Regular readers will no doubt recognize that dice rolls and I do not actually get along all that well.
Games requiring dice rolls often leave me frustrated with Lady Luck. She seems to take special pleasure in turning near victory into laughable defeat based on a dice roll.
As a result of bad luck with dice, I have become a huge fan of abstract strategy games, those which rely on out-thinking an opponent. At least then the loss is mine, and I can work on improving how I play strategically, rather than lamenting how the dice roll. (A deck of cards is only slightly less frustrating than dice).
While abstract strategy games are favoured by myself, I do have a growing interest in a category of games known broadly as dexterity games, and within that category, finger-flicking games specifically.
People are probably most familiar with crokinole as a finger-flicking game.
The Canadian-designed classic might be the best board game ever created, but that is for a future review.
This week the game is Flicochet, a wonderfully simple finger-flicking game which comes in a small package making it ideal to take anywhere you go that you might want a little gaming fun.
The game is reminiscent of bocce/lawn bowling, miniaturized to the tabletop. If not familiar with bocce, it's a lawn game which works on the premise you toss a smaller ball onto a spot on the lawn, then take turns with an opponent rolling larger balls to get closest to the 'jack'. Scoring is like curling, in that you score points for each ball closer to the 'jack' than your opponent.
Flicochet has the same basic rule set using small wooden disks and played on a tabletop.
Played on a smooth-topped table, generally the bigger the better, players place one, or two slightly larger black wooden disks.
Then one player, or team, takes six white wooden disks, the other red disks. You take turns flicking the disks toward the black ones to score points. Along the way you can knock your opponent's piece away, much like a take-out in curling, or you can hit and move the black disks, hopefully to your advantage.
There are some variant rules, but they are equally simple.
Overall this little game is great. Wooden pieces are always a bonus, and the small package (about the size of a deck of cards), makes it easy to take with you. You can teach the rules in a minute and be set for lots of fun, and with practice you can even get better at Flicochet as you hone an actual skill.
A definite winner of a game.
Check it out at www.adventurelandgames.com
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper August 10, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada