January 06, 2010

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Ben, Binyamin, Gili, Abraham

Welcome back Ben. I wanted to play Homesteaders, but once again didn’t get it to the table.

Tribune

Binyamin, Ben, Gili, Nadine

First play for all but Nadine. I taught them. The game is pretty straightforward when you play it, but, like Ra, each little piece has its own set of rules. As such, they appeared to be overwhelmed. Even though, all the rules and exceptions are brilliantly printed in the right location on all the game components.

Often, players forget that they can get this benefit OR that benefit. Often, they forget that they can do this thing ONLY if they also have that things. In this game, they all forgot about the chariot bidding for most of the game.

As a result of the last mistake, Ben ended up losing by a coin or two; if they had remembered, he would have won, fairly handily I hear. Instead, Binyamin won. Though he thought it was a bit confusing, he enjoyed it

Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside

Jon 66, Abraham 50

Meanwhile, Abraham and I played with kingdoms from all three sets. This was only my second play of Seaside, and third of Intrigue.

Our first set had no bonus actions at all. What it had, instead, was Chapel and Treasure Map, which are a freakingly deadly combination. In four or five rounds, my hand was stripped to nothing but four Golds and a Copper or two.

Abraham tried the same strategy, but took longer to get the second Treasure Map, and didn’t get the Treasure Map combo until several rounds later. He took Smugglers, however, and matched many of the cards and points I drew. Not enough.

Jon 27, Abraham 27

Our second mix was more interesting, perhaps. Bonus actions for Upgrade and Treasury, the latter of which I though was pretty nifty, as the gold they provide essentially continues to accumulate until you buy victory points. We also had Throne Room to turn these into double actions. None of the cards cost less than 4.

Abraham Upgraded away all of his Coppers, and I took Thief to try to rob him of his higher valued treasures, but Throne Room / Thief several times in succession only managed to nab one Gold and one Silver. Pathetic thieves. We both carefully cycled through our entire deck each round, and ended in a tie.

Dvonn

Jon+, Abraham

First play for Abraham, who had played Yinsh once. Yinsh is more “fun”, but I think Dvonn is the best game in the series (I only played Tzaar once, however, and I loved it as well). Abraham also appreciated it. We don’t play this game enough.

Phoenicia

Abraham 38, Ben 32, Binyamin, Jon, Nadine

Since Gili left, we were able to play a five-person game. It was nice to bring out a new game for a second play. Hopefully it will see many more. First play for Ben and Binyamin.

I think we all liked it, although I once again did very poorly. It is possible to partially catch up during the game, but not significantly enough to affect the eventual outcome, which is a tad frustrating. Abraham was pretty much leading by mid-game, and the outcome was forgone.

I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, yet, but I suspect that I’m making very bad decisions as to the relative value of different paths of progression. Last time, Abraham was producing poorly, but had many discounts and came in one point away from winning. In that game, I produced well, but had to throw out some items due to lack of storage space. This time, I had storage space, was producing poorly and had some discounts, but I wasn’t really in contention. It didn’t help having additional competition (five players) for the items I needed.

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