Saturday, July 28, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 27

My Mum (Grandma) visited today for her regular Saturday morning catch-up and gaming session. The third member of our gaming group, my 6 year old daughter Maddie, was out with Deb visiting a school fete. That left me, 18 month old Georgia and Grandma alone at home. Georgie soon went down for a nap which left Grandma and I ready to game.

Our first game was Scrabble. Mum's been practicing Scrabble with a neighbour of hers and I've seen her game improve since doing so. However, I keep telling her she often throws away her blanks and S's for too few points.

Mum went first after drawing an A to my T.

Turn 1 [Mum] DENT 10, [Me] RA(N)CH 20
Turn 2 [Mum] (H)EW 9, [Me] B(RANCH) 13
Turn 3 [Mum] (B)IN 10, [Me] ZOOS/(HEW)S 34
Turn 4 [Mum] H(I) 5, [Me] (W)AVY 26
Turn 5 [Mum] (BIN)D 7, [Me] (H)I/I(N) 14
Turn 6 [Mum] G(Y)M 18, [Me] OILE(D) 7
Turn 7 [Mum] (M)IX 12, [Me] TRA(IN) 5
Turn 8 [Mum] SE(X)ES 39, [Me] N(O)N 3
Turn 9 [Mum] (O)PT 15, [Me] AL(L) 5
Turn 10 [Mum] (T)INT 12, [Me] FORD/F(ALL) 15
Turn 11 [Mum] KI(D) 13, [Me] (BRANCH)ES 15
Turn 12 [Mum] (N)AVE 14, [Me] (FORD)ED 22
Turn 13 [Mum] BA(D) 6, [Me] (A)WE 12
Turn 14 [Mum] (E)GG, [Me] QUI(E)T 28
Turn 15 [Mum] (T)AR 3, [Me] (Q)Is 33
Turn 16 [Mum] (R)AFT 21, [Me] (G)ONE 6
Turn 17 [Mum] (T)ROUt 4, [Me] PU(N) 6
Turn 18 [Mum] JI(N) 11, [Me] (E)LM 8
Turn 19 [Mum] LOC(K) 11, [Me] (J)A(P)E 15
Turn 20 [Mum] (S)O 1, [Me] Y(A) 15
Turn 21 [Mum] (O)R 2,

Mum ended the game by playing her last tile. I was left with an E and a U for minus 2 points from my final score.

Probably the most obscure words I played were QIS (plural form of a Chinese 'life force'), JAPE (to mock) and YA (you). Mum got the highest scoring word with SEXES for 39 points. However, I felt she threw away a blank on TROUT for only 4 points.

Final scores were me on 300 points and Mum on 232 points. I averaged exactly 15 points per turn which I'm fairly happy with. Anytime I score in the 300's is also very satisfying.

As we had some time left before Mum had to leave, I suggested Lost Cities. I haven't played Lost Cities since the 23rd of September 2006 so it was certainly overdue for a play. We always play 3 rounds as suggested in the rules. It turned out to be a very exciting and close game.

Round 1: Mum 27 - Me 72

Round 2: Mum 120 - Me 70

At the end of round 2 Mum was sitting on 147 points and I was on 142 points. The 3rd round would decide it.

Round 3: Mum 17 - Me 22

Total: Mum 164 - Me 164.

Yep, our points were tied! I carefully checked the rules to see if there was a tiebreak but there wasn't. We were both happy to call it a draw.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Some new (2nd hand) games

I arrived home from work this evening to find my wife had a little surprise for me. She'd stopped by a jumble sale (I think it was at a church somewhere) and picked me up some games. Deb knows to always look out for games and books for me when she's out and about. I'm even fine if she picks up games that are incomplete because I always have the option of using the components for other games.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted Speed Circuit. This is a game I've been after for quite some time. It appears occasionally on Australian eBay and I've bid on a few but they've always gone for more than I was willing to play. Here was a complete copy of the 1971 3M version in excellent condition.

There is also a later Avalon Hill version with slightly modified rules and lesser quality components but this was the original 3M version with the double-sided plastic mounted map board which folds around the internal cardboard box that holds the components. I also couldn't believe it when Deb told me what she'd paid for it - $3.00!

It had all the original components - the rules, plastic-coated score sheet and holder, cards, nifty circular speed trackers, 6 painted metal cars and even the original crayon. I was so excited. Speed Circuit is probably the classic formula 1 racing game. There is no luck involved - it all comes down to the skill of the players in designing a car and making choices throughout the race.

