Tag Archive | antike

KinneretCon Fall 2016

Nadine and I, and others from Jerusalem, went to KinneretCon for around 30 hours of gaming on the Sea of Galilee. This was their second event, and they are planning more. Both times the event was held at a kosher hostel. Basic rooms hold 2 to 4 people and edible (if not glamorous) full board is provided. It sits 100 meters off the lake shore, which is nice; I didn’t see too much of the lake, but my kids did some swimming.

Around 30 to 35 people were around, about half of them religious.

Games played by either me or Nadine:


I taught this to three others, and we had a good time. Unlike the last time I taught this, where the other players loved the cube tower, this time the other players were a little unsatisfied with the cube tower and would probably prefer one of the “bag drawing” variants. I lost by a few points, if I recall correctly.


I taught this to four others, and, as usual, stressed that they should concentrate on points and not get lost in the mechanics. And, as usual, I won (by one point, instead of my usual two points). Also as usual, we played to one point less than the recommended value. I think everyone liked it.

Next time I play I might use the new tech chart from Antike II.

Castles of Burgundy

Nadine writes: I taught this to three other players who picked it to play. They did well, I didn’t win. I did help them, though I mostly gave advice on request or when they didn’t understand the implications. I forgot to tell them that a six could become a one, until I used it late in the game. Two players, including the one who won, had 5-tile regions with all the same animal. They all really liked the game.


A multi-player solitaire straightforward game of taking tiles and scoring points. The tiles you can take – or other actions you can perform – relay on how you distribute cubes onto your action track, but that’s somehow less interesting than it should be. There is nothing to do until your turn again, and you can’t really plan between turns.

But, as a filler (if you play quickly), it’s okay as a pastime and there are often a few options to consider each turn.

Imperial Settlers

Another so-so game, which I didn’t like mostly because it had a take-that mechanic but also a runaway winner problem. One would think that the person doing “take-that” would at least target the leader, but circumstances don’t always favor this, which just makes it more frustrating. There are cards you can play that simply counteract anything that one of your opponents does every round, making it nearly impossible for them to progress. Frustrating.

Otherwise, the game would be okay, with lots of cards and resources and a deceptively large number of things to do during each of the five rounds. I was ahead in points until the last round, but I knew I was losing by a large margin to my LHO already in round 2, and there was not much I could do about it.

Isle of Skye

First play for me. This is a game played over five rounds, where you get to add 0-3 Carcassonne-like tiles to your tableau each round. Each player gets three tiles, assigning money to two of them and discarding the other. Each player can then buy one of the other tiles from someone else, giving him or her the money and letting them keep their money. After all players have bought one tile or passed, you pay any money on any of your remaining tiles and place these tiles and the one you bought (if any) into your board. Then you score based on certain scoring tiles, each of which apply to three rounds of the game. Some tiles also provide income, but everyone gets at least 5 coins each round.

That’s it. It plays okay, and Eszter and her son liked it a lot. I liked it, but it lacked some kind of spark for me. The best part of the game was that one of the scoring tiles gave you points for money left in hand at the end of the round, which provided a good decision for whether to try to get money from others or try to place more tiles. But this scoring tile is only used if it is drawn for the game; I think the game will be even less interesting without it.


Nadine write: A large, long complicated game. But interesting and good. Two extra players were learning it with us, so one of them ended up helping Eszter and one helped me. We each understood different rules, so it took both of us to figure out moves. We ended up doing really well, partly inadvertently, we came in second, only losing to Roi who taught it and did really well. It has varied mechanics – company shares, worker placement, area control, hand management. Also an award winner, 2016 International Gamers Award, and Spiel de Jahres Recommended.


I taught this to four others. We played with the twists: a) you get have +five points if you have five cards at the end of your turn; b) if you build an invention worth more points than any previous invention, you get +2 coins. Both positive twists, which are good.

I walked to victory here, stumbling only for two rounds when one of my opponents made everyone else discard two cards.

Prime Time

A clunky-looking game about TV scheduling which is actually better than it looks. I had to leave after the first half of the game, and I suffered during some of that, but only because I made colossally bad plays and my RHO made even worse plays.

But it actually worked well and looked intriguing after I got the hang of it, and I would like to try it again.

Red 7

Nadine writes: A fun light game, good for 1:30 am. It took us two games to catch on to how to plan your turn. Binyamin S won the first game after teaching it, I won the second game. A 2014 Golden Geek award winner.

Slap Deck

I taught and played this a few times, but the response was muted (which is unusual).

Space Cadets: Dice Duel

Nadine write: Each team frenetically rolls dice, over and over, simultaneously, in a race to get missiles, offense, defense, movement and shields. Our team wasn’t as good at understanding and assessing when we’d win an attack, so we lost a lot of missiles. It also took us a while to get all the rules. Towards the end, our opponents attacked us quickly right after their previous attack; they were surprised that we had gotten a shield up so fast. So was our team, good work by our shield player. We were far behind and conceded the last point.


Nadine writes: Another award winner, especially in France where it was published, 2012. Great art, colors and components, extremely well done. Nice theme which is well integrated with the gameplay. A light game which plays quickly and is easy to learn, fun to play despite the luck factor. The person before me ended the game when he placed his seventh point card, he had 28 points. The other players then all get a last turn. I had 24 points, and several cards which would give me more than 4 points. But bad luck meant that I couldn’t play any of them. I didn’t roll rainfall or tokens, couldn’t move the gardener, and picked another card which didn’t work. I ended up tied with Zoya for second place. The player who won played well, but drew at least two point cards which he could play immediately because the conditions were filled.


Tal and I played against Nadine and Yoval. Tal played well; I bid and lost a Tichu and a Grand Tichu, and I wasn’t happy about either of them (the Grand Tichu loss was not really my fault; I played poorly on the Tichu). After that Tichu wasn’t called by anybody very often, and we eventually lost after many, many hand by 1005 to 895.

Voyages of Marco Polo

Nadine writes: Roi and David wanted to play this, so I taught it to them. It’s a good game, I’m just not good at it. I made a mistake with the rules which did make a difference, but Roi would have won anyway. And I would have lost anyway. We placed trading posts on the way, not just on our last stop. We played the beginner version with the recommended characters, but selected goal cards.

Walk the Plank

Nadine writes: You’re pirates being chased by sharks, and you detach arms and legs from your large plastic person when the shark catches you, after losing your 4 limbs you’re out of the game. The main mechanic is selecting a number that no other player selects, otherwise you can’t move. I got eaten, though late in the game, in two games.


Sukkot Games Day 5777

20161020_165201A lot of attendees with more new faces than usual.

Thank you to everyone who helped set up and clean up, a big help. Thank you especially to David for taking care of the long food order. We ordered from Pollo Loko for the first time. David had them read back the names for each item, but the order came without any names, missing one item, and without silverware or napkins. When David called to complain they said people need to request those. You would think with a large order they might ask if we want?


Yael+, Eszter, Binyamin S, Avi, David E

20161020_145719Bang the Dice Game

Sheriff Yael, Bandits+

Shariff Yael, Deputy Binyamin S, Bandits+


Avi / Nadine, Ben / Jon

20161020_170415We played one hand before switching to Tichu, Avi made the 3NT that we bid.

Empires: Age of Discovery

Gili 104, Shnuer 94, Aaron 70, Arie 50

Castles of Burgundy

Gili 242, Yuval 206, Avi E 180, Yedidya 129

20161020_121905Gili taught this, first play for the others.


Jon: I taught this to David C, Avi Einot, and Yokhay, and they all liked it. In the first game, Avi and I gave clues, in English to David C and Yokhay, which didn’t always go so well since they are Hebrew speakers and we are English speakers. In the second game, Avi gave clues to me in English and Yokhay gave clues to David in Hebrew. Sometimes they switched to English in order to give a clue that is one word in English but two words in Hebrew.

Five Tribes

Eszter  138, Dov 129, Tal 114, Nimrod 107

Gold West

David 115, Eszter 98, Nadine 81

Eszter taught us. Then when we saw Ezra wasn’t playing a game, she taught it again to him. After being interrupted by dinner, Ezra ended up leaving, but we finally played. I didn’t get all the rules right away, even when I did, I didn’t like the resource movement mechanic. Eszter helped us with recommendations, David liked the game.


Gili 104, Binyamin S 90, Eitan 86, Emily 70

20161020_225519It’s Alive


King of Tokyo

Avi+, Nadine, Gili, David, Yedidya

I killed Gili, David and Yedidya, but then Avi killed me to win.

