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Guidelines for the notation of R&B puzzle solutions

We do not have a definite notation for puzzle solutions yet. The written descriptions for some of the puzzles on this website are in a format which has been designed to be used in combination with an automatic solution checker, called Mother Goose. If(!) Herman finds time to hatch out the goose, it will generate descriptions of the situations on the board at the end of each phase (maybe even pictures). Without the pictures, this description format is not so clear. As long as Mother Goose is still in its egg, it is not necessary to use the same format as we do. It is enough if you just follow the guidelines below, to minimise mistakes.

Specifying a map

For the standard puzzles, just mention the name of the puzzle. If you have designed a map of your own (for example, as a solution to the Paradise-puzzles), send a picture, or describe the map row by row. The description of each row (except for the top row) would consist of three parts:
  • L(eft) or R(ight) to indicate if the row starts to the left or the right of the row above;
  • a number that indicates exactly how far left or right (to be precise: 0 means just half a tile, 1 is one tile further, 2 is two tiles further etc.);
  • for each tile on the row (reading from left to right) its lable and -- between brackets -- its nature.
After describing the nature of the tiles, describe the flow of rivers. For each river, the first tile to mention is the source or the tile where it splits off from another river; the last tile to mention is the sea tile it flows into, or the tile where it joins another river. For example, the specification of "A River Runs Through It" would be:
S(Mountains) UW(Woods) CR(Rocks) CM(Mountains)
R0 CD(Desert) CW(Woods) CP(Pasture) CMS(Sea)
R0 LD(Desert) LP(Pasture) LPS(Sea)

Specifying tiles and locations

Use the standard labels to identify the tiles (see the pictures on the web pages for each of the puzzles). For river tiles, always mention on which side things are (you may stop specifying this as soon as there is a bridge). To specify a particular side of a river tile, add (l), (r) or (b) to the tile lable to indicate the left bank, the right bank, or the area between a river junction (always looking in downstream direction). For docked water transporters, add the label of the bordering sea tile between brackets to indicate on which coast they are.

Specifying your actions

Mention your starting place. For each round, mention at least:
  • the number of the round;
  • what research is done;
  • what is built (roads, bridges, buildings, new shafts);
  • what goods are contributed to the wonder;
  • and for each tile: what goods and transporters are present at the end of the round (that is, after the wonder phase).
When building mines or new shafts, mention what mix of gold and iron you put in the bag. Especially for your own convenience, you may always give more details, e.g. what goods are present at the end of the production phase, and what your movements are exactly. This might help to identify mistakes but we can do without.

Examples of abbreviations you may use

ttrees b boards p paper f fuel c clay sstone
iiron gdgold cncoins shshares gsgeese   
Ddonkey W wagon T truck R raft B rowboat Ssteamship
road S - UW(l)
build a road from tile S (Source) to tile UW (Upper Woods, left bank)
bridge CP
build a bridge on tile CP (Central Plains)
mine FNM (4gd)
build a mine on tile FNM (Far Northeast Mountains) and fill the bag with 4 gold and no iron
NED: 2b, R(ES)
at the end of the wonder phase, there are two boards on tile NED (Northeast Desert), and a raft docked at the ES (East Sea) coast

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