May 30, 2007

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Elijah, Zack, Jack, Binyamin, Gili, Adam, Tal

Game night was interrupted for a half hour by a visit from Kindershpiel’s representative, delivering a few boxes of different versions of Apples to Apples to me, to assist me in my work in creating Hebrew versions of the game.

Jack came about half a year ago, so this was his second visit. He knows some games already, so was prepared to enter into anything we could throw at him.

For Sale

Zack 85, Tal 84, Elijah

These three began with a light game, while the rest of us started something a little heavier.

Power Grid

David 16, Binyamin 14, Nadine 13, Jack 12+, Jon 12-

I suggested Princes of Florence, but somehow this ended up on the table, yet again. The only problem I have with it is that a) Nadine and David tend to take a long time to think through their moves (and end up playing better because of it), and b) too much cooperation going on, with everyone figuring out the best moves for everyone else.

As a result of a), Binyamin and I played a side game of Netrunner while this game was going on, whenever it dragged down. Amazingly enough, aside from a few points at the beginning of the game, it didn’t drag down too much, even though it certainly took a long time to play (around 3 hours, not including a small break we took in the middle).

Note that we also played with a special rule change: A third row of power plants was added atop of the other two. This row merely revealed the next 4 plants coming up in the deck (no reordering or taking the highest or lowest from this row, surely a stack). As a result, the main other complaint we had about the game, which was the luck of a good power plant coming out, or a bad one coming out, after you made the best play, was entirely eliminated from the game. In my opinion, the change was an excellent one, and I intend to play with it from now on.

In our game, we played on the U.S. map with the Southwest blocked off. I had never tried starting on the expensive Northwest but decided to give it a go. It is, without question, the reason that I lost. I was expecting fighting in the East coast to offset the slightly higher prices I was paying on the West, but there wasn’t any real fighting on the East. As a result, I was simply paying more and getting less each round, and that was all there was to it. In the end, I had a line of plants stretching from coast to coast, but this was not a pick up and deliver game.

David and Binyamin took the East coast, with Jack and Nadine in the center. Jack ended up going all green, while I had some early nukes. Coal and oil were therefore incredibly low priced for the entire game, as was most of the fuel.

Children of Fire: the Board Game

Zack 11, Gili 9, Elijah 6, Adam 5

Adam taught them all this game (reminded Elijah, actually), but somehow lost anyway. They finished it in reasonable time, so I guess didn’t need the round limit that I generally impose on the game.

Netrunner

Binyamin+, Jon

This is a game whose main luck component is hidden cards and picking from them blindly. What this means, is that the shorter the game, the more luck and therefore the less interesting.

Our game, in contrast, was a long slow buildup, which made the game lots and lots of fun, very interesting and pleasurable. I still wish the game had a few more “Instant” like cards and direct targeting cards; I may need to buy a few more packs of cards.

I played the Corp and Binyamin the Runner. He played no hardware the entire game. However, he had a card that let him take the top card of his discard pile and a card that let him look through his deck and choose any card, As a result, he spent two actions almost every round simply picking any card he wanted from the deck.

I had a good deal of ICE out, but ultimately he found a way to my HQ through my Archives and pulled the last Agenda out of my hand.

San Juan

David, Nadine, Jack

While Kindershpiel was talking to me (and Binyamin), these guys played some San Juan, abandoning it mid-game when we resumed Power Grid.

Tichu

Adam/Tal 1000+, Elijah/Zack 500

While we wrapped up Power Grid, these guys played an entire game of Tichu to 1000 points. At least once, a nine card straight from Adam was beat by a higher nine card straight from Zack.

Quite an interesting game, though playing to 1000 takes quite a long time, relatively. There were many tichus and grand tichus called and made and lost. On the first turn, Tal made a fairly silly pass to the opponents. But after that she played well. –Adam

Lo Ra

Nadine 37, Jack 35, David 27

Jack is an experienced Ra player, so it didn’t take him long to adjust to Nadine’s Jewish themed version of the game. He had quite a collection of monuments, so I’m surprised to see that he didn’t win in the end. It’s mainly due to his first round score of -5 to Nadine’s 9.

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