Tag Archive | chess

October 05, 2016

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, David K, Nati, Yael, Avi, Tal, Nimrod, Eitan

Tal and Nimrod are first time attendees. Avi and Nati came back for their second visit.

No Thanks

Jon+, David, Nadine

I took an early large number that helped me avoid most other cards for the rest of the game. David tried for one too many inside straights.

Troyes

David 48, Jon 46, Nadine 41

We played this in two parts, stopping to play 7 Wonders between rounds 3 and 4. I suggested this since I hadn’t played in a while. I’m not a fan of the hidden win conditions aspect. But mostly, David kept taking exactly the dice I needed, sometimes – apparently – by accident. For example, I needed a white 3, and he had an extra influence point he needed to spend (to make room for more he was about to get) so he re-rolled the die and got a 6. 6 is better than 3, unless you need that number exactly for adding a cube to the 3rd column in the castle.

I also forgot about a few of the rules before play, and so missed a few opportunities for better plays.

Robinson Crusoe

Gili, Yael, Nati, Avi

First play of this co-op by everyone. They lost. Gili said it was somewhat frustrating.

San Juan

Gili 36, Yael 35, Nati 25, Avi 23

They included the expansion cards. First play for some of them.

Slap Deck

Tal, Nimrod

These guys came late, and someone was supposed to come (turned out that he had already come and I hadn’t noticed). I taught them this filler and they played until my roommate Eitan showed up and convinced one of them to play Chess.

Chess

Eitan, Tal/Nirmod

I didn’t see how this went.

7 Wonders

Tal 66, Jon, David, Nadine, Nimrod

I taught this to Tal and Nimrod. Tal ended at least 10 points ahead of anyone else, which was amazing. Nadine and I did science. Tal had a complete military set, and I started out with some too, but David on my right built more than I did. In the end he misplayed and lost the last military battle to mine. I had a smattering of other things as well. Nimrod’s points were all in blue cards.

August 10, 2016

Participants: Jon, Gili, David, Nadine, Aaron, Sheur, Nitzan, Eyal, Eitan

Welcome back Gili after her vacation. Also nice to see Eyal and Nitzan return. Eitan is my roommate who does not yet play games, but may someday. But he plays Chess.

Pirate’s Attack

Shneur+, Gili

Gili was given two games from Israeli game companies to review on her Hebrew video review series. This was one of them. The other had cubes.

Slap Deck

Nitzan++, Eyal, Jon

I taught this to both of them. Nitzan is a fan of speed games, and she did very well, winning both games.

Troyes

Gili 44, Nadine 28, Shneur 28, David 22

I didn’t see how this played, but at one point Gili was getting only a single die to play with and she needed to use it to combat the black cards. And yet she seems to have handily won. Nadine: First play for Shneur who caught on well, Gili was first player which is an avantage. Many dice were bought or stolen which hurt David and me more than the others.

Age of Empires III

Eyal 103, Jon 100, Aaron 89, Nitzan 76

Aaron requested to play this. First play for Eyal and Nitzan. Aaron was under the impression that this would take a long time to teach, but it didn’t. It took 2.5 hours to play, however. Partly that was because Aaron analyzed every possible move before each play, and – since they were new players – often helped Eyal and Nitzan to do the same. I did a bit of this, too; at one point. I twice argued that it was better for other players to help themselves – and help me – rather than block both of us, since this would move us both forward. However, at some point it is best to let people just play and learn, or you end up playing for them. With all of his analysis, Aaron still made a few mistakes. He also failed in his first discovery attempt, which hurt.

Aaron started with the first building, which was the “gain $20 and therefore effectively buy two more buildings” building. He also got first crack at everything else, and then he got the “$5/round” building round 3. It was his game to lose, which he managed to. He was the first to put soldiers on the board, but his territory was outmatched by Eyal who had buildings giving him a free missionary every round and an extra colonist for each missionary. Aaron’s income was on par with Eyal’s, but he had few discoveries.

I was excelling in discoveries and buildings, and I was second to Eyal in board points, but his income was far better; I always bought a building when I wanted to, but his extra points on the board and extra points for income outclassed my extra points for discoveries/buildings. Just barely.

