Tag Archive | amyitis

Jon is unclear


David+ Jon+


David+, Jon, Nadine

I need more of a review every turn than Jon has patience for.


Jon/Nadine+  David/Haim

Jon/Haim+  Aaron/Nadine

We played one game early on, Aaron finished it later with Jon watching him, then we played another game, Jon took over when David left.  In our early game, Jon called Tichu while looking at his 8 cards, David clarified by saying Grand Tichu, while looking at his whole hand, because Jon saying Tichu on 8 cards means GT. It was clear to them, and me, that Jon was calling GT. After the game, David told Haim that he should have kept his Phoenix because he also had an ace, instead of passing it to David. Haim said he passed it because David called GT, which is when we discovered that Haim, and Aaron who was watching the game, thought David had called GT and Jon had called Tichu. Aaron said people do sometimes call Tichu before passing, though it’s rare, but he said it would at least be after everyone looks at their whole hand.


Nadine 45, Jon 39, Gili 38, Yael 35

I complained too much because of the game’s constraints and lack of control. Yael didn’t like them either even though her camel card was great, and let her go anywhere to use the resource chips she had. I guess you feel like you’re not doing enough, but no one else is either. Jon didn’t get to buy a tile at the end, I also didn’t get to do what I wanted due to wrong resource chips, but I did get the red 3. Jon said it was the first time he didn’t get the bonus for 5 tiles. We used his house rule where you can pay 3 for any card action, independent of cards. It is a good game, but it does also feel like work to some extent. I guess it’s pretty well balanced, though I don’t think I won because I was playing better. I had the 2 points per round card, and was as far as anyone with red cards, I never got a purple wild resource.  I went first, and got to place the cubes twice, which may have helped. Yael got a lot of points for her many irrigation cubes, I got one point the whole game from one or two of them.

Power Grid

David 17 16 201, Haim 14 14 160, Aaron 14 14 135

Aaron hasn’t played much, and it was a while ago so David reviewed all the rules; Haim’s second game. So David had way more experience than they did. But he stored up on fuel on what he thought was the second to last turn, whereas if he had kept the money, he could have build to 17 that turn and won by even more. They played with our house rule of exposing the next 4 cards in the draw pile.


July 6, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Avi, Yedidya, Nadine, Dan, Netanel, Nisan

Dan is a gamer/designer from Boston who kindly brought me his game Producer, which we didn’t get a chance to play. I hope to get it to the table sometime in the next few weeks. Netanel is also a newcomer. Yedidya is a nephew (?) of David’s who had come once before.


Yedidya 20, David 21, Jon 24, Avi 47

First play for Yedidya, who won. David only took cards on his last two turns. Yedidya had the most cards, all worth 1 point each.

Five Tribes

Nadine 165, David 148, Netanel 128, Dan 120

First play for Dan and Netanel. They apparently played with rather good djinns. Nadine writes: Dan had the djinn that let him put the camel on spaces with meeples. I had 6 cards but paid a lot for them, didn’t take money, or pay for turn order. I had 9 yellow meeples and got the djinn that gives 3 points per yellow meeple. David took money a few times and he had a lot at the end and a set of resource cards. Netanel placed all of his camels except for one. Dan and Netanel liked the game.


Jon 57, Avi 54, Nisan 51, Yedidya 32

First play for all but me. We played with my rule that you can buy any action for 3 coins. Yedidya seemed to not really play the game: with few exceptions, he made one or two actions each turn and then just collected coins. At least he could use all his collected money on the last turn (owing to my rule), but it wasn’t nearly enough to catch up.

I usually go for third level in blue, but I usually come in second place, too, so I opted to only go for second level blue this time and instead start early on the reds. This is the first time that I ever collected all the red cards; Avi took one and Yedidya took one late in the game, but basically no one competed with me for them. So that was 31 points. I also eked out 3 tiles for the 5 point bonus.

