Tag Archive | cities and knights of catan

July 19, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili

Attendance is still so low, it’s hard to feel too bad about leaving Jerusalem. I’d like to stay and keep a good club going, but three people week after week is not much of a club. Hopefully things will pick up again if/when Nadine and Gili take over.

Quest Adventure Cards

Jon 43, Nadine 34

I was sent this to review. I received six packs (1 through 6), which is enough for a two player game. You can play up to four with more packs.

I will give a full review on Purple Pawn soon. Nadine and I played only one game. It was, at least, a quick playing game, but only because the decisions were either trivial, luck-based, or irrelevant. Maybe I’m missing something.

Nadine didn’t understand the point count at the end. Actually, now that I remember the rules correctly, since the sixth quest wasn’t completed, the game actually ended in a tie.


Nadine 132, Jon 122, Gili

This is not really meant to be a three player game; there’s too much water and the water carrier makes no money. What’s left is calculating the amount of money spent vs money returned compared to the other players, which is still fun to those who like that sort of thing.

I gobbled up a center potato field and got some cubes on some of Nadine’s fields. Gili had a smaller field, and we were all pretty sure that I was going to win by a bit. But Nadine spent almost zero money on the bidding, while I was down to about 5 dollars before the final tally. She won due to frugal spending.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Nadine 13, Jon 11, Gili 11

Although I often complain that I’m losing when it feels like I’m losing, but stop complaining when I see that I’m actually doing ok, in this game I really really felt like I was losing and I was really really surprised to see that I actually came fairly close to winning.

Though I didn’t start the game with either 6 or 8, I had good and varied numbers and resources on my starting hexes – except sheep. I even pulled an early Inventor and switched away an 11 for a 9. Wouldn’t you know it, but 11 and 8 rolled up time and time again, with barely any occurrences of 5, 9, or 10 over the entire game.

As a result, I watched Nadine and Gili pull resource after resource while I collected the occasional brick or ore. Nadine’s hand already had over ten cards several times before the barbarians hit, and she maintained a large hand throughout the game.

Gili and Nadine both got to an early/mid-game Aqueduct, while I didn’t get to it until near the end game. Wow, is it hard to do ANYTHING without Aqueduct. I already knew it’s the most important strategy in the game, and I still keep underestimating it.

Nadine had early knight control. Gili got the first metropolis (paper) and took over the knights around mid-game. I managed to disappoint them both by failing to activate a single knight, twice losing cities to the barbarians in the process.

Despite this, and my paucity of building and resources, I finally got a harbor and a string of 4s to give me a metropolis in coins. I was sitting on the merchant card. I came so close to 12, only to lose a city (twice) or be off by a single resource each time.

Nadine missed an opportunity to end the game through stealing my coin metropolis, but she managed to get her 13th point anyway on the next turn.

October 14, 2009

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, David, Abraham, Emily, Eitan

Good company.

Bridge Troll

Jon, Nadine, Gili

I was considering trading this. We played it one more time to see. First play for Gili.

Result: Nadine decided she didn’t like it, but that’s typical with Nadine when she doesn’t get the strategy in a game. I still like it – maybe less than other fillers we have – and would keep it, but only if others wanted to play it. Gili thought it was ok, but wasn’t enthusiastic. As no one was willing to speak up strongly for it, I decided to trade it.

It’s got nice components and the game play works, though it’s rough in some places. The game works better with three than it does with six. Six wasn’t really fun, as you could go the entire game without scoring any real points. Three players worked fine. Several of the mechanics seemed to exist solely for game balance; I’m guilty of doing the same thing with the Villagers in It’s Alive, but that’s only one mechanic, not several.

The core of the game-play is blind bidding and the random results of what happens thereafter, which is good if you like that sort of thing, but it’s not for my group. Again, it’s a decent game, and a lot of groups will like it, hopefully the one to which I’m passing it onto.

