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Subject: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight rss

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Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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My wife (Kim) and I had a date night; with three wee kiddies this means they are all in bed, asleep or not, by 8PM. This is preceded by 30 minutes of herding and to every “where are my jammies? Nora poked my eye! are my teeth bleeding, look!” they get a stare and Kim and I, in unison, state firmly “We have a date tonight! Deal with it yourself!” You know the drill.

Our carefully planned date: the front porch, dusk, two chairs and a table, a bottle of wine, wool lap blankets, candlelight and haggis.

I’ve gone over the rules so Kim and I spread out the cards and go through them together. Five minutes and we’ve dealt a learning hand, talking our way through, still unsure how the strategy of bombs will work & groaning at our first cards, leading singles to open or correcting straights out of suit, and it starts to click. Dusk is deeper & the wine is slow. No hurry. We don’t score our second hand but we’re getting it and wonder aloud things like “Imagine leading with all 17 cards! hey why didn’t you play those two pairs as a sequence? should I bomb you now, what do you think, oh take it” and we’re in that sweet spot of getting it & grinning at each other. Either admiring each others cleverness or sizing each other up for the real battle to come. Either way is good; we’re on a date, getting ready to grapple, yes?

We can barely make out the suits now in the candlelight so have to lean over the cards, into each other. “That’s called a rainbow bomb” I say knowingly because someone on the geek explained that one. I figure to impress. She doesn’t have to think, she bombs me back. I realize she’s a step ahead of me. Like all my dates she knows more. This situation is getting seriously flirty & beasty all at once.

The door opens. We both snap at the cracked door “We’re on a date!” but eldest daughter has taken a skype from a close friend who has just moved to New Zealand and has all kinds of news. So Kim jumps up, runs in & tells her friend hurriedly “I can’t talk, we’re on a date, we’re playing Haggis!” Her friend snaps back “You DO know what they put into that stuff, don’t you!” and Kim doesn’t try to explain and immediately gets off the phone and RUNS back to the porch. All of 45 seconds.

And look. I’m not some good looking first date, I’m her unshaven husband. Her best friend just moved to the other side of the world. But I get it I do. Candlelight, wooly blankets, wine in coffee mugs, our laughter & shared discovery of these beautiful cards laid on the table (they are truly beautiful to see, everything about them).

It’s fun to say “Haggis.” To people on the other side of the world. And my wife is very discerning. And she loved it.

OK - here’s how it ended. I’m 8 points down at the last hand, and I had the lead and what shows up in my hand is almost what we’ve been wondering aloud the whole time: “what if you could lead with your whole hand?” But we’re talking almost; 15 cards. Close enough to a sure thing, yes? I lead with 15. Five sets of threesomes, using up my wilds. I stand up laying them out in a big gesture. The wine's in mugs so I don't send them flying. I settle back in my chair. I’m holding two cards to her 17. I tap them as if to say "...ahem, two, two cards over here..." Kim’s a gamer though. She bombs me immediately knowing I can’t answer, takes the lead and studies her cards. “What do you think they are?” I say, “Two pairs? singles with 10 high? what’re you going to do? Take your time, take your time.” And you know what happens. She works her hand down a bit at a time, staring at my cards, me saying “yours” at each laydown. She wittles her hand to her last three but I’m still cocky. She lays down three of a kind. She giggles, she's laughing, she takes the haggis, I eat my two cards for 10 points down, and when we count them up she beat me by twenty.

Thank you Mr Ross, Mr Simpson, and Mr Worthington for a great game. Thank you for helping me with my date. Thanks to all of you for leading me to these great games & walking me through how to get them to the table with my lovely wife.

Haggis: Recommended.
Haggis & wine over candlelight: Highly Recommended.

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Brandon Holmes
Canada
Caledonia
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight
Wow thanks for bringing this game to my attention...
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Eugene
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight
tjshields wrote:
Candlelight, wooly blankets, wine in coffee mugs, our laughter & shared discovery of these beautiful cards laid on the table (they are truly beautiful to see, everything about them).

