PATIENT DEVIL— a solitaire variant where you choose your damnations

Recently, I’ve been thinking that Canfield just isn’t a complex enough solitaire game.  I’ve designed patient devil to provide you with more options that you’ll feel that you just don’t want to take.

  1. The aim of the game is to get all of the cards from the pack to the four foundations.  They will vary between (& within) games.  Continuous ranking is allowed.
  2. Take a shuffled pack without jokers and deal seven cards face down into the reserve.  Beside this, deal one card face up to form the first foundation, then four cards face up in separate piles beneath to form the tableau.  Keep the remaining cards aside as your stock.
  3. The foundations are built up by suit in ascending order (A, 2, 3, &c.)  As long as its suit is not yet represented in the foundations, at any point you may move a card to the foundation; from there, the suit is built up as usual.  There is no requirement that the value of any of the new foundations match those already present.  Be careful not to do this too soon — you don’t want to find yourself trapped later on.
  4. The cards from the reserve can be played directly to the foundation or can build down on the tableau.  One of your first goals should be to clear the cards from the reserve.
  5. The tableau is built down in descending order, regardless suit or colour (i.e. you may build any Q on any K, &c.).  Cards may be moved individually or in blocks between the four piles of the tableau.  If you have an empty space, it may be filled with any card.
  6. If you’re otherwise unable to make a move, deal the top three cards of the stock into a single waste pile.  You can play the top card of the waste pile to either the foundations or the tableau.
  7. Once the stock is exhausted, you may turn over the waste pile to produce a new stock.  Do not shuffle the cards.  You may do this as often as you please, though you may find yourself at a dead end regardless!

You’ll find the game slightly easier to win than Canfield (though I’ve yet to calculate the likelihood of winning), though it will regularly feel like you’ve made a choice that’ll upset the game later.  Either way, keep going until you fill the foundations or find that you’re unable to progress!

Let me know in the comments how you find the game — or otherwise what your favourite patience games are!

Advertisements
PATIENT DEVIL— a solitaire variant where you choose your damnations

Poet Tree

I have a terrible tendency for misspelling the words poetry (see above) or pome, which may or may not be inherited affectations from an English teacher. That being said, I am naturally drawn to creating humorous* misspellings surprisingly often.

What I am not so naturally drawn to creating is the aforementioned tree itself. I do not know why, particularly, considering that I have naturally created prose in sheathfulls. Maybe when most were going through that teenage phase of angsty pomes, I found myself writing gamebooks or variably complex systems for role playing games. Considering the numerical focus of my writings’ development at this time, it is perhaps unsurprising that I (may) have taken to poetry in the manner I seem to be at the moment.

I am currently reading Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled, which has stared at me for from a variety of bookshelves, if never my own. I am now borrowing milady’s copy, and am sixty or so pages in – on the fifth exercise.

What I am enjoying most about it is the whittling craft of it, at least under Stephen’s tutelage. It is the shaping of meter** and the warping of words, and less the act of creation. It’s not the preconsidered product but the process.

I can only remember writing one poem off my own back. It’s called Pearl Hoard and came to me whilst I rode beside the North Sea. I don’t know if my future pomes will be similarly horror or else another genre. I like the idea of staying to a genre though – and sci-fi quite appeals.

Hmmm… A cyberpunk poem..?

* In my opinion, if not others’.

** As an archaist, I am in agreement with Fry’s preference.

Poet Tree

En Passant

I cannot remember when I first played chess. Early memories include losing to Dad very often, playing an exciting animated computer version where capturing pieces fought the captured, and peculiar rules variants I created based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail – especially the rules for Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film. Ever since I learned its rules, its been a game I’ve held an interest in but never held much skill.

My strategy game of choice (on an elliptical cycle, partially based on cash revenue) tends to be Magic: The Gathering. I enjoy its flexibility, the freedom and creativity in creating a deck from collectable trading cards, and the silly, silly things I can sometimes do. Whilst I have often tried to sell my father the tactical and strategic strengths of MTG, he struggles to see it. It’s probably because my major draw is the creativity inherent in the game.Magic is a game of breaking rules, chess one of applying them.

That being said, I do enjoy subverting these rules. I like playing unorthodox openings. I like winning.

I don’t win very often.

I’ve gotten better recently, through a course of Chessmaster lessons and reading a book on better chess*, and now can just edge out my father (who rarely practises these days).

I still can’t beat my phone. A long while back, I downloaded a chess game for my HTC. The interface is beautifully simple and simply beautiful. The AI is hard, and in itself I see this as a major selling point.**

I can beat my dad because I want to. I invest more because the opponent is important.

I should really learn to invest more when I want to.

* Excitingly titled Teach Yourself: Better Chess.

** If you’ve an Android and even a passing interest in chess, I’d highly recommend this app. It’s free and Open Source at its best.

En Passant