Monday, April 22, 2019

A conversation on hypothetical Dutch oldschool rules

With pretty much everybody making their own rules these days, we never really got around to posting this. I almost did somewhere last year, but then I got sucked into some pretty busy period at work, and there are quite a lot of oldschool tournaments in our country I visited (and organized as well) so it never materialized. I'm not really sure we need an extra set of rules, but then again, I'm not really sure some of the decisions that are floated every now and again are my cup tea either. I mean really, unrestriced strip mine? I remember when that was reality, and being screwed out of mana just because your opponent drew 2 or 3 strip mines in the first couple of turns is a good way to make people hate the game. It will just be 3 extra slots of cards you will see in pretty much every top tier deck. How is that fun? And why would we do that just because literally one someone thought it was a good idea? 

Anyway, this conversation did take place and we almost made our own set of rules official for some of the tournaments we organize, but for now it's just a hypothetical situation. That doesn't mean it won't happen though. Maybe we'll get the Belgians to join and we'll make it the North Sea rules and ask the English to join as well :) Who knows. It's one of the nice things about an unofficial format that's just about playing for fun. The conversation:

B: You know, at the latest tournament one of the guys asked me if we're going to update the rules.
A: Oh, why?
B: Because apparently, the French have updated their rules, and since we're playing by the French rules, that would imply we change some things.
A: That makes sense. So what did they change?
B: Well, tapped creatures don't do damage anymore
A: That sounds good! It makes Mishra's factory less of a powerhouse.
B: And they unrestricted black vise
A: I've always wondered why that was restricted in the first place. If you can play 4 vises and have mana-burn, maybe you wouldn't really need to restrict mana drain because control would be less good in the first place. So, sounds good. Shall we update the rules?
B: wait, there's more..
A: Oh, what?
B: They also unrestricted recall and maze of ith
A: What?
B: Yup. At least, that's what the guy said. I've got to look up how that works.
A: Errr.. so while lots of people are complaining about how good the deck is, they make it possible to recall their ancestral, regrowth, demonic tutor, strip mine and braingeyser more than once? That sounds like a really bad idea..
B: I don't know. The Swedes also did it and some people seem to think it hasn't changed all that much.
A: I really don't think people recalling their Ancestral or Mind twist more than once would make things better..
P: I think it sounds like an exellent idea!! I mind twist you.. and then ancestral, again... and again and again!!
B: Thanks Peter.. I feel much better now :s
A: And spending an eterinity plowing to get through 2 or 3 mazes of ith does not seem like a particularly fun thing to do either.. It's not like there weren't enough good lands already..
B: I remember being mind twisted twice in one game during the last Draconian Cylix. I agree, it's not the greatest of experiences. Well, let's not kid ourselves, it just plain sucks, but then again, that was always possible with regrowth and recall. 
A: So what do the Dutch rules say?
B: There are no Dutch rules. There's Dutch people playing by Swedish and Dutch people playing by French rules. And some stuff in between with Swedish rules with reprints allowed. That would be the Ravenna rules I guess. I don't think there's Dutch people playing by EC rules so that's it. 
A: Oh right. Yeah. No Dutch rules. Just Dutch guys following rules from other guys.
B: So, what are we going to do?
A: So were those all the rules changes?
B: I think so, I'll have to look into it.
A: Well, I'm not going to stand for people recycling power over and over again. That sucks. We're not going to do that if you ask me.
B: Well, we could make our own set of rules, that would fix the problem. Since there are no Dutch oldschool rules, we could start them right here and now.
A: Sounds fine by me. Go for it. I'm fine with pretty much everything exept the recall.
B: OK. Here goes..

After this conversation, I did some googling, and found there are actually two sets of French oldschool rules that both seem to be in effect for different events in France. One over here on the bazaar of moxen site:,37/old-school-rules,c285.html, which is the set we derived our set of tournament rules from. Since there is no update there, I think they are still in effect for certain eventes. There is also a more recent set over here: This last one was used for the 2018 eternal weekend. When I looked through that update, I found that most of the changes were indeed there, exept the unrestricting of recall. This kept our concerns about the changes in check, meaning we can keep the Dutch and French oldschool rules in sync right now. So, the rules are updated but now called Dutch Oldschool Rules. They're the same as the latest French Oldschool rules for now, but to prevent any misunderstanding in the future, we'll just call them Dutch from now on.