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Subject: My first 2 player game of Qwirkle rss

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Arden Nelson Jr.
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I got Qwirkle for Christmas from my Mom and was able to play my first game with her tonight. Notice I didn't say "against" because her attitude as well as mine was to cheer when the other person made a particularlly good move.

Final score:
Xanthos = 205
Mom = 199

There is a slight possibility that one of her scores were missed. Given when it happened we both don't think she would have scored 6 or more that round. Part of what makes this easier to not score correctly is that players could chose to not score anything in a particular round and instead trade in 1-6 of their tiles.

My Mom who isn't really a gamer got all of the rules except for the one where you can play two or more tiles as long as: 1) each of the tiles you are playing share one characteristic in common with each other (either color or shape) and 2) they are all played in the same line but not necessarily next to each other. She understood this but often "wouldn't see" what I highlighted above.

Fairly early in the game we started trading in the majority of our tiles in hopes of finishing off one of the three "pre-Qwirkles" that were on the board. My thought was if I'm setting aside 5 or 6 of my current tiles and there are 3 particular tiles I'm looking for I might have a descent chance of getting one of them if I set aside my 6 tiles that won't work and try to find one of the three copies for each of those two or three that I happened to be looking for in the bag. Remember, there are three of each exact tile in Qwirkle.

We both enjoyed the game. I occassionally would help my Mom redo something if there was a way she could get more points out of a particular tile or group of tiles. I would also explain why the place I showed her was actually the better location. In return, she cheered rather than booed whenever I got the 12 or possibly even 14 for a Qwirkle.

There were a number of times where I wanted to extend a particular line more than 6. This is an interesting aspect of the game. You can only have a maximum of 6 in any one line on the board at a time because you can't repeat shapes in a line of the same color nor can you repeat colors in a line of all the same shape.

I will say that I think this game might be more exciting as a 3 or 4 player game for me as a gamer. There was a certain back and forth in the two player game. Also, I sometimes did risky things like adding the 5th tile to a line of 4 because looking at the board I knew there was only one of the needed tile left and then chance that my one opponent would get it seemed fairly low. She was able to get the Qwirkle off me once for this. Thus, my 5 points on my turn became 12 points on her turn. What I'm saying is that in a three or four player game I would be much less likely to ever try that kind of risky move.

This is certainly a game I would want to play again but I want to play it with three or four players soon so that I can compare the two experiences. Right now I would give Qwirkle a 6.5 but this might go up after I can try this with more players.

I know the box says 6 and up but that seems a little bit young to me. I think a 6 year old could follow the rules but I wouldn't think they are likely to really compete with older players. It might get a bit frustrating if they are generally scoring 2-4 points on a given turn and the older player next to them is often scoring 5, 6, 8 or even 12 points on that same turn. Though learning to spot the ways to maximimize points is something that this game would help younger players to learn.

Personally, it seems like this game might be a little bit easier to understand for younger players and non-gamer players than Ingenious. However, the fairly even scoring in Qwirkle, particularly in two player games might make it less appealing in the long run. The lack of something to make scoring easier is a bit of a drawback to Qwirkle in my book. I need to find a better way to keep track in the future.
 
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Christopher Ross
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Xanthos wrote:
There is a slight possibility that one of her scores were missed. Given when it happened we both don't think she would have scored 6 or more that round. Part of what makes this easier to not score correctly is that players could chose to not score anything in a particular round and instead trade in 1-6 of their tiles.

We record a score of 0 when someone trades in tiles on their turn. That allows us to make sure the turns are kept organized and equal.
 
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Arden Nelson Jr.
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Great tip. Sorry I didn't reply until now. I can see this game working well in the school setting as well as at church with all ages. Well, older children to adult.
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