Saturday, January 07, 2006

Weekend Gaming

Friday night I played Scrabble with my mom-in-law. She is a kind person; too kind. She plays by allowing everyone to play with eight letters, letting people look through the dictionary while tying to find words, no time-clock, replacing blanks with letters from your own hand, and so on. All to make it easier on the people playing, and "more fun".

In my humble opinion, this also removes a lot of the tension from the game. No bluffing, no challenges. I had seven letter bingos in my hand several times but they were not bingos with eight letters. I managed to get a full nine-letter bingo: "mortified", which helped me win the game.

Also beware of some new words in fourth edition Scrabble include: "qi", and "za".

Om Friday night dinner we had an unexpected four guests who had walked to the area for shul and wanted to stay in the area for a shiur (learning session) but hadn't arranged previously to do so. Rachel invited the kit and caboodle for dinner. Amazingly, we had enough food.

One of the guests writes area articles for the Jerusalem Post and expressed interest about writing up our board game group for the newspaper. That could be interesting.

Sat afternoon, two of these people, and two others again showed up at 4:30 asking if they were too late for yet another shiur which they thought was in our house (because Rachel teaches it). However, the shiur was about ten minutes away, is an hour long, and had started 30 minutes previously. Oops.

How about a game?

So I introduced them all to For Sale. For Sale is not a game that I liked when I first received it: a little too slight, and while I love blind bidding, I want the blind bidding to be part of a larger game. However, For Sale is an easy game to teach, accommodates 3-6 people, and is quick. As I've been bringing it out to teach a lot of new people, the game has grown on me.

My fellow players, playing their first non-traditional game (or so I thought), spent more time talking about the houses than actually playing. But we managed to finish the game and they seemed to enjoy it. The winner has won just about every house as second place winner, and then won just about every check as second place winner. She won by a minor landslide: 67, 56, 52, 39.

It then turned out that one of them was German. I asked her if she could translate the rules to the game Sticheln that I had also received a while ago, but had never played due to it not having an English translation (yeah, I could probably find it on the geek, but I haven't looked, yet).

She tried, but although she could read the German, she had a very difficult time with rules in general, so she couldn't translate it easily. While she was struggling through it, I decided that we should play a game of David and Goliath using the same cards. There's another quick game that is easy enough to explain and play.

It then transpired that our German guest knew the game Settlers of Catan, and had played some games with her family back in Germany, such as Through the Desert, and probably others. I invited her (and all of them) back for Wed night games. We shall see.


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