Tag Archive | Alien Frontiers

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.


November 02, 2016

Participants: Jon, Aaron, Saarya, David C, Ido, Nati, Nadine, Avishag, Oriane, Batya

Ido is a different Ido than one that came before; I didn’t catch his first name. Saarya played and invited his friend Batya. Avishag is an experienced gamer who came for the first time and brought her inexperienced friend Oriane.

High Society

Nati 16, Nadine 10, Ido 9, Jon 6, Aaron –

First play for everyone except me and Nadine. Aaron not only ended with less money than everyone else, he also ended with -10 points, having taken the x2, -5, and a good card that was killed by the 0. His spending allowed Nati to win; Nati spent a lot early and hoped someone would outspend him. I ate the 1/2 after everyone else spent a lot more than me.


Jon 147, David C 144, Aaron 93

First play for David and Aaron. I had played this in Ra’anana and liked it, so I bought a copy. David liked it a lot, Aaron liked it, but both of them loved the cube tower mechanic. Aaron concentrated on good multipliers, and he ended with many more than we did, but much fewer interim points and more pirate losses. David achieved synergy with the pirates and had a very nice island to himself. I scored many interim points and some goods, and I had the 1/2 damage from pirates tile. I played the “jump to first place on the scoring track” tile to win the game, essentially, but I didn’t play it according to the proper rules, so I also let David play a tile not according to the rules, and so the final score is in question.

Puerto Rico

Nati 61, Ido 57, Nadine 49

Nati taught this to Ido. Nati had Wharf, Harbor, and three quarries. Ido had Custom’s House, Harbor, Factory, and a tobacco monopoly. Nadine had Guild Hall, Fortress, and Factory.

Dixit Odyssey ++

Saarya, Avishag, Oriane, Batya

Alien Frontiers

Nati 5, Avishag 4, Oriane 2, Nadine/Ido 2

Avishag expressed a great interest in playing this, since she had played it once and loved it but had forgotten the rules. So I taught it, not realizing until close to the end of the rules explanation that Oriane was not an experienced gamer, so it was not a good starting game for her.

After Nati and Ido finished their Puerto Rico game, they came over to help and then play (while also learning the rules themselves). Nadine played one turn for Ido, and they only played until 5 instead of until 14.

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.


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


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.


January 13, 2016

Participants: Jon, Nadine, David, Binyamin, Gili, Roman, Francis

A nice gathering.


Binyamin(+Roman) 7, Nadine 8, Gili 19, Jon 22, David 23

First play for Binyamin, and possibly also for Roman who joined his “team” near the start of the game. Our parade was very long for much of the game, at 13 people for several turns in a row.

Alien Frontiers

Roman 12, Gili 6, Binyamin 3

It took a while to settle on a game. First play for Binyamin and Roman, second or third for Gili. Binyamin appeared to believe he was losing early on. Roman got some early cards and they appear to have helped.

Smash Up

Roman 15, Binyamin 14, Gili 11

They played another, short game, since we were still playing. First play for Gili at least. I don’t know how it went.


David 61, Francis 57, Jon 56, Nadine 51

First play for David and Francis. Nadine appeared to take an early lead with a third level building by turn 2 and a 4th level by turn 3 or 4. Her double shipping seemed to propel her well and she netted more than one governor card. However, she stalled a bit, partially because we attacked her a bit to keep her from running away with it.

By mid-game it seemed like everyone had a reasonable chance of doing well. As usual, I don’t like to sit and count everyone’s score, so that was just an estimate. I had a bit more on the board, but so did Francis, and both David and Nadine seems ahead of me in tracks. The slavery cards were in danger of being emancipated, but the only one who could do it was Francis, and he had two of them.

As it turns out, David was most ahead in the tracks, with 50 points. Nadine had 45, and Francis and I had 44. Francis had one more point than me on the board. We forgot that you get 1 point for each 3 people left on your board, but I don’t think anyone had 3 people left, anyway.

Nadine thinks the game is a bit negative and too tactical.


November 18, 2015

Participants: Jon, David K, Jonathan, Roman, Gili, Alan

First time attendance for Jonathan, who actually lives pretty close. It was also his first exposure to these games of ours, and he seemed to get along well. Hopefully he will be back.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David

David arrived a bit early to draft and play with me. We only got in one game, which allowed me to experience a rare win. Even when I win a game, which is not typical, I usually the two others out of three.

My deck had some solid creature removal and a lot of low power creatures. David had better creatures. I had some game ending cards (like “creatures can’t block” but I didn’t get any. I won by the skin of my teeth. David attacked with everything, hoping to kill all of my creature, but I have an instant to save one of them and also grow it at the same time. He lost too many of his creatures and I was able to kill him in return.

