Clash of Chaos and Confetti #23: Bananagrams

The Premise and Standings

Each week we’ll face off in a best of three series playing a different board game from our collection.  The winner claims the moniker of C&C Clash Champ for the week.  The loser feels rotten and overripe.  The lesser player also gets to choose the game for the next week.

We will maintain a record of wins and losses throughout the year to see who finishes 2022 as the ultimate board game champ in our household.

Our current C&C Champion is Chaos after winning last week’s Bears vs. Babies beatdown.

Pre-Clash Current Standings:

  • Weekly Winner: 12 Chaos – 10 Confetti
  • Individual game wins:  34 Chaos – 27 Confetti

After losing last week, Confetti has chosen Bananagrams.

The Game – Bananagrams

Bananagrams is a word game that will have players racing to use up all their tiles by spelling and interconnecting words.  

Each player will start with a number of facedown tiles dependent on the number of players (21 tiles for two players).  Someone will then shout “split!” and everyone will flip over their tiles. From here, all play happens simultaneously.  

Each player will use their tiles to spell words and to connect those words at the junction of a common letter.  Words must be spelled from left to right or top to bottom.  Every competitor will have their own space and at no point will they add to or take away form each others’ tiles or word setup.  However, players may mess with their own word grid at any point: rearrange letters and word connections, and even changing words completely.

When a player successfully uses all of their tiles in their word grid they should yell out, “peel!”  This allows them to grab a new title from the central facedown bank of tiles and also forces everyone else to grab a new tile as well.  Everytime someone uses all their tiles, “peel!” should be shouted again and tiles should be drawn again.  This will continue until there are not enough tiles for everyone to grab one during the course of a “peel.”  At that point, it is the player who has used all of their tiles will attempt to claim final victory as they get to shout out “bananas!”

At this point, the other players will check over the “winner’s” word grid.  If everything looks good, that victory is confirmed and celebrations may continue.  However, if any issues are discovered (misspellings, proper nouns, abbreviations, etc.), then the game continues with everyone but the failure-to-win player, whose tiles are all turned facedown and sent into the central tile bank.  In a two player game this player disqualification would automatically hand the win to the other player.

It should also be noted that during the course of the game, if a player is feeling stuck they may shout “dump” and trade one of their tiles for three facedown times from the central tile bank.  This has no effect on the other players, but will hopefully help the struggling player in exchange for burdening them with more tiles.  

Bananagrams is a game of speed and spelling, but players must be careful not to make any mistakes that might cost them in the end.  Who will reign as top banana and who will discover it’s time to split?

Chaos’ Pre-Clash Thoughts:

I’ve set my eyes on becoming the C&C Clash Champion with the most successful title retentions during a single reign.  If I win this week, I will set a new record.  Unfortunately, as much as I like Bananagrams, I’ve never been the strongest speller.  I’m definitely going to have to rely on my speed this time.  My strategy might also require a lot of small words.  This week won’t be easy, but I think I can pull out the win with a lot of hard work and maybe a little luck.

Confetti’s Pre-Clash Thoughts:

I’m on a losing streak and I’m not feeling great about it. Chaos tends to beat me in bananagrams because he is faster, but I’m the stronger speller so hopefully that will help propel me to victory. I’m really just tired of losing. 

Game 1:

At the call of “Split!,” Chaos and Confetti frantically flipped their tiles and set to word construction.  Each of them assembled words like pros, but Chaos took the early lead.  He called “peel” again and again.  Confetti chipped away at her letter tiles, but she remained solidly a step behind Chaos.

By the midpoint of the game, both parties started to feel how large the draw pile could be.  The tiles kept coming and finding where new words could fit became the challenge.  The heartbreak of having to disassemble and rebuild parts of their word grids became a necessity.  This is where Chaos started to falter and Confetti began to make up ground.  

While Chaos still called the majority of the tile draws, Confetti’s cries of “peel” started to pop up more frequently.  

As the final draw tiles started to disappear, both competitors worked quickly to throw together whatever words they could.  In the end, Confetti completed her comeback as she slipped her last tile into place and shouted “bananas!”  Chaos sat with a final “H” for “How the mighty have fallen.”

Game 1 Winner: Confetti

Game 2: 

As the second game started, Chaos set off in a hurry.  He put together any words that he could, no matter how small in order to use his tiles and set up the “peel.”  Chaos hoped to access as many tiles as he could and drown Confetti in letters, never allowing her a chance to fully gain control of her board.

Chaos slipped into the zone, as words flowed out of him.  He grabbed and inserted tiles at a rapid pace, rearranging on the fly and rarely halting.  Confetti did her best to steadily build her grid, but she did feel the pressure of her growing pile of letters.

During the late game, Chaos’ momentum started to wane.  He began to slow.  Confetti knew she was behind, but she started to feel a possible repeat of the first game.  All she had to do was work hard to close the gap.

The players started to face opposite problems.  Confetti desperately needed vowels.  Chaos had an overabundance.  Both word warriors pushed through but only one made it to the finish line.  Chaos tied up the series with a shout of “bananas!”

Game 2 Winner: Chaos

Game 3:

The third game would be all the bananas in the bunch, so there would be no monkeying around this round.  The game began and both players started a storm of spelling.  The calls of “peel” bounced back and forth.  This round felt much closer than the previous ones and the pressure was at a max.

Chaos hit his mid-game wall again as he found his grid a bit too cramped to build off of easily.  He had to seriously regroup and restructure.  Confetti meanwhile cursed the uncooperative letters she kept drawing.  

As the game neared its end, fate decided to challenge Chaos.  He drew a Q during the draw step.  Then, he drew another Q.  This was followed by a Z, K, and J.  Confetti took this opportunity to charge solidly into the lead.  Chaos fought to regain ground, but then Confetti called for the final letter and Chaos picked up an X.  

Chaos scrambled to come up with anything and finally he did, “Jinx!”  He slipped into to place and shouted “bananas!” one syllable after Confetti.  

Game 3 Winner: Confetti

Your Winner and NEW C&C Clash Champion: Confetti!

Chaos’ Post-Clash Thoughts:

Someone must have left a banana peel out because I clearly got tripped up on the way to the finish line.  I really struggled to keep it together by the end of every game.  Stupid letters.  That’s it.  I need to split.  See you next week.

Confetti’s Post-Clash Thoughts:

Glad I finally managed to retake the championship! That second game had me worried. Hopefully I can carry the momentum forward into next week. 

New Standings:

Post-Clash Standings:

  • Weekly Winner: 12 Chaos – 11 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 35  Chaos – 29 Confetti

Next Week:
It’s a scrabble to the top as Chaos and Confetti battle it out in Mountain GoatsTune in next week to see who gets to claim to be the G.O.A.T.!

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