Author Topic: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation  (Read 3822 times)

Online DIN0

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Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« on: December 31, 2021, 07:29:11 PM »
Happy new year Carcassonne players!

Allow me to present to you the first of my Carcassonne projects: Game notation for Carcassonne!
As you know, one of the ways to play Carcassonne is a competitive game or a tournament where two players face off against each other using the base game only. Several other highly competitive games have notation systems dedicated to record the games in the form of a transcript. And now Carcassonne has one too! These can later be used to reproduce the specific game perfectly. This has various uses such as studying and analyzing past games to get better, develop strategies against specific players or using the data contained in these games for statistical analyses.

Even non-competitive players can find a use in the notation - the system can be used to set up various scenarios for puzzles or quizes, or example situations. Some might simply want to immortalize memorable games.

This game notation system is meant to serve as a powerfull tool for the community. It can either be written in any text editor or on a physical paper.
The project consists of two parts, both of which can be found in the download section of the forum, 1) pdf file of game notation manual where the system is explained in detail, 2) excel file with a pre-written notation sheet.

The manual has many examples to help you grasp the system and also includes several transcripts of real games, last of which is a final of Slovak Championship 2021.

That concludes the introduction of project 1A. As a heads up for the future, project 1B will be an extension of this notation for the whole game - this however will not be released any time soon.

I hope you will enjoy the game notation and will try it for yourself! Details in the manual. You are welcome to ask any questions in this topic :(y)

Link to download page: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?action=downloads;cat=1

Other members have contributed toward making the notation accessible to more people. Please check carlium's amazing game notation app: https://carliunterik.github.io/cgn/

ERRATA:
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.
page 29: The tile list is missing two tiles cfff and frrr.
page 17: Figure 13 e, f, and g have their y coordinate shifted 1 tile.
page 25: In the trancript, turn 09. has a missing colon between tile orientation and code. Also coordinates for the turns 67. should be [-4;-1] and for turn 71. [-5;-1].

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5644.0
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 11:03:57 AM by DIN0 »

Offline kothmann

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2021, 09:59:02 PM »
It’s a beautiful and impressive document.  Looking forward to trying out the system.  +1 merit from me.

Offline Challa007

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2022, 02:14:53 AM »
Wow,  ;D you have put an enourmous amount of work into this: describing a whole Carcassone game by finding a formula for player identity / tile placement coordinates / tile identity and orientation / meeple placement & point gain. Impressive !!  :(y)
This is a great tool for the community +1 merit from me!
Congratulations!

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....  ;)

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2022, 04:42:22 AM »
Great document!

It seems like yesterday when you started discussing this impressive notation back in July 2019... ;D

https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=4350.0

I'm intrigued with the outcome of Project 1B, since tiles can have weird configurations...

+1 merit from me.
Questions about rules? Check WICA: wikicarpedia.com

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2022, 05:21:43 AM »
I'm curious how it will deal with fan expansions.

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Online DIN0

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2022, 06:27:13 AM »
Quote
It’s a beautiful and impressive document.
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.
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...
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.
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).

Offline Willem

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2022, 07:10:19 AM »
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
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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2022, 07:56:36 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2022, 07:58:49 AM by DIN0 »

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2022, 08:54:33 AM »
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:

FIELDS: 126
CITIES: 116
CLOISTERS: 54
ROADS: 52 (46*)

LEFTOVERS: 11
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
GAME POINT CONTENT: 359
GAME POINT POTENIAL: 360

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:

« Last Edit: February 02, 2022, 01:08:38 AM by DIN0 »

Offline kothmann

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2022, 05:03:27 PM »
Everyone is free to post their own games or usages of the system :)
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!

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2022, 02:11:20 AM »
Great post, @kothmann.  :(y) :(y)

+1 merit from me.

Online DIN0

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2022, 10:48:30 AM »
Amazing kothmann! +1 merit

I am happy to see people try it out for themselves  :(y) I will review your game based on the transcript to see it all for myself :)

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2022, 10:57:12 AM »
Let us know if they cheated...  :P

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2022, 03:34:08 PM »
I will  :D if they did.

I was notified of one more editing mistake in the manual - the tile list is missing two tiles. I have included errata in the original post. A corrected version will be released at some point.

I should also mention that already some notation editing apps are in progress by other members  :gray-meeple:
« Last Edit: January 02, 2022, 03:36:55 PM by DIN0 »

Offline kothmann

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2022, 03:59:45 PM »
Let us know if they cheated...  :P
Hahahahahaha!  Well, it turns out that in turn 60, I originally placed the monastery at [-2;1], overlooking the perfect ffff hole at [2;-1].  When I drew another monastery on turn 62, I groaned because I had no meeples left and I then noticed the hole at [2;-1].  My daughter very graciously said, “you must have been distracted by the notation system, so you should change move 60 to fill the hole for 9 points, and then put the new monastery on [-2;1] on this turn.”  Young people are so quick to assume that the brain just works as intended. :-[   Anyway, those 9 points were exactly the margin of victory!  >:D

I should also say that I just now noticed that I switched from DIN0’s official “K = Knight” notation to the  “N=kNight” notation of chess after the first turn!  Super confusing here, because N=North.  Sorry about that.  Old dog learning new tricks… ::)


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