Lo Ra

Nadine 35, Shneur 27, Aaron 20

New to both, they liked the game. Before counting most and least money, Shneur had 32, Nadine 30.


Jon++, David +

David says Jon is on a long winning streak. Jon: David and I drafted cards and I ended up with a relatively tight deck that had some fliers and creature control, but nothing else spectacular. In the first game, I drew as well as I could have, but I had limited land after the initial opening hand and David took me down with bigger creatures.after killing my fliers. In the second game, David was entirely mana screwed, with a hand full of blue cards and no blue lands. In the third game, I was able to eke out another win where both of us had average draws.


Ben didn’t win, I don’t know who else played.

20161020_145800Pax Pamir

Gili, Cliff, Shalom, Refaela

Gilli and Cliff won together.


Jon, David, Avi, Aaron

Jon: David made one strategic and one tactical mistake in the penultimate and ultimate rounds. Avi thought it was too hard to catch up once ou were losing (although with more experience, hopefully no one will be losing by too much). I taught the game again to David, Avi, and Aaron. I hadn’t played it in a while, and we are not sure that we got the action card availability mechanics correct. David took a wide lead in the middle of the game and held it, but he spent one 20161020_170126round too long building up his infrastructure. I used that one round to gain a huge amount of victory points; that was the penultimate round. On the last round, he neglected (forgot) to deprive me of a card I used to keep my lead. While I would have gotten almost as many points anyway, it was a mistake.  





Ben 154, Nadine 133, Assaf 120

20161020_170110First play for Ben, second for Assaf. Ben complained the whole time that he wasn’t getting the game, and about his limited possibilities, though of course he did well. I don’t think he liked the game despite winning. He’s right about the luck elements, such as which flag tiles are available and which ones you need. Assaf did well with marrying daughters into cities, he placed them all in one city which limited his end game bonuses, which lost him 8 or 12 points, and he didn’t invest in many white discs. I concentrated on the book track, not enough to beat Ben’s training of sons – and he also got points from the book track.

Slap Deck

Jon: I taught this to several new people and played several times. Many people liked the game a lot, especially David C (guy from my work who came for the first time), Avi Einot, and Yokhay Liot (the last two guys are new to me and I met them at the end of the evening).

20161020_105552Smiley Faces

Gili, Yuval, David, Avi


Jon 55, Nati 52, David C 52, Yael 47

Jon: first plays for Yael, Nati, and David C, who all liked the game. I invited them to gang up on me, and they did some of the time but not all of the time. They also all played very well, but I managed to get a 2 or 3 point lead by mid game and just managed to keep hold of it until the end.


Eliezer 68, Alan Greenspan 66, Michael 61, Ofer


Avi / Nadine, David / Yedidya+

Avi / Nadine 915, David / Ben 1050+

Avi and I had a pair of kings overtaken by a pair of aces twice, ruining our plans.

20161020_212706Jon / Yechiel 1195, Aaron / Shneur 605

Jon: I played with Assaf’s friend Yechiel from Kokhav Hashachar (first play) against Aaron and Shnuer (first or second play). Yechiel made some beginner mistakes, but played very well for his first time. He even called Tichu twice (made it once). I called it three times and made it twice. In one of the times I made it, Aaron on my right played his second to last card (a 7) and I called Tichu, which shocked him. I played an 8. Luckily for me, my partner played his K so Aaron could not play his last card, which was a K. I overtook my partner’s K with one of my aces, played a long straight, then a full house of Q’s over aces, and then got out with the dog.

In another interesting hand, I pulled in my opening 2 aces, 3 Q’s. 3 tens, a straight 2 to 6, and the phoenix. David and Avi’s advice for passing was to pass one 10 to each other player, but I decided to pass the 2, 3, and 4. I got back 2 4’s and the dragon, making an easy tichu. Aaron also called and made or lost some tichus. At one point, one hand took us from 795, and them at 105, to us 695 and them 405, and then us 695 them 605. But those two hands were their only streak. In the next hand it was 995 to 605, and then 1195 to 605.

20161020_170110Year of the Dragon

Nadine 105, Ben 96, Shneur 81, Assaf 79, Ezra 76

New to everyone except me, Ben had played once. This is a very hard game to get on the first play but they all did well, especially Ben. Assaf jumped ahead of me in turn order before the game and took a dragon, I took one on the next round. Ezra started with Books but couldn’t maintain it, no one else focused on it either. Ben had a lot of people, but was slower with round points. I did single building for a while until I finally took a builder. I took a Monk at the beginning for turn order, and was unexpectedly able to keep him til the end of the game. I got one double one, Ben had two double ones.


