WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2003

Attendees: Yehuda, Ephrayim, Nadine, Sharon, Roy, Rachel, Ben, Yacov, Saarya

This week I met the major importers of games and gaming products into Israel. The imports consist of WotC, Mayfair (Settlers), other card and RPG stuff, and miniature / warhammer stuff, and soon to be Fantasy Flight and a few others. Unfortunately, all of the prices they are selling are more than it would cost me to buy retail, ship airmail (let alone surface) AND pay VAT AND pay import taxes.

Nevertheless, they are nice guys, and I hope we can do things for each other with regards to league play, tournaments, etc…

Sharon and I and two of my kids saw Return of the King. Very enjoyable, of course. Can’t wait for all three extended versions so we can watch the whole thing the way it was supposed to be shown.

El Grande
We finally got to play El Grande! A great game, but, like the rest of our games, always a bit slower than it should be. There were no real rules problems, and by round 3 we already were starting to work on tactics, There seemed to be a lot more tactics than strategy, from what I’ve seen so far. The game looked like a runaway win by Sharon, followed by Nadine, but by the end, Sharon only won by 3 points (102) to a second place tie by Nadine and I. Ephrayim really started off trailing, but managed to make a better showing during the last half, although not enough to put him in competition.

Ephrayim came to his first session here. He is an old time war gamer, so I’m sure he had an adjustment to make to working out the likes of El Grande, but he seemed to enjoy himself, and promised to return, and to bring a game with him that he thought we might enjoy.

Puerto Rico
Meanwhile, Rachel (my wife) and Ben and Yacov played a Puerto Rico game, which Ben won by 1 point, his third straight win.

Citadels
After the first games were over, and the dust was settled, Sharon and Nadine and Saarya and Rachel and I stuck it out to try a Citadels game. We had been playing 2, 3 and 4 player during the week, this was our first 5 player game. So far, I like the game as 2 or 3 player over 4 or 5, although 4 I like least. The game is a good game for kids and grownups to play together, because it is enjoyable enough for grown ups to play with them, and simple enough for kids to figure out. But, as Sharon and Nadine pointed out, it is just not engaging enough for the length of play. It really should be a shorter game, or quicker, or something. Saarya won by one point (29), with Rachel and I trailing behind at 28.

I am waiting to find the right time to try Princes of Florence and Bang. I think Bang might suffer the same problems as Citadels, but I don’t know yet. PoF just looks very beautiful, but very involved, which means players with time for thoughtful liesurely play. Since we all enjoyed El Grande, I think it will have to sit for a while, unless I get to play it outside of the club.

See you next week.

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