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Meander

 

     Try this strategy card game from the mind of Fast Eddie:

 

Object of the game: To score more points than your opponent by removing pairs of cards with a longer path between them than your opponent does.

 

Scoring: You score one point for each blank space in the shortest path between the two cards you remove.

 

Setup: Remove the ace hearts, the ace of clubs, and the ace of diamonds from the deck.  These cards will not be needed.  Shuffle the remaining cards.  Deal out the cards face up one at a time into a 7 by 7 grid.  Whenever you  turn up an ace or a king or a queen, place those cards face down in the grid.  You should be left with a random grid containing 10 cards of each suit and 9 face down cards.

 

Gameplay: Each player is allowed to remove two cards and score points for the distance between them, as follows.

 

- The pair of cards removed must be of the same suit
- The cards removed must either be directly adjacent to each other (diagonal does not count), or must have a 'clear path' between them.
- A clear path is a path that can be moved through horizontally or vertically (again, no diagonals) by going through empty spaces only.  Face down cards are 'walls', and other face up cards must be navigated around.  Looking at the illustration, here are some moves and their corresponding score:

 

2C, 4C = 12
4D, 6D = 4
3S, 9S = 0 (note, this is a legal move, but scores zero points as the cards are adjacent)
8S, 10S = 3
4C, 5C = illegal move (remember, diagonals do not count

 

In order to score a move, determine the shortest path between the two cards about to be removed.  The player scores one point for each blank space in that path.  Finally, after removing a legal pair and scoring the result, discard the cards removed.  Play then moves to the other player.  A player may also pass at any time.  They forfeit scoring any points on that move and play moves to the other player.  The game ends when no face up cards are left or after three 'passes' in a row.

 

Strategy: Obviously, the more observant player will do better.  But there is strategy involved as well.  Simply removing the pair with the longest path at the time is not necessarily always the best move, as it may open up the board for an even longer move for your opponent.  So, some defensive play is also necessary.  Also, remember that you can pass your turn.  Sometimes a pass is the most strategic move, as it may force your opponent to move (or end the game) and open up the board for you.

 

Description: C:\Users\Eddie\Documents\Original Games\website\Fast Eddie's Software - Board-Card Games_files\meanderinst.jpg

 

Meander - Copyright 2009 by Edgar Williams

 


Nineball Solitaire

 

     Try this version of solitaire of my own design (See the videogames page for a PC version):

 

Object of the game: to eliminate all the cards in the ‘rack’

Scoring: one point for each card eliminated in the rack plus a ten point bonus for each complete rack eliminated, plus a one point bonus for each unused card remaining in the ‘kitchen’ area

Setup: Remove the 1-9 of hearts and 1-9 of diamonds from a standard deck of playing cards.  These will be the only cards needed.  Shuffle these cards and deal out nine cards face up in a diamond pattern, starting at the top and overlapping the cards in each row on top of the last row as shown below.  This is the ‘rack’.  Then deal out the remaining nine cards face down into three piles of three cards each.  This is the ‘kitchen’.  Finally, turn over the top card in each of the three piles in the kitchen.

Gameplay: Remove cards in groups of 1 to 7 cards, using the following rules.  You may remove any face up cards that have no cards on top of them (you may only remove a card with a card (or cards) on top as long as you are removing the card(s) on top as well).  The cards you remove must add up to either 9 or 19.  If you use any of the cards in the kitchen, turn over the next card in the pile and you can use it for further play.

Example Game: Say the cards are dealt out as shown below.  First, remove the 7 and 2 in the rack as they add up to 9, and removing the 2 means that you may remove the 7 underneath it.  Now, remove the 3, 1, and 5 in the rack as they add up to 9.  Now you can remove the 8, 4, and 3 in the rack and the 4 in the kitchen area as they add up to 19.  All you have left to remove is the 8 remaining in the rack.  You have a 2, 9, and 9 to work with in the kitchen area.  Get rid of the first 9 in order to see the card beneath.  The 6 exposed is no help.  Get rid of the other 9.  The 6 exposed there is no help either.  You are stuck at this point and must end the game.  You receive 8 points for the cards you removed from the rack and no bonus as you did not clear the rack.  If, instead of the 6 being underneath the first 9, the ace had been there, you would have been able to remove the 8 from the rack plus the ace and cleared the rack.

Description: C:\Users\Eddie\Documents\Original Games\website\Fast Eddie's Software - Board-Card Games_files\nineballsol.jpg

                                                                 Nineball Solitaire - Copyright 2009 by Edgar Williams

 


 

Check Out Fast Eddie on Boardgamegeek

 


Bowling Solitaire

 

     Try out this fun version of solitaire from the legendary games designer Sid Sackson.  It's a lot more like a puzzle game than the standard version of solitaire:

 

Bowling Solitaire on Board Game Geek:     http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/25314

Bowling Solitaire Rules:     http://www.kisa.ca/bowling.html

Bowling Solitaire Online Java Version:     http://www.adamjava.com/BowlingSolitaire

 

     My score playing it the first time was a 156.  Sadly, that's better than I normally do at the real game of bowling.

 


 

Choice

 

     Here's another fun game from Sid Sackson.  It's a dice game with a blend of strategy and luck.

 

Choice on Board Game Geek:     http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2371

Choice Rules and an Online Java Version:    http://saftsack.fs.uni-bayreuth.de/~carador/choice/

 

     Recently I found a great freeware PC version of both Bowling Solitaire and Choice from William Lee Sims.  Check it out here.

 


 

Sid Sackson's Mini Golf Solitaire

 

     Sid Sackson was such a prolific games designer.  I've written a PC version of this 'thinking man's solitaire.  You can read about the card game on the Geek Gamer's Blog.