to undertake a manoeuvre better. From Baron's Court, you ought not fall into the basic trap of assuming that I am playing a cascade, although it would be entirely within your rights should you wish to continue such a cascade. Including even a snippet of a cascade into your normal play can often bring benefits in the form of tokens, as can be demonstrated here, as I luff from Baron's Court to Earl's Court and collect two grey tokens! :D

Mar 12, 2002, 08:33 AM
The obvious play at this point, from my position, would be to swiftly slide into Victoria, but the Duke is devious. :eek: Thus, the obvious may often NOT be the BEST play.

Therefore, I will trust my instincts and make the more daring strile to Queensway. This will not only improve my LV (thanks for the assist, BTW, Crazy Eddie:goodjob: ), but should also put me in a better position to defend.

A couple of points, Duke. First, I was unaware we were using tokens in this game. The understanding I had gleaned while poring over the rules was that they were not normally used in an introductory level game, as they do add to the complexity. However, we did not specify any such rule at the beginning of the game. Also, while I am clearly the only TRUE beginner actively playing in this game, I have been devouring the ongoing matches being played on the maderia ( MC site, and believe I can hold my own on their use.:p So do not stop using them on MY account!:D

Second, I have absolutely no objection to Stormerne joining the game (with suitable penalties). One of the best ways to learn is to jump in with quality players (as long as they don't take too much advantage of your ignorance:cry: ). So I say welcome to Stomerne, full-well knowing my probable end: :spank:

Mar 13, 2002, 02:14 PM
Mmm, maybe Green park then... I am not really sure though.

Crazy Eddie
Mar 14, 2002, 06:02 PM
You're right to be cautious about your move Genghis - my earlier altruism has suddenly evaporated as I leap for Dollis Hill :D
Let the mayhem commence...

Mar 14, 2002, 06:34 PM
I am very pleased to see that you've joined in Khanh. That and the kind invitations of the others have inspired me out of my sulk.

And thank you Eddie. If we are playing tokenless then token penalties are meaningless and I thought I was going to have to wait some time for a suitable late entry point. But with your last move you allow me to enter with an immediate penalty but one which is not too onerous for an experienced player. For I can answer your Dollis Hill with an immediate Dollis Hill myself, putting the whole game straight into a Dollis Hill Loop.

duke o' york
Mar 15, 2002, 03:13 AM
Confound it! We should have made Stormerne wait until someone else had played anything, anything other than Dollis Hill!!!!!
Oh well, since it is 8.50 or so on this wet Friday morning (in Leeds at least :(), I shall just have to play Dollis Hill. But if anyone else can time their move exactly then please get us out of this and quickly. Since we are playing in a detokened state then I can't just save us all from Dollis doom and must therefore play the waiting game.
:enlighten - In fact, since we are a multinational group then I urge all our overseas players to exploit the fact and use your local off-peak time - it may not be the same as the Underground's, but it will enable you to get out of the Dollis Hill loop. But should you choose to have us all remain in this rotten loop then do not forget that I have some pretty fiendish knerdles up my sleeve, and that a devilish shunt into a backwater would not be out of the question.:satan: :nya2:

Mar 15, 2002, 07:44 AM
Hmm... Interesting development.

Fortunately, even with the beck's so low, I should still be able to perform a Thorndyke's Maneuver and move to ...

Noooooo! Dollis Hill.

Strategoz: PLEEEASE try an Ongar's Denial! Or something!

Mar 17, 2002, 04:59 PM
I'll keep clear from that so I'll wait a bit before striking back :D At least trying to ;) since Stormerne is always a tough foe :)

Mar 19, 2002, 08:26 PM
I wouldn't dream of interrupting the game but i thought you might enjoy a new player.
I am a beginner as my first moves undoubtedly will show, but i would certainly appreciate the opportunity to learn in the company of such accomplished players - while at the same time providing you with the inevitable comic relief that one needs to diffuse the tension inherent to such a stressfull activity.
So, where are we....
Well yes, evidently, Dollis Hill ... Hmmm... althought i know i should see it, i fail to grasp the importance of that move...

Ah well, forgive me if i go for a Huff : Chiswick Park

duke o' york
Mar 20, 2002, 03:22 AM
Well done Richelieu on having successfully navigated your way out of the Dollis Hill loop, and particularly impressively due to your adaptation of the Ongar denial to the circumstances.
At this point I shall look to introduce something new into the game, for the benefit of those using it as a tutorial. Although the grand entrance of Richelieu has shown that already the pupils are about to become masters too, there may be a few players who are as yet uncertain of the advantages and disadvantages of the use of ghost stations. I shall therefore move from Chiswick Park to Blake Hall to recover some of the LV lost in the several loops of Dollis Hill that were made, and to allow me to lay the groundwork for a little something I'm sure that the experienced onlookers will appreciate, but my opponents will decidedly not! :nya:

Mar 20, 2002, 07:51 AM
Have i inadvertently put us all in a Strick ? I assure you that was not my intention... Oh well, no Spoon or Knip for the next two turns i guess.
Wish i could blame this on the impetuosity of youth :lol:

I can't wait to see the response you get to your Blake Hall move... :D

Mar 20, 2002, 10:03 AM
Glad to see another player. And don't worry about being a beginner. Not only am I a beginner, but I am an American :eek: so I REALLY have to study the map and rulesets in order to figure out a move.

Speaking of a move.... Blake Hall, hmmm. I wish I knew what the Duke had up his sleeve. I have seen ghost stations used to great effect in some games, but I am on uncertain ground as to their utility at this juncture. Still, I think I will continue the ghost sequence, with a strile to the old abandoned eastbound platform at King's Cross St. Pancras.

Mar 23, 2002, 06:21 PM
Well I would say Tothenham Court road since I've been there soooo many times :) The high tech street as my friends call it.

Crazy Eddie
Mar 23, 2002, 06:41 PM
Ahh, fond memories of trying to beat down the price of some computer kit from shady looking dealers :lol: I still have my (expired) Computer Exchange membership card somewhere...

I think a short strile to Baker Street will suffice, although I suspect Stormerne may show me to be in error here.

duke o' york
Mar 25, 2002, 07:12 AM
It would be rude to take a go before Stormerne had the chance and so I shall be patient, but I am delighted that we have so many people taking part now. Perhaps it is the absence of tokens that makes the game so accessible to you all, but well done and thank you. :goodjob::D
I shall be going to London over Easter weekend to stay with my girlfriend's brother so I shall have to practise a few manoeuvres while I am there. The nearest tube station to his house is Archway so I shall have quite a hold on any future moves to/from the Northern Line on my return. It pays to do a little research wherever possible. :)

Mar 26, 2002, 03:45 PM
I'm glad to see such a flurry of activity.

But I have to say Khanh's and Richelieu's moves present me with a slight quandry. Whereas I am somewhat reluctant to spadger the pair of you (as it would seem both rude and abrupt for me to give you such an immediate disadvantage), I have to play true to my rather aggressive style.

On the one hand, you must one day learn to defend yourself when playing with the "big boys". On the other hand, it might be counter-productive for me to play in championship style if it demoralised you. It does seem a shame, though, to let the previous sequence of moves go unpunished.

I think I'll simply shut up and leave it to you to interpret what strategy I'm playing. We old-men-of-the-game do have a tendency to be too verbose when playing like this. So I move Pinner - make of that what you will.

duke o' york
Mar 27, 2002, 02:59 AM
Pinner, eh?

I am wondering whether I will attempt to enforce the "tourist trap" after I return from my Cockney walkabout as it may prove unfair for this introductory level game. To briefly explain, the "tourist trap" allows free movement between all stations whereat the visitor to London has either boarded or alighted the tube for a week following his/her visit (24 hours if MC is played live - as it ought to be). Obviously, this does not apply to those who actually live or work in London, and Mornington Crescent can never become part of this trap for erm, equally obvious reasons. This would in fact make things remarkably easy for myself and therefore I should really allow this prime opportunity to go, but given that I will take a maximum of two turns next week I may just avail myself of this loophole.

