Tag Archive | clans of caledonia

Steam, Clans and Clank

Steam

Aaron 43, Nadine S 37, Jon 37, Avinoam 33.

First play for Nadine S and Avinoam

It’s Alive x 2

Avinoam+, Jon+

First play for Avinoam, he liked it.

R-Eco x 2

Jon won against Aaron, Nadine S, Avinoam 9 to 8 to 4 to 4

Haim 20, the others much less

Clank

Lorenzo 125, Zvi 80, Gili 72, Haim 65

Lorenzo: We made a mistake in the last few rounds that probably would have ended in 20-25 more points for Gili and Or.

While they played all those games –

Clans of Caledonia

David 154, Nadine 140, Zvi 138, Avi 107

Clans: David – market, Nadine – whisky, Zvi – shipping, Avi – contracts

Nadine: First play for all, Zvi and David liked it. Avi had a hard time getting started so didn’t think he had much to do. David did a good job leveraging his clan power, with a lot of neighborly bonus buys. Zvi and David tied for most settlements, I was third. We all had 6 contracts so didn’t count that. David had 7 more round bonus points, 4 more points for goods, and 4 more contract goods points than I did. We counted them all as 4.

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Whiskey

Clans of Caledonia

Nadine 170 Whiskey, *Aaron 154 Market, Haim 150 Deltas, Jon 115 High Shipping, Extra guy

*Aaron misused his clan so Haim really came in second. First play for Haim.

Tichu

Jon, Nadine+  Aaron, Haim

Nadine: I made 2 GTs. On another hand, Jon passed me an Ace, I had a good hand and passed him the dog. He called Tichu, he had planned to before passing the Ace. I was surprised but figured he had a reason, and we went out 1 2.

Passover Games Day 5778

A busy games day, with most people staying the whole time. Thanks to those who came early and stayed late to help with set-up and clean-up – Nechemia, Assaf, Lior, Binyamin and Jon, who also brought an extra table and chairs; and to Gili for the pictures she took and for organizing the online dinner order. Quite a few close games, a crazy Tichu game, and even a few hands of bridge, and welcome to Lorenzo’s wife Sara. Game trend – titles that begin with the letter C. Played more than once: Crokinole, Oh My Goods, Tichu, Traders of Osaka.

Alchemists

Binyamin 27, Haley 21, Eszter 12, Gili 11

Bridge

Nadine and Binyamin S, Jon and Binyamin

Binyamin really wanted to play, Binyamin S has never played so we walked him through. First hand I opened 3 spades with 7, Binyamin S passed, and Jon and Binyamin made game in hearts. Next games I bid and Binyamin passed, Jon and Binyamin went one down in 4 spades with Binyamin playing it, I had a strong hand.

Catan

Azriel+, Lorenzo, Binyamin, Eszter

Clans of Caledonia

Nechemia 130, Sara 120, Nadine 108, Assaf B 103

First play for the other three. We played with 4 points per all import goods, with no tracking or coins for them. I tried the delta clan, which did help somewhat, partly because being near rivers helped me get most settlements, and I upgraded to two lochs which I usually don’t do. Nechemia had the whiskey clan, Sara had double contracts, and Assaf had the one with the extra initial placement. Nechemia tied Sara for most contracts with 5, and had 72 in export good points. I had a lot of whiskey at the end that I didn’t have market tokens to sell, I should have done more market upgrades in the last round.

Codenames

Eszter, Binyamin S, Efrat, Gili, Noam, Maria

They played three rounds.

Concordia

Binyamin, Rosalynn, Nechemia, Yehuda K

Not Rosalynn’s type of game, not sure it’s mine either though I heard it’s good. Nadine S left to join Walnut Grove.

Crokinole 

Jon, Elianna, Rosalynn and others throughout the day. Jon:  Crokinole, not too much play, but some fun play nonetheless. Binyamin didn’t take to it, and especially not the high price I paid for the game.

