Tag Archive | dixit

Feb 15, 2017

Participants: Nadine, Jon, David, Daniel Gili

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David+

I don’t remember much, but I took the first game easily and David took the second with difficulty.

Among the Stars

David 78+, Jon 78-, Nadine 68

Second play for each of them. We played without special powers. They are not that impressed with the game, which is a shame. My requirements from a game go down with the playtime, and the playtime is not high here, once people are used to how to play. But I guess it’s still a little long for them.

We ended on a tie, with David having more locations.

Puerto Rico

Jon 54, David, Nadine, Gili, Daniel

First play for Daniel. Nadine and David don’t play five player too often. I was first, followed by Gili, David, Nadine, and Daniel. I took a strong building strategy, while Gili and David were feeding into each other’s shipping. Nadine and Daniel also had some shipping, but no one had anywhere near my building points. I had two large buildings, including Guild Hall, and the last large building remained unbought. I had a tobacco monopoly for a few rounds at the beginning. I also had a Small Warehouse so that I didn’t fall entirely behind in shipping: I ended with 11 shipping points, to David’s 30.

Daniel did pretty well, although we kept giving him unasked for advice (often contradictory).


David, Jon, Nadine, Gili, Daniel

First play for Daniel. Gili gave some of her clues in Hebrew (which Daniel doesn’t speak yet).


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


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.


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.


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

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


Gili 24, Eszter 18, Ofer 16


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

May 13, 2015

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Gili, Aaron

Aaron is a first time participant who is an experienced gamer. He made aliyah a while ago but just moved to Jerusalem. Welcome aboard.

Magic: The Gathering

David 2, Jon 0

David arrived early and we drafted. I drafted sucky cards, so the games that followed at the end of the evening were a depressing, foregone conclusion. I mostly drew 1/1’s, 2/1’s, and 1/2’s in both games, and he had a pinger and an Ernham Djinn.

Princes of Florence

David 55 +3, Nadine 55 + 2, Gili 51, Jon 50, Aaron 40

David complained the whole game that he was losing very badly, while loudly claiming that I was winning by a large margin. I knew that I wasn’t winning by a large margin, but I was hopeful when I realized in round 4 that I would actually get out all of my works. By round 6, however, I realized that Nadine was too far ahead to catch, even with all of my works. I still hoped that maybe I could overtake her with my prestige card, but she played another work and it was too far. I had 3 jesters and 2 recruiters, which I thought were all I needed, but apparently not. Her buildings server her well.

David had no jesters, but he still played five works. Gili had to go back several points to steal the lake I wanted from me, but she really needed it for both prestige cards and to be able to play her last work. She had 15 points in prestige cards. David had 14 points, but that was from 3 cards. I had only one card for 7 points. Aaron’s prestige card didn’t score: he was one square behind Nadine in having the least open squares. Nadine had good synergy with her profession cards, and got to recruit one back. She would have had 4 more points if she had gone back 3 points to get the Prestige card that Aaron took.

Aaron liked the game.


Aaron 31, Jon, David, Gili, Nadine

First play for Aaron. Nadine scored very poorly. Aaron liked the game. It was fun, and we still get creative.

BattleCON: War of Indines

Aaron, Nadine

I think this is the version they played. Aaron taught the game to Nadine, who appeared to have picked it up well.

Passover Games Day 5775

A full day with lots of players including new ones. Mazal tov to David for winning all his games, including ones he just learned. Gili watched a video on how to play Argent The Consortium and they were ready to play, but then gave up. Thank you to Yona for taking some of the pictures. Special thanks to Jon for organizing the food order and driving over to pick it up. We missed Shirley, Emily and Eitan.

IMG_0605Alien Frontiers

Jon+, Gili, Elisheva

Jon: I taught Gili and Elisheva. Gili started off with a commanding lead, but I was also making progress. Actually, I was shoring up some resources and alien power cards. Eventually I started attacking Gili (stole her resources) and took the shield card from Elisheva. I also got a plasma cannon to remove pesky ships in my way.

I noted to them that the special abilities of the cards were powerful, especially the ones that move bases around. Elisheva used one in the last round to try to thwart my victory, but I had an equivalent one to undo what she did.


