January 24, 2008

Participants: Jon, Gili, Yitzchak, Nadine, Sigal

This week’s game night was help on Thursday instead of Wednesday owing to a wedding on Wednesday night. Yitzchak brought the amiable and lovely Sigal (I think … damn, I’m bad with names) for her first visit.

Notre Dame

Nadine 60, Jon 59, Yitzchak 54, Gili 46, Sigal 23

My top secret santa gift, I played this in November on my trip to BGG.con at the Tuesday night Dallas group. I love it and though the group might, too. Sometimes when I like a game the group ends up not liking it.

Luckily, they all liked this one. It’s mostly from owing to the large range of available strategies and the scant few actions you can take each round, despite needing all of them. It’s definitely up there with Princes of Florence and so on.

When I played in Dallas, the person who taught us had one of the rules wrong. He said that the Park gives you -1 rat each time you use it and +1 VP every second time you use it. No one could figure out the point of using it, unless you had nothing better to do. However, the real rule is -1 rat each time you use it and for every two times you’ve used it you get +1 VP every time you gain VP from any other action from then on. Big difference.

Yitzchak was trying some mass VP strategies that quickly left him idling. I was also idling along, but I was still gaining more VP than Yitzchak. Gili was also fairly close with Nadine behind her. I felt like I was on the way to win.

Unfortunately for us, round 7 opened with everyone except Nadine drawing the Notre Dame action and no cash to use it. These 4 cards all went to waste. On round 9, Nadine then drew here Notre Dame card. She used it for 6 VP, and then pulled in an uncontested 12 more points at the end of the round. 18 VP took her from 4th place to beating me by a single point at the end of the game. Life’s not fair.

It’s Alive

Sigal 42, Jon 37, Nadine, Yitzchak, Gili

I usually don’t recommend playing this with five players, but we needed something for five that was more than light but less then heavy. And it’s still a great game.

It worked out very well for us. Nadine managed to scoop three coffins as her three first cards through heavy bidding, outbidding me by one twice, and I was convinced she was going to win, regardless of who filled their board. I publicly hoped she would draw a Villager before she could replenish her cash, which she said was mean. And she actually did draw a Villager before she could replenish her cash. Sweet revenge.

Sigal finished her board with low pieces, but it was still enough to win.

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