No Thanks

David 17, Jonathan 17, Jon 31, Roman, Gili

First play for Jonathan and Roman. As his first Eurogame, it was fun to see his mind open up to the treasure that a good mechanic gives a game, and he tied for first, too. I did well until about mid-game, when I took an extra card that I thought wouldn’t be too bad, but it was not good enough to trim the sails on David and Jonathan’s neat ships.

Jonathan 20something, Alan 60something, Jon 80

At the end of the evening we played this one more time, and Jonathan walked away with a clean victory. I took an early high card, and then another because I had to. Alan also ran out of chips a few times and had to take a few cards.


Gili 44, David 43, Roman 36

First play for Roman. I didn’t see how it went.


David, Gili, Roman

Again, I didn’t see how it went.

Alien Frontiers

Alan 10, Jon 7, Jonathan 6

First play for both of them. I took an early lead, which, if you know this game, means very little. As we closed toward the last quarter of the game, it looked like I would win unless someone bothered to stop me, which they finally did. They both were greatly amused at how much damage they could do to me once they put their mind to it. I didn’t find it as amusing, not because I was being damaged, or that I couldn’t do anything about it, but simply because I know that’s how the game does. Anyhoo…

Even when I was no longer ahead and pointed out that Alan could pretty much win as soon as he could place his base on the board, I was still the target of attacks. So naturally Alan won.


Passover Games Day 5775

A full day with lots of players including new ones. Mazal tov to David for winning all his games, including ones he just learned. Gili watched a video on how to play Argent The Consortium and they were ready to play, but then gave up. Thank you to Yona for taking some of the pictures. Special thanks to Jon for organizing the food order and driving over to pick it up. We missed Shirley, Emily and Eitan.

IMG_0605Alien Frontiers

Jon+, Gili, Elisheva

Jon: I taught Gili and Elisheva. Gili started off with a commanding lead, but I was also making progress. Actually, I was shoring up some resources and alien power cards. Eventually I started attacking Gili (stole her resources) and took the shield card from Elisheva. I also got a plasma cannon to remove pesky ships in my way.

I noted to them that the special abilities of the cards were powerful, especially the ones that move bases around. Elisheva used one in the last round to try to thwart my victory, but I had an equivalent one to undo what she did.


Jon 9, Assaf 7, Elisheva 6

One of Jon’s favorite games, Elisheva wanted to play.

Jon: I kept a slight lead throughout the game. My secret is simply that I constantly evaluate exactly which points I am aiming for and I work straight for the points. I don’t worry about losing cities or armies if I don’t need them anymore. I worry about what the others are doing only if my path to a specific point card is blocked.

With more aggressive opponents, I have to spend more time shoring up defenses, and the game drags as a result.


Avi 114, Gili 60, Devorah 49, Binyamin 42, Yiska 39


Ben and Binyamin, Nadine and Avi

We played for a while, fun and interesting, with table talk and assistance on bidding. Avi and I set them a few times, and we all made a few. Ben and Binyamin always know who has what and what’s going on with everyone.


Binyamin 37, Irit 26, Jon 23, Gili 22

Jon: I can barely remember this, but the essential part is that you control certain areas and spread out from there. You gain points from surrounding certain pre-existing areas on the board with the majority of armies, or from certain actions, or from building temples. You can do these things only by building all of the other things first, which rate limits the game.

I pulled spectacularly bad cards hand after hand. You have to have certain cards in order to make progress, and I couldn’t draw them for the life of me. Eventually I gave up on ever getting a temple; my path, then, was to end the game before anyone else could build their second temple (they all already had one). I managed to end the game a turn before at least two other players would have gotten their second temple. Binyamin complained good-naturedly about this, but he still won by a third more points than the next player. I was barely not last.

This game is a pain to play with people who don’t know it well, since there is a lot of calculation to do and there is nothing to do when it is not your turn. With experienced players it probably plays fairly quickly.


Noy+, Arbel, Nitay, Gil, Yiska

Played twice

Five Tribes

David 145, Devorah 122, Nadine 120, Avi 117

IMG_2290David+, Ben, Nadine, Eszter

I do worse at this every time I play but I like the game, everyone did. New to Ben, David, Avi and Eszter.

For Sale

Ilia 67, Binyamin 59, Yiska 57, Devorah 55

I’m the Boss!

Yiska+ 42, Devorah, Nitay, Benjamin, Noy, Arbel


Yovel, Binyamin, Mishie, Ofer, Lior

20150408_150015Kings of Israel

Ofer, Lior, Mishie, Yovel

Eli, Ron and Avi won at Pekach, the last king.

Lords of Waterdeep

Jon 161, Assaf 136, Elisheva 122

Jon: I taught this game, which is very each to teach. It’s not a high tension game, since you usually have what you need to do various things, so you’re always moving forward. Unless there is only a single source of something and you’re not trying hard enough to go first to get it (or work around the worker placement restriction). Elisheva was fairly close behind me, but Assaf jumped ahead in the end by finishing a few more quests that were also the right type for his Lord.


