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Board Games I Love #1: Quiddler

September 10, 2014

I realize that I’ve got a lot of book posting to do, but for the past couple years I’ve been really getting into board games and board game groups.  My board game group back home got me through my husband being in boot camp, and I miss the friends I made there all the time.  I ❤ you guys!  But I’ve got a good group going on here too.  I ❤ you guys!

In this time, I’ve played party games and “adult” games, word games and strategy games.  I thought I’d use the nights where I’m just not up for a big review post and talk about a game I like.  I’m using the BoardGameGeek.com definition for board game, which also includes card-based games like the one I’m about to discuss.

I’m going to start with a word game because that seems the most appropriate for this blog.

Quiddler is basically word rummy.  You play progressive hands, 3 cards to 10, and make words and acquire points.  What I really like about it is that it’s a word game for people who aren’t great spellers, because you can use short words as well as long without taking a penalty.  In fact, you can even gain a bonus for it, as “longest word” and “most words” both net you an extra ten points.  So even little guys just learning their words can potentially do well in the game.  (For emerging readers, I would suggest maybe playing with house rules like “two- and three-letter words only” or something like that.)

The cards themselves are lovely, with the font reminiscent of the Book of Kells, and printed on each is a letter or digraph and its point value.  You use the cards to make words of two or more letters, and when you can use every card you go “out” by placing your cards face up on the table.  Even if you end up with the cards QU, Q, and Z for your first hand, it’s not a big deal, because your score can never go in the negatives; you just take zero points for the round.  Like rummy (whichever rummy; I can’t remember which is which after all these years), you may draw the top card of the deck or discard pile, and must discard one of your own.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I was out, but then realized I had to discard.  Oops.

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Sometimes the words combinations end up being hilarious.

For word lovers, the game can be very quick.  After years of playing Scrabble with my friends online and off, I can pretty much take any small combination and immediately tear them down into parts.  Not everyone can do this, though, and they play a bit slower.  When we play Quiddler, we always help each other out no matter who’s in the lead.

To me, Quiddler will always remind me of the weekend of my wedding.  We had such a great time playing it during the downtime between events.

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The Quiddler Crew, October 2010

I highly recommend the game for pretty much everyone.  I’ve never met anyone who actively disliked it, and I’ve met several people who want to play nothing else after they’ve been introduced to it.

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