September 21, 2016

Participants: Jon, Yoshi, Nadine, Yael

Magic: The Gathering

Jon, Yoshi++

Yoshi brought some pre-constructed decks. I played and lost twice.

Epic

Jon, Yoshi+

This is nearly the same game as Magic the Gathering, except that there are no mana costs. Each player can spend 1 coin each round, and all cards cost either 1 or 0 coins to play. You can only play creatures on your turn. All cards are either creatures or instants. Also, you can attack as many times as you want to; each creature you have can only attack once per turn, and all attackers attack as a group. Each creature can only defend once per turn. A creature can attack or use its special ability, not both. A defender can defend and also use its special ability.

That’s about it. There are four colors, whose entire purpose it to limit abilities of cards to affect only a quarter of the cards being cast or in play. Your job is to knock your opponent down from 30 to 0 points.

Yoshi beat me again.

Antike

Jon 9, Nadine 8, Yael 5

First play for Yael. We played to one less points than suggested. Nadine gave me a run for the money. She claims I won because I went first, but we played out the same number of turns each, and I was still one round ahead of her.

Nefarious

Jon 20, Nadine 16, Yael 15

First play for Yael. Our twists were that 5 coins equaled one point, and you got to take $2 if the invention you played was a higher point value than any of your previous inventions.

 

September 14, 2016

Participants: Jon, David K, Nadine, Gili, Haim, Aaron, Yael, Ido

Haim was a first time visitor

Princes of Florence

David 72, Nadine 68, Gili 63, Haim 58

First play for Haim. Nadine writes: We bid pretty low, nothing over 500. David got 3 jesters pretty early. Haim got his on the last round. David had a forest and one building, 7 professions including one recruiter. On the second round, Gili didn’t buy the last available profession of the 8 we allowed. Gili and Haim also skipped it on the next round leaving it for David, a good fit with his 3 jesters. I miscalculated but being able to get a second jester let me play a work I thought I couldn’t play. I thought I didn’t have enough actions to buy another building, but I miscounted and had two unexpected actions. I didn’t have space for the building and didn’t need it by then, so I got two bonuses. Which let me beat David by one point for the best WV at 29 on the last round.

Tikal

Jon 111, Aaron 97, Yael 84, Ido 74

First play for everyone except me. But I hadn’t played in a long time, and it turns out I had played several things wrong in every other time that I had played. One, I didn’t know that you can only cap two digs during the game. Two, I didn’t realize that you can only uncover a level if you have as many diggers equal to the level in the same hex. I also might still have the rule about the chief digger incorrect.

The correct rules make the treasures even more valuable, since it is harder to get points at the digs. Still, the game played pretty similarly to the way it always had, for me. I got the earliest treasures, and that helped my score, but others caught up.

Vegas Showdown

Nadine 62, David 60, Gili 58, Haim 47

First play for Haim. David had only played it a long time ago.

September 07, 2016

Participants: Jon, Aaron, Yael, David Tzut, Yoshi

Last week I couldn’t host, so Gili came to the rescue. Gili, David K, Yael, and Ofek played Bora Bora: David 163, Yael 141, Gili 134, Ofek 100. I have no other info.

This week, David Tzur came back to playtest another game with us. And Yoshi is a new player, a gamer sent over by Gili. He just came back from the US (?) with some new games, but we didn’t play them. He, along with many others in our group, is more of a thematic game player, while i prefer straight Euros. Hopefully enough people will come each week so that we all get to play what we want.

Prototype

David Tzur, Yael, Aaron, and I played two rounds of a David’s prototype. It was fairly easy to see how the game went after one round; in the same category as Balderdash, The Game of Things, and other such games, with a twist to encourage creativity. Not my type of game, but I could see its appeal. I think he was disappointed when I stopped him early, but Yoshi had arrived and was waiting to play.

We briefly considered one of the games that Yoshi brought, but I had an opportunity to play games I loved that the more frequent attendees don’t always want to play.

Homesteaders

Jon 60, Aaron 56, Yoshi 55, Yael 54

First play for everyone else. I often win this, but this was very close. In fact at the end I briefly miscounted and thought that I had lost, but we recounted again.

I had little income for the first four rounds but got to three trade chips. One trade chip is not enough, two trade chips is usually ideal, and three is usually too many. But with excess trade chips, you can take a lot of debt and get whatever you want. I went up to 7 debt on turn 5 to take the Church. Meanwhile, I was producing a gold every turn, and eventually two gold per turn. I used them every round, but I had enough at the end of the game to cancel all but three of my debts.

Yoshi had massive income by round 5 – 11 dollars a round, and also the debt-canceller each round (Bank, I believe). He played rather conservatively, however. Aaron only had one trade chip coming in each round and struggled with that. Yael had the fewest buildings and a completed railroad track, and she had enough money and trade chips for 14 VP goods at the end of the game.

Tichu

Jon/Yoshi, Aaron/Yael

First play for Yael and Yoshi. We only played two rounds. Aaron called and made Tichu on the first round, but the score was 110 (them) to 90. The next round, we earned +115 to their -15.

August 24, 2016

Participants: Jon, Gili, Ido, Netanel, Estzer

Gili hosted last week. They played Hawaii: David 147, Gili 109, Aharon 92, Nisan 71, Netanel 68. First play for Aharon (a new player), Nisan, and Netanel. They let David take 5 sword bonuses. Nisan aimed for a complete tiki/kahuna grid, but David’s well-planned row earned 30 points. Also, mid-game points, such as first and second place scoring each round were also worth a lot.

This week’s new player is Ido.

Glen More

Jon 51, Netanel 48, Gili 42, Ido 38

New to Netanel and Ido, Gili had played once (?) a long time ago. Netanel basically liked the game, but wasn’t happy that there was nothing to do on your turn, which could be a long time coming (especially when others take a while on their turns). He felt like he was losing, but he racked up a slew of points on his last turn, which netted him second place.

Ido took the tile that let him activate any one tile each round, and he did a lot of butchering. Still, he didn’t have enough men and production/money to do everything he wanted. I usually take a lot of early villages, but this time I played more balanced. I also almost never take distilleries, but I took one and used it to grand effect, especially since neither Ido nor Netanel had any barrels. The rest was just keeping a small edge in points. Gili and I ended with 15 tiles each to Netanel’s and Ido’s 12.

Notre Dame

Ido 64, Jon 60, Gili 45, Netanel 42, Estzer 42

First play for Netanel and Ido, and I think Estzer hadn’t played too many times. I usually go straight for 2 park cubes and victory point cubes, but Gili denied me the park cards early on and then the victory point cards later. I took early cubes and money, moving a cube over to Park at the end of round three. Everyone else also had 2 parks early on, but Gili lost hers at the end of round 5 or 6. Netanel gained 4 parks in round 7. Gili started with an early lead and some nice points, but then stalled mid-game when she lost her park bonus.

Gili and I can’t remember who did Notre Dame in phase 1 (which I ignored), but I managed to get there in the next two phases.

Since Gili denied me the victory point cards I wanted at the end, instead I created sections with three points each (park and hospital), which both prevented the rats from attacking me and also gave me 3 areas with 3 cubes each, for almost as many points. Unfortunately, Ido also had three areas with three cubes each, also was protected from rats, and also was earning a few more points than I was because of his double park bonus.

Gili is hosting next week, as well.

August 10, 2016

Participants: Jon, Gili, David, Nadine, Aaron, Sheur, Nitzan, Eyal, Eitan

Welcome back Gili after her vacation. Also nice to see Eyal and Nitzan return. Eitan is my roommate who does not yet play games, but may someday. But he plays Chess.

Pirate’s Attack

Shneur+, Gili

Gili was given two games from Israeli game companies to review on her Hebrew video review series. This was one of them. The other had cubes.