Chess

Eitan++, Shneur

Eitan is always willing to play Chess. He apparently easily outclassed Sheur in a series of games.

San Juan

David 37, Nadine 34, Gili 33

They stuck to the base cards. David ended the game with 9 production buildings, Library, Guild Hall, and something else.

December 31, 2008

Participants: Nadine, Moshe, Gili, Avraham, Jon, David K

Happy New Year’s Eve, something we all forgot about until 11:58. Game night went on a tad too long tonight.

I came late, and Nadine opened up for me. Moshe is a newbie who came in for his first visit to the club, and his first exposure to new games. His previous game experience is Chess.

R-Eco

Moshe 12, Nadine 8, Gili 5

First game, Moshe won. He later said that he really enjoyed it, as it was the only game he played this evening that wasn’t going to take several plays to understand the strategy.

It’s Alive

Avraham 58, Nadine, Gili, Moshe

This was the game they were starting when I finally arrived. I told them to continue, since I like to see my game played, and so that I could get some Magic drafting in with David when he arrived. David arrived and we did some drafting.

Avraham completed his monster and scored well. Nadine came in second.

Pillars of the Earth

Nadine 54, David 53, Jon 44

This was my secret santa gift, which just arrived on Tuesday. So first time play for all of us.

I’ve never really liked Caylus, and this game is why. Caylus may be the standard game with the worker placement mechanism, but it’s way too fiddly and long.

This game doesn’t exactly replace Caylus’ mechanics, but it fits in the same genre and it’s simply better. A number of mechanics work together well, things are tight, but not TOO tight, and competitive but not TOO competitive. And there’s always more available than what you are able to do.

It comes with some overproduced wooden pieces that probably drive the price up, but they’re kinda cute, at least. There were also a few niggly rule issues that came up and can be found in hidden corners in the rule book, so it’s not perfectly elegant. But, despite many random elements to the game, it’s definitely a planning game, and lots of fun.

We played our first game without peeking at any of the cards, so we had no idea as to what possible events would occur or bonus cards would become available. Since none of us knew the best strategies, Nadine started the game off by going for the pretty blue cubes. I said at the beginning of the game that she’ll probably win because of this, and she did.

David seemed to be falling behind, with too much gold and not enough to do with it. Luckily for him, one of the bonus cards that came up translated every 3 of his gold into victory points, which allowed him to shoot from well behind to one point away from winning in the last round of the game.

I decided to use up my money and concentrate on vp production, which did me pretty well until the above last round, as I mentioned. I was a little money shy in rounds 4 and 5, but not too much to worry about; again, except for that one bonus card which David got.

Player positioning didn’t seem to be too much of an issue in our three-player game. We occasionally considered it, but there was always something more directly worthwhile to do. It would have been nice if Starting Player came with a victory point or free cube or something. It could be that it’s a more worthwhile choice in four-player game, when the better spaces are already taken, and when starting player may matter more.

Settlers of Catan

Avraham 10, Moshe 8, Gili 6

Settlers is a good game for a new player. Avraham had also only played it a few times, and Gili still loves to play it. I don’t know what happened in the game.

Chess

Moshe++, Avraham

They played two games of this while waiting for us to finish PotE.

Magic: the Gathering

David++, Jon

We got to play Magic again, and David won twice, as usual. The first time in a short game, as I had the wrong mana and he had a great start. The second was closer, at least. I cleverly took out one of his annoying creatures, but he had another one going that I had to sacrifice against for several rounds, until he was finally able to remove my last defenders. I didn’t draw any of several cards that could have taken it out.

Puerto Rico

Moshe 56, Avraham 47, Nadine 44

Nadine taught Moshe while I banged my had on the table listening to her. They played a straight set of buildings, and Nadine gave her usual new player advice, which meant that the new player did well while she suffered. Moshe had both coffee monopoly, Harbor, and guild Hall. Nadine would also like it to be known that she didn’t pull any corn throughout the game, which weakened her Factory. Avraham had many early corns, in contrast.

And that was the last game of the year; technically, it was also the first game of the new year.

July 11, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Ben, Binyamin, Adam, Gili, Ofek, Dylan, Yitzchak

Game night was back in my house after being hosted by Nadine for several weeks. Thanks Nadine!

