Tag Archive | dvonn

Planets and Huts

Coloretto

Nadine 35, Gili 30, Elad 28

First play for Elad who wanted to try it. I had 4 plus 2’s.

Jon 43 Sara 42 Haim 31

Hawaii

Haim 95 Sara 90 Elana 90 Jon 87

First play for Sara, Elana had played once a while ago.

Horizons

Gili 18  Nadine 13 Assaf 12  Elad 11

Gili’s game, new to us. Elad would have gotten around 8 points on his turn right after me if I hadn’t ended the game. Not all of us understood how the scoring worked, and Gili had one rule wrong – we were supposed to each get a resource if someone built on a planet we were on. That would have sped things up a bit. There is nothing to do when it’s not your turn, and the turns aren’t so simple, with extra actions and different cards available. The game seems fine, though not super interactive even with the area control.

Dvonn

Elad 1 Jon 1

Yinsh

Elad 1 Jon 0

Azul

Nadine 69, Haim 67, Assaf 42+, Sara 41

First play for Sara and Assaf. I didn’t explain well to Assaf, so he didn’t score some points that he should have. I just edged out Haim, I had one vertical, one horizontal, and one color, Haim had one color.

December 23, 2015

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Nissan, Eszter, Jonathan, Gili

Viceroy

Nadine 68, Eszter 51, Gili 40

Nadine writes: Very nice game, tactical with luck.

Lords of Waterdeep

Nissan 191, Jon 154, Jonathan 148

First play for Jonathan, second or third for Nissan. My starting quests didn’t match what my Lord wanted (Piety and Arcana), and I only ended up playing one of them midgame. I completed 7 matching quests, 8 altogether. Nissan managed to delay one of my quests early in the game for a turn, and completely block me from my last quest. My first quest gave bonus points for Piety quests and one of the other ones gave points for Arcana. I didn’t build a single building; Jonathan built 2, and Nissan built the rest. He certainly netted a lot of bonuses from them.

Jonathan and I were both ahead of Nissan until late in the game when he started playing his big quests. Nissan then ended with 20 points in goods and coins (I had 18) and 0 matching quests. Jonathan only managed 4 matching quests.

Vegas Showdown

Gili 66,  Nadine 59,  Eszter 52

They appeared to enjoy the game.

Jonathan’s prototype

Jon, Nissan

Nissan and I tried out a tile word game prototype designed by Jonathan.

Dvonn

Nissan+, Jon

I taught this to Nissan who wasn’t sure about the game – and also I wasn’t entirely clear in giving over all of the rules, and he ended the game with a sizeable win (after I showed him another legal (and far better) move that he had available for his second to last play).

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.

May 12, 2010

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

Ksenia was able to join us again, for once. I think she was inspired after having won In the Shadow of the Emperor on shabbat. Also nice to see Sara coming more regularly.

Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside

Jon 51, Ksenia 41, Nadine 32

Scores approximate. First play of Dominion for Ksenia. Both Nadine and Ksenia started on VPs a tad too early, imho. We played with the Seaside Village that give +3 actions and +2 gold which is incredibly under-priced at a measly 3 cost. Tack on some card drawing cards (such as Nobles) and the play was pretty straightforward. Ksenia also took a Sea Hag, who was a minor annoyance since there were no cards that trashed other cards.

Dvonn

Abraham+, Sara

This may have been Sara’s first play. Abraham won by a good margin.

Trias

Jon 31, Sara 30, Abraham 27

First plays for Abraham and Sara. Trias is one of those games that I love to pieces but don’t get to play much because the older regulars in the group don’t like it that much. Luckily, Abraham and Sara and Eitan and Emily are relative newcomers and so I can inflict these games on them at least once.

Also, Abraham is closer to my own feelings regarding which games he likes, and so he tends to like the games I like. He’s willing to play Santiago, for instance.

Abraham and Sara both loved Trias, so I’m thrilled. It didn’t take them long to get the hang of the basics, so most of the game was spent on tactics. Abraham managed to leach hex after hex away from other islands onto one on which he was alone, and the end scores were close. But he wasn’t quite diverse enough, and I managed to end with control of a 12 hex island, which just edged me into first place.

Cuba

Nadine 80, Emily 79, Ksenia 67

First plays for Ksenia and Emily. Nadine started teaching a different group of people, but people showed up during the explanation, thought of joining and then some of them split off to start another game. I only played Cuba twice, and while I like it, I find the horizontal/vertical building activation mechanic on the players’ boards annoying.

In this game, according to Nadine’s notes: Nadine changed sugar into rum and shipped, Emily got money and had both shipping and building, and Ksenia had a blue stone and changed to VPs, but didn’t do it every turn.

Taj Mahal

David 53, Gili 53, Eitan 44

This was formed from the overflow of Cuba. First play for Eitan. A tie for David and Gili.

Reef Encounter

Abraham 38, Jon 31, Sara 24

Sara’s score is approximate. First play for me.

Some have compared Reef Encounter to Tigris and Euphrates or Go. Tom Vasel even claimed that once you have Reef Encounter, you can trade away T&E. While I’ve only played one game, so far it appears that nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that RE and T&E share are the player screens and the tiles.