Back to the game in hand then. Pinner poses some interesting questions of us all, but I hope that I may be able to meet the challenge. And how... :nya2:
If I were to be a little cruel to the next player would this give me a wrestling-style bad guy reputation? And if I were to play up to this reputation with the liberal inclusion of :mwaha: and :nya: smilies in my posts? I'd probably end up as Simon Darkshade, so it wouldn't be that good an idea, but I may play in character for this game at least. Righto: a move to Earl's Court allows me to implement a three-way pin (guess what this move was inspired by) and knerdle everyone! :nya2: (Including myself - oops!) :D

Mar 27, 2002, 10:02 AM
Earl's Court? And knerdled to boot?!

Duke, I'm definitely starting to think you're in league with Simon! :mad: :lol:

I'm going to have to try something a bit risky here. I will slip INSIDE the Circle ( :eek: ) to Oxford Circus, straddling the Bakerloo!

Crazy Eddie
Mar 31, 2002, 02:10 AM
Let's build up some LV - Bank
Cautious players may wish to leave the Central line at this point... :mwaha:

Apr 05, 2002, 05:44 PM
Eddie - you were bluffing and you know it! We have no tokens in this game to put in the Bank, so that was a sly ruse of yours to confuse the beginners (which it did - I let it ride for a few days to savour the confusion).

I fear that will be a costly bluff on your part. I will immediately quinfurcate the game into five separate threads with instant cascade:
Notting Hill Gate
Lancaster Gate
Aldgate East
I realise that two of these threads can be immediately closed down, but you have to know which two and in which order. If you get it wrong you'll be in reverse knip. And whatever the next player does, Aldgate becomes permanently closed, and the Northern Line is out of bounds for five moves!

duke o' york
Apr 08, 2002, 01:43 AM
I am not unduly worried by this quinfurcation, and indeed will reduce it to four by pointing out that using a move to Highgate and then announcing the Northern Line closed has no benefit other than the obvious superficiality. I shall therefore move quickly to nip this in the bud and close that particular thread.
With the others, I have contrived to build a spider's web for the unwary, and woe betide those looking to dominate the western side of the map.
North Acton
East Acton
West Acton
Acton Town
The Acton action above ought to give pause for thought for all but the most foolhardy of players as you will find yourselves all drawn inexorably toward Farringdon over the next few turns. :cool:

Apr 08, 2002, 04:00 PM
An excellent response Duke! Played with delightful finesse.:goodjob:

One could forgive the less experienced players their bewilderment at this point. So permit me to lend a hand to a friend...

Khanh: if in one of these threads you move immediately to the station that used be right next to where you worked ;) and declare it your "Home Station", you will be immune from Duke's tricks AND you can reopen the Northern Line a move early. Only do it quickly before anyone else does! Oh... and be careful of reverse spin in thread two.

Apr 08, 2002, 04:57 PM
...ate. Old good Moorgate :)
Well sorry Stormerne but I was pretty busy those past days and I really lost the way the game was going. I'll need to concentrate again. Honestly I didn't follow the last hostilities, which is a shame, I admit :(
I'll try a comeback later but maybe this week will be quite hard, with family visiting

Apr 10, 2002, 12:34 PM
I have not seen a quinfurcation before, so I have been rather deliberately working out the ramifications. Applause to the Duke for shutting down one thread, and to Genghisk for his help in opening the Northern Line early. Still that's a few turns away.

I was going to try to close down another thread, but it seems the best I could come up with was
North Ealing
South Ealing
Ealing Common
Ealing Broadway

In my inexperience, I may have missed a step there. But I still believe we can reduce to three, or even two threads in the next turn.

It should also reduce the Duke's pull on us to Farringdon. Then again, if I miscalculated the effects of the reverse spin on the second thread, it may actually increase the pull!

Apr 11, 2002, 04:03 PM
A delightful response Padma! What you Americans lack in subtlety, you sure make up for in directness. But I think you've judged it about right, and I don't think even Duke would have the darkness of heart to drive you into double squonk under the circumstances (though he might if it had been me who'd played it!).

duke o' york
Apr 12, 2002, 01:47 AM
Goodness me! I hope you don't think that I would pick on particular players and not others! I set out to play things by the book and any accusations of "not cricket" are cause for concern indeed. As we seem to be playing a free-flowing game here, without a rigid turn order then I would find it far more difficult to pick on one particular player, although I concede that your greater experience Stormerne may mean that you appreciate some of the finer nuances that others may miss and so you will be worse affected by an attacking move than most.

Weighing up the options from the position left me by Padma, the Petula pincer suggests itself as I go downtown. So, from North Ealing to Camden Town, Ealing Broadway to Kentish Town, South Ealing to Canning Town and Ealing Common to..... Aaarghhhh! :eek::eek: The force..... it's too strong..... must struggle..... line velocity fading away...... can't do anything......

I apologise for the ham acting death scene, but this is rather perturbing news for all of us as my plan has backfired and we seem to be mired at Farringdon until one of us at least can manage to rescue a thread or close some down. Until then, beware the maelstrom of Farringdon.....

Apr 13, 2002, 05:31 AM
Never fear Duke. Your thespian interlude has inspired me. For was it not the author Kenneth Grahame - he of Wind in the Willows fame - that wrote in the first chapter of Dream Days:Farringdon - the stony track to Hades
My ruse has paid off, yet I will spring to rescue for the benefit of all, for it is not right that beginners and experts alike be so mired. Therefore I will use a device which, though quite legal, may be unknown to players outside the British Isles: the Thameslink Tourniquet.

Intersecting our beloved map of the London Underground is another, rather darker network. Running between its extremes of Bedford and Brighton, this tawdry tangle of trains - known as Thameslink - allows a player at Farringdon a number of unexpected moves, primarily to other similar insections. Normally a single threaded game would require significant line velocity to be able to use this, and that's exactly what we don't have. In the current game however, we can use imploding mass to help us instead.

The Thameslink Tourniquet is actually a misnomer, for it actually provides an escape route from the binding effect of Farringdon and the path to Hades that we would otherwise all be on. Therefore I can play:
West Hampstead
London Bridge (Jubilee Line)
and we are free.

Crazy Eddie
Apr 13, 2002, 01:57 PM
Well, I thought my MC knowledge was fairly good, but you've shown me an interesting class of possible moves there Stormerne. Mornington Crescent continues to surprise me with it's infinate subtlety. :goodjob:
Of course this helps to simplify the game - with judicious use of the escalators at Bank I can merge two more threads here, and (if anyone wishes to) give an opportunity to merge two more...
Edgeware Rd (Bakerloo)
Edgeware Rd (all other platforms)

Apr 18, 2002, 03:36 PM
Holy cow, I was off for a week and that went really far now. Need a bit of time to dive back into this game :)

duke o' york
Apr 23, 2002, 01:58 AM
Well this thread has sunk far too low already and so although I only played a couple of turns ago, Genghis has used the domino knock and I find myself thrust back into the action.

I'm sure that we have all noticed so far that Eddie has a bizarre attraction toward Bank in maner similar to my being unfortunately drawn to Farringdon and so I feel something must be done about it. If it were earlier in the game then I could declare Bank my home station and therefore capitalise on every move Eddie makes there but I feel that it is already too late for that. Instead, therefore I will create a block that will prevent Bank being used for several turns. So from Edgware Road (Bakerloo) to Bank (Central Line, eastbound) and from Edgware Road (all others) to Bank (Central Line, eastbound)!!!!!! :eek: Apologies to the two buskers who were operating illegally in the back carriage of the second train, but this crash effectively closes the Bank station until a proper investigation can take place by the relevant authorities. Which may take some time.
With those two threads now closed, I was fortunate to have the third rolling out from Bank on the Northern Line just before the crash. Prudence dictates that we get the heck away from Bank as soon as possible and with some clever changing of trains at King's Cross, a triple Helsinki draws us to Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3.