Deep Sea Adventure

Lorenzo, Binyamin S, Azriel

Dinosaur Island

Jon 79, Lior 77, Gili 74, Efrat 71

Jon complained a lot about the Hooligan mechanic, which adds total luck to a strategy game. It doesn’t have that big of an effect and the luck sometimes evens out, but annoying nevertheless, Gili likes it because it adds fun and suspense.

Jon: A game with somewhat confusing graphics, but straightforward gameplay. As I mentioned several times during the game, the game has a bunch of random and strategic elements, which are fine, but then ends with a luck draw out of a bag that serves absolutely no game purpose other than to screw some people instead of others (much like Thebes). In some games there may be a person or development that you can buy to mitigate it, but often not, and only one person would be able to do it. And there is no, absolutely no, purpose for the mechanic. It is as useful as simply rolling a die and handing out victory points based on the number you roll – actually, it is exactly like that. Remove the mechanic and the game plays EXACTLY the same, but far better. I like the game other than that. It’s a basic planning and allotment of resources game that works well enough with enough theme to color it.

Hansa Teutonica

Jon, Avi, Efrat, Lior

Jon: Enjoyed by all players. I didn’t take any of the instant circle bonuses, like I usually do. Instead, the game ended rather quickly as Avi and I spread a network of cities across much of the left two-thirds of the board. I had a boost from having 4 disks, while one other person had any, and only one.

Homesteaders

Efrat 54, Lior 49, Gili 34

First time for all players.

Lewis & Clark

Nadine+, Lorenzo, Yokhay

First play for Lorenzo and Chaim. I’m starting to understand the game, first time I played with the rule where you can discard cards to pay equipment, we had missed it until now and it makes a difference. Fewer cards were bought than in previous games I’ve played, I only bought one, a 3, which helped, but my main advantage was it being their first play. Lorenzo bought the card I wanted at the start, but then gave me good advice. Lorenzo hogged the Indians, there were a few times where there were none available at all. We shortened the trail by 7 spaces to finish sooner, which may have hurt them with a stronger infrastructure.

Mercator

Nadine S 44, Adrien 41, Avi 34, Elianna 33

New to all of them. Jon wanted to try this again, but after teaching it ended up trying Alchemists, which he also didn’t play in the end.

Nefarious

Jon 20, Binyamin, Binyamin S, Haley

Oh My Goods

Lorenzo 25, 24 Binyamin S 24, Eszter 21

Rosalynn, Elianna and Azriel also played.

Puerto Rico

Noam 54, Yael 50, Yossi 48, Maria 46, Assaf B 39

Rising Sun

Yael, Yehuda K, Avi, Binyamin, Yossi

Yael taught this, they played a long time but didn’t finish the game.

Tichu

Jon and Lior, Azriel and Binyamin S played a hand or two earlier.

Avi and Nadine vs Assaf B and Yehuda Klein

First game
300 -100
600 -100
635 -35
935 -35
1100 0

Second game, which we didn’t finish
40 -40
100 0
405 -5

I called Tichu at least 3 times in the first game. Avi offered to switch partners after the first game, but they said no. It was mostly luck of the cards, though Yehuda K hadn’t realized he could play his 4 bomb over my 3 bomb. It might have stopped my Tichu but he couldn’t have gone out easily. I played something like the 1, 3, Queen, 3 bomb and a 7-card straight with the Phoenix.

Traders of Osaka

Jon, Lior, Efrat

Jon, Binyamin, Nechemia

Jon: It played well enough, but it’s just a bit too long for what it is, which keeps it from being a far better experience. There is often just a little more to the gameplay then there seems to be, however.

Tzolk’in

Nechemia 63, Sara 58, Assaf B 57, Rosalynn 33

New to all of them.

Walnut Grove

Nadine 29, Nadine S 25, Yochai 24, Elianna 18

First play for all but me. I lost 6 points on the last turn – I couldn’t pay 3 cubes, and only had 2 left – not enough to pay back a loan, so I had to take two Neighborly Helps and used a gold coin, but I had 3 bonus tiles which made the difference, two 2-point per bonus tiles for 12; Nadine S had 2 and the others one.

Yinsh

Jon+, Nechemia

Passover Games Day East – April 4

Jon went to visit David in Maale Adumim because David isn’t attending public gaming events while in avelut. Report by Jon:

David and I and two of his kids played Nefarious. We had the twists a) when you research, draw two cards and then toss a card, and b) you gain 1 vp for every 5 coins you have. Everything was pretty normal, until both of the kids got to 21 on one round. David had 20 and I had 19. So we went another round. Both kids had 22 and I got to 22, as well. The next round two people had 23. The next round two people had 24. The next round two people had 25, but I got to 26 and won.

We all played Tichu for a while, and my partner and I went very negative. We were -350 to 350 at one point. We stopped for dinner when my side was -170 to 570.

After dinner, David, Avi, and I played Lewis & Clark. Probably not the right game for David, even though he loves it. It’s a real analysis paralysis machine, as you know, and David took a long time on his very first turn. So did Avi. I was patient. Eventually, David got ahead of us, Avi eventually started playing faster just because he didn’t want to think too long, and we all make some of those famous mistakes, which is the point I think. David won several rounds ahead of any of us. They both enjoyed it, but agreed that maybe David shouldn’t play it.

March 14, 2018

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Haim S, Haim G, Nadine S, Gili, Eszter, Lorenzo, Efrat

I actually can’t remember if Efrat has actually come before, but I think she did once. It’s also been a long time since either Haim G or Eszter graced us.

Parade

Lorenzo 9, Jon 12, Haim G 12, Nadine S —, Haim S —

I forgot to write the scores down, but something like that. First plays for Nadine S, Lorenzo, and Haim G.

Princes of Florence

Nadine S 57, Gili 53, Haim G 45, Lorenzo 43, Haim S 37

First plays for all but Gili, I think. Unsurprisingly, Nadine S won again, with two 24 WV works on the last round.

Clans of Caledonia

Nadine 136, Jon 131, Efrat 129, Eszter 118

First plays for Efrat and Eszter. With explanation, the game took around 3 hours. I realized by the middle of round 3 that I was doomed. The score above actually took me by surprise, and I expect it is because I made a mistake in an upgrade or counting points. I think I should have scored lowed. On the other hand, I was 3 deliveries ahead of everyone else, so the 40 points I was shy on the board and with goods I guess is nearly made up by the deliveries which are worth 12 to 20 points.

I had the extra delivery slot, Nadine S took the extra first settlement and 2 shipping upgrades, Efrat had the reduced cost on river deltas, and Nadine took the whiskey money. I only really made use of mine on the first and last rounds. Nadine made money hand over fist and easily dominated the board, but I guess somehow didn’t concentrate on deliveries enough. Efrat also had good board spread and Eszter wasn’t far behind. I didn’t bother fighting them for it, which saved me some effort. Nadine: I tried for more deliveries but wasn’t able to – partly because everyone else managed to select contracts before I did. And I was mainly producing whiskey, which I used for contracts so I couldn’t sell them for money.

I also spent extra money buying things, rather than investing in producing them, which made me perpetually cash shy. But I still came close.

Eszter miscalculated on the last round, which is why she is a little further behind (she couldn’t make her last delivery).

The game is definitely good, but it is rather fiddly, especially since money is tight and there are many options, so you keep forgetting which one you decided on and then need to take it back so you can have the money for what you really intended to do. Maybe a loan mechanic would help. But there are already a few too many mechanics (round bonuses, $1 when counters cross 5 points, and harbors come to mind). Frankly, one of the main mechanics doesn’t make sense to me: very fiddly and unthematic. Why give points for number of settlements in a group instead of number of hexes in the group? Hexes would seem to make more sense. You are still encouraged to spread out in order to get the neighboring production/market bonuses.

Ah well.

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.

Crokinole

Jon, Nadine S, Yael, Haim

We played a few rounds.

January 24, 2018

Participants:  Jon, Nadine, Nadine S, Lorenzo

First time for Nadine S. Not sure if she will return.

Alien Frontiers

Nadine S+, Nadine, Jon

First play for Nadine S, she did well, as you can see. I got the force field card, and some other cards, but I was well behind the others in ships.

