Tag Archive | castles of burgundy

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.

 

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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.

Passover Games Day 5776

2016-04-26 15.30.45A fun day, with 23 people playing at peak time in the afternoon, more people came later after some had left. Mazal tov to Ofer and Michal on their one-week wedding anniversary. Thank you to everyone for recording scores, bringing snacks and games, and moving furniture, and to Gili for some of the pictures.

Adastra

Binyamin Z 58, Devora 35, Alan 26, Yiscah 24, Michael 19

Agricola

Roman 36, Ron 25, Assaf 21, Eli 9

2016-04-26 14.18.55Roman taught them. Eli is not a Eurogamer, Ron liked the game and did well for his first play, as did Assaf.

Bridge

Binyamin Z/Nadine, Devora/Yiscah

Binyamin helped everyone with instructions on how to play optimally. On the last hand, he bid 1NT. I had 13 points, 4 hearts, and AKx of spades and wanted to bid 4 hearts, but he said I should bid my honorless 4-card club suit. We ended up in 4 hearts; he made 7, he had 5 hearts and the queen dropped. So he asked Ben for his opinion on whether he should have gone to small slam, Ben basically said yes. He said he would have bid 4 hearts like I wanted to, unless he was playing with Binyamin, in which case he would know he had to bid the clubs.

Bora Bora 

Gili 188, Jon 178, Avi 121

boraboraJon: I decided to try this one more time to see if it was as finicky as I recalled or if it was just that my first play was overwhelming. I remain convinced that the game should have been streamlined and a few mechanics taken out. I WAS less overwhelmed, but I don’t think I will play it too often.

First play for Avi; he shared my sentiments, and by the time we were halfway through he wanted it to be over. We stuck it out. I thought I was doing OK, managing to build a building every round by the skin of my teeth, which should have given me a tidy sum. Unfortunately, owing to the luck of my first mission draws, I was a single tile shy of competing my last mission, which lost me at least 10 points. Gili finished all of her missions but was one shy of finishing her buildings, she beat me by 10 points, and I’m not sure how she beat me. If I ever play this again, I am going to try building all my tents, just to see what happens.

20160426_205142Castles of Burgundy

Binyamin Z 238, Nadine 205, Ofer 151

Jon: I taught this to Ben, Binyamin, and Ofer. Ben got bad luck with his rolls and was thoroughly sick of the game by the end of the first phase; he was perhaps too tired to figure out how all of the buildings worked, and I don’t really blame him; the iconography is not terrible, but it’s not great. On the other hand, Binyamin really liked the game and scored pretty highly.

I was happy to take over for Ben instead of playing Frank’s Zoo. Binyamin had placed the same buildings in the same area, and I let him do it again to finish a section because he had taken the building based on playing that way. I got good yellow tiles – the 3 bonus for colors of tiles sold, and the play the same building in areas, that Binyamin should have had, but it wasn’t enough to beat Binyamin’s yellow 4 point bonus tiles for 2 buildings, and his first place in several colors.

694fddfa-504b-487f-8275-f27ec404b3a5Eldritch Horror

Gili, Roman, Yonatan, Avi, Noam, and Alan beat the game in this co-op.

Frank’s Zoo

7af56e6b-146e-4240-b398-00d4bef946f4Michal 9, Devora 7, Binyamin R 6, Yiscah 4

Yiscah 25, Binyamin R 14, Eszter 14, Devora 13

Guildhall

Eitan 20, Emily 13, Ofer 10, Michal 8

guildhallIn the last turn Eitan got two series of dancers. Eitan said he exploited a loophole which allows combining extra actions with additional card draws.

Homesteaders

Jon 64, Michael 52, Avi 44

Michael had requested the farming game with the apples ahead of time, Jon realized which game he meant.

Jon: I taught this to Avi and refreshed Michael’s memory of the game. It was a nice experience for all, as I remember, but in the end my experience gave me the edge. The end scores were pretty close, however.

Lo Ra

Eli 25, Efrat and Yossi 17, Eitan 9, Ron 1, Emily 1

At least they all had positive scores. Our house version of Ra with a Biblical theme.

Lords of Waterdeep

Avi 133, Gili 122, Noam 116

Second play for Avi and Noam.

2016-04-26 21.16.49Magic

Jon: David and I drafted and we both ended up playing colors that we weren’t expecting. David played BRG and, while he got out a lot of his strength, it didn’t seem to be enough. I played BWu, with many fliers and some control cards. In the first game, my fliers took him down. In the second, I started with only one mana. I tossed a creature to get my second, which was luckily the right color for me to cast a spell that let me pay life for 2 more cards. I got out one more, a mana unicorn, and that was enough to get me started until more flowed in. We traded some kills, we both played a few big creatures, and then I took some of his out and he resigned.

Mundus Novus

Devora 95, Ofer 59

Devora +, Haim 41, Guy and Gilad 19

noblemenNoblemen

Binyamin R 92, Yosef 91, Eszter 90, Nadine 74

Eszter has the game but hadn’t played. Yosef taught us, he had read the rules but never played, so we looked up things as we went, and of course played a few things wrong. The cards were in German but it doesn’t matter because it’s just the card title, no text otherwise, we had the rules in English, and he taught in Hebrew. The game pieces are beautiful, and it’s a nice game. I forgot to do one or two things which led to my having no moves for about half the game, because I was out of tiles and money. Everyone else had tons and couldn’t understand it. I forgot to place one guy when I build a castle, which would have given me a few more tiles. I did have bad luck with tile drawing – I had three down, and every time I drew three more, which is limited to once per the three rounds, none were the forests which let you draw more tiles. I also forgot that the point of the purple churches was to get cards, which also would have helped me get more tiles. So the problem seems to have been my playing, and not the game. The theme is well-integrated as you have masquerades to increase your rank, but it resets twice per round.

2e6ead30-2c26-4939-9d4a-a31aa192eae7Notre Dame

Yiscah, Shira, Haim

Power Grid

David 15/17, Roman 13/14, Ksenia 11/15

2016-04-26 12.22.22David taught this to Ksenia who we all enjoyed seeing on her visit from Poland. We were going to use the German side, but three regions didn’t seem balanced. I left to play 7 Wonders Duel before we started, and after Ksenia and others came.

R-Eco

Devora 15, Yiscah 10, Binyamin Z 4

First play for all of them.

7 Wonders

Emily 54, Yonatan 54, Noam 51, Ofer 43,Michal 42, Eitan 37

2016-04-26 12.42.117 Wonders Duel

Yosef 88, Nadine 75

I had wanted to try this. It’s more interesting than 7 Wonders, with a similar theme and feeling, but still a lot of luck. When you select cards, it opens up new cards for the other player/s. I made mistakes with this a few times early on, and a few other mistakes. Yosef is experienced so he gave me advice. I thought he’d end up further ahead than he did. There are three ways to win; I was in a good position to win with military, two away, but the cards worked out for him, and he took advantage to block me. He was able to take the last card he needed to win in green, but preferred to keep playing and count points, he said otherwise the points are a waste. Counting points seemed complicated and time consuming, he did it. We played in French, his main language and my first one.

signorieSignorie

Binyamin R 150, Eszter 128, Nadine 127, Assaf 115

New to the others. Binyamin was competing with me for the lead most of the game, but pulled ahead at the end. He caught on well to what he needed to do. Eszter didn’t realize she should pay and get points when placing daughters, but we gave back the 5 she had paid for points with the bonus and back paid for all her placements, which gave her more points and caught her up to near me; she passed me by one at the very end. Assaf only had three helpers, Binyamin had the most.

Slap Deck

Avi++, Jon+

Jon: I taught Avi how to play this, and he really liked it. We played three times, he won twice. He asked to play it again several times when I wasn’t available.

