Tag Archive | fairy tale

October 28, 2015

Participants: Jon, David, Nisan, Nadine, Binyamin G, Gili, Roman

Fairy Tale

Nisan 54, Jon 48, David 40

David and Nisan arrived a little early, so I tried this on them with only the basic cards. Using only the basic cards is necessary in order to have a hope of obtaining combinations, but the game is a bit flat. The special cards make the game less flat, but make the combinations more difficult. Perhaps picking from 6 and playing 4 would be a better game experience (instead of picking from 5 and playing 3).

First play for Nisan.

Bora Bora

Jon 154, Roman 135, David 131, Gili 113

First play for everyone except for Gili. Gili was slightly ahead of me and then slightly behind me until the final counting, whereupon both David and Roman shot ahead by finishing their last three missions. I shot ahead with bonuses in both buildings and jewels, as well as a strong island showing.

Bora Bora seems, after one play, to be, like Caylus and Die Macher, a well-balanced game that works, but is too complicated for its own good. It’s one thing to have 5 or 6 different interlocking mechanics, but this one has upwards of 15 of them, and only some of them make any thematic sense. The goods and buildings mechanism is the most strange, and the forced arrangement of storing goods the most unnecessary. So is the division between people into men and women. A few other games inhabit spaces close to this, such as Agricola, but somehow Agricola’s tight, sensible theme and limited decision mechanics squeaks it through.

In Bora Bora, you get 18 actions during the game plus any actions on the people you acquire (up to two, one man and one woman). The actions are three dice to assign to seven different action options in each of six rounds. The value of your action is the value of your die (so higher is better), but you can only use an action if your die is less than the value of any other die already place on that action (so lower is sometimes better). But “gods” (we called them “dogs”) you acquire can let you get around that, but only if you also have offering tokens to use with them, unless you got a free dog action by having the highest priest value last round …. etc. Forget it, it’s too complicated.

It was fun, because the game worked, there were many strategic paths, and the decisions were harrowing. But it was painful, because every move by every other player locked away actions that you desperately needed, so you watched your plans crumble, sometimes before you got to take a single action. I suppose that is true for every worker placement game; and even in this game, there is sometimes (but not always) a way to do something the long way that you couldn’t do the short way. I’m not sure yet. Perhaps experience will soften the frustration. One more thing: as typical with dice rolls and card flips, just a bit too much of one’s ability to progress is determined by how the order of the card flips favors one player over another.

Before my first turn, I decided to take the bonuses in buildings and jewels, and that’s what I did. In order to achieve this, I was required to take 5 people, build 6 island spaces, and place 3 priests. I fulfilled 7 missions. Gili was sure that fulfilling 9 missions was the way to go, and that is what she did in her previous 4 games. In this game, either through the odd order that people and missions turned up, or through fierce competition, she was thwarted in every direction. Roman collected several items to move him up in turn order, but he only achieved full success in that starting from mid-game.

Update: It turns out we missed a scoring rule: you get 6 points for filling up your building space (with buildings or with goods) and ANOTHER 6 points for using all of your buildings. This means that using all of your buildings automatically nets you +12 points (since it also fills your building space). So I actually have 6 more points. Similarly (although this doesn’t apply to any of us for the game we played) you get 6 points for using all of your huts and 6 points for filling all of the spaces with people; if you did the latter, you had to have done the former.

El Grande

Nadine (56  75 102) 157, Binyamin G (63  69 104) 151, Nisan (53  59 88) 142

First play for Binyamin and Nisan, who foolishly asked Nadine to teach them El Grande. Nadine writes:

Second number is just before second scoring to show I was ahead. Nisan took Score first place in all regions early on. Special scoring was taken most rounds, Intrigue was taken more often than I expected – these guys were willing to think. I scored first place in the three 5 regions twice with special scoring. Binyamin G was good at remembering what was in the Castillo, except the last round. They discussed card selection and move options extensively, partly because they were both new to the game. We placed all our Caballeros, except Binyamin G had one left.

Star Realms

Nadine +, Binyamin G

First play for Nadine. Nadine writes:

Binyamin G taught this game, which is similar to Thunderstone but simpler. You start with 50 life points, and buy cards and attack. I had over 20 points when I killed him. It’s nice for a quick two-player game.