Traders of Carthage

Nadine 19, Abraham 17, Gili 15

Playing this filler after Bridge Troll, both Gili and Nadine said that they like this game better.

Magic: the Gathering

David++, Jon+

David and I drafted. I picked up G/R with a splash of W. David had B/G/R. We each had some neat comboes.

David had a mana producer that produced mana of any color his opponent could produce, and then some sunburst cards, which gain bonuses depending on the number of different colors used to cast them. I had an equipment that automatically moves to any new creature that I brought in, and a creature with “champion” that sends a creature out of play while it is in play.

They were fun games, although I lost the second hand because I was shy of mana.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Abraham 13, Nadine 12, Gili 10

First play for Abraham. Not Nadine’s usual cup of tea, in part because it’s quite longer than Settlers. Their game lasted three and a half hours.


David 26, Jon 23, Emily 23, Eitan 7

First play for Eitan, second for Emily. Emily wasn’t thrilled with her first game, mostly because it was dominated by Militias. No Militias in this game, but there were Witches.

Bonus actions were Cellar, Market, and Laboratory. Bonus cash was Workshop and Market. Defense against Witches was Remodel. Getting to 8 cash was nearly impossible, especially with Witches filling our hands with Curses. We also had Garden.

David played a Market – Cellar – Garden strategy. I used an early Remodel hoping to slim down my hand, but early Curses had me struggling to stay even as the game went on. Emily took an early Witch. Eitan didn’t make the transition to buying victory points early enough.

I thought I was doing better than Emily, but turns out I was wrong. I did manage to Remodel my one Gold to a Province, which was the only one taken, I think.

Jon 39, Emily 33, David 24, Eitan 19

In this game, the only bonus action was Market. We also had Chapel, Thief, and Bureaucrat. Eitan tried Mines, but Emily kept stealing his Golds. David and Emily both played Thieves, and stole from each other, although Emily was far luckier.

David took a Chapel, but didn’t quite get it to work right. I think he’s not using them correctly; he thinks he just didn’t luck out. He got discouraged mid-game and gave up trying at some point.

I took an early Chapel, let it work wonders, and, though slightly and disconcertingly slowed by an early Thief taking a Copper I actually needed to buy my first Market, still managed to get on a roll. I had no cash at all, but I had 8 of the 10 Markets, and a Workshop. I began rolling Provinces very nicely, but without a Cellar, I slowed down after four or five Provinces. Emily and Eitan both bought one Province before me, using their Bureaucrats and Thieves. Eitan once again didn’t transition to accumulating VPs early enough.

Eitan really liked the game, and Emily also enjoyed it more than last time.


Jon/Emily+, David/Eitan

First play for Emily and Eitan, I think they liked it. We played three hands, and I called and made Tichu on two of them.

July 16, 2008

Participants: Jon, David K, Gili, Saarya

Two guests! As much as the combined number from the last two weeks. Why, at this Fibonacci rate, the whole planet will be at my group by the end of the year!


Jon, Gili

Gili and I played half a game while we were waiting. I was ahead a bit.

Notre Dame

David 57, Jon 55, Gili, Saarya

Saarya’s first play. I played a very balanced game, ignoring the VP track but putting two into Park. In the very last round, I ran out of money and couldn’t buy the last favor, costing me the game. David skipped Notre Dame in the last triad, but took the last favor of 3 VP for each 3 populated province for 10 points (with Park). He also had his VP track going, so I avoided passing him VP track cards, but didn’t use them myself.

Saarya concurs with the rest the rest of us that a tad more control would be slightly better.

Cities and Knights of Catan

David 11, Gili 5, Jon 5

My rule is that I’ll play this game with an alternate win condition: that you win if you have five more points than second place. Keeps the game from going on too long, and makes jockeying for Longest Road somewhat more interesting at the middle of the game.

I had 4 points more than either of them near the beginning, owing to defending the island once and having Longest Road. David stole my knight, so that he then collected three defender points while I stalled for resources. I beat Gili out to a wheat port, but, though situated on an 8/5 wheat, never got to use it. David won the game when he took Longest Road from me.