David+, Jon

Jon has 5,000 new cards and 3,000 duplicates.

Jon: We played two sets of games, each set was a draft followed by best of three games. I won the first one in each set, then lost the second one due to mana problems, then lost the third one stam. In the first set I had some blue card drawing and scrying, and a few cards to take out David’s flyers (which he never got out). In the second set I had tons of creature control. I won the first game with that, but he won the third game because he kept bringing out more creatures (and he had one that popped out of the graveyard every round).


Nadine 21, Ben 20, Assaf

No Thanks

Avi, Yiska, Devorah

Two games, Avi and Yiska each won.

Port Royal

Gil+, Arbel, Nitay, Noy, Yiska

IMG_0611Puerto Rico

Eszter, Benjamin, Yovel,


Gili 142, Elisheva 121

Gili’s game, new to Elisheva.

Railroad Tycoon

Yiska+, Eszter 17, Mishie 15, Assaf 6

20150408_121313Sentinels of the Multiverse

Lior and Mishie

Cliff, Bill, Mishie

Stone Age

David 253, Devorah 166, Avi 160

Avi had only played once a while ago.


Ron and Avi 555, Eli and Nadine 145

First play for Ron and Eli, we played to 500. I called a Tichu, Avi started with a 5 straight and called a 7; I could legally play the 7 in a straight using the Phoenix, so I had to play it and mess up my hand, plan, and Tichu.

Jon and David+, Nadine and Avi

They beat us by around 500, they both managed to keep having the dog at the exact right time to save each other.

Jon: We had two grand Tichus, both made, including the one I opened with on the first hand. The last play of the last hand was also nifty. David passed to me leaving him with a single card. I played out everything and then passed back to him with the dog.


Gili 47, Lior 46, Elisheva 45, Devorah 29

Gili taught this, close game.


Eszter 62, Gili 60, Irit 46, Gil 33

Walnut Grove

Binyamin 33, Eliezer 27, Nadine 23, Yiska 23

First play for all of them. Binyamin did a good job with wood and food for more farmers, he ended with 5.




Sukkot Games Day 5775

20141014_185834A great games day with our fun games day gang. Happy birthday to Bill, he left early to work before his roleplaying group meeting, Shirley came after work; they’re both still jetlagged from a week in China. Bon voyage to Mace who left early to catch a plane back to Australia. Emily and Eitan were sans Uli because Emily’s parents are handily visiting. The dinner order was complicated as usual with a lot of people, leading to Emily resigning from the next one – with honors for the excellent job she’s done. Thanks to everyone who helped with score reporting, organizing, and carrying chairs and moving furniture.

Jerusalem area
Nadine, Gili, Lotem, Eszter, Binyamin, Bill, Shirley, David, Avi, Eitan, Emily, Shalom, Shachar, first timers Jordan and Chaim

First timer Avraham

20141014_122457Jon, Sa’arya

Old timer Elisheva

Ofer and Oran


Alien Frontiers

Jon 9, Avi 6, Ofer 6, Bill 1

First play for all except Jon.


Eszter 53, Binyamin 37, Elisheva

New to them; they liked it.


David/Jon, Nadine/Avi

Played at the end of the night. Jon had pretty bad cards overall. We played a fun, relaxed game without scoring and with discussion of bids, good practice. I was playing a hand, I was already set, and Jon asked ‘why are we still playing this?”, which I took to mean he was generally bored as usual. But he meant, ‘can’t you claim yet?”; I realized after that play that I could but hadn’t thought about it. Avi plays very well, he overbid once, I overbid also. Jon and David at first were either playing or bidding well, but not both on the same hand.

Carson City

Eszter 52, Avraham 40, Saarya 39, Elisheva 34

New to all except Eszter. A crowded board set up with most of the mountains very close to the town.


Emily 32, Eitan 25, Gili 22

Played on the couch and floor at the end of the evening.

El Grande

Emily 34, 87, 127  Eitan 31, 83, 116  Gili 35, 89, 112

Very close scores, a fun favorite. I don’t think I’ve ever played with 3.

Eminent Domain

Another space game in the sukka. Jordan and Gili tied for 15, both in pts and resources and fighter, Elishiva 13, Shalom 12


Jon, David, Avi, Avraham, Shirley

They all enjoyed playing tremendously, despite, or because of, the challenge of having to remember information about cards that you can’t see, and did very well.


Gili 116, Eszter 99, Binyamin 98, Elisheva 85, Lotem 65

First play for Elisheva, Binyamin and Lotem.

