Why C&C?

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
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jahydin
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Why C&C?

Post by jahydin »

This is a topic I've been dying to ask ever since joining the forums: Why Castles & Crusades?

With 5E as popular as ever and the OSR movement beyond saturated with multiple takes on every addition D&D, what makes you stick with C&C?

For me, it's a nice break from modern ways of playing. I like presenting a situation and watching the players come up with imaginative solutions using odd items and/or the environment. I think SEIGE does an amazing job making this happen as simple as possible. Most modern games I run, players are always looking down at their sheet for the answers for everything and I find that pretty boring. Can't blame them though. If I'm playing characters that shoot lasers out of their eyes, transform into a dinosaur, or turn invisible at will, simple actions such as jumping on tables or using caltrops seems pretty stupid in comparison...

So older additions for me it is! Out of all of them, I found AD&D to have the perfect tone. Players felt more capable and heroic, but the world was still pretty dangerous. Also love all the iconic classes, treasures, and spells too. But it came with a lot of mechanics I'm not to thrilled about: Percentile strength, racial limits, and overly complicated melee (including 3/2 attacks/round, damage vs medium/large, AC adjustments due to weapon type, complicated initiative with weapon speeds, etc...) to name a few.

So that leads to the OSR space, and boy is there a ton of amazing games and content! But despite lots of games that use AD&D as inspiration, C&C is still the easiest for me to get new players to try out thanks to being d20 based and easy to read with beautiful illustrations. For me, as CK, it's also a breeze to write adventures for (those treasure tables are just amazing) and easiest to run (go SEIGE!). Most of all though, it chips away or smooths out to perfection almost every irritation I had with the original.

So to everyone else: Why C&C?

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Bifford
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Bifford »

For me personally it takes the feel of fantasy edged games like D&D but provides easier mechanics, all of which are modular. I can run C&C using just the base 12/18 stuff and everything else is optional/gm feat. Unlike D&D, which requires in-depth knowledge.

My group....not so keen for the exact opposite reasons

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Grandpa
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Grandpa »

Better mechanics than 5E. Simpler more flexible rule set for GM & players. Feels like real D&D but with modern game mechanics. 3x turned into an uber complex power gamer mess. 5E is nothing like "D&D" feel. 5E is more oriented towards those who would be upset to lose a character IMO.

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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Julian Grimm »

It's basically AD&D 3e and it's compatibility with all D&D editions makes it a no brainer.
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Fizz »

For me, it is the feel and speed of play. 3E just took too long to arbitrate. We had 3E combats that took entire afternoons. I'd rather be focused on the adventure than adding every little bonus that comes from feat A and feat B and skill C. 5E is an improvement, but still has a lot of mechanical crunch by comparison. C&C, we can arbitrate decisions quickly and move on with the story.

Since the mechanic is d20-esque, it is very compatible with other systems, so pretty much any 3E and 5E material can be utilized without too much effort. That was certainly a benefit with all my other material at the time.

Back when i started mid-2000's, i would have included unified mechanics as one of my reasons as well, but that is not as big a deal to me nowadays. If something can be better modelled with a different mechanic, i have no compunctions about using it.


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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Tadhg »

Hmm, a few of us wrote up some blurbs about "why C&C" some many years ago ~ and the Trolls published them on their website (might have been the one before this one). I don't see it featured on their now main site. I couldn't find anything whilst searching.

The blurbs/reviews were funny and interesting as I recall.

Mebbe, someone has the old link or a download of said blurb/review.

Enjoy the game,

Rhu. ;-D
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Persimmon »

Funnily enough, C&C was the first OSR type game I ever played, back in late 2016. With D&D I had never moved beyond playing B/X and 1e AD&D, though I had tried a played a variety of other games and systems in the 1990s-2000s. Most of the people I played with (until around 2010) hadn't played later editions of D&D either and none of us were (or are) that plugged into the online gaming scene. And with no decent gaming stores near where I was living for several years I had no idea anything like the OSR existed until I stumbled upon references to it and to C&C on some forum. I think it was DF or Vaults of Pandius.

