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January 22, 2024

What is the Control segment in Articulate?

We get asked this occasionally – often because the free-for-all drama of a CONTROL round does lend itself to rule disputes. Even in the politest of Articulate games. (Which don’t really exist).

So here it is: step-by-step instructions for a CONTROL segment, and an explanation about how each team could benefit.

A reminder: you only play the CONTROL rules if you’ve landed on the segment as a result of answering questions correctly. If you’ve landed there because of a SPIN bonus, you simply describe the topic on the card to your team in the normal way, and ignore the rest of this article!

CONTROL SEGMENT: a step-by-step guide.

For the purposes of this demonstration, let’s assume that three teams are playing: Mo’s team, Izzy’s team and Gordon’s team, all sat round the table in that order of play. And that it’s Mo’s team who have just landed on that white CONTROL segment.

  • Firstly, play doesn’t immediately move to the next team like it would normally. It’s still Mo’s turn.
  • Mo’s DESCRIBER takes the next card, and finds the topic that’s marked with the CONTROL symbol. They then describe this to everybody in the room.
  • The timer is not used. Guessing continues until somebody gets it right!
  • If Mo’s own team get the answer first, congratulations – they tot up a correct guess, and get another go! The next DESCRIBER on Mo’s team repeats the process of describing the CONTROL topic on a new card to everybody.
  • Once Gordon’s or Izzy’s team are first to correctly guess, then Mo's CONTROL round is over.
  • Mo’s team moves forward on the board by the number of correct guesses they made during his CONTROL round. This could be from zero to lots! The other teams don’t score points by guessing first – their objective is simply to thwart Mo.

Play then passes directly to the team that guessed correctly, for the game to continue in the normal way. So, given the above order of play, if Gordon had won the CONTROL round then he wouldn’t just have stopped Mo from amassing points – he’d have in effect made Izzy’s team miss a turn.

One final point: Mo could gain enough points to reach the finish line, but once that happens, the CONTROL round ends. He CAN’T use this particular CONTROL round to guess his final topic to win… this needs to happen on his NEXT turn.

In summary, what does all this mean?

Landing on a CONTROL segment means that teams can potentially build up a game-changing number of points, if they’re smart and fast!

But it also means that they could be stuck there for a long, long time, if the opposition guessers prove to be more adept than them.

You might play tactically, and aim to cunningly engineer your arrival on one of those white segments. But remember that ALL people in your team need to take turns as DESCRIBER – even the most hopeless ones…

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