Yes, these cards are gorgeous. Travis Worthington was generous enough to donate a copy of Haggis as a door prize for the recent Eugene Games Gala, and my girlfriend and I were the lucky winners. Now all we need is to get some wine and blankets too.
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Jody Ludwick
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight
Thank you Tom for this wonderful session/review. It made my day. Now I have hope that I will be able to introduce this game to my husband.

I currently play 2-player Haggis with my 16 year old son and like your early session, our first few learning hands were rather polite and courteous with "I'll take that, thank you" and "that's ok hon, go ahead a replay it, this is just a practice run". Our later games then slowly transcended to a more competitive state of awareness as we started to 'get-it'. Now our sessions are all-out cutthroat and down right aggressive... in a good way of course.

Can't wait to play again. There's always that ever elusive "lead with your whole hand" that I can attain to...
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Asa Swain
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight
This is really more of a session report than a review, but it's very well written all the same.
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Matt Mehlhoff
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Minneapolis
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight
An enjoyable read but hardly a review
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Tom Shields
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight (More session than review)
jody wrote:
Thank you Tom for this wonderful session/review. It made my day. Now I have hope that I will be able to introduce this game to my husband.

I currently play 2-player Haggis with my 16 year old son and like your early session, our first few learning hands were rather polite and courteous with "I'll take that, thank you" and "that's ok hon, go ahead a replay it, this is just a practice run". Our later games then slowly transcended to a more competitive state of awareness as we started to 'get-it'. Now our sessions are all-out cutthroat and down right aggressive... in a good way of course.

Can't wait to play again. There's always that ever elusive "lead with your whole hand" that I can attain to...


Jody - your welcome & thank you also. You describe getting to that 'competitive space' perfectly. I love it when it goes well. And something tells me the percentages say I got as close to 'leading with my whole' hand as I ever will. Lightening won't strike again. It was fun to loose after that laydown.
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Nasty McHaggis
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight (More session than review)
Great read!

Unless I misunderstood, it appears you dealt all cards. In a two-player game, 14 are dealt to each player and the remaining 8 are set aside, face down.
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Sean Ross
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight (More session than review)
Longbow wrote:
Great read!

Unless I misunderstood, it appears you dealt all cards. In a two-player game, 14 are dealt to each player and the remaining 8 are set aside, face down.
Hm. If they both had 17 cards, as the author states, then it sounds like they were playing correctly: you have 14 cards in hand + 3 wild cards on the table, for a total of 17 cards. Are you perhaps thinking they had 17 cards in hand + 3 wild cards for a total of 20 cards?

[Edit]
Btw, since I'm here - Loved the review/session report. I especially liked this: “I can’t talk, we’re on a date, we’re playing Haggis!” My heart glows...
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Tom Shields
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight (More session than review)
seandavidross wrote:
Unless I misunderstood, it appears you dealt all cards. In a two-player game, 14 are dealt to each player and the remaining 8 are set aside, face down.

Yes, we set aside the fifth suit, dealt 14, and set aside the Haggis as 8 cards. We wouldn't forget the Haggis. Everytime someone went out, we'd reach out and say "The Haggis is mine!" I wonder if the food is like the cards, you peek inside to find out what's really in there before consuming!
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Sean Ross
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Re: Date night: haggis, wine, and candlelight (More session than review)
tjshields wrote:
you peek inside to find out what's really in there before consuming!
gulp
 
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Nasty McHaggis
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South Carolina
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seandavidross wrote:
Longbow wrote:
Great read!

Unless I misunderstood, it appears you dealt all cards. In a two-player game, 14 are dealt to each player and the remaining 8 are set aside, face down.
Hm. If they both had 17 cards, as the author states, then it sounds like they were playing correctly: you have 14 cards in hand + 3 wild cards on the table, for a total of 17 cards. Are you perhaps thinking they had 17 cards in hand + 3 wild cards for a total of 20 cards?

[Edit]
Btw, since I'm here - Loved the review/session report. I especially liked this: “I can’t talk, we’re on a date, we’re playing Haggis!” My heart glows...


Yes, that's what I thought. My mistake.
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Steve PP
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Great story! Just bought this to play with my wife. Thanks for the mood setting!
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