So I bought a bunch of the C&C stuff around Christmas 2016 when they were having some holiday sale. I was so enthusiastic that I converted a bunch of favorite old AD&D characters to C&C and did a massive conversion of my campaign world gazetteer in C&C. We started a campaign and played a number of C&C modules, as well as some OSRIC & AD&D adventures. After about 15 months I started checking out some other OSR games like Labyrinth Lord & Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. One of the players really wanted to try these out as they were more like straight AD&D and we were getting a little disenchanted with the scaling of the Siege Engine. So we phased out of C&C at the end of 2018 & I sold most of my C&C books.

But after running through various OSR games & campaigns the past couple years, I saw RPG Crawler's Review of C&C on youtube last fall and that got me nostalgic about trying C&C again. I went back through my old gazetteer and decided it might be fun to try C&C again so I re-bought several of the core books and brought out our character sheets from a couple of years ago. One key factor was in fact the simplicity of the Siege Machine. After trying to teach a couple new players the mechanics of OSE & DCC over the past couple years I came to appreciate the simple flexibility of the Siege Engine in a way that I hadn't a couple years ago. We were still too tied to the AD&D saving throw categories, descending AC, etc. But when bringing in new players I've realized how confusing those can be and how looking things up on tables can just bog things down. You don't have to do that very much with C&C besides, maybe, certain spells effects.

So, in answer to your question, I've come to appreciate both its similarities to 1e AD&D and its adjustments and tweaks, which, in my opinion, are generally for the better. You still get the iconic character classes and races, but some of the fiddly special abilities are streamlined and little tweaks, like making bards favored classes for most races or the monk for the half-orc, add a bit of difference and extra flavor. Multi-classing is better than in AD&D. Hit dice are better for some classes. You still get the full spell lists, but some new spells or tweaks to old ones that make them more fun or interesting. One problem I have with most of the OSR games or retroclones is that they severely restrict the spell lists, making them pretty vanilla. I know I can pull that stuff from other games/books, but I don't want to have to do that. C&C gives you a ton of useful spells, especially when you add the supplements. So I can't wait for that omnibus spellbook thing they have coming out.

Along these lines, Monsters & Treasures is brilliant. Love having all that content in one place. And those treasure generation tables are great. So are streamlined monster stat blocks. I don't want the raft of abilities and conditions, legendary actions etc., that clutter later editions of D&D (or rather the games that are best described as D&D in Name Only or DINO). But I like a bit more than what you typically get in B/X or OSE.

I also love that while they are putting out optional material and expansions like the Adventurer's Backpack (which I find of mixed value), they're keeping the core game the same. No interest in going through endless editions and rule changes. And, as others have mentioned, C&C is just so freaking easy to house rule and customize. Plus, I can easily run all my AD&D stuff in C&C and port in stuff from pretty much all the standard OSR games. Even conversions from MERP, which was a d100 system, have proven to be a snap.

So in a nutshell, it's familiar, yet a bit different. Streamlined, but with plenty of options. Easy to teach and to GM. After messing around with so many different permutations of D&D the past five years, I think this is the most flexible system and offers the right combination of things that I want in my game. Not that the others are bad. I still crib plenty for my house rules. But C&C maximizes the time we actually get to game at the table rather than messing around with looking up rules, effects etc. And that's most important to me these days.

We've now gone through a couple adventures since coming back to C&C and had a blast. So I'm thinking like this current run will last a long time, especially if we stick to our goal of finishing the A series.
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Captain_K »

I used to play ADD and then 2ed was OK... did not play much again for a while, then started again.. then came 3.0, 3.5, etc etc books, changes, rules.. just got too much. quit again. when a friend said "let's play, but..." well that was CnC... I felt like I came home again.

5.0 is just trying to get back to it...
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Rigon »

I was looking to swtich from the bloat and power creep of 3.x in 2004. I was excited when 3e was announced and had gotten a Dragon subscription the year before the release to follow the updates. In Dragon #264, there was an article on 10 ways to play 3rd editon now. It was basically 10 houserules that added d20isms to AD&D. I wrote a 12 page house rule doc incorporating those 10 things and a few other changes I wanted to make in AD&D. Before I ever got a chance to play those rules, I found C&C. I bought the Players Handbook in 2005. It checked all the boxes for me on how I would run an AD&D game, if I ever ran one again. I loved the streamlined rules for saves and checks and I felt that C&C gave back the freedonm of actual character growth instead of builds. I've been using C&C for my fantasy RPG since then. I don't really plan to ever run another system (except for maybe Victorious). I'll gladly play any system (at least once), but I discovered after running 5e a couple of times, that C&C does it better and limits the power creep that WotC seems to want in their games. Plus, it is easy as hell to convert multiple editions of D&D to run under C&C. That includes 4th edition D&D.

