Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 38

My mother (Grandma to our kids) dropped by for her weekly Saturday morning visit. This morning, Maddie (aged 6), Grandma and myself sat down to a game of Poison. This game seemed appropriate considering Halloween is only 4 days away.

In this card game players are dealt potion cards with values of 1, 2, 4, 5 & 7 and poison cards with values of 4. Each turn a player must play a card from their hand into a cauldron. No cauldron may contain potions of another colour. Poison cards can be played on any cauldron. If a player plays a card which makes the total value of cards played on that cauldron exceed 13 then the player takes the previously played cards. The aim of the game is to have the fewest points at the end of a number of rounds equivalent to the number of players. After a round you score 1 point for every potion card and 2 points for every poison card you have. The scoring is cleverly adjusted by the designer Reiner Knizia because if you have more of a potion colour than any of the other players you get to discard those cards and they are not scored against you.

The cauldrons bubble away...

Round 1: Me 5, Grandma 2, Maddie 4
Round 2: Me 2, Grandma 11, Maddie 7
Round 3: Me 2, Grandma 6, Maddie 4

So, I came 1st with 9 points, Maddie came 2nd with 15 points and Grandma came 3rd with 19 points.

After that Deb and Maddie went to see a play at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre over at Southbank. That gave Grandma and I a chance to play a 2-player game. I looked for a game we hadn't played for a while.

Battle Line is another Reiner Knizia design. In this game players are fighting over 9 flags represented by red wooden pawns. These flags represent points along a line of battle. The artwork on the cards represent Alexander the Great with his Macedonians vs Darius III and his Persians. To win, a player must claim 3 flags in a row for a breakthrough or 5 flags in total for an envelopment. You can also play strategy cards but we chose not to do so for this game. Flags are claimed by laying a 3-card combination that beats the opposing 3-card combination. Combinations are equivalent to poker hands (flush, straight, 3-of-a-kind, etc).

The battlefield from my side - I achieved a breakthrough in the center

I always find the choices in this game agonising and tense. It's a great game and I was able to achieve a breakthrough in the center with some good planning and lucky card draws.

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