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Starting game points

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:19 am
by or2az
Installed another riichi scoring app that included a score sheet and noticed I couldn't start each player off with an initial 25000 pts. Sent an email to the developer regarding this and the reply was that the app presently conforms to strict 2016 EMA riichi mahjong rules of zero starting pts and will be updated in future versions.

I had thought that the game always started with each player getting at least 20000 pts and I could not find anything relating to this in the 30 page pdf 2016 EMA rules (Tina Christensen), or in Bart's guide, except for;
"The Haikyū Genten or Mochiten is the allocation of points that each player holds at the start of the match; the most common amounts are 25,000 pts, 27,000 pts or 30,000 pts".

Continuing my discussion with the developer, I stated that as far as I knew, no riichi rules had the game start with zero points. I mean, how can one declare Riichi in the 1st hand if one does not have any points.
Upon further online investigation, I discovered this, regarding EMA rules.

"Scores are kept on paper, there are no point sticks. Players start with 0 points and may sink into negative scores without ending the game.
Players may declare Riichi with any score. Tournaments often provide each player with a single 1,000-point-stick for Riichi declarations."

Live and learn. Who knew!
Needless to say, I emailed the developer and apologized for my incorrectness.
He stated he will let me know when the app is updated to include other rulesets.

I don't think this is the way it will be in Las Vegas in October.
After finding this, I'm pretty sure it won't be.
It seems only one ruleset has 0 starting pts.

WRC EMA JPML A JPML B NPM SAI. SAI. C. RMU A RMU B RMU C
Open tanyao ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ♦ ✔ ✔ ✔ kuitan 食い断 / 喰いタン
After-attaching ♦ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ??? ??? ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ atozuke 先付け
Swap-calling ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✔ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ kuikae 喰い替え
Chow shifting ♦ ✖ ✖ ✔ ✖ ??? ??? ✔ ??? ??? ??? ??? ✔ ✖ ✖ ??? ??? ✖ ??? ??? ??? ???  suji  スジ牌
Starting points 30k 0 30k 30k 25k 30k 30k 30k 30k 25k ??? ??? 30k 29k 25k 30k 25k 25k ??? 25k 25k mochiten 持ち点


Incidentally, this is the android app I am referring to:
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Re: Starting game points

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:18 am
by Ignatius
Well, technically speaking, players can set the starting points, and the minimum points to win, freely.

But most common rulesets use a range of 20000~30000 points to start.

Starting at 0 points seems really weird to me, because I'm used to 25000 points to start. But actually, you can do whatever you want.

Still I wonder why the devs chose that...

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:56 am
by Shirluban
The Vegas tournament will use WRC rules. So 30k starting points.

Actually, the EMA rulebook doesn't say anything about starting points.
So, technically, any value would "conforms to strict 2016 EMA riichi mahjong rules" (as long as you keep oka at 0).
Since EMA tournaments usually record the scores on paper, they are not needed, so players just write the points difference (hence, starting at 0).
It's also the custom in MCR.
Unfortunately, this leads to many scoring errors, people mixing up plus and minus signs, or forgetting a sign.

And yes, having starting points other than 25k (+20k oka) or 30k (0 oka) is highly unusual.

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:10 am
by Barticle
Certainly 25k and 30k are the simplest and most common options but if a video-game offers a third option it's usually 27k.

My guide also has this entry describing a mode I encountered in one game:
Hakuhyō means "thin ice" and is the name given to a special variant of the game played over a single wind-round and with each player starting with only 13,000 points. If a player is busted then the match ends early and they have to pay an extra bonus to the player in first place.
As usual some games offer more exotic options.The most extreme allowed 60k max buy-ins and 10k min starts giving an oka bonus of 200k to the winner. :shock:

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:02 pm
by Gnom
Shirluban wrote:Since EMA tournaments usually record the scores on paper, they are not needed, so players just write the points
Is this still true? I don't know about all ema tournaments but in those I see (in person or reports) paper seems to be rapidly loosing ground! (Which is for the best as far as I'm concerned)

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:05 pm
by or2az
Referring to the initial post of 8/24
Live and learn. Who knew!
Needless to say, I emailed the developer and apologized for my incorrectness.
He stated he will let me know when the app is updated to include other rulesets.
Follow up, for those interested:
The developer has emailed me regarding an update.
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I commend him for his consideration and swift action.

