May 16, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, David, Elijah, Zack, Gili, Adam, Carrie, Peter, Rachel A

A cast of the usuals joined us on this Jerusalem Day. In addition, my Scottish guests, Carrie and her son Peter also decided to join us for a game at the end. I mentioned my guests earlier in the week, when I taught Peter Yinsh, but I had been looking forward to teaching them something to play together, and especially Settlers of Catan.

And you know what? Nailed it.

Lost Cities

Nadine+, Jon

I started off with this slight game, giving it one more chance to prove that it was anything better than a rummy game. Didn’t happen, again. It’s basically on the level of a light card game. Yeah, you have to decide what to play and what to discard. And the cards are pretty. Uh huh.

Anyone want my copy?

This was Nadine’s first play, and she, too, was not impressed.

Elijah+, Zack

Elijah watched us play, and played with Zack when he arrived and the two were waiting for Adam. I didn’t hear any shouts of glee.

Tikal

Jon 102, Gili, David, Nadine

I wanted to play this because we hadn’t brought it out in a while. We were going to play it three players, but Gili joined us just as we got started.

I didn’t forget that Nadine and David were going to be their usually overly analytical selves, so it didn’t surprise me that they were. And, once again, it didn’t seem to help them. Really, games like these are better played with a little thought and a little instinct, both for the end results and the patience of all involved.

On the other hand, they all believe that I just naturally take to area control games, which is why I’m unfair about it.

In our game, my win was primarily due to my low bidding. The other three spent upwards of twenty or more points bidding on hexes in order to control the treasures. As a result, they gained slightly more than me each round, but they couldn’t close the gap I achieved simply by taking whatever hexes came my way.

In truth, I also locked temples earlier than they did, used the action points not involved in excavating treasures to good use, and also avoided the same areas that they were competing in for the most part.

Nadine doesn’t like the game that much, mostly because of the ugly treasures.

Cosmic Encounter

Adam (Reincarnator, Plant)+, Elijah (Worm, Anti-matter), Zack (Warrior, Mind)

Elijah’s first request every night, Adam and Zack acceded. They also played with comets and asteroids, and I refused to give them any rulings on how these work, since I don’t like them.

Mau

Adam, Elijah, Zack

The only winner of this game was me, since I didn’t have to play it and I could lob insults at the players to which they could not respond to since not talking is one of the rules of the game.

OK, I think they all enjoyed it, too. Lord preserve me from ever having to play it.

Arimaa

Elijah+, Adam

Adam taught this to Elijah, who surprisingly managed to win.

Settlers of Catan

Peter+, Jon, Carrie

I taught this to both of them, and they picked it up with almost no difficulty. In fact, after explaining the rules, Peter went first and dropped his first settlement on the best spot without any consultation. In shock, I then realized that not only was it the numerically best place on the board, it also have great resource diversity, and was the best location for all three of those resources.

His win is therefore not much of a surprise, even with his generous and promiscuous trading, and the bad luck I had at the beginning of the game didn’t help matters. Peter managed both Largest Army and Longest Road and got to 8 points reasonably quickly, while both of us still had 2 (I actually had an additional VP from a development card).

Despite this, I managed to work my way up to seven points, and lost only one or two rounds before I would have won by stealing away Peter’s Longest Road. Carrie had a harder time, being on worse resources and numbers.

As the game wound down, Peter insisted that they buy the game, so Carrie will contact me for where to get this in the UK.

Puerto Rico

David 67, Rachel, Nadine

Rachel was keen to play with Nadine, and to play Puerto Rico, of course. David was willing to play them. I didn’t see the game, and I left the scores at home. David won.

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One thought on “May 16, 2007

  1. David won due to luck, which increases as a factor with good players. Of course, he also played extremely well. I was going to give myself Corn as a handicap, because there’s no question that David and Rachel are much better than I am. But they didn’t want to consider me inferior enough to rate a handicap. So David started with Corn, and no Corn turned up in the plantation draw for 4 or 5 rounds, and even after that not often. David also had a Coffee monopoly, Rachel and I had Tobacco going before any Coffee turned up. David had Factory, Wharf and Harbor. Rachel had Factory and Harbor. I didn’t realize that Factory and Harbor wouldn’t be available, so I ended up with a Small Warehouse and Wharf. I never produced enough due to a lack of colonists, Rachel and David both got double colonists several times when I just got one, which I should have prevented. My Small Market also wasn’t manned most of the time. David and Rachel each ended with 35 shipping points, I had 20 and two big building to their one. Rachel and I had tried to end the game one round earlier to prevent David’s last shipping, but it wouldn’t have helped. It turns out we could have done it. Rachel was going to take Builder, but I only had quarries, no money, so she shipped instead because I couldn’t build. But if she had taken mayor I could have built with the Builder bonus, ending the game. But in that case David would have built a large sugar, giving him 4 points with Guild Hall. He got 7 points from shipping to Rachel’s 5, with 12 coins leftover. I don’t think Rachel could have built anything, and only for 1 or 2 points if at all. So David would have won either way, it was 67 to 56 (Rachel) to 50. It’s different to play a serious game vs. teaching and advising new players which I did the past few times. David said he hadn’t played FTF for a long time.– Nadine

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