The two other games were Seejeh, an abstract game of capturing your opponent's pieces by first placing your pieces and then moving them strategically, and Trippples, another abstract game where you are attempting to move your piece to a spot on the board but your move options are determined not by the three arrows on the tile under your (transparent) game piece, but by those under your opponent's piece. Deb had paid $1.00 for Seejeh and $2.00 for Trippples. Unfortunately, they were both missing a couple of playing pieces. Ah well, I guess I can't complain... :-)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 26

Another episode of my regular Saturday morning gaming group consisting of my mother (Grandma to our kids), my daughter Maddie, aged 6, and myself.

First up was Madeline which was selected by Madeline (Maddie). This is basically a memory game with a fair dose of luck where players move around a board representing the city of Paris searching for the 5 lost puppies of Madeline's dog, Genevieve. Maddie and I shared the win finding 2 puppies each. Grandma came 2nd with 1 puppy.

We then moved on to another of Maddie's requests - Tumblin' Monkeys. It's a Ker-Plunk rip-off with little plastic monkeys instead of marbles. I think I enjoy it slightly more than Ker-Plunk (which isn't saying much) because the monkeys will hang on the sticks and you can sometimes slide them off onto other sticks when you pull a stick out. The winner is the player with the least monkeys at the end of the game. I won with 3, Grandma came 2nd with 12 and Maddie came 3rd with 15.

18 month old Georgia peeks out from behind a chair in the background

Next up was another kid's game - the Snail Game. I loaded this game on BoardGameGeek and apparently I'm the only person who owns the game out of all the people registered. This would have to be one of my earliest memories of playing a board game. My grandmother bought it for my brother and I in the early 70's. Players lay card tiles on a track on a board of coloured (red, yellow, green & blue) squares. Whether you may lay a tile or not depends on background colours of the tiles and the relationship of other similar tiles already on the board. The winner is the player with the least number of tiles at the end.

Apologies for the blurry photo

Maddie then left to watch some episodes of Futurama on DVD while my Mum and I sat down for a game of Scrabble.

I went first after drawing a D to Mum's I.

Turn 1 [Me] FEE 12, [Mum] (FEE)D 8
Turn 2 [Me] NOD(E), [Mum] (D)AB 12
Turn 3 [Me] EL(F) 7, [Mum] (N)O 2
Turn 4 [Me] (FEED)ING 13, [Mum] (NO)ISE 10
Turn 5 [Me] (P)E(N) 5, [Mum] FIV(E) 18
Turn 6 [Me] QU(I)Z 44, [Mum] (G)OAD 7
Turn 7 [Me] (N)OR 5, [Mum] T(R)AM 18
Turn 8 [Me] CA(B) 7, [Mum] (O)X/(O)X 50
Turn 9 [Me] (Q)I 11, [Mum] (O)PEN 12
Turn 10 [Me] (A)WE 14, [Mum] (O)IL 3
Turn 11 [Me] PA(L) 15, [Mum] HEL(P) 13
Turn 12 [Me] (QUIZ)zES 24, [Mum] (C)RAG 8
Turn 13 [Me] BOaTIN(G) 20, [Mum] (CRAG)S 8
Turn 14 [Me] (S)EW 14, [Mum] (B)IN 10
Turn 15 [Me] TOOT(S) 7, [Mum] E(N)SUE 18
Turn 16 [Me] (T)RY 10, [Mum] DE(W) 7
Turn 17 [Me] (D)AM 12, [Mum] T(O)N 4
Turn 18 [Me] (M)ACK 17, [Mum] (A)IR 6
Turn 19 [Me] (K)ITE 24, [Mum] H(I) 5
Turn 20 [Me] (H)U(P)/U(S) 20, [Mum] JA(R) 10
Turn 21 [Me] (DEW)Y 11, [Mum] (R)U(T) 6

I was left with a V and G for minus 6 points and Mum was left with R,R,L for minus 3 points.
Probably the most obscure words I played were QI (Chinese 'life force'), MACK (wet weather gear i.e. Mackintosh), and HUP (a cadence marker). I was pleased to see Mum get the top-scoring word of the game with the 50 point skillful placing of a single X to form OX twice and score a double word score both ways. Final scores were [Me] 293 and [Mum] 232. I averaged 13.95 points per turn.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 25

My Mum (Grandma to our kids) was ill last week so we didn't get a chance to play any games together. This week, however, she was feeling a bit better so popped around for her usual Saturday morning visit.

My wife, Deb, had visited a few garage sales in the neighbourhood this morning and had brought me home a new shrinkwrapped copy of Tri-Ominos which she'd bought for $1.00. Mum and I decided to sit down and try it out.

Apparently it's similar to dominoes (which I've never played), but this time the pieces are triangles instead of rectangles. Each triangle has 3 numbers at the points, so to place a piece next to it, it must match two numbers on the side. There are bonus points for completing a hexagon or making a bridge between two rows. It's not a bad little abstract and would be good for teaching kids to look for patterns. Instead of playing to 400 points we decided to only play until the first person reached 200 points. I won 326 to 166 which took two rounds.