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Subject: Road scoring rss

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Zsolt Szunyoghy
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The rulebook says:

Quote:
Players must have at least 4 houses in an uninterrupted row along a street to score any points.
Branches are not counted.
A row of houses may extend across multiple regions.

A player receives 1 point for each house in the row.
Each house may only be counted once.


Does this mean, that if you have more then one row of houses being at least 4 house long, you get the points for each of them?

If yes, can these roads cross each other? If a long enough road crosses another long enough road, one could be considered as two branches of the another one. But "branches are not counted". What's the sense of the "Each house may only be counted once." rule then?

Thanks in advance,
Zsolt
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You can score more than one road of 4+ houses each. These roads cannot cross, intersect or share even 1 house.

This scoring would be wrong (13 points for purple) ->


This scoring, showing green and purple, would be right (10 for purple, 9 for green) ->


It seems Michael Schacht disagrees, so I'm wrong.
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Sight Reader
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spearjr wrote:
These roads cannot cross, intersect or share even 1 house.


Think of it this way: score a chain by removing all the houses in the chain you want to score. If what's left doesn't form a chain, then ya can't score it. Obviously, you wanna make sure you've counted up your countries first before yanking stuff off the board!
 
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Andrew Swan
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generalpf wrote:
... you'd take the longest possible chain you can make within that road, and that's what you'd use.

This doesn't ring true with me. Consider when a player has two chains like this:

HHHHH
  -
  H
  H
  H
  H

(where "-" is an empty house space)

At the moment, the player is scoring 5 points for one chain and 4 for the other; total 9 points. Fair enough.

But if they were to build on the "-" space, they would now have one chain that according to your system would only be worth 8 points (the longest possible length within the combined network). It seems wrong to me that you could lose points by adding houses to the board.

The system proposed in the diagrams attached above makes more sense to me, and I'll use it in my games; but is it official (there's no mention of its source)?
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Quote:
It seems wrong to me that you could lose points by adding houses to the board.


Not wrong, just foolish. The idea is to score the most points, so clearly you wouldn't want to put a house there.

Quote:
The system proposed in the diagrams attached above makes more sense to me, and I'll use it in my games; but is it official (there's no mention of its source)?


The source is the rulebook:

"Players must have at least 4 houses in an uninterrupted row along a street to score any points. Branches are not counted."
 
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Mark Brown
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spearjr wrote:
You can score more than one road of 4+ houses each. These roads cannot cross, intersect or share even 1 house.

This scoring would be wrong (13 points for purple) ->
http://www.maj.com/gallery/spearjr/games/china_board_no.jpg

This scoring, showing green and purple, would be right (10 for purple, 9 for green) ->
http://www.maj.com/gallery/spearjr/games/china_board_yes.jpg


I don't see how this can be correct for purple. The houses are connected, so how can they be split into 2 roads?
 
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Mike Betzel
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Yeah, I'm confused on how you score roads and those examples didn't make things any more clear!

Here are a few example layouts, could someone clarify how many points the player would score for each?

Example 1


This is pretty simple, 5 points.

Example 2


Is this 4 or 5 points? I'm confused what the rules mean by "branches." It takes a 90 degree turn to the right at the top... are "rows" (the word the rules use) able to take turns like that?

Example 3


If Example 2 is 4 points then I would assume this is 6 points?

Example 4


How many points is this? Six points again and you ignore the bottom on the lower right? Is it four points because roads can't make turns? Is it 7 points (4 for the right vertical and 3 for the left)?

Any help would be much appreciated. For whatever reason I'm just really uncertain how this rule is to be interpreted.
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Gilles Duchesne
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Deliverator wrote:
Any help would be much appreciated. For whatever reason I'm just really uncertain how this rule is to be interpreted.


Actually, pretty much everyone here would agree that your examples score like so:
5, 5, 6, 6

Being "in a row" just mean that they make a consecutive series. That's not where the tricky part lies.

The crux of the discussion here is whether or not you can "break" down a series of adjacent houses into several "rows" in order to optimize your scoring.

(I think you do, by the way, as per the "Each house may only be counted once." precision, which appears in all languages of my manual.)
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Matt K
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I've never been lucky enough to be put in this position. Perhaps the people I play with are too quick to block long roads from forming. I'm usually pretty happy to get one road of 4-5 houses built. Though it has never happened to me, I agree with the string above. Roads can turn, and houses can only be used in one road.
 
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Anni Foasberg
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What if a road is longer than 8 houses long? Is the player allowed to split it into two roads? The last time I played, we had a situation where one person had built nine houses that were connected to each other. If he counted the ones in a straight row, he would have had a road eight houses long and worth eight points. On the other hand, the last house branched, so if he split it into two roads, he'd have road four houses long and another one five houses long, for nine points. In neither case would any house be counted twice. So, are you compelled to count the roads as just one?
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Chris Rudram
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A similar situation in a game here happened, and we spent a long time arguing over this.

