Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gaming with Grandma - 104

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and 8 year old daughter, Maddie.

Our game this morning was Formula Motor Racing, designed by Reiner Knizia and published by GMT Games. I'd purchased this game earlier in the year but had not broken the shrink wrap on it until today. For Grandma and Maddie it was their first play but I'd played it before.

I had fond memories of playing this game with some mates at the famous Young and Jackson pub in Melbourne back in 2004 before we attended the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. (On a side note the pub is well known for the beautiful nude painting ChloƩ, painted by French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre in 1875 - click on the link to see the painting, oh, and I do recommend the pub's own beer brand, Naked Ale, made in honour of ChloƩ).

We decided to play three races and the winner would be the team with the most points at the end of the season. Grandma was yellow, Maddie was purple and I was green. The non-player teams were red, blue and orange.

Game 1:
1st - Maddie - 10 points
2nd - Blue - 6 points
3rd - Grandma - 4 points
4th - Wayne - 3 points
5th - Wayne - 2 points
6th - Red - 1 point

So after Game 1 the teams were 1st Maddie (10), 2nd Blue (6), 3rd Wayne (5), 4th Grandma (4), 5th Red (1), 6th Orange (0).

Game 2:
1st - Grandma - 10 points
2nd - Wayne - 6 points
3rd - Maddie - 4 points
4th - Blue - 3 points
5th - Orange - 2 points
6th - Blue - 1 point

So after Game 2 the team standings looked like this - 1st Grandma (14), 2nd Maddie (14), 3rd Wayne (11), 4th Blue (10), 5th Orange (2), 6th Red (1).

Game 3:
1st - Wayne - 10 points
2nd - Blue - 6 points
3rd - Grandma - 4 points
4th - Red - 3 points
5th - Orange - 2 points
6th - Maddie - 1 point

Final season standings were 1st Wayne (21), 2nd Grandma (18), 3rd Blue (16), 4th Maddie (15), 5th Red (4), 6th Orange (4).

Going into the last race of the season it was still any one's game. Through clever play (and a little luck) I managed to pull out a win on the final race to gain enough points to push me to the final 1st place.

Grandma and I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Maddie said it was OK but wasn't too keen on the 'take that' aspect of the card play. You could see her enthusiasm for the game start to wane whenever she lost a car or had a bad card played on one of her cars. I suspect (and hope) that as she matures as a gamer she will come to enjoy games where one can interfere with opponent's plans.

I believe games are an important way to learn how to cope with challenges and setbacks. Always trying to help my children learn life lessons I pointed out to Maddie that both she and Grandma were actively targeting Daddy with bad cards throughout the three games. I explained to her that rather than getting upset I accepted that I would most likely not win but instead chose to enjoy the challenge of trying to do my best despite the odds stacked against me. Let's hope a little of that philosophy has sunk in for her.

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