High Frontier

M0, c8, s8, v4, Jordan 7 (1 v), Eitan 12 (1 v, 1 d, 1 s), Emily (1c + 4 turns), Shalom 8 (2 v)

This was the entertainment for people who went to have lunch in the sukka. They all really sounded like rocket scientists, the game emulates thrust, oxygen etc in detail.

20141014_114239Lords of Waterdeep

Jon, David, Shirley

Jon: Shirley won. David was a few points behind her and I was a few points behind him. I was ahead often in the game with 25 point quests, but the others were close behind with smaller quests and plot quests. And I only fed my lord 4 times for 16 points where they each ended with 32 points.

Love Letter

Nadine+, David, Avi

I did better than usual. This game is fun with people who get it and enjoy the uncontrollable situations. I lost when I had the countess and David the princess, next hand it was reversed.  They think it’s funny how much information I don’t remember, and helped me eliminate available cards for guessing to speed things up.

Machi Koro

Jordan 4/7, Shalom 6/7, Elisheva 7/7 (win), Eszter 6/7

Shalom’s game with similarities to Settlers according to him.


David+, Jon

Apparently a very close win. I knew they drafted, but didn’t realize they then make up decks with half the cards.


Gili 43, Binyamin 32, Elisheva 32, Eszter 30, Lotem


David+, Jon, Bill, Avi, Nadine

New to David and Avi. We had positive special cards – including extra money if you haven’t built yet. I didn’t do well at selecting cards. Bill would have reached 20 points right after David did. Jon played cards with negative effects on other players such as losing minions and cards, but Avi countered with one giving everyone a card.

20141014_134411Nexus Ops

Avi+, Chaim, Ofer

Power Grid

Oran 17/17, Nadine 18/12+, David 18/12-

Easier with 3. New to Oran. He didn’t listen to the good advice David and I gave him, such as not buying so many intermediate power plants, and when to build. So he was right, very good play to beat both of us first time, and with his own strategy. We played regular, no card previews which changes the calculations. I was doing better than usual, I was in a good position throughout, and David was doing worse than usual, we don’t know why, but it was still fun to play, I haven’t played in at least a year.


Jon, Ofer

Jon: I taught him and he creamed me.

Avraham, Nadine

New to Oran, who had a hard time finding them.


Jon/Avi 1065, David/Avraham

David gamely partnered with Avraham, completely new to the game. He understood how to play, but experience makes a different. David and Avraham were ahead by a few hundred for a while, but Jon and Avi caught up, and won when they called Tichu and went out first and second; David made a mistake and forgot that Avi had only played one ace so there was still one out, Jon had it. David had 3 bombs in a row, wrecking one of Jon’s Tichus.

Tigris and Euphrates

Avraham 9, Avi 7, Nadine 5

I taught this to them, new to both. They did an excellent job catching on and built monuments, Avraham 2 and Avi 3. There wasn’t much conflict. I thought I was doing worse than I was. I think Avraham beat Avi because Avraham attacked more, he attacked me, but I didn’t play well. There is less conflict with 3 players.

20141014_193530Via Appia

Oran 92, Eszter 49, Nadine 38, Ofer 25

Ofer taught it to all of us, thought he hadn’t played before and needed to look up setup info, he didn’t have the rules in English, but he had read them online earlier. We punched out the game and Ofer managed to set up the main mechanism which releases disks with which to buy building stones. Near the end of the game, when one type of stone ran out, he discovered a new rule that you can get a coin instead of a stone – people who had tossed due to lack of storage took money for earlier moves, unbalancing the timing. It’s a cute, light game, though Pushing and losing feels like luck; it is partly, but also related to when you select that action. Eszter did really well with it, Ofer who was before her didn’t, he put them in position for her, as did I. I didn’t like that aspect, and often I couldn’t take full advantage of my actions, for example, only having one stone available to build instead of the two allowed. I focused on money for movement, but that’s not enough. I also built, but Oran had a more successful strategy, he built mainly small stones, and got bonuses for it.

20141014_162213Walnut Grove

Shachar 30, Nadine 28, Mace 25, Avraham 19

New to Shachar and Avraham, and Mace has played around once. Everyone did well, and sold a lot and bought bonuses. Mace and I had similar strategies, storage and coins. He wanted to get both coin bonus tiles but I got one. On the last turn, I changed from buying a farmer for two points to selling for 3 coins with space for 2, because of my coin bonus, even though it meant paying a coin for food. A mistake, I got all zeros, and paying for food reduced the coin bonus to one extra, for a gain of one instead of two. If I had drawn better coins I would have tied or won, but it’s less likely to draw those at the end of the game. The keep two tile year came up first, when it’s less helpful, though it does increase production quickly. It’s an easy game to learn. Eszter wanted to play it later, but too many people who had already played it were available. Shachar had 3 bonuses and almost got another one. Mace and I would have had one more point if we had drawn tiles which close fences on the last round.

Chag Sameach!