Tag Archive | castles of mad king ludwig

February 14, 2018

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Haim, Gili, Aaron, Yael, Nadine S

Fairy Tale

Jon 53, Gili 35, Aaron 32, Haim 29

We hadn’t played this in a while, so it was first play for Aaron and Haim; Gili had played once a long while ago.

It’s not the most exciting game but it’s not bad, I think. A little too much luck.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Nadine S 91, Yael 87, Jon 84, Haim 66

Second play for me, first play for everyone else. Like last time I played, I felt like I liked this less than Suburbia. Yes it has prettier tiles and none of the negative feedback, but it is less elegant and more fiddly. It requires more table space and the castles, especially the ones that stretch out thinly like the gerrymandered map of South Carolina, are fragile when you have to shift them over a few inches.

This was only Nadine S’s second real Euro (after Alien Fronteirs and not counting Catan). She started off a little overwhelmed, and maybe a little bored, but she picked it up by mid-game and played very well to victory. She and I had no downstairs. I would have done a little better but Haim stole the only downstairs room that I wanted.

Clans of Caledonia

Aaron 151, Gili 137, Nadine 124

First plays for Gili and Aaron. Everyone liked it.


Jon, Nadine S, Yael, Haim

We played a few rounds.

September 16, 2015

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Aaron, Nisan, Eszter, Zev

Zev is newly arrived in Israel and will be moving to Haifa, but he came for this night and may come for some others. It is also nice to see Eszter again after an absence. Game night was back in my place after some renovation.

Two-Player Pinochle

Jon 275, Nadine 275

We played one hand while I refreshed Nadine on the rules. I won a few more points during melding with a set of aces, but Nadine pulled all of the trump (except the two aces) and I made a misplay so she won a few more points during the play. In the end, we tied.

Puerto Rico

Ship  build bonus total
Zev  18  21 12  51
Nadine 26  16  6  48
Aaron 26  19  7  52

Nadine writes: First play for Zev. I didn’t have good income, I took Harbor over Factory, Zev had Factory and Guild Hall for 8 and City Hall. Aaron had a Wharf and Harbor, and Fortress. Somehow I managed to get Customs House second to last round and man it last round , but at the cost of taking Captain for more points. Zev had Tobacco which I got later because I didn’t have Sugar. Aaron was in front of me with Coffee, but I took it because my only other choice was Indigo which I already had.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Jon 122, Gili 110, Nisan 94, Eszter 91

First play for all but Eszter who brought the game. I had played Suburbia before, and was interested in comparing it. I was set to knock it versus Suburbia, because the buildings are fiddly and oddly shaped, requiring us to keep moving them around on the table as we found ourselves without room to add on to our castle. Also it was not always clear when a room could fit or not without sheets of grid paper. And there is something inelegant and unthematic about the room process at the start of the round: I’m selling to you the same room you were just trying to sell to me, which makes no sense.

For all that, the game worked well, and I’m not sure which game I like better. The room process is silly but a nice mechanic; you have to figure out what the same room is worth to each other player. It could devolve into some analysis problems. The different shapes are supposed to make a prettier castle, which is nice for some people but fairly irrelevant for me. Any strategy comes in the form of the game end cards; the rest is tactics. Money had to be managed, but typically not too painfully. We still managed some surprises.

I made a bad rule interpretation, which I don’t do that often. The game was in German, and we had translations and a summary sheet in English. The summary sheet indicated that the purple building bonus was to score again the full building. This was first interpreted by someone as “score again the building that was played and that resulted in closing the purple building”, but I said it was clearly to score again the purple building, not the closing building. Someone then later said that the bonus is to score the purple building value plus the value of the purple building bonus given once for the closing, which I argued against as making no sense. Then we read the rules and that’s what it seemed to say, even though a) the summary sheet didn’t have that sense at all and b) it still made no sense (and required you to remember which building was used to close the purple building). Still later we realized that it was to score the entire purple building and all of its bonuses, which I finally admitted made the most sense and didn’t require any memory. We had to redo the scores about three times to account for each interpretation.

Gili was pulling in many game end scoring cards and, while she lagged behind me in points, she clearly had many game ending points. I was fairly sure she was going to beat me. However, on the last few rounds I pulled in 10 or more points on each round, even on the very last round where she placed the buildings and I only had 2 coins left. I used the 2 coins to buy the 2 cost building which had 1 coin on it. I closed a yellow building which gave me a free action and I bought the 1 cost building. In the end, Gili had 30 bonus points which brought her up to my score before I played my bonus cards.

Eszter was chagrined not to have won, but she is looking forward to playing Suburbia, which I would like to play again. Nisan also enjoyed the game.


