Guerilla scrabble




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Post: Guerilla scrabble

Guerilla scrabble


I've heard it said that there are more possible games of chess than there are atoms in the universe. Chess is, in some sense, unfathomably complex. But, there are a number of rules or heuristics that one can use to play a better game of chess.

Your queen is more valuable late in the game than earlier in the game. Aim to control the center of the board. And so on. For those of us who aren't Kasparov, we can still play an enjoyable game by following these heuristics. That is, it gives us concrete goals that increase our chance in winning.


This variation of Scrabble, I would guess, has even more possibilities than chess. I'm no Scrabble expert, but I'm having a hard time imagining what the similar heuristics would be for this variation. That is, what would be the good strategies for picking tiles?

I think if I played this game today, the tiles I pick may not be substantively different than a random sorting. As a non-expert on regular Scrabble, the words I play are basically maximizing my points given the current board and my tiles.

Except for maybe ruining a prime space on the board if I can't utilize it myself, I don't really play strategically, anticipating what my opponents will do. But this still gives me a concrete goal that improves my chances of winning, and a small enough number of possibilities so that I feel I may have actually succeeded in maximizing points that turn.


Imagining playing this variation, I feel mentally paralyzed. The simple heuristic of maximizing points given the board and your tiles seems woefully inadequate when the number of tiles in your tray is significantly larger.

And while ignoring the tiles your opponent has in standard Scrabble isn't the worst thing in the world (since you only have imperfect information anyway), it seems inescapable under this full information variation that you have to consider your opponents' tiles as well as your own.


Or in short, my wife has trouble making decisions. Would we ever finish a game of this Scrabble variation?

I am intrigued by the setup; I'm just wondering if will actually be playable.

One thing I do foresee is that the endgame will be far more important. In regular Scrabble, the points deducted at the end of the game are limited by what you have in your tray.

In this variation, since all players start with the same number of tiles, your exposure at the end is raised significantly. So I'm thinking one heuristic would be to place even more emphasis on getting rid of your tiles as soon as possible.

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