Jon 9, Assaf 7, Elisheva 6

One of Jon’s favorite games, Elisheva wanted to play.

Jon: I kept a slight lead throughout the game. My secret is simply that I constantly evaluate exactly which points I am aiming for and I work straight for the points. I don’t worry about losing cities or armies if I don’t need them anymore. I worry about what the others are doing only if my path to a specific point card is blocked.

With more aggressive opponents, I have to spend more time shoring up defenses, and the game drags as a result.


Avi 114, Gili 60, Devorah 49, Binyamin 42, Yiska 39


Ben and Binyamin, Nadine and Avi

We played for a while, fun and interesting, with table talk and assistance on bidding. Avi and I set them a few times, and we all made a few. Ben and Binyamin always know who has what and what’s going on with everyone.


Binyamin 37, Irit 26, Jon 23, Gili 22

Jon: I can barely remember this, but the essential part is that you control certain areas and spread out from there. You gain points from surrounding certain pre-existing areas on the board with the majority of armies, or from certain actions, or from building temples. You can do these things only by building all of the other things first, which rate limits the game.

I pulled spectacularly bad cards hand after hand. You have to have certain cards in order to make progress, and I couldn’t draw them for the life of me. Eventually I gave up on ever getting a temple; my path, then, was to end the game before anyone else could build their second temple (they all already had one). I managed to end the game a turn before at least two other players would have gotten their second temple. Binyamin complained good-naturedly about this, but he still won by a third more points than the next player. I was barely not last.

This game is a pain to play with people who don’t know it well, since there is a lot of calculation to do and there is nothing to do when it is not your turn. With experienced players it probably plays fairly quickly.


Noy+, Arbel, Nitay, Gil, Yiska

Played twice

Five Tribes

David 145, Devorah 122, Nadine 120, Avi 117

IMG_2290David+, Ben, Nadine, Eszter

I do worse at this every time I play but I like the game, everyone did. New to Ben, David, Avi and Eszter.

For Sale

Ilia 67, Binyamin 59, Yiska 57, Devorah 55

I’m the Boss!

Yiska+ 42, Devorah, Nitay, Benjamin, Noy, Arbel


Yovel, Binyamin, Mishie, Ofer, Lior

20150408_150015Kings of Israel

Ofer, Lior, Mishie, Yovel

Eli, Ron and Avi won at Pekach, the last king.

Lords of Waterdeep

Jon 161, Assaf 136, Elisheva 122

Jon: I taught this game, which is very each to teach. It’s not a high tension game, since you usually have what you need to do various things, so you’re always moving forward. Unless there is only a single source of something and you’re not trying hard enough to go first to get it (or work around the worker placement restriction). Elisheva was fairly close behind me, but Assaf jumped ahead in the end by finishing a few more quests that were also the right type for his Lord.


David+, Jon

Jon has 5,000 new cards and 3,000 duplicates.

Jon: We played two sets of games, each set was a draft followed by best of three games. I won the first one in each set, then lost the second one due to mana problems, then lost the third one stam. In the first set I had some blue card drawing and scrying, and a few cards to take out David’s flyers (which he never got out). In the second set I had tons of creature control. I won the first game with that, but he won the third game because he kept bringing out more creatures (and he had one that popped out of the graveyard every round).


Nadine 21, Ben 20, Assaf

No Thanks

Avi, Yiska, Devorah

Two games, Avi and Yiska each won.

Port Royal

Gil+, Arbel, Nitay, Noy, Yiska

IMG_0611Puerto Rico

Eszter, Benjamin, Yovel,


Gili 142, Elisheva 121

Gili’s game, new to Elisheva.

Railroad Tycoon

Yiska+, Eszter 17, Mishie 15, Assaf 6

20150408_121313Sentinels of the Multiverse

Lior and Mishie

Cliff, Bill, Mishie

Stone Age

David 253, Devorah 166, Avi 160

Avi had only played once a while ago.


Ron and Avi 555, Eli and Nadine 145

First play for Ron and Eli, we played to 500. I called a Tichu, Avi started with a 5 straight and called a 7; I could legally play the 7 in a straight using the Phoenix, so I had to play it and mess up my hand, plan, and Tichu.

