December 09, 2015

Participants: Jon, Aaron, Shneur, Shmuli, Leah, R Yitzchak Meir, Nadine, Gili, Roman, Alan, Ben, Assaf, Raanan

Leah and Yizchak Meir are parents of Shneur, and Shmuli is his brother. Leah and Yitzchak Meir are Americans who are also Chabad of Crimea; they were evacuated right before Russia took over the province, and have not been able to return since owing to visa issues. Nevertheless, as Chabad, they continue to hope for a miracle to allow them to continue their work, which they continue to do from afar and will continue to do until all Jews are out of Ukraine.

Welcome back Nadine.

Before I begin, let me just mention that on Monday evening I went with Nissan to a Nefesh B’Nefesh Panoply trivia game night to benefit Orr Shalom, an organization that provides for 1,300 children from distressed family situations. I don’t really enjoy trivia game nights, because no matter how well I do, I only remember the one or two questions that I absolutely should have gotten but missed. Still, it was for a good cause and I made many good contributions with my music and entertainment knowledge, but I can’t believe I didn’t remember the Canadian female artist who had the song with most digital downloads [1]. Sheesh.

Nefarious

Aaron, Shnuer, Shmuli, Leah, Yitzchak Meir

Aaron suggested this and I taught it to them. I didn’t see how they did or who won, but the seemed to enjoy it.

Codenames

Jon/Raanan, Roman/Nadine

One of the games that Nadine brought back. This is a tricky party/word/tactical game for two teams. One player on each team is the code giver. There is a grid of twenty five words. The code givers are informed which 8 or 9 of the words belong to their team. 8 belong to neither team, and one of those 8 is a trap.

Taking turns, a code giver says a word or phrase and the number of cards that “are associated” with the word or phrase. The other members of his or her team try to guess the card or cards that are associated with the phrase. The trick is that the code giver only wants his teammates to guess card that belong to his or her team, which is very hard unless the word or phrase matches only a single card. When you try to give clues that match more then one card, you have to be super careful that none of the cards that are not from your team also match the word of phrase. Your team’s turn is over after they guess the number of cards you gave (+1) or after they guess a card that is not from your team. Your team loses immediately if they guess the trap card by mistake. Your team wins if they guess all of your cards before the other team guesses theirs.

Roman and I were the code gives in two games. In the first game, Nadine guessed the trap on their first move. In the second game Roman managed to get in a two word clue to win the game when my team had only one word left unguessed.

Troyes

Gili 37, Raanan 37, Nadine 33, Roman 33

Nadine used influence to re-roll three different dice four times and got the same number each time. Gili was down to two, then one, dice in the last rounds, and had to use her one die to fight a black die.

Parade

Aaron, Shnuer, Shmuli, Leah

Yitzchak Meir took a nap while they played this. I don’t know who won. Aaron taught this to the others.

Bohnanza

Aaron, Shneur, Shmuli, Leah

I taught this to all of them, although I mistakenly had them draw only two cards at the end of each turn, instead of three. This, combined with the great amount of negotiations they undertook, made the game longer. They only made it through the deck once. They played with “favors” that continued to the next round, although it wasn’t always clear who owed whom a favor for a particular trade or donation, and the favors were not officially enforced.

Five Tribes

Ben 146, Jon 143, Alan 114, Assaf 113

Ben went early for a set, but the cards clogged up with the wrong cards for a while. Eventually he got his set, anyway, two cards in a new set, too. It helped having the Djinn that let him use two slaves as wild cards. He also bid almost nothing the whole game, leaving him with 37 coins.

Alan ended with 49 money after taking some blue meeples, and he had 30 points in djinns, but little in the way of camels or cards and no viziers. Assaf stole my vizier majority on the last turn and had the most points in camels. I had nearly as many points as Ben in goods (57 to his 63) and decent camels, but only 9 coins in cash left.

[1] Carly Rae Jepsen, of course.

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