83bda1f1-e1d1-4cde-b231-ac9cdab63769Suburbia

Jon 134, Binyamin 114, David 11, Ben 110

Jon: I taught this to Ben, David, and Binyamin. David like it and wanted to play again. Ben seemed to like it, too. Binyamin didn’t like it, because there is nothing to do when it is not your turn and the other players’ turns took too long for him. It’s true that there is not much to do on your turn, and not much in the way of player interaction or interfering with other players (other than taking the building he wants), but I think the game is fast enough and interesting enough to be good; I actually really like it.

Even though I had the highest income at the start, I was cash shy for a lot of the game. Binyamin took early greens but he ended up with negative income and no money, which made many of his last turns useless; even lakes couldn’t bring him enough cash not to lose them, and he couldn’t save money to buy income generating buildings. David also had a lot of cash, from the building that doubles lake income, which he then doubled again (for triple). He made use of his cash finally in the last third of the game hovering near the top of income and reputation until the last round. But it was too late, and he had no bonuses. Ben and I each made two bonuses, and Binyamin made three. On the last move of the game, Ben handed Binyamin his third bonus in order to take around 14 points himself.

Tichu and Where’s Tichu?

Avi/Nadine 375, Jon/David 225

We started the day with this. My favorite Tichu partner, and players. When David said maybe the teams aren’t fair, Avi said we like playing together, and I said it’s worth losing for the times we do manage to beat such good players. First hand I called a Tichu and made it. The others asked me why I called it so early, at least a hand before I played my first card, and I said because I always forget to call it if I wait. On another hand Avi could have gone out first, but wanted to give me a chance to play so we could go out first and second, but neither one of us ended up going out first, he should have just gone out. Jon thought about calling a Tichu but decided not to. One game he did well, but would have done better if he had remembered that he had passed David the Dragon and therefore knew where it was. We stopped when more people came, which I had said at the beginning would be our strategy.

Jon/Ben 735, David/Assaf 565

We couldn’t find Tichu among all the games people brought, which were stacked on shelves, couches and tables. Whenever I asked if they had looked somewhere they said yes. I know things slip between my couch pillows, so I looked carefully, and found it with a few others small games behind a back pillow.

Jon: We taught Ben and Assaf how to play. Ben picked it up quickly; Assaf took a bit longer, but they both seemed to enjoy it (it helped Ben’s enjoyment that we were winning). Ben was my teammate. David called and made 2 grand tichus, including one on the opening hand. I called and made regular tichu on the second hand. Even when our opponents made tichus, they always seemed to end up with the short end on points, so Ben and I did very well.

Ticket to Ride

2016-04-26 15.30.55Shira 123, Yiscah 121, Devora 109, Haim 98

Year of the Dragon

Shira 112, Ben 105, David 86, Haim 95

David taught this to the others, and then proceeded to do much worse than he usually does. They were all close in the number of people left at the end.

 

March 02, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Mace, Aaron, Binyamin, Nisim, Nadine, Jonathan, Roman, Francis

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David

I played WGR, all equal strengths, but no card required more than one land of that color. David played BRG with double casting costs in all three colors. Neither of us had problems with lands and mana, but I was able to counter everything he played and achieve a fairly easy victory.

We started a second game, but he was rattled from the other players arriving and – maybe – his quick loss from the first game, so we abandoned the game midway (I was winning again).

Slap Deck

Jon, Mace, David, Nadine, Nisan, Jonathan, Roman

This is a game I invented several years ago and posted on my blog, but never got a chance to play. It looked like a good filler: plays in 10 minutes with 2 to 6 players. We played with the rules I made all those years ago, with a small change. Basically, flip over cards and slap when you want to take all the flipped up cards. You can slap three times. Count your score at the end depending on what you flipped.

We played with 6 players and then 5 players, and I forgot who won the games, but it was fun.

Later in the evening, Mace, Nadine, and I played several hands, and we decided to play for (cumulative) points. The game can have wild swings from hand to hand, but Mace excelled at the game and kept the lead throughout. We toyed with adding a theme.

