Tag Archive | boggle

May 04, 2011

Participants: Jon, Zachary, Jessica, Gili, Aryeh, Binyamin, Nadine

Aryeh is a first-timer to the club. He has a little game experience.

Heroes of Graxia

Jessica 26, Zachary 21, Gili 21

I started this game but then left as it started to play with Aryeh. This was our first game actually finished, with most of the rules played correctly. However, we made the big mistake (at least until halfway through) of not discarding our hands and drawing a new one (ala Dominion). We were playing that you had to spend actions to draw cards. Of course, this changes the game dramatically.

I don’t know what they did when they discovered this error. I know that Jessica had most of her legion decimated near the end of the game but still won the game.

Acquire

Binyamin 55,600, Jon 51,400, Aryeh 48,400

First play for Aryeh, and somewhere in the single digits for Binyamin. Aryeh was, without a doubt, the slowest player in our group, ever (yes, even slower then you, David). It was kind of a mystery, since he was obviously bright. He hesitated, asked a question about something minute, hesitated, asked another question about some minute aspect of strategy, hesitated, and then hesitated more. It seemed was very hard for him to make a decision, even when he had only one good option, but especially when he had nothing particularly good to do and simply had to place some random tile. The game took nearly three hours, of which 2.5 hours at least was Aryeh. I was growing restless, and I knew that Binyamin was going nuts.

He began to speed up a little near the end, but only marginally. And yet, other than his slowness, he was a nice guy and could be fun to play with. I think the trick is to find the right games for his personality type.

In our game, I managed to avoid the problem I had last game of only buying edge properties which took a long time to merge. I had spending cash all game. Binyamin and Aryeh were low on cash at least once each. But I still didn’t win, mostly because I had fewer shares of the two big chains at the end. I made more money initially, but Binyamin managed a few quick foundings and mergers at the end.

Louis XIV

Jessica 48, Gili 43, Nadine 41, Zachary 32

Gili suggested this, I think. First plays for Jessica and Zachary. It took a long time, too, I think.

Boggle

Jessica, Gili, Nadine, Zachary

Played as a filler.

Mr. Jack

Binyamin+ (Detective), Jon (Criminal)

Binyamin caught Mr Jack on round 6, after a tipoff from the red guy. Also played as a filler.

Mu

Jon 63, Nadine 49, Jessica 6, Binyamin 0

I taught this to Binyamin and Jessica. I’ve figure out now to teach it starting backwards, from the score to the points, and then from the bid to the score. And then to the play. The reasons and strategy for bidding are still a complete mystery for the first 10 or 20 hands you play. But they began to warm up to it by the end of the two hands we played.

April 27, 2011

Participants: Jon, Tal, Jessica, Nadine

Very small game night. Starting to feel like the group may have trouble sticking to a weekly format.

Boggle

Jon, Nadine, Jessica, Tal

A few games waiting for others to show up. We didn’t keep exact score, but Jessica probably won. Tal won one of the games, however.

Dominion

Jon 54, Nadine 46, Jessica 20

Kingdoms: Moat, Village, Woodcutter, Workshop, Bureaucrat, Feast, Militia, Remodel, Library, Mine

Jessica requested to try this again. The only action-granting card was Village, as you can see. Jessica didn’t tune into this, kept getting to 4, and kept buying more useless cards (sometimes two if she had Workshop).

I played Village, Moat, Feast, and Remodel, trading Feasts for 2 Library’s. These work well against Militia, especially when you also have a Village. I realized eventually that I also needed some Woodcutters for the 2 buys. Nadine also took Villages, as well as Militia and Mine. She bought the first two Provinces, but I caught up and then remodeled golds into more of them, buying Duchy’s in the same turn.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 9/9/9/10, Nadine 7/7/9/10, Jessica 5/6/6/6

First play for Jessica. Nadine goes hell-bent and straight toward treasures, which makes for a quick game. She started on the bottom right while I started in The Garden. Jessica started in the middle and eventually got booted from the board by my encroachment on her terrain. I built some late monuments which remained remarkably uncontested for the three turns they were on the board.

Blokus Trigon

Jessica 4, Jon 10, Nadine 13

First play for Jessica, Nadine doesn’t particularly like this game since it is spacial. Jessica liked it, however, and winning didn’t hurt. I love the game, as well as the original. This one is definitely better with three. However, I’m still of two minds as to how to interpret “corner to corner” when it comes to the triangular pieces and hex vertices. We played with the most liberal interpretation, but I think a slightly stricter interpretation would make a more tense game.

April 6, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Jessica, Gili, Mace, Matias

Jessica lives close by in Jerusalem. I was recently introduced to her, and she had never heard of these new games. She dropped by to give them a try and enjoyed herself. She promises to return. Matias lives in Argentina and comes to Israel on business every year; this is the first time he checked out the game scene. He is an experienced player and also plans to return (the next time he is back in Israel).

