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the very beginning of the “Crab” layout. (There are 6 different layouts) I have personally found that the Crab layout is the easiest one to get high scores on.
THE BASICS If you don't yet know the basic rules to Mahjong Solitaire, specifically the Mahjong Titans version, you will find this to be the easiest description available anywhere as we'll be able to enjoy the numerous screen shots to actually see from the top to the bottom of this instruction set. At the very center of this layout are two tiles that are at the very top of the stacks. They obviously must be removed before you can remove the tiles they cover up. These two tiles are the only two on the 4th level up from the bottom. Tiles are removed in pairs and must be exact matches. The exceptions are the 4 flower tiles, and any two of the four are a match. You should always attempt to simultaneously remove all four of the tiles that are alike, whenever you can. You receive an extra 2 points (or more) when you do. In the right hand picture you can see a third tile matching the top two is visible, but when checking the top photo you see that the 4 th (#4 Bamboo) tile is hidden. In most cases, waiting to remove that top pair (in order to search for the 4th hidden tile and remove them all together) will end in disappointment. The 4th one could very well be on the bottom level strait down below the top pair. It's worth a shot though, so I always try. There are three primary types of tiles (commonly called “classes”). “Bamboo”
(the # of bamboo chunks on the tile match the tile #), “Balls” (the # of circles on the tile match the tile #) and Characters, I'm going to call the character tiles sticks (the # of sticks on the tile match the tile #). Each class of tiles have #'s from 1 to 9, and there are 4 tiles of each. There are also Specialty Tiles. The “Four Season” & “Four Flower” tiles add 8 more tiles to the mix, and their basic values are higher than the primary tiles. But, the 16 most important tiles in the grand total of 144 are the “Four Winds”. Appropriately named N, S, E, & W (North, South, East & West) for the main directions of the compass, each of them has 4 tiles. We'll get into great detail on how these tiles make or break your score, but understand this – these 16 tiles, when played right, will give you much more than half of your total score!
The above bar is at the bottom of the game board & shows you how many tile pairs are currently available, tiles remaining, your score & the # of seconds that have transpired throughout the game. The time has absolutely NO affect on your score. WARNING: There are times when you will want to match tiles that are on two different levels in the layout. This can be dangerous when it creates a blocked tile that is imposible to get to. YOU LOSE! Most of the time you will have a matching tiles on the same level with each other, but not always. It is wise to treat the game as you would a chess match. The further ahead that you can see your selections the better off you are. Be especially careful when matching tiles are siting side by side (especially when three of them are together).
Notice: There are two situations that come up that you always should be aware of, and that's double tiles in the same row. Notice the #3 balls & #4 bamboo. If they were the last two of
their kind left you would have to clear both sides of them to remove them and that can create a problem for you on occasion. Right now, we have all four of each kind on the board so we can use the other two to separate the doubled up pair. Ocasionally they will deal three packed side by side. In that case you will always have to clear both sides. In case you haven't figured it out by now, the basic fact of the game is that one side of a tile must be clear for it to be removed. It also cannot have a tile sitting on any part of the face of it. The top or bottom edges of the tile don't matter, just the right or left side must be clear. Now, before we go score 1,000 +, there are some basic scoring facts you should know. At the very start of a layout every tile on the outer edges of every layer that can be removed first are worth one point. Then as you move into the interior of the layout each tile becomes worth an additional point.
As you move into the interior pieces they increase in value. That's because it takes work to “uncover them”, and so you are rewarded for that. How that plays out is up to you. When playing the row in the green box above from left to right or vice versa, the further from the outside piece you get the more the tiles are worth. Knowing that will help you to play these tiles to take advantage of it. It works on a + 1 point for each tile position away from the outer edge (The 1st tile is one, the second two, etc.), and so working left to right #8 sticks (above) is worth 7 points. But guess what! If #5 bamboo has already been removed then #8 sticks is worth 8 points. See how that works? 7 from the left + 1 from the right. Now lets look at offset pieces. In the “Turtle” layout below take a look at the left and right center sections. The way that the pieces are offset affects what part of the interior piece is covered, and that affects the value of the covered piece. The two tiles below that are in green are considered covered while the tiles in red are not! If the top of the tile is exposed it is considered an outside tile even though the botom of it is covered. The green tile on the left is 2 points and the one on the right is worth 3.
When you work the tiles in the yellow box from right to left vs the tiles in the blue box, the last tile (#7 balls) is worth 14 points and the #2 sticks is worth 12. I know, pretty weird right? Tiles in the middle of the pile on the bottom will become high scoring ties at the end of the game.
