January 7, 2009

Participants: Jon, Binyamin, Nadine, Gili, Avraham, David K

I lost my notes.

Trias

Binyamin 26, Jon 24, Nadine 20

I simply love this game. Honestly, I was expecting to thing that it was an ok filler. But it’s elegant mechanics and chaotic patterns are exactly my style. In the first game you have no idea what you’re doing and why, but it soon begins to come clear.

Unfortunately, everyone else I’ve played it with at the group doesn’t feel the same way. Especially, there are some people who take a very long time to take their turns, ala Carcassonne. Nadine is one such person. She also claims that it’s simply not her style of game, being too spacial (yet somehow, she always seems to beat us at El Grande).

First play for Binyamin, who is especially irked when other people take a long time to play. I would like to play it 2-player a couple of times.

Jambo

Avraham+, Gili

Gili taught Avraham. The Kosmos two-player series is Gili’s type of game; I think they’re ok filler games. They didn’t have time to finish, but agreed that Avraham was probably winning.

Antike

Jon 9, Avraham 8, Binyamin 7

My third game of Antike, and another game that I simply love a whole lot more than I expected to. Possibly it’s because I’m playing with not too aggressive players; if I played with war-gamers I might feel differently. As for now, the game seems to be perfectly balanced, where the victory mechanics don’t favor aggression over non-aggression, or vice versa.

Binyamin’s first play, Avraham’s second. I decided to try setting the victory condition to one less than the book indicates. It does make a difference. That one extra point would have dragged the game on into a lot more forced combat situations and probably close to another hour. We finished our game in under 2 hours.

I started with gold and the first Know-How, but Binyamin quickly stifled my hopes of getting a landslide of those. I played Arabia, and pretty much had my side of the board to myself for most of the game. Just once, Avraham who played Greece conquered one of my outlying cities in the south. And I won the game with a quick unexpected strike to destroy one of Binyamin’s temples in the north.

Binyamin started with two legions and expanded into 12 or 13 cities as his first several rounds. He then hit up against Avraham who attacked a number of his cities. He then concentrated on acquiring the rest of the Know-hows (he got 6, I think) and building temples. But he was too slow to win. Avraham also expanded early, but he spent too much time on expansion, building no temples and achieving no points through know-hows. He was still poised to win the game two turns after me.

Year of the Dragon

David 74, Nadine 55, Gili 45

A favorite of all three of them, they consider it a tighter and less random version of Notre Dame.

Traders of Carthage

Avraham 15, Jon 14, Binyamin 12

Avraham taught this game to both Binyamin and me. It’s a light filler game. To me, it seemed to fit into nearly the same space as R-Eco, with its point in four goods, piles of cards that appear and disappear, and low scoring. It’s also fairly chaotic and low on the planning side, with just enough planning to make you feel that you have some relevant decisions to make. This is probably exacerbated in a four-player game, and lessened in a two-player game, like all similar games with chaos.

In our game, I probably should have one but I made two mistakes. The first one cost me a card. The second one gave Binyamin the shipment and lost me several cards and point opportunities. But Binyamin didn’t quite grasp the right plays. Between the two of us, we let Avraham take a close but smooth victory.

Bridge

Jon/David 990, Binyamin/Avraham+Nadine 0

Avraham hasn’t played this (he’s played online? read the rules?), so he teamed up with Nadine to play one position with Binyamin as partner. I ended up with all the points over four hands. I played the first three hands, and Avraham insisted on stealing the last hand, but went down two.

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