Boggle

Jon, Jessica, Nadine, Gili

Nadine, Jessica, and I started off with this while waiting for Gili and Mace. We were all on the same level, give or take, which is a new and positive experience for me (I typically win). We played 4 letter minimum. Gili joined us for a second and third game; being a native Israeli, she plays a three letter minimum. We all tied in the second game, but due to the three Americans cancelling out nearly all of each others’ words, Gili won the last game by a reasonable margin.

Tribune

Gili+, Jon, Nadine, Mace, Jessica

First play for Jessica. The trick was to find a game for five that is a good intro game for a brand new player but also not too long or too boring. I usually start new players with Settlers, but I don’t have the 5-6 player expansion (I don’t really like it). I suggested Power Grid, but some of the others thought it would be too long.

Tribune is a little overwhelming at first, but Jessica picked it up quickly enough. For some reason, the rule “you must play either more cards OR cards with a higher value” seems to be very difficult for some players to wrap their head around; Nadine and others corroborate this, though I never understood why. I typically get more confused when two areas of the board have similar but contradictory requirements.

On the first round, Mace mistook the light blue faction for a dark blue. As a result, he had a hand full of dark blue cards and tried to take over the light blue faction. That set him back a bit. There were a few other, lesser, mistakes of that sort. While we were playing, Matias arrived. he spent the second half of the game watching and acting as rules arbiter.

Nadine got to three out of the four required victory conditions by the second round, and looked poised to win by the end of round three. However, she lost the temporary favor of the gods, and stalled the rest of the game. I got to three win conditions in round four, with the same results. I secured the fourth condition in round five and only needed to convert my temporary favor to a permanent one. Although I peeked at the card color I needed on the board, every single card of that color was taken by other players (purely by coincidence), I didn’t have any in my hand, and I couldn’t pick one randomly from the stack of five.

Gili proceeded to win the game at the end of the round.

Settlers of Catan

Jessica 10, Jon 7, Matias 8

First play for Jessica. I shunted Nadine and Mace off to play Dominion so that I could hook Jessica onto the gateway game. As often happens with Settlers, the new player won, which only adds to the hook element. I think she greatly enjoyed the game.

However, I must note that once during the game, while waiting for certain resources, she said, “There’s an element of Go Fish in here.” Probably the most insulting comparison since Gilad said that Cosmic Encounter reminded him strongly of Munchkin.

At the beginning of the game, I warned her of my SoC maxim: when two people fight over the Longest Road, the third player usually wins. Matias started off strongly, getting to five points while Jessica and I were at 3. We both made it to 4 while he jumped to 7 by gaining the Longest Road. Matias then stalled out.

Jessica stole his Longest Road and I encouraged them both to spend the rest of the game fighting over it (humorously, of course, given my opening strategic advice). I made it to 7 points on the board with my third soldier ready to play; Matias made it to 8 points on the board, ready to steal back Longest Road. But Jessica managed to end the game with a settlement.

Dominion/Prosperity

Mace 67, Nadine 53

Mace and Nadine played with mostly Prosperity cards, which is one of the expansions that Mace doesn’t own and that Nadine is less familiar with. The first game appears to have gone typically enough.

Mace 156, Nadine 75

But wow for the second game. Mace took every Colony and tons of additional points by continuously triple playing a card that gave him points every time he bought a card; he kept buying coppers. Somehow that didn’t slow down his hand, though I don’t know why, exactly.

156 is certainly a high score for our group. Around the interwebs, some people have reported scores of 240 or so, and one even claimed a score in the 400s.

R-Eco

Jon 16, Jessica 3, Matias 2

First play for both Matias and Jessica. I played with my usual random point stacks (mixed colors and order) rather than the prescribed color and order stacking.

Matias loved the game and hopes to bring it back to his group. He pulled some early points, but he dumped again and again and again, until he had a deck of illegal dumps; 16 points worth, I think. Jessica and I dumped lightly, but I pulled in far more chips than she did.

March 16, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, David K, Binyamin

Quiet night with lots of play.

Boggle

Jon, Nadine, Gili

We played three games while waiting for others to arrive. I played only five letter words, but I also noted four letter words, mostly so I could cancel them out against Nadine. Nadine played four letter words, while Gili, a native Hebrew speaker, played three letter (and the occasional two letter) words. No one really kept score, anyway.

Glory to Rome

Binyamin+, Jon, Gili, David K, Nadine

First play for David. We played that you could not have more than four buildings in progress at any one time. While we were wary about how Forum would play, since we thought we knew a few ways to counter it, we decided to give it one more try. Binyamin ended the game with a Forum victory; I was a few moments away from ending the game with Catacombs. If I had done so, I would have won, followed closely by Gili.

