Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shabbat Games

I played three games last shabbat:

Anagrams: I was invited to the house of a family that I didn't know (we were put together by a mutual friend). While walking there, it came up that I played games, and that the wife played Scrabble and Anagrams. I mentioned that I tend to not find people who can play at my level, which was interpreted as a challenge. It was, I suppose. A few weeks ago I mentioned the same thing to a different couple whom I entertained at lunch for the first time; we played Anagrams and we all did about equally. I was pleased, since Anagrams is a game you really want to play with people who are about the same skill level as you.

So I played Anagrams with the wife after dinner, and she cleaned my clock. First off, I tend to draw tiles from the bag slowly; if I don't see an immediate match or letter for which I'm waiting, I scan the words trying to think of ways to rearrange them with one or multiple letters. This takes me some time. So I draw a tile and then hesitate for up to 30 seconds before drawing the next tile.

This was terribly frustrating for her. She fired me as tile drawer and started drawing tiles every five seconds. I think this speed tends to favor shorter words comprised of the tiles in the center. But she was still able to store in her brain the specific letters she was waiting for and the words to which to apply them; I wasn't able to do it that fast. I think I ended with three words to her fifteen or so.

Glen More: After playing this at Eitan and Emily, I asked Ken to pick me up a copy which I received this week. It's a nifty game engine. After playing twice, I still don't understand the implications of skipping tiles, but I kind of started to get an idea about it that I can flesh out during my next play. There are only a certain number of tiles, and you don't get to go until everyone else has passed your tile; skipping not only makes that take longer, but it gives other people free turns. I'll get it eventually. And, because of the rest of the tile laying mechanics and random tile order, there will still be a lot of game to play.

I played with Abraham and Sarah after lunch. I thought I had very bad sente during the game, but I only lost 52 to Abraham's 58. Sarah had 51.

Homesteaders: After playing with Abraham and Sarah's baby for a while, we wanted to play another game. This time I thought I was doing well, but I still lost out to Abraham in a close game. I took a third round Gold Mine, but it couldn't compete with Abraham's second round Steel Mill (even though Sarah took the other Gold Mine). Abraham had 68, I had 58, Sarah had 52 (or something like that).

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