Manong's 1st winning board
Disclaimer: I don't own the game, this blog is simply to show how ecstatic I am with the game. Every rule about the game was thought about by the great man who invented it.
He's the bald man standing in this video:
My friends and I made a replica of the game with folder pieces and an illustration board, we don't intend to violate any laws by doing so. We are just very enthusiastic about the game and we enjoy playing it. We promise that as soon as the real game comes out to the market, we will be the 1st ones to buy it.
Playing Challenge 21 is easy! You just need to make formations using a one colored triangular chip set versus two or three other players. You each get to place one triangle chip in any of the spaces every turn. The board has a total of 25 boxes since the chip is triangular, you can place 4 chips in each box.
Each formation has a specified number of points. The 1st one to accumulate at least 21 points and say Deal is the winner! Here are the formations:
The Papillon is worth 2 points. As an added requirement for the game, you need to have at least two Papillons so you wouldn't have a deduction of 6 points. Every Papillon missing will have a deduction of 3 points. So if for example you already have 21 points but don't have any Papillon made, your score will be deducted with 6 points. So your final score will only be 15 points (you still don't have enough points to win!).
The Kite is worth two points.
The Pot is worth 3 points.
The Box is worth 8 points.
The Shark Teeth has 3 variations: 3 Shark Teeth worth 3 points (Green), 4 Shark Teeth worth 8 points (Red), and 5 Shark Teeth worth 15 points (Blue and Yellow)
The Flags has 3 variations: 3 Flags worth 3 points (Yellow), 4 Flags worth 8 points (Red), and 5 Flags worth 15 points (Blue and Green)
The Birds has 3 variations: 3 birds worth 3 points (Yellow and Green), 4 Birds worth 8 points (Blue), and 5 Birds worth 15 points (Red)
The Zigzag has 3 variations: 3 Zigzag worth 3 points (Red), 4 Zigzag worth 8 points (Green), and 5 Zigzag worth 15 points (Yellow and Blue)
The Kite Formation is composed of 4 Kite shapes in a diagonal formation and a Papillon. The direction of the Kite should be the same to all while the location of the Papillon can be from anywhere in the board. This formation is 21 points and with the Papillon considered as part of the requirement. This means that you only need another Papillon to win or just another 3 points.
The Four Corners Formation is worth 21 points with the Papillon that can be anywhere in the board. It is also considered as part of the Paipillon Requirement.
The Cross Formation is the Deadliest Formation but is very hard to do. It is worth 21 points. You just need to have 5 Papillons in the board in a cross position. I'm sorry Idon't have a picture. I'll upload one next time!
You need to shout DEAL! when you are sure that you have 21 points or higher so you can be declared the winner.
The game is very very addicting... And I mean VERY!!! We always look forward for the weekends so we can play! We love it because it really involves strategy. You can't win if you just keep on placing chips. Because your opponents can block you if they know what your trying to do. But you can't leave out luck. You need to balance out your gameplay. Here's the question in every turn that you're going to make. Offense or Defense? It's very very tricky because you're battling with three other persons. If your too aggressive they might see through your offense and block your strategy. If your too defensive, your chances of winning will be solely based on your luck. So this is really a battle of wits. Think of it as a war and your chips as your battalion. If you are able to make formations you win. But as I said it's not that simple. But the best tip that I can give you came from the words of Sun Tzu himself: "War is based on Deception". Deception can be used offensively and defensively. Provoke and Divert. If you know how to deceive your opponents you will win.
Because we are so hooked on this game, we have our own strategems in playing it. The following are some of our strategies and finishing move for Challenge 21:
Juancho's Mantra: Control the center
By logic alone, this is a very good starting strategy, by simply controlling the center, you will have the flexibility to create many formations. Especially the high pointing basic 5 formations each worth 15 points.
My Mantra: Corner Power
This is the 1st strategy that I thought of and I'm using it every time I play the game. I chose the corners because they are usually the ones neglected. Also, the four corners formation is one of the main goal of this strategy. Although it is very hard since it's pretty obvious that you need to control all four corners for you to achieve that. It is very easy to transform to any 5 or 4 formations by controlling the corners. You just need to be flexible enough to get pass the defense made by the opponents.
Averi's Strategem: The Banderitas
This strategy is simple, just place chips at random and in the same direction, also blocking opponents when you have the chance. They will look like flaglets, hence the name. It looks as if this is just a nonsense tactic but in truth this is an aggressive defense strategy. You will be able to block any formations made by your opponents. But pure defense is not an offense in this scenario. So you must be able to somehow chip in a few offensive skirmishes now and then. You will have lots of options, as your chips are scattered throughout the board. Just be wise enough to use your defense moves earlier as a late offensive assault.
My Multi-prong offense Strategy
For this to work, you must learn the art of deception. You must learn to divert your opponents' attention to other fronts while you lay the foundations of your offense. Discreet is the word for it. Be Discreet. This is a late game strategy so you must be able to successfully hide your motives. So far, only the two prong offense seemed complete. I won three consecutive games using it. Like I said, this strategy is based on deception, you must make your opponents think that you are doing the control the center tactic when in truth your doing the Corner power. Make them think your doing Sharks Teeth when you plan on doing Zigzag. You get the logic. I wouldn't want to spill all the details, they will be reading this blog! whahahah! But the end should be that you have two options for offense, and that your opponents won't be able to stop both of them. Usually, my winning board has 5 Birds, 2 Papillons, and 3 flags. That's 15 + 4 + 3 = 22. Right now, I'm trying to perfect my three prong offense. I tried doing it during my game with Juancho and Manong, but they did a joint defense on my strategy. My theory is that since there is less time for preparation and diversion, your motive will be easily noticed in the three prong offense. But I'm not closing my door yet, I will try to use it again when its against three players. I'll just try to use it again, and if it is still noticeable, I'll abandon it.
Manong's Deadly Finishing move: Shark's Jaw
Although Juancho did this too, it was Manong who first made this Deadly Finishing move. The 5 Sharks Teeth is worth 15 points. Double that and he has 30 points. Minus 6 because he doesn't have the Papillon requirement leaves him with 24 points. He still wins.
I'll just update this from time to time if we have additional strategies. If this will be a sport, I'll be a varsity! whahahah!!!