Games: Snowball Fight

Tomorrow will be a snow day. (I’m not being psychic; I’m just stating a fact. I get emails from an automated system Iowa uses to let people know when school districts announce closings, and our district just announced they’ll be closed tomorrow.) So it seemed appropriate enough, when Al wanted to play a game before bedtime, to have a Snowball Fight.

The nice thing is that it’s played with virtual snowballs, in the form of cards (appropriately round, though I’ve discovered it’s quite difficult to shuffle round cards). One player “throws” a snowball, using an attack card, while the other player plays a defense card to try to block or at least lower the snowball’s impact. There are a variety of attacks, including a sneak attack, a “charge,” a “dipsy doodle” (two snowballs in rapid succession), and of course an ordinary snowball. And there are likewise a variety of defenses, including partial cover (hiding behind a skinny tree) and full cover, catching the snowball and throwing it back, or somehow spoiling the attacker’s aim or making his snowball stick to his glove.

There’s a bit of strategy involved, as you have to decide whether to use a more potent card or save it for later, and deciding what defense is likely to be most effective against a particular attack. But a lot of it is luck, as the actual success or failure of the attack depends largely on the roll of the die. Some attacks work on any number from 1 to 6, while others require higher numbers. Some defenses subtract only 1  or 2 points from the attacker’s roll, while at least one  subtracts 6 and makes it impossible to be hit. Plus some defenses let you catch the snowball and throw it back!

One nice thing about the game – from my point of view – is that it doesn’t take very long. Even if you only get hit for a couple points each turn (once in a while you don’t get hit at all, but that’s less common), the points add up. The first player to reach 30 points is considered to be too cold and wet to go on playing, which means the game is over and the other person wins. And then it’s time to go in and get warm.

Ahh, nothing like a cup of hot chocolate after a snowball fight. (OK, so the hot chocolate is no more real than the snowballs. But with a snow day tomorrow, I may just have to make some real hot chocolate.)

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