July 20, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Mace, Nisan, Nadine, Or, Eyal, Nitzan, Boaz, Yael, Roman

Last week’s session was at Gili’s, with Estzer and Heidi, a visitor from the US. I was unavailable (at a lecture on games and manuscripts by Stephen Jacobs from the Strong Institute of Play). This week had a whole host of new players sent over by Gili, or who found the site on FB. Welcome everyone. Also, Mace is briefly in Israel and dropped by; hi Mace!

Lords of Waterdeep

Mace 204, Nisan 156, Yael 135

First play for Yael and Mace. Nisan writes: Yael was stuck with her Lord being for warfare/arcana, where Nisan had warfare and Mace had arcana. Mace completed a commerce plot quest giving him +2 points for each completed commerce quest, and had about seven at the end of the game. Similarly, the buildings he bought gave him +2 points per use and were used regularly for the last few rounds.

Nisan completed both 25 point warfare and piety quests. Yael completed some mid-worth quests and ended up with 17 unused cubes at the end of the game. Everyone enjoyed the game.

Alien Frontiers

Or (won), Nitzan, Eyal

First play for everyone. I taught the game and yelled answers to their questions while I played at the next table. Everyone like it, I believe.

Mr. Jack

Or+ (criminal), Boaz (police)

Boaz arrived late and had to wait around. First play for both of them.

Parade

Boaz and Yael lost with 26 points each. Mace won with 15 points. David had 21 and Jon had 22 (if I recall correctly).

Merkator

Jon 48, David 44, Roman 42, Nadine 37

First play for David and Roman, first multiplayer play (and third play) for Nadine and Jon. I think we played all the rules correctly this time around, and we found the game more balanced and worked correctly. We played without the random tossing of goods (which is a stated variant; randomly tossing goods is a Bad Mechanic). David enjoyed it and wanted to play it again.

I, on the other hand, feel that the game substituted complex calculations for tactics/strategy; and there is very little in the way of strategy. Just because it’s hard to calculate doesn’t make it a good tactical game. It’s decisions that matter, not analysis paralysis.  Our game took quite a while to play.

I won with the most buildings, which was not a big surprise. We may have overvalued the bonus cards at the beginning and David, being fourth player, was concerned that he wouldn’t get any as they could all be bought before it was his turn; in fact, Roman who went first bought five of them. They are not game changing cards; still, I think a limit of one per turn, or how many you can buy altogether, or at least a larger deck of them would be nice.

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