This is RonHaleEvans writing. The following text contains notes for a game in progress for the IronPiecepackDesignerContest with the working title "KidSprout Spam Radio" by TrevorLDavis and RonHaleEvans, with some possible thematic work by Marty Hale-Evans. The text comes primarily from Ron's notes, with additions of conversation with Trevor.

Ron had been thinking about a radio spectrum game using the concept of transexpansion numeral units by the artist G.X. Jupitter-Larsen. (Mathematically, TNUs are not very interesting, but artistically, they're fun to play with.) He met up with TrevorLDavis on New Year's Day, 2020, and found that Trevor had been playing with rules for an abstract game based on Alquerque, possibly created with PiecepackMatchsticks. They compared notes and decided to work on a game for the new contest combining their separate rules. Because Ron and Trevor are licensed hams, they kept the ever-expanding transdimensional radio spectrum theme.

The notes below were transcribed by Google voice-to-text software from Ron's hardcopy notes and online conversations with Trevor in Facebook Messenger. For this reason, they might be hard to read in some places. We'll be making an effort to clean these notes up. Ron may also make the voice recordings available later on Google Drive if people want to help editing them.

All this preface for some skimpy, badly-transcribed notes! But this is an experiment. You might want to do the same for your piecepack game. This is how we did it, and we're going to keep building it out.


December 1st. 2019. I believe this is the origin of the game in my notes. Jupiter Larson game. Could be IP numbers versus radio frequencies.

December 14th, 2019. Ham radio DX becomes GX. As in GX Jupiter Larson and TNUs. GXpedition could be the title of the game. . Spam radio. Sprouts or contesting. But cheat by opening up new areas of spectrum with GX. Try not to get caught. Random call signs, guaranteed invalid in real life. Funny ones such as k00k. Not a good example.

January 1st. 2020. Collaborate with Trevor F2F on TNU game. {question-mark}.

Trevor asks, if it's fun needs to be playtested. I draw Trevor several diagrams of TNUs and meta-TNUs based on TNUs.

Trevor asks how to use peace pack for it.

Trevor suggests musical harmonies. Ron is talking about radio images. Traverse suggests using GitHub Private Repo or Publication for TNU.

January 3rd, 2020 email from Trevor:

Random Idea Brainstorm:

* Extensible paths represents paths radio beams can travel along

  + Perhaps certain paths (different matchstick colors) are on different frequencies and are best served by different radios.

* Some objects on the paths can

  1. weaken signals - perhaps only if elevation is higher than source/target nodes (i.e. could add mountains or towers topography)
  2. bounce signals off of

* Suit effects
  Moons: can bounce signals off of
  Sun(spot)s: can alter feasible paths along an ionosphere
  Arms: jams signals
  Crowns: High crowns of hills from which you can get a good signal (Ron's idea)

* Goal is to "capture" a variety of contacts

* Could construct various types of radios

  + Signal strength
  + Radio orientation - some radios can send/receive better along one direction
  + Which frequencies/paths radio works best on

January 7th 2020. Cheating slash competing. Comp cheating. Chomp eating. Ham repeater.

January 9th 2020. You can only add transdimensional parts of the spectrum if you have the right diagonal matchsticks. The right lens. Hand management.


Must collect them.

Build normal spectrum on either end or connect.

January 11th, 2020.

Making imaginary hams.


TNU names. Like on beyond zebra. And making ham names.

Email from Ron, 11 Jan 2020:

Hey, let me try to explain my concept for using matchsticks and tiles. I drew some little diagrams for you when we hung out at New Year's, but they probably weren't as clear as they could be.

The theme of the game (my game) is boy scouts (OK, kidsprouts) cheating at ham radio contesting by finding imaginary (as in imaginary numbers) extra people to talk to on the radio that their opponents don't know about. Or maybe they're imaginary in the colloquial sense. Anyway, these imaginary people need imaginary parts of the spectrum to fit into. If you treat the frequencies in the spectrum as a number line, you can add imaginary hams to it like this:

Where the matchsticks come in is first drawing and later extending the spectrum (the latter is where the cheating comes in). I've always thought that you could draw the number I (pronounced a, see links above) on its own curve that's a detour off the number line between 1 and 4 that skips 2 and 3. etc.

I had another thought on the way to work that an interesting constraint for the prospective joint game might be that you could only make the detour if you had enough sticks, and the right size, to exactly jut out from 1 along the diagonal on a tile and then exactly back down to 4 (I guess on the next tile, because there are only three points along the line segment on a piecepack tile). This might mean some interesting resource and hand management strategy. Also, perhaps you could create convoluted paths to your imaginary pals, but it would cost you in some other resource than matchsticks. Or it would just cost a lot of matchsticks, but those are expensive, and you still might not have the right ones....

I like most of your ideas, but I won't get into specifics now except to suggest green crown coins as high crowns of hills from which you can get a good signal.

I hope this makes sense. By the way, please see KidSproutJumboree

Notes from Trevor, 12 Jan 2020:

It isn't clear to me if we should be using matchsticks to create a spectrum or for constructing the viable radio beam paths (or somehow both?).

Taken mathematically literally the TNU I is the set (1,4) \ {2,3} and the TNU IV is the set (2,6) \ {3,4,5}. One option would to allow "imaginary" radio beam paths that have lengths within the TNU numeral "sets" which you can only do when constructing paths using piecepack matchsticks of rank 2, 4, and 5 which have irrational number lengths and hence can't have integer length. "Normal" radio paths use "orthogonal" paths and will be of integer length.

