Monday, June 18, 2007

I Just Want a Quiet Place to Sit and Eat My Lettuce

On Friday night at Critical Mass we played a game of Hare and Tortoise. I like this game a lot but it's hard to find an audience for it - some people, the kid included, find it too mathematical and won't play a second time. Luckily I managed to find 4 people who hadn't played before and the kid temporarily forgot how much he disliked it, and we were able to play with 6 players.

My first mistake was to randomly choose the player to my left to start the game. If I was first player I'd go straight away to the lettuce on space 54, but as last player that wasn't an option - the track in front of me was very crowded. There's also no way to get back to that lettuce - the first tortoise is in the space after it.

Of course by the time I got to the second lettuce it was crowded as well, and waiting to get onto it didn't work either as someone else was doing that. So I rushed off to the third lettuce, and someone beat me to that as well. So I tortoise-hopped back to the second lettuce... By that time everyone else was in the vicinity of the third lettuce, so I was able to peacefully eat two lettuces while the leaders approached the finish line. With all of the going backwards (not to mention eating lettuces in 6th place) I had a stack of carrots, so I rushed to the third lettuce to eat my third. However by then the game was lost - Aaron staggered over the line followed by Keith.

I was hopeful of third place, but I didn't have quite enough carrots to jump all the way to the end, and had to make an intermediate stop. The Evil Count von Walduck and Nigel finally decarroted themselves enough to finish. I charged over in 5th place.

It was a very frustrating game! I knew exactly what I wanted to do but couldn't get onto the right spaces. Waiting only made things worse. What could I have done better? Hmm... maybe I should have jugged the hare. I ignore the hare spaces because of the randomness, but for someone like me hanging around the back of the pack they're probably a useful way to get rid of lettuces. I didn't think of that until near the end of the game when someone mentioned that's what they'd done. Urgh... randomness.

Anyway, that was the 4th time I'd played this game and the first time I'd lost, and I guess I learned something.

No comments: