July 11, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Ben, Binyamin, Adam, Gili, Ofek, Dylan, Yitzchak

Game night was back in my house after being hosted by Nadine for several weeks. Thanks Nadine!

Atlantic Star

Binyamin 55, Yitzchak 48, Ben 39, Jon 36

Among several new games that I have, this was the one I wanted to try most. We almost had a five player game, but Nadine didn’t like the look of it so she bowed out.

Ben hated the game, when the specific routes he wanted early on didn’t pan out. After that he was sour for the remainder of the game. Yitzchak and Nadine were basically agreeing with his assessment that it was almost entirely a luck based game. E.g. the way that I feel about Alhambra.

Binyamin was also not thrilled with it. I was the only one who loved it. And as you can see, I came in last.

I’m also the only one who thinks that there is far less luck than everyone else was complaining about, and that you have to play what you’re given rather than try to ope you get a rigid set of cards in a particular order. Sure, sometimes you’ll win that way, and sometimes you’ll lose badly that way. But that’s the wrong way to approach the game.

So I had a good time.

Settlers of Catan

Ofek 10, Gili 9, Nadine 9, Adam 9

This was a long game, and as you can see, ended very closely.

Shear Panic

Ofek, Gili, Adam, Nadine

They started this game, but Adam quickly began to hate it (I’m not sure why, as it’s very much like Go). However, they had to end early, either through having played initially incorrectly or simply because Gili and Ofek were tired. Nadine said that she liked it, because most of the information was out in the open.

Cosmic Encounter

Ben+, Yitzchak+, Jon, Binyamin, Dylan

We bandied about a few choices and settled on this (sorry, Elijah). Ben has a history of winning this, even with poor hands, and this time he got a good hand to start with. I think I got his hand by mistake.

He went for a solo victory against Yitzchak, who played Emotion Control, whereupon they swapped base for a base for victory.

I was Wraith and Prophet, which don’t work together in one respect, and work together in another. However, I never really got to play my Prophet power.

Binaymin was Reincarnator and something, and he ended up as Grudge at one point which was annoying.

Ben was Witch and Mesmer. The former he used fairly effectively, sometimes simply as a threat against attacking him.

I forget the other powers.


Ben, Binyamin, Yitzchak, Nadine

They played several hand of this to wrap up the evening.

Queries and Theories

Jon, Dylan, Adam

We tried a game of this, but it isn’t quite as interesting as Zendo when played by the straight rules. At some point, there are simply N possibilities of what the rule could be, and you have to try them all by trial and error. In order to make the game quicker and more fun, I allowed a yes or no question to be asked before each player’s turn.


Nadine/Dylan, Adam/Jon+

Nadine and Adam left an unfinished game. When I picked it up to play against Dylan, I was up a queen against a knight and bishop. Even with this, it was difficult for me to pull off a victory; eventually, I played the easy strategy of swapping pieces hoping for a better material advantage in the end. It felt like cheating, and it was still rather close.

I only won by getting my last pawn to turn into a queen after everything else was gone (and two other queens has bit the dust).