Since Scott and I arrived here, there has been much talk about Mexican train dominoes. I’m not too familiar with dominoes, Mexican or otherwise, but it intrigued us. It is said that you’re not an “official cruiser” until you’ve learned how to play. A group gathers to play every Sunday, but I felt that it wasn’t the best way for us to learn.
For those of you who know Scott, it won’t surprise you to know that he’s very competitive when it comes to games. I like to “dilute” the effects of his competitiveness by playing games with others (I won’t play a game with him one on one). However, as we don’t know the Sunday domino group well, I feared that us playing with them would make the atmosphere “prickly” at best, so we had yet to jump “aboard” the game.
That is, until last night. Our friends Ed and Elizabeth, on Skylark, offered to teach us the game and we accepted. Elizabeth is also a “strong” competitor, so there was someone to balance Scott’s “passion” for winning. We offered to host the lesson aboard Sea Life, and Eric and Eulalie, on Elizabeth Jean joined us as well (the more the “diluting” the better!). The group gathered with food, drink and dominoes, and the lesson began.
In a nutshell…An “engine” tile, or double domino is placed in the center. Everyone draws 12 or so dominoes (depending on number of players), leaving a “bone” pile to draw from when needed. The object is to be the first to play all of your dominoes, or at least as many high-point dominoes as possible, in each round. The lowest total score at the end of all rounds wins the game. Each player works their own “train” of dominoes coming out from the engine, by matching the numbers. There is also a “public” train, that all can work on as well.
There are many other details, but overall the game isn’t difficult. However, there are several strategies that can be made, in hopes of benefiting your outcome in the game. I was chastised twice, for taking Elizabeth’s advice (or as Scott called it, “puppeteering” for her advantage), but overall, Scott was busy taking the game in to be overly “passionate.” He came in second, so I think that sufficed until next time, when all bets will be off!
We took a break at 8pm, to watch the International Space Station go overhead. The sunset behind our cockpit was also something worth seeing.
It was a fun night, and after learning the game, we consider ourselves official Mexican Train players!
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”