Slap Deck

Nitzan++, Eyal, Jon

I taught this to both of them. Nitzan is a fan of speed games, and she did very well, winning both games.

Troyes

Gili 44, Nadine 28, Shneur 28, David 22

I didn’t see how this played, but at one point Gili was getting only a single die to play with and she needed to use it to combat the black cards. And yet she seems to have handily won. Nadine: First play for Shneur who caught on well, Gili was first player which is an avantage. Many dice were bought or stolen which hurt David and me more than the others.

Age of Empires III

Eyal 103, Jon 100, Aaron 89, Nitzan 76

Aaron requested to play this. First play for Eyal and Nitzan. Aaron was under the impression that this would take a long time to teach, but it didn’t. It took 2.5 hours to play, however. Partly that was because Aaron analyzed every possible move before each play, and – since they were new players – often helped Eyal and Nitzan to do the same. I did a bit of this, too; at one point. I twice argued that it was better for other players to help themselves – and help me – rather than block both of us, since this would move us both forward. However, at some point it is best to let people just play and learn, or you end up playing for them. With all of his analysis, Aaron still made a few mistakes. He also failed in his first discovery attempt, which hurt.

Aaron started with the first building, which was the “gain $20 and therefore effectively buy two more buildings” building. He also got first crack at everything else, and then he got the “$5/round” building round 3. It was his game to lose, which he managed to. He was the first to put soldiers on the board, but his territory was outmatched by Eyal who had buildings giving him a free missionary every round and an extra colonist for each missionary. Aaron’s income was on par with Eyal’s, but he had few discoveries.

I was excelling in discoveries and buildings, and I was second to Eyal in board points, but his income was far better; I always bought a building when I wanted to, but his extra points on the board and extra points for income outclassed my extra points for discoveries/buildings. Just barely.

Chess

Eitan++, Shneur

Eitan is always willing to play Chess. He apparently easily outclassed Sheur in a series of games.

San Juan

David 37, Nadine 34, Gili 33

They stuck to the base cards. David ended the game with 9 production buildings, Library, Guild Hall, and something else.

August 03, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Avi, Yedidya, Nadine, Yael, Nisan, Or, Aaron, Shneur

Tichu

David/Avi, Jon/Yedidya, Nadine

Played at the beginning and end of the evenings. I played two hands at the beginning, calling Tichu both times – the second time I was going to call Tichu anyway, but I was passed the 1 and a straight flush bomb. At the end of the evening, I played two hands where David called Tichu both times – and I had a bomb both times. He had his own bomb in the first hand and made his Tichu. In the second, I bombed and got my partner out, and then I was able to finesse him to go out second.

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

David and I both drafted weak hands. David was very unlucky with his mana in the first game, but lucky with his cards anyway. In the second game we both had mana, but he had the stronger deck. I never drew any of my creature control.

Colt Express

Avi 3250, Yael 2500, Nadine 2200, Yedidya 500

Glen More

Jon 35, Avi 34, Yael ???

First play for Avi and Yael. Although I knew the rules, I sometimes interpreted the castle cards incorrectly and had to go back on them. This usually made no difference, but Yael got the one that doubled her chieftain score, which apparently doubles her chieftains, not her chieftain’s scores. So while she ended with 45, she really had 33, BUT she would have bought a different card instead and won anyway.

Avi had no chieftains and I had no whiskey barrels. Yael had, by far, the most castles.

Notre Dame

David 70, Nadine 64, Yedidya 35

First play for Yedidya.

Nefarious

Or 20, Nisan 17, Shneur 17, Aaron 16

Or won with Secret Lair (1/invention with 7 inventions) and an earlier one which allowed her to play 4 minions for free.

Twists: Start with $20. Research gives 2 cards, but each invention forces you to discard a card.