Bang the Dice Game

September 21, 2016

Participants: Jon, Yoshi, Nadine, Yael

Magic: The Gathering

Jon, Yoshi++

Yoshi brought some pre-constructed decks. I played and lost twice.


Jon, Yoshi+

This is nearly the same game as Magic the Gathering, except that there are no mana costs. Each player can spend 1 coin each round, and all cards cost either 1 or 0 coins to play. You can only play creatures on your turn. All cards are either creatures or instants. Also, you can attack as many times as you want to; each creature you have can only attack once per turn, and all attackers attack as a group. Each creature can only defend once per turn. A creature can attack or use its special ability, not both. A defender can defend and also use its special ability.

That’s about it. There are four colors, whose entire purpose it to limit abilities of cards to affect only a quarter of the cards being cast or in play. Your job is to knock your opponent down from 30 to 0 points.

Yoshi beat me again.


Jon 9, Nadine 8, Yael 5

First play for Yael. We played to one less points than suggested. Nadine gave me a run for the money. She claims I won because I went first, but we played out the same number of turns each, and I was still one round ahead of her.


Jon 20, Nadine 16, Yael 15

First play for Yael. Our twists were that 5 coins equaled one point, and you got to take $2 if the invention you played was a higher point value than any of your previous inventions.


June 01, 2016

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Nisan, Alan, Bill G

Alan brought his father Bill who is here in Israel for a short visit. Nisan and Nadine started and ended the evening by claiming that I win games all the time, especially when there are new players, but I think that’s very unfair. I didn’t win the second game of Codenames tonight, for example.


Jon/Nadine+, Bill/Alan

I taught this to Bill; Alan had played once or twice I think. Alan and I gave clues. Our partners each gave our opponents two cards, but then Nadine finally pulled ahead and I was able to win with one word clues.

Nadine/Alan+, Bill/Nisan

I sat this game out. I don’t know how it ended.

Nadine: Nisan guess the black word towards the end, it was Sink and Bill had given Food 2 or 3 as an earlier clue.


Jon 7, Nisan 5, Nadine 5, Alan 5, Bill 3

We played this to one point less than the listed points, as usual. I also decided that in this game, for the first time, we would play with the correct maneuver rules: moving is a maneuver and conquering is a maneuver, and you can only do one of them unless you have advanced on the relevant Know How. Honestly this didn’t improve the game.

The way we have always played – you can move up to your movement limit and then you can conquer for free – there is not much in the way of conquering, but there is some, not too much to make me dislike the game, but not too little to make people who like attacking feel bored. The upside is a dynamic game that includes some skirmishing and makes building armies/fleets somewhat more important.

The correct rules make attacking all but non-existent, especially when playing to 1 less point. The only upside is that it makes the two movement Know-Hows stronger. But I kind of missed the skirmishing, so long as it’s not all ganging up on me.

First play for Alan, Bill, and Nisan. I explained everything well enough, although there was a little confusion in the middle about how many Know How steps you can build at once. Both I and Nadine also explained the strategies I planned to use to win the game. And that’s the exact strategies that I used to win the game, made, if possible, slightly easier since there was basically no attacking the entire game.

I played Rome and built an early Market and then an early temple, but my temple was iron since I expecting attacks from my neighbors. Nadine was second to a Know How, and since she was up near England, she built Sailing. Alan was down in Palestine, which is usually pretty strong, and he was first to three temples, but he and Nisan (Greece) basically left each other alone. Nisan spread out to 15 cities and built lots of armies with the intention of sacking one of my temples. I built to Monarchy and then Democracy, so the only temple he could sack was after I already had three temples (all I needed) and was poised to win the game anyway. Bill hung out in North Africa, basically keeping to himself, too.

Nisan said that he liked the game, and Nadine liked it more than she liked Steam.

December 2, 2015

Participants: Jon, David K, Chaim, Shira, Raanan, Binyamin, Aaron, Schneur, Nissan, Jonathan

A hopping game night. Chaim and Shira are Hebrew speakers who found the Hebrew Facebook group, but they managed in English. They had some game experience, including Agricola. Raanan is the visiting son of a friend, also with some game experience and a lot of game sense.