Avi had the most tiles and the 10 point bonus. Nisan had third level in caravans, but neither any blue or red cards. Nisan said that it was ok, but not as good as Castles of Burgundy and so forth.



Mace, Gili, Eszter, Tommy, Sara, Nadine

Eszter brought two friends, Tommy is Hungarian, Sara is German and has played some Eurogames before.


Nadine 18, Gili 13, Mace 0

Mace needed a rules review, but being a new player isn’t why he lost. It felt like luck to me, it’s not like I play differently when I get a lot of points or none. There is more control in a 3-player game – planning is relevant.

2013-05-29 20.10.28Amyitis

Mace 68, Eszter 61, Gili 42

Gili wanted to learn this, and the others wanted to play again. They didn’t do a very good job of explaining strategy to Gili, though they had only played once before. Gili didn’t get the camel travel card which is important, and couldn’t do anything the last two rounds. Mace enjoyed getting ahead after Eszter had blocked him.

Puerto Rico

Sara  27, 22, 13, 62, Tommy 24, 30, (3) 54, Nadine 20, 23, 5, 48

2013-05-29 20.19.04I taught this my way, starting with shipping. It was the right way to go in this case. Eszter said she liked my approach because she’s taught people who still had no idea how to play after the explanation. Sara picked coffee over corn as second player, which helped her win the game because she had a monopoly. She also decided to get factory later. Tommy also got a factory, then a harbor and wharf; Sara also got a harbor later on. She had a small coffee boat and I had a big sugar boat, no one else produced it until the very end, but I also needed to trade it. They were producing 3 goods, I was producing 4, all set up for factory but there weren’t any left and I couldn’t afford harbor, and Tommy had tobacco ahead of me. I had customs house and residence, Tommy had fortress, unmanned at the end but would only have given him 3, and Sara had the other two with all her building spaces filled. I mostly gave advice at the beginning of the game, their early coffee and tobaccos put them in strong positions. I recommended buildings instead of explaining what all the buildings did and letting them choose. Sara caught on quickly to both the mechanics and strategy, Tommy needed more ongoing explanations. Sara wants to get the game to play with her kids, she likes the group and lives close by.


Mace 22, Nadine 0

I actually would be negative if that was possible. Jon improved my deck on the shul Shabbaton, but I only drew white lands and all my creatures needed at least one forest. Eventually I got out a few, but Mace had more of them and stronger ones. His deck is strong, he has 4 cards where he can pick from the top 5 of his deck. I’m getting a little better at figuring things out, but still need help with strategy.


Eszter stays ahead

Mace, David, Eszter, Nadine

2013-05-01 18.50.22Magic

Mace+, Nadine

David+, Mace

I’m still learning, getting better at the mechanics. I didn’t get enough land to put out most of my cards, and Mace killed the one I had out. I had Instants and some other stuff but they didn’t seem worthwhile. I forgot to use a card once. After Mace won he looked at my hand, and pointed out 3 or 4 powerful things that I could have done. So I need a lot of practice. David built a deck from Mace’s boosters while we were playing, David had tons of cards out, and Mace ended with none, he didn’t get enough land. David said he probably had much more land in his deck than Mace did.


2013-05-01 20.20.48Eszter 55, Mace 43, David 35, Nadine 31

I’ve played at least twice, but not so recently, and don’t know the game well enough to teach it easily. I had reread the rules, which are a bit confusing, but we managed to understand the game. David joked that the game ends when 4 tiles are left or at midnight, when we stopped at 11:45 it wasn’t a joke, though David did buy the last tile to officially end the game. Eszter was the only one doing irrigation for most of the game, which put her far ahead. She also did well with resources and the camel track, she was ahead in tiles til the end; everyone got the 5 point bonus for 3-4 tiles except me with one. I got the third level bank card, but it wasn’t worth it. I didn’t get a camel card, though I did OK on the track. I had money, but not enough resources. David said he made a lot of mistakes, and lost two resources at one point. Mace was happy to not lose after not starting out well, but he caught up with a high camel card, and sold resources for points. Everyone liked the game. I did much better in my first two plays.

Comments from Jon on his blog, and his house fix that I forgot about:

When you are first player, if you have first crack at the only resource giving worker, you’re in great shape. If there are three resource giving workers in a three player game, then your turn advantage has basically given you nothing. And the reverse, of course: if you’re last player and there are enough workers to let you get a resource, great. If not, you’re screwed. Very, very rarely will someone not take a resource giving worker as first player, and that’s only if there are enough of them that it will come back to him anyway (for slightly higher cost).
Once again, I have to shake my head a this mechanic and ask: didn’t they see this as a problem during playtestiung? It wasn’t just this play: the same thing happened last play, and all the plays by the guy who taught me the game. 

Next play: I solidified one problem with the game and proposed a fix, which we played with this game. Namely, that an infinite number of recruiting cards of all types are available for cost 3. This ensures that the highly undesirable, but all too often, occurrence where a resource card is not available for you as last player, but on the other turns was available to all players, can not wreck your entire game, so long as you have a little money set aside. The high cost ensures that it’s a last recourse, but at least it’s a recourse. The fix worked perfectly, and was used three times during the game.


I really like the game, and so did everyone else. It has an emergent cooperation property, where you might do something that benefits someone else because their subsequent action then helps you. It has multiple paths to victory, but unlike games where this just means you can get six points here or half a dozen points there, the entire mechanics and play are different in the different areas.

December 16, 2009

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Abraham, Emily, Eitan

Hanukkah gaming.

Hare and Tortoise

Abraham+, Nadine, Jon, Gili

I started us off with this little guy. First play for all of us. I understood that this is supposed to be a kids’ game, really, which is true if you consider the graphics. But it’s more intelligent that any mainstream roll and move game, and challenging enough for adults.

This is a race game where the object is to be the first to cross the finish line. There’s dice rolling, but not for movement; it’s for the results of what happens when you land on certain spaces. You move 1, 2, 3, … spaces by expending 1, 3, 6, … carrots. So your job is to find ways to acquire more carrots for more movement, as well as rid yourself of three lettuces and block the spaces your opponent’s require (only one rabbit per space). It’s a lot of jockeying for position; last place gets bonus carrots on several occasions. It’s even nicely thematic.

Fun game for a filler, or with kids.


Abraham, Jon, Nadine, Gili

First play for all of us. Nadine had gone home with the game to learn the rules and gamely tried to explain them to us, but I had to take over after confusion reined.

Cuba is a meaty Euro, a little simpler than Puerto Rico but in the same vein. The problem is that every game that tries to be in the same vein as Puerto Rico but simpler ends up being unfavorably compared to Puerto Rico. Cuba is no exception.

You’ve got a few dozen different VP paths, and every building is available for purchase at the beginning of the game, which makes the first few games an exercise in figuring out how the parts of the game mesh together. We all scored pretty closely.

Nadine is under the impression that further games are also going to score closely, so long as people with the same experience levels play each other. This may be true, or it may be that a few good plays can score a wild swing in the points during one or two turns. We just don’t know yet. In any case, experienced players should certainly do better than non-experienced ones. Abraham also liked it, but less than he liked some other new games.

I enjoyed the game, and I look forward to studying it more.


Eitan, Emily

Unfortunately for these two, they came when we were starting Cuba, and so tried to play Amyitis on their own, including learning it on their own. I had played it once, but didn’t remember enough to teach it.

They weren’t thrilled with it, claiming that certain things don’t seem to work well. I’m pretty sure that they must have gotten something wrong. I remember liking it when I played it (enough to buy it) although I do recall that one of the cards was somewhat better than the others, and so the number that appeared each round had a strong effect on one’s success.

October 04, 2009: Games Day

Participants: Jon, Nadine, David K and Avraham, Binyamin and Zvi Yehuda, Ben and four kids, Roni, Michael and Elijah, Eitan and Emily, Mace and Shachar, Joel, Yosef, Saarya, Ori, Gili and Lotem, Yitzchak, Eliezer, Abraham and Sarah.

Avraham is David’s kid. Zvi Yehuda is Binyamin’s kid. Roni is here in Israel for a year. Michael is Elijah’s father, and has come to other games days and nights. Mace is a friend who plays D&D, used to play Magic, and has come to games day before, with his son Shachar. Joel is a friend of Roni and lives in the area; first time here. Yosef has come a few times before. Ori is a friend of Saarya’s. Lotem is Gili’s kid. Yitzchak is a former regular who moved to Beit Shemesh. Eliezer is a Beit Shemesh regular. Sarah is Abraham’s wife, and has also come on occasion.

We didn’t have a second sukkah this year, so games were played both upstairs in the sukkah and down in the apt. It was a fairly hopping day, and things went off smoothly, for the most part. The burger place even got our large complicated order correct.

Games are presented in alphabetical order, rather than the usual chronological.


Roni, Saarya, Gili Zvi Yehuda

I asked Binyamin to bring this, but I didn’t get to play it.


Jon 9, Mace 5, Shachar 4

Yay, I got to wipe the floor with two more newbies. Mace didn’t like the game after he found out there were no dice in it. Also, he kept trying to figure out why he couldn’t do several actions in a single turn, instead of having to use the rondel thingie. It’s timing threw him off.

I played unusually aggressive, built a large fleet and destroyed everyone else’s temples and cities.

Battlestar Galactica

Binyamin(Cylon)+, Nadine(Cylon)+, Joel, Zvi Yehuda, Abraham

First play for everyone. The Cylons won, revealed. I began sitting in as we tried to learn the rules of the game, but the rules were so complicated and so poorly organized that I ran out of patience. It took nearly an hour and we still didn’t know what was going on, and I hadn’t had my turn yet. So I gave my seat up to Joel.

The game looked interesting enough, however, and once they got the rules down, it flowed fine, I hear.


Ben/Zvi Yehuda, Binyamin/Nadine, Mace

Some hands were played, with Mace joining at a later time.

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers

Eitan, Emily, Levana

Levana, one of Ben’s kids, taught Eitan and Emily how to play. Apparenly not too well, and they reported that it seemed like she was making up rules as the game went on. They’ll need to try it again, I think.


Saarya, Zeev

Saarya played Zeev, one of Ben’s kids.


Throughout the day, various people played this, generally the children. The Chess set is made of plastic figures from Star Wars Episode 2.

Cosmic Encounter

Ben/Jon+, Elijah, Eitan, Saarya

First play for Eitan, which explains why he let me win by inviting me to ally with him when it gave my my fifth base. I took over for Ben when he had to go out for a short while. Changeling and Filth were both in the game.

Binyamin+, Elijah, Michael, Joel, Abraham

All of the others had super powers: Vampire, Fungus, Void, etc. Binaymin won with Crystal while they were all fighting each other.


Jon 27, Ben, David, Avraham

We started Games Day with this. The set included tons of powerhouse cards, including Chapel, Cellar, Village, Festival, Smithy. I Chapel’d away my three Estates on my third round, and bought four Festivals, the others got 3, 2, and 1 Festival.

When I won, they all complained that I won because of my 5/2 start, though none of the others took Chapel.

Ben 25, Jon 24, David, Avraham

So we played again with the same set, and we all agreed that each person had to start 4/3. The others took Villages and I took Chapel. And I once again began fine tuning my deck, first dropping three coppers, and then three Estates.

This time I didn’t get Festivals as fast as the others, but it still looked like I was winning. Turns out that Ben, with his Bureaucrat squeaked in a win with a final victory point. Beats me how he did it.

