December 27, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, David, Binyamin, Ben, Yitzchak, Gili

A very ordinary, but enjoyable, game night.

Down Under

Jon+, Nadine

Nadine 32, Jon 30, David 21, Binyamin 21

This little game was sent to me as a gift. It’s about the size of my game It’s Alive. It’s a boardless tile laying game for up to four players. A second game is also explained in the rules, using the reverse side of the tiles.

On your turn, you have access to all of your tiles, which means that there’s no “luck” in the way of tile drawing. Each tile has a road of your color, a separate road in gray, and an animal on the gray road. You place one of your tiles so that the road of your color on your tile extends your route. Your route includes all previous tiles you placed of your color, and any gray tiles that you managed to include in the route by connecting to them.

The board can only grow to a certain width and length. When no one can’t place any more tiles you count the length of your route plus sets of animal combinations on your route to arrive at your final score.

It’s actually quite nice and fairly quick. I enjoyed both the two-player and four-player game. None of the other players seemed to like it, unfortunately, except Nadine seemed to like it a bit. It seems to work two, three, or four player equally well.

I found some of the rules a bit hard to understand, especially the “cap” pieces that you are able to play at any time, but don’t make sense to play until the end of the game, and don’t do anything anyway. I couldn’t figure out how or why they did anything.

Power Grid – Benalux

David 15, Jon 12, Nadine 10

This was our first play on one of the new boards. Benelux is a very cheap board, and the power plants cycle very quickly, making the game pretty short. In addition, oil is cheap and plentiful, while coal is expensive and scarce.

David managed to tap into the oil well and maintained a lead because of it throughout the game. He also expanded quickly into my cheap territory. A pretty easy victory on his part, but still fun to play.

Taj Mahal

Binyamin+, Yitzchak+, Ben, Gili

This game hadn’t come out in a while. Ben had to have the rules refreshed to him. In the end, Binyamin and Yitzchak tied when the cards were added to the interim scoring.

Cosmic Encounter

Binyamin+, Yitzchak+, Ben

After Gili left, they got this game out. Wild as usual, but the game didn’t last long and I think they weren’t keen to continue it anyway, for some reason. Binyamin and Yitzchak managed a joint win on a deal.

Bridge

Ben/David, Jon/Nadine

Ben/Yitzchak, Binyamin/Nadine

A usual evening-ended, sometimes for more than an hour, like this evening. They don’t seem to tire of it.

Magic: the Gathering

Jon+, David+

Binyamin actually wanted to play Magic, too, but Ben preferred Bridge. David and I continued to plow our way through the new cards I brought back from Canada. I think I had the stronger deck. We split the games, but I only lost the second game because of mana screw.

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