Wednesday Games, part 7: Mü, Tichu

Another pleasant session of Wednesday games! I started with a game of Balloon Cup with Erkka, who was first to arrive. He also won that game… While we were at it, Olli and Vesa arrived. They played a game of East-West while waiting for us to finish.

Olli had to leave for a while, but before that we managed to squeeze in a game of Coloretto. The first victory of the day for me! I got clean collection — six, five, three and two single cards, covered by a +2 card. I definitely like the wild card variant (colour of the wild cards is decided immediately), it balances the game.

While Olli was away, we broke into pairs of two (Ville had arrived) and played Balloon Cup and Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. I won the Confrontation against Vesa, a newbie. I played good side and managed to sneak Frodo past the guards. Mostly because of Vesa’s lack of understanding of the game — I believe my next game against him would be more difficult. This one was already close.

Then we played something I have wanted to play the whole summer: . After the initial confusion we got the game going smoothly. First game was won by Ville, who got 121 points and got lucky with the end-of-game card draw (we used the variant by Frank Nestel, where game ends if someone has more than 110+card drawn * 10 points). Second game was more close. Erkka won with 175 points — scoring 74 points on the last turn.

I was never a Chief and perhaps once the partner. I just didn’t have good enough cards most of the time. Thus, my success was low during the whole affair. Seems like a difficult game to play well, really — scoring many tricks is very difficult unless you have very good cards. I’m satisfied with the game, but not enthusiastic about it. Still, I guess it’s the best trick-taking game there is for five players.

After the two games of Erkka left and we played another game I’ve been meaning to play every time: Tichu. Olli and Ville had played before, while Vesa was a newbie. I got Olli as my pair.h6>Tichu

One of the reasons I like Tichu is the pleasure I get when I manage to make a particularly good play. This game offered that pleasure again. My best play was on the last round, when Vesa opened with seven card straight. Ville beat it with another and was already smug about it, when I blasted the only bomb during the game and got that huge pile of cards. I went on to actually win the round, thus spoiling Tichu call from Ville.

So, Olli and I either won or lost. Counting score as usual, we won 360-340 (we ended the game on time). Using Richard Garfield’s trimmed scoring, which puts the emphasis on placement, we lost 32-40. I don’t know which one is better, I’ll have to keep on trying them both. I think Garfield’s scoring is focused on the most important part of the game, but ditching all the card scoring feels a bit odd too. Can’t make up my mind about it!

The trimmed scoring is definitely better when teaching new players, as it’s less fiddly. And I don’t really care about the scoring cards when I play, I just try to get out as fast as I can — that would justify the trimmed scoring, too. Dunno. Opinions, anyone?

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