Mölkky – Throwing Skittles the Finnish Way
On one of the last days while all members of little group of the 2020 Mazunte Earthship Build - which eventually evolved into our very closely knit Quarantine Family - were still together, we accepted an invitation of a local French guy to spend the evening together. We had a great time hanging out on his mountain-top property, splitting firewood, preparing a barbecue, sharing drinks and some good laughs, and playing games. One of these games is called Mölkky, hails from Finland, and is played with a set of cylindrical wooden pegs, called skittles.
“Throwing Stuff Around? Count Me In!”
Once we got over the innitial horse-play of trying to figure out the rules - meaning trying to snatch up all the pieces before anyone else, using plenty of body-slams and other rambunctious behavior - we finally decided to look up the proper rules, and play the game like it was intended to. At first we had to set up the numbered pieces in the right order, according to a certain scheme.
Kinda Like Pétanque? Or More Like Bowling?
Then, using the slightly longer throwing pin, each player had to knock over as many pins as possible, standing at about 3-4 meters (10-13 feet) from the upright pins, and only throwing underhand. In order to be counted, a pin had to lie horizontally on the ground, giving the player a point for each fallen pin. Before the next player's turn, each pin was stood up where their pointy end was pointing, breaking up the cluster, and making the next turn more challenging.
Gambling on Bets
If someone felt certain to be able to knock over a specific pin, they could call out its number, and if successful, the double of that number would be added to their score. A sure way to surpass the rest of the players, especially if you aim for the skittles with high numbers. But be careful: in order to win you need to reach 50 points exactly. Should you surpass the fifty by even one point, the penalty is to go back to 25.
Another interesting feature of the scoring system is deducting 25 points from another player, who happens to have the same score you ended up having. With all these twists we were in for an exciting game, still more laughs, and a perfect activity for the last minutes of the fading daylight.