I’ve gone back to Wordfeud during lockdown

Wordfeud is like an edgy version of Scrabble, the game play is identical in that you have seven scoring letter tiles and make words on a board.

The difference is the game’s developers have altered the board to make it more exciting. These changes makes it more likely that you can combine a double and triple word score in one go which multiplies your score by six which means you can occasionally score over 100 . I once scored 142 points.

There are also other differences including some letter scores.  The U, for example, scores 2 not 1 as in Scrabble.  Also you get fewer points for a seven letter word, 40 not 50.  When I was growing up we used to play Scrabble as a family with my Mum more often emerging as the champion. Knowing what my mum would have though I, at first, felt it heretical to prefer this callow interloper to the original classic game but I do now.   

It also uses a slightly more forgiving dictionary called SOWPODS, an anagram of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) and Official Scrabble Words (OSW).  This seems to allow more words than the Electronic Arts Scrabble app which has recently been controversially replaced by Scrabble GO.

I became hooked on it a few years ago after being introduced to it by a friend, did quite well in the various leagues you can enter and then got dispirited with it as I was convinced a number of the players were cheating.  There are various tools on the internet, I understand, where you can submit an image of your board and letters and get supplied with the very highest scoring word.

Anyway I’m back on it now and have found it a very useful distraction over these last few months.  To me Scrabble/Wordfeud is the greatest of all board games requiring a wide range of skills.   Clearly you need to know your words particularly the two letters ones that are so important but you also need basic number skills to know how to make the high-scoring moves.

Additionally there is an element of chess about the game, the tactical skills to know how to avoid giving high scoring opportunities to your opponent.  Finally there is the all-important letter management, making sure you get rid of the hard to use letters and make the most of the good ones.

As a result of playing the game for many years I’ve developed an unhealthy loathing for certain letters, and a love for certain others that carries through into my day to day life.

My top five hated letters:

V – no two letter words

I – too many of them

C – only one two letter word

Q – although there quite a few words were you don’t need a U, it can still be a nightmare to use

Y – You’d think the only letter that is both a consonant and a vowel would be good but I struggle with it

My favourite five letters:

X – high scoring and lots of two letter options such AX and OX but also XI and XU

S – can add to the end of most words

Blank – always feels a bit of a cheat but really helps with seven letter words

E – the most common letter

H – quite high scoring and lots of two letter options

At the moment I’m in the middle of a Wordfeud season simultaneously playing seven games at once.  One player gets promoted and two get relegated and your rating changes after each game.  It’s been a great lockdown distraction which I’d heartily recommend.  https://wordfeud.com/

Published by brianjonesdiary

Dad, husband, brother and son. Interested in travel, politics, sport, health and much more. Semi-retired and aiming to making the most of life as I approach my sixth decade.

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