Binyamin thinks, and I agree, that the trouble with Forum is not that it’s unbalanced, which it isn’t. It’s that it makes the game less fun. It’s just not a fun experience to do well and play well, working toward something, and then not have the game even judged on that criteria. It would be different if Forum’s exceptional win criteria weren’t so easy to fulfill. I generally don’t like mechanics that end a game at someone’s will; this is much worse. I think that we’re going to have to change Forum to something like “end the game and gain +3 points” or something.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon++, David

It’s a rare day when I beat David at Magic. I felt like I drafted all over the place, but I ended up with WG with a U splash. David played BG. One of David’s black cards was Eastern Paladin (tap to kill a G creature), and most of my good creatures were G, which is why I diversified to W and U. Lucky for me, David never pulled out his paladin.

In the first game, David thunmped me down to 7, but I brought out blockers, and then a flyer and a pinger. The latter two worked him down for a while. He tried to kill one of my good creatures, but I was saved by a card I had never used before and wasn’t entirely sure how to use: Standard Bearer, which I had innocently thrown on a Bears early on.

In the second game, I brought out an early Bears followed by a +3/+3 enchantment, and he resigned three rounds later.

Tribune

Binyamin+, Nadine, Gili

All I know is that Binyamin won and the game went fairly quickly.

Bridge

Jon/David, Binyamin/Nadine

We played a few hands. David and Nadine don’t play often, but we still had fun.

April 07, 2010

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Lori, Gili, Abraham

Lori is a new attendee who found us through an Internet search. She had no gaming experience.

It’s Alive

Lori+, David, Jon, Nadine, Gili

I don’t prefer this five player, but this one moved ok. And it was nice for the new player to win. We played the basic game.

Settlers of Catan

Lori 10, Jon 9, Gili 8

And she won this one, too, but it was pretty close. I got hit by the robber three times, and was one card away from stealing Longest Road from her.

After two new games, Lori couldn’t handle learning any other new ones.

Power Grid

David 15, Nadine 14, Abraham 13

It looked like Nadine was winning through most of the game, but, as is usual for Power Grid, only the last few rounds really made a difference. They played on France.

Boggle

Jon, Gili, Lori

Lori couldn’t handle any new games, but she could play this. Gili, on the other hand, is a native Hebrew speaker, so this was a challenge for her. I’m fairly facile at the game.

To balance the game, we played with handicaps. I could only find words of five letters or more, Lori had to find four letters, and Gili three letters. We earned for any words not on the other players’ lists, and +1 bonus point for each letter beyond our minimum (so I earned 2 points for a six letter word). This worked fairly well.

Gili won about half the games, but not by a large amount. We had a few boards where I couldn’t find any five letter words, though I could see a number of four letter words that the others missed.

Tichu

Jon/Abraham 1090, David/Nadine 1010

A complete game, which lasted about 2 hours and 12 rounds. Abraham bid and made two grand tichu’s. Scoring was very close the entire game.

June 10, 2009

Participants: Jon, Elijah, Nadine, Ben, Max, Abraham, Gili, David K

A few early birds showed up and started playing in the living room. The flow of games that were played confused me; I’m hazy on anything played in which I didn’t.

Mr Jack

Nadine, Elijah

Nadine re-taught this to Elijah, but she wasn’t interested in finishing it as other people came in.

Dominion

Max 32, Jon 30, Abraham 27, Ben

First play for Ben, who didn’t manage to find synergy (or, in his words, had very bad luck).

Thief was in the game, as was Festival, Feast, and Library, all of which should lead to the Festival-Feast-Library and no treasure strategy. Abraham headed that way, but he got there by means of Remodels. Somehow he got the synergy going too late, though it was doing nicely at the end.

I did something of the same thing, but I also added some silvers and golds. I lost a silver to an early thief, but as the game went on, thieves are used less which made the treasures safer bets.

Max used thief and Gardens to rack in coppers. He only made it to 30some cards, but it was still enough to squeak out a victory. For one thing, his point accumulation started earlier than ours did.

Ben tried a thief without success. He managed to get an early Province, but then his two silvers were stolen by Max and he never recovered.

Boggle

Gili, Nadine, Elijah

Meanwhile, these guys played this quick filler while waiting for David to show up.

Tichu

David, Gili, Elijah, Nadine

When David showed up, we only had ten minutes left to Dominion, so they played a hand of this.

Agricola

Jon 50, David 42, Nadine 35, Max 35

First play for Max. Max requested to play this, as he had bought a copy and hadn’t been able to get it to the table where he plays, fearing that it would be too complex. After playing, he realize that he was right; he liked the game, but it’s too complex for his group.

David complained early on about how poorly he was doing, as usual, even though Nadine and I saw through him. He was also convinced that my few early occupations (gain a vegetable when I take one of the food spaces; add two items when I sow) put me majorly in the lead. I admit that they were decent.

