August 09, 2017

Participants: Jon, Yael, Chaya Bluma, Nadine, Haim S, Noam, Shachar

First time visitor Shachar, welcome. This is the last meeting in my apt for a few weeks while I’m on vacation.

Candle Quest

Jon 52, Yael 48, Nadine 47

We played with the new prototype that Nadine wants to publish. I think the cards are too small.


Nadine 35, Jon 34, Yael 32

First play for Yael. Nadine doesn’t like the game.


Chaya Bluma 101, Nadine 80, Jon 70, Yael 56

First plays for Chaya Bluma and Yael, first play with more than two players for Nadine. Everyone enjoyed it, but it definitely hurts the brain of people who feel the need to calculate everything out. It’s just too complicated. You have to go on instinct at some point.

My instinct didn’t serve me well. In previous sessions of this game I did somewhat better. I kind of figured already in summer that things weren’t going well, but sometimes I make a comeback. Not enough here, partially because Chaya Bluma (and then the others) took away a few hexes I needed. Nadine seemed to be winning around summer time, but by the end of fall it looked like Chaya Bluma was in the lead. Winter only helped her solidify that lead. Yael was behind a lot come winter, and she caught up a bit but not enough.

Hansa Teutonica

Haim 97, Noam 70, Shachar 48

First plays for Noam and Shachar. I taught them the basics, and Haim filled in the rest. Somehow they let him get three of the four SW city scoring spots.

Aug 02, 2017

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

Yocheved is my neighbor, whom Nadine met and dragged to the group. Despite my warnings, Gili and Nadine plied her with two complicated games, which overwhelmed her somewhat. We will see if she ever comes back.

Notre Dame

Nadine 70, Gili 50, Yocheved 45

First play for Yocheved. She said that it’s “a strategy game” so she would have to play a few times to get the strategy.


Jon 122, Haim 92, Yael 65

Second play for Yael and Haim. Despite some early confusion in my strategy, I kind of knew I was winning by mid-game (so long as I was ahead in a few goals, which I was). So I regret taking away one of the goals that Yael was trying for which was, in effect, running up the score. Haim played many greens and did okay, but I don’t think it’s a viable strategy.

Five Tribes

Yocheved 151, Gili 138, Nadine 138

First play for Yocheved, who said the same thing after this game that she said after Notre Dame. Nadine writes: Yocheved had 9 yellows and the djinn that gives extra points for them, and 3 camels. Gili had 2. They both had cards. I didn’t. I used the djinn which let me buy empty tiles, so I lost. Gili took blue a few times for a lot. Yocheved played for herself without advice.

Ticket to Ride

Jon 156, Yael 151, Haim 95

First play for Haim. This time I was severely blocked in early game and was frustrated. Despite this, I finally sneaked a path to the city I needed, by which time I was spread over a lot of the board. I got lucky picking a few more routes, which gave me just enough points to win. We were all kind of crowded on the East coast.

July 26, 2017

Participants: Jon, Jeff, Sarah, Yael, Michelle, Gal, Itay, Haim S

A lot of new players whom I don’t know. Jeff and Sarah came for their second and final sessions before returning to the US.

No Thanks

Jon, Jeff, Sarah, Haim

First play for Sarah. I can’t recall how it went but I think I lost.

It’s Alive

Yael 60, Itay 57, Michelle 53, Gal 46

First play for all but Yael.

Glen More

Michelle 35, Yael 32, Itay 9

First play for Itay and Michelle, and Yael needed a refresher. They played a very long time and didn’t even finish.


Jon, Jeff, Sarah, Haim S

First plays for everyone except me. Again, I can’t recall the outcome (I think Haim S won by a point), except I think I lost again. I had an island by myself with 5 offices but I couldn’t get it closed until the last round. Jeff took the “screw everybody else with the pirates” tech, while I took the “suffer only half from the pirates” tech. And the pirates came out 2, 4, 3, 0, 0.

I think everyone enjoyed it.

July 19, 2017

Participants: Jon, Jeff, Sara, Haim S, Aaron, Gili, Assif, Yael,

Jeff and Sara are visiting from the US. Gili brought her daughter Assif.

Slap Deck

Jon+, Sara+, Jeff

First plays for Jeff and Sara. We played two games.


Gili, Sara, Jeff, Assif

First plays for Sara and maybe Assif.


Jon+, Yael, Aaron, Haim

First plays for Aaron and Haim. As usual, I played to one less point than recommended. This is the closest thing I have to a war game, and Haim tried to play it much like a was game, making pacts, encouraging others to do so, and threatening those who didn’t. I found myself squeezed in the middle. Lucky for me, everyone basically agreed to apportion out the board and leave me three additional cities to which to expand.

