Archive by Author | Yehuda

January 31, 2018

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Yael


Nadine and I played a few hands, taking two hands each.


Jon 158, Nadine 145, Yael 143

First or second play for both of them.

No one got locked out of performing any actions. The pirates were slow to attack us, and I basically ignored them. So I ended up laying a few more tiles and completing a few more islands than they did. I also had strong resources.

I leaped ahead early on, but they caught up. I won in the final scoring, so it was fairly close.


Yael, Jon, Nadine

We played a few rounds of this. Yael left early.

January 24, 2018

Participants:  Jon, Nadine, Nadine S, Lorenzo

First time for Nadine S. Not sure if she will return.

Alien Frontiers

Nadine S+, Nadine, Jon

First play for Nadine S, she did well, as you can see. I got the force field card, and some other cards, but I was well behind the others in ships.

Clans of Caledonia

Jon, Lorenzo, Nadine

First play for Lorenzo and me. This game is a hodge-podge of mechanics from other games, including Hansa Teutonica, Agricola, Kingdom Builder, and others. Still, it was an enjoyable balance of all of these, rather spatial in nature. The alien races special abilities were a nice touch.

I got the hang of it fairly quickly. We missed a rule or two, which really changed the nature of what we were doing. So there was that. Also, in the end, I tried to keep track of all the scores as we calculated them using tokens instead of writing down the figures, and I became confused as to whether I had scored Lorenzo or me, or both, a few times, so we don’t really know the end scores, except that Lorenzo and I were close and Nadine was about 40 points behind us.

January 17, 2018

Participants: Jon, Gili, Lorenzo

Another small game night.

Inca Empire

Jon 151, Gili 143, Lorenzo 143

First plays for Gili and Lorenzo. I got a rule  wrong (I gave the board bonuses for the cities instead of the temples). and there were several rules questions that I did not know how to answer. For instance, the card that lets you build two garrisons: in the same place or two different places? I only noticed late in the game that the wilderness road can parallel someone else’s road. And the card that removes all roads in unconquered territories is not explained well.

I started out with better income chips near me. But everyone else’s income jumped ahead of mine even before mid-game. Lorenzo and Gili were slightly ahead in victory points early on, until I pulled ahead in mid-game. By the end, as you see, they caught up greatly and we all ended pretty close.

Jan 10, 2018

Participants: Jon, Aaron, Gili

Small attendance, which is probably just as well since I was still getting over a flu.

Lewis & Clark

Jon+, Gili, Aaron

First play for Jon and Aaron. This game’s flow was unlike anything I had ever played. I thought it would play like Dominion or similar games: play cards until your hand is out and then pick up your cards and start again, giving you a sense of “rounds”. However, by adding “Indian” actions, you are able to take many, many turns, sometimes without ever playing or picking up a card. But only by picking up your cards can you make progress on the scoring track.

I began to pick up the game flow and found it pretty interesting. Once you get the hang of the flow, you realize that you have many, many options on a single turn. Luckily, the three of us were content to pick what seemed to be a generally good option on each turn. But it you are playing with analysis paralysis players, they might drag down the game examining every possible move. We’ll see.

Since we ended up NOT taking so many of the possible choices, it remains a big mystery to me what the best strategies are. Aaron also enjoyed the game, although his choice of trying to play a lot of Indian actions proved (pretty early on) to be not the best idea.

I won a few rounds ahead of the others, which appeared to be predetermined once I was the first to make it through the first mountain passes.

Among the Stars

Jon 84, Aaron 80, Gili 71 (scores approximate)

I suggested this as a mid-length game. Second play for Gili, third for Aaron. We all had decent races; Gili started with a powerful race (+1 building of every color), but failed to take advantage of it. In the end, we all ended up with one mission bonus.

December 20, 2017

Participants: Jon, Aaron, Nadine, Gili, Haim S, Zvi, Avi K, Klara

David’s son Avi came; we last saw him at Games Day. His friend Zvi also came for the first time.


Aaron and I tried out this very miniaturized version of a collect resources / buy buildings game. Gilad (from Modiin) warned me that the volatility (which cannot be planned for) in the market makes planning impossible. For me, the biggest problem is that the game has basically three mechanics, with one or two other mechanics that are so weakly implements that they don’t actually have any effect on the game.

The game is so stripped down that it is basically a slew of ways to move your counters a little to the left and right until you can buy a building, after which you do and start over. Owning the buildings has essentially no effect on game play, so there is almost nothing to the game which is very dull. Which is a shame.


Zvi 50+, Aaron 50-, Gili

First play for Zvi, who won with the tie break on money.


Avi 45, Jon 42, Haim 36, Nadine 28, Klara 25

First play for Klara, Avi, and Haim. All of them felt like they could do better on subsequent plays. Avi got to the high income before any of us, which is usually a sign of victory. I had one more link than he did and was starting to catch up in shipping points, but not enough. Avi spent most of his time on the NE corner of the board, while I had a corridor don the center of the board and over to the west.


Aaron, Zvi

First play for Zvi.


Jon/Avi, Nadine/Haim

We splayed several round as teams, with all sides being very close. We gained 15, 10, 05 points each round, and once we were tied.


Nadine/Avi/Aaron+, Jon/Haim

Avi and then Aaron and Nadine gained an initial lead, but then I set tichus a couple of times, which placed us ahead. Before the last round, we were up 870 to their 630. I told Nadine not to worry, because they can just call Grand Tichu and both go out first.

Which they did. Aaron called Grand Tichu, passed me a 2, and called a 5, which destroyed the bottom of my very large run, giving me a far worse hand. Nadine’s second to last play was a long run which I would have been able to beat if I had my 5. And then she went out.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.