Racer Knights of Falconus Constructible Card Game

I haven’t seen Racer Knights of Falconus constructible card game show up at the local comic book/game stores, but it at least looks awesome.

Each foil pack contains cards to build one racer, complete with weapons systems, and the ability to customize the cars with elements from different cars.

The game’s developers have a bunch of videos illustrating how the game is played.

Best North American Scrabble Score Evar

Slate’s Stefan Fatsis has the rundown on what the article bills as “the highest Scrabble score ever,” but which really appears to be just the highest score in North America.

Earlier this month in a game between two lower-level players, Michael Cresta managed to score 830 points, besting the previous North American record of 770 points. The gist of the article is that it is the fact that both Cresta and his opponent, Wayne Yorra, were middling Scrabble players, they missed a lot of opportunities that better players would have missed.

That, in an odd twist, led to the board positions to open up so Cresta could score 830 in a mad gamble to play quixotry,

That put another letter, the R, in a triple-triple lane. Cresta, who held I, O, Q, U, and X, recognized he was three-quarters of the way toward a really huge triple-triple: QUIXOTRY. (He had studied words starting with Q.) He exchanged two letters from his rack in hopes of drawing the needed T and Y. From Cresta’s vantage, 57 tiles were unseen, including three T’s and one Y. The probability of pulling one of each was 532 to 1.

Cresta beat the odds. And when Yorra didn’t block the open R—because he played his fourth bingo, UNDERDOG, for 72 points—Cresta laid down his 365-point QUIXOTRY (a quixotic action or thought).

But Fatsis doesn’t point out that 830 is not the highest score ever. That mark belongs to the UK’s Philip Appleby who scored 1,049 points in a competition game in 1989.

And, for those who still care, apparently the highest possible word score would obliterate both records — playing benzoxycamphors on the edge of the Scrabble board will yield 1,970 points (here is a mock-up board that shows how this might be done, though this site claims it would be worth only 1,830 points).

Source:

830! Stefan Fatsis, Slate, October 26, 2006.

New York Times Don’t Know Jack about Monopoly

Rogers Cadenhead catches the New York Times in an obvious error about the origins of the Monopoly board game — and one they still haven’t corrected.

An April 28, 2006 article about a planned revamp of the game by Hasbro repeats the nonsensical Hasbro (originally Parker Brothers) PR claim that,

When Monopoly was devised in the 1930’s, Atlantic City was chose because it epitomized the kind of glittering tourist destination that many Depression-era Americans could only fantasize about visiting.

Charles B. Darrow, an unemployed salesman, sketched the prototype game on a tablecloth in the Germantown of Philadelphia, using 21 street names from Atlantic City. . .

In fact Monopoly is clearly derived from a game called The Landlord’s Game patented in 1910 by Elizabeth Maggie Phillips. The Landlord’s Game and variations of the game were played by Quakers, with rules changing as the game spread, under the name “Auction Monopoly” or “Monopoly.”

Darrow learned a version of Monopoly from Quakers in Atlantic City who took to printing and selling copies of the game, and the rest is history. Darrow claimed he had invented the game, and Parker Brothers helped perpetuate that lie in its marketing materials. The company also bought up the rights to the The Landlord’s Game and similar games.

In the 1970s, this history came back to haunt them when Parker Brothers sued Ralph Anspach to stop distribution of Anspach’s Anti-Monopoly game. Parker Brothers ultimately lost that lawsuit and the floodgates opened for literally hundreds of impersonators and Monopoly variants.

Anspach went on to write a book about his lawsuit and Parker Brothers fraud, The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle.