June 16, 2010

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, Elijah, Miriam

Welcome back to Elijah, who looked distinctly taller than the last time we’d seen him.

It’s Alive

Jon 57, Gili 45, Nadine 37, Elijah 32

Gili asked to play this as a filler. I’ve played this hundreds of times, but there are still surprises for me in each game. In this game, I started picking up a lot of cash and then buying tiles only when the slab value equaled twice my cash value. That was my way of maximizing my points, while simultaneously keeping flexibility. My only concern is if someone else were hurrying the game along, in which case I might end up with too much cash and not enough points.

It didn’t hurt that I didn’t get any Villagers. But it wouldn’t have made much of a difference if I had, I think. Gili’s 45 include the 5 point bonus for ending the game.

Tribune

Nadine+, Elijah, Gili, Jon, Miriam

First play for Elijah, second for Miriam. Five players is a tough game with fewer opportunities to make progress each round. It’s more important to have a plan, and not just pick up whatever randomly comes your way, which is what I did. It’s probably what Nadine did, too, but what came her way was better than what came my way.

Mu

Elijah 88, Gili 80, Jon 63, Miriam 44, Nadine 15*

With five players looking for a light game, I finally had my chance to try Mu, a highly-rated trick taking game for 4-6 players. The game has a table for the points required to make for your bid, and a separate table for bonus points for making your bid, and a number of interesting bidding and trump rules in between.

It’s fun and interesting, but it’s not really all that great. In fact, it’s far better with four players than it is with five, which kind of defeats the point, since there are already so many good (better) card games for four. From my limited experience of three hands, it’s biggest drawback is that, unlike many other cards games, you’re simply going to do well if you have a good hand and poorly if you have a bad hand. Which is not the case for Bridge, Tichu, David and Goliath, and many other games.

Nevertheless, all of us except for Nadine enjoyed ourselves well enough. Nadine gave it two hands and then bowed out for the third. Elijah racked up a lot of points in the first two games, and neither chief was able to make his bid. In the third hand, played without Nadine, Gili was chief and took nearly all the tricks.

Vegas Showdown

Jon 51, Gili 46, Miriam 44, Elijah 44, Nadine

First play for Elijah and Miriam. Elijah was falling asleep near the end of the game, but it was Nadine who caused the biggest disruption when it turned out that she had placed and benefited for several rounds from a building for which she didn’t have the correct prerequisites. Miriam also had done it, but it was her first game and she did it after Nadine, so she had an excuse.

Nadine had to remove the building near the end, and never got the correct prerequisite building to re-place it, while Miriam did. Gili jumped ahead in the last round or two in both people and income, when I had been leading in them throughout the game. Which annoyed me. Somehow I still won. I think because I had a lot of good early income, and took some bonus points for Slots (and event) and cashing money in for points (twice during events).

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One thought on “June 16, 2010

  1. Mu is actually regarded by almost everyone as being by far the best with 5. The 2-3 partnership split turns out to be by far the most balanced given the 2 side has the high trump. I will pretty much only play it with 5. 6 I consider the second best number but significantly worse.In addition, some hands that would be just awful in other games (say 6 1s) are in Mu excellent. As with basically all card games, getting higher cards is generally better than lower cards but in Mu it is not as extreme as in many others.If you have an iPhone/iPad and want to try the game more, the version and AI are both very good.

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