Tag Archive | castles of burgundy

Haithabu, Sushi, Tichu

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

Haithabu

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.

Tichu

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.

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One hand, three Tichus, four bombs

Magic

David 2 Jon 1

Castles of Burgundy

Jon 216, Sara 191, Haim 168

First play for Sara.

Jon: This is the first time I played 3-player correctly with castle/mine alternating on one spot of the board. They both took early mines, I didn’t get mine until phases 3 and 4. I took brown buildings that give workers, I sold many goods and I got both bonus tiles for selling goods. Haim had early mines and boats (although I got to six quicker) and most brown buildings. Sara had animals and bonuses for animals, and finished castles first but no mines. She also tossed out hexes a few times.

Power Grid

Nadine 17 17 +6  David 17 17 +5  Lorenzo 14 14

First play for Lorenzo so no peek at the market. He did well but it’s a hard game. I won by a dollar, unusual for me to win. It was a very unusual game. We built slowly, so Step 3 came out right when we switched to Step 3. We ran out of power plants completely, though by then we all had capacity of 17.

Splendor

Haim+, Sara

Battle Line

Lorenzo won 3, Sara 2

Tichu

David / Jon+, Haim / Nadine

Crazy first hand. David called Tichu, then I called Tichu, then Jon called Tichu. I had a 6 bomb, Haim had a 7 bomb, and Jon had two higher bombs, so he went out first. I had a good hand, but not good enough for that. We had a few interesting plays. Jon and David won by around 300 points.

Jon complains and wins by a mile

Helen hosted the group, with a Chanukah celebration, and invited other friends who played Dixit, Master Mind, Ticket to Ride and Bananagrams, most taught by Jon, who also taught Castles of Burgundy.

Scythe

Jon 80, Nadine 55, Aaron 50

Jons first play. He complained a lot, but part of his issues relate to being new to the game. Scythe seems designed to play when you are familiar with the game and know all the faction’s mech powers, for example. Aaron and I like the game, despite minor issues. I like that the game is positive, trying different factions, and the choices and planning, even if I feel I’ll always get things done too slowly to win. Jon said there’s too much going on, similar to his complaint about Clans of Caledonia, which I also like.

Jon spent time thinking, which paid off. He was yellow, Aaron red, me blue. We didn’t follow the rules with the bonus cards, we chose based on the actual rewards, which is how Lorenzo plays it. Aaron reached the middle early from his power, and had the extra action card the whole game, but Jon kicked him off at the end.

It was different than the first time I played at Kinneretcon, we all used the neighborly circles, which mainly gave all of us the same bonus. I got all my mechs out, and finished upgrading, but didn’t attack. I was attacked twice and lost spaces due to it. We were all high in military, Jon and I reached the end. I received a lot of extra military that I couldn’t use because I was at the top. I just missed reaching the second level in hearts, I needed one more turn. Jon had over 8 cards, which was one of his missions, he fulfilled the other one; Aaron and I also fulfilled ours.

Jon’s report:

VISUALS: The print on everything is too small and too light. I could not read anything without my glasses, and I didn’t have my glasses.

VISUALS: Player boards are fine when you need to track your own progress only. They are a terrible idea when you have to track everyone else’s progress because you need to take into account everyone else’s powers before you can take your turn. And see above. They could have made a central board where everyone’s abilities are clearly visible.

VISUALS: For no apparent reason, the sequence of actions is different for each player board (I don’t mind different powers and costs, but why different arrangements?). Makes it even harder to figure out what is going on.

VISUALS: The abilities of the pieces are explained underneath the pieces, so you have to keep lifting up the pieces to see what they do.

PLAY: The encounter events are an RPG mechanic spliced into a strategy game and I thoroughly hate them. Either you randomly pick a result and then find out it was worthless or killed your next several rounds, or you simply memorize all of the encounters which defeats the point. I’m okay with this mechanic in a different game, not in a resource-driven strategy game.

PLAY: The special bonus points at the end for buildings is simply one mechanic too far.

PLAY: I generally don’t like the mechanic where you have to decide whether to end the game immediately, because it is arbitrary for the other players who suddenly don’t get another turn. Sometimes it works okay, if the rest of the game works okay.

PLAY: The end game calculation is simply massive and massive amounts of calculation, something that the rulebook actually acknowledges. It is very poorly designed. The rulesbook’s suggestion is to dock players points if they spend too much time thinking on their turn, which is funny, but they should simply have fixed the mechanics of the game so that that doesn’t happen.

PLAY: I simply don’t like direct confrontation games, and this game has combat. We didn’t engage in much, and perhaps many people don’t, but if you lose a series of combats and territories, you just lost the game and there is little that you can do. On the other hand, that’s why I won, which is that no one kicked me out of my territories.

PLAY: I don’t know if all of the powers are balanced.

RULES: It may be difficult to explain the rules, especially considering the rulebook.

