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Subject: The faster the lettuce is eaten... rss

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Dave Wilson
United States
Pleasanton
California
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As I arrived, Jim and Alice were going over the rules to Hare & Tortoise, a game that Jim had just received as a Christmas gift. I knew that Carrie was right behind me, and that Rich was also on his way. Very shortly we had our five players, so we all sat down to play.

At the outset Rich made the big jump, spending 55 carrots to move the ten spaces onto the first lettuce space. Alice, Dave, and Jim all took their chances on the hare spaces, but only Jim got the good roll, allowing him to eat a lettuce space as well. The others all started meandering their way forward on the path.

The second lettuce space became the next object of focus. Alice hit it first, and then everyone else followed in seating order: Rich, Carrie, and then Dave. OK, Jim didn't, because after that hare space lettuce, he was able to wait and eat his second lettuce on the first space. Not only did that let him get rid of his second lettuce, but it also garnered him lots of carrots with which to start jumping along the path. He quickly jumped past everyone into the lead, focusing on the third lettuce space in which to eat his third lettuce. Dave, meanwhile, made use of his position to simply backtrack to tortoise spaces and then reuse that second lettuce space, eating his second lettuce. He, too, was collecting a fair number of carrots.

Everyone else started focusing on that third space next. Rich jumped on, to rid himself of his third lettuce, followed by Carrie and then Dave (who used a fair bunch of carrots to get there). But by the time Dave got there, Rich and Jim were beginning to jockey towards the finish. At this point Jim had a decision to make. Rich was sitting on a "2" space, and would get 20 carrots if he started his turn in second place. He was currently in the lead. Does Jim move to the lead, giving Rich those carrots? Does he need those 20 to finish, or would those 20 overburden him? Jim moved to the lead, and Rich got those carrots. To Jim's chagrin, Rich was able to finish in two moves, getting in just before Jim did. Carrie and Dave also finished immediately after each other (though a couple turns after Rich and Jim), and took third and fourth, respectively.

This is an interesting race game, that tends to involve a lot of arithmetic, as you determine how many carrots you need to get where you want to go, and then figure out how to get those carrots. The lettuce consumption is, of course, also critical. I find this a fun game to play every once in a while, but the constant counting and recounting of carrots make it hard to play it too frequently (though I suppose it'd get easier as one had more practice at it).
 
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