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JCloiserZone FAQ

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JCloisterZone FAQ

How do I start an Internet game with JCloisterZone?
Simply put, one player needs to be the host and the other player is the client (see "How do I host an Internet game with JCloisterZone?" for more information regarding how you can configure your computer to become a host). In addition to this, both players must be using the same version of JCloisterZone (currently 2.7).

When the pre-arranged time is near, the host opens up JCloisterZone and selects "New Game" then waits for the other player to join him. Meanwhile, the player on the client side must also open up JCloisterZone but should select "Connect". This will prompt him for an IP address ("Host") and port number ("Port") which should already have been provided to him by the other player/ host. Once he enters these and clicks OK, the two computers will connect and the game can begin (almost).

On the pre-game screen players must select what colour they want to be and enter their forum nickname as their player name. The first person to select a colour and enter their name will get to lay the first tile, so if you’re sitting at the pre-game screen but won’t be going first then you will need to wait for your opponent to connect and select their colour before you do so.

JCloisterZone offers an impressive selection of expansions, many (but not all) of which can be played against the computer. Expansions may or may not be used depending on the type of tournament you’re taking part in, so please make sure you know in advance which you’ll be using (if any) and make sure that those expansions are selected on the pre-game screen. In addition to this, ensure that the "Randomize Seating Order" checkbox in the bottom-left corner is not checked otherwise it will be impossible to determine which player will start (unless this is the intended behaviour). Either player can click the "Start game" button to begin (see "JCloisterZone Features and Gameplay Tips" for further tips/ assistance/ advice regarding the game itself).

Once the last tile has been placed, the game will calculate the final scores and give you a breakdown of these scores in a pop-up window. If you wish, take a screenshot of this window and/or the final landscape behind it (once you've closed the scores window) as proof of the final scores, or for prosperity. If you intend to play another game, be sure to then select “New Game” from the Game menu rather than “Quit”. If you do this you will go back to the pre-game screen with both players connected and can get ready for your second game rather than having to open JCloisterZone and connect all over again if you select Quit.

How do I host an Internet game with JCloisterZone?
If you're capable of configuring your internet router such that you can set a static IP address for your computer (i.e. lease it an internal IP address that will not expire through your DHCP settings) and setup port forwarding to that (internal) IP then your computer can be used as a host.

Unfortunately I can't be any more specific with regards to the above as it really depends from router to router. Don't worry if you can't do this or don't even know what I'm talking about, but please let me know if you can!

Assuming you've done the above and are willing to host games, please take note of your external IP address (you can find this out by visiting a website such as and the port number you are forwarding to your internal IP as configured on your router. By default, the port used for JCloisterZone traffic is 37447 but if you configured it to use a different port then this might be fine provided it doesn't clash with some other type of traffic using the same port (I'd stick to the default if I were you but this isn't strictly necessary). You will then need to provide your opponent with this IP and port number in order for them to be able to connect to your computer (as described in "How do I start an Internet game with JCloisterZone?" above). Neither the host nor the client should need to make any changes to any firewalls.

If you're arranging a game and neither you nor your opponent can host it then let me or your group administrator know when you intend your game to take place and we will either ensure that a laptop is standing by ready to host for you or find someone else who will be able to host on your behalf.

JCloisterZone Features and Gameplay Tips

- First and foremost, the best advice I can give regarding JCloisterZone in general is to make sure you install it in plenty of time and play a few games to get used to it. Even if you don't have anyone to play against, the AI opponents are good enough to keep things interesting while you get a feel for it.

- At the start of each turn you will be allocated a tile and the board/ landscape/ playing area will highlight all available locations in which this tile can be placed (the tile can be rotated using the tab key or right mouse button).

- The number of tiles remaining is shown in the top right next to the picture of the tile currently being placed. This number doesn't include the tile that is currently being placed so can be thought of as the number of unknown tiles left in the bag/ face-down on the table.

- "Farmer hints" are available by pressing f. I've never used these and don't imagine they'd be particularly helpful for most moderately experienced players, but it's still a feature which could be seen as an unfair advantage to anyone using it so please respect your opponents by refraining from doing so.

- You can zoom out and in with the – and + keys respectively (or the scroll wheel on your mouse) and can pan up/ down/ left/ right using the arrow keys in addition to this. If you’re not zoomed-out far enough to see the entire landscape then it might be that you’re not seeing some important development, so make sure you're aware of everything that's going on before you place your tile.

- If you place a tile in the wrong place or spot a better place to put it before you’ve placed a meeple then it can be undone by clicking the “Undo” button. Your turn will end as soon as you place a meeple though (or skip this – see below), so if you don’t have any meeples left in your supply you won’t have the option to undo a tile placement since you wouldn’t be able to place a meeple on it even if you wanted to!

- If after placing a tile you don't want to place a meeple even though you have the option to (and have meeples in your supply) you will need to press Space, Enter or click on the "Skip" button (top right) before your turn is over and your opponent can begin his next turn.

- Keep a close eye on whose turn it is as it can be surprisingly easy to not notice your opponent taking his turn. There will be an arrow next to the name of the active player in the panel on the right and the meeple icon on your taskbar should change colour in relation to this too. The game might be a little slow at times and it isn't always immediately obvious if your opponent has chosen to deploy a meeple on their most recently placed tile, so don’t rush!

- There is no timer. This means you can take as long as you need to think about your turn, but please also think of your opponent and try to avoid being unnecessarily slow if at all possible!

- There is a handy chat facility within JCloiserZone which allows players to chat to each other during the game. Using it can seem a bit strange as you need to keep the mouse over the chat window to keep it from disappearing. This said, it's perfectly usable and is a good way of keeping a running commentary of the game going, or communicating to the other player if something is wrong. Alternatively, a third-party chat program such as Skype, Facebook chat or any other instant messenger may also be very helpful for communicating with your opponent in and out of JCloisterZone.


danisthirty to the rescue!

Thanks for the awesome FAQ, can't wait to try it with Friends!

Andrew the Ambo:
Thanks as well.

Thank you so much! :blue-meeple:

Merit for you! :(y)

One thing - as far as I can see, the host has no way of knowing who has linked to his game.  Until you enter a name for one of the followers, there is nothing to indicate that anything has happened.

It would be good if JCloisterZone (jcz) were to show the number of people are linked in on the game setup page.  Even better if jcz would allow you to click on them and get some details, such as their IP address.

Plus, it would be good if the chat function were available on the game setup page.  That could be useful.  We are using email at this time, which works but is a bit of a workaround.


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