Tag Archive | among the stars

Haithabu, Sushi, Tichu

Happy Birthday Jon! (English), and David! (Hebrew)


Lorenzo, Jon, David, Nadine

Jon’s new game. We spent time figuring out how to set up and play. Each one of eight rounds is the same, with some extra scoring after the fourth and last. We had a mitigated version of the luck mechanic, but I rolled terribly and Jon rolled well, you can either get an extra action, a penalty action, or nothing. If the luck evens out then it doesn’t matter that much, and it probably would have. In addition I made a few mistakes, so I was behind. We stopped after two rounds because we understood how the game worked and it was taking a long time. We’ll try again, possibly with some rules adjustments. A nice game, but repetitive, and there does not seem to be much player interaction.

Among the Stars

Aaron, Sara, Nadine S

Castles of Burgundy

Aaron, Sara

Sushi Go Party

Nadine 54, David 53, Lorenzo 48

First play for David and Lorenzo, they liked it as a quick game. We may have played wrong since I don’t remember everything and the rules are in Chinese. Or Japanese.


Jon, David+  Nadine, Aaron

We were going to play to 500 because it was late, when we stopped Jon and David were just shy of it, and Aaron and I were negative. We would, or should, have gotten better hands later in the game, but Jon and David are both better players.

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.

April 19, 2017

Participants: Jon, David, Gili, Aaron, Yael, Nadine

Magic: The Gathering

David+, Jon+

We didn’t have time to Rochester draft, so I chose a balanced color assortment of 120 cards and we created decks from our half. The decks were stronger than usual. David played BG, and I played BRW. Yes, I still played three colors, although, in my defense, all but one of my cards had only one colored mana requirement. I had a few nervous moments at the beginning of both games, but I got out most of my cards without difficulty.

I had many fliers and I was hoping enough to stock David’s ground forces. And I had a Mindcrank, even one of which is pretty insane in a 40 card deck. In the first game, he had a large reach creature and then he had too many big land creatures to block all of them. In the second game, I stopped his ground forces, and even though he was gaining life, I decked him with my small fliers.


Jon 60, Gili 51, Aaron 37

First plays for both of them, who wanted to learn. We discovered that I had misread one of the cards that I thought was way over-powered in a previous game. Gili took control of the canals early on, and I couldn’t draw the color card I needed to build the canal segment I wanted, so I concentrated on people and VPs from them. I also had a person that made me more immune to disasters, while Gili played a person that removed some of her tokens.

They both liked it.

Puerto Rico

David 54, Nadine 50, Yael 40

First play for Yael. Nadine writes: David had two big buildings including Custom’s House, as well as Factory and Harbor. Yael did very well for her first time, and we didn’t help her much.

Among the Stars

Gili 88, Jon 83, Aaron 82

First play for Gili and Aaron, and first time I played with objectives. We also played special powers: Gili could use a discarded card, Aaron knew of a secret objective, and I earned a few extra points at the end of the game. I like the game; it’s not rip roaring fun, but it’s a nice management game.


David/Aaron 1005, Jon/Nadine 595

Very few bombs, and Aaron made a grand Tichu. They took a steady path to victory.

Feb 15, 2017

Participants: Nadine, Jon, David, Daniel Gili

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David+

I don’t remember much, but I took the first game easily and David took the second with difficulty.

Among the Stars

David 78+, Jon 78-, Nadine 68

Second play for each of them. We played without special powers. They are not that impressed with the game, which is a shame. My requirements from a game go down with the playtime, and the playtime is not high here, once people are used to how to play. But I guess it’s still a little long for them.

We ended on a tie, with David having more locations.

Puerto Rico

Jon 54, David, Nadine, Gili, Daniel

First play for Daniel. Nadine and David don’t play five player too often. I was first, followed by Gili, David, Nadine, and Daniel. I took a strong building strategy, while Gili and David were feeding into each other’s shipping. Nadine and Daniel also had some shipping, but no one had anywhere near my building points. I had two large buildings, including Guild Hall, and the last large building remained unbought. I had a tobacco monopoly for a few rounds at the beginning. I also had a Small Warehouse so that I didn’t fall entirely behind in shipping: I ended with 11 shipping points, to David’s 30.

Daniel did pretty well, although we kept giving him unasked for advice (often contradictory).


David, Jon, Nadine, Gili, Daniel

First play for Daniel. Gili gave some of her clues in Hebrew (which Daniel doesn’t speak yet).

December 27, 2016

Participants: Nadine, Elad, Jon

Among the Stars

Jon 103, Nadine 82, Elad 75

First play for Nadine.


Elad 69+, Nadine 69, Jon 68

Second play for me, first for Elad. I was slightly bothered by this the first time, and more bothered this time. I just don’t like some of the core random mechanics, in particular the availability or lack of tiles. It is beyond your control, can’t plan for it, and simply rewards some people instead of others. The male/female divide of extra actions is also annoying and unnecessary.

In theory, people should gain men and women at roughly the same amount. I rolled only 2 women in my first 30 or so rolls, which made life difficult.

The game had a blowout score discrepancy, as you can see.

December 21, 2016

Participants: Nadine, Jon, David K, Haim G + his wife Tammy, Nati, Aaron, Mace, Elad

Nadine hosted, owing to her still recovering. Mace is back from Australia for a week or two. Hi Tammy, sorry I didn’t get to meet you more.

Among the Stars

Jon 91, Aaron 85, David 84*, Elad 76

First play for everyone but me, first time for me using the special powers. Mine was an annoying one that gave me three extra dollars but prevented me from gaining any other money (except by some rare cards) which was more of a curse than a blessing. The other players had optional powers that didn’t affect the game a great deal but at least had no negative side effects. Next time we’ll also add some objectives.

There was some struggle to grasp the right plays for most of the game, including for me. However, by the end I think they all enjoyed it. The game is most often compared to 7 Wonders; I think they’re about the same. The questions is really if the game can be played quickly enough to be considered medium or light weight. We finished the game in 75 minutes, which is pretty good for us. If we can get it down to an hour, it could be a good filler or end game.

I played mostly heavy red cards and blues. Most of my scoring came during the game, instead of at the end. No greens at all. Aaron played mostly greens. David actually may have won if he had not mistakenly put down an invalid card as his last card (he had the option of using a discarded card and chose an invalid one). The card was worth 9 points to him; he might have been able to select something else comparable.


Nati 153, Nadine 139, Haim and Tammy 127, Mace 118

Haim and Tammy decided to team up. First play for them and for Mace.

Nadine writes: First play for all except me and Nati. Mace had a lot of ship cards. Nati did military and got to 8 on the senate one year. He beat me by one turn for senate on the last turn. Haim and Tammy had 10 on building, but I had the bonus for it, I only had 3. The wrong demands came out at the end so mos of us lost points, and I missed the 9 point bonus. I should have picked a different bonus.


Jon+Elad 1065, David+Aaron 1035

First play for Elad, he did very well. Picked up the game quickly, and even called and made Tichu once. David and Aaron pulled slightly ahead, slowly, at the start. Then they made a 200 point hand, leaving us 565 to 235. Then we made a 300 point  hand, and we were still slightly behind.

We continued to pull ahead until we had 895 to their 605. David then bid and made two grand tichus. All he needed was 30 points on the last hand to pull off the victory, but he ended up swallowing the phoenix to give the lead to his partner and he gave the dragon to the wrong opponent. We netted 90 points to their 210.