Sunday, January 08, 2006

Can I get a little humility here?

Friday night our church had a game night. Naturally I brought a big pile of games. I figured that most of the people there would not be regular game players so I made sure to bring simple games such as Apples to Apples, Ticket to Ride, Fluxx, and so on. Bearing in mind that this was a church congregation, I also made sure to bring very non-threatening games: no games with heavy fantasy themes, racy artwork, or dark themes for instance. Still, I was aware of a couple of seasoned gamers in the congregation so I did bring one "gamer's game": Tigris & Euphrates.

Sure enough, while most people spent the night playing familiar older games like Uno or Rummikube, as well as the group Jeopardy game my wife had organized, there were a couple of people who expressed interest in some of the better games I brought. One gal, upon learning that Tigris & Euphrates was my favorite board game on the table, asked if I would teach her the game so we headed for a table and started up a two-player game.

Now I'm not an expert on Tigris & Euphrates but I have played it a fair amount and I consider myself a pretty decent player. But tonight, for whatever reason I was seriously off my game. I'd like to think that I was going easy on her, this being her first time playing, but while I did point out a few potential moves and help her with some strategy, the truth is that I just plain got a butt-whoopin'. It didn't help that early on I tried to disrupt her strategy by taking over some kingdoms with internal conflicts. Mine wasn't a bad strategy but I swear, whenever she needed red tiles she had a hand full of them! I would go into an internal conflict with a three or four tile advantage and she would still manage to match me … repeatedly! I'd think to myself "well she can't have four red tiles THIS time" and sure enough she would. After about the fourth or fifth unnaturally lucky internal defeat I'd lost so many turns to lady luck that I was hopelessly behind. At that point it was just a matter of scrambling to salvage what little of my dignity remained. The final score wasn't pretty.

At least I can be proud of my sportsmanship. I've still got that. But my ego was lost somewhere in Mesopotamia. If you should see it, please sweep the pieces into a small box and send it back to me. I miss it.


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