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Blue stones is one of the last wargames published by International Team.
It's a mixture between Zargo's Lords and Cry Havoc / Siege. Like in Cry Havoc, Each counters represent one man and the game takes place in a restricted area: a castle. Like in Zargo's Lords, it's possible to play 2 3 or 4 players and each player conducts a fantastic people with magic powers.
This game is better with 4 players: the first alliance against the monks will not remain after the capture of the first blue stone. With 4 people, the unbalance power between the people is not so high (Orientals are to much strong, Arboreï are weak)
The illustration is signed JCosta86
Opening of the box
The box contains the rules, the map, 1 die, a combat table, the counters and 4 people cards.
The map represents the battle zone: the Monk castle. Each level is represented by a different color. On the walls, you can see the doors. On top of each door, there is an unstable monkey bridge. On top of each of the 4 towers is a magical precious stone: the blue stone
In most of the case, a counter represent one man or animal. Some creature like the dragon is represented by more than one counter. On the counter is indicated the combat factor (to the left) and the movement factor (to the right).
In my game, the counters were unpunched, but I rebuild as much as I can the unpunched counter sheet. Click on the picture for a better quality image if you need to rebuild missing parts.
The rulebook contains 16 pages in 3 languages (Italian, German and French). A copy of the French rules is available here. In this web page, I translated everything required in English. That's why this chapter is bigger than usual. If something is not clear, please send me a mail, I will be happy to support you.
Blue Stones may be played by 2 3 or 4 players. One of this player will have to play the monks, who defend their castle. In any case, one player can play only one people. the monks allways use all their counters. If 3 players are fighting against the monks (it means 4 player in total), they do not use the infantry counters. For 2 players against the monks, each player have only 2 infantry counters. For one player against the monk: all the counters.
At the beginning of the game, the monk infantry is on the wall, one per "sentry box" (see picture), and on the internal doors. Then, use a random event to decide the playing order for the other players. Following this order, each other players put his counters where he wants outside the castle in an hex touching the wall. Then the monks put their remaining counters inside the castle.
A game is played in 15 turns. The player who controls the biggest amount of blue stones in the end is the winner. The invaders play first, the monks play last. A small red cube is used to indicate the turn.
For the movements, each hexagon requires one movement point. It's not possible to cross an hexagon occupied by an enemy but it's possible when it's a friendly unit if the allied players gives his authorization. 2 counters of one people may be in the same hex when it's not an animal or a creature.
No counter can finish its movement on a tree and only the birds can cross such hex. It's possible to cross the monkey bridges on the top of the doors but it's not possible to stay here: when a counter is on such hex, he is always on the lowest level (the door).
The wells are only used for secret passages under the castle. Each player jumping on it will exit in the main well "I". During the next turn, he will exit in the well "II". On the next turn, a die will be thrown and the counter will exit on the corresponding well. If he do not like this exit, he can come back to the well I and restart the process. If he is happy, he can continue his movement starting from the well.
To cross a wall: Way up: the counter has to touch the wall in the begining of the turn, then a die is thrown. For the external walls, it's a success with 4 5 or 6 (or 5 6 if the arrival hex is touching an enemy counter). For the internal walls it's 3 4 5 6 (and 4 5 6). Way down: it costs 3 movement points. But it's not possible to finish near an enemy or in the same hex as any kind of counter.
The hex touching an enemy are called "Zone of Control" (ZoC), except there is no ZoC across a wall or a door. A counter entering in an enemy Zoc has to stop.
During a combat, the attacker combat factor (CF) is the sum of the CF of the counter used. When there is 2 counters in the attacked hex, both defense factor (DF) are also added. A counter can only attack one single hex. He is allways free to attack or do nothing. To solve the combat, subtract DF from CF. Then throw one die and look at the result on the combat table: AE (DE) attacker eliminated (Defenser) A1 D1 A3 D3 A5 D5, retreat of 1 3 or 5 hex. The retreat have to be made through authorized hexes (not on tree etc) and is forbidden in an enemy ZoC. A counter not able to follow this rule is eliminated. When the attacker wins, he can enter in the hex where the enemy was, with one or two counters that participated to the combat. This is only possible for the attacker, not the winning defender.
Across a wall, the attack is made with a -3 for each counter behind the wall. Across a door, the DF is multiplied by 3. Each lord on a blue stone adds a +1 to the FC of each of its people counters (except creatures and animals). This bonus is cumulative (2 stones means a +2).
The bowmen, crossbowmen and sling holder may attack at distance. These attacks are made before the other combats. Each counter can fire on only one other counter and then can not do a normal attack. Several counters can attack the same target.
To solve the attack, the distance is calculated, the die is thrown and the result is a number of arrow. For each arrow, the defense throw a die: 1 or 2: counter eliminated. If the attackers are monks, the counter is eliminated only on 1. The distance is calculated as number of hex with a +1 if the minimum path comes along a wall or cross a well or a tree. No counter can throw an arrow or a stone when he is in an enemy ZoC.
The counters on doors can not be attacked by arrows or stones.
Here is the list of powers for each people:
An article in Casus Belli 36:
The rules are brief and easy to manipulate. You may be seduced by fast and furious combat especially if you do not like position wars. Blue Stones is one of the best Heroic fantasy Wargame available in the French market.
An article in Jeux et Stratégie 43:
Some price (2004-2006):
BLUE STONES overview
Game for 2 to 4 players from 15 years on
Time of game: 2-6 hours
Level of difficulty: 3 (average)
Blue stones on boardgamegeek
Blue stones in LA CAVERNE
This game was influenced by Siege, from the Cry Havoc serie. So I have to give the link to the excellent and famous Cryhavocfan and the page on Siege and also the site Le scriptorium de Reanonyme
A special thanks to Bartorei for his support that helps me to finish the page and for his old player comments.
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