June 22, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Binyamin, Tikva Shira

Nadine returned, as did Binyamin, giving us a more normal session than last week’s.

As I noted on my blog, I will be moving to Raanana in August. The fate of the JSGC will be left in the hands of Nadine and Gili. Hopefully they will be able to keep it going while I’m gone (at least a year, maybe more).

Fairy Tale

Jon 39, Nadine 35, Gili 35

I saw that several of my cards were going to be worthless by the end of the game, so I was pretty sure I was going to lose. How did I win? Seven of the nine cards I scored averaged 6 points or so. Nadine and Gili had several cards that scored only 2 to 4 points each.

Navegador

Gili 70, Nadine 70, Binyamin 69, Tikva Shira 67, Jon 62

I requested this, since I loved it the one time I played it. Binyamin thoughtfully brought it. First play for everyone else except for Binyamin.

I may love it, but I’m also bad at it, or at least I’m bad at the strategy; the tactics I can handle. I bought an early ship-building house and had essentially no income for the next fifteen turns. Everyone else had little houses or colonies and raked in 100+ income on markets; I pulled in 20 or 30, and I couldn’t afford to buy houses or colonies, which made is a catch-22. (Binyamin, with his extra sail action, swooped in and took the only colony I could have afforded.) I figured that this early mistake set me back about ten moves. And I barely even used that ship-building house during the game.

By the end of the game, when everyone else was pulling 250+ or more from markets, I was finally pulling around 100. I scored as well as I did because, other than that early mistake, I get the tactics of games like this. I can focus on points in a game rich with intriguing mechanics that distract from the end-scoring. As I said, I love the game. I just have to figure out how to play my start-game correctly.

T”S was the first to pull ahead in worker-building advancement, and Gili followed. Nadine had the most ships and the most blue disks. Binyamin had the most colonies.

Set

Jon 12, Tikva Shira 8, Nadine 4, Binyamin

There wasn’t time for a full game, so we let T”S choose a short game. Binyamin would have gotten more points if he had been actually playing. Which is odd, since he’s pretty colorblind.

Bridge

Jon/Nadine 550, Binyamin/Tikva Shira 0

Three hands of Bridge. Nadine and I set them one trick in two hands, and we bid and made one game in the other.

March 02, 2011

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, Mace, Binyamin

Once again I’m doing this without notes. Bleah.

Fairy Tale

Gili 51, Jon 45, Nadine 36

Scores approximate. I tried a combination strategy only to discover on the first round that Gili, sitting in front of me in the passing order, was using the same strategy. I’m always scared to try the once that need specific cards from a smaller pool (such as 4, or even 1), because, with three players, it just seems unlikely that those cards are actually going to turn up. So I passed them all, and of course they did show up; luckily, no one else tried for them, either.

The baseline seems to be 3 points a card. So when you can score more, you should do it. The 6/1 cards (flip, unflip) are marginally better than 3 points a card, and even better when you have ones to flip down when you must. The game is actually kind of interesting. I think I need to play it more often.

Glory to Rome

Mace +, Jon, Binyamin, Nadine, Gili

First play for all of us, and we all liked the game. However, like Tigris and Euphrates, some of the basic mechanics, while seemingly simple for some of us, caused a lot of confusion again and again for others. I’m not sure why that happens, but sometimes a particular rule is just hard for an otherwise smart person to wrap his or her head around. I think I can teach the game better next time.

GtR looks like shlock, and the “box” that the game comes in is less then shlock. But the game is really good, deep, and satisfying. The game is just a card game, but each card has five different uses: a)cas a role; b) as an extra action for a role whenever anyone plays the role; c) as a resource for building a building; d) as a building that gives you a bonus power when it is completed; or e) simply to tuck away for vp’s at the end of the game. once you get the hang of it, the cards make sense; however, they initially are very confusing, as the bonus power is foremost on the card and it isn’t active unless the card is played as a building and the building completed.

