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Subject: Travel Blokus - Learning in Bits and Pieces rss

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My first Travel Blokus game of the day was with D, who hasn't played this before. The rules are so simple that by the time I've unpacked the pieces and laid out the board, we are almost ready to start.

D did not quite grasp the game and despite my advice not to get hemmed in, she lost ground to me and had loads of pieces unplaced. Miffed (and possibly bored), she didn't want to play again.

My second game was with SH. He hadn't played Blokus either. But he was a very quick study. I chose the wrong starting piece and it was downhill all the way. SH won handily, and said that all he had to do was to block each of my pieces as they come. He had half of the board to himself.

Before these games, I had played Blokus (4-player) twice and Travel Blokus once before. In my 1st Blokus game, I simply copied what 2 other experienced players did (race to the centre from the edge, place bigger pieces first). I lost by a big margin. In the 2nd game, a light bulb then lit in my head and I started to see how to keep my game alive by planting useful corners (of the pieces). I lost by single-digit points. Then I bought Travel Blokus and played with another newbie. I lost by 6 points.

Yesterday I learnt that it could be better to place the odd-shaped pointy pieces at the beginning, not just because they tend to be 5- and 4-segment pieces, but also to give myself more "launching pads". I'm sure more lessons will come as I get thrashed at Travel Blokus.
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