Apr 23, 2002, 09:32 AM
Ah, Duke. You jumped in just before I was going to. :D (OK, time-zone differences make it look like a LOT more.) As such, I must seriously reconsider the move I had been planning.

Excellent play, by the way, Duke. Combining the threads at Bank was a masterstroke. And I'm sure the two buskers managed to slip away unnoticed in the confusion. ;)

And now for the crux of the matter at hand. We are down to a single, rather high-LV thread, at Heathrow 1,2,3. As an American, I may be expected to take the chance of slipping through Heathrow Terminal 4, and grabbing a trans-Atlantic flight to bring the game to my home grounds. :eek: However, the only US system I have spent more time on than London's is in Washington, DC, and that is smaller, and I HAVE NO MAP. At least I have a tube map for London.

With the decision to stay in London made, we leave Heathrow, changing trains at Green Park to avoid getting any closer to the mess at Bank than necessary, and finish up at Seven Sisters.

Apr 23, 2002, 12:07 PM
Alas that we are playing tokenless and stations only, for now would be the ideal time to play the elegant zwischenzug of Birdcage Walk - a popular move on ISIHAC.

Instead I will play the attacking defence of Bayswater, which you will observe constitutes a Ballington Balance - a play that is polar oppositive to and directly against the last move with Mornington Crescent at the fulcrum. For beginners and onlookers, this effectively freezes out any immediate approach to Mornington Crescent itself, though its effect decays exponentially unless the Balance is reasserted on the player's next turn.

Apr 23, 2002, 01:22 PM
Mmm, I'm checking the rules and obviously it would be interesting for me going to warren street then.

Sorry that week was awful for me, job, blablabla.... not even time to chat with friends:(

Apr 24, 2002, 04:52 PM
You're very wise to check the rules Khanh.

Quiz questions for any other new players out there:
* Does Khanh have sufficient Line Velocity to play Warren Street?
* If not, what would be the correct procedure to raise a Quibble?
* Could he have played Warren Street if Blue Tokens were void?
* At what point, if any, would it have been advantageous to declare Warren Street a home station?

I will email a bound edition of the latest MC rules, signed by Mrs. Trellis, to whomsoever I judge to give the best answers.

duke o' york
Apr 25, 2002, 02:12 AM
I'm not a new player, but to reply to the questions posted:

(1) Fortunately for him, and indeed us all, Genghis does have enough LV to play Warren Street at this point. He has used the reverse gravitational pull of your Ballington Balance to swing toward Mornington Crescent and then be thrust backwards to Warren Street, picking up sufficient acceleration with this to boost the game's LV significantly.

(2) With regard to a quibble, I think that it would be a little unfair to challenge this particular move, but for future reference as a veteran of the Civ 2 Democracy game then I'd suggest calling for a vote of players. This wouldn't need to be a separate thread of course, and would have a limit of say 24hrs after the quibble was called for those who visit to cast their vote and decide the move. You could ask Palehorse I suppose, but he admitted on page 2 of this thread that he had no idea what was going on and this might perhaps prove unwise. I suppose someone could PM Algernon and ask him for adjudication but his visits are so infrequent that this could take some time.

(3) Tokens are void in this game so this question needn't concern us too much, but to clear things up for those who have any doubt I believe that normally the move would be illegal. However, with the conditions currently in place: the MC "push" from the Ballington Balance and the (fading but still operational) pull toward Farringdon, then it is possible to avoid the invalidity of blue tokens by playing a strile to Tottenham Court Road and then using these forces to shunt you to Warren Street. Although we can't tell if M. Khanh played this variation as his moves are described with a bold absence of verbage, but I feel confident that he did and would be in a position to visit Warren Street regardless of the token situation.

(4) Genghis has of course already declared Moorgate as his home station and it would therefore just be plain extravagant (and perhaps a little questionable within the rules) to declare a second home station. Who can afford two homes in London? As to the optimum time to declare Warren Street as home, I fear that it has already passed and that doing this now would put the player in a compromising position, knerdled for two turns. The best time (in this game) to home oneself at Warren Street would have been after Stormerne's move to Pinner as it would have siezed the advantage and multiplied the LV fourfold. Quite a move! Alas, the fool who chose not to was myself and maybe I shall come to rue this oversight. Everything's so obvious with hindsight. :( I would like to say though that I am not particularly fond of Warren Street as a home station and not only because it's within the Circle Line. I find that it's proximity to MC leaves it open to all kinds of defensive tactics, Stormerne's Ballington Balance for example, and this detracts from its potential as a home station. Also if you call it too often, eventually one of the players will find that the prevailing conditions allow them to straddle the Northern Line at Euston and slide to MC with ease. No-one would be so foolish as to inflict this upon themselves regularly and so maybe that is why Warren Street is not a common call as a home station.

I hope that this has cleared upon any doubts there may have been with regard to the Warren Street situation and that no-one decides to quibble Genghis' choice of move, particularly in this tightly-contested end game. :D

Crazy Eddie
Apr 25, 2002, 11:37 AM
It's a good job we're not playin with tokens, I'd forgotten I'd just played Bank. I could have placed myself in Squonk there. :eek:
In a desperate attempt to gain some much needed LV, Waterloo

Apr 25, 2002, 12:21 PM
I see the Duke has replied to this already, but I will try to avoid reading his answer until I have also replied.
* Does Khanh have sufficient Line Velocity to play Warren Street? While I did not announce a specific value, on my turn I did indicate that it was rather high. By my calculations, even given your move, there should have been sufficient LV to enable him to use the effects of your Ballington Balance to produce somewhat of a 'slingshot effect', much as space scientists use to change direction and acceleration when sending probes out to the planets.
* If not, what would be the correct procedure to raise a Quibble? I do believe that, if the LV had been insufficient, a Quibble would be correct. If I recall my studies correctly, at the 1985 World Championships in Helsinki, a similar move was made by Gryce-Paddington. His opponent, the notorious Flanders, immediately raised a Quibble, which took several hours to be adjudicated. Both sides had to submit their calculations on the LV, which also had to include the effect of the current Beck's coefficient. In that particular case, the decision was awarded to Gryce-Paddington, as it was determined he had (barely) sufficient LV to make the move (I believe the excess was on the order of 0,01). Mrs. Trellis herself commented on the Quibble, noting that it was indeed text-book usage, and that if the decesion had gone to Flanders, he would have been in an almost impossibly strong position.
* Could he have played Warren Street if Blue Tokens were void? We are playing tokenless, so this question may be a bit misleading. But if we were using tokens, and Blue were declared Void, then he would, rather paradoxically, not have been able to use this play. I call it a paradox, because, without tokens, one might think that Blue, as well as all others, are void. But instead, when using tokens as in normal play, the Ballington Balance, starting from my last move to Seven Sisters, would have required the play of at least two Red Tokens. It would have also put Khanh into knip, which would have required him to expend a non-void Blue Token to accomplish his move. With Blue Void, this would clearly be impossible.
* At what point, if any, would it have been advantageous to declare Warren Street a home station? The best time, in my estimation, would have been after Eddie played Bank and the two Edgeware Roads. However, he had declared Moorgate as home on his previous move, and then been gone for quite some time, so it is possible he missed the implications of this. I know I did, until I researched your question.

Apr 27, 2002, 08:17 PM
Putting this in a separate post, so it's clearly my move.