It’s certainly a pretty and colorful game, and the theme is fresh and interesting. It’s a good game, with quite a lot of depth to be explored. I enjoyed it fine, and will play again. But it’s no T&E.

Not simply because it wasn’t as good as T&E, which it wasn’t. But because the strategies and tactics are so different from each other, it’s like comparing apples and Chevies. They’re simply different games, plain and simple.

In RE, the object is to collect tiles of high value. You collect tiles by starting your turn with one of your markers on an area containing five or more tiles of the same color (you collect N-4 tiles from a reef that you eat). The values of the tiles are partially under your control during the game, though the values only matter at the end of the game. Each tile of a color will be worth between 1 to 5 points at the end of the game. So, in addition to your having to collect the tiles, you have to spend some time locking high values onto the color tiles that you are collecting.

The same part of the board that controls the end values of the tile colors also controls which colors are “dominant” during game play. When one color is dominant over another, tiles of the dominant color can be used to kick tiles of the recessive color (replace them) off the board. You can use then use the tiles that you kick off the board to control the tile values/dominance, or you can place them back on the board later.

At the end of each round, you get some more tiles from random piles, as well as a “control cube” – you spend a control cube on a color each time you want to place one or more tiles of that color.

Lastly, you have four markers, which sit on reefs and protect the spaces immediately orthogonal to them from being eaten by other colors, regardless of which color is dominant. Add to that some wacky board geometry, and you spend a lot of your time trying to figure out where the best place on the board is to grow your reefs so that they can get big before you eat them – and without other people’s tiles eating yours before you can harvest them.

In our game, both Sara and Abraham had large reefs that they ate, but Abraham got the colors locked in his favor. I had the choice on the last round which way to swing one of the tiles, and I swung it in favor of Abraham because I thought Sara had eaten more than Abraham had in his color specialty. Turns out I was wrong. If I had chose the other way, Abraham would have had 8 less points, and Sara 8 more points, and I would still probably have lost by a point or two.

R-Eco

David 16, Gili 15, Eitan 5

Also first play for Eitan, which surprised me.

Tichu

Jon/David 515, Nadine/Ksenia 385

First play for Ksenia. This did not start out well for us.

In the first round, they both went out first. The next round we gained 15 points to their 85. The third round we split 50/50. David and I had crappy hands all three times.

Finally I got a decent pull and I called Grand Tichu (2 aces, 2 kings, Phoenix, jack, and 2 nines). It wasn’t a cakewalk, but I made it, plus another 50/50 break. We were still losing, and Nadine wanted to quit while they were ahead. I coerced her into playing one more round, in which David and I both went out. David went out first, and Nadine was on my right with only one card. And I had several cards and the Dog. Luckily, Nadine’s card wasn’t higher than a jack, and I was able to slowly play through all my cards and exit with the Dog.

February 17, 2010

Participants: Jon, Gili, Claude, Binyamin, Nadine, David K, Mace

I had some last minute work to finish. Claude is a local designer of simple but interesting wooden games who has come before, and also, coincidentally, a friend of Gili’s. He introduced a number of his own new games.

Claude Game

Mace, Claude, David+, Nadine

I forgot the game name. The game was like Mastermind crossed with Liar’s Poker, and I didn’t get to play it. The game was enjoyed by all the players, however. From only looking at the game, I’m not sure that each player, if sufficiently highly intelligent, should not be able to win siultaneously.

Each player secretly gets a role, and based on the role must either “always tells truth”, “always tells lie”, “alternates truth and lie”, or “say whatever he likes”. Each player is also given a card in one of four colors and with one of four numbers that all other players can see.

On a player’s turn, he flips over an unused card from the 16 casrd deck, and then asks one of a set number of questions about his own card in relation to the flipped card: is it the same color? same number? and a few others. The other players, from LHO around, answer the question by placing their yes/no disks along a track, like a Mastermind track. The question asked is left visually beside the answers (using a simple code system). When you think you know what your card is, you reveal, and either win or lose (actually, I don’t know what happens if you lose; do the others keep playing?)

Like Mastermind, it’s more of a puzzle than a game, except that the “say whatever he likes” guy has more to do … and also, we believe, has somewhat more of an advantage (will probably figure out his card one round before everyone else). And, though the board has a dozen track spaces, chances are that no more than 6 will ever be required.

It’s the quietest game I’ve seen since Princes of Florence. Lots of working things and figuring.

Claude’s games now have a website, which I will fill in here later.

Magic

David++, Jon+

We drafted Rochester draft again, though (as per comments on the previous Magic session) I may mix up the draft next time. we both ended up with White/Green/Red, since that’s what came out. David only lost the second game because he reckelessly went full out on the last round, instead of attacking with half his critters, and then finishing me off the next round. The third game was close, at least.

Power Grid: Factory Manager

Nadine, Binyamin, Mace, Claude (part)

This was way too complicated for Claude, and he had to leave early, anyway. Nadine had to read the instructions to teach the game as she didn’t remember them from the one two-player game we had played. This is always a painful way to learn a game, especially one as complicated as this one. I don’t know the results.

Dvonn

David+, Jon

David had never played this, and he enjoyed it, as I suspected he would. He was a little unsure of the depth, since he beat me, but I convinced him that it’s easy to mess up, even with experience.