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Subject: This gang plays nasty! rss

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Valdir Jorge
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Date: January 7th, 2006

Game: Sticheln

Players: Charles, François, Jean-François, Johnny, Ray and Valdir (myself)

During the first week of the year we were discussing in our Yahoo group message board about the games we wanted to play at the very first Meetup meeting of 2006. Part of the group wanted to go for Samurai Swords while another part wanted A Game of Thrones. As both are very long games, it was sure that they would be the only games played. However, Power Grid was also tossed in the discussion. And there were a few people who were not sure if they would come or not, so it was really unclear what would be played.

On Saturday, January 7th, we met at our usual place, the mezzanine of the Concordia Hall building. There were already three players there when I arrived and two more came in right after me. While we waited for the rest of the players, I proposed a game of Sticheln.

We separated all cards that would not be used (higher than 14), I shuffled the rest and explained the game to them. The rules are simple and the four illustrations in the small rulebook are all that you really need to know who wins each of the tricks.

When we revealed our misery colours there were three players with blue (Ray, François and Charles), two with red (Johnny and myself) and one (Jean-François) with purple. I was surprised to see such a concentration of colours, I was expecting to see four or five different colours being chosen.

I tried to win one of the first tricks that was started with a low red and Ray (who played after me) was very nasty and put a red 14 in the mix, so that I won the trick, but at a very high cost.

In general this group played in a very nasty way, dumping high value cards of the misery colour of the person who would win the trick, which hurt most of us. I had played this game twice before with smaller groups (five and three) but they had all been very nice to one another, so they were quite different experiences.

Close to the end of the round, when we all had only three cards in our hands to play, Charles noticed that he only had two cards to play. Of course someone had taken one more card than they should when they won the tricks. We all counted the cards that we had won and I saw that I had 19 cards with me, which meant that I was the one with the extra card. I opened all the cards face down in my hand and asked Charles to choose one. Some people complained that I should keep all the reds, but I thought that he should choose among all of them. Anyway, he chose a red 3 and immediately played it on the trick that was in effect because I was the one with the winning card, which meant that the card came right back to me. Of course everybody else laughed a lot about this. These guys are mean!

Final Score
Player: Points
Jean-François: 11
Johnny: 1
Ray: 1
Charles: -1
Valdir: -6
François: -10
Close to the end of the game Ray was trying to get the group together to give J-F some bad cards but we were not capable of doing that, so that J-F ended up winning by a comfortable margin.
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