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Subject: Team Play on Christmas rss

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Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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On Christmas, I played a six-player team game of Loot with my wife's family. Three of the six players had never played before, but they were certainly up for the challenge of learning and playing a new game before the impending giant Italian Christmas feast left everyone in a food coma. Our teams of two were:

my wife and her cousin
my wife's other cousin and her husband
my brother-in-law and me

Playing on teams of two has a bit of a different feel to it than playing individually. Team members sit next to each other, so the team takes two turns in a row. Each team member has their own hand of cards, but merchant ships and pirate ships are shared by the team. Since both team members play consecutively, you can throw down some good combos, like a merchant ship followed by a pirate ship right on it, or two pirate ships (of the same color) on the same merchant ship.

Unfortunately, my partner on my right started the game with all pirate ships while I had all merchant ships. If our order were switched, it would have been fantastic. I could have played a merchant ship, and he could have played a pirate ship right on it. We could have dictated the battle for our own ships. Instead, I was playing merchant ships and watching four other players attack them before my partner could do anything. I had a lot of 2-coin and 3-coin ships, so our strategy was to have me draw when there were only a few ships on the seas and then unleash my fleet of cheap ships when plenty of better targets were available. The goal here was to get a few of my less desirable merchant ships to make it around the table without being attacked. Regrettably, this did not go as planned.

The best play of the game went down like this. The other two teams were battling for a six-coin merchant ship that one of them had originally played. We stayed out of the fight. Then, one of them played a pirate king. On our turn, my partner played a one-skull pirate ship, and I followed with our own pirate king to trump theirs. The crowd was both stunned and impressed. It was the play of the game... until the Admiral was played moments later, trumping both pirate kings.

In the end, I still had a handful of merchant ships. I didn't keep an exact count, but I would say with certainty that 80% of my cards were merchant ships. I spent my last 3 turns just dumping merchant ships to avoid getting caught with them in my hand at the end of the game. My partner also had to dump a few ships and was stuck with one in hand at the end. My wife's team won with 33 points. The married couple scored 25, and we came in last with a measly 18 points.
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Hunter Bennett-Daggett
United States
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I played the team game first and have played almost entirely individual games since, due to available numbers of players and so on. I like the team game, though. Did you feel that it moved slower with teams? I feel the strategizing between teammates can really slow things down, although it's a pretty minor issue for a short game like this.
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Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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DiAtros wrote:
Did you feel that it moved slower with teams? I feel the strategizing between teammates can really slow things down, although it's a pretty minor issue for a short game like this.

Yeah, I do think it plays a bit slower with teams instead of individual play. It takes a little extra time to coordinate your two turns. But, I feel the payoff is well worth it. You can really make some well thought out moves.
 
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Hunter Bennett-Daggett
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Yeah, I agree. The individual game is nearly all reacting; with teams you can get some strategy going. That strategy often falls apart, but when it doesn't, it's quite satisfying.
 
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