March 28, 2007

Participants: Jon, Adam, David K, Gili, Tal

A light and short Pre-Passover game night.


Adam 57, David 56, Jon 51

After posting our first session reports to the Geek, and getting encouragement to try this again, I decided to try this again.

As I’d said in the last report, I thought it was good, but believed there might be some problems. In particular, it seems that the museum basically gets jammed in the first round or two, and after that it becomes unplayable – as do the brown cards that let you put pieces there.

According to the Geek, this is group-think on our part. Apparently, other groups take the cards in the first round, and then use the brown abilities in the second and third rounds. I find it hard to believe that this is a successful strategy. As I mentioned, this is one of those NxM games, where you need a balance of both N and M.

A 5 point cube in the museum times 5 cards is superior to 20 cards with no cubes in the museum. And cards are in plentiful supply, while museum space is not. That means a rush to the museum, no matter how you slice it.

As far as the variable worth of the cards in the later rounds, that makes the game less interesting rather than more interesting, because there is less competition for specific cards. All in all, something doesn’t quite hand together right.

In our game, the first round saw no brown cards at all, so there was no question about rushing to the museum. Somehow, David managed to get 3 out of the 5 prime spaces, leaving 1 each to Adam and me.

David and Adam kept passing before I was ready to quit, leaving me extra cubes and not enough actions to use them.

Adam, however, took many more high-scoring tiles. David had freer choice of what to go for in the last round, but he needed to catch up. He could have, but on the very last move of the game he chose the wrong tile, giving Adam a complete set of 5 colors, which was enough to give him the win.

Taj Mahal

David 51, Jon 48, Gili 46, Adam 24

This may look like close scores, but it wasn’t really. I took a commanding early lead, while David reinforced his hand round after round. From round 7 and on, he dominated commodities. I couldn’t let him take them too easily, so I had to fight him a little, which resulted in both of us draining cards, with him draining slightly faster than me. But it wasn’t enough.

he overtook me round 8 or so; by round 10, I knew I had no way to win. Meanwhile, Gili was keeping close pace behind me, but just far enough behind. After the twelfth round, she lay down the largest point hand I’ve ever seen in the game: 12 points. Which was almost enough to catch me.

Adam was trailing behind, knowing he couldn’t catch up, which is one of the slight flaws of the game.


Jon/Tal 230, David/Adam 70

We played two hands of this, but David and Adam had to leave early. In the first game, no one called Tichu and we all seemed to have pretty bad hands. In the second round I got back almost exactly what I passed and no one called Tichu again. This time, Tal and I managed to both go out first.