Tag Archive | dominion: seaside

September 26, 2010: Games Day

Participants: Jon, Mace, Shachar, Nadine, Elijah, Saarya, Michael, Oren, Yardena, Tal, Rachel

Small Games Day, I think because Janglo, the local mailing list that usually publicizes the event, is no longer all that effective. Still, it was fun for all involved, I believe.

Age of Empires III

Elijah 120, Oren 110, Nadine 82, Shachar 69

Played at the end of the day. First plays for Oren and Shachar. They complained about the building that gives you money from each other player equal to the number of merchant ships that you possess. It is the only building that affects other players, and it dulls the strategy of its possessor.

Agricola

Nadine 44, Shachar 42, Elijah 39, Mace 35, Saarya 31

First plays for Mace, Shachar, and Saarya. According to Nadine, Saarya may have counted player numbers on cards as victory points. The game took five hours.

Antike

Jon 8, Elijah 5, Michael 5, Shachar 3

This is one of the few games I love that I also seem to consistently win. I don’t expect this to last, however. I focus on the victory points, not on conquering cities and other players, and I expect to have a lot more challenge (I think this has happened in some of the games I’ve played) when the other players catch on to this.

I played Greece, rather then my favorite, the Phoenicians. My first play was for gold and Market, followed by a temple, some fleets to ward off players on all sides, and then Democracy. Then five cities, seven seas, and a few more know hows.

Shachar was the Phoenicians, and he simply expanded, while keeping away from my glistening three state fortress and one space in all directions. Michael was the Germans, and he spread out throughout the north rather quickly and then harassed Elijah, who played the Romans. Elijah built some monuments, and then spent his time trying to protect them from Micahel who was always threatening to conquer them.

My final act was to take the last unclaimed known how (Roads). Michael was one move away from preventing me from getting it. Shachar could have prevented it, but he was so far behind that he decided to just conquer my cities and let me win. If he had taken the know how, it would have delayed me one round, after which I could have gotten the bonus point from level two in all the know hows, anyway. (I was also threatening to conquer one of Shachar’s temples.)

Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside

Jon 44, Mace 37, Shachar 17

Kingdoms: Cellar, Village, Bureaucrat, Throne Room, Council Room, Harem, Haven, Ambassador, Lookout, Outpost

More Seaside than usual, but still half from the base set. Why does that always happen when I draw randomly?

I took only a modest amount of Villagers, as well as Council Room, Throne Room, and Ambassador. Elijah managed some nice synergy with Haven and Outpost. I originally thought Lookout was weak because I thought it could be used on the cards in your hands. When I realized that you had to pick three random cards to which to apply the effect, I realized that the card sucked. I’m not thrilled with the balance on several of the cards in both Intrigue or Seaside.

Homesteaders

Jon 55, Oren 47, Micahel 41

First plays for both of them. I misplayed twice, taking building auctions for one type of building when I was really planning to build some other type. Second-to-last round, I was locked out of the bidding, and I was not far enough on the railroad track to gain much from it. I was determined hell or high water to get something on the last round, however, which I did, and it was worth over 20 points for me (minus a point or two given up by my having to pay $9 for the privilege).

Michael snared the buildings I wanted (such as Bank) due to my bidding miscalculations, and I wasn’t sure that I was winning until that last round.

Oren liked the game.

Magic: the Gathering x 2

Jon++, Mace

Mace hadn’t played in a really long time (fourth edition, I think). He was rusty on a few rules. We Rochester drafted from the new cards I bought on eBay.

Our first game, we were both mana glutted, but he didn’t have enough creatures in his deck to thwart me. I won fairly early.

In our second game, we entered a standoff for most of the game. However, I had already beat him down to 6 points, while I was sill at 18. Enter the Rod of Ruin on my side, versus a tapping damage prevented on his side, which meant that I could get 1 point through every two turns. In the meantime, he was hitting me for two points each turn with an artifact that required 5 mana to cycle through each point of damage that it dealt to me.

At one point I attacked with everything and cast an instant that gave all of my creatures +2/+2 and first strike, only to have him Fog. Then he attacked with the one creature he could afford to (with Vigilance; he was three points shy of killing me with a full-out assault, and would not have been able to afford the return attack), only to have me Pit Trap and kill it. Back to stalemate and pings.

Eventually, he had three creatures tapped to deal his pinging damage, I had seven creatures able to attack against his four blockers, and he was at two life. He could blast one with an instant, but couldn’t prevent the remaining damage. There were six cards left in my deck.