I see Eddie has also played while I was working on this reply. So from Waterloo let us ride the Jubilee Line to Stratford, to continue to boost LV.

duke o' york
May 01, 2002, 12:51 AM
I'd just like to clear up a potential misunderstanding regarding Padma's excellent explanation of Stormerne's teaser.
The onlooker at the Gryce-Paddington - Flanders match in Helsinki was of course Mrs Trellis, but it was Mrs Margery Trellis, sister-in-law of the better-known Mrs Cynthia Trellis who was of course acting as a stand-in umpire at the Harvey's African Cup following an unfortunate incident involving designated umpire Tuesday Mkezi and a greased pig in the half-time show. The African Cup was of course intended to be held the week after the World Championships but since many of the Helsinki competitors found themselves in knidd on the way to Heathrow Terminal 4 then it had to be postponed. Mrs Cynthia Trellis had of course already retired from competitive MC by this time and was in Johannesburg to play an exhibition match against Mr Mkezi, whose grandfather memorably thrashed General Sir Redvers Buller in a game played entirely through semaphore and believed by many to have been one of the major factors behind the Boer War in that region.

May 02, 2002, 01:28 AM
Excellent answers from Duke and Padma. Of course I've come to expect nothing less of Duke, but the level of detail from Padma was truly a revelation. I'm a little disappointed that no new players answered my quiz. I wonder if perhaps they may have been a little intimidated by the answers of the more experienced.

What shall I do with the prize? Had it been for allcomers, I suspect I would need a third party adjudicator. Whereas Duke gave the more exact answers, Padma shows tremendous promise. I only hope that Padma doesn't suffer from "early burn-out", the fate of so many bright stars in the MC firmament.

Under the circumstances, since no truly new player has come forward, I think it would be fitting to take the prize to this weekend's "New Forest MC Open Tournament" and auction it for charity. The charity I have in mind is UMCRO - the United Mornington Crescent Rehabilitation Organisation - which does sterling work amongst MC addicts and early burn-outs alike.

I will of course let you know of my progress in the New Forest Open. I'm fairly confident of reaching the final but I'm less confident of fairing so well in that final against my arch-nemesis Dr. Kiessling from Southampton. Dr. Kiessling and I once played an exhibition match in Ipswich. Such was his skill that he was simultaneously holding forth to the local green party on the environmental threat of Dihydrogen Monoxide. We played a standard Mudchute/Mile End opening, but he was intent on showing off and I retired hurt after a dangerous straddle.

Back to our game here. Stratford has no station available to it to reassert the Ballington Balance. This of course was part of the point of playing the Balance and we've now sling-shotted out to places where LV is king. (This is another case where, had we been playing by more advanced rules and had bus-routes available to us, I would now have played Romford High Street without hesitation.) As it is, I will apply the effortless deflection first popularised in the West by Chinese Tai Chi masters and send us to Upminster Bridge. You will have to be on your toes to avoid crashing into the District Line buffers.

duke o' york
May 02, 2002, 01:59 AM
The best of luck against the infernal Dr Kiessling stormerne. I have a feeling that you may need it. Unless he visits this site under a pseudonym then I think that we may be able to give you an edge, at least in the opening exchanges. Having studied the excellent program written by retired MC grandmaster Andrew "Elephant and" Castle with regard to Dr Kiessling's recent strategies then we can expect an abrupt start, with some attacking manoeures but ultimately meaningless thrusts toward Tottenham Court Road. This type of gambit is a feature of his play and usually leaves Dr Kiessling in a very strong position to the north of the Piccadilly Line and his opponent wondering why they have been wasting so much LV defending Tottenham Court Road when he had no intention of ever moving there. Mr Castle's program would seem to suggets that the best way to combat this kind of opening is either to try to copy it, having selected a station of your own, or to ignore it completely and refuse to be ensnared by his wily play. Personally I would recommend trying to squonk the doctor by cutting off the north of the river, although this is a herculean task and you may have to settle for the north of the Circle Line. Either way, this will break his concentration and allow you to move into the midgame with a greater number of useful tokens (red tokens of course are voided by this defence) and a far stronger position than he. Whether you can make the most of this advantage and keep the doctor at bay for the rest of the game is another question, but this ought to put you into a good position and I trust your skill and experience will see you through. :goodjob: Although the doctor may well be knocked out at an earlier round by a "surprise package": such is the nature of open tournaments. I was considering entering the Harewood Hop (the Leeds version of the Hounslow Hop, one of London's premier MC exhibition events) this weekend, but since it clashes with the FA Cup Final then I'm afraid that I shall have to miss it this year. Still, there are rumours of an unauthorised competition being held locally in the near future and although things could get a little heated in the free and unrestricted games, I am tempted to try my hand.

Back to this particular game, I am uncertain how to follow Upminster Bridge without being thrown directly to Upminster and a massive loss of LV, but believe that with a double cascade to London Bridge and then Putney Bridge, I can come out of this with LV intacted (boosted, even) and in a strong position to cause havoc on my next turn! :D

May 02, 2002, 08:19 AM
Thank you for the kind words, stormerne. :) As a beginner, I truly appreciate the "praise from the praiseworthy". I do realize that you are not GrandMasters, but from my humble perch near the bottom of the MC ladder it is a privilege to play with you and Duke. I have always been a quick study, and hope to soon be able to compete on at least nearly the same level.

Believe it or not, this is my first game of MC. I admit I have lurked, and kibbitzed, for several months prior to this, since I first discovered the game in a thread over at Apolyton. (That thread, alas, appears defunct. The last entry is Feb. 8.) Imagine my pleasure when I discovered this thread at CFC!

Unfortunately, stuck as I am in the wilds of North America (actually, it's a fairly modern office building, manicured lawns, etc.), there are very few of my associates who appreciate a game like MC. When I describe the game to colleagues, I am usually met with expressions of disbelief. I can't suggest they listen to ISIHAC, as it isn't broadcast here, and most Americans don't appreciate British humor anyway.

Perhaps it's that drop of Scottish blood in my veins. (My father's mother's mother was of Clan McNeil, of Barra.) My great-uncle (a bit removed) was the painter, James McNeill Whistler. Here in the States, he is best known for his painting "Whistler's Mother" (Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother), but my geneological research has indicated he was an accomplished MC player. With his aggressive, unorthodox style of play, he was in some respects a forerunner of Ruttsborough. His favorite opponent was Oscar Wilde, and the two would often be found deep in a game. His famous libel suit against the critic, Ruskin, was actually precipitated by a game in which Ruskin was unable to keep up with the flamboyant style of play Whistler employed. Outraged at his humbling defeat, Ruskin began calling Whistler's paintings "pots of paint flung into the public's face", leading to the lawsuit.

I wish you luck in your endeavors against Dr. Kiessling. I am unfamiliar with him, but it sounds like you certainly have your work cut out for you.

Much as I would like to play a move of my own (Duke's bridge gambit offers some tantalizing opportunities), I shall wait a bit to allow GenghisK or Crazy Eddie to play.

Edit: Spelling

May 07, 2002, 08:31 AM
The level of competition was much tougher than in any previous year I can remember and elevated it to a grade 4 event allowing the earning International Podume Master norms to successful players. I'll not attempt to delineate any of the games in detail, partly because of the size and number of those games, but mainly because these are always best enjoyed in the superbly annotated Tournament Book published shortly after and I don't want to pre-empt copyright.

