Newport, 2 November 2018

Last week at our adult’s board games club we Othello, so we brought it back this week so that those who missed it could have a go.

We played Chinese Chequers two weeks ago, so we built on that by playing Halma this week. These games share a strategy of building ladders to speed progress across the board; it is also a good idea to move your pieces as a unit, rather than sending a few ahead and leaving the rest in your home “camp” – leaving gaps makes it harder to build those ladders that are vital to winning.

Our other game this week was Circular 4 in a Row. You cannot buy this game so I made one with a piece of MDF from an online craft shop and some felt tip pens. The circle has four rings which are each a different colour. Each ring is divided into eight equal segments. This produces 32 segments in total. Each player has 16 counters of their own colour (in this case black and white). Players take it in turns to place a counter, trying to be the first to make 4 in a row. There are different ways of winning: a straight line going through four differently coloured rings; a half-circle staying on one colour; or a spiral, where the line goes through each colour but is not straight. The key is not to let the other player make a 3 in a row which is open at both ends: you can block one end on your next go, but not both! This is the same strategy used in 4 in a Row/Connect 4, but the circular nature of this game adds an extra level of challenge.

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