May 09, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Tal, Annette, Eliezer

Hmm. I must have scared away all the regular game group participants; the only regulars to attend were Nadine and Gili. Where did everyone go?

Annette and Eliezer came back for another visit, although it’s a long trip for them.

Hearts

Jon/Tal, Annette/Eliezer

I introduced them to Team Hearts for a quick light opener. I had to refresh Annette on the rules of Hearts, and it appears that she wasn’t too thrilled with the game. She asked if we could play President.

Tichu

Jon/Tal, Annette/Eliezer

So I tried them on Tichu for one hand. Annette appeared to like it more, but she will need more than one hand to really get into it. In our game, Eliezer went out first, Tal last, and they ended up with all 100 points.

Puerto Rico

Jon 54, Nadine 53, Annette 44

At this point we did our usual dance of what to play. Annette wanted to play Puerto Rico, while Eliezer didn’t. I assumed that more people would be coming, so I decided to play Puerto Rico at the same time that I played something with Eliezer. Little did I know what trouble I was getting into.

After Tal went off, and Gili arrived, we were five for the evening, yet, instead of playing a five player game, we ended up playing two three-player games, where I played in both games throughout the evening. How do I keep ending up in this position?

In Puerto Rico, we played with the straight building set. I was first. Both Nadine and I did a fairly straightforward four goods/Factory strategy. Nadine got a fifth good going while I took Harbor, passing up Guild Hall. In the end, she had three large buildings to my two, while I edged her out in shipping points.

Annette had nice goods production going and two quarries (to my none), but none of them were trade goods. So she remained cash shy.

Yinsh

Jon+, Eliezer

I introduced this to Eliezer and played simultaneous with Puerto Rico. As a result, I had to split concentration between these two games.

Our game was very crowded in the center. I won solely based on the fact that I understood the patterns of the game better than he did on his first play. Typical moves I used included my having a ring with two of his pieces extending one way and two of mine the opposite way. Jumping his pieces gave me five in a row.

Caylus

Jon+, Gili, Eliezer

I let Gili pick the next game as she arrived in the middle of the Yinsh game, and this is what she chose. Oh well. Not my favorite, but I’m willing.

It’s hard to describe a Caylus game. Suffice to say that I managed two large buildings including the 25 pointer, as well as a lot of castle points and favors therefrom. Gili also got two buildings, and more building points, but less castle points. In the end, she made a small mistake in building in the castle. Even without it, she probably wouldn’t have won, but it would have been closer.

Eliezer didn’t quite get the green-blue building dynamic. He spent the last part of the game getting straight victory points and gold cubes. Actually, now that I think about it, he was about 20 points behind Gili, but he had a fist full of cubes and cash that we didn’t bother to count at the end. It’s likely that he was closer to Gili’s score than we realized.

The Menorah Game

Nadine+, Jon+, Annette

We played two games, Nadine winning the first and me the second. In the second game Annette was very close to winning but got hit with a soldier and we managed to fill in our tiles before she could build up again. These were her first plays.

Nadine still doesn’t like the soldier mechanic in the game and would prefer to play with out them.

We managed to hit a situation that I had never hit before not covered in the rules. The last two cards were both soldiers. After the first was dealt with, the second is put aside and another tile is supposed to be drawn, after which the soldier set aside is returned to the deck. This makes the first time that a soldier was mixed into the deck on the second time through the deck.

Even after a few hundred plays, things like this happen.

San Juan

Nadine, Annette

Nadine taught Annette how to play this but they only played a few rounds before they had to go. Annette appeared to like it.

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