Jon and David+, Nadine and Avi

They beat us by around 500, they both managed to keep having the dog at the exact right time to save each other.

Jon: We had two grand Tichus, both made, including the one I opened with on the first hand. The last play of the last hand was also nifty. David passed to me leaving him with a single card. I played out everything and then passed back to him with the dog.


Gili 47, Lior 46, Elisheva 45, Devorah 29

Gili taught this, close game.


Eszter 62, Gili 60, Irit 46, Gil 33

Walnut Grove

Binyamin 33, Eliezer 27, Nadine 23, Yiska 23

First play for all of them. Binyamin did a good job with wood and food for more farmers, he ended with 5.



Sukkot Games Day 5775

20141014_185834A great games day with our fun games day gang. Happy birthday to Bill, he left early to work before his roleplaying group meeting, Shirley came after work; they’re both still jetlagged from a week in China. Bon voyage to Mace who left early to catch a plane back to Australia. Emily and Eitan were sans Uli because Emily’s parents are handily visiting. The dinner order was complicated as usual with a lot of people, leading to Emily resigning from the next one – with honors for the excellent job she’s done. Thanks to everyone who helped with score reporting, organizing, and carrying chairs and moving furniture.

Jerusalem area
Nadine, Gili, Lotem, Eszter, Binyamin, Bill, Shirley, David, Avi, Eitan, Emily, Shalom, Shachar, first timers Jordan and Chaim

First timer Avraham

20141014_122457Jon, Sa’arya

Old timer Elisheva

Ofer and Oran


Alien Frontiers

Jon 9, Avi 6, Ofer 6, Bill 1

First play for all except Jon.


Eszter 53, Binyamin 37, Elisheva

New to them; they liked it.


David/Jon, Nadine/Avi

Played at the end of the night. Jon had pretty bad cards overall. We played a fun, relaxed game without scoring and with discussion of bids, good practice. I was playing a hand, I was already set, and Jon asked ‘why are we still playing this?”, which I took to mean he was generally bored as usual. But he meant, ‘can’t you claim yet?”; I realized after that play that I could but hadn’t thought about it. Avi plays very well, he overbid once, I overbid also. Jon and David at first were either playing or bidding well, but not both on the same hand.

Carson City

Eszter 52, Avraham 40, Saarya 39, Elisheva 34

New to all except Eszter. A crowded board set up with most of the mountains very close to the town.


Emily 32, Eitan 25, Gili 22

Played on the couch and floor at the end of the evening.

El Grande

Emily 34, 87, 127  Eitan 31, 83, 116  Gili 35, 89, 112

Very close scores, a fun favorite. I don’t think I’ve ever played with 3.

Eminent Domain

Another space game in the sukka. Jordan and Gili tied for 15, both in pts and resources and fighter, Elishiva 13, Shalom 12


Jon, David, Avi, Avraham, Shirley

They all enjoyed playing tremendously, despite, or because of, the challenge of having to remember information about cards that you can’t see, and did very well.


Gili 116, Eszter 99, Binyamin 98, Elisheva 85, Lotem 65

First play for Elisheva, Binyamin and Lotem.

High Frontier

M0, c8, s8, v4, Jordan 7 (1 v), Eitan 12 (1 v, 1 d, 1 s), Emily (1c + 4 turns), Shalom 8 (2 v)

This was the entertainment for people who went to have lunch in the sukka. They all really sounded like rocket scientists, the game emulates thrust, oxygen etc in detail.

20141014_114239Lords of Waterdeep

Jon, David, Shirley

Jon: Shirley won. David was a few points behind her and I was a few points behind him. I was ahead often in the game with 25 point quests, but the others were close behind with smaller quests and plot quests. And I only fed my lord 4 times for 16 points where they each ended with 32 points.

Love Letter

Nadine+, David, Avi

I did better than usual. This game is fun with people who get it and enjoy the uncontrollable situations. I lost when I had the countess and David the princess, next hand it was reversed.  They think it’s funny how much information I don’t remember, and helped me eliminate available cards for guessing to speed things up.

Machi Koro

Jordan 4/7, Shalom 6/7, Elisheva 7/7 (win), Eszter 6/7

Shalom’s game with similarities to Settlers according to him.


David+, Jon

Apparently a very close win. I knew they drafted, but didn’t realize they then make up decks with half the cards.


Gili 43, Binyamin 32, Elisheva 32, Eszter 30, Lotem


David+, Jon, Bill, Avi, Nadine

New to David and Avi. We had positive special cards – including extra money if you haven’t built yet. I didn’t do well at selecting cards. Bill would have reached 20 points right after David did. Jon played cards with negative effects on other players such as losing minions and cards, but Avi countered with one giving everyone a card.

20141014_134411Nexus Ops

Avi+, Chaim, Ofer

Power Grid

Oran 17/17, Nadine 18/12+, David 18/12-

Easier with 3. New to Oran. He didn’t listen to the good advice David and I gave him, such as not buying so many intermediate power plants, and when to build. So he was right, very good play to beat both of us first time, and with his own strategy. We played regular, no card previews which changes the calculations. I was doing better than usual, I was in a good position throughout, and David was doing worse than usual, we don’t know why, but it was still fun to play, I haven’t played in at least a year.


Jon, Ofer

Jon: I taught him and he creamed me.

Avraham, Nadine

New to Oran, who had a hard time finding them.


Jon/Avi 1065, David/Avraham

David gamely partnered with Avraham, completely new to the game. He understood how to play, but experience makes a different. David and Avraham were ahead by a few hundred for a while, but Jon and Avi caught up, and won when they called Tichu and went out first and second; David made a mistake and forgot that Avi had only played one ace so there was still one out, Jon had it. David had 3 bombs in a row, wrecking one of Jon’s Tichus.

Tigris and Euphrates

Avraham 9, Avi 7, Nadine 5

I taught this to them, new to both. They did an excellent job catching on and built monuments, Avraham 2 and Avi 3. There wasn’t much conflict. I thought I was doing worse than I was. I think Avraham beat Avi because Avraham attacked more, he attacked me, but I didn’t play well. There is less conflict with 3 players.

20141014_193530Via Appia

Oran 92, Eszter 49, Nadine 38, Ofer 25

Ofer taught it to all of us, thought he hadn’t played before and needed to look up setup info, he didn’t have the rules in English, but he had read them online earlier. We punched out the game and Ofer managed to set up the main mechanism which releases disks with which to buy building stones. Near the end of the game, when one type of stone ran out, he discovered a new rule that you can get a coin instead of a stone – people who had tossed due to lack of storage took money for earlier moves, unbalancing the timing. It’s a cute, light game, though Pushing and losing feels like luck; it is partly, but also related to when you select that action. Eszter did really well with it, Ofer who was before her didn’t, he put them in position for her, as did I. I didn’t like that aspect, and often I couldn’t take full advantage of my actions, for example, only having one stone available to build instead of the two allowed. I focused on money for movement, but that’s not enough. I also built, but Oran had a more successful strategy, he built mainly small stones, and got bonuses for it.

20141014_162213Walnut Grove

Shachar 30, Nadine 28, Mace 25, Avraham 19

New to Shachar and Avraham, and Mace has played around once. Everyone did well, and sold a lot and bought bonuses. Mace and I had similar strategies, storage and coins. He wanted to get both coin bonus tiles but I got one. On the last turn, I changed from buying a farmer for two points to selling for 3 coins with space for 2, because of my coin bonus, even though it meant paying a coin for food. A mistake, I got all zeros, and paying for food reduced the coin bonus to one extra, for a gain of one instead of two. If I had drawn better coins I would have tied or won, but it’s less likely to draw those at the end of the game. The keep two tile year came up first, when it’s less helpful, though it does increase production quickly. It’s an easy game to learn. Eszter wanted to play it later, but too many people who had already played it were available. Shachar had 3 bonuses and almost got another one. Mace and I would have had one more point if we had drawn tiles which close fences on the last round.

