Saturday, February 03, 2007
I'm a fan of the Gigamic games, partly because they look beautiful and and partly because I admire simple designs. But mostly because they look beautiful. I've previously blogged about Quoridor, and I think I mentioned buying Batik recently. A couple of nights ago Scrabblette and I sat down to play Quarto! I'd previously played against the kid and didn't understand what was supposed to be so good about it.
This time though, Scrabblette handed me my ass on a platter. Well actually, in the first game I just made a stupid mistake, but then she beat me twice more to prove that it wasn't just my fault I lost. Here's a quick summary of the game: there are 16 pieces, each with 4 attributes - black/white, tall/short, round/square, hollow/solid. Each possible combination of attributes is available on one piece. On each turn, your opponent chooses a piece and gives it to you, and you must place the piece on the 4x4 board. If you make a row of 4 pieces with any attribute the same on all pieces, you win.
It seems easy - you just don't give your opponent any piece that will let him make 4 in a row. Of course your opponent is trying to force you to give him a piece that allows him to make 4 in a row. Scrabblette hasn't given up her secret to winning yet (note to self: try new interrogation techniques), so I'll have to guess at the basis of the winning strategy. You want to give your opponent a piece such that no matter where they place it any piece they give back to you will allow you to win. So if you give them a piece which forces them to leave a row with 3 whites AND a row with 3 blacks, then you will win. It's astonishingly hard to do that. In fact, despite the complete absence of CnH2n+1OH in my bloodstream, I was unable to achieve it. At least in the second game, Scrabblette did it.
I might have to start calling her Quartette!