Four-Stop Routes for Streetcar

This page provides access to two sets of four stop routes for the board game Streetcar. If you don't own Streetcar then this page is unlikely to be of any use. Other board game material is accessible from my home page. So far I have two versions:

Issues

The first play-test involved six players and the long four-stop routes. That's a very stressing case for Streetcar, for two reasons. In the playtest game, we ran out of tiles. The following ad hoc rule was sufficient to save the game, but may not be sufficient in every case.
At times a player may find it impossible to completely replenish his/her hand. In that case, skip the replenishment phase and continue with the next player. Thereafter, the player who was unable to replenish his/her tiles may play tiles from any player's hand. Note that he/she does not replenish from other hands. Rather, tiles are played from another player's hand directly onto the board.
A better solution, if practical, would be to use the tiles from two sets. I offer no guidance in how to separate them again afterward.

The short four-stop route hasn't had any play-testing yet, so if you try it please tell me how it went.

Methods

I generated the long route card set by computer searching for routes that This restricted my possible routes to a set that was, by happy coincidence, just the right size to make up six cards' worth. Then I rearranged the cards to minimise the possibility of two players having very similar routes.

For the short route card set I required each route to have two outer stations and two inner stations. (There are twice as many outer stations as inner, so equal use of stations would be somewhere between the criterion used for short routes and that used for long routes.) That gave me 54 routes of about the same length, almost as large as the length could be with that criterion. I trimmed that back to the needed 36 by trying to equalise station use by a given streetcar, then rearranged the routes as above to create the set.

Vague Plans

It's an early attempt, far from guaranteed, and if you try it then I'd be interested to hear how it played. Perhaps someday I'll write a demerit function, that measures how bad my card set is, and try an annealing approach.


Please send feedback to the author, David Bofinger. Other material can be found on my home page, including some related to other board games. Thanks to Kurt Frank, following Tennessee Williams, for the line about the kindness of strangers.


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