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Subject: Scrabble meets Ricochet Robots! rss

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Patrick Christenson
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Here's a variant that I feel fixes all the things wrong with scrabble and keeps all the good things about it.

Bad things about scrabble:

Letter Distribution!
--This can actually determine the winner. If you get all vowels, how are you expected to compete?

Game takes too long!
--Analysis Paralysis indeed...I've seen people find a 20+ point word and continue to look for something better. Can we play the game already!

Challenges!
--The challenge system is bunk. In a 3 player game, the person who isn't involved in a challenge wins whether its a real word or not.

Number of Players!
--This game breaks down when you go above 4 players.

Good things about scrabble:

Board Scoring
--The placement of double letter/word scores is very elegant.
--The ability to make multiple words in one turn is fantastic.

Ok, I'm don't ranting about scrabble...Its only because I like it so much!

The Variant

Play with the board as normal. First turn must go across the center. Subsequent words must attach to a previous word/s.

Flip over 7 tiles.

Everyone uses these same tiles to try to make a word.

When someone finds a word they like, they call out the score including all board modifiers and additional words they make on the board. (This scoring is exactly the same as scrabble)

That person then flips over a 30 second timer.

The rest of the players then have 30 seconds to come up with a better score.

When the timer runs out, the player with the highest called score places his word on the board and gets 1 point

Game ends when anyone gets to 5 points...or whatever score you deem worthy.

Notes:

If you counted your score wrong, your word does not count.

If your word is not a word, your word does not count. Use a dictionary just as in regular scrabble.

Try calling out a small scoring word early. When that timer flips, it becomes much harder to do addition =)

Even if you find a word with a lower score than already called out, call it out! Their word may be challenged, or they may have counted wrong.

If someone calls out a score higher than what you called out, you may then call out a higher score...otherwise you may not change your score.
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Try Word Jam. It's almost like you're describing, but has a few extra scoring kinks thrown in to make it fair to all.
 
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