Clans of Caledonia

Jon, Lorenzo, Nadine

First play for Lorenzo and me. This game is a hodge-podge of mechanics from other games, including Hansa Teutonica, Agricola, Kingdom Builder, and others. Still, it was an enjoyable balance of all of these, rather spatial in nature. The alien races special abilities were a nice touch.

I got the hang of it fairly quickly. We missed a rule or two, which really changed the nature of what we were doing. So there was that. Also, in the end, I tried to keep track of all the scores as we calculated them using tokens instead of writing down the figures, and I became confused as to whether I had scored Lorenzo or me, or both, a few times, so we don’t really know the end scores, except that Lorenzo and I were close and Nadine was about 40 points behind us.

KinneretCon November 2017

Our third Kinneretcon. A large contingent from our Jerusalem group – Jon, Saarya, Lorenzo, Nadine, Chaya Bluma, Haley, Gili, Eszter, Binyamin, Cliff, Netanel, Mishi, Rafaella. Thanks to Roee, we played in an airy upstairs room with windows, instead of the basement.

Above and Below

I had seen people playing this at previous Kinneretcons and wanted to try. I’m not sure why I wasn’t impressed, the gameplay is fine. I don’t really like the story aspect being mixed in, the story part isn’t that interesting and disrupts the game while you read. You roll dice for success in explorations, but can injure your people for extra points. Lorenzo wisely took a re-roll two card, which helped him. Our scores, were close, except for Lorenzo. First play for all except Gili. Lorenzo 49, Roee 40, Nadine 39, Gili 38

Clans of Caledonia

I wanted to play this because I read that it was in bgg.con Hot Games. A very pretty and complex game about clans in Scotland, with nice wooden food and animal components. Cliff laughed when I told him you expand on hexes, get resources, trade in the market and fulfill contracts. I like that some of the clan representatives are women. Ortal, who had played once, taught it to us – Roee and David. I selected my choice of clan benefit, MacKenzie, a whiskey distillery, picking out of three, based on the clan of a fictional character in the Outlander books. This turned out to be a pretty good benefit, mainly giving money, which helped at the end of the game with buying and fulfilling contracts. I found out at the end that my starting goods had been random, independent of the clan, so I had been lucky to get a whiskey which started giving me money right away.

I knew there were variable round scoring tiles, but I forgot to pay attention early on, so barely got any of those points, and I didn’t even try to use any of the port bonuses. I pretty much understood the placement scoring even though I forgot about it. I upgraded shipping one level but didn’t use it. I thought I was doing poorly, as did the others, actually I was doing poorly. I didn’t have the goods for my first contract – I didn’t realize how hard and expensive it would be to make bread, I thought using wheat, which I was already producing for the whiskey, would be efficient, but it’s the opposite, it’s easier to produce something else. It took me two rounds to buy them at the market because I only had two merchants, so I fulfilled that contract on round three, of five. David thought that he could toss a contract, he hadn’t noticed that I had a problem due to that too, you only get one at a time and can’t discard it, he had already obtained goods for a new contract so that hurt him.

After fulfilling my first contract I was able to use my whiskey money to buy contracts, and managed to get ones that required whiskey, which by the end of the game I couldn’t use for income anyway. I also noticed, when Roee used the benefit, that you get a free contract for emptying a row; I had emptied my whiskey row a while ago, so got a free contract. I fulfilled four contracts in the last two rounds, pretty much catching up on contracts, and unexpectedly got the most contracts bonus of twelve.

Roee understood the game well, competing with Ortal for the placement bonuses, first place is eighteen. I made some placement mistakes, but the worker, production, and upgrading mechanics weren’t that hard to understand. I didn’t even realize there was a ranking mechanic til the end, the ranking of the import goods which are contract rewards change based on the number of each, but I don’t think knowing affects play much, because you mainly take contracts based on which one you can fulfill. I got 44 points for one good that I had on contracts, ending up second. Ortal had around 120, I had 100 and Roee 99, and David a bit less. I like the game, but it will take me several plays to understand how it all works.

