May 21, 2008

Participants: Jon, Bill, Nadine, Jonathan, Sergei, Daniel, Max, Binyamin, Ari

Bill came back even though we didn’t have a quorum for role playing again. Luckily, he plays board games, too. Max came a few times before with Jack (who only came a few times). Max and Jack were running a Russian-speaking game group in downtown Jerusalem for a while, but it petered out. Max brought with him Daniel and Sergei.

Robo Rally

Ari+, Jon, Binyamin, Jonathan, Max

This was a first game for Max and Binyamin. I picked a single board and a single flag. But it was the Maelstrom board, nearly entirely covered with concentric circles of walkways moving at different speed and depositing into a central pit. And the flag started out on one of these walkways, so moved one space each phase, too.

Needless to say, it looked like it was going to be wild and fun. For some reason, I calculated that the best way to get to the flag was to skirt the opposite direction to the walkway’s movement around the edge of the board and then try to rush in. Ari, instead, jumped onto the faster moving walkway which took him right opposite the slower moving flag in one turn. He won on turn two.

Jon+, Nadine, Sergei, Bill

Later in the evening we played again. This was the first play for Sergei, and second (?) for Bill.

We also used a single board and flag, but a simpler one, and the flag was stationary at the far corner. This time I won in two turns, by virtue of having hands full of Move 2 and Move 3 cards in both turns.

El Grande

Nadine 122, Daniel/Jon 104, Sergei 103, Bill 98

This was the first game for Sergei and Daniel, I believe. Daniel unfortunately had to leave after the second scoring round, so I took over while also playing Santiago.

When I took over, Nadine was well ahead of every other player, so she obviously neglected to inform them that she usually wins big time and they should all gang up on her. By the time I got there, it was too late. On round 8 she took an interim scoring opportunity which essentially sealed the game.

Round 3 scores: Nadine 37, Bill 37, Sergei 41, Daniel 35
Round 6 scores: Nadine 89, Bill 73, Sergei 74, Daniel 77

Saikoro

Jon+, Ari

After Ari won the first game of Robo Rally, we played two more rounds to see who would come in second. To keep Ari occupied, I played Saikoro with him.

It’s still a lovely game. I had no trouble cornering Ari for the win, as it was his first game.

Santiago

Binyamin 72, Jon 62, Ari 45, Jonathan 43, Max 43

I love this game and have wanted to get it out for a long time, but I haven’t had the opportunity since some of the other club players don’t like it. But, with a new audience, I was finally able to do it. This was the first play for Max, and second plays for Ari and Jonathan.

Both Binyamin and I got in on an early potato field, while I also got an early sugar field, and he got a later pepper field. He had one more guy on the potato field, however, and managed his cash just a bit better, so as to earn a victory.

Race for the Galaxy

Binyamin 23, Jon 18, Nadine 18

Yes, very low scores, entirely because Nadine built low cost buildings on every single building phase, ending the game in some eight or nine rounds. Nadine knows the brown building strategy and isn’t happy when she doesn’t get those buildings. Binyamin says that he has tried the game with variants where you build up to twenty buildings (instead of twelve) and increase the vp chips, which he likes better than the standard game, as it ends too quickly.

It’s Alive

Sergei+++, Jonathan+, Max+

When they finished playing this, I thought they had played only one game and I asked their score. When they said that Sergei won with three, and Jonathan had one, and Max had one, I was confused, until I discovered that that was the number of games they had played, not the point counts. They played five games back to back in the time it took us to play Race for the Galaxy.

And after all that, Max said that he found the game somewhat repetitive. I’m guessing they liked it enough to play it five times, however.

Bridge

Jon/Max, Binyamin/Nadine

We got in two hand of Bridge at the end of game night. This was Max’s first plays, and he kept comparing it to games he was familiar with.

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