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Subject: Advice on a notation system? rss

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Teacher Fletcher
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Can anyone advise on what kind of notes they make on their paper as the game of Sleuth progresses?

I am entirely lost on what information to keep track of, and how to keep track of it all on such a small piece of paper!

For example, whenever I found out a certain player definitely had a gem, I made a small X in the box... then I looked at my friend's sheet and saw that he was not writing an X, but rather the initial of the person who showed him the jewel. This small change is such an obvious improvement, but had evaded my thoughts until he showed it to me!

Any help from veterans is appreciated. Chuckles?
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David Bush
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Within each box for a specific card, I devote a corner to information about a specific opponent, based on where they are seated in relation to me. This works for up to five players including myself. If I know the player to my left has the green diamond solitaire, for example, I place a big dot in the center of that box and draw a line from it to the bottom left corner of that box. If I know the second player to my left has two opal pairs, then in the top left corner of each of the four colors for opal pairs I place two symbols. The first is any letter of the alphabet which I haven't used yet. The second is the number of gem cards involved, in this case 2. So if this is the first bit of information I learn in the game, I would put A2 in each of those four corners. During the game I might learn what one of those opal pairs is. I then would draw a big dot in the center of that box with a line to the top left corner, and for the remaining A2 corners, I erase (or cross out) the 2 and replace it with a 1.

In the course of a game I usually run through the alphabet, so then I use reflected or inverted letters, or Greek letters, any symbol which has not been used yet.

For six or seven players, I use a larger sheet of paper with bigger boxes. the center of the left and right sides of the box are then used for a specific player. I also like to use an entirely separate sheet which has a large box shape on it. In a specific region of that box I list all the info about that player that I got directly from players during the game. I do NOT record any conclusions I might reach. That way, if I discover that I made a logic error, at least I will still have the base data which the conclusions were founded on, and I might be able to reconstruct.
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Sanders
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Writing an inital for everyone (but me - I put an X for me) is something we do.

Also try to write what they have said they dont have on the bottom. Usally we play 4 people. So i make 3 sections at the space in the bottom and take notes on the other players.



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Randall Bart
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I find the sheets provided with this game (and Mystery of the Abbey) are inadequate. It gives a space for each specific item, but it doesn't have columns for when you know just one or two attributes. David says he writes that data in four places. I add extra columns for this data.
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Travis Bridges
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Nazareth
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I use an initial in different areas of each box as stated previously, but I use it for what each player doesn't have...in the notes section of the sheet, I create 2 columns for each player. Left column is what I've learned...for instance DB has 2 opal pairs, I write 2 O Pa. The second column is really a list of cards in hand...I find this is a not often used note-taking strategy, but I like it. Basically, I know how many cards each player got dealt, so I write in the right column cards I know and parts of cards I know. Once I have a slot for each individual card, completed or not, I can go up to the chart and add their initial for cards they can't have. When I find out a card precisely, I add their initial big in the box to show it is in someone's hand. Once all of the little initials are in the box or I know it can't be in anyone's hand, I know that card is hidden. For instance,

2 O Pa
1 D
2 Sol Bl
0 D Sol
3 Gr

If that DB has 6 cards, I know parts of every card in his hand. I put in the right hand column:

O Pa Gr
O Pa
D Gr
Sol Blue
Sol Blue
Gr

Now I know DB doesn't have any red or yellow that are not O Pa, etc. Makes it really easy to lock down negatory information, which I think is the key in this game (You get more info from what you know people don't have then what they do have...basically because you only get 1 turn where you can know things precisely per round). What I like about this is I NEVER lose information because I can easily write down everything and solve the logic puzzle created when it is not my turn. It is an inverse of what people usually do, but give it a try.

If you need a nice scoresheet, I have uploaded one in the files that work better...they are for the 3M version though.
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M Mapes
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At the beginning:
* I X every face-up card.
* I write a large initial in the entire box for my own cards.

As I learn information:
* I write a large initial in the entire box for every card I see or know positively
* I wrote a small "NO A" or "NO B" in the box when A or B has said they do not have a card.
* If the information is not immediately useful, I write down the answer, e.g., "A 2 Pearl Pair" under the column of pearl pairs or "B 1 yel opal" next to the row of yellows.

Don't forget to write NOs as well as Yeses, because once you have a no for every other player, you know which card it has to be.
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Randall Bart
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The provided sheet doesn't really have boxes for each type of information. I end up dividing some boxes and adding boxes around the side to record some partial information. Perhaps I should make a better record sheet and upload it. I haven't played this game in a while and I don't recall the details, but I would guess five minutes with the game would lead me to design the exact same chart.
 
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Brett
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For taking notes I use a full sheet of paper. I have a spreadsheet (landscape) with each box about 1” wide by 2” high. I assign each other player the same space for each box. So in a 4 player game the person to my left gets the top 1/3, the person across from me the middle 1/3 and the person to my right the bottom 1/3 of all boxes. I “X” out all of the boxes that I know and indicate who has the card. So for the cards I have I write “Me” in the box, for the common cards I write “Com”. I also list each person and write one line “|” for each card dealt. Each time I discover a card that a person has I put a slash through a line and write the card below it. This gives me an easy reference for knowing how many of a person’s cards I don’t know.

I use obvious abbreviations when taking notes: B=Blue, R=Red, O=Opal, C=Cluster, etc. Important, I use Pe for pearl and Pr for pair. I write down the answers to the questions that others ask (as well as the ones I ask). So if player A asks player B about “Blue Diamonds”, and player B has 1 blue diamond, I will note that. If I have no information about blue diamonds, in each of the blue diamond boxes I will write “B1BD” (player B, has one blue diamond). So if later on I find out player B has the blue diamond solitaire I know that B doesn’t have the blue diamond pair or blue diamond cluster because B only has 1 blue diamond.

I also indicate if a player doesn’t have something. In my previous example I would write "B-N" and circle the "N" in the blue diamond pair and cluster boxes. This lets me easily know that B doesn't have those cards so 10 turns later I don't ask B about blue diamonds.

Another example: For player A, in the red pearl solitaire square I may have A2R (A has 2 red cards), A3S (A has 3 solitaires), A2Pe (A has 2 pearls). I try to use all of the information about a players hand to help me.

REMEMBER- The goal isn't to find out who has each card, it is to find out the card no one has!thumbsup

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