Back at the end of April, I did a review for Big Potato Games’ 2019 release, Color Brain: Disney Edition. This game hit the table again last night and an odds-defying moment occurred that can only be described as another case of “Board Gaming WONDER.”
The setting: my wife and I are on a team. We’re the oldest people (but still in our 30’s) at the table and our feeble minds just don’t remember the good ol’ days of Disney movie-watching like we once did. To our left is another couple team. Across from us, their 8.5 year old daughter and my 14 year old son.
These two youngsters were on fire and just a point away from winning the game. [First team to 10 points wins and the score was 9-to-4-to-3 — yeah, my team had the three points] This was obviously the moment to use our one-shot villain card –> which forces the team in the lead to discard 8 of their 11 color cards for one round. I reached over and blindly grabbed cards from their hand, leaving only 3 left to play with.
Let’s take a moment to look at the odds that these two conniving kids have to deal with: Many of the question cards in Color Brain ask teams to get 1 color right (i.e. the main color of Cruz Ramirez from Cars 3). The odds of having the exact single color needed available in their hand — to answer a 1-color question is 27.3% –> that’s not too bad. It still means that “most likely” they will be unable to answer correctly (assuming they know the correct answer) but there is still a decent possibility.
Now, what if a 2-color card comes up. This would mean that they’d have to luck into the fact that 2 of their 3 cards (out of 11 total colors) managed to still be in their hand. The odds of this happening are 5-times worse — at 5.45% — you wouldn’t expect to see this happen but 1-in-18 times.
Let’s go one step deeper. What if the next question card to come up required 3 colors. In this case, Team Good Memory And Kicking The Adults Behinds would have to luck into all 3 cards left in their hand being EXACTLY what this card requires. The odds of that are 1-in-165. 9 times worse than the 2-color-scenario and 45-times worse than the 1-color-scenario.
But that’s just all probability speculation, right? Just having some fun with math, right? We should get back to the story and what actually happened… The truth is that the very next question card asked teams to correctly respond with the color scheme of a certain character from the Big Hero 6 movie.
Exciting! My wife and I believe we know this one –> definitely yellow…definitely black…and pretty confident about red. We lay our three cards face down. The kids across the table (with professional straight-faces) lay their three cards down as well — the only three they have available.
Then…the flip! And what do I see across the table?!?
[Side-bar — one more story: before the game starts, my niece and my son decide to play a game with the 11 color cards. One color is named (in this case, black). My son is then supposed to start blindly grabbing cards one-by-one with the hope of leaving the black for last. Us two dads are watching this unfold as one-by-one, my son grabs every other color except black, leaving it for last. I don’t “think” he was cheating, but wow that was crazy-lucky-impressive]
Well, apparently that “luck magic” was still working hard at the end of our Color Brain game as the kids defied the 1-in-165 odds to win the game in an absolutely amazing fashion.
My two final takeaways — a) board gaming is such a blast and WONDERFUL moments like these with my family are such a blessing and b) I need to get a hold of Penn & Teller so they can tell me how he did it!
What is one of the most odds-defying situations you have seen while playing games? Share below…
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