Archive by Author | Yehuda

December 06, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim S, Lorenzo, Nadine

Gin Rummy

Haim 42, Jon 0

We played one hand, playing the local rules that I grew up with.

Trajan

Nadine 125, Jon 119, Lorenzo 119, Haim 94

First play for Lorenzo, Second play for Haim. I tried a few different things, but I could see that Nadine was going to win by halfway through. Naturally, she complained every time she only made 24 points instead of 25 in a round, or if she only made points in 4 areas instead of 5 in one round. I didn’t complain, because I figured I was second and thought it might be close.

We all played more military than unusual. Lorenzo played with the x2 chips, extra actions, and many Trajan tiles. I played more cards than I usually do.

Nadine writes: It’s not just luck, but not really planned either. At the end of one of the years I landed on a spot to get 9 points because I had the right colors there for the tile. It was the scroll rack spot, and I had an extra action chip, so I ended up second to get a bonus tile, worth 6 points. Lorenzo was hurt by it being his first game and not realizing a few things early enough, and Jon went last, without compensation. Tie breaker is the scroll track, I think.

Actually, we played with the slight rule change where all players get the same number of turns (so whoever triggers the end game, it comes around to the 4th player), which is a little compensation. But it’s still a little harder in last place.

Lorenzo says that he liked it.

Tichu

Jon/Haim 1080, Nadine/Lorenzo 220

Second or third time for Lorenzo. Possibly it would have been better if he had been my partner. Nadine says that she wants to keep Lorenzo as her partner while he is learning.

Lorenzo writes: She is very good in trying to fix my mistakes, but Tichu is an especially hard game for me so for almost each point she gets I lose as much.

Advertisements

November 15, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim S, Nadine, Gili, Aaron, Lorenzo, Klara

Klara is a new attendee from Germany, volunteering in Israel. She is quite an experienced gamer.

Troyes

Nadine 47, Lorenzo 45, Aaron 34

First play for Aaron and Lorenzo. Nadine forgot a few rules, but in the end the only one she forgot entirely was that you can only use one time cube at a time.

Nadine writes: Lorenzo used Archer well. I forgot or didn’t know that you can only use one time cube per turn. I think it only happened once: Aaron turned a white to three yellows, then added two to each cube. Lorenzo added two to each die several times, but I think he had only modified with flipping, which is allowed. Lorenzo had the worker bonus card, so he was using six or seven dice. I was down to four dice, until I replaced one of his on the last round, after which the event card where you have to pay for each worker in the yellow building came out, so he lost one less coin. The “lose two influence” card was in a effect for a few rounds, which made it hard to get workers to place on cards.

Lorenzo used the Archer to good effect; it lets you roll dice to place cubes on any event cards. I fought the cards because that was my bonus. They both realized this, even though they didn’t know that I usually don’t fight cards. I got a lot of money once from a red card, with which I bought points on a yellow card (not the cost 15 one). Aaron also did this. They both understood the game, even though they said it’s a hard game. It took Aaron a bit longer.

Village

Klara 62, Haim 56, Jon 53, Gili 43

Second play for Haim, and second play in a long while for Gili and Klara who had to relearn the rules. I made one change in the rules: you MUST take a cube every round, even if you are using the Well. This made the game FAR better, in my opinion, since taking the Well does not any longer give free turns to other, random, people.

I did a combination of Council/Market and dying, while Klara did a combination of Council/Market and Church, which turned out to be slightly better. Haim did travelling and church, earning no Market points. Aaron tried a relatively balanced strategy, a little of everything.

It’s Alive

Jon 50, Aaron 47, Haim, Klara

First play for Klara. Haim and Klara ended up drawing all but one of the coffins, and Aaron drew the last one. I don’t remember Haim and Klara’s scores, but Aaron triggered the game ending and I won.

Slap Deck

Jon+, Haim+, Klara

First plays for Klara. We played twice.

Tichu

Jon/Haim 1035, Nadine/Aaron 665

This game went on for far too long (until 2 am). It took some 16 or 17 hands. Haim and I had sucky hands. Once in a while Haim made what I thought was a questionable play, but in the end it was often the right one (or at least the only option he had). Finally I had one or two good hands near the end, including one where I called Tichu over Nadine’s Grand Tichu, and both Haim and I went out first (for a swing of 500 points). Then we got to 980, and then to 990, and finally the game.

November 08, 2017

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Aaron, Haim S

Small game night.

