ENCYCLOPEDIA 4U .com

 Web Encyclopedia4u.com

# Can't Stop

Can't Stop is a board game for up to four players.

The game was designed by Sid Sackson, one of the most prolific board game designers of all time.

The game was published by Parker Brothers in 1981, and can be hard to find. It is not difficult to build a board of your own, however.

## Game Design

The game equipment consists of four dice, a board, a set of markers for each player, and three neutral-colored markers.

The board consists of eleven columns of varying heights (one for each of the numbers two through twelve). The columns on the ends (two and twelve) are the shortest, with only three spaces, and the seven column is the tallest, with thirteen spaces.

On a player's turn he rolls all four dice. He then divides the four dice into two pairs, each of which has an associated total. (For example, if he rolled 1 - 3 - 3 - 4 he could make a 4 and a 7, or a 5 and a 6.) If the neutral markers are off of the board then they are brought on to the board on the columns that correspond to these totals. If the neutral markers are already on the board in one or both of these columns then they are advanced one space upward. If the neutral markers are on the board, but only in columns that cannot be made with any pair of the current four dice, then the turn is over and the player gains nothing.

After moving the markers the player chooses whether to roll again or not. If he stops, then he puts markers of his color in the location of the current neutral markers. If he on a later turn restarts this column he starts building from the place he previously claimed. If he does not stop then he must be able to advance one of the neutral markers on his next turn, or all previous progress on this turn is lost.

When a player reaches the top space of a column and claims it then this column is won, and no further play in that column is allowed. When a player claims three columns he has won the game.

Another potentially confusing rule is that "if you can place a marker, you must". Suppose you have a neutral marker in the 7-column, with two unplayed. You now roll 2-2-5-5. Of course, you want to declare two sevens. However, you still have an unplayed neutral marker, so you must choose 4 and 10, placing your remaining two neutral markers. The official rules that come with the game are unclear on this point. The rule may have only been intended to apply, in the above scenario, if you roll 3-4-1-2. You choose to make a 7 and a 3, advancing your 7 market, and you must also place your 3 marker even though you would prefer to hold it in reserve. You aren't forced to make a 4 and 6 using up both your markers. The official rules merely say "if you can place a marker, you must", not stating if this rule applies before or after a player decides how to subdivide his 4 dice.

## Strategy

Since this is a dice-based game, success does depend significantly on luck. That being said, a good player will consistently beat a poor player, so there is significant strategic opportunity.

Both choices (which markers to advance, and whether to roll again or not) offer difficult decisions. A player can focus on the easy-to-roll but tall columns, such as 6, 7 and 8; or he can focus on the short, but difficult-to-roll columns such as 2 and 12. If the neutral markers are in the unlikely columns you should choose to reroll less frequently, since there is much greater chance of your not being able to make any of your numbers. If you are on the common numbers you should push your luck longer, since the risk of crapping out is lower. If another player is close to claiming a column, then you should push your luck longer, hoping to steal this column away from him.

There is significant benefit to keeping the neutral markers off the board for as long as possible. This gives the ultimate flexibility, since there are typically very few rolls that cause you to end your turn prematurely when you have off-board neutral markers.

## Sample Board

```          7
6 * 8
5 * * * 9
4 * * * * * 10
3 * * * * * * * 11
2 * * * * * * * * * 12
* * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
* * * * *
* * *
*
```
The '*' denotes an empty space, and the numbers are also a space.

Content on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. We accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information published on this site. We encourage you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities.