The only thing that could make an AIDS test scarier is if it involved a logic game. In that case, people would probably ask the doctor to bring on the needle.
However, the games don’t have to be scary. There are only a few types of rules for each family of game, and those rules all turn into tools you can use to unlock those deductions. However, the first step is always figuring out the setup. Mess that up, and you can kiss your LG section goodbye.
How can you quickly determine which type of game you’re doing? A few things will give it away. This week, we’ll focus on Ordering Games. Next week, Grouping Games. If I’m not tired of the series by the third week, Combo/Rare Logic Games!
All ordering games will ask you to (shock!) put things in order. Whenever you’re ranking things, listing in order, going through days of the week, dealing with sequential grades, etc., think ordering. However, the determination doesn’t end there. After you know you’re putting things in order, you have to figure out if there’s anything else going on. We all love games where there are the same number of players as there are slots (1:1 ordering games); however, you need to move past that!
In an underbooked game, you’re going to have more slots than players. Think Musical Chairs for the remedial class – everyone can win, with seats left over. While leaving slots open might crop up, more likely you’ll be dealing with a situation where people are going more than once. Like if you’re ordering three frat brothers into a keg stand competition, and you know that there are seven keg stands total.
Expect rules that set up ordering chains around Chet’s need to go before Chad’s first keg stand, but only once. Use subscripts to keep track of whether it’s Cornelius’s first or second time with a tap in his mouth. And play the numbers to see how often everyone’s going.
As we all know, Hugh Hefner is the man. He’s got more women than the Bible’s got Psalms.* And he’s trying to draw up a schedule for the sleeping arrangements for the week.
In this case, we’ve got more girls (let’s call it 12) for the seven days of the week. Because we’ve got more players than slots (“that’s what she said!” hilarious!), we’re overbooked.
Expect a principal of distribution that will tell us which nights he’s sharing the bed with multiple girls (I hear Wednesday AND Friday are Hump Day at the Hef House). Other than that, expect the normal ordering rules.
Now, imagine that we’re still planning out Hef’s week, but he has a broken hip. As such, he’s only performing the maritals with one girl each night.
It sounds like 1:1, but then they throw in a hitch – some nights, he’s with a normal model, while others he’s with a centerfold. As soon as we know something extra about the girls, we are in a tiered ordering game. Create a second line above the first so that you can keep this information in the same order. Expect rules that bridge the tiers, creating either an ordering chain between them or Tetris pieces that will fit together like the Hef and the girls they’re meant to represent. And don’t stop there – if we get more pieces of information (blond/redhead/brunette; natural/silicon-enhanced), keep throwing tiers on there.
These can be a little scary, but realize that the more tiers there are, the more likely the LSAC is to throw a whole bunch of determinative rules at you ahead of time so that you can fill in more slots with options (bet you thought I was going to say “that’s what she said”). Don’t freak out, and you’ll be just fine.
As a final note, it’s easy to get confused between a Tiered Ordering game and a Grouping or Combo Game. However, there’s a big difference between the prompts for the two. A tiered ordering game will have traits that can only be applied one at a time (you can’t be both natural and silicon-enhanced, unless you’ve got a Two-Face thing going on) and will ask you to place everything in a single order, or the members of the groups will be listed for you in the stimulus.
See you next week for Grouping Games!
*Which is more impressive than your assertion that you’ve got more rhymes than that, House of Pain. Jump Around itself has 30 rhymes, and there are 150 Psalms in the Bible. That means you wrote 5 songs. I wrote more than that when I broke up with my high school girlfriend.