I went along to Scrabble club again this evening to get in some practice just in case Scrabblette ever comes home and wants to play. Also, the people at Scrabble club are very nice and friendly people, unlike some other clubs I have joined (nothing related to board games).
First game was against M. She was playing tournament rules, I was playing social rules. I got off to a flying start playing QUOTE for 48 points after she traded in 6 tiles as her first play. I then played ROUNDLET for 63, FARM for 34 and JAW for 26. I managed a second bonus playing STONING on a triple word score for 86, and I was maintaining my big lead. M played well, making fascinating words such as SCRAW, ABA, REC and OE, but the final score was 435 to me and 323 to her.
Next game was against V, the self-proclaimed nice one. I can't disagree, in case she reads this. Unlike my charmed rack in the first game, this one was difficult. I suffered from a surfeit of As and Us. V apparently didn't have much better luck as both of our scores were low. My favourite words I played in this game were VOITURE (12 points), ZO (50 points) and EOUI (4 points, but better than exchanging tiles). Words that V played that I should remember were CAIN, PARD and SIM. By the way, DROID is not a valid Scrabble word. I led for the first half of this game, but when I played EOUI V played HARK for 54 points, and passed me. Final scores were 309 to me, 319 to V.
The final game was against K. I should mention that club games are played in 50 minutes, so I play 3 games and have a cup of tea in less time than it takes to play Caylus. I really enjoy playing at that velocity. The game against K was both tortuous and torturous. The board never really opened up, and it was always a struggle finding a space to play in. It's quite impressive that Scrabble games always manage to terminate, as sometimes it's really hard work. Anyway, I rushed to a lead playing CAPED (32), ORNERY (27), MAVEN (30) and JAR (36), but then got stuck with a rack full of vowels and consonants that didn't quite match, along with a blank. I was determined to make some good use of the blank. At one stage I had VAG_TIS and I looked to see if I could make VAGINITIS anywhere. No such luck. I realised on the way home that STARVING was an option as well. 8 letter words are hard to get down. I gave up and played VEG to see if I could get some better letters. Two turns later I was able to play STIRING for 62 points giving me enough of a lead to hold K off till the end of the game. Final scores were 344 to me, 316 to him.
I'd like to graduate to tournament play, but I love looking in the dictionary too much. It does seem unfair to claim a victory when playing by softer rules. I at least have a moral obligation to learn the two letter words. I think I'd better download a program and start playing against the computer. Watch out. Scrabblette!