No Thanks

Chaim 12, Shira 14, David 16, Jon, Raanan

First play for Chaim, Shira, and Raanan. They all liked it, and Chaim and Shira even took first and second place, which is amazing for beginners. I knew I was out by early-to-midgame, when I ran out of cash. Raaanan was overly ambitious in collecting cards for sequences. David ended with a single card and no coins.

Sushi Go

Binyamin, Aaron, Schneur, Nissan, Jonathan

First play for many of them, they abandoned the game after a few rounds. I think they simply decided to move on to meatier games.


Nissan 91, Binyamin 77, Shneur 59

I didn’t see how this played, but it looked nice.

Star Realms

Binyamin, Schneur

Played after Abyss.

Binyamin, David

Played at the end of the evening. David appeared to think it wasn’t his kind of game, or at least not until he had more experience with it.


Jon 9, Jonathan 8, Raanan 7

First play for Schneur and Raanan, who both loved it. I rarely get to play, since most of the older group members don’t like it so much.

We played to 9 instead of 10, to cut the length of the game down to something reasonable, although I realize that this favors a bit less conflict. Which is not a bad side effect, in my opinion.

I’m not going to claim victory. Jonathan started as the Greeks, which gave him an advantage as Raanan immediately built up armies to threaten me, which made me have to build some in return. Raanan pretty much did nothing the entire game except build armies and expand his empire, although he eventually claimed a point for 3 temples. He had 4 points from cities (20+) and 1 more from destroying one of Jonathan’s temples. I forget where his last point came from. He had no technology.

Meanwhile, since I was occupied, Jonathan went forward quickly on the technology track, as well as getting to 5 cities, 7 seas, and 3 temples. Despite losing his temple, he had enough gold to win the game on the turn after mine by claiming the complete technology track.

I struck first blood by killing a few of Raanan’s armies and one of his cities, and then we had a cold peace for a while. I would have liked to have attacked Jonathan, but he was so far away and it took me a long time to get to some extra movement technologies. I was first to Monarchy and Democracy (defense), which made it difficult for Raanan to attack me, since I killed his cities much more easily than he killed mine. Close tot he end of the game I was a single boat away from taking out one of Jonathan’s temples, so I took out one of Raanan’s instead, which took me to eight points; not enough to win the game, and Jonathan was poised to win on his turn. But, after Raanan pointed it out, I forgot how easy it was to conquer his cities. I simply conquered four of his cities and gained the extra point I needed to win.

Five Tribes

David 155, Chaim 125, Aaron 123, Shira 122

First play for Chaim and Shira. I didn’t see how it played, but they seemed to have a good time. Aaron ended with 51 points in yellow meeples, but was shy in board tiles. Shira had 57 in board tiles counting camels, while David had 51 counting castles. Chaim’s main points were his 40 in goods cards.


David, Aaron, Chaim, Shira

First play for Chaim and Shira. They ended after 2 hands. David went out first both times.

Robo Rally

Schneur+, Binyamin, Jon, Raanan

We played on one board with one flag, and a mishmash of rules that were not exactly correct but close enough. First plays for Raanan and Schneur. Raanan is the only one that fell off the board. Twice.

I got stuck with one set of cards that had only backwards and forwards, which hurt me while both Binyamin and Schneur progressed. Binyamin also had card troubles; he turned around for a while on a save point, but at least he got a second bonus card for his trouble.

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 October 4, 2012

Thank you to all the participants for bringing games and snacks, and helping out with moving furniture in and out of our sukkah and our nice new neighbors’ sukkah. It was a cooperative and fun group of serious gamers. I discouraged first time Eurogamers – they get a much better introduction at our weekly sessions where we can spend time selecting and teaching an appropriate game. I remembered to get pictures of most the games, even the one I was playing in. Emily as usual did a great job with the dinner order, this time from Burgers Bar instead of Daisy Burger, they didn’t do as well at labeling the food. Abe , Emily and Eitan contributed to this session report.

A few days before I had realized that I was going to miss the first Obama Romney debate due to the conflict with games day; otherwise I could have stayed up and slept in. Wednesday night I went to bed late after discussing a range of possible house rules with Abe to fix El Grande King and Intriguant, and wasn’t asleep at 3 so I got up to watch the debate. It was unbelievable so I ended up not sleeping much. It’s not often that political campaign events cause that level of surprise across the board. People at games were interested in hearing about it, and also surprised that there was such a clear winner.