On your turn you play a card as a role (a), and anyone else with the same role card can play it to also do the role (or can pick a card or cards, instead). So, like Puerto Rico, you benefit everyone else by what you choose to do, hopefully benefiting yourself more through the timing or the available resources to select first. On everyone else’s turn, you can play the same role card as they played or pick cards; in addition, everyone, the player whose turn it is and any other player, gets to play the role additional times for each “patron” they have previously played (b).

The roles allow you to take patrons (b), take resources (c), play buildings (d) or add resources or cards to buildings (c/d), steal other players’ resources (c), or convert resources to victory points (c/e). You pretty much have to complete at least one decent building during the game, because, in addition to the points and special power you get from the building, your capacity for patrons and victory point cards increases according to the building’s points.

Owing to the building powers, the game is wild and fun, with your strategy determined by the cards you have at any one time. But you can always choose to draw back up to a full hand (so you can dump or play cards pretty freely), and there are always a lot of options.

The one negative … which I’m not sure is a negative … is that a few buildings can end the game with instant victory for a player, or simply end the game early. I’m not a big fan of that mechanic. I understand that this allows even a “losing” player the chance to win the game, but it makes all the other game play that occurred feel like a waste. In our game, mace won by completing a Forum, and the game ended like that. There are a number of possible responses to this move, but you MUST take them and prepare for them, which disrupts the game flow severely. On the other hand, this was our first game, so the idea of the “game flow” that I got from playing it once may have been illusory. We’ll see.

In the Shadow of the Emperor

Jon, Nadine, Binyamin, Mace

I taught this to Binyamin and Mace and refreshed all of our memories at the same time. It took a long time to explain, and a long time to get through the first two rounds, at which point Binyamin had to call it quits. The game suffered in comparison to Glory to Rome which we had played just before; it’s actually a decent game, but not nearly as exciting.

June 23, 2010

Participants: Jon, Adam, Shira, Nadine, Gili, Elijah, Miriam, Abraham, Eitan

Welcome to Shira for her first visit. Shira lives in walking distance and has previous Eurogame experience, and so is a welcome addition. Hopefully she will return. Adam also doesn’t usually come anymore, since he works on Wed evenings, but he was able to make it for a one-off.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Shira (B)+, Adam (W)

Adam taught this to Shira, who picked it up quickly enough to win.

Fairy Tale

Nadine 46, Jon 42, Gili 37, Elijah 22

We hadn’t played this in a while, and we needed something light for three players. Elijah walked in as I was dealing, so he joined, though he doesn’t particularly like the game.

I thought I had kind of figured out some strategy for the game, but Nadine won anyway. She claimed that she played randomly, but I kind of doubt that. She just likes to say that when she wins.

Louis XIV

Abraham 42, Shira 39, Gili 38, Nadine 35

First play for Shira, and possibly first or second for Abraham. This is an otherwise decent game where I don’t particularly like the scoring system.

Cosmic Encounter

Elijah+, Jon, Miriam, Adam

Elijah always begs to play this, and I and Adam were willing, so I brought it out. First play for Miriam, whom we taught. First time teachings of this game in our house can result in disaster when the fanatics insist on adding multiple hidden powers, half the flare deck, weird destiny pile cards, and other such nonsense. I prefer to have the first game be quite limited: single revealed powers, 20 flares + the power flares, and that’s it. Edicts, Kickers, Reinforcements, and the rest of the exceptional card is quite enough for a first time play.

As a result, the game went fairly straightforward (nobody drew the wild Schizoid flare that was in the deck). I played Symbiote, Miriam played Grief, Adam played Will, and Elijah played Visionary.

Steam

Miriam 36+, Jon 36, Adam 34, Elijah 28, Eitan 24

First plays for Adam and Miriam. Another great game I don’t get to play often enough. It’s typically a long game, but the length usually occurs during the track laying and cube moving phases. For some reason, people took a really, really long time to figure out their role selection. As a result, the game took about three hours.

Adam and Eitan commented that a five player game is more brutal, with much undercutting of track space and stealing cubes, apparently more so than with three or four players.

In our games, we all crowded around the Connecticut coastal area before branching west. Adam and Elijah began building in the Canada area extending south, while I just continued north and central through Mass/NY.

