Competitor Profiles
Marcus Duyzend 2019
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Marcus was 1st Overall in the Winter Championship 2018/2019

Table Top Rallying brings together two of my long-time passions -- maps and logic puzzles -- and so it is no wonder that I so thoroughly enjoy it. It is a perfect pastime for winter, or indeed any time of the year.

Each TTR event is divided into standalone legs, which fall into two general categories. The first of these are 'plotting' legs, where the goal is to plot the correct route on a map based on the information provided in a route card, with penalties for any deviation. There is no time limit for solving these (aside from the end of the overall event), and while some of them are straightforward navigation, most of them have some trick up their sleeve that make them into real headscratchers. They vary in difficulty, and most have hints that you can take (at a penalty) if you get stuck, so there is no reason for anyone to be scared off. Some of them are solved through careful deduction, while others require an 'aha!' moment or a bit of research -- in both cases it is a most satisfying feeling when you figure it out. I prefer to print out the maps and work plotting legs on paper, armed with highlighters and pens, though I know there are some who work them purely online. (The advantage to working online is that you won't make any transcription errors transferring back from paper to screen, as I have done a couple of times.) There is always a tense moment before you hit 'submit' your route, as only your first attempt counts and you wonder if you overlooked anything.

In addition to 'plotting' legs, there are also 'real-time' legs. These run for about half an hour, and the goal is to have your car reach each checkpoint at the right time by adjusting its speed as it moves along the route plotted on the map (occasionally the route is pre-plotted, but usually you have to plot it yourself via very simple route cards), while obeying traffic regulations and enduring various incidents that may occur along the way. There are several varieties of 'real-time' legs, but I think my favourite is the 'regularity', where the only information you are given to ensure you arrive at the right time is the average speed for each section of the route. It is fun to see how close you can get. With real-time legs, penalties accrue as you reach each checkpoint, which has on occasion resulted in me spending so much mental energy beating myself up over some penalty I just accrued that I have lost focus and accrued more penalties at the next checkpoint! It is important to remain calm regardless of what happens.

Per-leg scores and overall scores are both updated in real-time as competitors complete legs, so if you have a bit of a competitive streak (as I do), you can see how you're doing relative to your rivals.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about TTR is that the whole thing was put together by one person -- the concept, the software, the route cards themselves. It's incredible! Moreover, the platform is in active development, and with each event there are a few innovations and experiments. I'm never afraid to leave feedback, because I know that it will be welcomed and in many cases acted upon very quickly to make TTR even better.

It is a pity that thus far TTR is little known outside of the rallying community, as I have no doubt that it would appeal to any puzzler or map lover.

Marcus Duyzend
May 21, 2019