Thursday, October 25, 2007

Playing Super Scrabble With Myself

With Scrabblette allegedly studying this evening, I set myself a project of playing Super Scrabble Solitaire. Super Scrabble is just like normal Scrabble with but a 21x21 board and 200 tiles, so roughly twice as large. Also, the tile mix is slightly friendlier - proportionally there are fewer Js and Vs and more Ts and Ss.

I thought about the assessment rules on the train on the way home. It would be possible to attempt to set myself up for a really big score through careful planning... get the Q on the quadruple letter score, and the Z on the triple word score, and so on, but that would be really boring and not at all like the real game. So to compare games of solitaire Super Scrabble I will compare average points per turn. Hence I'm usually motivated to play the best word for any move. I did find myself not wanting to waste spaces that I thought I could get a good score on. The 7 spaces where BENEFITS ended up was an example - I knew it would be easy to play a 7 letter bingo ending in S on a triple word score, so I left the spot available until I had one.

The game lasted 2.5 hours and I found myself tiring about halfway through. The board is so big and there are so many places to play (though not as many as you'd expect) that you get worn out trying to consider all of the possibilities. Sometimes I just played a word because I liked the word and wanted to remember it later - BIOTA, VATIC, ZORI, ARIEL. And sometimes I played a poor word to get rid of some letters to try to get something decent on my rack.

Here are the words and what they scored:

DICING 22
SPLINTS 36
JILT 27
MOAN 22
JEANS 24
TORNADO 66 (bingo #1)
VANE 38 - if there had been an L I could have played HEAVENLY!
YAWNED 30
AXON 40
PACE 44
COW 21
BENEFITS 77 (bingo #2)
DOCTOR 27
FUSED 23
GRUBS 38
BIOTA 24
CUE 10
SQUAT 77
PIXIES 69
DAMN 37
MOW 32
UNSATING 58 (bingo #3)
WONTS 40
WHY 30
ZEE 41
VATIC 20
HULK 38
PORGY 46
DIMMER 42
WEDGE 20
QI 21
EVER 16
KNEEL 18
ZITS 69
MANY 42
USHER 51
FIB 33
LARCH 44
ZORI 57
RAJ 28
IDLE 15
OVER 20
FORGED 39
HEAD 49
RAFTER 36
TUP 16
ARIEL 20
OFTEN 20
KNOT 28
TOE 17
ZIT 12
PI 6

for a total score of 1776 in 52 turns = 34.2 points per turn.

My impression is that rack management is more important in this game than in the small game. If you think 3 Us on your rack is bad, consider the possibility of having 7! Also, although scores were slightly higher than the original game, they weren't dramatically so. The quadruple letter tiles and quadruple word tiles are way out in the boondocks, and a word like WONTS on a DWS and QLS is worth 40, when in the original if you got it on a DWS and a TLS it would still be worth 32. If I average about 340 points per game, and this counts as 4 games, then that's about 30% higher. High yes, but not silly.

Anyway, this game was hard work. I allow myself to look in the dictionary (because I'm here to learn, not to compete fairly) and 2.5 hours of anagramming, considering possibilities and looking up words that don't exist (e.g. BIOTECH and FUNCTOR) sucks the energy out of you. That's why I have to go to bed now.

By the way, here is a photo of my niece, just because she's cute.

6 comments:

~*~Sandie~*~ said...

Based on that criteria, you should be posting photos of your sisters ;)

Friendless said...

But Trixi makes me laugh, too.

Maria said...

Don't let Friendless take photos of people. He obviously likes the pose where your tongue is sticking out, and the angle right up your nostrils.

lucky she's not a snotty tottie.

Trixi said...

Auntie Jack should have posted thisphoto taken by Auntie Scrabblette instead.

prude said...

She look like a wee innocent child.

This is the time of life when she is at her prime. She has a chance now Friendless. She can be saved!

Set her on the right track. Remember she can do well if you keep her away from your naughty thoughts.

You want the best for this little one don't you? Then don't influence her too much. And she will become a good prude. I is seeing she has the potential!

Friendless said...

Yes, she *look* like a wee innocent child, but you should see her when she's drunk!