Monday, December 28, 2015

Board Game: Scrabble

Once in a while I have to do an old standby because it's on the list, so.

The Game: Scrabble
The Publisher: Hasbro (now)
Time: Depends heavily on the players, but an hour is safe.
Players: Me and +Michelle

Michelle and I went to Starbucks the other day whilst out running errands to hang out, do a little work, and play Scrabble. I actually used to play Scrabble really frequently with Heather back in the day, so it was fun to play again. I play Words with Friends all the time, but that's different; you can't fondle the letters.

Michelle, fondling.
The Game: You get 7 letters to start, and you have to spell words on a big crossword board. Letters are weighted by frequency in English; as such, there are a bunch of S, but they're only worth 1 point, whereas there's only one J but it's worth 8 points. You can spell any real word that isn't a proper noun - no abbreviations, and neologisms are tricky because they don't usually show up in dictionaries.

This is not a great opening hand, but it could be worse.

It's worth learning the possible 2-letter words if you're a serious player; likewise, knowing that "QI," "QINTAR" and "QWERTY" are legal plays is useful. If you can't play, or everything you could play sucks, you can swap letters. Play goes until one player has no letters left, and then the other player(s) subtracts the value of their remaining letters from their score.

No profanity this time, I'm slipping.
Opinions: This is a game I refer to as a "swan," in that if you're at all board game savvy, you're probably familiar with it, so why am I describing it? But that's fine; it's a good game if you're good with spelling, and it's no fun if you're not (but don't conflate them; I knew someone who opined the game "sucked" because it required spelling, which he was bad at - no, you suck at this game).

Keep? Sure.