I was the first to start churning out victory points. Miriam went to 10 income which I though was kind of a waste, but somehow she had a nice central route and just managed to match my score at the very end, whereupon she won on the tie. Adam was frustrated at one point that train power could not exceed 6, as he had a few 7 link routes he wanted to run.

In the end, we all had about 9 links.

San Juan

Abraham 35, Gili 31, Nadine 30

They played this to wrap up while we finished Steam.

May 06, 2009

Participants: Jon, Gadi, Hershel, Max, Nadine, Abraham, Gili, Claude

Gadi is the guy who organized the Board Game Studies Colloquium in Israel a few weeks ago. He came to return my games that I had left for the colloquium members to play, to learn how to play Ark of the Covenant, which someone had left him, and to learn a little more about the game group. He is starting a Board Game Studies department within the folklore department of Hebrew U. He dropped by early, around 5:30.

Claude is someone who spoke at the conference about four pretty wooden games that he developed – all abstract or word tiles – and which he is now trying to get manufactured. Turns out that he is also a friend of Gili’s. This was his first time enjoying games longer than a half an hour.

Ark of the Covenant

Jon+, Gadi

I’d never played this version of Carcassonne, but it took me only a few moments to learn the rules. It’s closer to Hunters and Gatherers than it is to regular Carc. The main changes are a) and ark piece you can move around when you have nothing better to do, and each time it passes a meeple that meeple gains a point; b) single-tile cloisters (or keeps or something) where the person with the most people on or adjacent to it when it is surrounded by tiles on all four sides gains 7 points; c) a double-scoring meeple that you can use once in a city; and d) unfinished items score at the end of the game: full points for roads, half points for cities and cloisters.

On a few of the tiles it was unclear when a road ended or continued, and whether a road that was broken in two by rubble meant that the two sides of the road should be considered a single field or two distinct fields.

I had no problem playing, having played versions of Carcassonne many times. Gadi played around half a game and didn’t quite figure out the strategy in that time. We stopped when many more people arrived.

Jon, Abraham

I enjoy Carcassonne but rarely get to play it with my group, but Abraham was willing to try this version. He had played other versions before. When scoring the end of the game, we removed meeples too quickly, and thus are not sure whether Abraham had control of a certain field or we both shared it. So I can’t tell you who won.

Dvonn

Hershel+, Dvonn

First play for both. I figured that the best first introduction for Claude would be an abstract. Nadine had borrowed Yinsh, so I gave them this. I think they both liked it, although it will of course take several more games to get a good feel for any sort of strategy.

I saw the last few moves, and on the last move Hershel could have won with a complete victory (total elimination), but he missed it. Instead he won something like 20+ to 3.

Claude

Hershel+, Claude

Yes, Claude named (temporarily) one of his games Claude. It’s a pretty wooden game based on Crossword Squares, but each player places three dead spaces before the game starts, there is a limited supply of letter tiles, and you score only if an entire line (wall to dead space, or wall to wall) is a word, 1 point per word length.

I enjoy Crossword Squares, so I enjoy this game, and the components are really nice. of course, it helps if you are fluid in English, which is not the case for Claude.

Gili, Gadi

Or Gadi.

It’s Alive

Nadine 50, Max 40, Gili 37, Gadi 33

This is a great gateway game. First play for Gadi, and probably not too many more for Max. I didn’t see the game progression. Gadi complimented me on it, afterward.

El Grande

Max 117, Nadine 111, Abraham 102, Hershel 101

It took a while to decide what to play next with newbies in the group, but a few jumped when I mentioned El Grande. Nadine usually wins, but she claims not so in four player games; she nearly won anyway, and anyway I don’t believe her. First play for Hershel and Abraham, I believe. Only second or third for Max.

Max was slightly ahead after the first third, 35 to Nadine’s 34. By the second third, he was way ahead, 93 to 77. This gap closed considerably at the end, as you can see. But the order didn’t change throughout the game.

Settlers of Catan

Jon 10, Gadi 9, Gili 6, Claude 4

While they El Grande’d, I broke out the big guns for Gadi and Claude. Claude had some trepidations about a game that took longer than half an hour, but we assured him that that was because he wasn’t playing the right games, aka games that are actually fun to play the whole way through.