Fun game. Write to me if you want the rules.

Castles of Burgundy

Binyamin 206, Nadine 194, Aaron 171

Nadine writes: First play for Binyamin. I started third which is a disadvantage and only got one mine, another disadvantage though more mitigatable. Binyamin got the yellow bonus tile for colors of sold good tiles. Aaron had the board with a single section of eight browns but didn’t manage to complete it.

Notre Dame

Jon 82, David 53, Francis 36

Second play for Francis, though he needed some time to learn the game. I played a “starvation” strategy, abandoning myself to the rats in favor of two cubes on Park and pumping victory points. It’s a good strategy if you get passed early Parks. You still need occasional cubes and money, which you can get from end-of-round people or the occasional card.

David had a hospital doing well, but started collecting points a bit late. Francis got toasted by rats and couldn’t make progress.

Vegas Showdown

Nisim, Jonathan, Mace, Roman

I have no idea how this went, but they seemed to enjoy it. Mace taught the game, first play for the others. Roman had almost all yellow tiles, but only two of the four high value tiles came out during the game, Mace won.

Tobago

Jon 62, Francis 57, David less

First play for David, second for Francis. David made an early mistake and then another one, and then got depressed for the rest of the game.

Smash Up

David 15, Aaron 12, Binyamin 11

First play for David and Aaron. They believe the second game will be more enjoyable; there was a lot of learning about the cards and how things work in the first game.

Sukkot Games Day 5776

Participants: Assaf, Avi, Avraham, Ben, Binyamin R, David, Eszter, Grisha, Jon, Michael, Nadine, Nisan, Ofer, Rafi, Shalom, Tchelet, Yair, Zev

20150929_122525Thanks to everyone who came and brought snacks and games, and helped with the session report.

Best snack – A giant dark chocolate bar with almonds

Best traveler – Ofer, who drove in from Haifa

Most popular new game – Guildhall

Amun Re

20150929_161225Avi 49, Assaf 42, Yair 37, Binyamin R 32

Bridge

Jon, Avi, David, Assaf, Ben, Nadine

Jon played one hand of Bridge with Assaf and Avi; Ben bid and made 3 Diamonds. I wanted to play, but Jon kept telling me to stay in my Castles of Burgundy game and that I could play later. But David and Avi were going to be leaving soon, so after Jon got into another game I went over to play, mainly bidding, and letting dummy finish defending hands, and my partner Avi play an (overbid) hand.

Carson City

Ofer 42, Assaf 40, Nadine 38, Binyamin R 36, Eszter 28

New or almost new to Ofer and Assaf. Binyamin R lost two early duels due to terrible dice rolls, therefore having no buildings on his plots until the third round, but still managed to do well at scoring points. Assaf spent a lot of money at 10 to1 but still did well. He took the most plots, with 11, taking some randomly which only helped in end game and victory points, not in building income.

20150929_162251Castles of Burgundy

Shalom 191, Nadine 185, Avraham 179, Grisha 145

I taught this, new to Grisha and Avraham. In the second to last round, Shalom and Grisha needed to leave, and I started playing bridge but coming back for my moves. Avraham gamely took everyone’s turns, selecting their best moves. We used the standard boards. Shalom had a good animal section.

Dixit

20150929_132128Avraham 34, Grisha 25, David 24, Michael 23, Gili 22, Shalom 22

With two sets of expansions my sister brought me this summer, everyone enjoyed seeing new cards. Avi played while playing Hawaii, if he wasn’t available, I played for him, also while playing Hawaii. When Michael arrived we let him take over. A lot of singing clues, a fun and lively game, new to some including Michael.