Village

Aaron 50+, Jon 50-, Nadine 47, Haim 36

First plays for Aaron and Haim, third plays for Nadine and me. This is a frustrating interesting game that has a number of different strategies to explore. You can’t follow all of them, so – if you try something new – the game plays very differently. And yet, in the end, you come out to roughly the same number of points. Either the game is well balanced, too balanced, or hard to figure out.

I’m kind of enjoying trying to figure it out, in the meantime. I don’t know if Aaron and Haim liked it too much. Haim took the opportunity as first player to take the “first player next round” token a lot, which essentially often let Aaron be first player. Turn order on the first turn gives a slight advantage to those who go first, which is a minor problem with the game, but not a real problem. Which brings me to my only real problem with the game:

I loathe the mechanic where one person, instead of taking a cube off of the board, can pay three cubes to take an action. Not because you can take an extra action, but because this gives some other player an extra turn, which is just highly unfair and annoying. Yes, it’s part of the mechanics, but it’s a mechanic that I despise, and it is so easily fixed. Just make any person doing this first take a cube, like happens in Suburbia and so on. In this way, paying three cubes for an extra action doesn’t add to the overall number of actions. if that gives too much benefit to the person paying the cubes, you can have him take and throw out the cube.

I am definitely playing with some variation of that from now on.

Tichu

Jon/Aaron+, Nadine/Haim

I didn’t finish the last round when it was obvious that we had won.

November 01, 2017

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Haim S, Haley

Light attendance tonight. Haley first came to Games Day, and joins us for our first game night.

Kingdomino

Jon 43, Nadine 38, Haim 32

First plays for Jon, Nadine played at a game Shabbaton. Honestly this game may cause some people angst but didn’t give me any cause for thought. It’s in the same space as, but lighter than, and lesser than, Take It Easy. Pick a tile, reserve your next tile and turn order, and place your tile in the pretty much obvious spot. It helps to know the tile distribution, but as you can see, apparently not too much.

Crossword Squares

Haim 18, Jon 17, Nadine 16

First plays for Nadine and Haim. This little pen and paper game is also in the same space as the above, but it’s quicker and free to own.

Splendor

Nadine 15, Haim 9, Jon 9?

I wasn’t really keeping score since I was planning an infrastructure when Nadine suddenly announced that she won. Didn’t see it coming. Of the four patronages, three of them required rubies and there were no ruby cards available, which hurt my (and Haim’s) infrastructure building plans.

Since Haim plays almost purely infrastructure, and I am still toying with a mix, I may have been slightly ahead of him in position.

Castles of Burgundy

Haley 194, Nadine 193, Jon 191, Haim 176

First play for Haley, second or third for Haim. Haley is a true gamer, and she really liked the game. I thought I was slightly behind for the first three phases while Nadine was slightly ahead and Haim was close behind. By the fourth phase, it all looked pretty close to me, maybe I was slightly ahead and Haim seemed a bit behind. As you see, it ended pretty close for all of us, except for Haim who had fewer end scoring tiles.

Nadine almost always plays the same three or four paths, but Hayley took one of them from her.

Tichu

Jon/Haley 1010, Nadine/Haim 990

Second or so play for Haley. Last time we played, Aaron and I were far behind Haim and CB, and we ended up losing spectacularly. This week Haley and I were far behind Haim and Nadine and we came back from a nearly 700 point spread to win.

I won a tichu on the first hand. On the second hand, Haley lost a Tichu and they went out 1/2. On the fourth hand I lost a tichu. On the fifth, I lost a grand tichu and they made a tichu when Haim laid down a 13 card straight on his opening play (and they also got 110 points).

Round 7 I made a grand tichu, bidding on a Dragon, Ace, 2 kings, 3 queens, and a 10. After passing I had Dra, A, A, A, K, K, K, Q, Q, Q, J, J, 3, Dog. I predicted that my opponents would have multiple bombs, which they did (one each), and yet I still wasn’t worried about making my bid.

Round 8 I made another tichu. Round 9 they made one. Round 10 I made one. Round 12 Haim made a grand tichu, and the score was 990 to them, 810 to us. No one called tichu on round 13, but with some careful play we managed to both go out first.

 

October 25, 2017

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Aaron, Haim S, Gili, Elad, Lorenzo

For Sale

Jon 112, Aaron 77, Nadine 61

First play for Aaron. Nadine does not like the game, which she remembered soon after starting. Aaron wasn’t nuts about it, either.

Boggle

Haim and I played a few rounds.

Argent

Gili, Nadine, Aaron, Lorenzo

First play for all of them, I think. This is a mammoth Euro/Ameritrash combo game that took 4 hours. In the end, they all tied with 3 points each. And Nadine won on the tiebreaker.

