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Subject: Codenames for Game Lunch Fridays at the office rss

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Patrick Zoch
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Today for our Game Lunch Friday event, I brought Codenames. Three of my co-workers (Pat, Vince, and Corietha) attended the game lunch today. With myself, this made two teams of two to today’s game. Corietha and I were on one team, while Vince and Pat were on the other team. Other than myself, none had played the game before.
I explained the rules in about two minutes, leaving plenty of time for the game. The group was pretty willing to start the game, even without a full grasp of the rule (“we will pick it up as we go”), but it was good that I explained the rules completely before we started as a couple of players announced “oh, that’s how that works, I was thinking that….” But, I still missed one rule and we will uncover that mistake later.

Game 1
For the first game, Blue team: Vince was the spymaster to Pat , and Red team: I (Patrick) was the spymaster to Corietha.

Vince (Spymaster)
Divinci: 1
Germany: 1
Corn: 1
Just: 1
Bang: 1
Shorts: 1
Track: 1
Band: 1

Pat
Code (Blue)
Berlin(Blue)
Dog (Red)
Fair(Blue)
Shot(Blue)
Pants(Blue)
-Pass-
Lap(Blue)

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Patrick (Spymaster)
Petrol: 1
New York: 2
Delta: 1
Monster: 1
Roofie: 1
Clydesdale: 1
Henway: 1
Astronomy: 1

Corietha
Gas (Red)
Subway (Blue)
-Pass-
Loch Ness (Red) (Blue)
Spike(Red)
Horse(Red)
Piano (Red) Train (Bystander)
Telescope(Red)


Blue won handily. My New York clue was for Buffalo, which Corietha could not get. After the game, I said I was about to say Wings, but she would still not have gotten it. It was a stretch to make New York work for Planes (i.e. New York Jets). She thought of Subways of NY. I was surprised she chose Row for Delta, but I get it – the band. Our company requires us to book our flights through Delta first, so I thought it was a good clue. Her guess at Train later was still an attempt to solve the New York clue I gave out earlier.




Game 2
For the second game, the spymasters switched. Blue team: Pat was the spymaster to Vince, and Red team: Corietha was the spymaster to me (Patrick). Because Blue team won last game, I had them give the first clue, which was my rules mistake. The matrix indicated Red should have started and Red ended up not having enough Agent card to label all the Agents at the end of the game.


Pat (Spymaster)
Land: 1
Tabby: 1
Masonic: 1
Fruit: 1
Bi: 1
Gun: 1
Head: 1
Raft: 1

Vince
Mine (Blue)
Cat (Blue)
Temple (Blue)
Kiwi (Blue)
Cycle(Blue)
Pistol(Blue)
Face(Blue)
Life(Blue)

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Corietha (Spymaster)
Movie: 1
Brick: 1
Puppies: 1
Lincoln: 1
Sand: 1
Professional: 1
York: 1

Patrick
Cast (Bystander)
Deck (Red) Screen (Red)
Pound (Red)
Log (Red)
Beach (Red)
Wall (Red) Scientist (Red)
Game (Red)


Red thought it won because it ran out of agent cards first, but alas, we still had another agent to identify. Though we had equal number of agents on the field, we accidentally assigned the double agent to Blue, so they still had an agent card in their hand but no more to call out. Meanwhile, Red ran out of card and still had another agent to call out.
Some of my guesses were lucky in that they revealed an agent, but the answer had nothing to do with the clue. “Brick” – “Deck” ? Really? I got lucky. So I followed up with the better guess for Movie with Screen to catch up in agents in the field. My guess on Professional REALLY threw everyone off. I had a choice between Scientist and Conductor, but I finally saw the better answer for Brick, so I guessed Wall first to get it out of the way, then hazarded a guess on Scientist, which was correct. Corietha’s clue of York had nothing to do with Game, even though I got lucky again and revealed a Red Agent. She wanted me to guess Rome, which I would have never gotten. “Rome, New York!” She explained. Why not “Rome, Italy?” I replied. “That makes more sense.”

Good news for everyone is that the Assassin was never revealed.

