Participants: Jon, Nadine, Elijah, Yael, Abraham, Rachel A
Elijah brought his younger sister Yael. Scores aren’t exact; I left my notes at home.
Nadine 15, Elijah 13, Jon 9, Yael 3
First play for Yael. She didn’t like it, and found it too confusing. Nadine tried to help her with strategic decisions (as opposed to simple rules explanation), and I tried to stop it since I thought it was confusing her; I think Nadine was right, however.
Yael didn’t dump, but she also didn’t score any points. I took early dump and a few chips, but couldn’t get any more after that. Elijah and Nadine dumped a lot, but also got tons of chips which I couldn’t seem to get.
Yael 46, Abraham 41, Jon 37
First play of the advanced version for Yael. She was initially put off by trying this version, having played the basic version many times and winning most often. But she did fine and won anyway. I thought I might have been doing ok, but realized near the end that it’s no way to win if you have no cash. I began maximizing my cash, but only got to do it for two rounds before the game ended.
Remember kids: cash at the end of the game is straight victory points, if it’s less than or equal to half your board.
Year of the Dragon
Nadine 111, Jon 103, Elijah 80
In our game, medicine and helmets came up early, followed by one famine. Then there was a large break until taxes and a final famine.
I worked out that I needed only 5 people for all of this, and went for books around 1/3 of the way through. I ended up gaining massive points in books, but five rounds from the end I could already see that I was not going to win against Nadine’s end game scoring. She was going to have massive amounts of people (9) and several Buddha points. And so she did. She was nearly keeping pace with me anyway, having 6 huts, double dragon (first move) and a princess.
I lost all but one of my huts and people in the last two rounds of the game.
Apples to Apples
The Dealer 8, Yael 6, Jon 5, Abraham 2
We filled out time with this. Two cards each from the two guessing players, and two more cards from the box (The Dealer). Naturally, the dealer won.
Jon 39, Abraham 33, Elijah 7, Nadine 6
We were all happy to play this. We had Witch and Spy, but also Moat and Chapel. Nevertheless, Nadine was still unhappy with the Witch and unable to formulate a counter strategy against it. She grew bored by the end, when it was obvious that there was no way for her to win (she had 11 curses in her deck at the end).
Elijah also got hit with a lot of curses. Abraham got hit with some, too, but he used a Chapel effectively to dump most of them. He had a very synergistic deck of Spies, a Festival, a Cellar, and a few coins. It took quite some time to get going, but eventually, though it was annoying to everyone else, it started netting him a number of victory cards.
My deck started better, however, with first turns Witch and Chapel. After netting a Silver, I dumped 4 Coppers to the Chapel and then my three Estates. I’ve used Chapel to dump Estates before, and even a few coppers, but this was the first time I dumped so many Coppers all at once. A lean and perfect deck is just worth it. You can only do this when there is no Thief, however.
I took a Festival and then another Witch; I regretted the Witch, as I should have taken another Festival. And then I got a number of victory point cards, and my deck slowed down. Abraham’s began building steam, and then Nadine ended the game just to get it over with.
Nadine/Elijah 115, Jon.Abraham -115
I began with a very poor Grand Tichu bid, and ended up going out last. Not a good start. It could only be equaled by Abraham doing the same thing, which he promptly did on round three. Round two, no one called Tichu, so naturally I went out first. And round four, Elijah called and failed to make Tichu; Abraham and I both went out first.