Saturday, October 02, 2010

Shabbat Gaming

At my mom's for shabbat.

With Tal, I played a hand of Gin Rummy, which she won.

Then she forced me to play Go Fish with her. Wow. I won 7 sets to 6. I'm not sure we played correctly. On your turn, you called a number in your hand. If your opp has one or more cards of that number, you get them, and may call again. If you fail to collect any cards from opp, you end your turn by drawing. If you collected any cards from opp, you don't draw at the end of your turn. If you drew, and it was the card you called, you take another turn.

It's not an entirely brainless game, compared to War for example, because you have to decide what to call. That takes memory of what your opp has previously called, as well as some odds calculation as to what remains in the deck and what they might have pulled on their last few draws.

Still, I'm glad it was over quickly.

In the afternoon, I taught Homesteaders to two Beit Shemesh game groupies, Gavriel and Yaakov. As usual, I had a great time and I won the game without a clear understanding of why. I knew I was doing some things right, but I also thought I was doing many things wrong. Every time I play, I'm shy something critical at mid-game, either trade chips, cash, or all of the better commodities. In the last half of the game I begin calculating the number of points I'm actually able to gain each turn, which focuses my attention.

It's definitely an overwhelming amount of calculation for the faint of heart, so it's not for everybody. After 7 or 8 games, I've grown familiar with the exchanges so I have a better idea of what I can't do, freeing my thoughts to go after what I can.

Both of my opps played well. Gavriel took a heavy railroad tie strategy, with four houses giving bonuses for railroad ties and six railroad ties by the end of the game. He only netted 45 points total, however. Yaakov had some good buildings and victory point chips, but little in the way of bonus points from buildings and no high valued commodities left over. Also 45 points.

I had a few good buildings, thirty victory point chips, and a number of high valued commodities at the end; the latter because I was shut out of bidding in both of the last turns (bidding went to 21 in both columns). I earned my three points from the railroad track and kept a few commodity points; while Gavriel ended up paying as much in money and commodity points as he gained from the building, for a net of 0 points, Of course, it prevented me from getting the building which would have netted me around 13 points.

I ended with 58 points.

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