We had a short games night with my regular group. We only managed to fit in one game of “New Word”:http://www.tjgames.com/pdfs/alpharulenewword.pdf, one of the rulesets in the “Alpha Playing Cards”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/2762 box. It was good to try a word game with my midweek gaming group, as we have never played a word game before.
New Word is simple, but hard. To start the game six letter cards are put down. Each player in turn makes a word out of the letters on the table and the six letter cards in their hand. After the word scores, the next player uses it to create a new word, with the help of the six cards in their hand. You get multiplier bonuses for longer words. The highest score was *wrangler*, 20 points, for the letters, x 4, for the 7+ letters in the word multiplier.
More complexity is added when someone makes a questionable word, as challenging it results in the player who is wrong losing a turn. I lost the game, but it was fun be unsuccessfully challenged over “quin”:http://www.onelook.com/?w=quin&ls=a, when I was not sure if it was a valid word in the first place.
New Word is exciting and very tough, but there is little to do when it is not your turn, as it’s difficult to plan until you know what letters are going to be available. We should have used a timer to cut down turn length. Unfortunately all the scoring time and challenging time make using a timer difficult. For our group, scoring time would have been reduced by increasing the threshold for words. 5 letters minimum word length would have been a better place to start.