Skip to Main Content

June 2007, Game 3, Setup


Game three is a challenging game, and it's a challenging game for a lot of reasons. First, the rules are a little bit complicated, and there's a lot of them. Next, there's a lot of questions here, seven different questions. And one of the limitations that we normally expect there to be in a game is not present. On the one hand, though, it is a sequencing game.

We have seven weeks in which we have to schedule a destination, one destination each week. But we only have four destinations to go to, G, J, M, and T. So if there are seven weeks and only four destinations, then we're going to have to repeat destinations. And there are a lot of different ways that you could repeat them.

You could go, for example, to the same place four times and then go to each of the others just once. You could go to one destination three times, then another destination twice, and then each of the others only once, and so on and so on. We could do three doubles, the possibilities are actually kind of wide. So I wouldnt write that on the day of the test, I would just think through it.

What I would write in the day of the test is a roster of the destinations that we have to schedule. And it does say that every destination is gonna be scheduled at least once. So we know we're gonna see a G, a J, an M, and a T in our list of seven. Then we have three wildcards to go in that list of seven as well. We also are gonna need some numbered spaces.

So seven numbered spaces, a list of seven things that we know four of and we don't know the other three of. This would be our basic master diagram, to which we're going to add the rules. The first rule is that you can't go to Jamaica in week four. So we can just put a little no J under week four. The next rule is that it has to go to Trinidad in week seven, so we'll just put a T in week seven.

The next rule says that Freedom has to go to Martinique twice, with at least one voyage to Guadalupe during a week that's in between those two voyages. So that's a complicated rule, let's break it down one piece at a time. The first thing it means is that we actually know one of our wildcards. We're going to have two Ms and only two Ms, which means that the other two wildcards are not gonna be an M.

But also, it has to go to G at least once in between the two Ms, so we'll see an M, and then at some point later, we'll see a G, and at some point later, we'll see an M. The symbol there that I've drawn with the line in the middle of the letters, to me, that means that you can stretch those letters out, and you can squish those letters together.

So there's room between the Ms and the G and the M, but also, we could squish it down to just have MGM. Now the next rule is one that we have to be careful with. Guadeloupe will be its destination in the week preceding any voyage it makes to Jamaica. So if it goes to Jamaica, the week before, it'll have to go to Guadalupe.

We wanna be careful, because that doesn't mean that if it goes to Guadalupe, it has to go to J the next week. So anytime it goes to J, the week before has to be a G. But anytime it goes to G, well, this rule doesn't say anything about what happens if it goes to G, J could be after it or not. This rule does have an immediate effect on the game.

And that is that we know that Freedom can't go to Jamaica in week one, because there would be no room to put a G in front of week one, so J can't be in one or four. Now the final rule says that no destination will be scheduled for consecutive weeks. So what that means is, we're never allowed to see two Ts in a row, two Ms in a row, two Gs in a row, two Js in a row.

Although we would never have been able to see two Js in a row anyway because of that last rule. You'd always have to separate them with a G. But in my shorthand, I'm just gonna write, so my symbol for a duplication here is an X. So when it says no XX, to me, that means no duplications.

Nothing can be next to itself, which is going to have an immediate effect on the game, T won't be allowed to go sixth. So after you've gone through the basic rules and you've thought about them individually, you wanna think about how they might go together. There's a couple of different ways to proceed here. You could write some sketches before you dove into the questions, split your board up into multiple limited options.

Here, there's nothing in particular that calls out to me as something that we should split the sketch up over. A decision to write multiple sketches at the beginning is a little bit of a personal preference issue. I'm gonna run this game as though we decided not to split our sketches, as though we just looked at this and thought, this is pretty complicated.

So I'm gonna lean heavily on the if questions and on the solution questions to help me understand the game. And then use those if there are some difficult global questions afterwards. So this is our master diagram.

Read full transcript