April 29, 2009

Participants: Nadine, Hershel, Abraham, Jon

Game night at Nadine’s house following Yom Haatzmaut. I arrived last.

Taluva

Jon 3/1, Hershel 2/1, Avraham 2/0/+, Nadine 2/0/-

I suggest this as an opener, as I’m still exploring it, it’s not too long, it’s pretty, and it’s elegant. First play for Abraham.

I think I played one more time than either Hershel or Nadine, and this is my type of game, so I was able to plan several rounds ahead in certain areas, while the others were still exploring the possibility space. Toward the end, the others colluded to see if they could stop me, but every place they could hurt or stop me was protected.

Abraham picked the game up well and would have done better, but he forgot one of the rules which meant that his master plan couldn’t come to fruition. I suspect he won’t make that mistake next time.

Everyone enjoyed the game for what it was. I have yet to play it with less than four players; the extra turns for each player would make a significant difference, I believe.

Dominion

Nadine 30, Jon 29, Hershel 24, Abraham 24

Suggested by Abraham, and enjoyed by all. The set of card contained no attack cards and Gardens to boot. There were ample extra actions to go around. So the game ended reasonably quickly.

Abraham tried a unique strategy of using all of his extra buys to acquire coppers, and then buying several Gardens. But because of the length of the game, he could still make them only worth 3 each by game end, which was not enough. I thought I was doing well, but I also knew that Nadine had 2 Provinces before I started buying mine, so although I caught up, it wasn’t quite enough.

Jon 32, Nadine 24, Hershel 23, Abraham 22

We had Gardens again, but this time no extra actions, and no extra cash, except for Militia. To make matters worse, we had Thief, which made buying Gold’s nigh impossible; in fact, no one did.

I think someone got to 7 cash twice in the game. Instead the Duchies wet first, and I finished the Gardens while Nadine finished the Estates. Hard to work with Gardens when someone is stealing your cards all the time, but I managed to steal enough back to make my Gardens each worth 3.

Bridge

Jon/Hershel, Nadine/Abraham

Hershel hadn’t played in many years, and it turns out that even when he had, he didn’t use any sort of bidding system. Abraham is very much a beginner. So we did a lot of learning. Hershel and I made two partials and set our opponents in a partial. They made one partial.

It’s Alive

Jon 49, Nadine 42, Abraham 27, Hershel 22

Abraham suggested we play this, and Hershel wondered if I wasn’t already sick of it, but I’m not. In fact, I’m still trying out new strategies.

Jack the publisher seems to feel that you should never buy on your turn, and I tried something like that, but it’s not always practical. In any case, I won not because of any strategy, but because I drew all three 10 cost coffins (and one villager). Nadine drew a coffin and no villager, while Abraham drew both 4 and 6 villagers. I ended with no cash, while Abraham had more than he could score.

Tichu

Jon/Hershel 535, Nadine/Abraham 265

We taught this to Hershel who liked it. It’s certainly less brain-intensive and more forgiving than Bridge.

I started with a Tichu, but lost most of the points: 115 to 85. They won most of the point in the next round, too: 140 to 160.

I bid and made Tichu again, but we actually ended with a -15 score to their 115: 235 to 265. I keep saying that Tichu is more important than points, and it is, but I guess you do need to look out for points.

Hershel ventured a Tichu on the last round and he made it. My hand was equally good, so I went out second, giving us a final victory.

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