If we associate the TNU numerals I-VI with "normal" paths of lengths 1-6 we get some that are longer and some that are shorter i.e.TNU I > 1 but TNU V < 2. Could lead to some asymmetric decisions by rank?

January 13th, 2020. Kids sprouts are more savvy than old farts trying to interest them in Morse code and ham. Instantly start cheating. With transdimensional TNU contacts.

January 25th, 2020. The object of the contest. Is to get the most different frequencies possible for contacts the widest possible band.

The silly dimensions. Marty says the theme is not relatable. Ron says make it playable for non-hands. Non-hams.

Ron Hale Evans and Trevor Davis were collaborating on January 25th:

Trevor says, I don't have any new ideas since the last email. I know we are largely in brainstorming stage, but I'm still not exactly clear how the game is intended to work.

Are the matchsticks representing spectrum or viable radio beam paths or both? Ron says. Okay, this was my main issue. Spectrum I have seen a spectrum since the beginning. The sticks are a spectrum along which you can contact hams the hams never change their favorite frequency. At least not at this point in the rules.

Trevor says do the voice guests and need to go to different locations since some spectrums work better in some conditions. Do they send and receive on the same frequency or permit those to be different? I mean sprouts. Ron says one. I thought the crowns could be mountains they could go for they could go to for a better reception.

But they don't have to go anywhere. It might even cost to go. As for simplex or duplex, I don't think this matters much, maybe simplex for simplicity. Trevor says, okay the sprouts do change their spectrum though, right? Just a non-sprout hams that stay fixed. Ron says also in my view the heart of the game is cheating with magic to make TNU contacts.

Trevor says, I mean sprouts changing their frequency. Ron says, yes the sprouts are contesting. Maybe some of their contacts are also jumping around contesting, but this might be too complex. About the magic. I see this as advanced technology like SDR the sprout spring in under the noses of the old farts who are running the contest. We can make up a silly name for it.

SDR equals silly defined radio smiley. The silly frequencies TNU's.

Trevor says silly defined radio might work. Ron says, have you read on beyond zebra? Trevor says yes, I recall reading it with my son. I was thinking that in real life, there are more than 26 letters that represent sounds not capturable in English. Ron says I envisioned players yes, right naming the silly frequencies his names like on beyond zebra, but numbers not letters.

Trevor says, Lots of eccentric numeral schemes out there going past ten and gives a link to dozenal dot org.

Ron says, maybe even number shapes right weird numerals in my humble opinion user generated content can add a lot of fun especially for people who are weak strategists. Trevor says, so do you have a draft of rules want to share it? Ron says I shared if I had it but I have loose notes and our emails and chats. I'll try to put something together this is very fun.

February 1st. 2020. Clam radio, etc. Like kids sprout jumboree. Have suggested names for numerals. And numeral graphics and names for remote hands or call signs. User generated content. Is fun.

Marty suggests sham radio. Ron, suggests spam radio. Trump-controlled FCC gives spectrum over to boner ads.

SAMS. S hams. Silly hams. Or spam praying on older hams. J's "Svetlana".

Sprouts have holographic protocols and all kinds of amazing crap. Jam and the jam band.

February 10th, 2020. Kids sprouts the next generation. Original kids sprouts grow up and become sprout meisters and they're old and tired. Spam radio, etc.

February 16th 2020 spammers find extra dimensional frequencies to hide in you try to spot them. Like a fox hunt. The ham activity, not the stupid British activity.

> February 16th 2020 spammers find extra dimensional frequencies to hide in you try to spot them. Like a fox hunt. The ham activity, not the stupid British activity.

Made me think of Fox games. Building off my original idea of an evolving Alquerque board perhaps turn this into an evolving Fox game board? One player plays the spammers and the other plays the sprouts? Maybe the "spammers" are the the old and tired sprout meisters trying to have some fun on the sly and the "sprouts" are trying to ruin the fun / enforce FCC rules?


Fox & Geese is a hoary game, with well explored mechanics. I'd rather develop some genuinely novel mechanics, preferably involving TNUs. Further, I don't think Fox & Geese models a transmitter hunt very well. Finally, making the Sprouts boring and the SproutMeisters crafty violates continuity with KidSproutJumboree. It's as if there had been another season of the original Star Trek where Kirk suddenly became logical and Spock suddenly became a womanizer, with no explanation.


P.s. There's probably something to be said for both sides. For example, I didn't really want to base the game on a transmitter hunt in the first place, so the applicability of f and g becomes moot. But more tomorrow.

18 Feb 2020: In light of today's news about the Boy Scouts of America, I'm no longer interested in working on a KidSproutJumboree sequel, at least for a while. Maybe it's best if we each return to our own original ideas, not least because it would result in more contest entries.

Let me know what you think.


Okay, I'll pick up where I left off on my Alquerque variant. If you want I could also continue working on a ham radio game (need not have a Kid Sprouts theme, maybe SETI enthusiasts trying to make contact with transdimensional aliens?). It isn't clear to me that there would be that much mechanical overlap between the two games.


OK, great. I'm glad you'll continue with the Alquerque variant. Marty has gotten interested in my game now it no longer has a ham radio theme. She's not that interested in TNUs, so when she was driving me to work this morning, I started speculating about using actual math like complex numbers and quaternions, and she independently thought of the SETI theme, so that's probably what we're going with for now. The search for multidimensional aliens is also the premise for an amazing sf novel by Greg Egan called Diaspora; perhaps she and I can work in some allusions to that.

Start your engines!