Tutorial Contest Entry 1

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Important.gif This page is an entry in the Tutorial Contest.
Please do not edit this page. Judging is currently in progress, according to the parameters set out in the contest announcement. If you wish to discuss this tutorial or provide feedback, please use the talk page.


See the forum-announcement post for a description of the judging categories.

The averaged scores of the judges for this entry were:
Clarity: 9.50
Comprehensiveness: 8.17
Contribution: 9.50
Illustrations: 9.33
Presentation: 9.83
Research: 7.83

The final score is a sum of these scores, with "internal" categories (clarity, comprehensiveness, illustrations, presentation) counting 2x as much as "external" categories (contribution, research). Maximum score is 100.
The final score for this tutorial is: 91

Whirlpools: Don't avoid 'em - use 'em!

http://www.frontiernet.net/~whirlymath/emptywhirly.PNG Ye will see many a Whirlpool on the Sea battle board.

Some pirates treat them like rocks - to be avoided at all costs. Here be a set of six standard moves that take advantage of the whirlpools instead of avoiding them. After ye master these six, ye should be comfortable enough to attempt variations on yer own.

Whirlpool Tip: After ye read each standard move and watch the video clip of it, try it out yerself using the Whirly Math Laboratory applet created specifically fer this tutorial.


Every Whirlpool moves ships clockwise. There be eight spots where yer ship can enter a whirlpool, but only two types of spots. We will call the entrances where ye can see the water being sucked in open http://www.frontiernet.net/~whirlymath/open.PNG
http://www.frontiernet.net/~whirlymath/closed2.PNG and the other type closed. A ship in a Whirlpool is turned 90 degrees clockwise but moves 180 degrees (to the other corner) after each token movement finishes.

Lab Experiment:
Use the applet to go into the whirly. See Experiment video

Using the Whirly Math Laboratory Applet

Full details fer using the Whirly Math Laboratory applet are found at How to Use the Whirly Math Laboratory. For practicing the patterns below, just click either Start at Open or Start at Closed as appropriate, then click Change Tokens to set the tokens to match the pattern shown. While Change Tokens is active, clicking the spots where the tokens (or cannonballs or grapples) go will rotate between the possible tokens just like it does in-game. When ye have the pattern matched, click Change Tokens again to deactivate it, then click Go. Ye can adjust the speed of the applet by moving the slider bar at the top of the applet to the left a bit.

Basic Patterns

Right Turn

The first pattern to learn crosses the whirlpool coming out 90 degrees clockwise from yer entrance. Start at any open entrance, and use two green tokens.

In-game video of Right Turn

Experiment video of Right Turn


Left Turn

Crossing the whirlpool coming out 90 degrees counter-clockwise from yer entrance is a bit trickier. Start at any closed entrance, and use two green tokens, but ye need to skip two tokens between the green tokens.

In-game video of Left Turn

Experiment video of Left Turn


Straight from Open Entrance

To go straight across an whirlpool, starting from an open entrance, use a green token, skip two, then a gold token.

In-game video of Straight from Open

Experiment video of Straight from Open


Straight from Closed Entrance

Ye can go straight across starting from a closed entrance too; it just needs a green and a blue token.

In-game video of Straight from Closed

Experiment video of Straight from Closed


180 Turn

Whirlpools are handy fer turning yer ship around too. Start from any entrance at all, and use a green, skip, then green token. Ye will end up at the same entrance, just outside the whirlpool, but facing the opposite direction.

In-game video of 180 Turn from Open

In-game video of 180 Turn from Closed

Experiment video of 180 Turn from Open

Experiment video of 180 Turn from Closed



Now sometimes a sneaky but wounded brigand will stop just outside a whirlpool. Use this trick if his rear is touching a whirlpool. First, move so that ye be directly across the whirlpool from him, pointing into the same type of entrance. Fer example, if his rear is touching a closed entrance on the North side of the whirly, then ye should be pointing into the closed entrance on the South side. Now enter the whirlpool using a green token, and firing left at the same time, skip a turn, then shoot right. As long as the brigand doesn't move, ye can just sit in the whirlpool using shoot left, skip, shoot right. When the brigand is maxed, just use a grapple instead of shooting.

In-game video of Shooting from Open

In-game video of Shooting from Closed

Experiment video of 180 Turn from Open

Note: Ye will need to set the target? switch to On afore ye click Start at Open or Start at Closed if ye want to practice shooting in the lab.



Simple Parallel

http://www.frontiernet.net/~whirlymath/variations.PNG The first variations to learn are easy: ye just start out next to the whirlpool but not pointing in to it. If ye can use a gold or blue token to move into the whirlpool, then that counts just as if ye were starting pointed into the whirlpool (in the square ahead of ye) using a green token. Similarly, any of the standard patterns that use a green token to exit the whirlpool could just as easily use a gold or blue token to exit.

Shooting Parallel

Sitting parallel to the whirlpool be extremely useful in shooting. If the brigand is parked with his backside to a whirlpool, and ye have been sitting there on the other side shooting him, when ye be ready to grapple it just takes one turn. Use a gold turn into an open entrance, or a blue turn into a closed entrance, with the grapple on the first turn. Or ye can enter the whirlpool and shoot from there.

In-game video of Shooting Variation from Open

In-game video of Shooting Variation from Closed

Advanced Variations

More confusing are variations where ye don't take the time to line up the right place to enter the whirlpool, but instead use a token after ye be inside the whirlpool that leaves ye still in the whirlpool. This is fer advanced Whirly Math experts, but ye can experiment with it in the Whirly Math Laboratory applet to see if ye can discover some good ones.

This trick is useful when the wily rascals move after ye enter the whirlpool, so yer original plan to shoot or grapple doesn't work. If ye need to be bouncing the other pair of corners, then choose a time tick where ye are not pointed out of the whirlpool, and use a green token. 'Twill take practice to know which direction to shoot after doing this, but pretending yer hand is a boat helps when ye be in the heat of battle and no time to test it in the lab.


Moving Inside the Whirlpool

Shoot the target six times, then grapple it, all from inside the whirlpool. To see the solution, watch the Challenge #1 video http://www.frontiernet.net/~whirlymath/advanced.PNG

Moving Across Two Whirlpools

http://www.frontiernet.net/~whirlymath/mystery.PNG Figure out how to move the sloop from its starting position to the red target, with exactly five tokens. Fer a hint, watch the Challenge #2 Video. Can ye determine which tokens were used?

Target Practice Games

There be three target practice games ye can play in the Whirly Math Laboratory. Set the target? switch to On and then click Random start to play one of them. Tis a target, not a brigand, so it won't move and it won't shoot at ye.

Bull's eye!

In the Bull's Eye game, yer goal is to move yer sloop until it is on the same square as the target (and then stop). When this happens, the target vanishes. If ye don't stop, it counts as a miss.


In the Grapple game, yer goal is to grapple the target. When this happens, the target changes color and yer sloop stops moving (even if it be in a whirlpool or has more token moves lined up).


In the Fire game, yer goal is to shoot the target as many times as ye like. Every time yer cannonball hits the target, flames burst out fer a short time.


In-game images and videos used above were taken from Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates, copyright Three Rings Design, Inc. Images were composited by the author of this tutorial for use on this page and also in the applet. This tutorial was created as an entry in the Ultimate Guru event.