WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 03, 2003

Attendees: Yehuda, Ben, David B, David K, Yacov, Nadine, Sharon

I can’t afford many games, but I am willing to try out games by crafting them out of stuff I find lying around. Sometimes what I craft is not exactly the original game…

Turn a Settlers of Catan board upside down. Evenly space 4 settlements of each color around the nexii on the edges of the board. If you have the 5-6 player expansion, I guess you could put 3 settlements of 6 colors. Each player then gets a random hidden color to connect using the roads, starts by placing a city on the board as his starting position, and walla, you have a mini TransAmerica.

I played three games with my daughter and David K, I won twice, and my daughter (age 10) won once. It is not the same as the real game, of course, but I think with a little sprucing it might suffice for a little game filler. Also, the positions all start equal, so noone can complain of being dealt bad cities to start with.

Afterwards, I tried out a game I invented called Tripole and submitted to the shared playing pieces contest on about.com. I played with David, who beat me. Basically, fill 37 hexes with 36 pieces, one per hex, 12 of blue, yellow and red. Each person is allowed to move one piece to combine with another, scoring for green, purple and orange points. When the game permits, you can score a tripole, removing it from the board for 1 wild point. The game suffers from a very chaotic opening, followed by a not chatoic enough ending. I need to tweak he rules to get it right, because there is a great game in there somewhere.

By then, we were hankering for something real, so David K and I played Magic, using 1 card of the alphabet from one color, no color hosers. He player red, I played green, and as usual, even though I thought I had a better deck, he beat me 2 games to 3.

Ben and David B showed up. David B, my other brother, doesn’t usually come, but he is interested in these games, so we played Puerto Rico. David K refused to sit on my left. My brother Ben, amazingly enough, won with one more point than me. For the first time, everyone took my basic strategy advice about going for early money. Each play was thoughtful, yet not too long for all, and it was one of the most fun games I have played with straight PR in a while. With good players, you can play many times.

Next, Nadine and Yacov showed up, Ben left. Someone else was supposed to come, so I thought Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers wouldn’t take long, even though we had to introduce both Yacov and Nadine to the game. I was wrong, as, unlike PR, you should not overly analyze CC or you can be there all night. Suffice to say that there was a tie win between David B and Yacov.

Well, the other player, a friend of Yacov’s, Sharon, showed up during the above, and Ben and Nadine left. Since we weren’t sure how late we wanted to stay up, I broke out the even lighter games of David and Goliath and Take 6. We played 2 games of D&G, which gets more interesting, as I learn the strategies. I and David K each took a game. Sharon liked it so much, she said she wanted to pick up a copy when next she is in the states. Take 6 was after Yacov left, and I took that one. Most of our Take 6 games end up being a slaughter by one person, and this one was no exception. Sharon expressed interest in returning, so hear hear.

I am looking into plans to have an Israeli gaming convention. Anyone interested in attending or helping out is welcome to contact me.

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