David feels that a better alternate rule is that you win if you are four points ahead of second place, not counting Longest Road (he doesn’t like the LR jockeying, and anyway the point is to prevent a won game from dragging on).

Magic: the Gathering

David++, Jon

We drafted for decks, but I drafted far too many rather than too few creatures, for once. May lack of utility made me unable to pass his defenses, while he had a few spells that could pass mine. My lack of red mana in the first game, and then slow start to green mana in the second, didn’t help.

Games Day: April 24, 2008

Participants: Jon, Saarya, Nadine, Adam, Binyamin, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda, David Klein, Avi Klein, Yarom, Maayan, Maya, Yardena, Yedidya, Yitzchak, Jonathan, Roie, Omri, Rachel A, Yosef, Dylan, Ben, Gili, Dvir, Shimon, Ari, David B, Pini, Yosef B, Richard, Vera, Raphaela

I’m Jon and Saarya is my son. Nadine, Adam, and Binyamin are group regulars. T”S and Z”Y are Binyamin’s kids. David is a group regular. Avi is David’s kid. Yaron has been playing games in other parts of Israel for many years, but rarely gets out to my group. Maayan and Maya were his guests. Yedidya and Yitzchak are Yardena’s kids. Jonathan is a new group regular. Roie and Omri saw the ad on Tapuz. Rachel A is my wife. Yosef saw the ad on Janglo or my blog, I think. Dylan is a group regular, Ben is my brother and a group regular, Gili is a group regular. Dvir, Shimon, and Ari saw the ad on Tapuz. David B is my other brother and Pini and Yosef B are his kids. Richard, Vera saw the ad on Janglo, and Raphaela is their daughter.

32 people is record attendance. In fact, if we get this many or more in the future, we need a bigger place.


Binyamin 51, Roie 42, Ben 38, Omri 31, Zvi Yehuda 531

Ben doesn’t get to play this game in his community because his gamers object to the other deities and sacrifice.

Nadine 54, David B 39, Yosef 38, Ben 34

This was first game for David and Yosef. David thought it was a good game but the -3 card (stealing 3 gold) wasn’t strong enough to overcome the loss of a free item.


Jon, Yardena

I went easy on Yardena at the start of this game under the assumption that I would be much better than she was, since she had Scrabble experience but not Anagrams experience. After a few words, however, it turned out that she was excellent. After that I played as well as I could and we both ended up with about the same number of words.


Nadine, Ben, Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda

They played a few hands toward the end of the day.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Yitzchak, Yosef

Played a two-player game to learn the rules, I believe.

Yosef 13, Jon, Jonathan

I started off pretty well, but Yosef relentlessly hit me during the game and rose over my back. He got a quick early metropolis, and another one soon thereafter. He won the game with Longest Road.


Zvi Yehuda 83, Gili 80, Tikva Shira 65

This is a big sprawling game with busy graphics. I played it once and thought it was a typical Euro.

Cosmic Encounter

Binyamin, Pini, Yosef, Zvi Yehuda

I think I have the wrong people written here, except I know that Binyamin got bored by the game since he didn’t think the aliens were interesting enough (he had Void/Zombie).


Adam+, Jon

Adam slaughtered me by capturing a large central area on an 11×11 board. I still love the game, but I really really suck at it. I started with two stones.

Jon+, Yardena

I taught Yardena how to play on a 9×9 board. Even by the end of the game, she wasn’t quite sure she had grasped the rules of capturing groups. She started with a two stone advantage.


Binyamin brought this and taught it to several groups of people, but no one took him up on the offer to actually play it.

Magic: the Gathering

Jon++, David++

David and I did our usual Rochester draft. Both of us ended with serious difficulties in cutting down colors for our deck. I had more Red, but I settled on Blue as my third color. There was no way to cut it down to two colors. I did BGU while David did BRU.