Mr. Jack

Jon+, Michael+

I taught this to Michael. We each won once as Criminal, him on turn three (I goofed), and me on turn 7.

Parade

Elijah 20, Shachar 25, Jon 83

I taught this to them, though I think they had each played once before. My inglorious defeat was due to a tremendously bad hand and a timidity at taking cards. If I had taken more, I would have dome better.

Puerto Rico

Nadine 50, Mace 49, Yardena 48, Rachel 40, Oren 38

First play for Mace. Yardena is self-taught and has played with her kids; this was her first play with another group, and we corrected a few minor errors. I think everyone believed that Nadine was running away with the game, but it was pretty close in the end.

Nadine adds: Rachel realized that Yardena might be winning due to huge shipping, she had a wharf and factory, and harbor at the very end, no big building. I had factory and two big buildings, but low shipping.

Scrabble

Yardena played this with Tal for a while. They didnt’ play for points, just for fun. Tal had to leave, and Rachel took over. Even so, they abandoned the game mid-way.

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August 25, 2010

Participants: Jon, Elijah, Michael

Ah, the low attendance days of summer. Hopefully soon to be over. On the other hand, Michael (Elijah’s father) was able to attend, when he usually can’t.

Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside

Elijah 26, Michael 21, Jon 17

First play for Michael.

Kingdoms: Village, Smithy, Market, Secret Chamber, Swindler, Wishing Well, Baron, Bridge, Sea Hag, Outpost

For some reason, though I draw randomly from all 77 kingdoms, I have yet to pull more than 2 cards from Seaside for any game, and usually it’s 1 card.

This game went slowly, and we ended by running out of three decks: Village, Market, and curses.

I thought that Village / Smithy / some Markets would do well, but, in fact, I rarely ever got to more than 4. I eventually got some Markets, but it was no use. Somehow, Elijah killed with Baron and Bridge, while even Michael outdid me with a Baron and an Outpost.

Elijah 34, Jon 30, Michael ??

Kingdoms: Bureaucrat, Market, Adventurer, Steward, Baron, Ironworks, Upgrade, Treasury, and two others.

I thought I had a good chance of winning this one, taking Steward to trash away everything but the silvers I got from Bureaucrat. After that, I trashed all my other cards, including my Ironworks which seemed to have no particular use. But I ended up with the same number of Provinces that Elijah had, while he still have his Estates. Treasure is a no-brainer over Market. I don’t remember what Elijah took, however.

Antike

Jon 9, Elijah 8, Michael 6

First play for Michael. We played to one less than the recommended end point, as usual.

Michael made the mistake of building a temple too close to me, even after given fair warning. I sacked it, and he played catch-up the rest of the game. Elijah and I pretty much raced each other the rest of the game, but I was positioned for the clinching points quicker than he was.

July 21, 2010

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Elijah, Gili, Abraham, Sara, Miriam, Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda

Binyamin returns after a long absence, with his son Zvi Yehuda. Abraham, Sara, and Miriam will be leaving soon.

Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside

Jon 39*, Elijah 32, Nadine 31

Kingdoms: Woodcutter, Remodel, Thief, Council Room, Mine, Adventurer, Coppersmith, Upgrade, Lighthouse, and something else.

I didn’t read the Lighthouse carefully enough. As a result, a few times I played it as if I also gained an extra action at the beginning of my next turn. So my score is in doubt.

I played a heavy trashing games, often upgrading 5 cost cards to 6 cost cards, and then remodeling them into provinces. Nadine played fairly straightforward, but both she and Elijah took thieves, which, due to lighthouses, were fairly ineffective.

Gili arrived shortly after we started playing, but I made her wait. I should have restarted, I suppose.

El Grande

Nadine 109, Gili 108, Sara 108, Elijah 90, Abraham 88

Nadine usually sweeps this game with no trouble, so the surprise is how close it was. After the first scoring she was ahead 55 to 47, and after the second 92 to 84.

Homesteaders

Binyamin 75, Jon 73, Miriam 53, Zvi Yehuda 37

First plays for Miriam and Zvi Yehuda, and second or third for Binyamin. I think this may have been my first four player game.

Still a fantastic game. Of course, you need to know about the final buildings in order to plan for them throughout the game. Balancing the need for trade chips without getting drowned by them is possibly the biggest challenge. Far better to be drowned by them than not have enough, however.

