June 09, 2010

Participants: Jon, Miriam, Ksenia, Gili, Nadine, Abraham, Emily, Eitan, Rachel

Emily and Eitan make it back after a few weeks absence. Miriam was here for her third week; she’s a natural gamer.

Dominion / Dominion Intrigue / Dominion Seaside

Ksenia 25, Jon 24, Gili 21, Miriam 21

Kingdoms: Chapel, Moat, Moneylender, Gardens, Adventurer, Steward, Coppersmith, Ironworks, Bazaar, Tactician

Lots of trashing doesn’t mix well with Gardens, but Ironworks does. And one would take Moneylender or Coppersmith, not both. First time playing with Steward, and I noticed that you have to trash exactly two cards, not “up to two”. First time playing with Tactician, which is as powerful as it looks, but it was still hard to choose between it and Bazaar.

First play for Miriam. It was a mistake to play with Steward and Ironworks, both of which require a choice between three actions, which makes it difficult to understand, let alone make the decision, on your first play. Tip: when introducing new players, don’t play with complicated cards.

I thought it was a close, quick game, and it was.

Homesteaders

Abraham 53, Nadine 52, Gili 43

Abraham loves this game, like I do. Nadine wasn’t sure after her first play, so she played again to see if she liked it better the second time. She said that she likes it enough to play it again, but it’s not in her top tier with Puerto Rico or El Grande.

At the end scoring, they thought that they were tied, until they remembered that Nadine had to subtract 1 point for her debt.

Power Grid

Jon 15+, Miriam 15, Ksenia 15

First plays for both Miriam and Ksenia. I explained the market mechanics as we played, but only mentioned once, and early, about ties being decided by money. As a result, when the end of the game came down to money, Miriam hadn’t prepared properly for it. Furthermore, it was fortunate that I was able to end the game the round that I did, because both Ksenia and Miriam were set to gain a lot more than I was on the next round: I was two cities up on them, bit still needed more capacity, while they both had 17 capacity already.

The reason for this was because, in our game, fuel, especially coal, was running out each round. And so, at the end of the game, in order to ensure that I had fuel, I had to dump a 5 plant powered by coal for a 5 plant powered by oil, and so couldn’t move up in production capacity to any of the 6 or 7 plants (which were all coal).

I thought Ksenia wasn’t handling the mid-game plants well, but somehow she ended up essentially tied with us by the end of the game, anyway.

Mr Jack

Emily++, Eitan

Emily and Eitan end up playing with each other often, as they tend to arrive late and while we’re in the middle of other games.

Emily won two games against Eitan. In the first, she was Criminal and escaped in round 4. In the second, she was Detective and jumped on Mr Jack on turn 7.

Tichu

Nadine/Abraham 140, Jon/Miriam 60

We only had time for one hand while Eitan and Emily finished their second game of Mr Jack. Nadine went out of character and called and made Tichu. Miriam also considered calling it; luckily she didn’t. She ended up going out last. I went out second.

Sticheln

Jon 27, Abraham 26, Eitan 14, Emily 4

First play for everyone except me, and I had previously only played one half of a hand. I had to look up the rules (on BGG, since I have the German edition) to remember how to play.

We played four hands, and we all played better with each hand. There are a number of things going on in the game. Still, I’m unconvinced that there is any strategy in the game; it seems to be nearly all tactics. Perhaps more plays will reveal more of the strategy.

  • Hand 1: Abraham 8, Jon 4, Emily -13, Eitan -17
  • Hand 2: Jon 6, Abraham 2, Eitan -2, Emily -2
  • Hand 3: Eitan 12, Jon 8, Emily 5, Abraham 4
  • Hand 4: Emily 14, Eitan 13, Abraham 12, Jon 9

Puerto Rico

Rachel 56, Nadine 51, Ksenia 47, Miriam 40

First plays for Miriam and Ksenia. Rachel had a full Guild Hall, Factory, and Small Market. Nadine had four corns, Factory, Wharf, and Customs House. Which kind of made whatever Miriam and Ksenia had irrelevant. Actually, Ksenia was pretty close (hmmmm… this is not the first time I’ve underestimated her score during a game).

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