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I just can’t win

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Before we got married, my wife was never a big fan of games. Way back when we tried to include her in one of our role-playing game sessions and it didn’t work out.

She took a liking to Scrabble a year or two before we got married. At first she had trouble building words in two dimensions. She did well going left to right, or top to bottom, but trying to build a word sideways to the current word gave her a lot of trouble.

Fast forward to today. She doesn’t like a lot of games but she is more willing to at least give a game a try before rejecting it. She’ll play Scrabble and Splendor.

She’s gotten very good at Scrabble, to the point that she wins 95% or more of the games we play. Most of the time she wins by 100 points or more. I attribute this to most of the plays I can make either will get me a decent score but set her up to play on a double or triple word score space, or I can play three letter words that get me few points.

There are times when I have great words in my hand but I can’t play them. For instance I once had all the letters for the word ‘Quixote’ in my hand and no way to play it. I couldn’t play it anyway because it is a name but I had all the letters. I had all the letters for the word ‘permeate’ except for the letter ‘a’ and had no way to play it. It happens a lot. At least I won the last game we played, which broke her eighteen game winning streak.

Splendor is an interesting game where you get coins, to buy cards, which helps you buy larger value cards, all leading to someone getting 15 points worth of cards, and winning the game. Instead of relying on the luck of the draw in Scrabble, you can have a bit more control by planning out your strategy.

We are more evenly matched in Splendor. It’s about 50 / 50 for wins for each of us. Even if I lose I’m usually within a point or two of winning.

I’ll have to dig out my game of Pente next and see how well that goes.

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