May 18, 2016

Participants: Jon, David K, Nadine, Netanel, Alan

Netanel came for his first time; I don’t remember how he heard of the club. He had played a few Eurogames with his family, such as Catan, Cities and Knights of Catan, and Netrunner. He is looking to find other games for his family, more complicated than Catan but less wearying than Cities and Knights.

Alan wasn’t sure if he was coming, and I didn’t hear back from him until we had started a game, so he formed a team with Nadine in the middle of a game.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon++, David+

I continue my winning streak. We drafted, as usual. I ended up playing colors I wasn’t expecting to play during the draft (except for R); I played RBU, with the option of swapping out either B or U for G. All of my cards had a high casting cost, so my deck was painfully slow. One of my cards was a 7/7 artifact for 9, which I didn’t really think I would get into play but I put it in my deck for the first two games anyway (I took it out for the third game). I played with more land than I usually do: 17 instead of 16. I didn’t have any multicolor lands or multicolor mana artifacts, but I had 4 or 5 cards with scry. I had a few nice flyers and some direct damage. I hoped to survive on the ground long enough to get my flyers into play and I tried to save my direct damage for his flyers or anything that looked very dangerous.

David played RWg, I believe. In the first game, I had too few lands. Even after tossing a non-land to get a land, I couldn’t get to more than 4 lands for most of the game. I had to use direct damage on turn 2 to take out his RW 2/2 creature that evolved and made all of his creatures that had counters on them first strike.

The second game was a stalemate on the ground, which was good for me. He couldn’t block my flyers. He was pumping out 1/1 creature tokens and eventually tried to rush me, but I played a blue card that returned all attacking creatures to his hand. In the third game, he was land-shy. I toasted the same creature with the same direct damage that I did in the first game. After that it played exactly like the second game: I flew, he rushed, I sent his creatures back to his hand, and he resigned.

Steam

Jon 53, David 48, Nadine/Alan 34, Netanel 34

I like this game a lot, other than its minor kingmaking problem. I rarely get to play it, since Nadine doesn’t like route-building games and it’s a bit punishing for new players. But David didn’t remember it and it seemed like a game that fit the category that Netanel was looking for. Alan joined Nadine in round 2 or 3. We played on the Germany side, which I was unfamiliar with.

Nadine hurt David in the first round by building to the same city that he did and taking the cube he needed before he could. She then said that she liked the game a bit more than she remembered. Then Netanel built a route to block her from where she was laying track, and she said that she remembered that she didn’t like the game. Then, in the last round, she did the same to him.

David built in the center of the board, which gave him access to many cubes but also competition for these cubes. While this hurt him in the first round, he quickly recovered. By round 3, he was on par with the other two players, but slightly behind me. As a result of his central building, he netted about 10 points in the last 4 rounds from the other players using his tracks.

I built in the corners of the board, which gave me unfettered access to my cubes but no points from others using my tracks. In the last few rounds I built across the board and took a few cubes from Netanel’s area (which he couldn’t use, anyway).

We were all a little slow in building up our engines, so none of us made it to 6 point deliveries. I considered it in round 6 (out of 8), but it didn’t make sense to give up a 5 point delivery to do so (even if I made five perfect 6-point deliveries, it would only have equalled what I could do with six 5-point deliveries).

I think everyone pretty much enjoyed the game, with reservations. David might have won if he hadn’t had his first round setback. We’ll see if they are willing to play again.

Nefarious

David 28, Jon 24, Nadine 20, Alan 20

Alan suggested this for the limited time we had remaining. Our twists were 1) you had to pre-select the card you wanted to invent, and 2) everyone played 2 action cards each round.

2 action cards each round is a major twist: it means you can practically build an invention every round. It also makes all of your minions doubly valuable. I was earning 4 coins a round, but David played his minions better than I did and earned 6 or 8 coins each round.

All four of us made it to 20 points on the same round. I did my best on the next round with a 4 point invention, but I couldn’t compete with David’s massive money pile. He played an 8 point invention and still ended with 10 coins!

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