March 17, 2009

Participants: Jon, David K, Josh, Alexis, Nadine, Gili, Avraham.

We didn’t have game night last week, and this week we held it on Tuesday since I had something else to do on Wed evening.

Josh and Alexis were in the game group last year (at least, Josh was) but he moved to Boston after getting married. They were in Israel for a wedding and had time to drop by, which was excellent.

R-Eco

David 9, Josh 8, Alexis 6, Nadine 1

First plays for Josh and Alexis. They played with the colors all in the appropriate stack, but in random order. Nadine managed not to dump, but this didn’t help her as you can see.

Agricola

Nadine 42, Jon 38, Alexis 31, Josh 29

First play and explanation for Josh and Alexis. I thought I explained this before, but it felt like I was trying to explain it for the first time. Man, is that difficult. It’s not enough to just explain the victory points and actions; you have to explain the whole animal, plowing and sowing concepts, and harvesting and food concepts. I need to figure out the right order of explanation.

Josh had difficulty creating sustainable food production, so later in the game he had to take food several times. So he came in last, even though he was first to get a new family member.

He had some nice card synergies, but his best synergy he didn’t realize until later in the game, by which point it was too late to play them. Chalk it up to first game experience. He actually did pretty well with farming and animals, but had too many empty farm spaces and not enough bonus points in houses or cards.

I had only one occupation, one minor and one major improvement until close to the end game, whereupon I bought two other major improvements for the bonus points. My cards gave me two extra food for baking bread, and the ability to bake bread during the harvest. Netting 7 food during every harvest for one wheat, I was set for food throughout the game.

Nadine had a nice stone house, five people, and no empty spaces. She also had synergy with animals, so no food problems.

Dominion

David 18, Avraham 8, Gili 3

First game for Avraham, and second or third for Gili. They played the standard first game kingdoms. David was killing with a card engine that let him draw his entire deck on several occasions.

Avraham 37, Gili 24, David 15

They played with random kingdoms, including Gardens. Avraham was the only one who abused this card, ending with 7 Gardens and 44 cards (28 points from Gardens alone). I don’t know what other cards they played with.

Traders of Carthage

David, Avraham, Gili

First play for David, and second for Gili (I think). David didn’t fare very well, I understand, but I don’t know the final scores.

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2 thoughts on “March 17, 2009

  1. To start I explain the scoring, emphasizing diversity (to avoid negatives), family and filling space. Then I like breaking the game into three main parts. The house and family, the fields and crops and the pastures and animals. Each is a distinct subsystem. To use fields you need grain or vegetables and you need to plow and sew your fields. I explain that each of those nouns and verbs is an action. I break the other two subsystems down the same way. Next I discuss Occupations since they’re easiest to play, then Major and Minor improvements, emphasizing that MI are ways to convert things to food.

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