Saturday, August 11, 2007

Yinsh With Saarya

Puerto Rico

Rachel and I played what might be our last 2-player PR game before she goes, although who knows what may happen over the next ten days.

I headed to Tobacco, Sugar, and Discretionary Hold, while Rachel took corn, Commodity Exporters, and eventually Large Business. She was slightly ahead in building and shipping points, but I had her edged with money near the end, and I was blocking boats against her Commodity Exporters while shipping extra barrels in the Hold.

It came down to my getting two big buildings to her one, but when the dust settled, she still beat me 62 to 60. A close game and a nice one.


Saarya and I played a game of Yinsh after shabbat ended.

We began with the rings packed together, and they stayed that way during most of the game. I noticed that a certain point on the board is inviolate if there are three rows of disks ending with a ring leading out from it along the three axes. That formation determined a lot of our play.

I offered to swap rows early with Saarya, but he tried to wreck mine, first. Eventually, I got a row off,followed by another one very soon that he simply overlooked.

When you're up by two rings to zero, you only care about winning and don't mind letting your opponent get his rows off. I did some setting up while Saarya took off one row, and then set myself up for a winning row as he took off the second. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that I was one disk short. He cut across, and we were now equal.

I thought I was in good shape, nonetheless, as his moves were forced and his disks piled up on the side of the board, but Yinsh in the type of game where a row of disks is dangerous for both sides, regardless of the color.

He swept out with a great move, leaving himself two pivotal points which I couldn't block - but neither could he flip: he had disks in the right area, but the lines terminated at the end of the board. Unfortunately for me, I was in a similar position.

And he had just the right freedom he needed to move into position for the last jump, while I didn't, without flipping one of his tiles for him and thus giving the game to him.

An exciting game and a great comeback for Saarya. And none of you could follow this description at all without seeing the board, which sucks.

Game News

The NY Daily News reran an old David Barry column on board games.

Scott John Siegel is trying his hand at "off the grid" game design for Escapist magazine. Here is his first go, Magic Numbers, a simple bluffing dice game.

Oh yes. By the way, this lovely Brazilian Belizean woman loves to play board games.

Maybe you should, too?



Anonymous said...

The model pictured is from Belize, not Brazil.

Yehuda said...

Whoops. Thanks, Anon.