We had a great time and I think a few people are looking at getting another game for their families.












For my other session reports on our Game Lunch Fridays at the Office, see my Game Lunch Fridays at the Office GeekList.

 
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Mathias M
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Always good to hear people are having fun playing this.
I actually considered this for lunch time also.

One question: Why are you only giving one word clues?
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Grant
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Over two games only a single two-word clue was given? That's missing the whole beauty of what Codenames actually is! wow
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Ali Cali
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It's great that you're getting more people into the game.

If I'm reading the play right, someone passed without making a guess. That's not allowed.
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Patrick Zoch
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boardmathias wrote:
Always good to hear people are having fun playing this.
I actually considered this for lunch time also.

One question: Why are you only giving one word clues?


Vince and Patrick were giving clues in the first game, Corietha and Pat (different guy in the office) were giving clues in the second game.
 
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Patrick Zoch
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I used to race snails...I thought I'd take off the shell to make them faster, but it just made them sluggish.
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grant5 wrote:
Over two games only a single two-word clue was given? That's missing the whole beauty of what Codenames actually is! wow


I was the only one to give a two-word clue, but I think that is because I was the only one with experience in the game. Everyone else played it really safe and stuck with one word at a time.

Corietha and I were also the only one to guess extra words to catch up on missed clues. Corietha only did so because I reminded her of that option.

I think the next time we play it, there will be more two (and maybe three) word clues given.

When I think about the first games I played with other, they also did not push the limits on words per clue either. I think it may require more familiarity with the game (and maybe the partner) first.
 
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Patrick Zoch
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I used to race snails...I thought I'd take off the shell to make them faster, but it just made them sluggish.
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aliallison wrote:
It's great that you're getting more people into the game.

If I'm reading the play right, someone passed without making a guess. That's not allowed.


I realized that right after it happened. I had not played the game in a while and did not have time to refresh myself on the rules before we played (busy meeting schedule before lunch break).

I also did not pull out the rules and double check when they asked. One of the hazards of strict lunch periods is that I did not want to waste playing time, so I allowed it at the time and moved on.

Next time we play, I will clarify the rules, and I expect it will play faster, AND correctly!
 
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Alison Mandible
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pdzoch wrote:
When I think about the first games I played with other, they also did not push the limits on words per clue either. I think it may require more familiarity with the game (and maybe the partner) first.


When teaching a new group, I usually just tell people outright "if you give only 1-word clues, you will lose" and then aim high on my first turn-- giving a 4 or 5 clue where some of the connections are a little tenuous! And what usually happens is, my team gets one or two cards easily, then guesses one of the tenuous ones while sounding SUPER unsure and being relieved when it's right, then either hits a bystander or passes. So people see right away the connections to words don't have to be ironclad, and they usually also get to see me 'failing' in the way they're afraid of (i.e. my teammates make a wrong guess) but still having come out ahead on the whole deal.

It works! Well, it's worked for me. (I like the game so much more with 2+ word clues that I am willing to risk looking like a showoff in order to encourage them. I know in some groups that would backfire and lead to ultra-conservative play.)
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Grant
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grasa_total wrote:
pdzoch wrote:
When I think about the first games I played with other, they also did not push the limits on words per clue either. I think it may require more familiarity with the game (and maybe the partner) first.


When teaching a new group, I usually just tell people outright "if you give only 1-word clues, you will lose" and then aim high on my first turn-- giving a 4 or 5 clue where some of the connections are a little tenuous! And what usually happens is, my team gets one or two cards easily, then guesses one of the tenuous ones while sounding SUPER unsure and being relieved when it's right, then either hits a bystander or passes. So people see right away the connections to words don't have to be ironclad, and they usually also get to see me 'failing' in the way they're afraid of (i.e. my teammates make a wrong guess) but still having come out ahead on the whole deal.

It works! Well, it's worked for me. (I like the game so much more with 2+ word clues that I am willing to risk looking like a showoff in order to encourage them. I know in some groups that would backfire and lead to ultra-conservative play.)

I think this is great advice. If people play with mostly one-word clues they can come away from the game thinking it's pretty boring. Must not let that happen!
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