Of handicaps and silence

My blog has been a bit silent, but it’s been a slow start for this game year. First game sessions are coming next week: I’m planning a Tichu session next Tuesday, Friday I’m going to a meeting of the Finnish Diplomacy Association board, there’ll be fun and games, then the Sunday is board game club day and finally, I will go to Helsinki to participate in the Guillotine tv-show in Monday. So lots of games coming in a very short period of time!

Also, I’ve discovered (thanks to my Go mentor Chris) the beauty that is Dragon Go Server. My id there is msaari, as usual, feel free to challenge me any time.

And speaking of Go, it’s curious that so few games have any handicap systems. Go has the best — players with even quite large difference in skill can play a fairly even match. Of course, there’s some limits to the difference the system can handle, but it’s totally something else than Chess which has no (at least no official) handicapping.

It’s frustrating to play Chess against someone clearly better than you. Go game, in the other hand, can be a tough match and a much better learning experience.

Of course, many boardgames don’t really have any need for handicapping, because there isn’t that many skill levels. There’s newbie, then someone with few games, then perhaps someone with 20 games. After that you just don’t get any better. It’s a shame, because there’s only so much a game can give to you, but in the other hand, beginners can stand a chance against an experienced player.

But I wish more German games had that sort of depth that Go has. Meanwhile, fortunately, I can play Go to fulfill that need.

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2 responses to “Of handicaps and silence”

  1. (following Gameblog via your RDF steam!)
    Please tell us more about the Guillotine TV show. I usually think there should be more crossover between people who play games like us and those who watch (and take part in!) games on TV than there generally is.

  2. Guillotine is, as far as I know, a Finnish format. In it’s new form, there are five competitors. Each has 250 euros to start with. Questions are asked. Players may pick up questions and get to choose who will answer them. There’s a round of questioning by the host (“do you know the answer?, in which you say “of course I do, it’s easy as abc” if you don’t have a faintest clue or “dunno, never heard of that” if you know it by heart — bluffing and lying is the name of the game), after which the question is answered. If the answer is wrong, that player is out of the game and the person who was the chooser gets his or her money.
    Pretty typical modern quiz show, that is. One curiosity though — if you don’t pick any questions, just answer them, you don’t get any money. The guy who won the first Guillotine season (earlier it had a cup-type system, now it’s different) won the 1000 marks (less than 200 euros) which he had had during the whole show. He never picked up a question, he just answered them correctly. That’s quite small sum for the main prize, especially as taxes (about 30% for him, probably) are reduced from it too 😉