The 'must not branch' rule seems to me to imply that you cannot score a row with three ends (a branched row), not that you can't score two rows that touch.

However, we couldn't find anything definitive anywhere. Anyone defintive? Bueller?
 
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Zsolt Szunyoghy
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Hi,

Being the one who started this thread I have to say that the first answer to my question was clear enough for me to be definitive regarding this rule. Unfortunatelly the images attached by Jason to his answer are not available anymore. I'll ask him to resend the images.

Let's put it that way that you are allowed to score points until you do not break the written rules. This means that you will split your houses in a way you will get the highest possible total score.

The rules are simple:
- roads must be at least 4 houses long to be scored
- branches are not counted
- each house may only be counted once

This answers also Anni's question: if that 9th house is adjacent to a house "near" to the middle of the 8 houses long road ("near" means here being connected with the 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th house) then you can split your houses at the middle of the chain to score 4 + 5 points. But if the 9th house is connected not at the middle you cannot split your chain to have two roads with at least 4 houses. Of course you are not allowed to score a house twice and of course your roads can touch.

BR,
Zsolt
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dracomjb wrote:
spearjr wrote:
You can score more than one road of 4+ houses each. These roads cannot cross, intersect or share even 1 house.

This scoring would be wrong (13 points for purple) ->


This scoring, showing green and purple, would be right (10 for purple, 9 for green) ->


I don't see how this can be correct for purple. The houses are connected, so how can they be split into 2 roads?


From my copy of the rules:
Quote:
Players must have at least 4 houses in an uninterrupted row along a street to score any points.
Branches are not counted.
A row of houses may extend across multiple regions.

We've taken this to mean that you can "spilt" a connected group of houses into 2 roads, for scoring, so long as each spilt has at least 4 in a row.
 
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John Ireton
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There are certainly heated opinions on both sides of this. We would absolutely not allow this:
spearjr wrote:
...you can "spilt" a connected group of houses into 2 roads, for scoring, so long as each spilt has at least 4 in a row.


The most obvious thing to us was to define road(s) just as you do "the longest road" in Settlers. The longest continuous string you can make out of a "blob" of connected houses is the score for that group. A line of five houses that connects to the midpoint of another line of five houses scores seven points:

x
x
3 4 5 6 7
2
1
 
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Andrew Swan
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The difference between China and Settlers is that in the former, you are trying to count your houses in such a way as to score as many of them as possible. That's why we allow the houses in your example to be counted as a four (4-5-6-7) and a five (1-2-3-X-X), for a total of nine.

In Settlers however, the aim is to find the longest non-repeating sequence in a whole road network, in which case you'd be right that the sequence 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 is a seven-length road to which the X's don't contribute.

But this is China, not Settlers...
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fer moros
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Deliverator wrote:
Yeah, I'm confused on how you score roads and those examples didn't make things any more clear!

Here are a few example layouts, could someone clarify how many points the player would score for each?

Example 4


How many points is this? Six points again and you ignore the bottom on the lower right? Is it four points because roads can't make turns? Is it 7 points (4 for the right vertical and 3 for the left)?

Any help would be much appreciated. For whatever reason I'm just really uncertain how this rule is to be interpreted.


I played China 3 times on the table, and several times online, and I never thought about splitting roads, but after reading this thread, I am confused.


Thanks to the original poster of the photo examples.
That sure makes things more clear. However, you just stopped one step shorter of the question here so I would like -with your permission- to push your last photo to the question of the "splitting".

Going back to your Ex. 4, and your question,
(4 for the right vertical and 3 for the left)?

Clearly, 4+3 is a "no" , because you can not score less than 4 house in a row. But what I think you meant to ask is if we place another house in Chin, following up North.... do we score two paralel roads of 4x2=8 points or one road of 6 (the biggest road of the fork)

That is a two points difference!
My feeling is that the intention on the rules is to score a 6. But, I have to admit that this is because I played Settlers of Catan before. I dont think that a 4+4 score breaks the wording of the rules. Even if to me it seems tricky I don't think I could argue it to another player.

If this question has not been answered somewhere else in the forum (probably it has, considering how old and popular the game is) I can email the designer, MS.

Thanks for your opinions and happy games!
fer
sk
 
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Sight Reader
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I haven't read this thread in detail, but we never score chains of less than 4 houses. As we score them, we pull the houses, then see if there's any chains remaining. This automatically solves the branching problem.

 
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fer moros
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yes, but if we put one more house on the yellow region Chin, North, do you score two parallel roads, one on Chin (4 houses) + one road through green and orange (4 houses)
or
do you only score for the longest branch going from green to yellow (6 points)

The pulling out of the houses would not help here.
 
