Wednesday games, part 10: Go, Sticheln, Pond

Another small crowd this Wednesday, only Ilari and Olli once again. Well, we still had good time. Because Olli came a bit later than Ilari, I had time to play a 9×9 Go match with Ilari. I gave him 1-stone handicap (he played black, I didn’t get komi) and proceeded to win the game by 11 points.

Then we played Sticheln — Ilari hadn’t played it before, so we definitely had to teach him to play. I played the worst hand in ages — possibly ever — on the first round, scoring -4! From there on it went better, but Olli won the game by a margin of 11 points.

Olli was the winner of the next game, too. Ilari had to go, but we had enough time to play two rounds of Last Panther. Olli played a very good first round, scoring actually positive points. Ilari lost the game with -110 points. I got -50 on the first round and zero on the second, but that wasn’t enough.

Last Panther is definitely a good game. It’s very easy and therefore a good game to play when time is limited and teaching other games would take too much time. The hands are pretty fast and you can stop whenever you want.

Then Ilari had to go and me and Olli tried Pond, a new two-player trick-taking game by Michael Schoessow. It’s an interesting game, which adds lots of stuff to a regular trick-taking. The main feature is the pond, which is an extra group of cards awarded to the winner of the one-card trick. Each player plays one open card to the pond and possibly a secret card, too. To make things more interesting, each player has a misery suit like in Sticheln and profit ranks, which give extra points. There’s a trump suit, which has both regular trumps and anti-trumps.

It’s a tricky game and not the easiest one to learn, but definitely one of the better two-player games I’ve played. On the first round I got -10 points and Olli zero, but then I figured out how to play. Olli got 126 on the next round and 25 more on the next two rounds, while I gathered 276 points. Which was fun.

After that we had time for few games of Zèrtz. Olli was a newbie, so it was no wonder I won three out of four games. But I hope he learned something from it and will be better next time. I definitely need more skillful opponents!

So, it was a bit short session, but fun nonetheless. Two more to go and then it’s over!

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