IT WON'T BE ADEQUATE INSTRUCTIONS IF WE DON'T SCORE 1,000 + Here are the first 13 moves so that you can see what is happening, and once we've finished you'll truly understand how this game scores. 4/bam/1p................................#4 Bamboo/remove 1 pair (Those are the top two pieces) 5/stx/2p...................................#5 Sticks /remove 2 pair GnDrgn/2p..............................Green Dragons/remove 2 pair 3/stx/2p (20)...........................#3 Sticks/remove 2 pair (current score) 9/stx/1p...................................#9 Sticks/remove 1 pair 8/stx/1p 7/bal/2p (32)...........................#7 Balls/remove 2 pair RdDrgn/1p..............................Red Dragon/remove 1 pair 1/bam/2p.............NOTE: ......the #1 Bamboo has the bird on it. 6/stx/1p 2/stx/1p (44) 6/bal/2p 8/bal/1p (65) OKAY – ENOUGH OF THAT BORING STUFF! There's the beginning set up & the first 13 moves and the next two screen shots are how the board looks after thay are done. LETS TAKE A LOOK.
Notice that I have already made the first move and the #4 bamboo top pieces are gone. Now we can easily see the next three sets of double pairs to remove. #5 Sticks, Green Dragons, etc.
Now above you can see we have cleared one side of each of the four flower pieces and can remove them. They're worth 24 points when removed together. The next board will get us down to the 4 Season pieces and it takes 22 moves to get them cleared and ready to go. The next 22 moves will net us another 160 points.
WoW! What a difference 22 moves can make!
As you can see we are now ready to remove the 4 seasons. 4/Seasons/2p [1st pr 5pts (254)1top/1bottom - 2nd pr 32pts [both are bottom insiders] (286). Total 37 points. Take note that one of the first tiles had a normal value of 1 point since it was an original outside piece, but both the pieces in the last pair were inside bottom pieces & that adds value along with the fact they were all removed together. Next we remove the final pieces that we can without taking any Wind Pieces off the board, so this is it!
EXTRA BONUS PLAYS: Here Is What Everyone Has Been Wanting To Know About: The highest scoring pieces are the winds, followed by the seasons and flowers, but it's all about how you play them (along with a bit of luck on the way the layout is delt). YOUR GOAL EVERY GAME is To Play All Sixteen Winds, in sequence. (based on positional value) That means all 4 North, then all 4 South, then all 4 East etc., in other words, all 4 colors in sequence but the directions can be in any order. You will NEVER score over 1,000 points per game if you don't do this, but you also need to do this next one as well. You want to remove all 4 seasons followed directly by all 4 flowers. (or 4 flowers then 4 seasons) Now, imagine how high your score would be if you were to get the luck of the draw and be able to run the winds, seasons and flowers, ALL BACK TO BACK! I can only imagine, I haven't been that lucky yet. It wasn't until I figured out how these items worked together that I received my first score over 1,000. Example:
You can see that it is very easy to score in the high 900's, but you need a good deal, and to play your tiles right to get past the 1k mark. I scored 1,009 & 1052 on 7/22/2013. Let's take a look at the HIGH BONUS Four Winds in action! Here's the deal. Before I finished that last game I closed it (X'd it out) so that it would automatically save and I could go back and replay it. I knew that I could have done some things differently and perhaps increased my score. The screen shot below is how it looked when we got started.
Now we're ready for the final examples. A quick recap.
With 51 points I removed the 4 flowers together and only got 24 points (total = 75). Worked on down to the wind, & in this set up it looks like we will get them all. Theres still one tile hidden, a Green East Wind. I always work the double stacked first, as it will most likely uncover the lone missing piece. Also, be certain that you have cleared at least one side of every double stacked piece so you can use the bottom piece once it's uncovered. We'll run different scienarios to see if there's a difference. The first time I alternated the colors. 1 removed 1 pair per color and then reverse it. Score was at 243. Remember, I ran one pair then switched to a pair of a different color just to see if it makes a difference. The line below means one pair of South gave us 2 points/ next pair from West gave us 36points for some reason and the next pair from N only gave us 16 points. Then the next East pair gave us 80 & I turned around and retraced the pairs back to the last south pair. You'l notice that pair # 6 in this run was the North pair that consisted of the two top cards in the screen shot below. Both those cards were baried when the game began, as you can see by scrolling up above. However, the simple fact that they were bottom level interior cards doesn't acount for the explosion of 160 points for just two cards. Thats primarilly based on the combinations. Drop down for the next look. S 2 (245) W 36 (281) N 16 (297) E 80 (377) E 64 (441) N 160 (601) W 112 (713) S 112 (825) WoW! We managed to score 585 points on those 16 tiles! But it gets better!
I saved this game and then made a video of it live so you can see exactly how changing
certain sequences can have a dramatic affect on the end result. I also ran several different ending sequences that gave me the 5 top scores you see below.
To watch the video click the URL below.
I also wrote out the comparisons of the different sequences I ran with an explanation of why it increased my score. The final analisis will surprise you, It did me! You'll find that information listed below the video.
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