Saturday, April 21, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 15

Another Saturday morning gaming with my mother and daughter.

First up was Ingenious. This is a game designed by the famous Reiner Knizia. It's all about taking turns placing double-coloured tiles onto the board to try to score points. You score points by placing your coloured tile near similar coloured tiles. Each player has a score chart that shows how their individual scores are progressing in each of six different colours. You must try to score points in all six colours because at the end of the game everyone compares their lowest scoring colour; the person whose lowest score is the highest of all the players wins.

Every turn I reminded Maddie to try and score points in her lowest scoring colour. I let her place her own tiles as she saw fit. She was able to also calculate what her score would be each round. And guess what? She won! Final scores were Maddie 1st on 10 (won on tie-break), me 2nd also on 10 and Grandma 3rd on 8.

The next game we played was The Amazing Labyrinth. This is an easy game to handicap for play with kids. Each of us are trying to locate 8 items within the shifting labyrinth. The adults can only look at their top card and that is the item they must find before moving on to the next card. As Maddie is only 5 years old we let her look at her top four cards.

I always enjoy this game. There are elements of luck, bluffing plus also a good dash of strategy. The problem is that the more players there are, the more chance your cleverly planned move will go awry. I came 1st with all 8 items, Grandma came 2nd with 5 items and Maddie came 3rd with 3 items.

After that game Grandma and I sat down to a game of Scrabble together. I went first after selecting an E to Mum's G.

Turn 1 [Me] HONE 14, [Mum] (H)AVE 20

Turn 2 [Me] (HONE)S/SHOOTER 73, [Mum] SIE(V)E 12

Turn 3 [Me] ST(O)OGE 14, [Mum] Q(I) 21

Turn 4 [Me] N(E)XT 22, [Mum] (T)IDE 10

Turn 5 [Me] (D)UD 10, [Mum] (S)IN 3

Turn 6 [Me] LU(R)E 6, [Mum] (H)IP 8

Turn 7 [Me] L(I)/I(N)/LIAR 10, [Mum] (R)YE 6

Turn 8 [Me] (N)UDE 9, [Mum] WI(E)R 21

Turn 9 [Me] Ze(D)S 69, [Mum] LA(W) 6

Turn 10 [Me] BANA(N)A 10, [Mum] (B)YE 12

Turn 11 [Me] PRA(Y) 27, [Mum] (R)AT 5

Turn 12 [Me] LU(N)G 7, [Mum] FOA(L) 14

Turn 13 [Me] MOT(I)F 20, [Mum] B(O)W 16

Turn 14 [Me] K(E)N 14, [Mum] (K)ID 8

Turn 15 [Me] JO(I)nT/n(O)/T(A) 42, [Mum] (BOW)ER 12

Turn 16 [Me] (RAT)IO 5, [Mum] C(O)N 8

Turn 17 [Me] (U)M 12, [Mum] Pass

Turn 18 [Me] (A)G(E)/(A)G 11, [Mum] Pass

Turn 19 [Me] F(LAW) 14, [Mum] -

I had used all my letters and Mum was left with a C, R and V for minus 8 points. I got to add those points to my score. Final scores were [Me] 397 and [Mum] 174. I averaged 20.89 points per turn. Using a 3-minute egg-timer has helped me to hasten my moves.

Probably the most obscure words I played were KEN (knowledge, to know), HONE (to improve or perfect), UM (an expression of doubt or hesitation), AG (agriculture), MOTIF (a recurring subject, theme or idea), ZEDS (the plural of the letter Z or zed), LI (a Chinese unit of distance) and TA (thanks).

I was extremely pleased to get a bingo (i.e. laying all 7 letters down on one turn) with the word SHOOTER on turn 2. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it on a double-word score but at 73 points it was my highest ever score on one turn.

I got both blanks and three S's which I could attribute to my higher tile turnover per turn than my Mum. The more tiles you play the more you draw thus increasing your chances of drawing valuable tiles.

And to top it all off 397 was a personal best for me.

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