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Subject: TVB - 4P - Idle fools shall not win. rss

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Richard Pardoe
United States
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With some time left, Rich brought out Foppen - a trick-tacking game by Friedemann Friese. As with other trick taking games, one is trying to get rid of cards in hand, the twist in this game - the player of the "worst" card is the fool (Foppen) and sits out the next round. The worst card is generally the lowest card played. At the end of a round (when 1 player is out of cards), the player(s) void of cards score +10 points. All others (with cards in hand) score negative points equal to cards in hand.

The first round saw a lot of green (the most common card colour) played. In fact, the first 5 hands were all green leads. But we all managed to get rid of cards reasonably well. Dave voided his hand first while Rich and Ben had just 1 card each left. Lawrence was not so lucky.

Dave: +10
Rich: - 2
Lawr: -15
Ben : - 1

But things got ugly (or interesting) in the next round. Ben and Dave seemed to match cards while Rich and Lawrence kept trading the fool as they would alternate playing the low card of the trick. This let Ben and Dave both empty their hands while Rich and Lawrence held handfuls of cards.

Dave: +10 = +20
Rich: -20 = -22
Lawr: -10 = -25
Ben : +10 = + 9

The next round saw more of the same, but it was Ben's turn to have a handful of cards at the end of the round. Dave again managed to empty his hand, but played the low card in the final trick. This gained him the "Foppen" and had the nasty side-effect of nullifying his positive points for the round.

Dave: + 0 = +20
Rich: -11 = -33
Lawr: - 1 = -26
Ben : -33 = -24

Rich and Lawrence finally got into the swing of things with the final (for our game) round. Lawrence managed to empty his hand. Rich had a few cards left. Dave again emptied his hand, but again had the Foppen at game's end (not that that mattered in terms of points lead).

Dave: + 0 = +20
Rich: - 3 = -35
Lawr: +10 = -16
Ben : -16 = -40

An interesting little game. Plays relatively quickly and next time think I would like to use the suggestions of 2 rounds per person to help spread out the distribution of the cards just a bit. An interesting point I am trying to grasp with the game is why play low cards at all (other than to empty one's hand). At the end of the round, cards count their value in points (encouraging one to play higher cards if possible). Furthermore, playing low cards is how one ends up with the Foppen at the end of that trick. But there must be some tactics around that as evidenced by my score relative to the others. Certainly in the second round (when Lawrence and I were trading the Foppen), I just couldn't capture the lead so perhaps that is part of the strategy I had overlooked - the need to manage high and low cards throughout the round. An interesting game I would like to visit again.
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Andrew Young
Wales
Wellesley
Massachusetts
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And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
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Played this last night for the first time. Fun game as far as trick-taking ones go. I like it!
 
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