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Sight Reader
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fmoros wrote:
yes, but if we put one more house on the yellow region Chin, North, do you score two parallel roads

Well, the owning player has to make a decision which way he wants to go before he starts pulling houses: its up to him to maximize his score. So he has to decide... am I going to pull from Chin or from Wei and Han? Which houses are going to be part of the chain and which are going to be spurs? As he's pulling, he'll eventually get to that intersection in Han, thus reducing competing branches below 4 and eliminating them from scoring.


We do, of course, give him a chance to put the houses back and try again if he finds a more efficient way to do it, but his score obviously will reset as well. Obviously, in the case above, his best strategy is to make a U-turn.
 
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fer moros
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I wish I had photoshop skills to put one more house on the spot I mean cry

Sight Reader,
yes, I understand that you aim for the longest road/branch using finger or pulling out houses, that is good.
But my question is that I put ONE MORE HOUSE in Chin up North (not shown on the photo, because my poor photoshop skills),

Then you can break the fork into two parallel roads?

house 4
house 3 house 4
house 2 house 3
house 1---house 2 ---house 1

Your previous idea of the U-turn would give you here 7 points. -No doubt about rules- meeple
But splitting the road in two parallel roads would give you 8, 4+4 -Tricky and controversial- arrrh

Do you allow the splitting?

thanks a lot
 
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As I said before, we leave it up to the player to find the best way to score: we do not legislate some "all-seeing, all-knowing algorithm" that magically determines the one-and-only "proper" score for every case. The choice of spurs or branches is not necessarily the most optimal, but rather is the owner's responsibility and thus part of game strategy.

Making scoring the responsibility of the owner eliminates pointless arguing and speeds up scoring. Other players need only check if his scoring is legal and advise him of better opportunities. If a player messes up and totally misses big scoring opportunities, it's really is his problem, although simple sportsmanship demands that others help him untangle the possibilities and look for better ways to score.


fmoros wrote:
Do you allow the splitting?

I assume the Chin house you refer to makes the Chin chain longer, not the one that creates another spur. The player takes away 4 houses in a chain, there are still 4 left that are a contiguous chain, so he's welcome to score a new one as a separate chain.

If you have a spur, like a "Y", the rules require that you ignore one of the spurs. It follows, then, that if you have an "H", you can opt to ignore the crossbar (that other situations might require you to ignore anyway) and score the two vertical lines separately.

To take the argument ad absurdum, imagine houses at the corner of a pentagram. You'd have to ignore at least 6 roads so you could score a chain of 5, but you'd be free to choose which 6 to ignore (as long as the surviving roads are linear).
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Guillaume Chaput
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sightreader wrote:
As I said before, we leave it up to the player to find the best way to score: we do not legislate some "all-seeing, all-knowing algorithm" that magically determines the one-and-only "proper" score for every case. The choice of spurs or branches is not necessarily the most optimal, but rather is the owner's responsibility and thus part of game strategy.

Making scoring the responsibility of the owner eliminates pointless arguing and speeds up scoring. Other players need only check if his scoring is legal and advise him of better opportunities. If a player messes up and totally misses big scoring opportunities, it's really is his problem, although simple sportsmanship demands that others help him untangle the possibilities and look for better ways to score.


fmoros wrote:
Do you allow the splitting?

I assume the Chin house you refer to makes the Chin chain longer, not the one that creates another spur. The player takes away 4 houses in a chain, there are still 4 left that are a contiguous chain, so he's welcome to score a new one as a separate chain.

If you have a spur, like a "Y", the rules require that you ignore one of the spurs. It follows, then, that if you have an "H", you can opt to ignore the crossbar (that other situations might require you to ignore anyway) and score the two vertical lines separately.

To take the argument ad absurdum, imagine houses at the corner of a pentagram. You'd have to ignore at least 6 roads so you could score a chain of 5, but you'd be free to choose which 6 to ignore (as long as the surviving roads are linear).


In teh case of a Y with 4 houses in each branches, I'd say you can split each branches, so it's 4*3=12 points
 
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chaps357 wrote:
In teh case of a Y with 4 houses in each branches, I'd say you can split each branches, so it's 4*3=12 points

That would make sense. A lot better to count 3 chains of 4 than one chain of 8!
 
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Guillaume Chaput
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I seems taht not everyone agree with this though...
Some people say you must score the longest road, so only 8
I don't know what to think
 
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Michael Schacht
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i answered this one before.
so, here is the correct rule interpretation by the designer:

In a network only the longest count.
(if there are more than one road in the network, still just the longest counts).

so, for the tactics: don't connect two sepreated roads (that would each count) to a network otherwise you'll loose points by that.
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