Drone's One Hand Method.pdf


Drone’s One Hand Counting Method
for Knowing Which Tiles are Available to Fill Forced Spaces in Tantrix

by Jay Dunbar, Ph.D. (“drone”)

Knowing whether tiles remain in the bag that fit a particular forced space is an important step toward winning more often in Tantrix. In this article I present a simple method for knowing not only how many tiles remain, but which ones they are. I am indebted to Dave Dyer, whose “phone number” system, described on his Tantrix Tips page (http://www.andromeda.com/people/ddyer/tantrix/TantrixTips.html) was the inspiration for my method. His discussion is invaluable, but I find the need to remember sequences of numbers and to know whether a line curves left or right (when it may be upside down in the tantrix) cumbersome. I believe the One Hand Method makes keeping track of the count and visualizing the tiles much easier.

Photo 1. The five tiles that fit a Red-Yellow-Blue
(A-B-C) forced space.

Forced spaces are three-sided spaces identified by the colors of the three lines that end in them, named in clockwise order around the space. There are four kinds of forced spaces: one defined by three colors (color A, color B, and color C: “A-B-C”), and three defined by two colors (A-A-B, A-B-B, and A-B-A). Only five (5) tiles fit any A-B-C space, six (6) tiles fit each A-A-B space, six (6) fit each A-B-B space, and six (6) fit each A-B-A space. By scanning along the lines of one of the colors and making a simple count, players can easily discover how many tiles, if any, remain in the bag that fit a particular forced space. Knowing what those tiles look like, however, is often even more critical than the count. The One Hand Method puts this information “at your fingertips.”

Tiles come in four patterns: Ronds, Brids, Chins, and Sints. Ronds are tiles containing three corners; Brids have two corners on either side of a straight; Chins have two curves crossing a straight; Sints have one corner and two crossing curves. The five tiles that fit any A-B-C space are one Brid, two Chins, and two Sints. The six tiles that fit any A-A-B space or any A-B-B space are two Ronds, two Brids, and two Sints. The six tiles that fit any A-B-A space are two Chins and four Sints. For the One Hand Method, I assign each tile to a finger in the case of the A-B-C space, and I assign five tiles to fingers and one to a hand position for the A-A-B, A-B-B, and A-B-A spaces.


End of Excerpt: see pdf version at top of this page for the full text.
The Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School
c/o Dr. Jay Dunbar, Director
15 Timberlyne Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-1522