Gili gave a lightning explanation all in Hebrew; apparently she’s done this for SoC many, many times.

Both Claude and Gadi were suitably impressed by the game; for the first time this evening, Gadi actually came close to winning. On the last round he stole Longest Road from Claude and could have won if his development card was a VP, but it was only a soldier. Claude actually traded him the card he needed to steal Longest Road, much to his chagrin. I was guaranteed the win when Gadi finished, turning up a soldier to claim Longest Army.

It was a crowded board, as it normally is with four players. As first player, I placed my second settlement in the second best remaining spot instead of the best one – the best one would have nearly entirely choked Claude off right from the start of the game, and I didn’t want his first game experience to be entirely frustrating. I think I make the right choice.

I ended up forgoing Ore because of that, but I was able to trade for it when I needed it. Wheat was in short supply in the early game, but eventually I built cities and more settlements on the wheat hexes and pulled in 5 at a time. The robber also played a part – I blocked off Gadi’s 6 Ore hex several times, while the 8 didn’t roll when it was on my 8 Brick hex. So yeah, there was some luck.

Magic: the Gathering

Gili+, Jon

First play for Gili. I taught her how to play in about five minutes, and then I pulled a random bunch of cards from my commons collection; lots and lots of junk. I had to toss half of them just to get anything resembling playable cards. Then I tossed 15 lands and 25 cards to Gili (blue and green), took the same for me (red and white), and we played.

We both had to struggle to come up with anything good to play, but eventually Gili got out a Craw Worm and an Illusionary Forces. I tried to Fissure the Worm, but Gili could Power Sink me for more than I could pay. I sacrificed a lot of little guys for a while, but eventually succumbed.

I gave Gili the cards to take home. I think I need some more lands. If anyone has MtG lands lying around, I could use some extras (especially swamps).

Fairy Tale

Abraham 45, Max 39, Nadine 37, Hershel 34

First play for Max, and possibly Hershel as well. Yeah, the game is pretty random in the end, but it’s still a quick and decent filler.

April 13, 2009: Games Day

Participants: Jon, Koby, Zohar, Itamar, Oren, Nadine, Elijah, Gili, Hershel, Adam, Abraham, Binyamin, Tzvi Yehuda, Hannah, Yoseph, Yael, Dekel, Rachel A, Bill

Koby, Zohar, and Itamar arrived from the Rechovot group. Oren is also from that area. T”Y is Binyamin’s son, and Hannah is his mother. Yoseph came to our group a few times a while ago, and Yael is a good friend of both mine and Rachel’s, who came to the group before it became an official group. Dekel is a friend of Zohar’s. The rest are group regulars.

Amun-Re

Elijah 45, Yoseph 43, Itamar 39, Yael 30

First play for Yael and Itamar.

Cosmic Encounter

Elijah+, Yoseph+, Adam+, Nadine, Zohar

First play for two of them, I forget which. Double powers seems a bit much for a first play, but I don’t get to set the rules. A triple win.

Binyamin+, Dekel+, Elijah+, Adam

First play for Dekel. Another triple win, this time against a lone defender.

Dominion

Itamar 24+, Koby 24-, Zohar, Oren

Itamar won on the tie.

Koby 36, Jon 27, Binyamin 25

Jon 54, Nadine 42, Gili 21

Nadine started straight off for the Duchy’s, which I warned her wouldn’t work. She did better than I expected, however. I trashed a lot of coppers and silvers to get golds.

Fairy Tale

Elijah+, Oren, Nadine

First play for Elijah and Oren. Played as filler, and I think interrupted before finishing.

Imperial

Binyamin, Jon, Hannah, Gili, Tzvi Yehuda

Binyamin taught this to all of us (except Tzvi Yehuda). I had been interested in learning it, as it is a sequel to Antike, a game I very much enjoy. We ended up quitting the game after a few turns our of a combination of boredom, annoyance, and frustration.

It looks like the core of the game is interesting, though very long. Our major problems were situational: Hannah and Tzvi Yehuda really don’t speak any English, so translation had to go back and forth all the time. Also, this didn’t seem to be Hannah’s type of game, and she was slow to learn every rule, and could make no decisions as to what to do on any turn. Tvzi Yehuda also hed to be reminded all the time when it was his turn.