Atlantic Star

Binyamin 55, Yitzchak 48, Ben 39, Jon 36

Among several new games that I have, this was the one I wanted to try most. We almost had a five player game, but Nadine didn’t like the look of it so she bowed out.

Ben hated the game, when the specific routes he wanted early on didn’t pan out. After that he was sour for the remainder of the game. Yitzchak and Nadine were basically agreeing with his assessment that it was almost entirely a luck based game. E.g. the way that I feel about Alhambra.

Binyamin was also not thrilled with it. I was the only one who loved it. And as you can see, I came in last.

I’m also the only one who thinks that there is far less luck than everyone else was complaining about, and that you have to play what you’re given rather than try to ope you get a rigid set of cards in a particular order. Sure, sometimes you’ll win that way, and sometimes you’ll lose badly that way. But that’s the wrong way to approach the game.

So I had a good time.

Settlers of Catan

Ofek 10, Gili 9, Nadine 9, Adam 9

This was a long game, and as you can see, ended very closely.

Shear Panic

Ofek, Gili, Adam, Nadine

They started this game, but Adam quickly began to hate it (I’m not sure why, as it’s very much like Go). However, they had to end early, either through having played initially incorrectly or simply because Gili and Ofek were tired. Nadine said that she liked it, because most of the information was out in the open.

Cosmic Encounter

Ben+, Yitzchak+, Jon, Binyamin, Dylan

We bandied about a few choices and settled on this (sorry, Elijah). Ben has a history of winning this, even with poor hands, and this time he got a good hand to start with. I think I got his hand by mistake.

He went for a solo victory against Yitzchak, who played Emotion Control, whereupon they swapped base for a base for victory.

I was Wraith and Prophet, which don’t work together in one respect, and work together in another. However, I never really got to play my Prophet power.

Binaymin was Reincarnator and something, and he ended up as Grudge at one point which was annoying.

Ben was Witch and Mesmer. The former he used fairly effectively, sometimes simply as a threat against attacking him.

I forget the other powers.

Bridge

Ben, Binyamin, Yitzchak, Nadine

They played several hand of this to wrap up the evening.

Queries and Theories

Jon, Dylan, Adam

We tried a game of this, but it isn’t quite as interesting as Zendo when played by the straight rules. At some point, there are simply N possibilities of what the rule could be, and you have to try them all by trial and error. In order to make the game quicker and more fun, I allowed a yes or no question to be asked before each player’s turn.

Chess

Nadine/Dylan, Adam/Jon+

Nadine and Adam left an unfinished game. When I picked it up to play against Dylan, I was up a queen against a knight and bishop. Even with this, it was difficult for me to pull off a victory; eventually, I played the easy strategy of swapping pieces hoping for a better material advantage in the end. It felt like cheating, and it was still rather close.

I only won by getting my last pawn to turn into a queen after everything else was gone (and two other queens has bit the dust).

Session Report 2007-06-20

Participants: Nadine, Gilad, Ben, David K, Binyamin, Yitzchak, Adam

Game night was held at Nadine’s house again. Jon is on vacation, leaving me (Adam) to wreak havoc upon the session reports. Gilad has been around a few times before, I think. If I’m not mistaken, he is a gaming tycoon and owns a sprawling, multi-billion dollar gaming empire.

Colosseum

Nadine 84, Gilad 78, Binyamin 3i – 2

I did not play this game or pay much attention, but from what I could see and from what Nadine told me, it’s a lot like Go. No luck at all and a lot of deep strategic thought. That’s explains why Nadine won, because she’s good at that kind of game.

Caylus

David 92, Ben 72, Adam 53, Yitzhak 46

We played this game instead of Power Grid because we couldn’t agree on a ruleset for the latter. Some players seem to be enamoured with de-Candyland-ifying Power Grid, for some odd reason. Pure Evil.

Anyway, Caylus gives a very strong impression of being very similar to Go. It’s true that there’s a bit of luck in the starting position, which makes it a bit different from Go, but after that the gameplay is very similar. David started out with some good shimaris and was able to extend and consolate them in a way that got him both influence and territory, and eventually a commanding lead. He also played the yose very well, while I screwed up on that. By the end of the game David had a lot of good aji, and Ben was not in a terrible position, whereas Yitz and I were in fairly bad straits. I was able to make sabaki a bit near the end of the game, but wasn’t able to capitalize on it as much as I had hoped.