For those who don't know what playing in a big tournament entails, I'll try and share some of the atmosphere with you. It starts off in a large hall and there is very little privacy for the contestants who are pressed in from all sides around their boards. This is however good for the spectators for it gives a chance to see all the 'greats' in action from close quarters. Nowadays there is often a roped off area for resolving quibbles. (This is still called 'Holmgang' as the practise dates from times before the Norman conquest where MC disputes were resolved by single combat on a small island. With the dearth of small islands in the New Forest, a roped off area and a bucket of sawdust is much more commonplace and has become international custom.) Around the edges of the hall are many stalls selling MC paraphernalia, ranging from the useful to the plain silly, such as rulebooks for beginners, maps, Beck's coefficient calculators, and a variety of T-shirts with such logos as "MCers do it in knip".

As the tournament progresses there are fewer and fewer surviving contestants and the games attract more analytical debate. To facilitate this, the remaining players are now separated from the audience - though still visible - and huge facsimiles of each playing board are displayed. Things have come a long way since I first played and we no longer have a set up of rakes, counters and maps looking like a war operations room! The local organisation hosting the tournament was this time proudly using its new laser display board instead. By the time the final is reached, the two remaining players are on an elevated stage, and the entire backdrop behind them is used for the laser display.

OK, OK so how did I do? The first rounds were more gruelling than usual since, as I said, the standard of play was much higher. But by the time I got to the quarterfinals, I was on a roll. My last three opponents had succumbed to delicate combinations of quadrant closure and line straddling (yes I know we do that in this forum too but there's no point in mollycoddling you). My quarterfinal opponent who was Chinese (and whose name, I am ashamed to say, I never learned to pronounce properly let alone write) upset me early on by adopting the penholder grip, but I recovered well to blast him on five lines simultaneously. In the semi-finals, as luck would have it, I was matched against Mrs. Terry "the Terrible" Cotter who had once sold a house to me in the mid 80s. Revenge is sweet, and seeing the look on her face when I transposed all of her final spin into reverse squonk made up for all the MDF we found where floorboards should have been.

So I reached the final after all. And who was I pitted against? There was no escape - it was indeed Dr. Kiessling. At this point I must thank all of you who shared analyses and tips with me before the match for it all proved useful - for a while. I'd done some reflection on my recent losses and in conjunction with your hints I was able to see that under no circumstances must I be distracted into anything but my normal style of play. It seems that such distraction is what Dr. Kiessling is best at, and your comments, Duke, bear this out. So from the start I played aggressively and with focus and direction. I saw through the menacing but ultimately hollow threats and forced him to play man to man (or person to person as apparently one must now say). A game of breathtaking beauty and complexity followed and at one point every move brought a murmur of appreciation from a transfixed audience. Finally, and as he himself later admitted, I had Dr. Kiessling on the run, making him jettison all primary tokens and forcing him south of the river. But he rallied, and unleashed a such a withering combination of interchange signal failures and buffer rebounds that I heard distressed cries of "Mind the Gap" coming from the more susceptible members of the crowd.

Then I saw it! He was so heavily invested in his resurgence that he was out of balance around the river. Within fifteen moves I had all his tokens scattered across bifurcated threads and he was forced to accept a terrible choice: defeat, or a draw by perpetual knid. Perpetual knid is so very rare that I'll explain it. It doesn't occur in my of the better MC books because it has long been thought fanciful and impossible during normal game play. However it wouldn't surprise me if our game was not quoted in future textbooks to show the modern way of dealing with it (though I suspect it will make only rare visits to the tournament circuit). The prerequisites are a strong opponent who is weak only around the river, and a new bifurcation. Ensure that tokens are mixed on all level one interchanges so that there is no danger of draw-down of implied secondaries. Ensure also that your opponent is on both sides of the river, one side in each of the bifurcated threads and has straddled back to the other side in both threads. By a simple play on the nearest bridging stations you nail his tokens there. This puts him in knid on one side of the river. The only way for him to break out of that knid is for him to play in the other thread on the other side of the river. And while that breaks the knid in the first thread, it puts him in new knid in the second thread. And the only way to break the knid in the second thread is to similarly get into knid in the first thread again! The only other option to accepting this draw by perpetual knid to let all bridge tokens fall in the river with the subsequent ignominious defeat that it would rightly deserve.

And so Dr. Kiessling and I shared first place in the New Forest MC Open, the first time since the placing of the Rufus Stone that this honour has been shared. There is a new sense of respect and camaraderie between us and I'm looking forward to any future encounters we have.

I've also thought of starting a new "MC squared" thread (Mornington Crescent Master Class). It is, of course, entirely apocryphal that Einstein took inspiration for his Theory of Relativity from seeing a poster advertising such a master class. Nevertheless, as I found out when I discovered Chess Grandmaster Jon Speelman was a CivII aficionado, it is possible to attract the great to these hallowed fora. So we'll see.

Dr Kiessling
May 07, 2002, 12:11 PM
Danke, Stormerne, for your kind words.
I have been monitoring your progress on here, and had you not agreed to the perpetual knid draw at the recent New Forest Open, I would have felt honour-bound to report your connivance to the regulatory authorities.

But I, of course, jest. :)

I will, also, join you in the MC Squared.

Might I add to some of the beginners here that I am available to give private tuition at a very reasonable price.

duke o' york
May 14, 2002, 02:03 AM
.... many miles away!

Welcome to our thread Herr Doctor! I have to ask if you only have the one doctorate as I am always amused by the German practice of calling those with more than one Doctor Doctor o' york (for example: I, alas, do not have a single doctorate to my name :(). :D

Perhaps you would like to give us your interpretation of the final with our good friend stormerne as we have already heard his version of events and I'm sure it would prove most instructive to our visitors to hear yours too.

I came to this thread with the intention of playing a turn but I notice that it was in fact I who played the last turn and it would be more than a little presumptuous to play another directly afterward. Maybe the good Doctor would like to join the game at this late stage, taking of course the customary penalties? The last move is no longer on this page and so I shall reiterate it in the hope that someone else can respond. I stress again that I am only repeating my earlier move, and not playing Putney Bridge again, which would obviously drain my LV.

May 14, 2002, 10:34 AM
Well, Khanh has indicated in other threads that he is on holiday for a couple of weeks. Crazy Eddie hasn't posted since April 27th. I did send him a PM requesting his presence here.

Meanwile, I shall attempt something meaningful.

I am sure that experienced players such as yourselves have seen the Farnsworth Gambit. You are also aware that it is normally used only in normal, ie. with tokens, play. To attempt to pull it off in basic, no-token mode would require the skill of a Master. By my calculations, the LV is about right, and the Beck's, while a little low, should be sufficient. If it were to be attempted, now would be the time.

However, I am most decidedly NOT a master, so I will try to spoil the Farnsworth's with a half-strile down the Jubilee Line to continue the Bridge Cascade with a stop at London Bridge.

Crazy Eddie
May 15, 2002, 02:24 PM
BEEP BEEP BEEP... (lifts handset of red phone with flashing lights) "What's that Mrs Trellis? An MC game in trouble? Dissapearing players? To the batmobile... oh it's me that's missing. Sorry about that, I've been busy. Give my love to Englebert..." (hangs up)

Well, for better or worse I've got some free time now, so I can waste it surfing the net again. :goodjob:

Stormerne's reminiscences about MC tournaments brought a tear to my eyes, I must admit. Ever since the former satellite broadcaster BSB bought exclusive rights to international MC competitions for an undisclosed (but apparently huge) sum of money, I've never seen one. I remember they used to be shown late at night after the Open University for some reason best known to BBC2. MC tourneys are forever linked in my mind with kipper ties and polyester flares. When BSB became bankrupt and was bought out, the broadcast rights have of course been subject to endless court battles over who is responsible for the money still owed to the MC Association, rumored to be about 178M. Such is life. :(

Back to the current game, and anyone who knows my style knows I'm a great fan of cascades, so I'll keep this one going... Another half strile to Vauxhall, a cunning play I'm sure you will agree. :)

Crazy Eddie
May 16, 2002, 10:36 AM
BTW, if you didn't know the new series of ISIHAC starts monday 18:30 BST repeated sunday 12:00 BST. :D
Tune those internet radios to BBC radio 4 and listen to the Mornington Crescent Masters in action!

duke o' york
May 27, 2002, 04:00 AM
This thread has sunk too far and the consequences could be potentially catastrophic! :eek:
The call goes out for a man who can turn the rising tide of non-MC-ism and no-one answers it. The same call goes out for a woman who can address the fearful drop in interest but once again it is to no avail. The duke o' york, therefore, rolls out of bed, yawns widely and trips upon his Underground board. This causes all the counters to be strewn across the floor and the duke inadvertently finds himself having to play a move so that he can justify their new alignment.
So from Vauxhall to Elephant and Castle: a treble strile via Tooting Broadway to bring the Northern Line back into play but block the Bakerloo Line westward.