I thought I was winning, so it surprised me that Binyamin won in the end. On the other hand, he got both of the two best mid-game buildings, so maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me so much. Bidding went high in the last two rounds; I passed on round 9, and Binyamin passed on round 10.

Miriam misbid on round 10 and we didn’t let her take it back after Binyamin had already made a different bid as a result. Then we let Zvi Yehuda take something back from the previous turn, which wasn’t exactly fair. However, Zvi Yehuda is a young boy, and he was losing by a mile, anyway. In the end, Binyamin moved to outbid Zvi Yehuda, and Zvi Yehuda moved to outbid Miriam, so Miriam got to redo her bid, anyway.

July 14, 2010

Participants: Jon, Elijah, Nadine, Max, Sergei, Alona, Miriam, Eitan, Emily

Being the nine days, I wasn’t sure if anyone would come. Gili was probably recovering from the bat mitzva of her daughter. Also, I sadly must report that Abraham and Sara will be leaving Jerusalem soon, and also that Miriam is going back to the states in a week or two.

Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside

Nadine 41, Elijah 37, Jon 33

Kingdoms: Chapel, Throne Room, Gardens, Laboratory, Baron, Conspirator, Torturer, Upgrade, Harem, Tactician

This looked like a nice set, and I should have done fine. Unfortunately, I had the worst luck ever known to man with my card drawing. I bought an early Chapel and did not once get it together in my hand with an Estate. Not once. (In retrospect, I should have just trashed the four coppers, rather than trash one and buy a Silver.)

I bought Throne Room and only twice pulled it together with another action card, and that was Torturer, both time near the end of the game. It was a freaking nightmare. I really wanted to play the same set again, but other people came in the meanwhile.

Nadine avoided most of the kingdoms, bought Silvers and Harems, and did just fine.

Eitan 42, Emily 38

They played this when they came late and waited for others to finish longer games.

Antike

Jon 8, Elijah 6, Max, Sergei

First plays for Max and Sergei. I warned them several times to keep track of points and go for them, rather than mess around with armies and battles, but in vain. Still, they really liked the game. I started with marble, while all the other guys started with iron. I also had a slight advantage in starting off in the corner (Phoneticians), though all the other players moved in my direction and boxed me in.

Princes of Florence

Nadine+, Miriam, Alona

First play for Alona, and possibly for Miriam as well. No surprise that Nadine won, but she says the game was close.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 5/5/5/9, Eitan 5/5/5/7, Elijah 4/5, Emily 2

Another game I don’t get to play often enough. First play for Eitan and Emily, and a reminder to Elijah who had played once. I set up a few monuments mid-game, giving dozens of green points to Elijah and blue and black points to me. I didn’t care about the green points, because I knew Elijah had plenty of them already, anyway.

I won mostly because I ended the game on my turn.

Cuba

Max, Sergei, Alona, Nadine, Miriam

First plays for everyone but Nadine. Unfortunately, the game went slowly and it was late, so I had to kick them out after round 3.

July 07, 2010

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Miriam, Abraham, Tal

Light night. Gili is planning for her daughter’s bat mitzvah.

Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside

Jon 48, Nadine 44

Nadine may actually have had 45; she forgot to count her cards for Gardens.

Kingdoms: Village, Woodcutter, Feast, Gardens, Council Room, Secret Chamber, Scout, Trading Post, Duke, Ghost Ship

Two VP cards makes Scout an interesting buy. One Trading Post, one Council Room, one Woodcutter, two Villages, and Feasts completed my deck. Nadine doesn’t play trashing cards, so she skipped the Trading Post in favor of more Council Rooms; she also didn’t get Scouts. I’m surprised she did as well as she did.

Endeavor

Nadine 53, Miriam 49, Jon 47, Abraham 43

First plays for Miriam and Abraham. Nadine and I had played this before and had not been impressed; not bad, but not quite gelled, we thought. After this play, we both felt a but better about it, but still think there are too many positive and negative ideas to juggle on each turn, for not enough reward. I would compare it unfavorably to Oltre Mare, which has the same juggling idea with less variables.

Abraham started out strong, but lost tempo mid-game. I started off weak without the brick building, since bricks were in short supply and it then took me some time to be able to afford a building of level 3. Nadine was actually the only one to buy a level 5 building, though Abraham also got to that level at one point, while Miriam reached it on the last round (which gave her points, at least).

