Trudi from The Jester’s Court was gearing up for a Fantasy Faire that happened in Grand Junction last week, and so we decided to do some refreshers of games we hadn’t played in a while. Since Trudi was setting up a tent to demo/sell games we figured we had better be prepared. We also busted out a few new games that neither of us had tried before. Here’s the results!
It had been years since I had played Qwirkle and so Trudi and I went head to head! In Qwirkle players have 6 wooden tiles, each with some combination of 1 of 6 colors and 1 of 6 symbols. Players try and place the tiles so that no row or column (that are touching) have duplicates. The goal is to get as many of 1 shape in unique colors in a row as you can, or have as many of the 6 different shapes in 1 color as possible. Each can have a maximum of 6.
Players can place as many tiles as possible to one row or column, attempting to score as many points as possible with each turn. For example, in the image above where there is a blue circle, blue ninja star(?), and blue diamond in a row I could place my blue square. This would get me 4 points since it would be the fourth item in the set. There are placements that can occur where a tile might fit into the pattern of a row and a column, and players get the combined score from each. There are also bonus points for getting a “qwirkle” by placing the 6th and final tile that completes a row/column.
Trudi didn’t know who she was messing with as abstract strategy games are a particular strength of mine. We battled back and forth, playing tiles and drawing back up to 6 after each turn, for approximately an hour. When the dust settled all 10,000,000 (slight exaggeration) tiles had been played and we were ready to move on!
Outcome – With many qwirkles under my belt I managed to win with nearly a 100 point gap. Trudi burned the game in shame and we promised never to speak of it again. Just kidding, we had a great time.
Timeline: Music & Cinema
There’s a bunch of editions of Timeline available; Discoveries, Historical Events, etc. We chose Music & Cinema! Trudi, Sergio, Tim and myself tackled the enormous task of correctly placing our cards into the line of cards on the table by appropriate year.
The cards are double-sided with one side displaying the year and the other not. Cards are dealt out with the year side down and on their turn a player has to figure out where in the line their card goes. Once a card is placed it is flipped over to see if the year fits correctly into the timeline. If it is incorrect the player draws more cards. The first person to get rid of their cards wins! Easy peasy, in theory at least.
I had never played Timeline before and boy did this game give me ulcers! I drew freaking Star Wars and had to place it correctly. Even though I was POSITIVE that it was released in 1977 I was scared to death, knowing that I would be ridiculed mercilessly if I got it wrong. I also had several other geek treasures, such as Blade Runner. There was a real traffic jam around the early to mid 80s and a lot of mine were guesses since I only know kinda sorta when they came out, give or take 2 or 3 years.
Outcome – Sergio and Trudi played some cards incorrectly with Tim and I playing flawlessly until the end. When we both ran out of cards on the same turn, Trudi and Sergio were eliminated. It came down to a showdown with Tim and I drawing a card on our turn and placing it. Tim fumbled one and then I drew a card that I made a complete guess on. Luckily it was correct and I was victorious.
Hey, That’s My Fish!
I had seen people play Hey, That’s My Fish before, but I had never played it myself. Trudi challenged me to a game of it in order to reacquaint herself with the game. In HTMF players build the play area by randomly placing the cardboard tiles that display 1 to 3 fish on them.
Players (in a 2 player game) place their 4 penguins on any space that shows 1 fish. When the game starts players take turns moving a penguin in a straight line, stopping on any tile they wish. The tile where a penguin starts its movement is removed and added to the controlling player’s score area. As tiles are removed portions of the field can become inaccessible and penguins can get cut off.
Though it was sort of mean of me I placed my penguins ruthlessly, with the goal of trapping Trudi’s penguins and cutting off her attempts to score fish. I’m ashamed to say that it worked well.
Outcome – I won this one as well, marking the first ever GNR where I swept the competition. And anyone who says that I excluded several games where I lost can’t be trusted. Trust me. (Can you say “cherry picked”?)