Chag Sameach!


bgg.con 2012 I


I left Israel Tuesday morning, to headlines speculating on the IDF’s response to the intensive rocket fire. On the plane I sat next to a couple from Austin who had just toured Israel for 10 days. I said something about the rockets, and they asked, ‘What rockets?’, and then ‘Where are they coming from?’  As usual, international news coverage didn’t really start until Israel responded. But these people had been in Israel. On the plane I read Ilene Prusher’s brand new novel Baghdad Fixer and watched Brave.

Wednesday morning I spent time in the lobby for wifi access, then lined up for registration. Probably the peak time. I was in line with a woman from Australia who comes annually for three game conferences, and a guy from Boston.

I started off in the Exhibitor Hall to sign up with James of Minion Games for the Designer Publisher meet-up. From my messages and posts he already had me down for Thursday at 7, and had printed out info from our website; I gave him a flyer for his notebook. Then I went over to GameSalute, where I met the head, Dan. When I described our project, he asked if he could hang on to It’s Alive to look at, I said no because I only had one, so he set up that we’d meet at 1 and go over to the big hall to play. I said I could meet earlier, he said he wants to leave some time because the hall only opens at noon. I said no it opens at 10, but I meant the game hall and he meant the Exhibitor Hall. So once he mentioned it I realized that it actually wasn’t open yet, which explained all the setting up I saw. Later during the con the doors were locked when it was closed, but I guess when they were setting up that didn’t work.  Not many people rushed in but it worked out for me. And maybe they didn’t mind developers coming in.

I went to have breakfast, a woman at Cash and Carry was nice and gave me cereal even though they were already on lunch, where there was nothing I could eat. I went to the room after picking up my free door prize games now that the line had thinned out; it was easy to select games – the smallest one in each category. I got Martian Dice, Force Ball, Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom, and New York, a re-theming of Alhambra, which was pretty big so I gave it to Bill and Shirley.

Pixel Lincoln

It was after 12:30, so I walked around the Exhibitor Hall, and went over to GameSalute before 1. Dan wasn’t there, they said he’s often running late. They checked with him and said he was on his way back from mailing something at the post office. While waiting I played Pixel Lincoln for half an hour at one of their demo tables, they knew I was going to leave in the middle. It’s a cute easy game, based on old video games with jumping and attacking. I don’t know where they got the Lincoln theme. Ties in with the new Lincoln movie and the vampire one, but that wasn’t the reason they picked that theme.  When Dan got back he complained about how far the post office was, I said I would think there’s one in the airport, he said there is, but the airport is huge.


We went across to the game hall, and two guys walking by agreed when I asked if they wanted to play a quick game. I had a new copy because I wanted the second edition. I had punched out the money at home in advance, but forgot about pre-shuffling, so all my demos had similar cards showing up together. The game went well, they understood all the card quantities better than I do, except that I won. I wasn’t trying to of course. I realized afterwards that I didn’t draw any Villagers. And they auctioned off Coffins cheaply. We discussed the game and theme a bit, then the two guys left. Dan stayed until 3:30 discussing how GameSalute works, benefits of their support and fulfillment, Kickstarter advice, changes we should make to the game, and answered questions I had. He knows Jon, pretty much everyone I met with did. Very helpful, and made me realize that Kickstarter could work. After that meeting and a few other interactions with publishers I didn’t expect much from the Designer Publisher meetup because it’s mostly small publishers, and large publishers weren’t going to be interested. But I wanted to attend Wednesday’s meet-up to see how it worked.

Hanging Gardens

I was too jetlagged to play anything new or complicated after that, and walked around looking at games. I ran into a group trying to figure out Hanging Gardens, so that was a good game to play. Light, and I could explain it from having played online, where I lost every game. It’s much better in person when you can hold the cards. They were surprised when I let someone change cards after one didn’t work, I said that’s the whole point – you can try out positions because it’s too hard to see what works otherwise. I won due to some luck and mostly having played before.


I passed people starting Dixit, which looked light. I didn’t realize that it’s a party game, similar to Apples to Apples, but it’s better and creative. I lost by a lot, I’m not good at Apples to Apples. The scoring track goes in a circle though so it didn’t look like I was behind. Really nice art, that’s one reason it’s popular. I beat the others for longest distance traveled, but not for the most tired – one guy was from Connecticut and had gotten up at 1:30 that morning to fly in, another player was from Calgary.