Aaron 34, Jon 30, Zev 30, Nadine 18 (with 5 curses)

The cards were Village, Throne Room, Laboratory, Library, Secret Chamber, Steward, Torturer, Smugglers, Caravan, Outpost.

The others don’t play with cards outside the base set too often. Aaron started with a Torturer and then Zev took one and that card dominated the feel of the game. I took a single Steward and was fine taking and discrading curses all game, but I admit that it kept me from using the Steward to do anything more useful. My deck was trim and neat until I pulled two provinces, and thereafter I never saw 8 again. I had some Laboratories and Villages and a Steward and not much else. I used a Smuggler and Throne Room once to pick up two Duchies.

Nadine and Zev both got to 5 several times early (while I didn’t) but they never trashed cards. They both got at least two provinces. Aaron picked up 5 of them, and then 4 late estates for the win. Aaron did Throne Room Torturer several times. The game ended when a third pile ran out (curses, duchies, and I think villages).

bgg.con 2014 I ask the right question

20141124_102926Someone told me they saw a demo of Lagoon, so I wanted to go to the vendor booth which took a while to track down, there is another game called Lagoon. The guy was by himself in the booth, so he couldn’t play a game, but could explain how it worked. I told him I had won it. A few other people also came to watch. It sounds good, even though it’s hex placement. Nice art, and they were selling special cool wooden tokens in pretty colors that I like to replace the cardboard ones. 20141124_102814The game only came out last week. Someone asked about the tokens, he said they’re $18, but $15 when you buy the game. I jokingly asked if they’re free if I got the game for free, and he said “sure” and gave me a set. So now I have to like the game. I also stopped by the AEG booth; they had said I could come back Sunday and get another giant bag if they had any left, they did.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

I went over to the other vendor area and got into a demo game of the main other popular game that I hadn’t played, Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It looks like a good game, another guy playing and the demoer said it’s better than Suburbia and fixes some of the issues with it, and the pieces are pretty. There are a lot of interrelated tough choices, including when it’s your turn to set all the prices. Jon would like it, and probably Ellis. I haven’t played Suburbia yet.

King of Tokyo

20141124_111002People were walking around with suitcases, trying to time games and times to leave. I had heard of King of Tokyo. Somewhat light, but definitely fun and interactive. When I was at 19 out of 20 points needed to win, the guy to my right was close, and the guy after me also. They wanted to kill me but the player before me didn’t roll high enough, and it didn’t matter much to him since the player after me would win if I didn’t. On my turn I needed to roll 3 of the same number to win, but I didn’t, so the next guy won. He had a powerful card combo for lots of points. My points were from several good rolls, not a good strategy but can work in a short game. 20+, 19 (me), 18, 8

Consensus Movie Edition

20141124_121543We had 7 players, it goes to 8; a good party game. You move ahead by secretly picking the same movie from those on the board as the other do, in answer to a question such as which movie leaves you with the best lesson at the end. I had seen or at least heard of most of the movies, and we could explain quickly as needed. A similar mechanic as Apples to Apples, which I’m not good at. I quickly claimed last place, though I did catch up a bit, and wasn’t even last. And sometimes my votes were the best answer even if the others didn’t vote that way, confirmed by the other losing player when we voted the same. One of the movies that came up was Grease, I didn’t see the end but am assuming it.

Hamster Rolle

20141124_124146Then I ran into my game designer friends from last year, I had seen them in the opening line, but not since then. They had Hamster Rolle and said we needed to play on a table in the dexterity area, and people came to watch. It’s a cool balancing game with wooden pieces. I played my pieces straight, one per ledge, saving the lighter and easiest pieces. They were trying all sorts of fancy placement moves, several per ledge, on top of each other, etc. So I used all my pieces without knocking off any and won. They kept playing for second, still trying fancy moves. But also knocking more pieces off as the wheel got fuller.

So that was it. The atmosphere Saturday night and Sunday felt very friendly and relaxed, I don’t know if that was the con or me or both. I guess the number of people you know and recognize keeps increasing. I didn’t see Chris, I usually run into him, I don’t know if he was there. In general, popular games seemed on the shorter side, under two hours, which makes sense.

In the van to the airport people were discussing games, they liked Roll Through the Galaxy which they said keeps the gameplay of the Race card game without the confusing symbols. I probably saw people with it but thought it was Roll Through the Ages. They also said that the issue with the app photographing cards was due to the sleeved version in Hot Games, that unsleeved it’s easy, which makes sense because there’s no glare then.

20141124_020611Right: A train game with a real train that’s not a real train game – no routes. They said it uses a programming mechanic like Robo Rally to steal items as train robbers.

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