Finnish skittles

I learnt a new game over the weekend.  It’s called Mölkyn.  Easy to learn, hard to master and very compelling if you are competitive like I am.

You need two or more players with the twelve numbered skittles set up 4m in front of you.  Work out a throwing order and then throw the large skittle (Mölkky skittle) at the small ones using underarm throws.

Finnish skittlesIf you knock down one skittle you score the number of points marked on the skittle.  If you knock down more than one skittle you score the number of fallen skittles.  If you miss the skittles (easy to do, surprisingly) three times in a row you are out of the game.  Skittles that are knocked down are setup again where they come to rest.

To win the game you have to score exactly 50 points.  If you pass 50 your score is reduced to 25 and you start again.

By the end of the game the skittles will be spread far and wide across the garden.  You need to be aware of how many points the others have got and play accordingly, sometimes trying to knock the skittles into hard-to-play places.

It’s easy to make the set.  Get a length of 50mm pine pole from the garden centre and cut 12 pieces about 150mm long.  Cut them at an angle to create the face for the score.  Number them 1 through 12.  The Mölkky skittle is the one you throw and it’s a bit thicker and heavier.  Cut a piece about 70mm thick and 200mm long and you are ready to play.

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