The Chess Variant Pages

PASGL 312 Notation

A Way to Represent PASGL 312 Board Positions

By John Lawson

Introduction

While preparing for a game of PASGL 312 to be played via email, I developed a way to represent the board position with an ASCII diagram. Because the number of things going on in PASGL 312 can be complex, I considered the use of a diagram as a supplement to the customary move list to be advisable. It would allow players to identify misunderstandings and errors in position immediately, and thereby avoid spoiling the game. I assume you have read the PASGL 312 page.

The major challenges to any attempt to diagram a PASGL 312 position are: multiple occupancy squares; recording stinkiness; knowing which pieces still have their lunch; keeping track of the train; and reporting the score.

Piece symbols

White critters

B - Bear
H - Hunter
D - Deer
F - Fox
W - Woodchuck
S - Skunk
T - Turkey
M - Chipmunk
P - Shrew

Black critters

b - Bear
h - Hunter
d - Deer
f - Fox
w - Woodchuck
s - Skunk
t - Turkey
m - Chipmunk
p - Shrew

Other piece symbols

X - Train

Special Notations

Multiple occupancy squares - occupants are listed on the three lines of the diagram square. There is room for nine in each square of the diagram.

Train and passengers - the train is denoted by a pair of X's on the middle line of a track square. Pieces riding the Train are listed on the first and third lines. There is room for six, but more may be jammed in by omitting spaces, since no critters on the Train will be either lunchless or stinky. When a Train leaves a terminal all of the critters riding are left off, and all of the boarding critters join the Train as it leaves the terminal.

Lunchless - critters that have lost their lunch have their symbols preceded by a minus sign "-".

Stinky - critters that are stinky have their symbols preceded by an asterisk "*".

Example -

   +------+
   | -W F |
   |      |
   | *d t |
   +------+
This square contains:

White lunchless Woodchuck

White Fox

Black stinky Deer

Black Turkey

Notating Moves

When recording a move, first specify the critter's letter abbreviation, the from-square and the to-square. Follow this with the symbol for any special interaction and the square of the victim(s). There may additional information required as well.

Bear displacement: include the destination squares of any displaced critters. Show squished Shrews and critters forced under the wheels of the Train as captures with a "_".

1.      Be4e5_P,fe4_,Wd4,Td4,wd4_

Hunter shooting: use the capture symbol ":" and the target square.

1.      He4e5   for a move, or
2.      He4:De7 for a shot

Deer stealing lunch: use the lunch-stealing symbol "-" and specify the piece.

1.      Df1d5-F         for stealing lunch
2.      Df1d5:S-F       if a Shrew were also squashed

Fox devouring: use the capture symbol ":" and specify the piece. For stealing lunch, use the lunch-stealing symbol "-" and specify the piece.

1.      Fc1b4:-W        for devouring a lunchless Woodchuck
2.      Fc1b4-W         for stealing the Woodchuck's lunch

Woodchuck chucking wood: use the chucking wood symbol "^" and specified the struck square and critter.

1.      Wg6^d4-H                Woodchuck on g6 chucks a billet at the 
                                Hunter on d4, which drops its lunch.

Skunk spraying: use the spraying symbol '*' and specify the stinky pieces. Each of these pieces will be marked with a "*" until they move. Since the Skunk only sprays defensively it must be expressed are part of an offensive move against a Skunk.

2.      Wg6^d4-S*De4,We5,Te4    Woodchuck on g6 chucks a billet at the Skunk
                                on d4, which drops its lunch and sprays a 
                                Deer and Turkey on e4 and a Woodchuck on e5.

Train

Although there is a train schedule, it will be less confusing to record the train's move every turn. In the train column of the move list, record the Train as moving to the first of its two squares. So a train on g4,h4 moving to f4,g4 and carrying a White Turkey and Black Fox in the first car, and a White Skunk in the second car is recorded:
1.      Xf4;Tf;S
If the Train squishes a critter, use the squashed symbol "_", thus if the Train also squished a Shrew on the above move it becomes:
2.      Xf4_P;Tf;S

Scoring

After the score has been calculated at the end of Blacks turn, enter the cumulative scores in the score column of the move list. A complete move could look like this:
           White        Black           Train           Score 
        1. Te3-e4       Be5-e4,Td4      Xd4_T           W:15 B:18

Starting Position

     z      a      b      c      d      e      f      g      h       x       
         +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+          
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
8        |  t   |  s   |  f   |  h   |  b   |  d   |  w   |  t   |        8 
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
         +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+          
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
7        |  p   |  p   |  p   |  p   |  p   |  p   |  p   |  p   |        7 
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
         +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+          
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
6        |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |        6 
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
  +======+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+======+   
  |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |   
5 |      >      >      >      >      >      >      >      >      >      | 5 
  |      |      |      |      |     *|*     |      |      |      |      |   
  +--^^--+------+------+------+------*------+------+------+------+--VV--+   
  |      |      |      |      |     *|*     |      |      |      |      |   
4 |      <      <      <      <      <      <      <      <      <      | 4 
  |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |   
  +======+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+======+   
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
3        |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |        3 
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
         +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+          
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
2        |  P   |  P   |  P   |  P   |  P   |  P   |  P   |  P   |        2 
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
         +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+          
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
1        |  T   |  S   |  F   |  H   |  B   |  D   |  W   |  T   |        1 
         |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |          
         +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+           
     z       a      b      c      d      e      f      g      h       x

      White     Black   Train   Score 
   1.   
   2. 
   3.
   4.
   5.
   6.
   7.
   8.
   9.

Play Aids

CHEAT SHEET
                                       carries steals move to
              move    size    attack   lunch   lunch  occupied score  
start
Bear        B  K      large   disp      yes      no     yes      5     e1
Hunter      H  W      large   ->(R3)    yes      no      no      4     d1
Deer        D  NN     large   steal     yes     yes     yes      3     f1
Fox         F  bWzF3  medium  steal/eat yes     yes     yes      3     c1
Woodchuck   W  WD     medium  ->(AG)    yes     yes      no      3     g1
Skunk       S  R      medium  stink     yes     yes     yes      2     b1
Turkey      T  R3     medium  none       no      no     yes      2     a1,h1
Chipmunk    M  F      tiny    none       no      no     yes      1     none
Shrew       P  fF     tiny    none       no      no     yes      0     a2-h2
Train       X                                                          x4&x5


TRAIN SCHEDULE
location  turn
x4,x5   1  21  41... and so on
h4,x4   2  22  42
g4,h4     3  23  43
f4,g4     4  24  44
e4,f4     5  25  45
d4,e4     6  26  46
c4,d4     7  27  47
b4,c4     8  28  48
a4,b4     9  29  49
z4,a4    10  30  50
z5,z4    11  31  51
a5,z5    12  32  52
b5,a5    13  33  53
c5,b5    14  34  54
d5,b5    15  35  55
e5,d5    16  36  56
f5,e5    17  37  57
g5,f5    18  38  58
h5,g5    19  39  59
x5,h5    20  40  60

Playing Over the Board

I also gave some thought to playing over the board, since I personally do not like to study a position on a diagram. I came up with this approach:
Written by John Lawson.
WWW page created: July 23rd, 2002