December 22, 2009

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

Game night moved to Tuesday, since my lady love was coming home on Wednesday. Once again we were in the middle of a game when Eitan and Emily came. Last time they ended up playing with each other, but this time I divided my attention between two games so as to include them.

Phoenicia

Gili 34, Abraham 33, Nadine 32, Jon 26

First play for all of us, we struggled to understand the terse rulebook for some time. I eventually clarified some issues on BGG.

This was an enjoyable game, another hit with the group. We’ve had so many of those lately, and I’d like to start playing some of them a second time! It was also another infrastructure building game with multiple paths. As usual, when none of us could tell exactly how everything was going to fit together, we had no idea which paths to take, so we played fairly randomly until things began to gel.

Abraham was ahead in VPs, but well behind in production. He wasn’t that hampered with this, as his infrastructure included discounts on what he wanted to buy, anyway. Gili had vast amounts of storage potential and production, which worked well together, of course. She also took the other Ship, and was able to outbid me for the final items. In contrast, I had pitiful storage, and had to toss out some of my cash a few times.

I’m not entirely happy with the one major random element of the game, which is drawing cash cards with values between 4 and 6. Nadine pointed out that it’s an important element of the game, since you shouldn’t know precisely how much another player can afford during bidding. I’m not all that convinced. The rest of the game worked very well.

Atlantic Star

Jon 81, Eitan 75, Emily 66

First play for Eitan and Emily. I took the opportunity to teach them a game that the others aren’t crazy about, but which I like a lot.

Our only problem here was the crayon with which we write the route values. Whenever we tried to write something, it looked like smeared lipstick. So we had to try to remember what the numbers were.

Emily and I both took vast moneys from one of our routes, allowing us to toss the pile several times each near the game end. Eitan took more conservative values from his routes.

Alice and Wonderland Parade

Abraham 11, Nadine 22, Jon 36

First games for Abraham. Nadine taught him how to play for half a game, and then the three of us restarted. Abraham drew all the brown cards, and he took nothing but browns and one other card (a 3, I think).

Meanwhile, Nadine and I were fighting for control of several colors, piling on vast amounts of cards. In the end, the color I lost in was worth much more than the color that she lost in.

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