The other major problem, to me, was one of the major mechanics of the game. Unlike Antike – and nearly every other game in the universe – where each player does their best on a turn by taking their turn. Turns are taken by the countries on the board, not the players. The player who currently controls the country plays for that country. Therefore, some players take more turns than others, and it’s quite likely or even probable that a player will quite literally have no turns to play. The player can still react a little on other player’s turns.

Binyamin tells me that this doesn’t detract from the fun that some people have in the game; I’m guessing that it’s possible, if difficult, to win this way. But in my book, it violates a core rules of fun in a game: equal participation and involvement by all players, or at least the possibility thereof. It’s just plain a NOT fun mechanic, to the point that, added to the other frustrations that were going on, I was really annoyed.

I may try the game again later, perhaps with four players, all quick players and all English speakers.

Pivot

Elijah++, Adam

Elijah+, Dekel

Yoseph++, Elijah

Dekel brought a prototype of his game Pivot, an abstract game with pieces consisting of twin pegs connected by rubber bands. Looked interesting, and played very quickly.

Power Grid

Itamar 15+, Adam 15-, Hershel 14, Jon 13, Koby 12

First play for Hershel. We played on U.S. without the southeast. Adam dominated the entire west for most of the game. I started in the northeast and quickly got crowded. It was anyone’s game until the last two turns, as usual.

Zohar 17, Tzvi Yehuda 15, Hannah 14, Yoseph 13

I hear that they accidentally played on all six regions. When they realized their mistake midgame, they closed of one of the regions, but couldn’t close another one. First play for at least someone.

Puerto Rico

Jon 39, Gili 35, Rachel 32, Nadine 32

Gili hadn’t played in a while.

Jon Rachel Nadine Gili
Round 01 Settler Builder Mayor Craftsman I start with quarry and leave a corn to Rachel. I build a Small Indigo first round, and accidentally take an indigo when Gili crafts, forgetting that I didn’t have indigo fully manned. I sheepishly put it back when I remember.
Round 02 Builder Trader+ Prospector+ Captain+ Early trade for Rachel. I build Small Fashion District (2/1 trade indigo at +2).
Round 03 Prospector Craftsman+ Settler+ Mayor+ Rachel also has a Small Fashion District, but she never gets to use it since I always do. Nadine already has a Tobacco going.
Round 04 Mayor Builder+ Craftsman Trader+ I forgo Builder+ since I need more colonists and have nothing to build.
Round 05 Captain++ Settler+ Prospector+ Trader My captain prevents Rachel from trading again, I think. Gili took Trader five times during the game. I begin to realize that I can’t compete in victory points and so have to end the game early with building. I eventually get Factor and tobacco, and never get corn.
Round 06 Trader Mayor+ Builder+ Craftsman+
Round 07 Builder Captain+ Prospector+ Trader
Round 08 Settler Craftsman+ Builder Mayor+
Round 09 Trader+ Captain+ Mayor Prospector+
Round 10 Builder+ Settler+ Craftsman+ Trader Gili trades coffee, as she does several other times during the game. She had a coffee monopoly, and eventually a coffee boat. I build my first big building. Gili builds a Wharf that she only uses once.
Round 11 Builder Prospector+ Captain+ Trader I build my second big building.
Round 12 Builder Settler+ Craftsman+ Captain I build my 11th space. Gili builds a big building.
Round 13 Builder Mayor+++ Captain Settler I would have taken Mayor; Rachel then would be unable to buy and man a big building, because I would buy my last building at the same time and fill up my board. To take pity on her, I agreed to buy if she would mayor; I needed Mayor to man my two big buildings. I ended with 4 shipping points, but many more building points.

R-Eco

Itamar 12+, Koby 12-, Zohar, Oren, Hershel

First play for many of them. Koby loses on the tie, again.

Binyamin, Tzvi Yehuda, Hannah, Abraham 12+

Race for the Galaxy

Abraham 67, Jon 41

I played this at the same time as Power Grid, and it’s not easy. For some reason I tried some military might, but Abe beat me down with 6 6-point developments.