Five Tribes

Nadine 166, Avraham 132, Shalom 115, Grisha 109

First play for all of them. They did well catching on, but didn’t always see the best moves. I collected yellows and cards, no one else had a set of more than 4, I had 7. I only got one jinn which I got for points, Shalom had 3. He wasn’t able to fully take advantage of his which had good synergy relating to assassinations, but he couldn’t assassinate every turn. Shalom and I had one camel left at the end. Avraham made good blue moves, getting around 24 twice. We mostly bid low.

Gloom

David -135, Gili -45, Grisha -40, Shalom -20

I don’t know if high negatives are good or bad.

Guildhall

Gili 24, Eszter 18, Ofer 16

Hawaii

Avi 120, Assaf 109, Nadine 91, Yair 81

I taught the game. Avi had 5 villages and scored 2 for spears, I had 9 fruits and both fruit bonuses, but only won the round points once, and didn’t have boats.

20150929_161039Lords of Waterdeep

David 128, Jon 117, Ben 116, Zev 115, Tchelet 113

Jon: First play for Zev and Tchelet, second for Ben I think. Very close, as you can see. Ben didn’t score any major quests, but he gained 28 points from completed quests at the end. David was second with 16, I had 12. David and I scored several nice points from buildings. Zev scored at least two of the 25 point quests.

Magic

Jon: David and I drafted but only played one game, which I won. Nisan and David, and Nisan and I, started drafting and making decks, but didn’t play.

20150929_152643Mincha

No problem getting a minyan, Yona and his friends were rehearsing for their second performance at the Amos Winery at the end of the week. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE2738C53160F7E98

Notre Dame

Gili 65, David 47, Grisha 37

New to Grisha.

Princes Of Florence

Eliezer 74, Ben 68, Nisan 43

Nisan: I ran home to bring it and played with Ben and Eliezer. Tight game all the way for Ben and Eliezer, while I dropped out of contention by round 5, having overpaid too often at auction and not cashed in works for money. Ben and Elizer each played some 6 works trading profession cards back and forth and exhausting the recruiting cards at auction (I got one that was used successfully). For round 7 both Ben and Eliezer needed to play two works to win, but Ben had only one in his hand. Eliezer (who had two, already) outbid Ben for the last recruiting card to seal his victory. Though Ben played a 34 pt work and received best work bonus it wasn’t enough to catch Eliezer.

Suburbia

Jon 110, Eszter 89, Ofer 85, Binyamin R 69

Jon: I won. Eszter said she didn’t like it as much as the Castles of Mad King Ludwig and Ofer didn’t like it because it was too much numbers and not enough theme.

20150929_215729Tichu

Nisan/Eliezer 725, Ben/Jon 375

Jon: First play for all of them, although Nisan had heard the rules before. Ben and I started off with two successful hands, which increased Ben’s enjoyment, although he still felt there was too much luck (a typical and mostly accurate response by a new player). Nisan bid and made a grand Tichu on round 3, and then they both bid and made Tichus while Ben and I had mostly sucky hands. Many bombs flying around, though.

20150929_16102520150929_132109Tzolk’in

Gili 70, Eszter 58, Michael 50, Ofer 36

Earlier, Ben, Rafi, Tchelet and Zev played half a game after I got them started, it took them too long and they didn’t like it, the opposite of Eszter, Ofer, and Gili’s enthusiasm for it.

Year of the Dragon

Nadine 113, Gili 88, Avraham 82

We played with my new expansions from Jon’s Alea Treasure Chest that he finally went through. We used the Wall expansion, but modified to exclude any penalties. It helps the game a lot, with an additional action card with a choice of actions, providing more options which you want; especially helpful for new players. I used my princess and building strategy, I also had a double dragon, giving me 6 points per round pretty quickly, and later 9. I managed to keep a lot of people, relatively. Gili made a mistake early on and ended the game with no people or buildings – she didn’t get any rice the first famine. She got a double dragon first turn, and then successfully focused on the book strategy. She easily maintained first place on the turn order track, Avraham and I alternated second place a few times, but I otherwise I was last. But the last two rounds Gili lost even her book people, which did it. I also had buddhas.