That's why I choose C&C.

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V00d00
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by V00d00 »

I’m still some what of a new comer to c&c but was raised on adnd. I’ve added c&c into the rotation of the fantasy games I run because it gives such a “classic dnd” experience without feeling super dated, clunky or restrictive. It’s super simple to teach and with the addition of the Adventurers backpack (essential imo) it’s still enticing for players who are used to the more modern fantasy games.

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Persimmon
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Persimmon »

Captain_K wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:47 am
I used to play ADD and then 2ed was OK... did not play much again for a while, then started again.. then came 3.0, 3.5, etc etc books, changes, rules.. just got too much. quit again. when a friend said "let's play, but..." well that was CnC... I felt like I came home again.

5.0 is just trying to get back to it...
To me 5e is easily the worst edition of D&D. It's basically "The Rise of Skywalker" of D&D editions. Lame, rudderless, derivative pseudo-fan service that might superficially resemble the original, but substitutes power creep, political correctness, and soulless content in the few cases that aren't just rehashes of the 1e adventures. It's DINO (D&D in Name Only).

In fact, one can map pretty much all the Star Wars films to D&D editions and vice versa. The original game was a game changer, like the original Star Wars movie. 1e AD&D is "The Empire Strikes Back," refining and improving the original. By 2e you're straying into "Return of the Jedi," right down to having ewoks (baatezu & tanar'ri), but it still has elements of the original. With 3e-4e you're into the prequel trilogy. At least they're trying to do something different. But it gets too bloated and convoluted. Too many rules, characters, and options that ultimately end up taking some of the wonder out because there's too much wonder. In other words all those crazy races, Jedi running all over the place, everyone's a superhero etc. Then 5e is the sequel trilogy. They're trying to go back to the original, but it's crippled by inferior creative minds and the dumbed down expectations of 21st century culture where everyone is a superhero from birth. So they act like it's retro or old school, but we know better.
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Fizz »

In fact, one can map pretty much all the Star Wars films to D&D editions and vice versa. The original game was a game changer, like the original Star Wars movie. 1e AD&D is "The Empire Strikes Back," refining and improving the original. By 2e you're straying into "Return of the Jedi," right down to having ewoks (baatezu & tanar'ri), but it still has elements of the original. With 3e-4e you're into the prequel trilogy. At least they're trying to do something different. But it gets too bloated and convoluted. Too many rules, characters, and options that ultimately end up taking some of the wonder out because there's too much wonder. In other words all those crazy races, Jedi running all over the place, everyone's a superhero etc. Then 5e is the sequel trilogy. They're trying to go back to the original, but it's crippled by inferior creative minds and the dumbed down expectations of 21st century culture where everyone is a superhero from birth. So they act like it's retro or old school, but we know better.
Wow- that is quite the analogy. I like it.

Do the one-off movies Rogue One and Solo fit in there at all?


-Fizz

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Persimmon
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Persimmon »

I actually kind of like those one-off movies, especially Rogue One. So that could be like Swords & Wizardry. Hearkens back to the original, pays homage, but doesn't try to do too much. And fits in between OD&D and AD&D, much like Rogue One fits between the prequels & the original Star Wars.

Solo might also be a retroclone with some twists, maybe AS&SH or even C&C? Feels old in some respects, but is also new. And picture Steve Chenault as the wisecracking young Gary Gygax. Really haven't thought about it that much. :lol:
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jahydin
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by jahydin »

Bifford wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:27 pm
My group....not so keen for the exact opposite reasons
Same situation for me. It's been nothing but 5E for the past few years (even though I can't remember the last time we bought a new WotC product), but I managed to get them to move to Pathfinder 2E. Still not C&C by any stretch, but happy it at least feels we're playing a game again.
Grandpa wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:57 pm
5E is more oriented towards those who would be upset to lose a character IMO.
I learned this when a I started a new campaign and my players came to the table with brand new HeroForge miniatures of their characters that cost like $30 each! Good grief, I don't even bother naming mine till 3rd level...
Fizz wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:47 pm
We had 3E combats that took entire afternoons.
Have you played 4E!? Even worse if you can imagine it! But agreed, especially after level 9 or so, even 3E fights take hours on end. Not to mention the two pages of stat block info you had to memorize for every enemy they'd encounter. I managed to finish two Pathfinder campaigns (level 14), but I was always so burned out at the end.