I also kind of blocked Yitz in the endgame, accidentally, not even thinking specifically about his position, and in the end wasn’t even able to use it. He retaliated by blocking me in a different way.

Bridge

Binyamin, Nadine, Yitz, Ben

They played this for a while and were still playing when I left. Seems a lot like Go.

Chess

David+, Adam

A classic. Very similar to Go in game play, but a bit shallow. David said that after playing so many Eurogames he doesn’t like Chess so much any more.

The position was fairly even throughout most of the game. David started out with mane-go (mirroring) in the beginning, but switched from that before I could punish him. There was some give-and-take throughout most of the game, with both of us building some territory and some influence, and it was quite close (though I think I had a slight lead) until I badly misread a simple life and death problem, which put me behind for good. I resigned soon after that (as David was hurrying to leave anyway).

GAMES DAY: April 4, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Ben, Tal, Josh, Avri, Keren, Debbie, Gili, David K, Saarya, Binyamin, Adam, Pinchas, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda, Itamar, Nadav, Shlomo, Rafi, Meir

21 Participants, for a fairly smooth, albeit loud, Games Day. My apartment is simply too small for this. I must find a larger place for next Pesach. Sukkot we play on the roof, anyway, so the noise is not so bad.

Avri is a player from Beit Shemesh who came for the first time, bringing his brother Rafi. Rafi brought his brother-in-law Shlomo, and Shlomo brought his brother Meir. Or something like that.

Keren is a reader of my blog, and she came by for the first time with her friend Debbie. Except for Gili playing Settlers with them, I somehow neglected them while they were here, which I feel bad about. Come again, and I promise to play more with you personally.

Itamar brought his nephew Nadav, and Binyamin brought his kids Tikva Shira and Zvi Yehuda. Pinchas came on the last few Games Days too, and he is an old Bridge partner of mine.

The others are regulars.

24/7

Tikva Shira+, Zvi Yehuda

I taught this to the kids; they kept forgetting the rule about rows not going past 24, and Z”Y never quite got the way you get points.

Amun-Re

Saarya 43, David 36, Nadine 33

Nadine was ahead 2 points in the interim scoring, 15 to 13 to 13.

Bridge

Jon, Adam, Nadine, Ben

We played this simultaneous with our game of El Grande, while waiting for people to take their turns.

Binyamin, Adam, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda

They played one hand of this at the end of the evening, waiting for the Amun-Re game to end, so that Binyamin could take the game home.

Carcassonne: the City

Jon 130ish, Binyamin/Ben 85ish, Nadine 55ish

Binyamin taught us this version of Carcassonne. It has the usual three area types, but one third of the way through the game you begin placing walls and towers around the tiles.

The most significant difference is that only roads have to match, not areas. We found this to be a huge huge Bad Thing. Most of the tactics of Carcassonne derives either from merging with other areas, or from locking opponent’s areas so that they can’t close them. This rule significantly reduces both of these options, making the game simply a matter of picking the best tiles and putting them down in the best places each turn. Whoopee.

It is one of those situations where too many opportunities for scoring makes a significantly worse game, rather than a better game. There is not enough tension.

I got luckiest. Nadine made a few sub-optimal choices, according to Binyamin, and he got upset enough to leave the game early. Ben filled in for him for the last few rounds, without any understanding of the rules.

Chess

Pinchas+, Jon

Pinchas loves Chess, and I play very infrequently, and totally tactically. I also get bored with games where it’s clear that one person is winning, and the only way for them to lose is to make a dumb mistake.

So I enjoyed the game at the beginning where I managed to secure a lead over Pinchas by a Knight and a Pawn. Then I got bored, moved too quickly (I should mention, perhaps, that I don’t like to take too long with my moves, and I was also simultaneously playing El Grande at the time), and went down to a single Pawn advantage.

In the end, I didn’t feel like dragging the game out for another 50 moves, so I lost a few more pieces and resigned. It was a little rude of me. Sorry, Pinchas.

Keren, Debbie

Keren and Debbie played a game of this later in the day.

Die Macher

Jon, Gili, Binyamin, Adam

This is one of our grails of gaming – simply getting it onto the table. That took most of the day.

