Thank you to all the participants for bringing games and snacks, and helping out with moving furniture in and out of our sukkah and our nice new neighbors’ sukkah. It was a cooperative and fun group of serious gamers. I discouraged first time Eurogamers – they get a much better introduction at our weekly sessions where we can spend time selecting and teaching an appropriate game. I remembered to get pictures of most the games, even the one I was playing in. Emily as usual did a great job with the dinner order, this time from Burgers Bar instead of Daisy Burger, they didn’t do as well at labeling the food. Abe , Emily and Eitan contributed to this session report.
A few days before I had realized that I was going to miss the first Obama Romney debate due to the conflict with games day; otherwise I could have stayed up and slept in. Wednesday night I went to bed late after discussing a range of possible house rules with Abe to fix El Grande King and Intriguant, and wasn’t asleep at 3 so I got up to watch the debate. It was unbelievable so I ended up not sleeping much. It’s not often that political campaign events cause that level of surprise across the board. People at games were interested in hearing about it, and also surprised that there was such a clear winner.
Laurie wanted to learn Niagara because she has the game but hasn’t played it. I played it at bgg.con, it’s short, strategic and fun. We kept putting off playing it to play other games, but when we went to play it at the end of the day we couldn’t find it, it had already been taken home. Next games day.
Attending: Jon, Nadine, David, Avi, Yehuda, Abe, Ofer, Hershel, Akiva, Avi A, Laurie, Ken, Oren, Gili, Emily, Eitan, Netanel, Mishi, Rafi, Michael, Elijah, Yael, Shalom, Eszter, Bezalel, Binyamin S, Josh, Leah
Welcome back David, who brought his son Avi and nephew Yehuda.
B’sha’a tova to Emily and Eitan, who are expecting a baby for Pesach Games Day!
When I explained to Mishi that there were plastic cups he could use downstairs by the Eclipse game, he asked “what’s Eclipse?” so I said the game being played in the parking area, near the sukka he was playing in. So he said, “oh, are they part of our group?!”
Playing started with Jon and David playing Magic and Avi and Yehuda warming up with R-Eco and Pitchcar, followed by Netanel beating Eitan, Emily, Michael, and Shalom at Pitchcar.
Jon explained the game and pulled off his usual resounding victory partly due to the players not listening to his warnings to pay attention to victory points over combat.
Castles of Burgundy
Jon did a good job of teaching this, he had played once and had to reread the rules; first play for the rest of us. It did take a long time, because we were new and had to look up what each building did every time, and due to a break while Jon taught Homesteaders. David and I took more time figuring out our moves, Jon complained but then said on the other hand we were winning. I don’t understand how I did better than Jon who planned better, but the things I focused on, such as trying not to use workers, helped, also maybe trying not to do too much. David had a trading strategy, with synergy of trading benefits. I avoided yellow chips because I wouldn’t be able to fill in the region and it takes more planning to benefit from them. I did animals because I understood how they worked, Gili started with them too, and then David also did animals, and Jon later too. At first I took chickens, and Jon asked why I was competing with Gili who had a chicken tile, which I hadn’t noticed, so I switched to sheep. I asked her why she hadn’t said anything, she said she thought I was purposely blocking her, which I wouldn’t have bothered doing in that situation. I didn’t understand how all the buildings worked, there are better ways to plan and do things in beneficial order, which is what Jon worked on. There is some luck in getting the right die numbers at the right time because mitigating with workers costs actions. Jon was first player, getting one worker tile, I went last, getting 4, which may be unbalanced. Jon got points for finishing colors first, and he also scored higher for finishing regions earlier. I was second in two colors. I had 226 at the end, David 225, with Jon and Gili further back.