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:39 pm
by Heikai
I was triggered by this comment on BoardGameGeek:
"Pen and paper is by far the best solution. Least hassle. Those riichi sticks are awful, they make very little sense and are not particularly pleasing. Chips are also just inconvenient. With pen and paper you lose all those troubles: just one pen and one paper is enough."

I hate using pen and paper for scoring in any version of Mahjong. Using sticks is faster, more convenient and less prone to calculation errors. I can't understand how anyone could prefer pen and paper. I really dislike how pen and paper is still used in the local tournaments here in Finland. I was just kind of baffled by this opinion. I also think that sticks are satisfying and easy to handle.

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:05 pm
by Shirluban
AFAIK, there are only two hassles when using sticks: handling negative scores, and actually having sticks.
The first is so easy to solve it's a non-issue.
I concede not having sticks is a huge burden to use them ; it's also nonsensical. :lol:

The argument I usually see against sticks is the impossibility to correct the scores. While pen & paper allows to correct some errors, it's limited to errors induced by p&p itself (maths errors, negative signs vanishing, payment from/to the wrong player, ...).
In the tournaments I've seen using p&p, usually nobody wants to keep the scores.

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 am
by or2az
Or...........you can have an Android app nearby.
No sticks, No chips, No pen, No paper, No hassle.
Just enter your starting points, and each player in his (or her) starting seat. Then click a few buttons and ask a few simple questions, if necessary, after each hand.
Who won?
Who lost?
Who called riichi?
Who was tenpai?
And just like that......a scoresheet appears, as in this fictional game.
(Naturally, someone has to know the fu and han, but there are apps for that too.)
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Re: Starting game points

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:20 am
by Ignatius
Ha, ha, I see myself there! :)

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:53 pm
by Barticle
Hopefully that little win on the bottom row was the beginning of my comeback in the south round. 8)

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:49 pm
by Referee
Something is not OK on this chart...

East 1. Oya wins a small tsumo, North reached.
East 1-1. South wins on oya's discard, with a riichi stick from West.
East 2. Null hand. Presumably an exhaustive draw since there is a stick thrown from (original) East. All four players were tenpai.

So far so good. But then, it goes awry.

East 3. Should be East 3-1, shouldn't it? Oya wins a tsumo, with a riichi from original South and the other stick hanging from before, 2300 bonus.
East 3-1. Should be 3-2. Exhaustive draw. Two players tenpai, and oya (who had reached) is not one of them, so winds flow.
East 4. Should be East 4-3. Original South wins by tsumo. The proof is those -300 on the losing players' scores. A second riichi stick from original West was thrown.
South 1. Finally we can stop tracking the honba and the hand name is correct. Original (and current) North rons West, oya was in riichi.
Original North then posts on this forum hoping that this win is indicative of a south-round comeback.

What is the right way to name the hands? Mine, or the app's? One thing that I see can't be tracked is whether the winner was in riichi or not.

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:13 pm
by or2az
I'm not an expert here, but to me, East 3-1 means 3rd East 1st continuance, and follows 3rd East, in the same way that East 1-1 follows East 1. I also don't see how East 4 should be East 4-3. What happened to 4-1 and 4-2?
I think I will let someone else weigh in on this (maybe original north who is hoping for a South round comeback).
From what I know, the app is doing it correctly, but like I said, I'm not an expert.
As for whether the winner was in riichi, it's a scoresheet, and since the winner gets back his stick, it doesn't affect the score.
(Or else you would have to have a minus 1000 and a plus 1000)

This app does follow EMA rules, if that makes a difference, which is why I had to ask the developer to add the 25000 starting points option before I would use it.

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:44 pm
by Shirluban
The notation 東2-1 means:
東: East round
2: second hand (of East round)
-1 first continuance (of the second hand of East round)
It's the number of continuances with the same player's winds, not the number of counters on the table.

Here 東2 was an exhaustive draw with everybody being noten, hence passing to 東3.
If everyone were tenpai, the next hand would be 東2-1.

It seems good to me.

Code: Select all

Winds at the beginning of each hand:
        Shirluban   Ignatius    Or2az       Barticle
E1      E,tsumo     S           W           N
E1-1    E           S,ron       W           N
E2      N           E,noten     S           W
E3      W           N           E,tsumo     S
E3-1    W           N           E,noten     S
E4      S           W,ron       N           E
S1      E           S           W           N,ron

Re: Starting game points

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:05 pm
by Referee
But everyone was Tenpai, not Noten! You reached! And you know better than to do a noten riichi. ;)