The rule explanation then took another hour and some, as usual, and it was about three hours before we finished the first round. I was really hopeful we would finish the game, for once, because we were ll enjoying it, and the second round went much quicker and smoother. But Gili had to leave before the game would finish, so we only finished three rounds.

We all really enjoyed it, for what we played. There are a lot of rules that I have to keep digging up and remembering, but we all suffered the adverse effects of this, and managed to keep on forging forward, anyway.

El Grande

Nadine 107, Adam 100, Ben 94, Binyamin 90, Jon 83

I made the mistake of having a slight early lead after round three, which made me a target. And this despite the fact that this is Nadine’s signature game. And she won, of course, in the end.

Nobody was horribly behind the whole game.

Geschenkt

Rafi 13, Avri, Saarya, Shlomo, Meir

I taught them this game as a brain cleanser between the games of Power Grid and Santiago. Rafi won it.

Lost Cities

Keren+, Debbie+

They played two games of this, while we were davening Mincha. I think I didn’t explain the rules completely. I believe they were drawing and then playing, and opposed to the other way around.

Nautilus

Ben, Nadine, David, Josh

These guys were looking for what to play and started with this. Binyamin warned them that it wasn’t really their type of game, and he turned out to be correct, and they abandoned the game halfway through, not particularly enraptured.

They also complained about the sameness of the colors on the chips and other design elements.

Netrunner

Jon++, Binyamin

Rather than try to find my Magic lands, I taught this to Binyamin. I first played the Corp, while Binyamin drew a number of expensive cards and couldn’t quite get together a cohesive attack. I took home 5 agenda points without too much trouble, and we decided to switch sides.

We then played the fastest game of Netrunner ever played. Binyamin played his turn and didn’t protect R&D. I raided R&D three times and pulled three agendas, totaling 8 agenda points. Game over.

Perhaps there is a tad more card luck in Netrunner than in Magic, after all.

Power Grid

Saarya 14, Avri 11+, Rafi 11-, Meir 10, Shlomo 6

Saarya taught them this, and naturally won, as the only experienced player. The others bought too many power plants. They played on the US without the NW, but no one even made it into the SW.

I should note that Shlomo’s dismal score is not due to lack of plants, but probably being shut out of fuel.

Princes of Florence

Ben 58, Avri 57, Nadine 53, Josh 48, Tal 41

Tal would like it noted that she was leading at one point. Keren and Debbie also looked interested in trying this game.

As you can see, a close game, with Avri scoring well for his first time.

Santiago

Avri 76, Meir 55, Rafi 51, Saarya 45, Shlomo 37

I suggested this one to them, and they were all first time players. They seemed to enjoy it.

Settlers of Catan

Gili+, Keren, Debbie

I was going to play this with them, but Gili sat down before I got there. They all enjoyed it, even though Gili was the more experienced player and gave them a trouncing, it appears.

Shogi

Adam+, Pinchas

Pinchas likes Chess, so Adam taught his this Japanese game of Chess. Unfortunately, all the pieces were disks with Chinese writing on them; I have no idea how Pinchas could ever distinguish the pieces.

World of Warcraft

Itamar, Nadav, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda

The award for the day’s longest game goes to this, not Die Macher. They started playing at 12:30, and ended, without finishing the game, at around 9:00 or so. I have no idea what they accomplished during that time. The biggest problem was that none of them were native English speakers and the cards were all in English, so they had to keep running to Binyamin for explanations.

Zertz

Zvi Yehuda, Tikva Shira

Played at the end of the evening.

March 21, 2007

Participants: Jon, Ben, Binyamin, Zack, Elijah, David Barren, Adam, Gili, Nadine, Dylan

David wraps up his last visit to the JSGC and returns to America next Tuesday. Thanks for joining us!

Geschenkt

Binyamin 5, Ben 21, David 22, Zack 34, Jon “many”

First play for David and Ben. Binyamin had made me a mockup of this and I needed a filler game while waiting for the stragglers to come in. Still a nice quick game. I somehow lost control of my tokens and swallowed a lot of bad cards.

Blue Moon City

Zack+, Binyamin, Jon, Nadine

First play for all of us. BMC is a board game based on the card game Blue Moon, which none of use had played, either.

