Saturday, February 24, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 7

It's been two weeks since my mum visited. Last Saturday's visit had been cancelled as we were all down with a cold.

The first game we played was YINSH. This is one of Kris Burm's GIPF Project and would have to be one of my favourite 2-player abstracts. I spent a few minutes explaining the rules and strategies to mum and then we were off.

The players each start with five rings on the board. Every time a ring is moved, it leaves a marker behind. Markers are white on one side and black on the other. When markers are jumped over by a ring they must be flipped, so their colour is constantly changing. The players must try to form a row of five markers with their own colour face up. If a player succeeds in doing so, he removes one of his rings as an indication that he has formed such a row. The first player to remove three of his rings wins the game. In other words, each row you make brings you closer to victory - but also makes you weaker, because you have one less ring to play with.

We had a varied set-up; both of us placing rings on the board edges as well as in the centre region. Mum initially tried to set up rows by just placing her own markers. It took her a little while to start jumping over my markers to turn them to her colour. It eventually cost her the game, with me winning three rings to her zero. Here a picture of the endgame. I was black.

After that, Maddie wanted to play a game with Grandma and Daddy. Now, I knew we'd recently rented Maddie some Bratz DVDs from the local video store on their $1 DVD Tuesday special. I suspected she would request to play Bratz: Passion for Fashion. I loathe that game so I quickly got in my own suggestion - Fraidy Cats.

In Fraidy Cats players move their cats along the top of the fence based on the roll of the dice. If a dog comes up on either of the dice, the player must activate "Muggs the Motorized Mutt" after moving his/her cat. Muggs then proceeds to careen around the yard. If he strikes the base of anyone's cat, the cat is shot up into the air. Dislodged players must move their cats back to the closest available barrel (the cats are safe while in barrels). The first player to move their cat all the way around the yard wins.

I always enjoy this game. I most of all enjoy the antics of Muggs as he randomly charges back and forth across the yard. Whenever Muggs is activated I hear shouts of "Get Daddy! Get Daddy!" coming from my darling little daughter. She's only five years old and she's already obtaining pleasure from seeing me lose. I'm so proud of her - sniff.

Well, I'm pleased to say the luck of the dice were with Maddie this game. She won and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Daddy's and Grandma's cats being launched into the air by an angry Muggs. Here's a picture of the game in the initial phase.

After that we played the Hairy Maclary Game. This is a simple roll-and-move game based on New Zealand author Lynley Dodds' award-winning Hairy Maclary series of children's books. Once again Maddie had the luck of the dice and went on to win the game.

My wife usually does the shopping or runs errands on Saturday mornings while I look after the kids. So the time we have to play games during Grandma's visits is usually determined by the length of time our 13-month-old daughter, Georgia, takes for her morning nap. She's teething at the moment so woke up halfway through our third game. So, it turned out to be a fairly short gaming session this morning. Ah well, that just meant we had more time to enjoy the lovely cracked-pepper cheese and biscuits that Grandma had brought for morning tea.

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