I sat in front of Miriam, and consequently she felt that I was purposely acting to thwart her the whole game, to the point that she actually got frustrated. On her last play she deliberately thwarted me to prevent me from getting three points while getting two for herself. It took some time to convince her that, in fact, she had a better play elsewhere that netted her 5 or 6 additional points, and I could get 2 points elsewhere, so I would only end up losing 1, anyway. Reluctantly, she changed her play, and ended up beating me with those few points. I think that ameliorated her.

Meanwhile, I sat behind Abraham and felt that he was thwarting me the whole game, but I took it in stride.

Yinsh

Abraham+, Miriam

I reminded Abraham how to play, and Miriam tried it for the first time. However, she doesn’t really like abstracts, so I guess she won’t play it again. Abraham removed two disks, and then Miriam took off two. The last one went back and forth until Abraham found a subtle forking play.

Tichu

Jon/Tal 455, Abraham/Miriam 145

We played four hands. In the second one, Miriam and I both called Tichu, when Tal was planning on calling it originally. I managed to go out first with the Dog, and then Tal went out. The score was 370 to -70. On the last round, Abraham bid and made Tichu, while Miriam struggled not to go out first. Tal was able to go out after her, and then I went out. Miriam’s last cards were a pair of 5s.

June 09, 2010

Participants: Jon, Miriam, Ksenia, Gili, Nadine, Abraham, Emily, Eitan, Rachel

Emily and Eitan make it back after a few weeks absence. Miriam was here for her third week; she’s a natural gamer.

Dominion / Dominion Intrigue / Dominion Seaside

Ksenia 25, Jon 24, Gili 21, Miriam 21

Kingdoms: Chapel, Moat, Moneylender, Gardens, Adventurer, Steward, Coppersmith, Ironworks, Bazaar, Tactician

Lots of trashing doesn’t mix well with Gardens, but Ironworks does. And one would take Moneylender or Coppersmith, not both. First time playing with Steward, and I noticed that you have to trash exactly two cards, not “up to two”. First time playing with Tactician, which is as powerful as it looks, but it was still hard to choose between it and Bazaar.

First play for Miriam. It was a mistake to play with Steward and Ironworks, both of which require a choice between three actions, which makes it difficult to understand, let alone make the decision, on your first play. Tip: when introducing new players, don’t play with complicated cards.

I thought it was a close, quick game, and it was.

Homesteaders

Abraham 53, Nadine 52, Gili 43

Abraham loves this game, like I do. Nadine wasn’t sure after her first play, so she played again to see if she liked it better the second time. She said that she likes it enough to play it again, but it’s not in her top tier with Puerto Rico or El Grande.

At the end scoring, they thought that they were tied, until they remembered that Nadine had to subtract 1 point for her debt.

Power Grid

Jon 15+, Miriam 15, Ksenia 15

First plays for both Miriam and Ksenia. I explained the market mechanics as we played, but only mentioned once, and early, about ties being decided by money. As a result, when the end of the game came down to money, Miriam hadn’t prepared properly for it. Furthermore, it was fortunate that I was able to end the game the round that I did, because both Ksenia and Miriam were set to gain a lot more than I was on the next round: I was two cities up on them, bit still needed more capacity, while they both had 17 capacity already.

The reason for this was because, in our game, fuel, especially coal, was running out each round. And so, at the end of the game, in order to ensure that I had fuel, I had to dump a 5 plant powered by coal for a 5 plant powered by oil, and so couldn’t move up in production capacity to any of the 6 or 7 plants (which were all coal).

I thought Ksenia wasn’t handling the mid-game plants well, but somehow she ended up essentially tied with us by the end of the game, anyway.

Mr Jack

Emily++, Eitan

Emily and Eitan end up playing with each other often, as they tend to arrive late and while we’re in the middle of other games.

Emily won two games against Eitan. In the first, she was Criminal and escaped in round 4. In the second, she was Detective and jumped on Mr Jack on turn 7.

Tichu

Nadine/Abraham 140, Jon/Miriam 60

We only had time for one hand while Eitan and Emily finished their second game of Mr Jack. Nadine went out of character and called and made Tichu. Miriam also considered calling it; luckily she didn’t. She ended up going out last. I went out second.

Sticheln

Jon 27, Abraham 26, Eitan 14, Emily 4

First play for everyone except me, and I had previously only played one half of a hand. I had to look up the rules (on BGG, since I have the German edition) to remember how to play.