Oh, and that was with years of normal D&D under our belts. I can't imagine the added complexity of constantly looking rules up while also juggling all the high level bloat too.
Tadhg wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:53 pm
Hmm, a few of us wrote up some blurbs about "why C&C" some many years ago ~
Hope someone finds them. Would be neat to read.
Persimmon wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:44 am
After about 15 months I started checking out some other OSR games like Labyrinth Lord & Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. One of the players really wanted to try these out as they were more like straight AD&D and we were getting a little disenchanted with the scaling of the Siege Engine.
Sounds exactly like me! I do still love AS&SH (except those terrible class artwork pictures in 2E ) and plan to run it someday. Because of its specific tone and setting, I don't think it will ever be my main game though. Have you played it much?

And the scaling of the SEIGE is one of the things I dislike. Without house ruling it, I probably would have moved onto another system too. I can't imagine getting a character to 9th level and just being instantly vaporized by a spell effect that I only had a 15% chance of saving from.

Your entire post is awesome by the way, thank you!

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Grandpa
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Grandpa »

Persimmon wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 12:42 am
To me 5e is easily the worst edition of D&D. It's basically "The Rise of Skywalker" of D&D editions. Lame, rudderless, derivative pseudo-fan service that might superficially resemble the original, but substitutes power creep, political correctness, and soulless content in the few cases that aren't just rehashes of the 1e adventures. It's DINO (D&D in Name Only).
Wow, you read my mind and unlike myself, can write! :lol:

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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Persimmon »

We actually played a fair amount of AS&SH between 2018-20. We went through every published module except the very last one. Campaign ended when all the PCs died. That happened over multiple adventures and since all the players ran multiple characters, it didn't matter until the last adventure (Lost Treasure of Atlantis) where three of the four PCs died (two from mi-go disintegration lasers). The final PC joined our Labyrinth Lord party and died in his second session with that group.

What we did with the setting was just bolt Hyperborea on as the North Pole of our existing campaign setting. There are multiple ways to get there so character classes, monsters, and magic items from Hyperborea sometimes pop up in the regular campaign. I do really like some, though not all, of their subclasses.

And finally, their forum is a lot like this one and the game's creator, Jeff Talanian, is there a lot, engaging actively with everyone else, which is cool.
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Re: Why C&C?

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Rigon wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:05 pm
I was looking to swtich from the bloat and power creep of 3.x in 2004. I was excited when 3e was announced and had gotten a Dragon subscription the year before the release to follow the updates. In Dragon #264, there was an article on 10 ways to play 3rd editon now. It was basically 10 houserules that added d20isms to AD&D. I wrote a 12 page house rule doc incorporating those 10 things and a few other changes I wanted to make in AD&D. Before I ever got a chance to play those rules, I found C&C. I bought the Players Handbook in 2005. It checked all the boxes for me on how I would run an AD&D game, if I ever ran one again. I loved the streamlined rules for saves and checks and I felt that C&C gave back the freedonm of actual character growth instead of builds. I've been using C&C for my fantasy RPG since then. I don't really plan to ever run another system (except for maybe Victorious). I'll gladly play any system (at least once), but I discovered after running 5e a couple of times, that C&C does it better and limits the power creep that WotC seems to want in their games. Plus, it is easy as hell to convert multiple editions of D&D to run under C&C. That includes 4th edition D&D.

That's why I choose C&C.

R-
I'm right there with you, but it was 2006 for me when I found C&C.

As for why. It has the best ole school feel, but I can fiddle with it, strip things out of it, add things on to it, modify it as needed to make it fit what I want.

