October 14, 2009

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, David, Abraham, Emily, Eitan

Good company.

Bridge Troll

Jon, Nadine, Gili

I was considering trading this. We played it one more time to see. First play for Gili.

Result: Nadine decided she didn’t like it, but that’s typical with Nadine when she doesn’t get the strategy in a game. I still like it – maybe less than other fillers we have – and would keep it, but only if others wanted to play it. Gili thought it was ok, but wasn’t enthusiastic. As no one was willing to speak up strongly for it, I decided to trade it.

It’s got nice components and the game play works, though it’s rough in some places. The game works better with three than it does with six. Six wasn’t really fun, as you could go the entire game without scoring any real points. Three players worked fine. Several of the mechanics seemed to exist solely for game balance; I’m guilty of doing the same thing with the Villagers in It’s Alive, but that’s only one mechanic, not several.

The core of the game-play is blind bidding and the random results of what happens thereafter, which is good if you like that sort of thing, but it’s not for my group. Again, it’s a decent game, and a lot of groups will like it, hopefully the one to which I’m passing it onto.

Traders of Carthage

Nadine 19, Abraham 17, Gili 15

Playing this filler after Bridge Troll, both Gili and Nadine said that they like this game better.

Magic: the Gathering

David++, Jon+

David and I drafted. I picked up G/R with a splash of W. David had B/G/R. We each had some neat comboes.

David had a mana producer that produced mana of any color his opponent could produce, and then some sunburst cards, which gain bonuses depending on the number of different colors used to cast them. I had an equipment that automatically moves to any new creature that I brought in, and a creature with “champion” that sends a creature out of play while it is in play.

They were fun games, although I lost the second hand because I was shy of mana.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Abraham 13, Nadine 12, Gili 10

First play for Abraham. Not Nadine’s usual cup of tea, in part because it’s quite longer than Settlers. Their game lasted three and a half hours.

Dominion

David 26, Jon 23, Emily 23, Eitan 7

First play for Eitan, second for Emily. Emily wasn’t thrilled with her first game, mostly because it was dominated by Militias. No Militias in this game, but there were Witches.

Bonus actions were Cellar, Market, and Laboratory. Bonus cash was Workshop and Market. Defense against Witches was Remodel. Getting to 8 cash was nearly impossible, especially with Witches filling our hands with Curses. We also had Garden.

David played a Market – Cellar – Garden strategy. I used an early Remodel hoping to slim down my hand, but early Curses had me struggling to stay even as the game went on. Emily took an early Witch. Eitan didn’t make the transition to buying victory points early enough.

I thought I was doing better than Emily, but turns out I was wrong. I did manage to Remodel my one Gold to a Province, which was the only one taken, I think.

Jon 39, Emily 33, David 24, Eitan 19

In this game, the only bonus action was Market. We also had Chapel, Thief, and Bureaucrat. Eitan tried Mines, but Emily kept stealing his Golds. David and Emily both played Thieves, and stole from each other, although Emily was far luckier.

David took a Chapel, but didn’t quite get it to work right. I think he’s not using them correctly; he thinks he just didn’t luck out. He got discouraged mid-game and gave up trying at some point.

I took an early Chapel, let it work wonders, and, though slightly and disconcertingly slowed by an early Thief taking a Copper I actually needed to buy my first Market, still managed to get on a roll. I had no cash at all, but I had 8 of the 10 Markets, and a Workshop. I began rolling Provinces very nicely, but without a Cellar, I slowed down after four or five Provinces. Emily and Eitan both bought one Province before me, using their Bureaucrats and Thieves. Eitan once again didn’t transition to accumulating VPs early enough.

Eitan really liked the game, and Emily also enjoyed it more than last time.

Tichu

Jon/Emily+, David/Eitan

First play for Emily and Eitan, I think they liked it. We played three hands, and I called and made Tichu on two of them.

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