Introduction Thank you for taking an interest in the beautiful game- I hope that this guide will help those new to the game to develop the subtle skills required to become a proof Brooke-Taylor standards. As they say, MC is an impossible game to learn but, with the right instincts, it is possible to master. Setting Up First check to see if anyone wants to play with you. If so, then you do not need to play MC and can go and do something more fun with them instead. If not, then arrange yourselves into order. It is usually accepted that the oldest player goes first, and this will always end up being you because anyone willing to play MC will also be unwilling to reveal how old they really are. It is usually considered impolite to actually have a Tube map to hand during a game, but for beginners it is permissible and a 6x4, wipe-clean plastic version is available at all good retailers. Starting a Game You will want to deliberate for some time before your first move, especially if your opponents are waiting for you. Here are some points you might like to consider before making choosing your first station: 1. What rules are being played? A number of MC variations exist and it is important to know what subtleties may be present in your version. Be afraid to ask- it is a sign of weakness and other players will pounce on you. 2. Are you using the right dice? Remember, you use the 3 red dice when attacking and the 2 blue ones when defending. 3. Which stations are wild? It would be foolish to attack a wild station on your first move- you may need it later when you are in thrip. 4. Does the station you have played actually exist? Though this is not a problem with more experienced players, it is usual to remain in just one network during the basic game- the London Tube network. Extensions are available at later stages. Remember- there is no such station as "Tower of London". If an opponent starts first you may have no time to think, especially if The Ancient Ceramic League Ruling is in place. If in doubt, say "Shoreditch" and the next man will pass you by without comment. Use the break to plan your next move. Do not try and be clever and Dollis Hill someone at this early stage. I once saw a man get confused and say MC straight away out of desperation- he was either very stupid or a genius with a ridiculously clever disguise- he went on to win by 16 laterals to 6 after a restart, but do not try such exploitative measures yet, try and learn more about the opposition first. Playing the Game This is only a beginners guide, and to explain the full rules would take a long time and ultimately be a fruitless exercise- the best MC players always pick up the game themselves from watching others. Also, bear in mind that there are so many MC variations that to describe one of them without the others would only lead to confusion. A partial list of common variations follows. Ending the Game The game ends when a player reaches MC (duh...). Although MC has been known to be successfully reached in only 17 moves, it should be remembered that the average is closer to 30, and games have been known to enter the hundreds and even thousands when particularly skilled MCers are playing! Try and secure as many laterals as possible, especially in competitions as they will be useful in a tiebreak situation. NEVER try to prise open your opponents laterals without first making sure that yours are properly defended- I usually consider laterals to be sufficiently defended if you can keep a whole zone for two moves. As with playing, finishing does depend on the variation in play, in reverse MC you actually start at the Crescent and have to find your way back to the start, actually breaking down your own laterals! Troubleshooting 1. The game will not start- see above. 2. The game will not stop- just say MC and run, most players will be too relieved to double-check your laterals. 3. No one wants to play- yeah, right, like that is ever going to happen. 4. You suspect that a player may be a woman- this is obviously very irregular, take their name, age and vital statistics and send them immediately to the Chair of the KCS MC society. Due to shortness of cash the chair has had to be doubled with the Bed. 5. A player is not wearing a bow tie, even though it is Wednesday- Declare yourself the victor and expel them from the KCS MCS. Afterword You should now be able to hold your own in an MC match- now all you need is experience- get out there and get MCing!