There is some story about rebuilding a city and seven races with different abilities and so on, but essentially it is an area control game. You control areas by moving to them and playing the cards of the same color as the area. Simultaneously, you can use the cards for their special abilities, such as moving further, changing card colors, gaining “scales”, and so on.

Each time you complete an area, all players who contributed to the area gain the value of the area plus a bonus for all areas completed nearby. First place in the area also collects a bonus.

Furthermore, any time you build you can get “scales” if a dragon is on your area. Whenever all the scales are collected, bonuses are given to the one with the most and all who have at least three. The scales are returned and you start collecting them again.

Eventually, you convert your collected points into cubes on the big tower, and the first to place four cubes on the big tower wins.

It is yet another one of those “get this to get that to get the third thing” games, ala Caylus, as well as having to match cards to claim areas ala Ticket to Ride or Alhambra.

The game is nicely progressive and interesting enough, and most importantly, quick enough. That’s Knizia for you.

Undoubtedly there are some strategies to use in this game, such as which areas to go for first, whether to share in many areas or steal areas all to yourself, and whether to use up your cards early or try to save up. Most of us emptied our cards early.

I can’t tell you after one playing why Zack won. All of us had three cubes on the tower when he got his fourth.

Dvonn

Dylan++, Jon

While waiting for my turn to come up in BMC, I taught Dylan how to play Dvonn and he beat me twice in a row.

Tigris and Euphrates

Gili 7, Adam 6, David 5, Ben/Jon 5

First play for David. Ben was very unhappy after losing a few conflicts he initiated, nor about lacking green and red tiles throughout the game. He also wasn’t open-minded about varying his strategy. After BMC and Dvonn finished, I stepped in to his place. He had no green cubes and few cubes in other colors, and he had one treasure.

I through out all his tiles and picked up a green and red. Then I placed a monument for Green and Blue. I didn’t worry about the Blue, letting someone else take it, since I was more concerned with boosting my own score. After two turns, I was already up to 4.

Unfortunately, people kept handing Gili 5 point conflict victories in various colors. And she had been losing until now, too. On my last turn, I made it to 5 points and I tried to end the game through a conflict by tossing out 4 tiles. Unfortunately again, I should have just tossed out all my tiles, as I was one tile short of ending the game, which let Gili have one more turn.

Either way, I wasn’t going to win, but I did pretty well considering my starting position.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Elijah+, Zack

Zack was fresh off of his victory in BMC, but he rarely wins this game against Elijah.

Tichu

Zack/Elijah 335, Adam/Gili 265

They played three hands. Elijah and Zack took the lead in the first hand, and then the next two hands were 300 point swings either way.

Chess

Zack+, Elijah

Zack wanted to play, and Elijah fought to the bitter end.

Zendo

Jon, Dylan, Adam, David, Elijah, Zack

We played two games, one with me Master, and one with Dylan master. My rule was “All objects pointing different directions” which stymied them for a good number of round. Dylan eventually guessed it.

Dylan then stymied everyone else (I was off playing Bridge) and had to reveal the rule when I kicked everyone out for the evening. His rule was “A prime number of pips”, which Adam cried foul, saying that even if he thought of that he would hev rejected it as too complicated.

Bridge

Nadine/Zack|Jon, Ben/Binyamin

We sure seem to be playing more and more Bridge. They taught Zack how to play, and then he went over to Zendo while I filled in for him.

Nadine and I had most of the hands, although nothing extravagant. I played 4 out of 5 of them.

The Menorah Game

Jon 46, Dylan 36

Dylan 52, Jon 40

I taught Dylan this. Unfortunately, he’s not much into auction games.

Go

Jon++, Dylan

I also taught (or re-taught) Dylan this. As he is a smart fellow, I simply gave him first move on a 9 by 9 board. The first game was rather close, but in the second he made a serious mistake which let me live on a large section of the board.

Great Game.

Checkers

Dylan+, Jon

I almost never get to play this deceptively simple and under-appreciated game. I figured Dylan would be willing. We played while simultaneously playing Zendo.

I made a small mistake (are there any others in Checkers?) which prevented me from keeping parity with his jumps. Once ahead, he was able to corner me into resigning.