Saturday, September 19, 2009

1.10: Crushing defeat in Black Sheep

Yeah, it happens.  A friend of me dubbed me an "Elite Gamer"--I think he was referring to my knowledge, ethic, and experience in boardgaming.  I hope he wasn't referring to any sense of gaming snobbery, and doubt he was referring my ability to win all the time, since that theory would be crushed--crushed about as bad as I was this past weekend. 

Robert, Wendy, Jackie and I had dinner and sat down for a game.  Since I'm still working my way through my unplayed games, I pulled down Black Sheep.  Black Sheep is a game by Reiner Knizia, originally published in 2008, it is a game for 2-4 players, and takes approximately 30-40 minutes to play. 

If you've played Poker, you already know how to play half the game.  There are three fields, and two plastic animals are randomly assigned to each field.  Each player will play a total of three cards (the cards depict the seven animals in the game) to each field, and you "Poker hand" is composed of the three cards you play and the two animals in the field.  The player with the highest hand when all players have played three cards to the field takes the two animals.  At the end of the game players look at the underside (not the backside) of the animals, where a number from 1-3 is present; players score positive points for all animals except the Black Sheep, who is worth negative points.  Bonus point cards are given to the individual with the most of each type of animal, and for each full set (one of each animal) a player has.

Despite the seeming simplicity of the game, there are a lot of tough decisions, and half the time you have to sacrifice a chance to win one field to delay your play on another field in the hopes of winning it.  At least that was the game Robert and I were playing--the girls seemed to have trouble not taking animals every other turn.  I was actually the last player to take any animals, and took them just as the endgame began.

Let's just say I scored very few points.  Add to this that Jackie ended up taking majorities for three of the seven animals, and Wendy for another.  Robert took a majority as well--for black sheep--the 6 point bonus card didn't make up for the 9 negative points he scored on the black sheep.  I won't talk about exact scores; we'll just say that Jackie won, and almost tripled my score.


  1. This should not be a surprise, since most times we play games I tend to crush you ... except in one game that need not be mentioned here that you always win, regardless of my strategy.

  2. You mean Zenix? I think it might be Zenix you're talking about. Zenix, indeed, I'm certain it's Zenix. (There, did I mention it enough?)