Signorie

I taught this. Partly selected for Lorenzo, who is Italian; he kept trying to figure out who the families were. They caught on and liked the game. I did mainly books, Lorenzo had a lot of men. Lorenzo 158, Effi 137, Nadine 131, Yossi 114

Herbaceous

A great, fun filler which I learned last time. I taught it twice, and played it once, and won.

Crokinole

I played two rounds at one point. The game was a big hit with everyone.

Antike

Jon taught it to four people including CB, but two people who listened to the explanation decided not to play, so Haley joined and learned it. We all did pretty well, but Jon is always faster. He had the advantages of being off to the side, and being first player, but as he said, he would have managed to win anyway. I get better as I play more, but don’t play often enough. It’s a very elegant game.

Tresette

Lorenzo taught us this Italian game, using his pretty cards. It’s a trick-taking partnership game similar to bridge, without bidding or trump, and suits of 10 cards. The game is fine, but we had a hard time telling the suits apart due to the similarity of the artwork. Lorenzo offered to switch to regular cards, but we liked the challenge, and almost had the suits down after the two rounds we played. In addition, Lorenzo plays counter-clockwise.

Samurai

First play for all. A nice-looking abstract, with a lot of depth. Spatial, I played mostly tactically.

6 Nimmt!

We played a round of this game, I didn’t realize it was 6 Nimmt!, which I’ve heard of, we were playing with the Hebrew version which has a different name. Cute light game, pretty random.

Lorenzo’s other plays:

Rococo – Lorenzo 74, Gilad 63, Yossi 38

Edge of Humanity – Tal 11+ (He won the tie on more survivors) Lorenzo 11-, Effi 10, Pini 8 (the creator)

Bang

3 games. First was won by the renegade, Saarya was imprisoned for 3 rounds and never played. The second match the bad guys won, outnumbering the sheriff. Last game sheriff and deputy killed all after a long battle with Saarya.

Mazal tov to Cliff for winning Argent!

– Nadine

Jon’s report:

Gentes

A wonderful game with simple, elegant graphics (with one or two niggling problems) and elegant gameplay: buy cards and play cards for points and abilities, and buy cities and workers to allow you to play the cards. Cities also give bonuses. That’s pretty much it, but it works very well, with a worker-taking mechanic and the additional payment of time counters – most actions use up two slots on your action track – the worker you take and the time counter to pay for it, but some require you to take two time counters. You can either take them as two time counters, using up a third slot on your actions, or as a double time counter which then turns into a single time counter the next round, effectively meaning that you use up the second slot on the next round instead of the current one.

I played by buying very few cities, but in the end I had to buy some in order to play certain cards. I did okay, but not as well as the winner by a good distance.

The complexity is about the same as Hansa Teutonica. I loved it. Unfortunately, it is a limited run game until or unless it gets reprinted.

Corto

A ridiculously over produced game with cartoons, rulebooks and action strips instead of a board, two massively sculpted pieces and cards. All for a pretty straightforward and annoying “take that” abstract game of collecting coins, only a few of which you can collect during the game, and the rest of which go back and forth like a yo-yo until someone who is marginally ahead decides to end the game. Last player is at a disadvantage, and no compensation is given for it.

In my game, I stayed away from the pool of points available at one end of the board, but I was still a target for some reason, and I was down to 0 points on the board in round 4 out of 6.25 (with two permanent points collected). I complained about this. Then I finally spent a little time thinking about what to do about it, tossed some cards and took no actions in round 5 to get better ones (since I could hardly lose my position any further by that point), and played all my cards in round 6, netting me 18 points. The player after me (who was first player) ended the game; he had 19 points, I had 20, and everyone else had less.

Bleah. I’m not a fan of “take that” mechanics, and this didn’t change my mind. It didn’t help that the explanation for the game took a few repetitions to understand. But it has pretty pieces.

I also played:

Age of Industry – taught this to various people, and while the game is still dry, they enjoyed it.

Antike – see above

Crokinole – see above. Lots of people played this, and several talked about buying it.

Slap Deck – a few times

No Thanks

Sticheln – I think it’s okay, but the people around me whined a lot.

I taught Power Grid

I saw the sunrise over the Kinneret: very pretty.