Clash of Chaos and Confetti #36: Cat in the Box

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 can go eat kitty litter.  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 Geek Out! Disney  battle.

Pre-Clash Current Standings:

  • Weekly Winner: 15 Chaos – 20 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 49 Chaos – 48 Confetti

After losing last week, Confetti has chosen Cat in the Box.

The Game – Cat in the Box

Cat in the Box is a trick-taking game with a twist.  Using suitless cards, players will need to strategize cardplays, bids, and spatial control as the game progresses towards a paradox.

A deck of suitless cards will be dealt evenly to all players.  The players will secretly discard one of their given cards and then bid on how many tricks they believe they will win this round.

Gameplay will then proceed like a normal trick-taking game, with players winning tricks by either playing the highest card of the starting suit or the highest trump card.  Going clockwise, each player will play one card.  How does this work with no suits though?  Each player will decide which suit their card is as they play it.  However, once a card (suit and number) has been claimed in this game, no other player can use it.  Also, once a player has shown that they don’t have a specific color in their hand, they can’t change their mind later.

Players will place one of their tokens on the tracking board to show that a specific card has been used.  These tokens are important for keeping track of what has been played, but players will also earn points for every token they have adjacent to another one of their tokens.  Even better, if a player correctly bid their number of winning-tricks, they will get double the amount of points for their largest grouping of adjacent tokens.

Adding another layer to the game is that there are only four suits, but there are five of each number.  Eventually, players will start to run out of options as the possibilities slowly collapse.  If a player runs out of possible plays, this causes a paradox and ends the round.  The player that caused the paradox will lose one point for the round.

Round points consist of 1 point for each winning trick, 1 point for each adjacent token, and double points for their largest grouping if their bid was correct.  Gameplay will continue until each player has had a chance to begin a round.  After that round is complete, final scores will be tallied and the winner will be crowned.

Chaos’ Pre-Clash Thoughts:

As the possibilities collapse in this game, I’m hoping that Confetti sees all her paths to victory disappear as well.  Here’s to another week as champ!

Confetti’s Pre-Clash Thoughts:

I really love trick taking games and I’ve been super excited to play Cat in the Box. We’ve played the game at higher player counts, but this will be our first time playing a two player game. I hope I can regain my championship! 

Game 1 –

Confetti began the first round, but Chaos quickly took control of beginning hands.  Chaos won hand after hand, so he over shot his prediction by a fair bit.  Confetti grabbed a few trick wins, but Chaos purposefully set himself up for a paradox before she could win one more to fulfill her prediction.  Both players scored equally for token placement, so Chaos’ trick wins pushed him into the lead.

During the second round, Confetti was able to take the lead a bit more and the tricks ended up being split almost evenly.  Once again, neither player could get their prediction correct.  Again, Chaos and Confetti proved strong with their token placement and scores almost equally, with Chaos getting the slight edge.  

Thanks to his early game lead, Chaos was able to hold first place and claim the first game.

Game 1 Winner:

Game 1 Scores: 25 Chaos – 19 Confetti

Game 2 –

Confetti started the first second game as well, but this time both players played a lot more aggressively.  Tokens were not just placed to make connections but also to cut off the other player.  Chaos proved a bit better at token placement, leaving only one of his separate from the rest of his cluster.  Confetti had several smaller clusters.  The difference would only matter if Chaos could get his prediction correct.

Confetti won trick after trick which quickly put her over her prediction.  Chaos allowed this as he waited to strike.  He predicted slightly lower due to his weaker cards.  Eventually, he was ready to try and win three tricks.  One-two-three, they happened with ease.  Unfortunately, despite what he hoped for, the round was still going. He threw the lowest card he had, but Confetti had a one in reserve, and forced the win to go to Chaos.  His plans to double his token points faded.

Tokens ended up equaling the same, but now Confetti had a large lead due to her many trick wins.

Chaos started the second round at a deficit, and knew he had to play perfectly to pull back into the lead.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.  He and Confetti scored at about the same rate again, neither doubling anything.  This allowed Confetti to hold the lead and take game two.

Game 2 Winner:

Game 2 Scores: 20 Chaos – 26 Confetti

Game 3 – 

Chaos finally started a game, and this would be the big one.  As seen previously, Chaos had a stronger knack for token placement, leaving Confetti’s pockets of tokens broken up by his own.  However, Confetti’s focus on exact trick-taking may have been the better strategy as finally one of them was able to double their large group of tokens.  Confetti was only able to gain an extra four points, but that was enough to put her in the lead after the first round.

The second round saw Confetti focus a lot more on stopping Chaos’ plans, while Chaos attempted to balance his token placement and trick wins.  For a while, he felt as if he might have pulled it off.  However, despite literally only three spaces being open and Confetti being locked out of two colors, she was still able to play a card and avoid a paradox.  Once again, Chaos’ hopes of hitting his predictions went up in smoke.  

Universes and possibilities collapsed, and in the end, the box opened to reveal Confetti as the champion.

Game 3 Winner: Confetti

Game 3 Scores: 21 Chaos – 32 Confetti

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

Chaos’ Post-Clash Thoughts:

Cat has my tongue.

Confetti’s Post-Clash Thoughts:

Woo hoo! I’m excited that I managed to pull off a spatial game win. 

New Standings:

Post-Clash Standings:

  • Weekly Winner: 15 Chaos – 21 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 50 Chaos – 50 Confetti

Next Week: 
Next week, Chaos and Confetti enter the multiverse of Munchkin.  From Marvel to Ducktales to Disney, the looting and monster fighting will be epic!

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