Azul

Azul x 2

Yael 50, Nadine 43, Gili 42

I had played part of a game, new to the rest. We played two things wrong which pretty much canceled each other out – we only counted the last negative score instead of adding them up, but we had more negative tiles than we should have because we only allowed one row per pattern. Yael spent a long time thinking each round, which paid off. The tiles and components are really attractive.

Lorenzo 65, Jon 63, Sara 44, Haim 43

They played correctly, first play for all except Jon.

Age of Industry

Haim 29, Lorenzo 26, Sara 26, Jon 25

New to all except Jon who is always happy to play this, they seemed to like it.

7 Wonders

Nadine 65, Nadine F 59, Gili 53, Yael 48

First play for Nadine S, I haven’t played in years. I focused on resources most of the game, which gained me money from neighboring players, and let me buy good cards on the last round. We all completed our monuments. Gili played military and some green, Nadine S got like 48 points in green but it wasn’t quite enough.

Tichu

Sara/Jon Haim  Nadine Lorenzo

Jon was playing with Sara to teach her the game. We ended the night before finishing the Tichu game, we were close in score.

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Year of the Grand Tichu

Year of the Dragon

David 121, Nadine 111, Lorenzo 105, Aaron 93

First play for Lorenzo. When David arrived, he asked whether we feel like being discouraged tonight, and Aaron and I both knew he meant Year of the Dragon. Lorenzo agreed to play, and understood the game and possible strategies very well. He was second to pick people, and picked Money and Princess. He had tons of money, bought two dragons and still had money for actions. I matched David’s 11 to be first, and got a dragon, but never totally recovered. Aaron also had difficulty getting money at first, but then had enough to pay to take the dragon action and buy a double dragon.

David said he wasn’t playing his usual strategy, which is books. He usually loses all his people in the process, and Gili and I sometimes beat him by having enough people at the end. This time he didn’t play a different strategy, he played a few strategies in addition to books. Famine and taxes were four of the last five events, so we ignored rice and money too long. David built every turn, and managed to have the 6 rice he needed for the first famine, and even though he lost people in the second famine, he ended the game with 7 people and six palaces. He got around 8 points for books twice. I had one old and one young multiplier, and not that many people. Most of the game we thought David was way ahead, with Lorenzo not far behind. We had a good time playing.’

Tichu

David / Nadine +  Aaron / Lorenzo –

Aaron and Lorenzo are less experienced, but Lorenzo is very good at games in general. He says he doesn’t get Tichu yet, though he’s fine with the mechanics. David and I had both good cards and luck. I called a somewhat questionable Tichu towards the end of the game, and Aaron called Tichu. I had basically two Aces and two kings and a very long straight, and I needed one Ace to get the dragon. After the dragon I played my kings on the pair, and Aaron went over it with Aces. At that point David played a flush bomb, and led a single card to my Ace and I went out. It turned out that Aaron had a bomb that was six cards so would have beat David, but he decided he wouldn’t have been able to go out even if he had played it. In another hand, Lorenzo called an Ace, which I had even though I had passed one to David. I played the dog and David called Tichu, so calling my Ace might have helped us, though David would have called anyway.

Jon is unclear

Magic

David+ Jon+

Parade

David+, Jon, Nadine

I need more of a review every turn than Jon has patience for.

Tichu

Jon/Nadine+  David/Haim

Jon/Haim+  Aaron/Nadine

We played one game early on, Aaron finished it later with Jon watching him, then we played another game, Jon took over when David left.  In our early game, Jon called Tichu while looking at his 8 cards, David clarified by saying Grand Tichu, while looking at his whole hand, because Jon saying Tichu on 8 cards means GT. It was clear to them, and me, that Jon was calling GT. After the game, David told Haim that he should have kept his Phoenix because he also had an ace, instead of passing it to David. Haim said he passed it because David called GT, which is when we discovered that Haim, and Aaron who was watching the game, thought David had called GT and Jon had called Tichu. Aaron said people do sometimes call Tichu before passing, though it’s rare, but he said it would at least be after everyone looks at their whole hand.

Amyitis

Nadine 45, Jon 39, Gili 38, Yael 35

I complained too much because of the game’s constraints and lack of control. Yael didn’t like them either even though her camel card was great, and let her go anywhere to use the resource chips she had. I guess you feel like you’re not doing enough, but no one else is either. Jon didn’t get to buy a tile at the end, I also didn’t get to do what I wanted due to wrong resource chips, but I did get the red 3. Jon said it was the first time he didn’t get the bonus for 5 tiles. We used his house rule where you can pay 3 for any card action, independent of cards. It is a good game, but it does also feel like work to some extent. I guess it’s pretty well balanced, though I don’t think I won because I was playing better. I had the 2 points per round card, and was as far as anyone with red cards, I never got a purple wild resource.  I went first, and got to place the cubes twice, which may have helped. Yael got a lot of points for her many irrigation cubes, I got one point the whole game from one or two of them.

Power Grid

David 17 16 201, Haim 14 14 160, Aaron 14 14 135

Aaron hasn’t played much, and it was a while ago so David reviewed all the rules; Haim’s second game. So David had way more experience than they did. But he stored up on fuel on what he thought was the second to last turn, whereas if he had kept the money, he could have build to 17 that turn and won by even more. They played with our house rule of exposing the next 4 cards in the draw pile.

I redeem myself

Tzolk’in

Aaron 93, Nadine 56, Haim 33

Haim’s played once before. Aaron started with an extra worker which is strong. And he got all 6 workers, as did Haim a bit later. I only had 4. Aaron got the skull monument at the end for 18 points.

Dominion x 2

Nadine 36, Haim 29, Aaron 26
Nadine 33, Haim 31, Aaron 21

Simpler cards and no attack cards for Haim’s first play. I didn’t do a ‘money only’ strategy, but didn’t get as many action cards as the others. I redeemed myself from last time we played when I didn’t realize the effects of the Colonies, Platinums, and attack cards in the game, and had a terrible deck.

Nadine

Four Electros

Magic

David+, Jon+

Power Grid

David 17 17, Jon 16 16 7, Nadine 16 16 3, Haim 15 15

David was ahead the whole game, Jon caught up by the end. I had good capacity and low fuel costs, but had paid a lot for a 7 plant when I would have been better off with a cheaper 6. On the last round, only David was able to build to 17, otherwise he would have won the tie with money. I had 3 Electros left, and Jon 7, so he won the tie by 4. First play for Haim, who made his own decisions but also listened to advice.

Tichu

Jon/Haim 1020 Nadine/David 580

David and I started out doing well; he made a small mistake and said I was forgiving. Then our cards got worse and I made several mistakes. He’s also forgiving, but I’m not sure I learn enough to improve. I didn’t call GT with the Dragon and Phoenix, Jon said I should have, he always makes those. David said then Jon hasn’t played enough games, and that I was right not to call because it’s risky and we were comfortably ahead, then. Later I didn’t call Tichu with the Dragon and a bomb, I should have though I didn’t have much else.

Nadine

I lose at everything

R-Eco

Avi 14, David 8, Jon 6, Nadine 5

We played with random chip piles, which Jon thinks is better for some reason.

Village

Avi 62, Jon 52, David 50

Lewis & Clark

Aaron +7, Schnur -7 camp, Nadine -7 scout

First play for Schnur, who caught on and planned well, but Aaron focused on getting cards which worked well for him.

Spyrium

David 65, Avi 65, Jon 52

First play for David and Avi, who liked the game. No tiebreaker.

Dominion

Schnur 111, Aaron 88, Nadine 66

There were too many things I didn’t realize at the start, including that there were Colonies, which also makes the game much longer, Platinums, and attack cards that gave a lot of useless cards. With the longer game and useless cards, I needed to have more (or any actually) trashing cards, which meant more cards giving actions to support them; and work on buying the higher value money and victory point cards. If I had bought trashing and action cards, it aso would have limited the number that the others were able to buy. Each individual card didn’t seem worth it compared to a silver, but a money strategy doesn’t work in this type of game. The Bishop, in addition to letting you trash, give victory points that don’t clog up your deck, which the others used effectively. So I ended up with a really bad deck for a long game. The only benefit was that it blocked Aaron when he used an attack cards and wanted me to reveal action cards, those attack cards worked much better for Schnur, who had Aaron as his left hand opponent. Schnur and Aaron are also extremely experienced Dominion players.

– Nadine

My big fat PR mistake!

We played at Galit’s place for the first time because she’s housebound.

Azul

Galit has this and knows how to play, it’s been winning awards and being lauded for gameplay, graphics and components. The pieces are really nice, beautiful small tiles, with a Portuguese decorated tile theme. Very abstract, but fun. David thought more than I did but once you understand it, there aren’t that many options. We stopped when Nadine F (previously S) and Noam came. Galit paints her own tiles for her walls.

Puerto Rico

David 26 15 15 56.2  Nadine 16 30 46.5  Noam 12 34 46.2 Galit 11 27 7 45.4 Nadine F 15 20 7 42.3

We stayed where we had been sitting – my big mistake, because I was after David. David was after two new players, who were not paying attention to anyone else. David was paying attention to everyone, but saw me as his main competition so really blocked me. I’m not used to that type of blocking; we haven’t been playing PR that much at his level because we mainly play with new players. I said Jon doesn’t block like he does, but that may not be true – I’ve remembered to arrange seating when playing against him, though I did sit behind him once. David agreed that seating order makes a significant difference. David thought that I was doing better than I was, I knew that my shipping and no large building wasn’t going to beat his 3 large buildings.

Play was slow with new players who are good gamers and wanted to understand everything. David blocked me from trading early on, Nadine F blocked him accidentally when she crafted and he couldn’t get goods. David had coffee and I had tobacco. He took a factory a round or two before I did. He later took tobacco which gave him 5 each round to my 3, and landed me with a useless sugar. He also took Customs House, but by then I had been taking captain instead of trader so didn’t have money anyway. I had a wharf, but wasn’t producing so many goods. Noam also had a wharf and took craftsman a lot to get extra goods, he even double crafted when there were barely any goods left, no one had harbor. Nadine F has played twice before, but was last too often in trading, shipping and captain, partly because she took mayor a lot. She did get fortress, and Galit had Residence, she had taken Hacienda early on. She had all the indigo in her small warehouse which reduced money for me and David. The game is still fun and the best game!