I ate and then went to the meet-up. I looked around, all these complicated prototypes. I sat down at a table with a game with pictures. Then I looked at it and realized it was a game about dating women including a picture of woman in a bikini. So I told the designer that I don’t think he wants me to play it because I’ll be critical, but he said that’s fine, and that his wife likes the game. Players are guys trying to attract women by having style, studliness and brains, you need money for dates, and the women on the date cards want different levels of each.


The mechanics are pretty good, though we all tried to replay the first card we got because it was possible to plan for it, more efficient than drawing random ones. It turns out that this was the first time he was trying out the variant where you can re-date cards you have, so during our game he could see the issues with it. I didn’t like the theme, even though it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, there’s a stalker in the game. But the gameplay is fine in general. We filled out rating cards, I hadn’t done that before. There were only one or two publishers there that night, the ones who came by had seen his game before.



I felt awake enough for the hot games room where I played CopyCat, there were four of them setup. It has elements of Agricola and Dominion, there is worker placement, but it’s mainly a deck building game, not my strong point. I made a few mistakes at the beginning, such as not realizing there was a Trash cards option, and how much turn order mattered, so I was behind right away. I decided to not even try to build my deck, and just focus on straight victory points. Which might work if you do it right and don’t decide to buy a card that you end up not using. I got pretty far ahead, but I could tell it wouldn’t last. They were all building good decks, and two of the three guys had really strong ones, with synergy and points and money and extra cards. They didn’t pass me until the second to last round, one by three, one by eight, out of around 80. Last round I had a terrible hand, no points. I asked for a review of the end scoring because the board has wrong numbers on it, like skipping 91, an in-joke reference to a typo on the original Ticket to Ride board. While reading the rules, they noticed that one end game condition is buying a certain card, which the third guy who was way behind had bought last round. So the game was over, I was third, but not behind by that much. I’m not sure that I like the combination of worker placement with deck-building, but I’d play it again. The theme was politics, with jokes such as getting in trouble for skinny dipping on a congressional trip, which happened to American congressmen in Israel.

Space Cadets

I had heard about Space Cadets because it was on my Secret Santa target’s wishlist and looked fun, a coop where you take roles on a starship. I joined a game, we were four instead of the possible six. After the explanation a fifth joined up, he had played before. Each person has puzzles to work out in 30 seconds for the different areas. I was at the helm, the mechanic there is picking cards and arranging them like in Robo Rally, which is hard to do quickly. They helped me though, so it worked out, I didn’t drive us off the space card. They mostly did well with each area. After a few turns I was disappointed in the game, it wasn’t so interesting. The new guy said he had to go and left, but I didn’t feel right leaving. Then another player said the game was not so good, and we all agreed and stopped after the next turn. The decisions aren’t very interesting, and little puzzles over and over are not strategic.


I was working in the library from 5 to 6. We were four, more than necessary, there isn’t that much organizing needed, most people shelve games they return. I let the other guys do the scanning, I didn’t mind. I looked at Ra and some other games and game boxes.


Bill and Shirley were arriving between 6 and 7, and I had to go set up for the Designer Publisher event. They arrived a bit after 6:30 so I got to see them briefly. Later they said that the first person they met, in the elevator, knew Jon. I was the last to arrive at the meetup, but It’s Alive doesn’t take long to set up. Publishers and designers came by to play the game, which is better with three or more. But they came one at a time, so I played three two-player games. They’re gamers and were really good at figuring out two-player, where you can keep track of the other person’s money. The last guy beat me even though I had filled my board, he had focused on points and had more than me. I always play the basic game, much easier, but less competitive, which in this case is good. They like the game and the new art and theme. The body parts version is also popular. It was interesting meeting designers and publishers and discussing production and Kickstarter. After two days I was able to make suggestions and recommend vendors to other developers.

I had told Bill and Shirley to come to the hotel bar for the RSP meetup because I was going there afterwards. We discussed religion and some politics with someone I knew from bgg.com and our FB group, and I met some other RSPers in person.