Link to previous round can be found here
Round 2, initial position
Stock = 30
Checksum: 9 + 13 + 8 + 5 + 5 + 2 + 2 + 12 + 8 + 10 + 30 = 104
Red: Two easy “empties” but with no obvious follow-up. Best seems “ge,gd,if,ie,ie” guaranteeing two turnovers, but spurning the dopamine rush that comes with the temporary possession of two empty columns. Note that many columns rot13(fhpx), requiring us to spend both empties just for one turnover.
Green: We can also get two spaces in columns 5 and 6. Then we can turn over column 8 at the expense of only one empty column. I prefer “hd,ha,fd,fd,hd,ea,eb,hg” over Red’s decision. The Seven of Spades is an important card with several Sixes already in play.
Blue: Well spotted by Green. Actually further improvement is possible with: “hd,fj,fj,ha,hj,(d1=h3), hf” retaining the option of clearing column 5 and reaching the same position as Green – or an outside chance that something even better turns up. Note that the meaning of the “supermove” d1=h3 is easily guessable and I believe this notation shortcut becomes useful in future rounds when we have to handle a rot13(fuvgybnq) of cards.
Actual play (Decision 21, 25 Oct): fj,fj,ge,gd,hg,eh,eb,jf,jd,id,ih,ih → 8 of Diamonds.
Blue: Things have deteriorated and we don’t have a lot of options. We must take the turnover with “ie” and pray for a good card. Note that it is no longer possible to build in-suit with 8-7 of Spades even if we thought that were desirable.
Red: If we must turnover a card the only reasonable alternative is “hc,ie”. Unfortunately, we have a serious shortage of odd-numbered cards and we are dangerously close to a “one-hole-no-turnovers” scenario. I would rather fancy my chances of bringing down the Club King in column 8 than three even-numbered singletons in column 3. Therefore “hc,ie” for me
Green: An interesting gambit is “hc,je,jd,hd” spurning a turnover and playing for the Diamond suit. But I really don’t like the fact completing Diamonds will only reveal another useless Queen, so the risk-reward isn’t worth it. May as well turnover the card and pray for a Jack or Nine. I’m with Red here but the difference is small. I vote “hc,ie”.
Actual Play (Decision 22, 28 Oct): ie → 9 of Hearts
Actual Play (Decision 23): id (trivial) → A of Hearts
Red: Just as I feared – one hole no card. Best of a bad lot is “df,ef, be,cb, ic, hb, ji, jd, hd” playing for the Diamond suit.
Green: Oh, give it a rest! Reasons why Diamonds rot13(fhpx) have already been discussed. I vote “ed, be, cb, ic, hb, ji, hj” which at least keeps column 6 atomic. Column 8 is important – even if we don’t get a turnover, there might be an opportunity to tidy up suits.
Blue: Both Red and Green are sus. I vote “ed, be, cb, ic, ai”, hoping to reach that important 5 of Spades in column 1. This also “diversifies” the bottom cards in columns 5,6,7,9 – and increasing our chances of winning back some precious empties.
Actual Play (Decision 24, 30 Oct): ed, be, cb, ic, hb, ji, hj, (Bart + SA + Green). Deal Me Up Scotty!