As for what is good, the main mechanics and action selection work okay. The actions are balanced and make sense. I like the missions and the options for getting victory awards. If people don’t gang up on a player (like combat games tend to allow), it may be okay.

Castles of Burgundy

Nadine F 1st, Haim 2nd, Noam last

First play for all, they liked the game, especially Nadine F after she decided that Scythe was too complicated.

November 01, 2017

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Haim S, Haley

Light attendance tonight. Haley first came to Games Day, and joins us for our first game night.

Kingdomino

Jon 43, Nadine 38, Haim 32

First plays for Jon, Nadine played at a game Shabbaton. Honestly this game may cause some people angst but didn’t give me any cause for thought. It’s in the same space as, but lighter than, and lesser than, Take It Easy. Pick a tile, reserve your next tile and turn order, and place your tile in the pretty much obvious spot. It helps to know the tile distribution, but as you can see, apparently not too much.

Crossword Squares

Haim 18, Jon 17, Nadine 16

First plays for Nadine and Haim. This little pen and paper game is also in the same space as the above, but it’s quicker and free to own.

Splendor

Nadine 15, Haim 9, Jon 9?

I wasn’t really keeping score since I was planning an infrastructure when Nadine suddenly announced that she won. Didn’t see it coming. Of the four patronages, three of them required rubies and there were no ruby cards available, which hurt my (and Haim’s) infrastructure building plans.

Since Haim plays almost purely infrastructure, and I am still toying with a mix, I may have been slightly ahead of him in position.

Castles of Burgundy

Haley 194, Nadine 193, Jon 191, Haim 176

First play for Haley, second or third for Haim. Haley is a true gamer, and she really liked the game. I thought I was slightly behind for the first three phases while Nadine was slightly ahead and Haim was close behind. By the fourth phase, it all looked pretty close to me, maybe I was slightly ahead and Haim seemed a bit behind. As you see, it ended pretty close for all of us, except for Haim who had fewer end scoring tiles.

Nadine almost always plays the same three or four paths, but Hayley took one of them from her.

Tichu

Jon/Haley 1010, Nadine/Haim 990

Second or so play for Haley. Last time we played, Aaron and I were far behind Haim and CB, and we ended up losing spectacularly. This week Haley and I were far behind Haim and Nadine and we came back from a nearly 700 point spread to win.

I won a tichu on the first hand. On the second hand, Haley lost a Tichu and they went out 1/2. On the fourth hand I lost a tichu. On the fifth, I lost a grand tichu and they made a tichu when Haim laid down a 13 card straight on his opening play (and they also got 110 points).

Round 7 I made a grand tichu, bidding on a Dragon, Ace, 2 kings, 3 queens, and a 10. After passing I had Dra, A, A, A, K, K, K, Q, Q, Q, J, J, 3, Dog. I predicted that my opponents would have multiple bombs, which they did (one each), and yet I still wasn’t worried about making my bid.

Round 8 I made another tichu. Round 9 they made one. Round 10 I made one. Round 12 Haim made a grand tichu, and the score was 990 to them, 810 to us. No one called tichu on round 13, but with some careful play we managed to both go out first.

 

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:

Amerigo

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.

Antike

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.

Goldwest

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.

Mombasa

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.

Nefarious

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.

Takenoko

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.

Tichu

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?

Antike

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

20161020_145719Bang the Dice Game

Sheriff Yael, Bandits+

Shariff Yael, Deputy Binyamin S, Bandits+

Bridge

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.

Codenames

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.

Hawaii

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.

Magic

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.

Nefarious

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

20161020_145800Pax Pamir

Gili, Cliff, Shalom, Refaela

Gilli and Cliff won together.

Phoenicia

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.  

Scythe

Ofer

 

Signorie

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

Steam

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.

20161020_170142Tzolk’in

Eliezer 68, Alan Greenspan 66, Michael 61, Ofer

Tichu

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.

20161020_132939

Bang the Dice Game

June 22, 2016

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Nisan

We got to teach Nisan a game.

Castles of Burgundy

Gili 232, Nisan 231, Jon 220, Nadine 214

First play for Nisan. Nisan went first and, on our advice, picked up the bonus tile that gives 3 points per type of good sold. Gili took the bonus tile that gives 4 points per type of animal. Nadine and I fought over mines and the building that gives workers, and so stymied each other somewhat.

Nisan also got the bonus for completed section tiles, and he acquired 4 of them. In total, he ended with more than 60 bonus points, more than Gili. Gili has the second most, but had gained more points from her animals and sections completed early.

I also had small sections, but I couldn’t complete enough of them early enough. Nadine had larger sections. At game’s end, Nadine gave up one set of bonuses for another which allowed me to score more than her, even though I also gave up one set of bonuses instead of another as a return favor. So we both could have scored less, but I would have scored even more less.