Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gaming With Grandma - 64

My 6 year old daughter Maddie had a play date with a friend of hers mid-morning so was too excited and pre-occupied to play any games. So that left my mother (AKA Grandma) and I to play some 2-player games together.

Grandma's request for our first game was Battle Line. This is a great little card game where players battle over nine 'flags' along the line of battle of two mighty ancient armies. Each player attempts to play a winning combination of cards similar to poker hands at the point of each 'flag'. There are also special cards which affect the outcome of 'flag' battles but we usually play without them.

Game 1 - photo taken from my side. Victory!

The first player to achieve a 'breakthrough' of three adjacent flags wins the game. The other victory condition is an 'envelopment' where one player achieves a total of five flags. In our first game I achieved a 'breakthrough' on my right flank to win the game 4 flags to zero.

Game 2 - photo taken from my side. Defeat!

Our second game was a bit tougher for me. I really felt the angst of where to lay my cards virtually every turn. And the tension was high as I waited for those cards which would complete some risky (yet brilliant) moves. Alas, Grandma went on to achieve both a 'breakthrough' and an 'envelopment' on the same turn to win the game five flags to three. It was a great game.

I chose Cartagena as our next game. I really enjoy this game of pirates trying to escape a prison to make their way to waiting boat. I made a point to warn Grandma at the beginning of the game not to let her last pirates fall behind. It's just too hard to catch up if the other player's last pirate is too far in front. Regardless, of this advice, her last pirates did linger and they paid the price. I made it to the boat with all six of my pirates and set sail with only one of hers aboard.

I was green and Grandma was yellow. I won 6 to 1.

We wanted to see how the pirates fared after they'd escaped from the prison so we pulled out Cartagena II as our next game. This is sort of the 'sequel' to Cartagena and plays a little different. Instead of gaining cards for moving your own pirates backwards, you gain cards in Cartagena II by moving your opponent's pirates forwards. I'm still trying to work out the strategy in this game as there is a fine line between hindering and helping which must be understood.

I was green and Grandma was yellow. She won 6 to 4.

I fell behind at a point on the first island. By the time Grandma had all six of her pirates on the second island I still had two on the first. I then wasted precious actions trying to get these guys on the boat and then on to the second island. I then ended up running out of cards at a point near the end which meant I had no chance whatsoever of winning. Collecting cards for the home run is vital and I now understand the importance of the gold-bordered cards which force a player to discard their card total down to seven. The way we played we never had more than seven cards when a gold-bordered card was played. I'm looking forward to our next game where I'll try a different strategy.

Our last game of the morning was YINSH. It's been ages since I've played any of my GIPF Project games so it was a pleasure to take this one off the bookshelf and get it on to the table for a couple of games.

I was black and Grandma was white.

We played two games and I won both, 3 rings to 1 in each game.

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