Koby 41, Itamar 27, Binyamin 21

Binyamin usually does better than this.

San Juan

Gili 40, Nadine 38, Jon 37, Elijah 35

We hadn’t played this in a while. The game desperately needs expansion sets. Close game, as you can see. I spent time trying to find 6-pointers, only to realize that Nadine was holding on to one, and Elijah had buried one in his Chapel. As usual, the players who built the most 6-pointers scored highest.

Santiago

Jon 103, Elijah 95, Yoseph 90, Adam 84

I was happy to play this, as usual. First play for Yoseph. I concentrated more than the others and paid higher for things when they were worth it. Adam caught on to the valuation, and was fierce competition for me. Don’t know why he didn’t score higher.

Stone Age

Abraham 205, Tzvi Yehuda 134, Gili 131, Hannah 127

Someone else smudgily wrote these scores down, so I don’t know if they’re accurate. First play for some of them. This is a game I very much want to try, but haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s on the buy list.

Taluva

Jon+, Koby, Itamar, Hershel

First play for everyone. Koby was looking forward to playing it. Afterwards, he thought it was nice but not worth buying. I liked it a lot.

Another game with very few rules, but very interesting implications. And beautiful pieces.

Nadine+, Bill, Gili

I taught this to them and left them to play it, only to discover that I forgot to tell them that you couldn’t build more than one temple in a settlement. They had to start again. Nadine thought it was good, but not her type of game, which I predicted. Still, she says she would play it again.

Tigris and Euphrates

Nadine 7/7/8/8, Adam 6/6/7/9, Hershel 6/6/7/7, Zohar 4/4/4/5

First play for Hershel and Zohar. First win for Nadine, I think.

Year of the Dragon

Oren 96, Zohar 95, Elijah 92, Nadine 84, Gili 75

First plays for Oren and Zohar, and they won, too. I think second or third play for Elijah.

March 25, 2009

Participants: Jon, Gili, Heschel, Nadine

Heschel contacted me this week and dropped by for his first game night. He’s played Ticket to Ride and some other light fare, but not Settlers of any of the other Euros. He’s a good Chess player, however.

Dominion

Jon 43, Nadine 30, Gili 26, Heschel 20

Second time for me playing with a non-coddling game set. Our kingdoms: Festival, Spy, Remodel, Bureaucrat, Moat, Cellar, Woodcutter, Moneylender, Adventurer, Feast.

Festival was first to go. We all struggled to build engines that would get to 8, but most of us kept managing to get only to 7, most of the time. As a result, the second card to go was Duchy. Which didn’t help any, of course. Nadine ended the game by buying out the Estates; there were 2 Provinces left.

I had a few more Festivals, and therefore had a little more luck with the treasures and got 4 of the Provinces, and several Duchys. I had a few Moats, but never got to play them, even to protect myself against attacks. Heschel had a good hand going but turned to buying victories too late.

Amun Re

Jon 40, Nadine 33, Gili 29, Heschel 25

First play for Heschel; I’m sad he didn’t place better on his first games, but first games are a learning experience, after all.

Money never went over 2 in any round, and most rounds it was only 1. That’s because I got the 8-camel province in the first round. Nadine was leading 20 to Heschel 13, Jon 12, Gili 6 at the end of the first eon, but I had more cash due to caravans.

I was able to snap up all the best pyramids on one side in the next three rounds: first round due to most cash, second due to a card blockade, and third round from simply being willing to spend the most.

Nadine and Gili politely conspired to share the maximum pyramid bonus on one side of the Nile, while I took the other.

Fairy Tale

Gili 51, Nadine 38, Jon 36, Heschel 28

I concentrated on one of the 3/*3 sets, which didn’t do too badly for me in the end, but Gili made me flip a few cards, and then hunted one of my last ones, too. It was a struggle. Meanwhile, Gili had a set of 5 squares, and a 3 square, as well as a 9 point “most of” and some other stuff. Nadine had a number of “most of”s as well. Heschel had some, too, but none of his panned out.

Once again, I felt that the game gets better each time I play. But I still really want to add Cosmic powers and flares and stuff.