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A Dog, a Dragon, and a Phoenix walk into a bar. And the Bartender says....

"Who's got the Mahjong?"

Ok, I'm really proud of that title. Little known fact....the title is the hardest part of blogging. For realz. I hate coming up with titles. But this one, this one just sang to me. So if you hate it, keep it to yourself. Don't bring me down.

By now, you've figured out that tonight was Tichu night.

Deck-box

No obligatory box top photo. Workman keeps his Tichu cards in an old yellow deck box. It has a certain charm, yes?

Same partners. Team Me-and-Workman are still undefeated. Team Steve-and-Leon are getting better. It was go time.

The game started out uneventfully. Me and Workman didn't have great hands, but we pulled down more than half the points in the first two rounds. Then I got dealt a stellar hand and called Tichu. Nailed it!

Ummm, Tichu?

Ummm, Tichu?

Then more decent point rounds. A 200 point round. We never ran away with it, but we kept a steady lead. Steve and Leon got a Tichu call, then missed a Tichu call, then called Tichu again. Mid-way through the round, I was sure no one could beat a pair of queens, but I was wrong and got stuck with the Dog. Workman was stuck with a low card as well. They made their Tichu call and went out one-two. They were officially back in it. (You wouldn't know it from Steve though. He sits there so quietly when he plays Tichu. Never makes a peep. Sometimes I worry that he's slipped into a coma. So silent.)

Having gotten burned by the Dog, I was then over-eager to unload it early. I played it one turn, and Workman looked really annoyed and said "what are you thinking I'm going to do?" And then he plopped down his entire hand. It was so cool. I didn't even know that was going to happen.

Tichu hand

This is what happens when you play the Dog and Workman is your partner.

Then followed more make-a-Tichu-call/miss-a-Tichu-call for Steve and a Leon, and more slow-and-steady points for me and Workman. We were at 980 to their 820 at the end of round 14.

Workman went out first. Then I got befuddled by my options trying to beat Steve's trip kings. I had an ace-bomb and the Phoenix. Do I play the bomb (overkill), or three straight aces, or two aces and the Phoenix? I thought about it way longer than I needed to. Eventually, I went with two aces and the Phoenix. Then led with a pair of twos and took the trick with my remaining aces. Then I played my last card to go out. We got our 200 points to win 1180 to 820.

Damn it feels good to be a gangster.

I love that game. It's one of the few games that I feel like I play moderately well. So much to think about, so many ways to play your hand, so very exciting when you and your partner play off each other well. Love, love, love Tichu.

Speaking of love, I had some ungodly Love Letter win streak going and Workman could not let that stand. So we played, got all tied up at three, and then Workman won. He just can't let me have nice things.

Love letter

We wrapped up the evening with a game of Parade. We haven't played in a while and it's a favorite.

Parade

WTF is Humpty Dumpty doing in an Alice in Wonderland game?

I did ok up until the very end, when I had to take two more colors. I had managed to keep it to only three colors, with two of the three having just the zero card. But then I jumped up to five colors and wrecked it all. I still finished second behind Leon, who somehow managed to only take red the whole game. He had something amazing like six points. Steve finished third, and Workman shamed himself and his family with a whopping 61 points. #karma

Another fun game night in the books. Despite all the cardboard and minis and metal coins out there, it's amazing how much fun can still be had with just a deck of cards.

Thanks for reading!