May 28, 2002, 01:27 PM
What has happened to our players?

If the Duke hadn't posted yesterday I was going to post myself just to keep this thread bumped up to a visible position in the forum. I hadn't earlier because I wanted to let at least two players move before I went again. According to my understanding of the rules, it is certainly bad form for two players to alternate turns rapidly ( :rolleyes: ) and not allow other players to join in. While this would not appear to be the case here, it would seem to have some validity, as we have more than two players, still.

In any case, playing Elephant & Castle was just the move I was hoping for! It allows me to ... erm, Bakerloo westward is blocked ... rats! Hmmm... The Northern Line is back in play. So I can still run up to Moorgate, change trains to the Metropolitan Line, and... Yes! Just enough LV to enable me to reach Chalfont & Latimer! Now, unless someone commits a serious blunder, the slingshot effect as we return from the outskirts of the city should impart a level of LV and, depending on the exact route, a degree of spin, that should allow the endgame of this match to proceed with alacrity.

duke o' york
May 29, 2002, 12:27 AM
I feel that we were all being far too polite and not wanting to butt in ahead of another player who may have taken a turn instead. That's all very well, but it oughtn't go on for a whole week and more!
An excellent move Padma, and guaranteed to spice things up a little, hopefully attracting the attention of players who have drifted further afield and maybe :eek: become involved in succession games!
As to the rapid turn alternation between two players, maybe storm and I were a little guilty of that in the first game we played :blush:, but this was deliberately set up without tokens or obscure rule variations to attract beginners. Whether it has succeeded or not depends on how many we can actually bring back for the finale.

Crazy Eddie
May 29, 2002, 08:46 AM
I was hoping that the start of a new series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue would have raised interest in this little game and brought a few more players in, but sadly not. :(
So, to continue what must be the longest running thread at Civfanatics, I play Aldgate East

Jun 04, 2002, 02:55 PM
Hmm, when I was first learning MC, one of my teachers said that when playing Aldgate East, one should always play it with emphasis, as Aldgate East! It has always sounded better to me that way.

In any case, rather than let this thread sink into the morass at the bottom of the page, and having been so gently chided by duke o' york, I shall bump it back up with a carefully thought out play.

Eddie's move was an excellent one which leaves two major strategies viable for this endgame. As I see it, one could take the District Line to Hammersmith, thereby further increasing both LV and spin, or one could stay further north, leaving the LV nearly unchanged, yet reducing the spin by a third. I have chosen the latter route, and therefor shall take the Metropolitan to

Baker Street.

(Note, if we were playing with tokens, this would have had the added effect of placing everyone south of the river in spoon, but as we are near the end of this game, there should be no noticable difference in play.)

Jun 08, 2002, 04:27 PM
Wonderful to see that MC has established itself at CivFanatics, this is my first look at this forum so I never spotted it before :(

I'm sorry to say I'm too tired to read this rather large thread in one attempt but I look forward to watching some experts play. I find myself more familiar with the Midlands variation of the rules and would not wish to impose my understanding of this fine game onto others.

Jun 11, 2002, 05:46 PM
OK, it's been a week since my last post, and still no other moves? :confused:

C'mon guys, this one is in the final stages! Don't let it die, now! We even have new interest! (BTW, Welcome Arioch!)

duke o' york
Jun 12, 2002, 12:34 AM
I'm sorry about my absence from this thread recently. I was under the mistaken impression that it wasn't yet my turn and that maybe stormerne would return to his thread and take up the the reins once more. Never mind, we are practically there and seem to have gone into a three-person rotation so I shall just relax and play Leicester Square. Now from Baker Street this may appear to be impossible, but I'm afraid that my calculations went a little awry the first time I planned this and my half-crook destined for Green Park failed. And the second time, and the third! Eventually I threw away my sheet of calculations and started again, paying particular attention to the interesting conditions imposed on the Underground by the Jubilee celebrations. This had led to a slight drop in LV and forced me to change lines at Warren Street, but it would appear that the Bakerloo westward is now back in play, although I resisted the temptation to use it as it may have caused me as many problems as it would for my opponents.

Crazy Eddie
Jun 13, 2002, 10:58 AM
The end seems to be getting very close now, and I suspect that if we were playing with tokens my overuse of Bank earlier would have resulted in a much earlier finish. As it is I feel my own position is still particularly weak despite my play of Aldgate East and so with some hesitation I play Tufnell Park

Jun 13, 2002, 01:52 PM
Indeed the end is getting very close. By my computation, the Beck's Coefficiant is now at 0,9781 (that's 0.9781 for any Americans reading this thread :D ).

Let me see, Baker Street, Leicester Square, Tufnell Park.... Yes, Eddie, you were right to hesitate when playing that. Because the only move that seems to fit here, given the LV, the spin, and the Beck's, is...

Mornington Crescent.

I cannot believe that I have possibly won my first game of MC! It can only be that with stormerne having gone missing from this thread, and with the long delays between moves, that players have lost track of the positions in the game. It is difficult to have to mentally replay several previous moves with a week or more between turns, and remember all the implications.

In any event, I await any congratulations or quibbles.

duke o' york
Jun 14, 2002, 12:38 AM
I must congratulate you on your victory Padma for I have no quibbles whatsoever with your finishing manoeuvre. Even if I did, then I would be unable to present them in any meaningful way as I have strewn my notes all over my desk and cannot work out any order. If only the World Cup had not been on to compete for my attention then I may not have bungled my Beck's calculations (I was over 0.32 out!) but I think that I kept a close eye on the oft-changing LV and this enabled me to carry the fight for far longer than I otherwise would have been able to do.
Congratulations then! :goodjob:

Which rules should be use for our next MC outing? I would welcome the reintroduction of tokens and have an irrational dislike of the Venezzia variation but apart from this, am open for any style of play. :)

Jun 14, 2002, 07:56 AM
I have just stumbled on this thread, and must say it has served a noble purpose of giving me something useful to do in time which otherwise would have been frittered away on work I am paid for. I am a complete newbie at this game (if I may use such a vulgar term in the refined atmosphere of MC) but from following the whole thread, I feel I may be able to particpate in the next game, if the players would allow me. Of course, I am likely to be an impediment to the truly advanced play of some of the experts here, but as the great Jimi Hendrix once said 'It's very far away, takes about a half a day to get there, if we travel by dragonfly'. (Profound words indeed, I' sure you'll agree.) It is not generally known that Jimi won the Woodstock MC contest (his knowledge of the game coming from his sojourn in London during the early years of the Experience) beating Pete Townshend with a spectacular double knip and squink just before the sun rose on the final day. (A squink, of course, being a reverse squonk - MC historians blame the brown acid for this move) Hence the Who's impetulance which led them to demand payment in cash before they agreed to go on. Of course, the classic game of that tournament was the quarter final, in which Grace Slick narrowly beat Crosby, Still, Nash and Young.