David, Ben, Avraham

They played this again later.

Ben, Nadine, Yosef

Played later in the day. After paying, Nadine declared that she doesn’t like the game, because other players can simply play your entire turn for you.

Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation

Binyamin (White)+, Zvi Yehuda (Black)

Played as an opener. I think Zvi Yehuda hadn’t played before.

Magic: the Gathering

David, Roni

I was going to play Magic with David, but Roni ended up playing instead.

Jon/David++, Ben

Later, Ben and I took random cards and made decks. Mine was a killer deck with black creature kill, red damage splash, and white flyers and soldiers. Ben’s was less killer, shall we say, but did have that incredible Equipment that gains a +1/+1 counter every time its wearer deals damage, which is practically a game ended in and of itself (in fact, David and I won’t play with in sealed).

Even with my better deck, I only squeaked out a victory over Ben in the first game. David took over for the second game, and he had less problems, apparently.

Market of Alturien

Mace+, Shachar, David, Avraham, Zvi Yehuda

First play for everyone. Binyamin brought and taught it. I had never even heard of it.

Notre Dame

Nadine 58, Eitan, Emily, Jon 38

Played to end game night. First plays for Emily and Eitan. Emily was off to a great start with double park on turn 1. But Nadine’s cars and cube swapping powers swamped us all in mid-game. Just in round 6, I think she netted some 25 points.

Emily said that this was her favorite game, so far.

Pirate’s Cove

Gili, Lotem, three of Ben’s kids

Gili taught this to Ben’s kids.

Pitch Car

I asked Nadine to bring this as I figured correctly that it would keep littler kids amused throughout the day.

Princes of Florence

Ben 60, Eliezer 57, Mace 54, Shachar 48, Jon 47

First game for Mace and Shachar. Five players is a tight game, and the auctions were difficult. I thought I wasn’t doing too badly, but I had to go back 5 points for get a second Jester that I desperately needed. Ben won nearly every game today, I think.

Puerto Rico

Yitzchak 44, Nadine 42, Yosef, Ori

First play for either Yosef or Ori, or both. They scored 39 and 35. Close game.


Zvi Yehuda, Avraham

Played somewhere in mid-day.

Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm

Abraham+, Elijah, Michael, Saarya, Ori

First play for most of the others. Abraham is nearly unbeatable at this, having played several hundred times online. This was played early in the day.

Abraham+, Elijah, Eliezer, Yitzchak

These guys played this near the end of the day.

Eliezer+, Elijah, Abraham, Yitzchak

And then they played again.

Yitzchak 49, Abraham 41, Elijah 39, Eliezer

And again.

Abraham, Elijah

And again. This time without the expansion, I believe.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Michael 3, Jon 2

An exciting game of this was played toward evening. I began with Rock, forgetting that that’s an all too common opener. It still beat Michael’s Scissors.

Then I did Scissors to his Rock. 1-1. After that things got tense for several milliseconds. We both did Scissors, and then I did Scissors again to Michael’s Paper. 2-1 for me. I did Scissors again to Michael’s Rock: 2-2.

We then tied again Rock to Rock, and finally, Michael brought out a Paper to my Rock, clinching a hard-won victory of 3-2. Close game, though.

San Juan

Nadine 41, Elijah 39, Roni 38, Eitan 36

Played as a games day opener, first play for Eitan and Roni. Ron had previously played Puerto Rico, however.

Shadows Over Camelot

Elijah (Traitor)+, Yosef, Saarya, Roni, Eitan

Amusingly, this was being played at the same time as Battlestar Galactica, occupying both tables in the sukkah.


Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda

Binyamin taught this to Zvi Yehuda, but they stopped in the middle.

June 24, 2009

Participants: Jon, David K, Hershel, Gili, Abraham, Sarah, Binyamin, Moshe Avraham

Sarah is Abraham’s wife; this is her second visit. MA contacted me two weeks ago interested in knowing if anyone knew how to play Pentago, as he was interested in learning more about it. I invited him to drop by. He was uninterested in any other games, just in Pentago.