Princes of Florence

Or 59, Aaron 50, Shneur 49, Nisan 48

Nisan writes: First play for everyone except Nisan. I like teaching the game and making sure that all players understand it well enough to win. To that end, clearly I did a fine job..🙂

Even with the men’s various mistakes (Nisan’s cost him 7 points, for example, because he missed his prestige card), Or won handily.

Or had three builders and on turn six earned nine points for third builder and two buildings. The next turn she played two profession cards for 18 WV each and had 8 WV bonus points earning her the best work for that round. So in the last two rounds she earned 33 prestige points.

Everyone enjoyed the game, and what was most important is that no one got shut out from victory by round three. Cheapest auctions: twice Jesters went for 200 (round 1 and 7), builder went for 200 in round 6, prestige and recruiters went for 200 in rounds 4 and 3 respectively.

July 27, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Nisan, Yael, Roman, Avi, Yedidya, Francis

Yael is the only one of the new players who showed up again, although a few said they would come. Avi brought his friend Yedidya again.

7 Wonders

Yael+, David, Jon, Avi, Yedidya

I left my scores at home (where I am currently not). First play for everyone except for me, which surprised me. Everyone liked it.

My monument was military, and I ended up playing military which I usually don’t, since competition by a neighbor can make your investment in the cards useless. I ended with military and blue cards. Yedidya had the science monument, but didn’t build any science. He also had some blue cards. He also was discovered to have accidentally built the same blue card twice (which would have been mine); he had to discard it for 3 coins.

Yael had the “play one discarded card for free” monument, which netted her 6 points at the end of the game. She also had strong military and science. David had the “build one card each phase for free” monument, which he used in phases 2 and 3. He had nice purple cards and 3 matching science cards. Avi had the “free resource” monument, and also had strong science, but he had -6 in military score.

Vegas Showdown

Roman 39, Nadine 38, Francis 36, Nisan 36

Nadine writes: First play for Francis. Everyone enjoyed the game. Roman went first with an income-centric strategy and the rest of us used a mix-and-match.

Nisan would have won and I would have done better if I hadn’t mistakenly paid 18 for the High Rollers room. I didn’t notice that I didn’t have the prerequisite required to place it, while Nisan did. I never got the prerequisite so I never place the HR room. We redrew one card combination, where two cards [gave contradictory changes to income and we couldn’t decide how to resolve them]. Francis was the only one who completed all three [bonuses for hotel, casino, and connection], but it wasn’t enough to overcome my big victory point buildings or Roman’s most income and diamond bonuses. Nisan didn’t get any completion bonuses. I accelerated the game end when I had the chance to choose a stack.

Homesteaders

Avi 54, Jon 53, Nadine 52

I suffered from not buying the gold mine, that each of them both bought. I bought a copper mine a round or two later, but it’s really not as useful, since you need two trade chips to use it for anything else. Everyone was shy trade chips.

I had the most buildings, but Avi got the one that gave 1 point per building. At the end, we thought Nadine had won with 55 points, and then we remembered her 3 points in debt, which took her from first to last by a point either way.

Slap Deck

David, Jon, Yedidya, Yael

Avi, Nadine, Jon

We played a few games each. In the first set, David and I both pulled off winning piles. In the second set, all three of us won one game each.

Lord of Waterdeep

David 153, Roman 151, Nisan 130, Yedidya 89

David writes: Nisan and Roman were both badly hurt by Yedidya, who used his first place position to take the first place position as his first move each round, [which essentially made David who played after him the first place player for the entire game, and Roman the third place player for the entire game].

Nisan writes: True. First place for Yedidya who did not truly capitalize on going first most rounds. He also went last with the lieutenant for a few rounds. Nisan and Yedidya had piety Lords, while Nisan and Roman had arcana.

Nisan was in the lead for round 2-7 with the most missions completed. In the last two rounds, David completed 25 and 20 point missions, and Roman completed a 25 point mission of his own. Everyone enjoyed the game, I think.