I lost the first game. The second game, I was distracted by some other events around me and forgot to say I was casting a blocker from my hand, so I lost, but David said I should have won (I recorded it as his win). In the third game my deck worked and his didn’t. In the fourth, we were well on a repeat of the third so he resigned.

David+, Pini

Pini used my deck to play David while I was eating dinner and lost.

Pirate’s Cove

Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda

I saw them playing this two player. Binyamin heard the rules and wasn’t interested because of the excessive dice rolling. I sympathize, but I like the game anyway, for some reason.

Power Grid

Dylan+, Dvir, Shimon, Ari

I taught the latter three this game and then stepped out for Dylan to play. I forgot that Dylan’s grasp of the rules wasn’t perfect. As a result, they forgot that you couldn’t have more than three power plants. I’m sure they got some of the power plant rotation rules wrong, too. Dylan won on the tie breaker.

Puerto Rico

Rachel+, Roie, Omri

Omri and Roie brought two games, PR and Princes of Florence, both of which I have. They sat down to play with Rachel. I was thinking of warning them that they don’t know what they’re up against, as she is a killer.

She ended up winning, but not as badly as I won against inexperienced players the day before at the Beit Shemesh club – something like a 10 point spread. She said it was fun, especially when she had no idea what her opponents were going to do, unlike when she played with us regulars.

Race for the Galaxy

Yaron, Maayan, Maya, Jonathan

This was the first time for all of them (2nd for Jonathan?). It took them quite some time, as first game are want to do.

David B 29, Pini 25, Yosef B 15

I taught all of them how to play and then left them to it. As a result, they were often confused. David realized that their was a lot to the game, but the other two were somewhat frustrated. They all would have enjoyed it more if I had played with them as well; I’m sorry I didn’t.

Nadine 42, David 32, Jon 29

We three wanted to play this at the end of the evening. Nadine won using her usual brown world strategy. I started with the military world, which I think is a poor strategy in comparison.

David 64, Jon 45, Nadine 41

I tried a brown world strategy, but David took it from me and did it better. He also had yellow worlds going. it was obvious a third of the way into the game that he was going to slaughter us. Which began to make me resent the game. Once I was losing and my initial worlds turned out to have been the wrong ones, there was no hope of catching up and a whole game to know that.

RftG is therefor a fascinating puzzle, but somewhat frustrating as a game.


David 17, Jon 3, Nadine 2, Avi 0, Adam 0

My only points were from not dumping. David pulled the 4 and 5 of red in his last two moves.

Avi 16, Nadine 8, Yardena 6, David 5

Yardena liked the game because the rule set was simple and she didn’t have to think too much (she thinks a lot during work, generally).

David B, Pini, Yosef B

I taught them this and they all liked it for what it was.

Yosef, Gili, Binyamin

Played near the end of the day.

Robo Rally

Jon+, Nadine, David, Avi, Adam

This was our opening game and it was fun. We played on one board with two flags at opposite corners. David, Nadine, and I were all close, with Adam right behind. This despite my opening turn as nothing but left and right turns. As usual, chance played heavily in who was able to get the second flag in the final stretch.

Yaron, Maayan, Maya, Dylan, Jonathan

I taught them all how to play, and warned them that a typical game, even on a short board with one flag, takes a good hour and a half. Dylan then won on his second play.


Maayan+, Yaron, Maya, Jonathan

This was another new game for all the players.

Settlers of Catan

Roie, Omri, Yosef, Yedidya/Yitzchak

Y and Y really wanted to play but there wasn’t enough room so they shared a position.

Shadows Over Camelot

Gili, Tikva Shira, Saarya, Richard, Vera, Raphaela, Jonathan

I taught some, and some had played once or twice. Richard, Vera, and Raphaela came in just as we were about to start and I included them. This was their first game, and they didn’t make it through to the end, even though Vera told me that it was much better than Monopoly. Still, it’s a fairly complicated game for your first game, though the mechanics themselves are pretty easy.

