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Subject: Wits & Wagers is a Perfect Mix rss

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Rich Heimlich
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I received my copy of Wits & Wagers from the great folks at Game Surplus today (I ordered it yesterday!) and read the rules. I was so taken with the approach that I called a family member and set out on the road with my family to get in a session of the game.

We sat down and played. Then we played again. In total we ended up playing five games in a row and had a blast every time. Most of the players in the group typically look to move on after any single game. Not this time.

Wits & Wagers is pure party magic. It combines the best elements of top trivia games with elements of casino gambling and includes anyone regardless of their trivia knowledge. What's more is that nearly every question resulted in laughs and substantial social interaction. A question about the number of Emmy's won by Cheers had the entire table talking for several minutes and that effect played out several times over the night.
Not a single person found anything to really complain about.

I'm the pickiest person I know and the only things that I can poke at are as follows:

1) I agree that the chips should have numbers on them. Seems silly, but often people asked "How much are the blue chips worth again?"

2) Paying out was a bit chaotic due to the colored blocks. They tended to get in the way but I can't yet think of a better way to address this.

3) I have real concerns about the "All-in" final question situation. All five of our games were won on the last question. I won the first game on the final question coming from DISTANT last by putting everything on the 5-1 payout of the answer being smaller than all of those offered. The other games were all won by someone who bet it all on a single choice and hit.

4) One of our pens didn't make it to the third game. Probably just bad luck but it concerned us that the others might not be too far behind. They all made it the rest of the way.

One curiosity is that all the question cards are numbered with a small number in the lower right corner. I don't have a #22 question card. I wonder if it's missing or if it was removed for some reason.

Aside from those minor quibbles, Wits & Wagers was a smashing success. It struck everyone there as the perfect new introduction to our hobby. When I mentioned Apples to Apples everyone said they'd rather play this and, mind you, this was an Apples to Apples-type crowd, not an 18xx crowd, so that's saying something.

There's also some interesting strategies that the betting brings into play. Lots of "The Price is Right" thinking and more. For example, in relation to a question about world population I knew someone would write 6 billion so I wrote 6.1 billion which pretty much locked them out of "bonus chip" contention unless they were dead on, and it worked like a charm. In another case I wanted to write "zero" for an answer but realized that I'd do better to write down something above that and then bet on the 5-1 payout option of "The correct answer is smaller than all given answers." That too worked perfectly. I didn't get the 10 point bonus that you get for writing the chosen answer but did win 50 points on the play.

Oh, one other item. The box says 21 people can play and there are spaces for only 7 answers so I'm assuming that's 7 teams of 3. I didn't see any reference to this in the rules but I admittedly skimmed them. Where did this number come from? Why not 14, 28, 35 or 350 for that matter?

The bottom line is that if you're looking for an exceptional party game for your group, look no further than Wits & Wagers. This game should be on the shelf of any self-respecting party gamer.
 
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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Agrajag wrote:


3) All five of our games were won on the last question. I won the first

4) One of our pens didn't make it to the third game. Probably just bad luck but it concerned us that the others might not be too far behind. They all made it the rest of the way.

Oh, one other item. The box says 21 people can play and there are spaces for only 7 answers so I'm assuming that's 7 teams of 3. I didn't see any reference to this in the rules but I admittedly skimmed them. Where did this number come from? Why not 14, 28, 35 or 350 for that matter?


Rich, thanks for your kind words about our game. I'm glad that people are liking it!

I think the variation that I posted should help with your item #3. If not, let me know.

As far as I know, your issue with the pen is isolated. It has not happened with any of our versions yet and we've played well over 50 games with each of our copies. Make sure you close the caps tightly after each use.

The reason that we say the game is from 3 - 21 is because having more than 3 people on a team starts to get a little too chaotic for the time limit. As a rule of thumb, he more people on a team, the more time you should give people to come up with their answers and their bets.

Cheers,
Dominic

Designer of Wits & Wagers and Cluzzle
Founder of North Star Games LLC
www.NorthStarGames.com
 
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Christian Monterroso
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Quote:
As far as I know, your issue with the pen is isolated


Speaking of pens, there is one other thing that has bothered some of the people that I play with. The caps of the pens do not fit at the back of the marker! That means that, while in use, the cap needs to be somewhere else.

To me, that's no big deal. In fact, it's more likely that people will put the cap back on if it's not already on the marker!
 
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Rich Heimlich
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Yeah, it looks like the cap fits on the end, but oddly, doesn't.

In our one case it appears the player simply managed to push down so hard that the pen stopped working.
 
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