Haim conquered many cities and built up some armies. Aaron progressed nearly as quickly as I did on the Know-Hows. Yael was in the corner and built up some boats and cities. I was first to three temples and a few know-hows, then 7 seas. I won the game by destroying one of Aaron’s temples, which was the only conquering in the game.


We learned to play xxx’s mockup, which was a bit like a a cross between By Hook or By Crook and Can’t Stop (games with which they are unfamiliar). It was not my type of game, but for those that like that kind of game, it might be fun.

It’s Alive

Jon, Aaron, xxx

First play for everyone but me. Amazing that Aaron had never played this. I think everyone enjoyed it.

July 05, 2017

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

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

We drafted rather mediocre cards. I played RBw, David played BGw I believe. I have a number of fliers and some boosters, but not much else. David had some kill, boosters, and better creatures.


Jon 117, Hai 81, Aaron 42

First play for Haim. I got a high income quickly and then almost never bought a building that cost more than my income. by the last few rounds, I had some 50 cash, I still bought very little, instead doubling some key reputation boosters. Aaron went out of his way to take the Casino (never loses income when crossing a red line), but his reputation was so low that he fell back down to the last row of population and only crossed red lines on his last two turns. Haim made two of the common goals, I made one and my hidden goal, both of which were worth more points.

Hansa Teutonica

Jon 84, Haim 63, Aaron 44

Second play for Aaron. Haim religiously plays by blocking route he thinks people want and then waiting for them to give him extra pieces. While this give him extra pieces on occasion, it also means that he takes extra actions to actually do anything. I rarely do this, and when I do, it’s only because I don’t want to telepath what my actual intentions are (I can move more pieces at a time than place, so I can move and claim a route faster than I can place and claim a route).

Haim and Aaron had the extra actions and extra points routes blocked up for most of the game, but they both got to five actions while I only made it to four. On the other hand, I had three out of four of the extra end game city point slots (7, 8, and 11) and also built a cross-board route for 7. Haim had a nearly fully developed board and scored three time his final cluster (for 24 points).

Above and Below

David 48, Yael 42, Gili 42

First play for David and Yael.


David/Haim +, Jon/Aaron –

We didn’t finish the game, but we were certainly losing. Out of about 7 hands, Aaron called and lost 4 tichus and 1 grand tichu (he also made 1 tichu). One of them I could have saved if I had thought it through.






June 28, 2017

Participants: Jon, David K, Chaya Bluma, Ido, Tzur, Aaron, Haim S, Tal

Welcome back Ido and his friend Tzur who enjoyed the group but probably won’t have time to come. My daughter sat in for some Tichu at the end of the night.

Magic the Gathering

Jon++, David

I continue to win this game, occasionally, after losing for so long. We both drafted BG. I thought I would be adding W, but I ended up playing BGU. David played BGW, which is unusual for him. My mana worked well in the first game, a little less in the second; David had the opposite problem. His bigger problem was that he had some creature killers but didn’t see them for the most part in either game. I had a few unblockables and some ability to excavate them from the graveyard.


David 14, Jon 15, Ido 33

First play for Ido. David could have won by more by taking a riskier play, but he played a safety play by calculating the best score I could achieve and playing to beat it by one point.


Jon 21, David, Ido

First play for Ido. The twists were both “good”. One gave you an extra card when you researched but made you toss a card when you invented. The other gave you $2 whenever you played an invention worth more points than a previous invention.

Hansa Tuetonica

Jon 53, David 50, Haim 47, Ido 32

First play for Ido. David was convinced that he was doing poorly (as usual), while I was convinced that he, Haim, and I were pretty close. I never got to five actions, while all of them did. Instead I took an early lead on cities and 2 of the 4 lower left city bonuses; David took the other 2. At the end David took away some of my cities. And Haim had the most disks. Somehow I still squeaked out a victory.

Castles of Burgundy

Aaron 190, CB 186, Tzur 175

First play for CB and Tzur. CB liked the game, but toward the end she said that there was not enough contrast between different colors and some kinds of icons, making it hard to see what’s going on. And it wasn’t as interactive as Puerto Rico. 🙂


David/Tal, CB/Aaron, Haim?

I don’t remember exactly what happened here, except that once again we went very late past midnight.

June 21, 2017

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

Aaron showed up late. Welcome first time attendee CB.

Puerto Rico

Jon 48 + 16, CB 48 + 5, Yael 36, Haim 29

First plays for CB and Haim, second for Yael.

This was a slow game, but everyone enjoyed it. CB did an amazing job tying me on her first try.


CB/Jon/Haim 1080, CB/Yael/Aaron 920

First play for CB. Yael stayed for a short time while I coached CB. Then Yael left and CB took her seat while I took CB’s seat opposite Haim.

We started this game late and the game went 12 hands. I inherited a come-from-behind position, which I did with the help of a last round Grand Tichu (before which we were down 775 to 925). And my opps had two bombs against the GT. We ended late, around 1 am.