First game of the day for everyone except Hershel. Everyone’s first play of Eclipse except for Hershel, who did an excellent job explaining and facilitating the game. Ken developed a nice fleet of ships laden with plasma missiles, but didn’t really have good places to move because of previous exploration patterns, and hardly got to use them the whole game. Hershel expanded quickly, took over huge tracts of space, and then also took over the center. Ofer built up a decent fleet of ships, found himself boxed in between Ken and Hershel, and then launched a valiant assault against Herschel in an attempt to conquer the center. Hershel responded by reinforcing the center with a quartet of starbases, and subsequently wiping out Ofer’s forces. Abe mostly stayed in his own corner and focused on racking up points by researching a lot of technologies, and was also the only player to build a monument. Oren controlled a good-sized area, and got a good amount of points from other sources as well.
The battle that decided the game, though no one realized it at the time, was Oren’s loss to Herschel on Abe’s starting tile during the final round of the game. Oren sent several lesser ships against one of Herschel’s powerful ships. Oren came within one damage of winning, but couldn’t manage to get the final hit, and Hershel’s ship emerged victorious. The tile itself was worth 3 points, and Herschel also drew a high-value tile as a reward for winning. Had Oren won, either he or Abe would’ve won the game instead of Hershel, so it was close up until the end.
Emily hurt Ofer in two rounds by moving the water ring, but he had a card to mitigate the effect. Emily had the Draw Plus 2 Sphinx card from the first round, and the You Can Go Upstream card, and Place a Ship in Occupied Space.
Avi did well in this long game and was a very good sport even when his hoped for victory was thwarted.
It’s Alive (Basic game)
New to Laurie, Avi and Yehuda, though Laurie thinks she played regular Ra once. They all liked the game and my Jewish theming. I was ahead most of the game, stayed ahead in baskets, and didn’t have menorahs. Avi and Yehuda sat out auctions in an effort to get candles for their numerous menorahs. David was negative til the end when he caught up with tribes, Laurie was also strong in tribes, and got the ark last round.
Avi A 140
Magic the Reunion
David beat Jon 3 times.
Eitan asked Abe who’s winning Mincha, and Abe answered ‘I don’t know, but Jon’s in the lead.’
Eszter and one of her kids and Jon had started Trias, but it was a casualty of moving the table to make room for Maariv.
Emily, Eitan and Avi were tied going in to the last round. Emily tried to fight a monster to end the game and Eitan was helping, but everyone else attacked them so they lost. Emily then helped Eitan ended the game and they won, they said they would have helped anyone win. They were accused of nepotism, but were actually cooperating less than the other relatives involved.
Laurie 17/13 $72
Nadine 13/13 $21
We had a nice selection of boards from which to choose thanks to Ken who has them all. None of us had played on China, with changes including the cards coming out in order for most of the game, only 3 cards available for purchase with no replacements, and more limited fuel. I went last in buying cities the first round, so I was able to be in my own area, though that also meant that I missed out on the cheapest connections. David and I ended up competing for plants because we use the same approach. I paid 70 for a 6 plant, then David got one for 30 when Laurie didn’t fight him. She also didn’t buy out the coal, though because I went before David and bought what was left, he couldn’t run his plants. Yehuda was doing well, with high income, until I stocked up on oil to protect myself, which blocked him. We thought Laurie should have been more directly competitive, but she had her own strategy. Laurie built to 17 cities when she could power 13. I could power 17, so I would win if I could build to 14. We didn’t understand why she had built to 17. But I was $5 short, so could only build to 13. And she had way more money than I did, winning the tie decisively. If I hadn’t bought spare fuel for my oil and coal plants I would have had the money, but then David and Yehuda would have been in competitive positions, so great job Laurie! We messed up a few times, refilling oil less than it should have been, and making too few new power plants available.
First play for everyone, except Eitan had played Small World Underground. Eitan said it was better than he expected from reviews; it played like its own game rather than a simpler version of Underground. Just like Underground, he lost, but enjoyed the experience.
Jon and Kenny 1075
Abe and Oren 825
Jon and Ken found themselves down by 600 points early on, due to some ill-advised Tichu and Grand Tichu bids that failed. However, after falling behind, they kept chipping away at the lead, with a fair amount of hands with no Tichu bids whatsoever, but Jon and Ken usually claiming a majority of the points anyway. Eventually, they took the lead at 875 to 825, and then closed out the game by going out 1-2 on the last hand for the final 200 points.