Archive by Author | Yehuda

Social Distancing Gaming

Yehuda here. I am slowly trying to organize distance gaming to enable Wed nights to remain game nights. I didn’t have the chance to fully do it this week, but I did play two remote games.


My partner Allegra and I played Codenames remotely with my daughter Tal, on my team, and Allegra’s friend Lisa, on her team. We did an actual overhead shot of cards on the table, only for my son to tell me afterwards that actually we can play Codenames online. That will help, since our remote players had a little trouble with the connection and with seeing the top row of cards.

With lots of delays, we managed to play two games, with Tal giving me the clues in the second game. It was the first time playing for Lisa. We each won a game.


David, Avi, Aaron, and I tried out, and we played most of one game. I had trouble understanding the interface at first, and David and the others felt that the interface was just too slow, so we didn’t finish the game. We’ll try a different site next time.

As for all of our other gamers, I will try to be more proactive in organizing online games next week (and then it will be Pesach). Games Day won’t happen, of course, but maybe I will be able to organize something for that, as well.

October 17, 2018

Participants: Jon, David K, Haim, Gili, Aaron, Elana

Welcome Elana.

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

I knew during and after the draft that David was going to kill me. I think my highest powered creature was a 2. I didn’t even have more fliers than he did and I had nothing to kill his creatures other than a Shock or two.


Jon+, David, Gili

I don’t remember the exact scores.


David 55, Haim 47, Jon 46, Gili 33

Four players is harder than three players. I passed more than usual, and I still ended with three debts.


Jon+, Elana+

Elana arrived while we were playing Homesteaders, so I multitasked. I taught her the game, and she beat me in the second game.


Aaron 57, Haim 56, Elana 40

First play for Aaron, who like it.


David 15, Jon, Gili

First play for David, who I said would win. He made some mistakes, and he still won (by one round, which seems to happen a lot).


Haim/David/Jon 1160, Aaron/Elana/Jon 640 or so

I started out teaching Elana to play (with Aaron, while David played with Haim). She picked it up pretty quickly. David left and I took his place.

March 21, 2018

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Haim S, Nadine S, Lorenzo

Puerto Rico

Nadine 54 (wins the tie with 17 goods/coins), Jon 54 (10), Nadine S 49, Haim 42, Lorenzo 39

First plays for Lorenzo and Nadine S, second or third play for Haim. Also, a five player game throws Nadine (and me, a bit) off her game.

I went first, had sugar first and tobacco second, and one big building, Customs House. I had Factory, Harbor, and a late Wharf, so I didn’t choose Guild Hall, but I should have; I had the most building points, at 25. I hate that it is always the only correct pick. Haim was second and never got any corn; he got large goods going late, but still picked up Fortress. Nadine was third and got two big buildings, Guild Hall and City Hall (12 bonus points) and great shipping, somehow. Lorenzo was fourth and, even though he had tobacco first, he never got enough for a big building. Nadine S had first coffee and did well with it, and had the most shipping with 5 corns and a Wharf (26 points), and a filled Residence. Nadine: I had good early shipping, but fell behind without a wharf or harbor. Shipping, Buildings, Bonus: Nadine 21 21 12, Jon 25 23 6, Nadine S 26 16 7, Haim 12 23 7 42, Lorenzo 24 15 39.

March 14, 2018

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Haim S, Haim G, Nadine S, Gili, Eszter, Lorenzo, Efrat

I actually can’t remember if Efrat has actually come before, but I think she did once. It’s also been a long time since either Haim G or Eszter graced us.


Lorenzo 9, Jon 12, Haim G 12, Nadine S —, Haim S —

I forgot to write the scores down, but something like that. First plays for Nadine S, Lorenzo, and Haim G.

Princes of Florence

Nadine S 57, Gili 53, Haim G 45, Lorenzo 43, Haim S 37

First plays for all but Gili, I think. Unsurprisingly, Nadine S won again, with two 24 WV works on the last round.

Clans of Caledonia

Nadine 136, Jon 131, Efrat 129, Eszter 118

First plays for Efrat and Eszter. With explanation, the game took around 3 hours. I realized by the middle of round 3 that I was doomed. The score above actually took me by surprise, and I expect it is because I made a mistake in an upgrade or counting points. I think I should have scored lowed. On the other hand, I was 3 deliveries ahead of everyone else, so the 40 points I was shy on the board and with goods I guess is nearly made up by the deliveries which are worth 12 to 20 points.

