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Subject: One quick hand to get the rules down...oops. rss

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Dave Wilson
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Pleasanton
California
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Jim returned, and still no Jon, so we turned to something meatier. A number of ideas were bantered about: Aladdin's Dragons, Goldland (well, Dave suggested, but no one really heard him), but Dave then realized that we had five players. Jim has owned Mü for some time now, and hasn't played it. Rich has been curious for a while. Dave and Carrie has had the opportunity to play it a few times before, so he looked at her and suggested it. Carrie's eyes lit up with approval, so everyone else was consulted. We all agreed, so we brought it to the table.

Carrie started bidding with a blue 0 card, and Jim followed with three 1 cards. (Yes, this is the "oops". I was told later that this isn't a valid bid, as it is two cards greater than any of the bids before.) It was quickly apparent that he had designs on being the chief. Perhaps he would want to declare 1s as his trump? Others bid one card, hoping to give some data without overextending themselves. After a couple more rounds of bidding we all passed, with Jim as chief and Carrie as vice. Carrie's trump: red. Jim's trump: green. So the 1s were a ruse after all. Dave had, among his two bid cards, displayed a green 1, so Jim chose him as his parter, and they were off. For a three card bid, the goal was 30 triangles.

But it was not to be. Dave's trumps were poor: 5, 4, 1 in green, and no red whatsoever. He was able to take a couple nice tricks thanks to his 9-8 in black, and he did trump one trick for a few extra points. But Rich and Alice both had strong trump holdings, and Carrie was pretty strong in some other suits. At the end of the hand we tallied up our scores, and they turned out to be pretty even: 16, 16, 10, 9, 9 for Alice, Carrie, Jim, Dave and Rich, respectively. Of course, that meant that the chief's team only scored 19 points, which wouldn't have even made a 1 bid! That resulted in a 30 point penalty for Jim, and 15 points for Rich, Carrie, and Alice.

As it turned out, Jon did finally arrive during that hand, so we all decided, rather than squeeze a sixth into the game (and go over the rules a second time), we'd just call the game, with Alice and Carrie enjoying a tie for the win with 31 points apiece.

This is definitely a game that rewards repeated play, as you get familiar with hand strengths and how tricks might flow, and learn how to bid based on that knowledge. One hand definitely won't do it, though it will at least help get the rules down. I definitely look forward to bringing it out again.
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