Saturday, August 06, 2005

Weekend Gaming

I went to my brother Ben for shabbat. He has a lot of little kids which makes it hard to find any time to game. We managed to get in a few, anyway.

Ben is a champion bridge player, and he often has a hand he recently played to show me. This time, he had answered an ad from someone looking for a serious bridge partner for one gaming session for the one week he was in Israel. Ben responded, and they had a good night of bridge at one of the local clubs. The last hand of the day was the one that resulted in their coming in 4th place instead of 1st. They failed to make a hand that was makeable, but not easily.

You are in 6 spades, and your opponents have already taken the first trick, the ace of diamonds. You get in with the next trick. Your RHO had 4 trumps to the jack and you have 7 in your hand and the singleton ace on the board. Obviously you find out about the split after taking the ace, playing to your hand, and then playing the king. You can take every other trick, but how to get that jack of trumps?

You need to play cards out of dummy until RHO trumps, at which point you overtrump and then take the rest. The problem is that if RHO keeps ducking, eventually you will run out of everything in your hand other than trumps. Eventually, you will have to take a trump in your hand and lead away from it, giving him the jack.

The only way to make it is to purposely ruff winning tricks, so as to run yourself out of all but two trumps, and then play the remaining cards from dummy. Cute.

Anyhow, Ben, myself, and Saarya got in a game of Cosmic. We played 3 hidden powers, where you get to reveal two. Ben was Aristocrat/Spiff, Saarya was Miser/Warrior, I was Visionary/Deuce. Ben chose Spiff after Warrior grew large enough to always give him a Spiff landing.

Saarya and Ben both started off with a lot of flourish, whereas I played very low key, and eventually won with very low key moves. Visionary did a lot of the work.

Afterwards, I took croquet balls and played Bocce/Croquet with Tal and Ben, throwing one ball across the yard, and taking turns hitting our own balls until one of us hit the thrown ball. What do you know, I can still balance a croquet mallet on my fingers, and I can still juggle croquet balls.

Towards the end of the day we players San Juan - I drew garbage, while they each drew Library. They made short mincemeat of me. Ben won 36 to Tal's 33, and my 26. Both played with lots of producing and trading. Ben had his Well, and Tal 1 of each production building, eventually ending with 8 production buildings, Guild Hall, and little else. Ben had City Hall and Palace.

I have now committed myself to publish the first part of my story on Gone Gaming, and I don't know if it's ready! I don't know if I like this deadline thing...


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