However, I gained nearly twenty points in the last two rounds. If two of these had gone awry, or one of them and David achieved some other sudden coup, the end would have been different.

In my last rounds, I added my fifth clay room (+1 for the room, +2 for a minor improvement that gave me +2 for a five room house), converted to stone (+5), played an occupation that gave me an additional +1 per stone room (+5), solidified having the most/tied for most number of occupations (+3 due to an earlier played occupation), and gained a wheat (+2).

David thought he stole back the most occupations on the final round, but he hadn’t noticed that I played one on the penultimate round as well, so he only tied him. This gave him +3 as well, but didn’t prevent me from getting my points.

I had my vegetables and a stove, but I usually had to take at least one action before each harvest to ensure I had enough food. David had fantastic wheat and baking running at mid-game, and so didn’t need to worry about food the second half of the game. he also had a pasture with a bunch of each type of animal (minor improvement let him mix animals). Unfortunately, he was exactly one animal short of 3 points in each one.

Nadine expressed dissatisfaction with the artificial limitations of points for animals and produce and so on, as well as how 1 sheep is the same as 3 sheep, but different than 4 sheep. This leads to all sorts of annoying calculation that shouldn’t be necessary.

Nadine spent a very long time calculating on round 12 and 13, and in the end it didn’t matter that much. Max had good pastures, produce, and animals, but his house and bonus points were small.

Cosmic Encounter

Elijah+, Gili, Ben

Elijah always like to play this, and I thought it might make Ben happy to play something he’s familiar with. He still lost, though.

This was Gili’s second play, but had been so long since her first play that she had to relearn the game. She hadn’t been too impressed with her last play; this one she enjoyed somewhat more.

Ben played Void and something, Elijah Machine and something, Gili Visionary and something.

Traders of Carthage

Gili, Ben, Elijah

First play for Ben, and probably second or third for Elijah. Ben enjoyed this game which is weight-wise on par with R-Eco.

August 6, 2008

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Tal, David K

Small game night again, perhaps because it’s the nine days.

Scrabble

Jon, Nadine, Tal

We knew David was on the way, so we played some casual Scrabble for a while, without keeping score. When you play without keeping score, the board opens up tremendously, as point-worthless but pretty six letter words are placed with impunity. My first word was a seven letter word, actually.

Year of the Dragon

David 109, Jon 102, Nadine 91

Once again I was doing ok throughout most of the game, and once again I lost by a few points at the end. Which only goes to show that my strategy is not sound.

I’m ok with the game, and I’m willing to play, but it doesn’t thrill me. For some reason, Notre Dame, to which this game has been compared, feels a little more fun to me, even though this game offers slightly more control. I think it’s because Notre Dame offers actual areas to control and routes to travel.

David chose early Buddhas and managed to stay well ahead on the turn order track the entire game, while Nadine stayed well in the back. Scores reflect this.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 8/9/9/9, David 3/3/4/5, Nadine 3/3/4/5

A bit of a slaughter as you can see, and a fairly quick game. David started in the middle, I started on the east, and Nadine in the north west.

Near the beginning of the game, David put down two green tiles in his kingdom, I had three greens and three blacks in my hand, so I put down the two blacks. I decided to lure him into a trap by not putting down ANY greens in the hopes that he would attack me. Sure enough, he attacked me when his kingdom had four greens and mine had none. I tossed my four green tiles, and that ended that.

The game descended to another all out external conflict when there were only three treasures left on the board. I prepared as best I could for the conflict, but I got very very very lucky, not only in terms of what I drew, but in terms of how the conflict actually unfolded.

David triggered the conflict in an act of desperation. Because of how he created the conflict, there were three conflicts, in red, green, and black. And because of how he created the conflict, I needed EXACTLY one green, three black, and two red tiles to win all three conflicts. And I had EXACTLY one green, three black, and two red tiles. And to top it off, I could still get the last treasure on my next turn.

I figure I have used up my luck for the rest of the year.

Boggle

Jon, David, Nadine.

We played one round of Boggle while waiting for Tal to join us for Tichu. I think I eked out a small victory.

Tichu

David/Nadine 1000+, Jon/Tal 205+

In the first hand, it looked like my luck was still around. David played three consecutive pairs and I was able to top it. Then Nadine played a straight and I was able to top it. But to no avail. They both went out first.

In another round, I made it down to my last card, but it was a 2. Tal was already out, and David on my right knew I had the 2, because he passed it to me. So he led a 2, and passed everything that Nadine on my left played. In this way, Nadine went out, and then control passed to David, and he went out.

By the penultimate round, Tal and I were losing 5 to 995. I called and made a Grand Tichu (despite not having a bomb and David having one), but it didn’t matter much.