Laurie wanted to learn Niagara because she has the game but hasn’t played it. I played it at bgg.con, it’s short, strategic and fun. We kept putting off playing it to play other games, but when we went to play it at the end of the day we couldn’t find it, it had already been taken home. Next games day.

Attending: Jon, Nadine, David, Avi, Yehuda, Abe, Ofer, Hershel, Akiva, Avi A, Laurie, Ken, Oren, Gili, Emily, Eitan, Netanel, Mishi, Rafi, Michael, Elijah, Yael, Shalom, Eszter, Bezalel, Binyamin S, Josh, Leah

Welcome back David, who brought his son Avi and nephew Yehuda.

B’sha’a tova to Emily and Eitan, who are expecting a baby for Pesach Games Day!

When I explained to Mishi that there were plastic cups he could use downstairs by the Eclipse game, he asked “what’s Eclipse?” so I said the game being played in the parking area, near the sukka he was playing in. So he said, “oh, are they part of our group?!”

Playing started with Jon and David playing Magic and Avi and Yehuda warming up with R-Eco and Pitchcar, followed by Netanel beating Eitan, Emily, Michael, and Shalom at Pitchcar.

Jon 7
Shalom 4
Eszter 4
Binyamin 3
Bezalel 3
Jon explained the game and pulled off his usual resounding victory partly due to the players not listening to his warnings to pay attention to victory points over combat.

Castles of Burgundy
Jon did a good job of teaching this, he had played once and had to reread the rules; first play for the rest of us. It did take a long time, because we were new and had to look up what each building did every time, and due to a break while Jon taught Homesteaders. David and I took more time figuring out our moves, Jon complained but then said on the other hand we were winning. I don’t understand how I did better than Jon who planned better, but the things I focused on, such as trying not to use workers, helped, also maybe trying not to do too much. David had a trading strategy, with synergy of trading benefits. I avoided yellow chips because I wouldn’t be able to fill in the region and it takes more planning to benefit from them. I did animals because I understood how they worked, Gili started with them too, and then David also did animals, and Jon later too. At first I took chickens, and Jon asked why I was competing with Gili who had a chicken tile, which I hadn’t noticed, so I switched to sheep. I asked her why she hadn’t said anything, she said she thought I was purposely blocking her, which I wouldn’t have bothered doing in that situation. I didn’t understand how all the buildings worked, there are better ways to plan and do things in beneficial order, which is what Jon worked on. There is some luck in getting the right die numbers at the right time because mitigating with workers costs actions. Jon was first player, getting one worker tile, I went last, getting 4, which may be unbalanced. Jon got points for finishing colors first, and he also scored higher for finishing regions earlier. I was second in two colors. I had 226 at the end, David 225, with Jon and Gili further back.

Hershel 36
Abe 34
Oren 30
Ofer 14
Ken 12
First game of the day for everyone except Hershel. Everyone’s first play of Eclipse except for Hershel, who did an excellent job explaining and facilitating the game. Ken developed a nice fleet of ships laden with plasma missiles, but didn’t really have good places to move because of previous exploration patterns, and hardly got to use them the whole game. Hershel expanded quickly, took over huge tracts of space, and then also took over the center. Ofer built up a decent fleet of ships, found himself boxed in between Ken and Hershel, and then launched a valiant assault against Herschel in an attempt to conquer the center. Hershel responded by reinforcing the center with a quartet of starbases, and subsequently wiping out Ofer’s forces. Abe mostly stayed in his own corner and focused on racking up points by researching a lot of technologies, and was also the only player to build a monument. Oren controlled a good-sized area, and got a good amount of points from other sources as well.

The battle that decided the game, though no one realized it at the time, was Oren’s loss to Herschel on Abe’s starting tile during the final round of the game. Oren sent several lesser ships against one of Herschel’s powerful ships. Oren came within one damage of winning, but couldn’t manage to get the final hit, and Hershel’s ship emerged victorious. The tile itself was worth 3 points, and Herschel also drew a high-value tile as a reward for winning. Had Oren won, either he or Abe would’ve won the game instead of Hershel, so it was close up until the end.

