July 30, 2008

Participants: Nadine, Jon, Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda, Amir, Hillel, Yitzchak

Last minute change of plans forced the game night to Nadine’s house. Amir came for a first visit, although he’s moving to Modiin so won’t be back much. Hillel has come once or twice before. Yitzchak also won’t be coming back much more, as he’s now engaged again (mazal tov) and moving to Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Year of the Dragon

Nadine 108, Jon 107, Amir

I don’t remember the exact scores. Nadine was convinced I was going to win. I felt like I was doing ok, but I was severely behind in end-scoring points, and I figured Nadine would catch up to me. Lo and behold, she did, and won the game by one point.

YotD is a good game, but it’s pretty balanced and mechanics-oriented. Constantly losing people makes for a nice tension element. In our game, I opened with the Double Dragon, which I’m not sure is the best opening move, actually. Later on I used the triple book a few times, ignoring the ladies and the builders. Nadine and Amir took early double dragons as well, and some ladies. Nadine’s ending monks were what did me in.

Texas Hold’Em

Binyamin, Jon, Zvi Yehuda, Hillel

Zvi Yehuda wanted to play this, and Binyamin pretty much cleaned up. We played with a 1 token ante and a 5 token maximum bet for each hand (after which all cards were simply revealed). Z”Y bet high a few times in weird ways. I simply pulled crappy cards. I’m not a big fan of this type of poker, anyway.

Hillel took over for me when he came, as I was playing this and YotD at the same time.


Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda, Hillel

This is a new game from Ystari which Binyamin brought. I didn’t see much of it. Binyamin claims it’s a deeper version of Mykerinos.

Alexander the Great

Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda, Nadine, Jon

This is another new game which Binyamin brought. It’s a hidden resource allocation / area control game with somewhat vicious mechanics (tied players receive nothing, first player loses resources equal to 1 + the second player’s resources).

I played this simultaneously with Princes of Florence, so this may be why I found the game wholly uninteresting. In an hour, we progressed through 2 of 6 epochs. The decisions were very heavy calculations – not based on high math, but based on wrangling the mechanics to benefit you: “If I go here, I cause a tie, which means no one loses anything, so when I go here and lose, she’ll lose resources, so that I can go here and win, and we’ll both gain 3 points overall.”

It felt excrutiating to me, but overall I think it’s probably a good game. There’s tons of strategy and tactics, and little in the way of luck, so many of my group will probably like it. You have to learn the patterns to enjoy it.

We abandoned the game after the second epoch, with Binyamin in the lead.

Princes of Florence

Yitzchak 58, Jon 57, Hillel, Amir

First time plays for Amir and Hillel. PoF remains an excellent game, but my luck remained poor. I thought I played an excellent game. I picked up 2nd and 3rd jesters on the last two round at dirt cheap prices, and won best work in both rounds. The third jester boosted a bonus card, and secured me my prestige card (6 points).

For all that, Yitzchak had two prestige cards worth a total of 15 points, and ended up beating me by one point. Sometimes I don’t know why I bother.

Both the newbies played very well, although they both had a bunch of builders and lost (by less than 10 points), so there you go.


Binyamin/Zvi Yehuda, Jon/Nadine

We played Bridge for several hands, and my highest hand was 10 points. Most of my hands were 6 or under. I still ended up as declarer three times, making two of the contracts.

Aside from the first hand where Binyamin opened 3 hearts and his partner bid 4 NT and they made a slam, the rest of the hands were all partials. One was even passed out.


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