Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gaming With Grandma - 78

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and my elder daughter, 7 year-old Maddie.

Maddie was playing with her little sister Georgia, so it was just myself and Grandma for the first game. Grandma suggested Scrabble. I checked my stats and found that it had been just over a year since I last played this great game.

Turn 1 [Mum] KEN 14, [Me] GI(N) 8
Turn 2 [Mum] (K)EN 7, [Me] VA(N) 14
Turn 3 [Mum] H(E)/H(I) 18, [Me] DI(VAN) 9
Turn 4 [Mum] D(I)P 12, [Me] REARS/(DIP)S 19
Turn 5 [Mum] B(R)OOd 18, [Me] D(A)VIT 18
Turn 6 [Mum] (G)AG 5, [Me] HAIR/H(A)/A(G) 27
Turn 7 [Mum] (GIN)NY 17, [Me] G(AG)E 12
Turn 8 [Mum] SULLY/(HAIR)S 32, [Me] (T)OOLER 21
Turn 9 [Mum] FA(Y) 13, [Me] (A)WE 14
Turn 10 [Mum] NOT(E) 8, [Me] J(O)IST 24
Turn 11 [Mum] Swapped 5 tiles, [Me] OW(L) 14
Turn 12 [Mum] PU(T) 11, [Me] (JOIST)s/sAIL 21
Turn 13 [Mum] (S)AME 12, [Me] (O)X 17
Turn 14 [Mum] COI(R) 12, [Me] (GAGE)R 8
Turn 15 [Mum] M(E)/M(AN) 15, [Me] RO(V)E/(D)O(ME)/(P)E(N) 19
Turn 16 [Mum] DI(E)/(B)I(D) 14, [Me] Z(E)A(L) 23
Turn 17 [Mum] F(O)B 16, [Me] CU(P) 7
Turn 18 [Mum] (J)A(W)/(F)A(T) 19, [Me] E(L) 2
Turn 19 [Mum] TIN(T)S/T(rove) 15, [Me] QUEE(N) 28
Turn 20 [Mum] (I)T/T(O) 4

Grandma ended the game by playing her last tile. I was left with an E for minus 1 point from my score.

Final scores were me 304 for the win and Grandma 262.

By this time Georgia had gone down for a nap so Maddie joined us for our second game of the morning. I chose The Settlers of Catan.

Now this is a game I purchased over three years ago but had been waiting for an opportune time to play. One of the reasons we had not played before was because I'd been waiting for Maddie to be of an age where she was a competent reader. I was also waiting for a time when she was mature enough to play a game of this relative complexity and length. Now was the time.

Maddie was red, Grandma orange and I was blue

I'd only played The Settlers of Catan once before, but that was over two years ago on 12 June 2006 and I didn't really have a good idea of the rules and strategies at the time. My first game had been with the Catan 3D Collector's Edition owned by Friendless so I was hoping it wouldn't spoil my appreciation of the stock components in the standard game.

We used the standard layout for our first game. Although the red pieces should not be used with three players, as Maddie wanted to play red I just swapped red pieces for the white player's starting position. The pieces are wood and the cards and hex tiles are all very nice.

I can now see why Settlers ranks so highly. It didn't take Maddie and Grandma long to pick up the rules and very soon we were all having a really good time. Although some may see the element of luck in the dice rolling as a negative, I found that the luck evens out and it certainly does create excitement as we waited to see who got what resources each turn.

We played with the resources and development cards open-handed for this first learning game. Next time we'll play with closed hands which will add to the fun. Grandma took an early lead with her ability to get grain/wheat which helped her a lot. Maddie built and kept the longest road and also was good at building settlements. There wasn't that much trading in the early stages of the game but there was some in the mid-to-later game. Grandma and Maddie mostly targeted me with the robber while I targeted Grandma when I could because I felt she was always in the winning position.

And guess what? It was Maddie who actually won! Final scores were Maddie 10, Grandma 7 and myself 5. Naturally Maddie was very excited at winning her first game of Settlers of Catan. Both Grandma and Maddie enjoyed it so much that they both requested we play it again the next time we game together.

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