Heck I've taken the ole MERP and the new 5e Adventures in Middle Earth, chopped them up and made them C&C and am 80 % ready for my first game for my girls in 2 weeks.
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mostrojoe
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by mostrojoe »

Bifford wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:27 pm
For me personally it takes the feel of fantasy edged games like D&D but provides easier mechanics, all of which are modular. I can run C&C using just the base 12/18 stuff and everything else is optional/gm feat. Unlike D&D, which requires in-depth knowledge.

My group....not so keen for the exact opposite reasons
I am using C&C for the same reasons.
Also, I liked a lot the D&D 3.5 but it seems not so popular today. The 5E has something that I can't tell and that cannot catch me. Perhaps I'm getting old.

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Re: Why C&C?

Post by maximus »

I came to C&C after not having gamed since the early 2E years. I was working out of town for an extended period of time and thought playing "D&D" over the phone with my son would help with me being away. I had bought the basic 3E books, but really didn't want to get into all the extra rules. I knew about TLG through a little research, so I went on ebay and got some used digest versions of the Players Handbook, M&T, and CK guide. I thought they were great! Easy to use, felt like 1E, but seemed to flow better with the siege mechanic. I found my way to this forum, asked some questions, and was welcomed by the community. My campaign with my son has been going on for 6 years now, playing through old AD&D modules in Greyhawk. Also, when the opportunity came up, I was able to join the Monday Night Ne'r do wells here for virtual play Monday nights. We've had a great time. Bottom line is C&C is close enough to AD&D to get the same feel, but different enough in the right ways to make it my go to game.

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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Persimmon »

maximus wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 8:35 pm
I came to C&C after not having gamed since the early 2E years. I was working out of town for an extended period of time and thought playing "D&D" over the phone with my son would help with me being away. I had bought the basic 3E books, but really didn't want to get into all the extra rules. I knew about TLG through a little research, so I went on ebay and got some used digest versions of the Players Handbook, M&T, and CK guide. I thought they were great! Easy to use, felt like 1E, but seemed to flow better with the siege mechanic. I found my way to this forum, asked some questions, and was welcomed by the community. My campaign with my son has been going on for 6 years now, playing through old AD&D modules in Greyhawk. Also, when the opportunity came up, I was able to join the Monday Night Ne'r do wells here for virtual play Monday nights. We've had a great time. Bottom line is C&C is close enough to AD&D to get the same feel, but different enough in the right ways to make it my go to game.
Nice; I wanted to join the Monday night group at the most recent invite, but I had a bit too much going on the past couple months through the end of May. Here's hoping they have an opening come June....
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Rigon »

Persimmon wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 9:02 pm
maximus wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 8:35 pm
I came to C&C after not having gamed since the early 2E years. I was working out of town for an extended period of time and thought playing "D&D" over the phone with my son would help with me being away. I had bought the basic 3E books, but really didn't want to get into all the extra rules. I knew about TLG through a little research, so I went on ebay and got some used digest versions of the Players Handbook, M&T, and CK guide. I thought they were great! Easy to use, felt like 1E, but seemed to flow better with the siege mechanic. I found my way to this forum, asked some questions, and was welcomed by the community. My campaign with my son has been going on for 6 years now, playing through old AD&D modules in Greyhawk. Also, when the opportunity came up, I was able to join the Monday Night Ne'r do wells here for virtual play Monday nights. We've had a great time. Bottom line is C&C is close enough to AD&D to get the same feel, but different enough in the right ways to make it my go to game.
Nice; I wanted to join the Monday night group at the most recent invite, but I had a bit too much going on the past couple months through the end of May. Here's hoping they have an opening come June....
You're in luck my friend. We are looking for some new blood.

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jahydin
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Re: Why C&C?

Post by jahydin »

Persimmon wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 12:53 pm
What we did with the setting was just bolt Hyperborea on as the North Pole of our existing campaign setting. There are multiple ways to get there so character classes, monsters, and magic items from Hyperborea sometimes pop up in the regular campaign. I do really like some, though not all, of their subclasses.
Brilliant idea and I'm stealing it, thanks!

BTW, can't wait for 3rd edition. Sounds like it will have new character art, the one thing I complained about.

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Re: Why C&C?

Post by Grandpa »

maximus wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 8:35 pm
My campaign with my son has been going on for 6 years now, playing through old AD&D modules in Greyhawk.
The ease of doing this with the C&C rules helped cement it as my choice

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