The 2014 TaG Award: Game-off number 1
The day of the first game-off arrived and Miss B chose the two competitors: Plyt, the game of rolling dice and doing mathematics, against Gubs, the game of maliciously attacking cute little beasties. You really couldn’t have two games that were much more different.
First up was Plyt. This year, Plyt has surprised me greatly by being one of our most played games. There isn’t really much to it as a game (it’s just a matter of doing randomly generated multiplication problems), but Miss B currently really enjoys maths and wants to get better at it, and Plyt gives her some really good practice. There is no way I can fault something that exercises skills that Miss B’s teachers say she should be working on, so I am delighted to have this in the collection. Our current set up has removed the awful “go down a level” cards, which means that the random card draws on average tend to push us towards the end. I roll four dice for my problems, which usually gives me a challenge to stretch my mental arithmetic skills, while Miss B rolls two dice. The dice are twelve-sided, by the way.
Anyway, the game went well. As usually happens, a couple of times during play Miss B struggled to hold back tears when she had a particularly tricky problem to solve. I got very lucky with dice rolls and card draws, and in the end I won. It is worth noting, by the way, that this is the first time I have ever beaten Miss B in a game of Plyt, so celebrations were very much in order.
After a short break, we got playing Gubs, which was one of our top games last year, but has come out less often recently, though we always enjoy it when it does. I got a shocking start to the game, and within a few turns Miss B had something like eight Gubs lined up in front of her, while I had only one — and he was trapped in a sud spout, so was no use to me. I commented that in Gubs things can change quickly, and a couple of turns later Miss B said, “You know you said things can change…?” as she turned over the dreaded “Dangerous Alchemy” card, which wipes out everything in front of the person who draws it. Disaster!
I was expecting Miss B to get a little upset at this point, but to her enormous credit she just shrugged and got on with it. Gubs is one of those games that can have really wild swings of fortune and if you can’t handle that, you’re probably best not playing it, and I think Miss B has got comfortable with the idea, which is really great. In the end, though, things went Miss B’s way and she won the game anyway, though only by a small margin.
Miss B has decided on a new scoring system for this year’s awards, and for the first time I have a say in the proceedings. Both she and I have to rate each game (based purely on how much we enjoyed it on the day) out of 10, then she will add the scores together to find the winner. She gets the casting vote in the event of a tie.
So, I enjoyed both games, but Gubs was a bit more fun for me, so I scored Plyt at 7 and Gubs at 8. Miss B felt that they were both good and gave them both a score of 8.
After a little while spent doing the calculations, Miss B was therefore able to announce that with a score of 16 out of 20, Gubs would be the first finalist. She said that she liked both games so is happy with that result.