Monday, February 17, 2014

Kosmos Two Player Game Series - Ingenious Travel Edition by Reiner Knizia

One of the few abstract games I really love, the regular four-player version of Ingenious is often played at GCOM Germantown. Ingenious Travel Edition is the miniaturized two-player version. 

In Ingenious, the players play one tile per turn down onto the hexagonal grid board. Each tile has two symbols, a combination of the six colors/shapes in the game. You score points for placing A color/shape next to the same color. If there are multiple tiles with the same color adjacent or in a row from the newly played tile, you can get multiple points for that placement. If you manage to max out a particular color at 18 points, you say "Ingenious!" and immediately may play another tile. There is also a rule for swapping out tiles if you're unlucky and can't draw a tile with your lowest scoring color. Scoring is done on a cribbage-like peg track.

Early in the game, here you can see that Carol (far pegs) and I (near pegs) have both moved far ahead in orange, but some colors haven't scored yet at all.

At the end of the game, your score is whichever color you have the LEAST points in, meaning you have to play a balanced game, bringing all your colors up as far as possible. You may have all colors up to 18 but one, but if that final color is 2, then your score is 2.

At game end, all of my colors had scored well, including two (orange and green) maxed out at 18.  Carol's purple and red scores were her Achilles heel.

Final scores:

     Bob      7-8-10-10-18-18
     Carol    3-6-10-14-17-18

Coming up:  We move into the ocean currents to mate fish, yes, mate fish, in The Reef.

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