Nadine writes: Argent is a very nice and interesting game. Worker placement with lots of options, you can activate cards in addition to placing workers, each player has a special ability. There is complex synergy between the options, with three different types of cards. You get compensation if someone wounds you (kicks you off your spot), and there are defense cards.

12 of 18 end game conditions are in the game, similar mechanic to Troyes except it’s all who has the most, no second place unless one or both of two second place cards are in the game. You can get markers to look at cards.

I focused on 3 things, based on cards that I saw early – Influence track which breaks ties, this was one of the two cards that weren’t hidden; Diversity which is most different colors of cards, which works against collecting the most in one color; and Markers. I knew that if I was first in Influence and had all the markers I’d win the tie, it turned out that no one else had 12 markers, but I tied in Diversity with Lorenzo. He was second on the track so also won some ties with the others. We played on the A sides, I was purple and didn’t take any red attack mages. We all ended up with 3 cards / points at the end, which makes sense in a balanced game. Gili had played once but ran out of time so only played four rounds. It has some luck, possibly the right amount.

Glen More

Elad 62, Haim 61, Jon 42

Second play for Haim. First play for Elad, who picked it up quickly. I found myself grinding to a halt early on and I never recovered. I don’t know why, exactly. I never go for whiskey barrels. Haim always seems to have one too many tiles at the end.

Spyrium

Elad 67, Jon 65, Haim 52ish

First plays for Haim and Elad. These scores don’t count for much, since I accidentally used the decks in the wrong order: C, B, and then A, which makes for a ridiculous game. I think they liked the idea, however. Haim called it a complicated version of Splendor. I find it interestingly complex for something that looks kind of simple. And the green bits are nice.

October 18, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim S, Aaron, Chaya Bluma, Elad, Yael, Gili

Gili and Aaron return from trips. This report is being written after a week, so I forgot who played what.

Traders of Osaka

Jon, Aaron, Yael, Haim S

First play for all but me, I don’t remember who won but it wasn’t me.

Keyflower

Jon 75, Haim 47, Aaron 30

First play for Aaron and Haim. They both liked it and want to try again. I told everyone about Nadine’s winning strategy from my previous game, and Aaron was intending to try it, but he passed too early and I took the building he wanted. Even if he had gotten it, I would have choked his barrel supply.

A weird game where not a single black good was available (two minor gold production buildings were available).

Dominion

Elad 31, Chaya Bluma 24

Nefarious

Yael, Chaya Bluma, Gili, Elad

There was some confusion in the rules, and I think they decided to just stop the game.

Tichu

Jon/Aaron, Haim/Chaya Bluma

All I remember was that we lost something like 1050 to 150 or so. Very sad.

September 27, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim, Nadine, Lorenzo, Noam, Chaya Bluma, Eli G

First time attendance for Eli, a young lad who lives in Har Nof. Also first time for Lorenzo, although he came previously to my house to play on shabbat.

Glen More

Lorenzo 67, Jon 60, Haim 52, Nadine 39

First play for Haim, second for Lorenzo, second (and probably last) for Nadine. This is not Nadine’s kind of game, as all of the decisions are spatially based.

Lorenzo enjoyed it, and I like the game a lot, although I admit it’s better after you have played a few times to get the feel of how it works. Haim took to it well, although he ended up taking too many tiles.

Yinsh

Chaya Bluma+, Noam

First play for both of them, both of them really enjoyed it.

Noam+, Jon

We played a game later in the evening. I started out winning. But my second disk removal gave him his first, and then he sneaked in two more, the last right before I would have taken off my third.

El Grande

Lorenzo 133, Nadine 125, CB 109, Haim 96

First play for all but Nadine. Nadine may have met her match, since Lorenzo is a nuclear physicist who seems pretty on the ball. On the other hand, Nadine claims that her winning streak is in five-player games [ed: not true]. Everyone enjoyed it.

Trias

Jon, Noam, Eli

First play for both of them. Eli arrived late and had to leave early, and I thought we could finish this in an hour, but they decided to try to scheme to see how to take me down (which I encouraged). They didn’t succeed at it, but Eli had to leave before the game was over, so we’ll never know.

Part of the reason it took so long is that they kept trying to do things that the rules did not allow and then kept expressing a desire that the rules would be different to allow them to do these things. That’s the game!

Crokinole

Jon+, Noam

I had a shutout over Noam.

Slap Deck

Noam+++++, Jon

Noam won five hands straight against me, earning a combined total of over 100 more points than I earned.