We spanned the ages from 5 to 85 at our Family Event. We welcomed four people who had not previously been to our club, which definitely made it feel like a success.
We played some abstract strategy games from around the world: Picaria, Five Field Kono and Nine Men’s Morris. We also played some modern games: Stay Alive, the marble dropping game we have played at the after school club; Joggle, a game played on a 8 x 8 board where the winner is the first to make a 2 x 3 rectangle of their coloured marbles (black or white), and the board is indented with four colours (red, blue, green and yellow) with a dice throw determining which colour your marble is placed on, and if the die lands on a ‘joggle’ you get to choose any colour for your marble; and Dig In!, a colour and pattern recognition game requiring quick eyes and quick hands: a bowl is filled with 128 coloured pieces (32 objects in four colours – red, blue, green and yellow) and each player has 15 seconds to find the 6 items on their card, followed by a final round where all players dig in at the same time but can only use one hand. There are two options: the easier one where the 6 items on the card are in grey, and the harder one where the 6 items are in specific colours and must be correctly matched.
We also had our first game of Othello. This game was invented as Reversi in 1883 by either Lewis Waterman or John W. Mollet, with each claiming the other a fraud. Although as Wikipedia puts it, it might have been invented “perhaps earlier by someone else entirely”. The game is played on a 8 x 8 board, and the 64 pieces are black on one side and white on the other. You capture a piece by trapping it between your own colour pieces, one at each end of a line which can be in any direction. A trapped piece is then flipped to become your own colour. Pieces will be flipped many times during the game. The winner is the player with the most pieces of their colour when no more pieces can be played. In 1971 a Japanese salesman, Goro Hasegawa, changed the way the game starts and renamed it Othello, after Shakespeare’s play. In Reversi the players choose where in the centre of the board to put their first two pieces each; in Othello four pieces are placed in a standard diagonal pattern and then the game begins. This is a game we will definitely be bringing back so that we can explore some of the strategies used to win.
If anyone is blaming the heavy downpour of rain at 10:00 am as their reason for not coming along, we plan to run a similar event during the February 2019 half term.