Back in 1994, I invited a group of my college buddies to come hang out with me at my parents' lakehouse. Since we've always played games, a lot of game playing went on. This has turned into an annual gathering with the amount of gaming increasing dramatically in the past few years. This year I was able to play 37 games (27 unique) over essentially four days time. If you are interested in all of the games we played, they can be found on the following Geeklist:
The players: Stephen (Myself), Christine, (longsuffering wife), Dwight (single friend), Jared (from Dallas), Becky (Jared's better 9/10), Clint (Preacher), Cheri (Clint's better 3/4), Glen (from Vicksburg), Amy (Glen's better 1/2), Jody (from Dallas), CJ (Fleeing hurricane), Steph (CJ's wife), Page (from Arkansas), and Lori (Page's wife).
Day 3, First Game: Yinsh (19)
I really enjoy abstract strategy games. I fell in love with the GIPF series when I first read about it, and purchased as many of the games as I could when I was able to earlier this year. Unfortunately, my wife doesn't really enjoy these types of games, so I do not get to play them nearly enough. This would in fact be my first playing of Yinsh. Since neither of us had played before, this would be a learning game for both Jody and myself. Perhaps this was not the best choice for the first game of the day, but it would certainly loosen up the old noodle for future games. In the game, you have an essentially hexagonal board made up of the intersections of various lines. On these intersections, each player places five rings. On each turn, you place a marker in one of your rings with your color face up and then move the ring in a straight line. It can go as far as it wants as long as it passes over empty space. If it passes over other markers, it must stop at the first empty space it comes to. You then flip each of the markers that it passed over. Rings may not move past other rings. When you get five markers of your color in a row, you remove them from the board and also remove any one of your rings. The object is to remove three of your rings from the board. The trick is that it gets harder to create five in a row the fewer rings you have.
In general, Jody is able to pick up on abstract strategy games pretty quickly. I therefore expected a thorough drubbing at his hands. Fortunately, for me, this was not the case. We both spent some time playing pieces and trying to set something up. Just like Hive, it became clear just how important mobility and immobility are in this game. Jody managed to get the first five in a row with a move I had been absolutely oblivious to. Fortunately for me, on my next turn, I did the exact thing to him. This lead us to scrutinize our moves much more carefully, which slowed the game considerably. Essentially the same thing happened again with the second rings for each of us. The difference is that there was a little more time between each of us going out. Finally, we were both trying to get rid of our last ring. I was in the process of setting a play up when Jody politely pointed out that he would win on his move if I didn't do something to interfere. I was able to do so without much trouble and still promote my planned gambit. It paid off well, as I was able to secure a win in a few moves with another move that stunned Jody.
Stephen -- Win
Jody -- Loss
Despite claiming a win here, Jody really is the winner. I have no doubts that he would defeat me if I were to ever play this with him again. At least that is what past history has told me. All in all, I continue to be happy with the entire GIPF series and am happy to have the game. Now if only I could come up with a relatively inexpensive TAMSK .
It was classy of your opponent to point out his threatened win. I probably would have kept my mouth shut. Maybe I would have giggled a little.