We agree that the wording is confusing for teams, especially about the black bars. That is why we decided to ask questions in our scorer because we found that easier ourselves.
We have exchanged a few emails with some of the VA DC users and wanted to post some of the answers for everyone.
1) Our scorer starts at 96 points because every team gets "All bar bars in original position" even if they sit in base and do nothing at all. There are 12 black bars in the game this year (4 in demolition, 2 in the toy box, 2 in the sorter, 4 with the ref). Each bar is worth 8pts. So, 8pts X 12 bars = 96 pts.
We decided to start our scorer at 96 rather than 0 for this reason. Other systems start at 0 and the ref has to assign these points for black bars in original position. Instead, we chose to give the teams points in the first place and adjust the bar automatically as teams move black bars out of the original position.
2) As mentioned, for every black bar in its original position, you get +8. For each black bar anywhere else (not in original position or a bin) you get -8 (M04). So, this year, the black bars are "expensive". You lose the original +8 each for not having the bars in the original location and get -8 as a penalty when they are elsewhere. However, if you sort the bars and put them in a bin, you can get rid of the -8 and get +3 instead.
This means that teams really need to think about not just points they get from missions, but also points you might lose (from making trash - the black bars).
Hope this helps clarify the scoring in our tool. Feel free to send us more questions or let us know if we can improve the scorer in any way.
Sanjay and Arvind
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