Emily 139
Eszter 121
Ofer 112
Binyamin 67
Emily hurt Ofer in two rounds by moving the water ring, but he had a card to mitigate the effect. Emily had the Draw Plus 2 Sphinx card from the first round, and the You Can Go Upstream card, and Place a Ship in Occupied Space.

El Grande
Emily 109
Leah 92
Avi 90
Eitan 73
Avi did well in this long game and was a very good sport even when his hoped for victory was thwarted.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

Shalom brought and taught this cooperative game. He, Michael, Yael and Laurie successfully put out the fire and rescued the victims before the house exploded, winning the game.


Cliff 61
Laurie 51
Michael 47
Yael 40

It’s Alive (Basic game)

Avi A+

Lo Ra
Laurie 45
Nadine 42
Avi 20
David 10
Yehuda 2
New to Laurie, Avi and Yehuda, though Laurie thinks she played regular Ra once. They all liked the game and my Jewish theming. I was ahead most of the game, stayed ahead in baskets, and didn’t have menorahs. Avi and Yehuda sat out auctions in an effort to get candles for their numerous menorahs. David was negative til the end when he caught up with tribes, Laurie was also strong in tribes, and got the ark last round.

Lords of Waterdeep

Hershel 170
Gili 155
Eitan 135


Lords of Waterdeep

Betzalel 157
Avi A 140
Akiva 110

Louis XIV

Laurie 55
Yehuda 49
Avi 39

Magic the Reunion

David beat Jon 3 times.

Eitan asked Abe who’s winning Mincha, and Abe answered ‘I don’t know, but Jon’s in the lead.’

When Eitan entertained everyone with the joke, David said, “Right, Jon’s really calling the shatz.”

Eszter and one of her kids and Jon had started Trias, but it was a casualty of moving the table to make room for Maariv.

Munchkin Booty
Emily, Eitan and Avi were tied going in to the last round. Emily tried to fight a monster to end the game and Eitan was helping, but everyone else attacked them so they lost. Emily then helped Eitan ended the game and they won, they said they would have helped anyone win. They were accused of nepotism, but were actually cooperating less than the other relatives involved.

Power Grid
Laurie 17/13 $72
Nadine 13/13 $21
David /10
Yehuda /9
We had a nice selection of boards from which to choose thanks to Ken who has them all. None of us had played on China, with changes including the cards coming out in order for most of the game, only 3 cards available for purchase with no replacements, and more limited fuel. I went last in buying cities the first round, so I was able to be in my own area, though that also meant that I missed out on the cheapest connections. David and I ended up competing for plants because we use the same approach. I paid 70 for a 6 plant, then David got one for 30 when Laurie didn’t fight him. She also didn’t buy out the coal, though because I went before David and bought what was left, he couldn’t run his plants. Yehuda was doing well, with high income, until I stocked up on oil to protect myself, which blocked him. We thought Laurie should have been more directly competitive, but she had her own strategy. Laurie built to 17 cities when she could power 13. I could power 17, so I would win if I could build to 14. We didn’t understand why she had built to 17. But I was $5 short, so could only build to 13. And she had way more money than I did, winning the tie decisively. If I hadn’t bought spare fuel for my oil and coal plants I would have had the money, but then David and Yehuda would have been in competitive positions, so great job Laurie! We messed up a few times, refilling oil less than it should have been, and making too few new power plants available.

Small World
Rafi 109
Avi A 90
Akiva 85

Small World
Avi 92
Leah 87
Hershel 84
Gili 67
Eitan 62
First play for everyone, except Eitan had played Small World Underground. Eitan said it was better than he expected from reviews; it played like its own game rather than a simpler version of Underground. Just like Underground, he lost, but enjoyed the experience.

Jon and Kenny 1075
Abe and Oren 825
Jon and Ken found themselves down by 600 points early on, due to some ill-advised Tichu and Grand Tichu bids that failed. However, after falling behind, they kept chipping away at the lead, with a fair amount of hands with no Tichu bids whatsoever, but Jon and Ken usually claiming a majority of the points anyway. Eventually, they took the lead at 875 to 825, and then closed out the game by going out 1-2 on the last hand for the final 200 points.

Ticket to Ride India
Oren 140
Ofer 107
Abe and Emily 82
Ken 57
Oren was lucky in the beginning because his routes were in an uncontested area.

Year of the Dragon
Binyamin 109
Shalom 104
Eszter 99
Elijah 83

Moadim L’Simcha!