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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Welcome to Part 3!

Here I will talk in detail about "range", which is one of the most difficult things for beginners to grasp. In all honesty, the concept is simple. All you need is to be clear about the differences between:

1. Attacking Range vs Physical Range
2. "-1 horse" vs "+1 horse"

Ok so here we go!

Attacking Range 攻击距离 VS Physical Range 距离

Attacking Range is how far your ATTACK 杀 can reach. Physical distance is how far your character can reach to use certain tools or abilities. Attacking range is ALWAYS greater than or equal to physical distance.

Here's an analogy that might help you visualize. Suppose you are an archer with a bow and arrow. Your target is a balloon placed 20 meters away (which you can hit comfortably). Separating you from the balloon is a stream 3 meters wide that you cannot jump across. Just on the other side of the stream is a bag of coins you want to pick up.

Your attacking range is how far you can shoot your arrow. Your physical distance is how far you can physically reach to grab something. In this case your attacking range is far enough to hit the balloon, but your physical range is not far enough to grab the coins. To increase your physical distance, you need a horse that can help you jump across the stream. Get the picture?

At the start of the game, every player has no weapon and no horses, so everyone will have a attacking range and physical range of 1. Units here are counted by number of players to your left or right. Therefore in the schematic below, Andy can attack Beck and Henry, and can also STEAL 顺手牵羊 (based on physical distance) from them.

Figure 1

Let's say Andy manages to draw a weapon with an attacking range of 3, such as Rock Cleaving Axe 贯石斧. Now his attacking range has increased as shown below.

Figure 2

Andy's attack can now reach every player except Ellie. However, Andy can only steal from Beck and Henry because his physical distance has not increased. Physical distance is still 1, while his attacking distance is now 3.

Ok so far? Let's move on.

"-1 horse" VS "+1 horse"
Horses affect physical distance, but each type affects in two different ways. First let me talk about "-1 horse"

"-1 horses" improve your offensive capability. It allows you to "reach" further by subtracting 1 unit of distance when you are making an offensive move.

Let's say that Andy manages to equip a "-1 horse". His ranges would now look like this.

Figure 3

Notice that the physical distance between Beck and him has become zero? That's what the "-1" does. It subtracts 1 unit for your offensive moves, so that now Andy can steal from Christie and Gabriel as well. Notice that his total attacking range has also increased, because he can "reach" further. His total attacking distance is now 4, meaning he can use ATTACK on every player in this game.

Bottom line: "-1" horse increases both your attacking and physical range by 1 unit.

Now what about "+1 horse"? It increases the defensive distance between yourself and other players.
Important note: "+1 horse" and "-1 horse" can be equipped at the same time. This is because "+1 horse" only affects how others reach you (defensive) while "-1 horse" only affects how you can reach others.

So let's describe this with an example. Suppose Andy only has his Rock Cleaving Axe (Figure 2), and Donna equips a "+1 horse". Now Donna has increased her defensive distance between herself and Andy. Andy's attacking ranges would now look like this.

Figure 4

Andy can no longer use ATTACK on Donna since the distance between her and Andy is now increased to 4. Similarly, if Beck equipped a "+1 horse", Andy can no longer steal from him since the distance between them would be 2.

Note that if Andy equips a "-1 horse", then his "-1 horse" will cancel out the "+1 horse" of his opponents.

Going ok so far? So now let me confuse you a little more.

Let's talk about the scenario where Andy has both types of horses equipped. Andy's range would look like this.

Figure 5

Andy can steal and attack up to Christie and Gabriel. You should be able to understand this so far.

Now it's Beck's turn and Beck is thinking about attacking Andy. However Beck has no weapons and no horses. Can he use ATTACK on Andy?

The answer is...

Figure 6

... no! Because Andy's distance from Beck is 2, thanks to Andy's "+1 horse". Without any weapon or "-1 horse", Beck cannot touch Andy at all.

So that's it for my brief write-up about Attacking and Physical range in San Guo Sha 三国杀. Hope this was easy to understand. As usual, if you spot any mistakes or have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment!

In Part 4 of Game Rules, I shall be talking about "Judgement 判定", and that can get pretty complex as well. Since you have made it this far, I'm sure you will be able to understand it quickly, won't you? Click here to go to Game Rules Part 4: Judgement 判定.

Till then, enjoy and have fun!


  1. Let's say in Figure 4 scenario, Christie is the one who has a "+1 horse" instead of Donna, is the offensive distance take into account for Andy to ATTACK Donna?

  2. Distance to attack Donna in figure 4 is 3. Distance to Christie is also 3. Christie is the one riding the horse. Why should it affect Donna?

  3. Hi thanks for the question. The reply is correct. The horse only affects tbe distance of the player equipping it. It is not cumulative over the sequential players.

  4. Question. Let's say in Figure 5, Christie dies and is out of the game. Does the distance between Beck and Donna close in? Is Andy allowed to attack Donna now?

  5. The answer is YES Andy is now allowed to attack Donna. Once any player dies and is removed from the game, the distance is closed in.

    Thus it is usual for a REBEL to kill the players immediately beside the RULER so as to bring the RULER within killing range.

  6. It is possible to equip 2 horse at once right? Because my friend played the online version and they did not allow him to equip the +1 and -1 horse at the same time...

  7. Yes it is. In Figure 5, Andy has both +1 and -1 horse equipped.

  8. can we equip 2 -1 horse or 2 +1 horse? for 2 -1 horse lets use Figure 5, so the distance will be -1 0 1, so i can attack and steal from Fiona and Donna?

  9. @Anon
    No you cannot equip two -1 horse and two +1 horse. Only one of each.

  10. Which cards besides steal use physical distance to judge wether you can play the card on that player?

  11. ^
    Rations Depleted from Battle Expansion Pack.

  12. I see, cards that are affected by physical range explicitly say so. Maybe this should be added to this page.

  13. Maybe this is a strange question but with regards to weapons can you have as many weapons on hand for use at any time? Ex: you can have Kilin bow, crossbow, dragon sword, and twin swords at the same time and use them as you please? or can you only have one weapon equipped at a time. Also, I assume you can attack without a weapon correct?

  14. You can only have 1 weapon equipped. If you equip another, the old one will be discarded.

    The same applies to armour.

    Horses are an exception in that you can have both a +1 and a -1 horse equipped at the same time.

    Lastly, yes, you can attack even if you don't have a weapon equipped. Your default range is 1.

    1. So if u have a -1 horse equipped, can u play another -1 horse and replace the first one as u do with the weapon and armor ?

  15. can you pls list which cards are physical and which are attack range?

    1. Cards that modify physical range:
      +1/-1 horses

      Cards that modify attacking range:
      - All weapons, except the CROSSBOW - which has the default 1 range

      Cards bound by attacking range:
      - ATTACK

      Cards bound by physical range:

      Range-less cards:

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. If the distance between two players is zero, can you still attack them? Please let me know.


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