Letterpress-alooza! New Challenges for Advanced Letterpress Players, Games Within the Game, and a Glossary of Terms
Tired of winning so often?
If you've been totally demoralizing your opponents in Letterpress lately (see pic. #1), maybe it's time you spiced up the game. Below, you will find a nice selection of Letterpress challenges that just might make you appreciate this game in ways you never expected. So, stop yawning and read on...
Before we get started...
- Letterpress Strategy Guide and Tips For Beginners
If you're just starting out, be sure to read this article first! If you're a seasoned player, keep going!
- LetterLess (example)
It appears my opponent realized what I was doing about half way through this game (when he played DUO), so then he started playing to fill up the board, but it was too late.
Challenge #1: LetterLess
This challenge makes strategy much more important than vocabulary.
The Rules: Only play words that are smaller than your opponent's most recent move. No matter how many lengthy words you see in the grid, resist! Beat your opponent with less letters. (see Link #1 and Pic. #2)
- UnclePress (example #1)
My opponent resigned after being completely wiped out, play after play.
- UnclePress (example #2)
This opponent almost hung in there for the whole game.
Challenge #2: UnclePress
This challenge requires using, for the most part, your opponent's letters.
The Rules: Keep your opponent's score to one point or less throughout the game.
Note: Most opponents resign (cry "uncle") before the board is filled. (see Link #2 and #3)
Challenge #3: Slam Blam
This challenge requires some luck because your opponent has to help fill the grid with his early moves.
The Rules: Defeat your opponent with your second move. (see Pic. #3 and #4)
Challenge #4: Four-LetterPress
No, it's not about swearing.
How to play: Beat your opponent by playing only four-letter words from start to finish. (see Pic. # 5 and Link #4 and #5)
- Four-LetterPress (example #1)
Watch the game pictured above.
- Four-LetterPress (example #2)
Winning by playing small words is more satisfying!
Games Within The Game...
If you enjoy unscrambling words, this is a fun little game that can be played whenever your opponent makes the initial move.
How to play: When you start a new game of Letterpress, look away as the board is loading to prevent your seeing what word was played by your opponent. Then, after a few seconds, look at the board and try to guess what their word was by unscrambling their letters. Sometimes you discover a nice counter play if their letters spell more than one word. (see Pic. #6)
- HumblePress (example)
Watch as I excruciatingly draw out the game.
A game that can be quite humbling to your opponent.
How to play: When you come to the point in a game of Letterpress where you have the opportunity to play a winning move, refrain from doing so, and instead keep the game going, by playing words that continue to whittle away the un-played letters. If they don't resign, you can eventually wipe them out (25-0). (see Link #6)
Capture The Flag
A game of infiltration.
How to play: If your opponent builds a stronghold with three or more dark squares, make it your goal to take it over. Win the game, but "capture their flag" before going out.
Games That Require A Prior Agreement...
AlphaPress: The first letter of each word must move alphabetically throughout the game, based on the letters found in the grid. For example, if the letters are MPFIAIBSMJYIHRIKBNSSCHNRF, the first word would have to start with A, the second with B, the third with C, the fourth with F, and so on until you reach Y, then it goes back to A.
Anti-Letterpress: First player to create a stronghold loses. (Contributed by SynapticResonance)
SymmetriPress: Each turn must maintain symmetry, either mirror or rotational. (Contributed by SynapticResonance)
Dead End Letterpress: Once a suffix has been played, it can no longer be used again. (Contributed by SynapticResonance)
Concentric Letterpress: Every word must contain at least one letter from each of the three concentric "rings" in the grid (outside 16, middle 9, and the center letter). (Contributed by SynapticResonance)
Glossary Of Letterpress Terms
Here's a list of terms that you can use when discussing Letterpress games with your family and friends.
death knell: A play that sets up a winning move.
form war: When you and your opponent keep submitting different forms of the same word. We're in a form war, and I'm hoping my opponent hasn't noticed that OUT can be added as a prefix.
gin-ing (jin' ing): A sympathetic response after being ing-ed (see: ing-ing). If you are feeling charitable, you can play a small word back after your opponent has ing-ed you. Pure gin-ing is when you play their exact letters back, such as GIN for ING.
honey hole: A grid that has lots of vowels, common prefixes, and suffixes.
ing-ing: Accidentally submitting a small word. (Named ing-ing because "ING" is an acceptable word, and is often placed above the grid as a starting point for building your next word.) My opponent just ing-ed me. The poor dear.
late bloomer: An opponent who suddenly starts playing amazingly long or unusual words once he finds himself falling behind in the game. (see Pic. #7)
- Late Bloomer
Click to watch the game on the right.
marathon: A game with a large amount of words played. (see Pic. #8)
no-hitter: Wiping out your opponent's every move until they resign. (If they don't resign, it becomes a perfect game.)
NUQs: (nukes) Words that have a Q in them, but no U. I just NUQed this guy with TRANQ for the win!
perfect game: Winning 25-0 (a wipe-out), and knocking your opponent's score back to zero after every move throughout the game. (see Link #8)
- Perfect Game
A rare situation.
sawing logs: When your game-winning word is ZZZ.
shot-gunning: When a player plays a word whose letters are scattered about the grid with no apparent use of placement strategy. (see Link #9)
- Shot-gunning (example)
Here, my opponent shot-gunned his way to a loss.
spurring your horse: Losing on your own terms (pun not intended). Instead of letting your opponent make the game-winning play, you make the game-losing play. "Spurring your horse" comes from the Old West when an outlaw was being hanged from a tree limb while sitting on a horse. Instead of letting the lawman fire his gun to scare the horse out from under him, he would spur his horse in a final act of dignity (or defiance).
stronghold: A grouping of squares that contain one or more darkened squares.
volley: Moves and counter-moves during a game. This is a long game! We've been volleying for days! [contributed by Catrophy]
- Wipe-out (example)
wipe-out: A 25-0 win. (see Link #10)
Want To Add To These Lists?
Letterpress was released in October, 2012, so it's a relatively new game. If you have different challenges, games within the game, or glossary terms, please let me know by posting in the comment section below.