Realm was originally published as a game system and the original rule book contained no fewer than 5 different games to be played with the same components. The implementation here is the base game and the most popular. I hope to implement some of the others eventually.
The notation for this game seems complex at first, but in the end it is not too different from other games. I have tried to stay as close as possible to the notation described in the Abstract Games Magazine article.
The system “normalizes” input to conform to standards such as case and spacing. The moves as you enter them do not need to be in any particular case and any extraneous white space is ignored. Special effects are placed in parentheses but are not required in all situations. The only time the player needs to enter special effect orders is if there is any player choice involved (immobilizing one of multiple Enforcers, placing an Enforcer, etc…). If you forget, the system will remind you. In all other cases any special effect order the player enters is ignored and replaced by the system.
Pieces are notated using their first letter: B = Base, P = Power, E = Enforcer.
Cells are notated using the standard algebraic notation: a6, b12, etc… Note the omission of the letter I! This is in keeping with standard practice (in the Go community at least) in an attempt to not confuse lowercase I's, J's, and L's.
Facing (for Enforcers) is notated using N, E, S, W where North points towards row 12.
Movement is notated without any intervening dashes as found in other games. Eg. e6g6 or b12j12. Each movement order must be on a separate line, ie carriage return. Enforcer movement does not involve Directional notation, the order to move an Enforcer is the same as for Powers, with the restriction that it cannot move in the opposite direction it is currently pointing. The direction the Enforcer last traveled changes the direction it is pointing when it ends it's move.
Dispersal and Concentration moves are simply composed of a series of individual orders as described above. Rearrangement is a little different. First you must tell the system which Realm you wish to rearrange. You are required to have at least one of your own pieces in that Realm (even if the “Control Freak” variant is active). This is notated with a minus sign (-) followed by the center cell of the desired Realm: -h8 or -b11. This is followed by a series of placement orders: Piece Color Cell Facing. Eg. PRc12 or EBa1N. If you omit the Color specifier, the system assumes you are placing your own pieces. This means orders such as Pc12 and Ea1N can be acceptable. To place an immobilized enforcer, simply suffix the the order with an
x; as in, Ec1Nx.
(You would enter these all in one order as separate lines.)