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Subject: Avoiding the Q-loses problem with 2 players rss

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Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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A fun little game, but with two players we came down to a situation where the last two tiles left in the bunch were something and a Q. In the final peel, it was fairly clear that whoever didn't end up with the (repeatedly dumped) Q would win.

Have folks considered (for 2 player) increasing the game end triggering condition pool size to avoid a particularly unloved letter ending up a required choice? Any size suggestions? 5 or more seems sensible for 2 players.

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Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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Just slap the Q next to an "I". No worries.
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Mick Sullivan
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I dislike changing rules just to suit a particular gaming group's needs, but since the object of a game is to have fun, I'd say to try the 5-tile endgame condition if it will make it more enjoyable for you.

A possible suggestion: allow each player too play one tile blank-side-up, as a wild card ala Scrabble. It'd be easy enough to count the Q as an S and pluralize something at the end, but you might want to use your blank earlier to make a particularly difficult word.

Another idea: Why not permanently remove any dumped letters? You could get some pretty quick games that way.

Other things to think about:

1. Isn't getting stuck with an unfavorable letter an issue regardless of number of players? Would you need to scale your endgame condition based on that (ex: 3 tiles + # players)?

2. Just because a player ends up with an undesirable letter doesn't mean that the other player(s) will have created only valid words. I've won more than my fair share of games where the other player has rushed and made mistakes. I even won a game over the weekend where we both had invalid words (oops), but my opponent finished about two tiles ahead of me. If she had been stuck on a Q, she could've taken the win by default.

3. Going through the dictionary pre-game is a great help. I know that in Scrabble "Qi" is an accepted word (alternate spelling of Chi). Quo is another short Q word that many people use. A single Q could net both of those words, depending on board placement. Maybe turn them into "quip" or "quote" later on. Because the people I play with have all learned these words together, we rarely have the issue with Q. for some reason J seems to trip me up at the end...

Sometimes the things that make luck-based games exciting, are the things that make them frustrating. It's the nature of the beast.
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Wolfgang Zelller
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Schramberg
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SupaGerm wrote:
Another idea: Why not permanently remove any dumped letters? You could get some pretty quick games that way.

That was our solution to the problem, but we agreed before that only the most rare letters (in german: Q, Y and X) can be dumped permanently and open. Otherwise it would be too easy to deplete the remaining letter stash.
 
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Steven
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We eliminated dumping and drew 2 tiles with each peel. That helped to prevent the filtering of "bad" tiles to the end. (Yes, I know we're playing Pick Two instead of Bananagrams, but I think it's a better game that way.)

Also, if everybody knows that there's a Q, X, etc., it's possible to prepare for it -- for instance, by being aware of your U's.
 
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Rich P
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QI
QAT
QANAT
WAQF
SUQ

What problem?
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