Filed Under (National Mah Jongg League Card) by Elissa on February 15, 2010
As the year of the 2009 National Mah Jongg League card winds down, I decided to take a moment to reflect on playing with the card. Every year there are players who like the new card and those who don’t. I find their preference is usually based on whether they win more or less than they did with other cards and whether their favorite hand remains. A player’s favorite card year tends to be the year she or he won the most.
The 2009 card repeated a number of hands verbatim from recent cards.
These kinds of hands that reappear yearly or after a multi-year absence favor seasoned players who are already comfortable with the hands from previous years. Of course, if these hands didn’t work for a player in the past, that player may rue their reappearance.
In 2009, I missed some aspects of the old cards. When I hit the flower jackpot this year, I was disappointed that there was no hand that used six flowers like there was on the cards from 2005 through 2008. I also missed the “Like Number” category of hands that last appeared in 2006.
I found a few aspects of the 2009 card particularly challenging. Souths were elusive tiles in 2009 since they were singles or pairs in all of the hands composed exclusively of winds and dragons. That meant if I discarded all of my numbers in favor of winds and dragons, I had to pick up at least one South to win. If I failed to collect a South tile, I could not switch to another purely wind or dragon hand. I also found it particularly difficult to switch among the Even hands. They shared so few similarities that it seemed like the best way to win with one was to commit early and call often. Switching when some even tiles went dead did not seem to be an option.
Overall, I think I have won far more this year than I did in past years. I expect in 2010 and beyond, I will be the one complaining that I miss the 2009 card!
Filed Under (Maj Jongg accessories) by Elissa on February 2, 2010
This is a very fun mah jongg accessory for the player who has everything. It makes mixing the tiles a breeze and serves as a great party trick. On the other hand, I think I would miss the therapeutic and satisfying sound of the tiles clicking together when they are mixed.