I had the extra delivery slot, Nadine S took the extra first settlement and 2 shipping upgrades, Efrat had the reduced cost on river deltas, and Nadine took the whiskey money. I only really made use of mine on the first and last rounds. Nadine made money hand over fist and easily dominated the board, but I guess somehow didn’t concentrate on deliveries enough. Efrat also had good board spread and Eszter wasn’t far behind. I didn’t bother fighting them for it, which saved me some effort. Nadine: I tried for more deliveries but wasn’t able to – partly because everyone else managed to select contracts before I did. And I was mainly producing whiskey, which I used for contracts so I couldn’t sell them for money.

I also spent extra money buying things, rather than investing in producing them, which made me perpetually cash shy. But I still came close.

Eszter miscalculated on the last round, which is why she is a little further behind (she couldn’t make her last delivery).

The game is definitely good, but it is rather fiddly, especially since money is tight and there are many options, so you keep forgetting which one you decided on and then need to take it back so you can have the money for what you really intended to do. Maybe a loan mechanic would help. But there are already a few too many mechanics (round bonuses, $1 when counters cross 5 points, and harbors come to mind). Frankly, one of the main mechanics doesn’t make sense to me: very fiddly and unthematic. Why give points for number of settlements in a group instead of number of hexes in the group? Hexes would seem to make more sense. You are still encouraged to spread out in order to get the neighboring production/market bonuses.

Ah well.

March 07, 2018

Participants: Jon, Haim S, Nadine, Nadine S, Aaron


Nadine S 64, Haim 50, Jon 45, Nadine 38, Aaron 28

First plays for Aaron, Nadine S, and Haim. Nadine S is new to gaming, and so far she has kicked our butts in every new game that I have taught her. She just gets it, usually by a third of the way through the game.

Haim and Nadine S both shipped/settled several times during the game. I didn’t get that building, nor several governor cards I was trying to get because both of them kept taking them before I could. Well done to both.

Feb 27, 2018

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Haim, Ido, Yael, Nadine S,

Held on Tuesday to accommodate Purim.

Dinosaur Island

Gili 88, Yael 84, Nadine 80, Nadine S

Second play for Gili, first play for the others. This game took a long time to teach and play, even though they played the shortened intro version and even though they triggered the game end one round early. By then, Nadine S had left early, followed by Yael. Gili sat playing the last few moves for them to finish the game. It was probably not the best choice for Nadine S, who is still a relative new player.

Still, both Gili and Nadine liked it a lot, and Yael said it was a good game.


Ido 58, Haim 54, Jon 52

First play for Ido, who picked it up quite well, as you can see. I had some bad synergy at the beginning and never really recovered. Ido completed his travels and also sold more in the market than I did, stealing away a six point sale that I was planning to make in the last round.


Ido, Haim, Jon

First play for Ido, we didn’t get to finish this; turns took a little longer than I had anticipated and Ido had to leave. We got through round 4 out of 6.


Jon++, Haim

Two games of this was the only thing I was willing to play at the end of the evening.

February 14, 2018

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Haim, Gili, Aaron, Yael, Nadine S

Fairy Tale

Jon 53, Gili 35, Aaron 32, Haim 29

We hadn’t played this in a while, so it was first play for Aaron and Haim; Gili had played once a long while ago.

It’s not the most exciting game but it’s not bad, I think. A little too much luck.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Nadine S 91, Yael 87, Jon 84, Haim 66

Second play for me, first play for everyone else. Like last time I played, I felt like I liked this less than Suburbia. Yes it has prettier tiles and none of the negative feedback, but it is less elegant and more fiddly. It requires more table space and the castles, especially the ones that stretch out thinly like the gerrymandered map of South Carolina, are fragile when you have to shift them over a few inches.

This was only Nadine S’s second real Euro (after Alien Fronteirs and not counting Catan). She started off a little overwhelmed, and maybe a little bored, but she picked it up by mid-game and played very well to victory. She and I had no downstairs. I would have done a little better but Haim stole the only downstairs room that I wanted.

Clans of Caledonia

Aaron 151, Gili 137, Nadine 124

First plays for Gili and Aaron. Everyone liked it.


Jon, Nadine S, Yael, Haim

We played a few rounds.