Sunday, 17 July 2011


Sorry for the lack of posts, this has been mainly due to carpal tunnel syndrome (in both hands). Anyway on to this report.

I first started writing this report a couple of weeks ago, since then Smite has had a number of airings, so it now is a composite of those playing sessions. Smite is an outdoor game and is the UK version of a Finnish game Molkky. According to Wikipedia Molkky has similarities to Kyyka  (aka Finnish skittles, aka Karelian skittles) whose heritage lies in Karelia where a wooden bat is thrown at a line of skittles 10 metres away.
The Wooden Box

However back to Smite. The game is produced by , the designer is not acknowledged. The game can be played with any number of players and works as well with 2 as it does with 6 or possibly more and can accommodate singles, pairs or teams equally well. A game with six players usually plays in about 20-30 minutes.
Contents (minus rules)

Smite comes in a nice wooden box, and contains 10 skittles numbered from 1 to 10 and a “smiter” made from a light but durable wood. The box also contains a small sheet of the rules which are clearly written.
The "Smiter"

The skittles are set up in a triangular formation about 4 metres away from the box with the point furthest from the players, players then take turns throwing the “smiter” at the skittles with the aim of being the first to reach exactly 50 points. On their turn a player has one throw at the skittles and scores a number of points equal to the number of pins they knock over, however if only a single pin is knocked over then the player scores the value of that pin. Skittles that have been knocked over are stood up at their resting place for the next thrower, thus as the game progresses the skittles get knocked further away from the other skittles and become easier solitary targets. If a player exceeds 50 points, they reset to 25.

My Set Up (opposite to rules set up)

So how does it play? Well several weeks ago there was six of us and we enjoyed about an hour playing 2 games where several tactics were noted to improve peoples chances, Wendy elected “The long stride” stretching as far forward as possible, Joe went for consistency, Naomi for the lob and Steve liked the “aim at Kevin” technique (as I was the re-righting the fallen skittles I was generally stood near them). All these techniques were for nought as Adam won the first game with a very neat throw. Undaunted, we launched into the second game where my obsession with aiming at the 10 pin eventually, after a number of misses, won me the game.

Steve throws

Position after several rounds

The next session was played in a back garden in Bromley with different friends where a large number of 30 point games were played 
Jonty & Wendy watch Lee throw

A singleton hit for 3 points

The most recent session was back in Canterbury where we played three 50 point games. Smite is fun and an excellent garden game. Every time I have introduced this game to people they have insisted that they play more than one game and some have even sent off for their own set however we do play with a few house rules which (I think) makes it a “friendlier” game whilst still retaining the skill element. The first is that you can only go out on a single skittle (this is the added skill factor). Secondly exceeding 50 is treated the same as in darts in that you bust and retain your old score (not reset to 25 as in the rules which seems a bit harsh). The third house rule is that if everyone in a round does not score, then the box is moved a yard nearer to the pins. The rules have it that anyone that does not score 3 times in a row is eliminated from the game – again we felt this overly harsh for what is a garden game for all to enjoy, so I ignore this rule. The last house rule is that throwing is done with one foot touching the box (anywhere) whereas the rules are quite prescriptive with a throwing line, if we had that we would never get to see Wendy’s “lunge” shot!

Wendy watches Steve for alternative throwing techniques

Final synopsis is that Smite is a lovely game and easily adapted to minor rule changes to suit different groups of players without spoiling the game. There are also Championships played, Smite has an event in Cornwall and the World Molkky Championships are in Lahti Finland.

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