We played four hands, and we all played better with each hand. There are a number of things going on in the game. Still, I’m unconvinced that there is any strategy in the game; it seems to be nearly all tactics. Perhaps more plays will reveal more of the strategy.

  • Hand 1: Abraham 8, Jon 4, Emily -13, Eitan -17
  • Hand 2: Jon 6, Abraham 2, Eitan -2, Emily -2
  • Hand 3: Eitan 12, Jon 8, Emily 5, Abraham 4
  • Hand 4: Emily 14, Eitan 13, Abraham 12, Jon 9

Puerto Rico

Rachel 56, Nadine 51, Ksenia 47, Miriam 40

First plays for Miriam and Ksenia. Rachel had a full Guild Hall, Factory, and Small Market. Nadine had four corns, Factory, Wharf, and Customs House. Which kind of made whatever Miriam and Ksenia had irrelevant. Actually, Ksenia was pretty close (hmmmm… this is not the first time I’ve underestimated her score during a game).

June 02, 2010

Participants: Jon, Abraham, Miriam

Some participants were off to a play, and others promised to show up and didn’t *ahem*. Miriam returned for her second visit. Yay, Miriam!

Dominion

Jon 30, Abraham 26

Gardens 4, Laboratory 5, Library 5, Market 5, Courtyard 2, Conspirator 4, Torturer 5, Ambassador 3, Navigator 4, Bazaar 5.

I thought the simplest strategy was Bazaar / Conspirator. So that’s what I did. Each of us also picked up an Ambassador and proceeded to trade coppers and estates. He decided to ignore the Conspirators and take instead Navigator. We split the provinces, but I also had two Gardens at the end.

Abraham 34, Jon 27

Woodcutter, Workshop, Throne Room, Conspirator, Torturer, Moneylender 4, Sea Hag, Outpost, Treasury, Wishing Well

Abraham emptied out the Treasuries, while I got two, and some Throne Rooms and Conspirators. I used Moneylender and Woodcutter to get some early provinces, but he used Sea Hag to clog up my deck with 6 curses, and I had no way of cycling past them. Again we split the provinces.

Dvonn

Jon+, Abraham+

I won the first game by a large margin. In the second game, I thought I was doing well. I lopped off half the board leaving me 11 pieces and him 10. However, I think I made a mistake somewhere, and he won by 1 disk.

Torres

Abraham 210, Jon 203, Miriam 182

First play for both Abraham and Miriam. I have the German edition, so though I explained the cards to them and there are symbols on the card, the symbols are not unambiguous, and so they needed to ask me what the cards were during play. Or, failed to ask me, and misunderstood what they had drawn.

The game was incredibly tight after the first phase, with Miriam one point ahead of me, who was one point ahead of Abraham (Miriam’s point was from jumping over both of us). At the end of the second phase, I was at 111, Abraham at 104 or so, and Miriam at 100. We each had our little castles, and shared control of the king’s castle.

Miriam then moved the king to a small castle on one side of the board, and started working on it. Unfortunately, I built the last free space and jumped onto it, which made it impossible for anyone to build past the second level, and so no one got the king’s bonus in the final phase.

I was just barely ahead of Abraham, but he played the jump two levels as his final card, after everyone else had played. Which gave him the game.

Settlers of Catan

Miriam 10, Jon 5, Abraham 5

Miriam had only played two-player. We needed something quick, and while we could have played a filler, this also fit the bill.

I placed first, and made a mistake when placing my second settlement. I decided to go ahead what I knew to be true: math. My first settlement was on 8/10/5. Instead of placing my second settlement on a 9/10/5 (which gave me all the resources, and had good values, but limited me to very specific dice rolls) I placed on 9/4/11, which also gave me all the resources, diverse numbers, but worse math. I should have stuck to what I knew to be correct.

After all, not only is it better math, but concentrating on certain numbers is actually a better strategy, since the dice roll screwy, anyway. If they roll screwy your way, you win. If they don’t you lose. But if you choose an assortment of mediocre middle, one of the other players will be benefiting from the screwy numbers more than you will be.

Anyhoo, Miriam lead off by blocking off one of my road, and then wrapping around and blocking the settlement in the other direction, as well. Then she hosed by 8 ore, which rolled about 5,000 times while the robber was on it. Abraham lost a few bricks from the short time that the robber was on his 6. And Miriam escaped nearly all injury, took an early Longest Road, and sailed to an easy victory.