Magic: the Gathering

David++, Jon+

I invited David to come a bit early and we got in a draft and three games of Magic. The first two games were both mana skewed victories. Really, Magic has a mjor flaw and this is it. Way too many games come down to mana screw, even after mulligan rules.

I created a rule a few years ago that helped out immensely; I stopped playing with it when they introduced the new mulligan rules, in order to give them a chance, but we find them wanting. Here is the rule:

Each player can, once only, and only before finishing his or her fifth turn, do either of the following: a) discard a random non-land card from the game to draw a random land card from his or her deck; or b) discard a random land card from the game to draw a random non-land card from his or her deck.

In practice, we look at the bottom of our deck, choose the first one we find, and then shuffle the deck. If, for some reason, this would interfere with some already played card (such as something that puts a card on top of your deck), we work around it in the most sensible fashion.

The one land difference usually turns an unplayable game into an enjoyable one. We have decided to reinstitute this rule in future games.

In our third game, I used this rule, and we had a longer battle. I still lost, though David said my deck was slightly stonger. I played White/Green with a Blue splash. Many fliers, counters, and cards that gave bonuses for the number of creatue type X in the deck. David played Green/Red with Blue.

Stone Age

David, Gili, Abraham, Sarah

First plays for Sarah and David. David starved some of the time, but I don’t know the rest.


Hershel 59, Jon 46, Nadine 46, Binyamin 44

First plays for everyone. Binyamin taught the rules, though it was his first time, too. He warned Nadine that she probably wouldn’t like it (too complicated), and she didn’t. In the end, she didn’t not like it as much as she thought she wasn’t liking it most of the game.

I thought it was quite good, as did Hershel. Owing to not understanding the strategies and values of resources, we made mistakes in our priorities and only came to realize how valuable the commodity chips were in the last third of the game. It was about that time that we also noticed the first real problem with the game, which was that a different number of cards to acquire these chips are available each round, and if you happen to be last player and N-1 of these cards are turned up, you’re screwed – especially if N cards were turned up on the other rounds.

Aside from this, there are a lot of different strategies to explore and many paths end in frustration once you realize that someone else is going to beat you to the payoff in that path and there’s no longer anything you can do about it. It is for that reason that I thought playing with chips hidden might be worthwhile: you’re just as screwed, but at least you don’t know it for a few more rounds.

In our game, Binyamin tried ignoring the tiles altogether, but it didn’t pay off fo him; I was able to beat him to the cascading point sets anyway, which was the payoff he needed to compete. I played a balanced game, but ignored the transient points from irrigation too much. Hershel had the most irrigation and tiles, which gave enough of a VP boost to win.


MA and Jon, David, Hershel, or Binyamin

While or between various games, each of us took turns trying this simple abstract. It’s a 6×6 board divided into four 3×3 quadrants. Each quadrant can rotate. On your turn, place a piece and rotate a quadrant. Five in a row wins.

6×6 is not a very large board. As we played, we found several of the major patterns, none too difficult to discern if you can keep the abstract lines in your head. Though I didn’t prove anything, I pretty muh decided that first player will always win (maybe force a draw), as his first move advantage is huge and second player spend too much time playing catch up. This advatange may be mitigated by allowing the second player to choose to play or swap colors as his first move.

It’s a decent abstract. I wasn’t thrilled with the way that one player can exactly unrotate the previous rotation of his opponent. I would rather that there be a one move wait between undoing a rotation. I think it would make it slightly more interesting, and also, perhaps, help the second player somewhat.


Sarah+, Abaraham, Gili

First play for Sarah. Everyone thought Abraham was winning, but Sarah snuck through a victory. They played with the suggested introdutory card set.


Jon/David, Binyamin/Nadine

We played a few hands to wrap up the evening.