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Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation

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--- Quote ---It’s a beautiful and impressive document.
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Thanky you  :) I hope you'll enjoy it!

--- Quote ---Now I fear that people will start using things like B:[0;-1]N:crrf>N:K=+4B in their posts....  :o and I was already overwhelmed by CCCF and RRCC.
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I know it might seem intimidating at first, but belive me, once you get into it, it becomes almost natural and has a nice flow to it  ;D And yes, what you describe was partialy the goal, but consider this: It is way more consise to post a few lines of text or attach a single text document then to include loads of pictures with extra commentary and/or markings within the pictures themselves.

--- Quote ---Great document! It seems like yesterday when you started discussing this impressive notation back in July 2019...
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Thank you very much! Yes, you're right, that was the first conception of the system. It just took this long to get to writing the manual, because I have been preoccupied by projects 1B and even more so project 2.

--- Quote ---I'm curious how it will deal with fan expansions.
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This one only deals with the base game. Project 1B, which is the extended version of tournamnet notation deals with all of the Carcassonne material. This will be released in the more distant future. In fact project 2 will be released sooner. As to the fan expansions, it is not designed to support them (yet), but it is robust enough to handle even non-existing tile configurations, so if the fan expansion is just a bunch of crazy configurations, it can be included in the General notation (the name of project 1B).

This is great!
It shows a well thought out system, and effort put in to make it something useful for many players.

+1 merit from me for making this! It's things like this that boost the forum and lets people learn a new way if they want to

Thank you Willem, that was the intent - something for the community as a whole  :(y)

I have been notified (thank you kothmann) of a typo in the manual on page 14: The second to last sentence of the third paragraph reads "comma", but should be "colon". The intent behind it is still readable based on examples and the symbol usage summary, but I will fix this soon.

Everyone is free to post their own games or usages of the system :)
In the meantime, here is something from me. I have been analyzing the highest possible score/s one can have in the base game. Of course I am not the first one to do it, but I have based my analylis on the highest scoring playing field possible which maximizes all the features. The picture is in the attachment (I am not the original creator, nor the owner).

Here is what I have found...

Total points for completed features:

ROADS: 52 (46*)

MAXIMUM FINISHED SCORE: 348 – includes three +2 roads : possible with Phantom (in which case +3 field = 351)
MAXIMUM POSSIBLE SCORE: 342 – *because not enough meeple placements, and 1 meeple per tile only

The maximum score one player can realistically achieve in a tournamnet style game is 342 points! There is enough completed features to ramp this up to 348 points, however there simply isn't enough meeple placement opportunities to score them. One of the small roads is also impossible to score due to the need to occupy the fields located on the same tiles. Phantom would solve both of these problems, but that would no longer be a tournament game.
11 points are leftover in the unfinished features, which brings up the total game point content to 359. The ultimate theoretical game point potential is 360 - the potential here means the potential of the last city segment being finished and thus worth double the points. This of coure is not possible.

Where does the notation come in? I was interested in wether this game was physically possible at all even with the assumption that the opponents play in your favor and tiles come in in favorable order. I was not sure wether the points could be optimally gained by a single player.
After some deliberation I have found the answer to be YES! There are in fact multiple ways to achieve this. This is how I have realized the max amount of points one can realistically gain is 342 instead of 348.
I attach the transcript of the ideal game leading to the 342 score.

A challenge to all of you, should you take it, is to find all alternative games leading to this score and post the transcripts here.
For those of you who noticed in the manual that the notation can be applied to multiple player games, try finding playthroughs with 3, 4 or even 5 players which all work together to share as many features between as many players as possible to bring their cummulative scores to new hights! It would be interesting to see what player count stops being favorable for the purposes of increasing the shared features. :gray-meeple:


--- Quote from: DIN0 on January 01, 2022, 08:54:33 AM ---Everyone is free to post their own games or usages of the system :)

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My daughter and I played a game today to give me a chance to use the notation system and it was unexpectedly wonderful...

We played a standard base game, except that we used the Wind Roses start tile, because it has the compass directions prominently displayed and also because I'm in the 73rd-Tile-Is-Missing club.

I decided to go old-school by using a pencil and lined paper, with the log spilling onto a second page.  Below is the game log, as recorded during play, and a photo of the landscape and scoreboard, after we finished final scoring and removed all the meeples.  My daughter was Red and I was Yellow: she beat me by one point, 99-98!

I'll offer some comments on the notation system in a follow-on post.  But for now, suffice it to say that the system is easy and actually fun to use.  After a few turns, my daughter (23) had picked up the basics of it and was helping by calling out the coordinates.  It definitely slowed the game a little bit, but what's the rush?

Verification: After we finished, I decided to recreate the game using the log.  I found a few minor mistakes (for some reason, I put "c" in place of "f" a few times at the beginning, including my first turn), but was easily able to recreate the game.  There were several interesting plays and I felt like I got to reinforce some key tactical ideas during this process!  For example, on my daughter's move 45, she originally was going to put a meeple on the road and then decided not to--good choice not to put three meeples where they can all be trapped by a single hole!

You might also have noticed in the original log that I occasionally wrote the score in the right margin.  But during the recreation, something wasn't adding up.  After an animated conversation, we concluded that my daughter, who had kept score, must have forgotten to give me 9 cloister points on turn 44!  Luckily, I had also taken a photo of the landscape and scoreboard after turn 48, and it was easy to confirm that I was 9 points short:

We also found that she had failed to give me a point for my 1-tile incomplete city at the end, so the corrected final score was 108-99--I won!  My daughter was quick to point out that I should temper my pride, since I had, after all, drawn all 6 cloisters!

Anyway, here is the log with corrections and a few comments in red.

I can use every win I can get against my daughter, so I was really happy to have logged this game.  I also really enjoyed the post-game walk-thru and strategy review.

Thanks, DIN0!


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