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Subject: An Interesting Game with Some Strange House Rules rss

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James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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I played Crokinole for the first time in a long time a few days ago while visiting some friends with my wife Heather. I have very fond memories of playing this a lot as a youngster, and thought myself fairly good at it at one point. I have grown very rusty since then however.

Our hosts had a relatively inexpensive board with the unique attribute of having a blue band around the outer circle of the playing area from which to shoot the pieces. It actually jutted out in a semi-circle into the “5” ring at the points straight across from the inner circle. This band was about the width of a piece, and effectively made all of the shots just a little bit shorter and easier. I wouldn’t choose a board with this feature, but I guess it could help beginners.

We decided to team up with the two men against the two ladies. Both of the women are fairly competitive, so we knew they wouldn’t let us get away with a win too easily.

There were a few house rules in effect for our game that I had never heard of before:
- The person starting a round had three tries to get one piece into the lower inner circle (I’ll call it “the hole” from now on). In other words, I could shoot once, and if I didn’t shoot it into the hole, I could pick it up, try again, and if it still didn’t go in, try once more, finally leaving the piece wherever that shot put it. This sounded to me like a rule a desperate dad behind in the score may have made up one day while playing with his kids.
- If a person shot their piece into the hole, he would have to leave it there during the next player’s subsequent shot, giving that player the opportunity to hit it out of the hole if she could. This seemed really strange to me, but I guess it adds an element of extra suspense to the game. In our game that evening, the guys’ team got a piece into the middle twice, and our wives could not shoot it out either time.
- The scoring was kept after the manner of Twilight Struggle – only one team ever has any points at once. The ladies actually leapt ahead of us after the first round, after we men had started out strong. Some of their late shots took multiple pieces of ours off the board and they led the game with 60 points before round 2 began. From then on though, it was all guys. We were able to gain 100 points in the next round if I remember correctly, but because of how they kept score, it really meant that the lower score (the ladies’ 60 points) was subtracted from the higher score (the fellows’ 100 points), making the score actually 40 to nothing in our favor. While it certainly makes the score easier to remember and eliminates the need of a scorepad, it also introduces the possibility of having the game go on forever.

The game was a good bit of light fun. It took us about 5 rounds to get up to or over 100 points, with a final score of 120 for the men. None of us were really very good, but fortunately you don’t have to be to enjoy the game - as long as one player isn’t too dominating anyway. Now I’m motivated to go and get my own board – I’ll have to do some research on this site to see which brands are recommended.
 
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Dan Dolan
United States
Highland Lakes
New Jersey
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I bought a board from Stan Hilinski at wBC last year and it a great board.

Mr. Crokinole has good stuff as well.
 
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Tom Hancock
United States
Charleston
West Virginia
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Good session report. You can't go wrong with the hilinki boards, though they probably won't have much up until after christmas. They are cheaper for the quality they offer than mr. crokinole IMHO.

Those house rules sound bizarre.
 
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