When they left, three players finished the game three player, each with two roles. Gili inherited the traitor (or started as the traitor). he game ended with seven white swords, but then two flipped because the traitor was still in the game, so the company lost (and Gili won).

Winner’s Circle

Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda, Tikva Shira

The opening game for them.

Year of the Dragon

Nadine 104, David 84, Gili 77, Tikva Shira 58

David and Nadine had both played Year of the Dragon once, and David had won that time. Tikva Shira knew the basics, and it was Gili’s first time. This game is played in preference to Notre Dame, being considered nearly the same game but better (though ND is a fine game).

February 07, 2007

Participants: Nadine, Zack, Elijah, Binyamin, David R, David K, Ben, Jon, Adam, Gili, Rachel A

Tonight’s most unusual feature was that I was unable to make it home until 8 or so, and no one else was home either, so I left the door open and asked Nadine to be in charge until I got there. When I got back, everyone was happily playing and had even managed to order food without my assistance, which only goes to prove that they can do these things without my help.

As it happens, after I got home I was unable to join a game for over an hour. But I was kept busy answering both rules questions and strategy tips for the entire hour. Well, it’s nice to be needed for some thing, I guess.

Tonight was David R’s second visit, but he now returns to the U.S. Thanks for joining us, David.


Dwarves: Nadine, Zack, Binyamin+, Saboteurs: David R, Elijah

I’m impressed that the dwarves were able to overcome the 3 to 2 odds to win.

Magic: The Gathering

Binyamin(B)+, David R(R), David K(G), Ben(W), Adam(U)

This game of rainbow magic took some time to play. Binyamin and Adam are still newbies to the game, and there was some intense negotiation going on. Adam started off the game with an enchantment that caused all players to play with revealed hands. And Binyamin kept throwing out things like Pestilence and destroying every creature in play.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Nadine+, Zack, Gili, Elijah/Rachel A

The consensus is that this is really too long and boring compared to other games that can be played in a similar amount of time. While no longer my favorite, I disagree, and think it is still a good four player game, at least for a hundred plays or so.

Rachel had to take over when Elijah had to leave.


David K(Corp)+, Jon(Runner)

Not the number of games played with unequal forces tonight. First Saboteur, then Magic, now Netrunner. There’s certainly something appealing about these when they are done well.

This is David and my third play at the game, and the first time that we actually made it through the game to its finish. Even so, we are still very unclear on many of the rules, such as rezzing Nodes and advancing Agendas and so on.

David loves the game, and says that it may have even more room for depth than Magic, although he has played Magic so often that it may simply be that he’s too familiar with it. I think it’s about the same level, probably. It’s truly a very neat game. It appears to be overly restrictive in how the points work, being solely based around agenda cards. And the game appears to end rather early at only 7 points.

So far, all of our plays have been with untuned decks, straight out of the starter boxes playing sixty cards each. At the end of the evening, I sent David home with the Runner deck, and we’re both going to try to come to the next game with at least semi-tuned decks.

We’re on the lookout to buy a few more starter boxes, if you know where we can find some at a good price.


Jon+, Ben

I wanted to play this one more time, and I introduced it to Ben. He didn’t get the tactics down on his first play, which gave me an easy win. A series of forced exchanges gave me four white balls.

I liked the game even more than last time. I hope it holds up.

Princes of Florence

Ben 61, David R 55, Adam 50, Binyamin 50

Another play for this classic. This was the first play for David R, and he appears to have played well enough.


Jon-David K 590, Zack-Nadine/Adam 210

Technically, this is another game of which we have never actually finished an entire game. We simply play a few hands at the end of the evening when we have four players.

In this game, we played four hands. I called Tichu three times and made them all. Zack called on the last round and made his. As Adam pointed out, it’s a curious fact that it makes no difference whether you or one of your opponent’s calls Tichu, as the rewards and losses are the same either way; so long as someone calls it.

Nadine wasn’t sure that she liked the game any more, claiming that it was too random.