In order to further my education, could I ask a question about the last moves of the game? I am puzzled why Crazy Eddie did not escape the Tufnell Park trap by taking the 24 bus, which surely would have dissipated some of the LV, allowing him to rejoin the Northern Line at West Hampstead?

Jun 14, 2002, 09:23 AM
Thank you, Duke. I must say I was quite flabbergasted to find myself in the winning position.

I am quite up for another game. I have been following several other games via the web, and feel quite comfortable with token use, now. And if all else fails, I keep the Encyclopaedia Morningtonia ( close at hand! :D

As to specific rules, my suggestion would be Chalk Farm '84, with the Finsbury Amendments of 1988. These bring in, among other things, the existance of Quadrant 5 to hold the Jubilee extension and Docklands lines. There has been talk of making this amendment part of the official rules, (the IMCS are still debating) and the main argument against it is the semantic problem of having 5 Quadrants (of course we all know what "quadrant" means. :lol: )

Generally speaking, however, I am willing to play with nearly any ruleset.

(edit: spelling.)

Crazy Eddie
Jun 14, 2002, 10:10 AM
Congratulations Padma!
Given the high standard of your play, I was sure that you would win this one. :goodjob:

Supernaut: While of course in certain circumstances it may be permitted to use other modes of the the London Transport system, I've always felt it to be a bit unsporting if you see what I mean. ;)

CF '84 + FA '88 is fine by me.

Jun 14, 2002, 11:59 AM
Believe me, Eddie, I appreciate your sportsmanlike conduct! ;)

As I have mentioned (and read my location), I am in the middle of the USA. The closest I have been to London is RAF Lakenheath, where I spent two weeks in a hospital in 1995. (And being in a hospital bed I didn't even get to see the "host community" for the base. :( ) If you had used "alternate transportation" I would have been at a serious disadvantage. (At least I have your map of the Underground. :goodjob: )

That said, I do have a reasonable handle on ghost stations, I think, but unless I can get my hands (or my browser) on a London Bus schedule/map/whatever, Iwould appreciate a variation limited to the Underground.

Jun 14, 2002, 02:34 PM
Congrats :goodjob: Padma. You finally made your way through the best players of the world (i.e. Stormerne and the Great Duky ;)) Well deserved victory. I bow to such a glorious vanquisher

Jun 15, 2002, 09:30 AM
Padma - it only makes your victory more glorious that it was done without local knowledge. I believe the inclusion of buses is known as Livingstoning, but I am happy to leave it out of our game. If we play CF '84 and FA '88, won't we thereby miss out on the Jubilee line extension?

Jun 15, 2002, 11:53 AM
No, no! :D That's what FA '88 is for! It puts the Jubilee extension and the Docklands into Quadrant 5, among other things. This was one of the reasons it was introduced; too many changes had occurred since CF '84 that were not compatable with that ruleset.

Current suggestions for the next official ruleset include shifting the quadrant boundaries to include all current liines while still keeping a balanced four quadrants. But nothing has been finalized yet, of course.

duke o' york
Jul 09, 2002, 02:58 AM
I have decided to resurrect this thread as it has finally slipped off the front page :eek: and without further ado I shall launch another game using the FA '88 rules in the hope of an open game and attracting back all those players who have disappeared elsewhere.
An attacking opening takes us to Charing Cross and denies anyone the possibility of stalling by confining everyone to the outside of the Circle Line for the next two turns. :D This should ensure an enormous LV for the player who decides to break into the boundary after these two turns and mean that this game will be played at a lightning pace. :goodjob:

Jul 09, 2002, 08:11 AM
I may be new to these boards, but I hope I can turn my hand to a little MC with the best of them. As we're playing FA '88, I can't make the West Hampstead play I'd like to, so it seems better to cascade immediately:

Hatton Cross

...which should build up some useful LV while we're at it.

Jul 12, 2002, 05:45 PM
Wow, just when I decide to see what ever happened to the MC thread, the forums go down! Now they're up, and I go to find it, and it's NOT THERE! Check the second page... Not there either! WTF! Wait, what's that stickied at the top? MC! All Right! And a new game started, to boot!

Hmm, another Brit in the game. :D Things are already looking bad for me as the sole American playing this. Time to put that reknowned "Yankee ingenuity" to work. Ahh, yes, by staying on the Victoria Line, I can take King's Cross St. Pancras to continue the cascade, stay outside the Circle Line, and snag a Blue token at the same time!

Jul 14, 2002, 08:41 AM
Mmmm, then I'll prefer go down to stockwell...

Jul 14, 2002, 12:05 PM
Ok - I think I've got enough LV from that to take us to:

Monument and Bank

for the escalators. '88 rules incluce the DLR, right?

duke o' york
Jul 15, 2002, 12:52 AM
The players are returning and we have a game on! :goodjob:

Yes, the FA '88 variation allows all manner of extra-curricular activity and the chance to get out of a potentially sticky knip by using either the DLR or the bus. (Ferries also available, but check the timetable!) Since we seem to be using the escalators at Bank in that classic fashion, then I shall stretch things a little. So I'll use the connection at Shadwell to take us to Shoreditch. Remember that you'll have to visit at peak time to avoid being in squonk and having to take the bus! ;)

Jul 16, 2002, 11:07 AM
Glad to see we have now become sticky! And to celebrate, I shall make my first entry the stickiest station on the system, Camden Town I think I am in peak time and have enough LV. Of course, remember the weekend restrictions on using this station. And the weather will be bringing the tourists out. Btw, will we haver to suspend play tomorrow evening if the Tube strike goes ahead?

[Edit - connection went whoop! as I was posting]

Jul 16, 2002, 01:36 PM
Excellent, indeed! :D

Not only are we getting players, but the turns are going much faster than once every week or two!

A possible Tube strike?! Then I'd better get my play in now. :)

Lately I have been re-(re-re-re-re-)reading some of the exploits of The Master, both the originals and several non-canonical tales. (For those interested, a story not directly handled by The Agent, but practically admitted into the canon, is Manly Wade Wellman's But Our Hero Was Not Dead, published in 1941, about the Master's role in ending the threat from Operation SeaLion.) In any case, I shall take the hop, skip, and jump to Baker Street, to see for myself where 221b may have been. :D

( @Tiefling: just a minor point of ettiquette. Please put your moves in bold. If you are using the Quick Reply window at the bottom of the page, just put the station name between [ B ] and [ /B ]. (without the spaces, of course. ;) ) )

Edit: spelling.

Jul 16, 2002, 03:27 PM
From 221B Baker Street, it's easy to deduce that we should proceed to Westminster, to visit (old) Scotland Yard and see what the faithful Lestrade has for us. Elementary!

duke o' york
Jul 17, 2002, 12:40 AM
Fortunately the Tube strike is not due to start until 8 this evening so I'm able to squeeze a quick move in, although in the hope that the workers and management will reach an agreement.

In a strike worthy of Moriarty himself, I shall take you from Westminster and plunge you into the dangerous streets of Stratford, leaving every man jack of you in knidd and allowing you to cool your heels over the strike period, perhaps taking this opportunity to revisit Holmes' classic MC battle with Mycroft, which took place mere yards from this station in March 1912.

By way of a footnote, Holmes just scraped a victory with a judicious use of an unusual home station - Green Park! :eek:
Also to be included in this footnote, I have been to Stratford and can assure you all that the people were very kind and the streets are no longer dangerous, but they certainly were in Holmes' day.

Jul 17, 2002, 07:10 AM
If only we had some decent engineering industry left in this country, I would now be able to escape using the high-speed Channel Tunnel Link, and possibly commence an international dimension to our game. As it is I fear I am in trouble, and with only 5 hours until the strike starts. However, I am reminded of another literary allusion by our location - the glorious Swan of Avon (OK, wrong Stratford, but I believe the connection is valid). So I suggest a trip to London Bridge to visit the new Globe theatre. At least it isn't raining.

