the year of the dragon...tile

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the year of the dragon...tile

Post by or2az » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:13 am

Aug 20, 2013. It was exactly one year ago today that I made my 1st posting on this forum. Previously, I was experimenting with as many different mahjong games from as many different countries as I could find. I eventually concluded that I did not like flower tiles, season tiles, animal tiles, 16 tiles in my hand, four round games, jokers, and chicken hands. The japanese game, not having any of those things, caught my interest, but I rejected it because all the games seemed to have a glitch. Occasionally, the computer would not let me win, something about multipliers, or some other message I didn't understand. Naturally, it was that 1-yaku minimum/furiten thing which I did not know about at the time. The auto-pilot thing was pretty cool, though. Anyway, I settled on a variation of the chinese game (no flowers) but still couldn't figure out a lot of it since it was all in a foreign language, at least to me, anyway. I was still learning the numbers on the cracks (except for 1,2,and 3), and also distinguishing between the wind tiles. The game itself wasn't that complicated. It used a combination of chinese, taiwanese, and japanese rules, with 47 winning hands, and separate discard pools. I didn't know at the time that this would later turn out to be important. My method for figuring out what I couldn't read or understand was simple, except it didn't work most of the time. I went into chinese restaurants with screenshots to see if any of the employees could help me out, and I approached various people in bookstores or at the library and said, "excuse me, can you read chinese?" (Tough life!)
After a while, I began to feel that the game I was playing wasn't providing enough of a challenge and those 4 rounders were starting to feel really long. I decided to start searching again, and, being a bit more wiser, decided to give the japanese game another try.
I started with the online Japanese Mahjong for Dummies which explained the basic concepts but still had its limitations.
Then I discovered Barticles Japanese Mahjong Guide, which proved to be the turning point. Having the Japanese text included with the English was extremely helpful. It was like a scavenger hunt, thoroughly searching the guide over and over again for the game terminology that I needed to translate. Most I eventually found, some I didn't. I learned quite a bit about the optional rules and game options this way and how they differed from the chinese game. I sent quite a few e-mails to Bart with questions and screenshots of things I didn't understand, and he was nice enough to reply, a lot more than once.
He then introduced me to this forum, where Ignatius has been really great with his help in translating so much of what I wasn't able to read in my newly found riichi mahjong game choices. The rest is history. Having since read a vast amount of the forum content along with the strategy section in the "Whitney" book, I find that I have learned the most from the excellent feedback to my many questions and occasional flawed logic, and although there is still much I do not know, I have made progress. 2500 games later, experience is still the best teacher for putting this knowledge to use, and gaining more. I even picked up a used mahjong set, although I'm not sure if I'll ever get a chance to use it.
Thanks again to Barticle, Ignatius, Ozball, Referee, Iapetus, and all the others that have replied to my posts over the past year and have helped me become a better and more complete player. Thanks guys!
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Re: the year of the dragon...tile

Post by Barticle » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:49 pm

Happy anniversary, Steve! :) It's been nice to watch your progress and I'm glad to have been able to help.

You've initiated the majority of the discussions on our sleepy forum these past twelve months and for that I thank you.

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Re: the year of the dragon...tile

Post by Ignatius » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:30 am

I'm glad I was here to help you. Being thanked like this made my cry a little.

I second everything Barticle said, as I coul not say better.

Also, I should thank you. Thanks to you I did something useful with my japanese and I practiced it.

I always say table games are not my thing. I'm dense with tactics, games's long term thinking and the like. My objective is to get better, step by step, even if t´s at a snail´s pace, without haste. I'm a 4 kyuu on Tenhou right now... And I'm proud of it because of the effort it took.

And all the WWYD? Questions and your own questions helped me a lot to improve.

So, not only I thank you for let me help you, and practice my japanese with that, but also for the questions you posted on the forum.

I'm really grateful.
Life is as beautiful as you want it to be, but it´s only one. That´s why you must not get tired of it. Don´t care if you don´t say something that seems "important" because your mere existence is important for someone.

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