I forgot to mention...

2003-10-11 23:52

I am nature’s Friend To Opportunistic Lung Bacteria. About half the time when I get a cold, I get a nasty bacterial lung crud immediately afterwards. I forgot to mention this, I guess.

In other news, I have found a delightful board game. It’s called Wise & Otherwise, and it’s a game of the “try to come up with something believable” category. In this one, the topic is old sayings. The cards that come with the game have a list of the beginnings of old sayings – things like “The man who has boots…” – and players try to come up with sayings of their own.

Overall rating: Absolutely wonderful.

Specifics: This game is massively overproduced. The “board” is essentially unnecessary; it’s just a scoring system. You might as well keep score by other means, although it’s sort of pretty. It comes with a die, which is used only to determine who goes first. The little scraps of paper are pretty nice; the pencils are mediocre, and why do I need to buy special pencils to play the game?

The original game design awards points as follows:

  • 2 points each time someone picks one of your fake sayings.
  • 2 points for picking the real saying.
  • 3 points, if you read the sayings and no one picked the real one.

This turns out to be a little too much. It also lacks granularity. A couple of suggestions:

1. If you have only three players, everyone contributes two sayings. So, the “Reader” (the player who actually knows what the real saying is) makes up a fake saying, and then looks at the real saying and writes it down too.
2. Instead of picking one saying, you cast votes. You have three votes. Each vote you cast for someone else’s saying earns that player a point. Each vote you cast for your own is wasted. Each vote you cast for the real saying earns you a point.

You might think it’s never useful to vote for your own saying, but it can be. Since players pick their choices in order, if you’re stumped, and at least one player will pick after you, picking your own saying can make it seem more likely, because people normally don’t pick their own sayings.

For reasons unknown, the game board, as provided, gave a 3 point bonus for getting a score of exactly 10. With the default scoring, this is likely to happen most of the time for players who have never been the Reader when no one picked the right saying, and never for Readers who are successful. This seems annoying, and we just ignore it.

The voting changes the dynamics of the game considerably, but seems to be more fun.

With four players, we had each player including the Reader invent a saying, and then the Reader writes down the “real” saying. (You must invent the fake one without seeing the real one.)

This is probably less necessary with a larger group, but it’s still sort of fun.

The sayings themselves are the highlight of the game; they range from painfully pithy to utterly incomprehensible. It’s very hard to guess what the “real” saying is.

A very good game. Is it worth $40? Probably. However, I think they could do a better game with simpler rules (1 point for everything worth points, no 3-point bonus for hitting 10), less collateral (no board, no special pencils, no useless d6, no pawns), and more cards. The voting rules are also a good feature, and I hope that games of this sort start including them as a recommendation, for the benefit of people who don’t read my blog.

Peter Seebach

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Comments

  1. Opportunistic lung bacteria! I know the party. It invaded me about three weeks prior. Of course, I don't think I gave it to you or Yesig, since I haven't really seen either of you in as long. I didn't get bacteria, but I got what's known as "chest wall pain", which really sucks. Basically, I coughed myself into internal bruising. So now even breathing hurts. Fun, fun. So yeah. Misery loves company. Hope the bacteria have found somewhere else to party.

    In lighter news, come to LiveStock. I didn't invite either of you, as Yesig has been very non-associative as of late. It's this Saturday at my brother's farm in Forest Lake. Tons of music. Oodles of food. Lots of drinks (even the non-alcoholic variety). I'd have said sooner, but like I said: Yesig = go away.

    Buh-bye.

    — Spidey · 2003-10-12 23:34 · #

 
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