Tuesday, 18 February 2014

in photos: Small World, Can't Stop, Hanabi

I bought Small Word on the iPad when it was on sale during the Christmas period, planning to play it with Han and Allen, only to later discover that it doesn't have async mode. If we were to play together, we would need to be online at the same time. So I ended up just playing against the AI's a few times.

Small World is a very Euro wargame (which is an oxymoron). You establish empires and expand them, and every turn you score points based on how many territories you control. As your empire runs out of momentum, you can retire it to start a new one. Your old empire still scores points, as long as it is not yet wiped out by your opponents. Battles are mostly deterministic. Only when you are short of armies for a final attack you roll a die to see if you get some free reinforcements. So the game is much about board positioning, deciding who to attack and who to leave be, and picking the empire (each has unique abilities) which best suits your ambitions.

Can't Stop was free around Christmas time, so I downloaded it. This is a simple push-your-luck game. I have played it before. Despite the simplicity, you are constantly forced to decide whether to be content with what you have gained so far on your current turn or to gamble your achievement on the possibility of gaining even more ground. You are constantly torn between greed and conservatism.

26 Jan 2014. The children asked to play Barbarossa. I, of course, am happy to do so. I didn't want to make my sculptures too hard, but I think I went too far the other way and made them too easy instead. My sculptures are white - needle, lemon and milk. Even before the game started the children were already giggling and pointing at the lemon. They already knew what it was. Is it that obvious? "Milk" was too simple too. In fact Shee Yun thought it was "carton". I underestimated her.

31 Jan 2014. I asked the children to teach my mum to play Hanabi.

It was a challenging exercise, because it was not exactly easy for Shee Yun (8) to organise the rules of the game in her mind, and then communicate them in a clear and structured way. Maybe this is one form of extra-curricular training I should give her - teaching games rules. Needless to say Ma was rather confused. I had to add some clarifications after Shee Yun was done.

We played using a mahjong table, which Ma usually uses for gin rummy or mahjong rummy.

This was the only game we played when we were back at my parents' home in Kota Kinabalu during the Chinese New Year period.

We scored 18pts, which is not spectacular, but not too bad either. Full marks is 25pts.

Chen Rui (7) said she wanted to sort the cards when we were packing up, so I let her do it.

No comments: