Last Saturday I won my first Klask Tournament!
We had originally begun playing Klask as a bit of a joke. Referring to each piece and mechanic as ‘Klask’ (“When you hit the Klask with your Klask into their Klask that’s a Klask and you score 1 Klask”). They had a copy of it in the Dice Saloon Library so we’d play it after a heavier strategy game to get everybody out of their heads.
Most games ended up being won with only one or two klasks between the players so we viewed it as ‘Just too damn random’ to care about getting better at. But oddly we found ourselves going back to it time and time again. It really does do a great job of replicating the speed and intensity of Air Hockey without having to go to an arcade and pump a week’s earnings into a machine.
As much as I’d love to claim Klask is all skill and only the best player wins regional tournaments- It’s more like rolling a slightly weighted die.
Most of the depth in Klask is hidden away in the little white things in the middle called Biscuits. They are the mechanic that changes the game between points. Providing area denial and giving you something else to aim at that is always moving around.
A neat little trick is you can actually boot them away from you if you act quickly and the small hole is face-down.
Occasionally you should just grin and bear eating a Biscuit instead of having it sit in an important defensive position around your goal. You have to take into account how many Biscuits are still in play though and how likely you are to be able to use the ball, or the above technique, to bat it away. If you can’t defend your goal though then they are going to score anyway so it may be a case of choosing the lesser evil.
The final game was between Joe and I. All the games we’ve played in the past we were incredibly evenly matched and this particular Battle of Titans wasn’t much different, with the final point being 5:5 (6 points required to win). There was some really good play from both of us, I’d say Joe played better tactics regarding the Biscuit sub-game but my shooting was on-point throughout.
As with any 1 v 1 game, a lot of the winning and losing takes place in your own head. When I was young I was just awful to play games with. I was ultra-competitive and the worst loser you can imagine, smashing whatever I could get my hands on and fighting my brothers after every defeat. As I have grown up and left these character traits behind, I now find myself struggling to find those often useful emotions of anger and competitiveness. Instead of becoming a little overwhelmed by anxiety around making people feel bad about losing or seeming like a gloating prick.
My inability to fully enjoy scoring a point against strangers nearly scuppered my chances of getting out the first group stage. Luckily both the semi-final and final were against people I know well so I was able to shit-talk to my heart’s content.
My winnings were a copy of Klask and a ticket to the UK final in Shoreditch. I’m going to be playing exclusively against strangers for a trip to Helsinki so the sooner I can sort out my own struggle with playing against strangers the more likely I am to win a klasking holiday which is truly one of the funniest things I could have accidentally fallen into achieving.