Jul 19, 2002, 08:37 AM
Well, I was going to try to jump in here immediately following the Tube strike, and take advantage of the post-eight PM low volume and consequent increased LV. Alas, it was not to be. First, a fire alarm chased us out of our office at that time, and when I got home, my wife had a "to do" list for me that took until 02:30 (my time!) to complete! :eek:

So now I am sitting in my office as the evening rush hour approaches, trying to puzzle out an appropriate play.

Well, this may seem rather daring, given the hour and the high volume of traffic, and I admit that by my calculation it does lower our LV by 1.36, but it reverses our spin, and I think sets us up for some excellent follow-on plays. So, without further ado, I play Oxford Circus!

Jul 19, 2002, 02:01 PM
That's an interesting spot of diagonalisation there. I think it leaves us with enough LV for a north Circle Line spin-transfer. I decide to break form a little (and avoid any Circus puns) by heading for Goldhawk Road. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I have two buff tokens as a result.

*listens to everyone fumbling for maps*

duke o' york
Jul 29, 2002, 04:05 AM
I return to this thread with a fanfare and a particularly cunning move to give you all something to think about in the next few turns. A move Napoleon is rumoured to have employed at Waterloo in the traditional semaphore match played between the generals before 19th century battles, this takes us to Kensington (Olympia) and puts a halt to any plans you may have harboured to go south of the river.

A shocking pun, for which I apologise.

Jul 31, 2002, 03:02 AM
Hmm, an interesting move, your grace. I was inspired by your hostorical anecdote to of course choose the eponymous station for that battle, but your cunning move invokes the Black Cab injunction ('Not going sarf of the river at this time of night') so I shall have to think again, and I think an appropriate maneuver would be to go from one Napoleon to another: Chesterton's Napoleon of Notting Hill (Gate)

Aug 01, 2002, 10:13 AM
I see the game has slowed a bit now, but that's all right; it's been a very busy week for me. :)

I don't know London as well as my esteemed opponents, so I cannot perform a deft half-strile to yet another Napoleon, or any such move. So I am reduced to studying the map, and calculating the advantages and disadvantages of various locations, as they relate to the mechanics of the game. I notice in particular a pattern emerging in the last few moves, and I trace the obvious permutations on my map.

Lo and behold, I find a perfect situation. If I reduce the spin slightly, we can visit Apsley House, home to Napoleon's nemesis, the Duke of Wellington, by going to Hyde Park Corner.

Aug 12, 2002, 06:28 AM
HELLO ... hello ... hello ....

Hmmm, seems to be an echo in here. The place appears to be quite empty.

Whatever happened to my fellow MC addicts?

duke o' york
Aug 13, 2002, 06:53 AM
Aye, 'tis a sad state of affairs when this once-proud thread is reduced to a mere two contestants, and although I respect your skill at the game Padma, I fear it will not be a particularly interesting contest if all the games are between ourselves alone. :(
Lawks! says the duke, having realised perhaps Supernaut has been waiting for him to make a move and that perhaps things are not quite as gloomy-looking as they might seem. :D
I now feel very foolish, but can we manage to recapture the attention of stormerne and Genghis, let alone Eddie and Tiefling?
I hope so and will therefore make a bold ploy that could be cosatly to all but ought to rocket the game into lightning speed as far as LV is concerned. Hold onto the handrails please passengers! Hyde Park Corner to...... Seven Sisters!

Aug 15, 2002, 03:58 AM
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad memeory attack. The recent apocalyptic deluge on our great metropolis resulted in me having to take an unplanned late night trip to Seven Sisters when most of the Victoria Line wwas closed. Took ages to find a cab home...

If it hadn't been for that, then I would have started with the words of the incomparable, and incomprehendably ignored, Dan Reed Network: "I met a little cutie and her name was Judy and we made love all the time, down on Seven Sisters' Road." We could start another thread on songs written about tube stations but fear we would run out of speed after Baker Street and The Mill Hill Self Hate Club.

However, on with the game. With the LV we have built up now, I think we should be able to swing round the stadium here and reverse direction, all the way to Brixton

duke o' york
Aug 15, 2002, 05:18 AM
What about Abba's Waterloo, Morrissey's Piccadilly Palare, Tina Turner's Angel, London Bridge (traditional), Suggs' Camden Town, the Kinks' Victoria, Theme from Grange Hill, Neasden Mother Brown (traditional), On (Ealing) Broadway by George Benson, Hello Dollis (Hill) by Louis Armstrong and others, Underneath the Archwayby Flanagan and Allen, an entire musical entitled The Adventures of a Bear called Paddington, and of course the old favourite:
(All together now!)
"Goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester Square,
It's a long long way to Tipperary and my heart lies there."

Just some fun for the thread - any more suggestions very welcome. :D
Not my go by the way, but we'll see who comes by.

Aug 15, 2002, 10:08 AM
Neasden Mother Brown??????? Cough splutter cough. Stretching a point there I fear. :)

Aug 20, 2002, 07:17 PM
Apologies for not responding here sooner. I have been quite tied up at work, and really been unable to do much more than glance at the forums. Anyway, I certainly haven't had the time to give this game the consideration it deserves.

Lets' see. Seven Sisters, followed by a swing down to Brixton. That means that if I maintain the current spin, I should be able to kick it out to Uxbridge. The potential LV from this position is very high. It will be interesting to see what the next player makes of it.

I wonder what happened to Tiefling? He was pretty hot and heavy here, pressing the moves at the beginning. Haven't seen him for a couple of weeks, now. I wasn't surprised to see GenghisK stop responding. He has admitted he feels out of his depth.

Oh, well. At least three of us are playing.

duke o' york
Aug 21, 2002, 12:49 AM
I thought Neasden Mother Brown was hilarious! :lol: But that's probably a poor reflection on my sense of humour. :(

Anyhoos, back to the action. And we're zipping along with a phenomenally high LV, but I hope that you have both been paying full attention to the relevant coefficients because I'm about to bring them into play with my latest move. :)
Judicious use of a couple of buff tokens to totally reverse the direction of spin mean that I can squeeze the LV for all it is worth and bounce us back towards the Circle Line and Great Portland Street. Before sitting back to see what you come up with I'd like to caution you both against going too close to a mainline station at this point. With the LV at the level it is then merely passing through King's Cross or Waterloo could see us catapulted to Stevenage, Guildford or even (heaven forbid) Lille! And let me tell you it is no easy matter to reverse the LV from so far away and return to the Underground once this has happened. Therefore proceed carefully while the LV is so high and avoid mainline stations if at all possible. :goodjob:

Aug 21, 2002, 03:55 AM
The mention of my old home town (Guildford) brings tears to my eyes. Mainly at the remembrance of so many appalling journeys in the cattle trucks of Network South East, but that's another matter. I feel it is time to slough off some of this dangerously high level of LV (we certainly don't want to head for for the Home Counties, or Padma may start to feel completely out of his depth). Since I have been quietly accumulating blue and red tokens over the last few moves, I believe I can now pierce the Circle Line and head for Leicester Square . The huge crush of tourists waving their backpacks around and calling the place Lysester should slow us down considerably. :)

Aug 21, 2002, 01:47 PM
"excuse me, sir. Is this lye-ses..., er, lee-ses...". (Pulls out a map and points to Leicester Square.) "Are we here?" :lol:

Reminds me of when I was very young, and couldn't figure out why my mother refused to pronounce "worcestershire sauce" the way it was spelled. :D

Anyway, battling the tourist crowds has certainly drained off LV. I find the best I can do is Russell Square.