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October 19, 2008: Games Day

Participants: David, Avi (David’s son), Mace, Shachar (Mace’s son), Koby, Gili, Jon, Gilad, Nadine, Elijah, Binyamin, Rivka (B’s wife), Tikva Shira (B’s kid), Zvi Yehuda (ditto), Devora (ditto), Iska (ditto), Adam, Amir, Omri, Roee, Rudo, Yosef, Michael (Elijah’s dad), Saarya, Rachel

A pleasant games day. Amir, Omri, Roee, Rudo, Gilad, and Koby all came from the coastal areas, which was nice.

We used both sukkahs, and sometimes had to look for extra chairs. At night, we also had to find a light for the other sukkah and finally managed to get it plugged in.

I took notes of the games played, but worse notes than usual, and I fear I might have missed a game or two. Here’s what I got:

Cosmic Encounter

Mace+, Shachar, Elijah, Binyamin, Adam

I think that was the list. Several of these were new players, yet they still played a six player game, double powers, comets and asteroids, and what looked like half the flare deck.

Mace got to four bases fairly quickly as Prophet / Loser, but was then ganged up upon. The game then extended for another three and a half hours, until Mace finally managed to win in the end, anyway. Other powers in the game included Pentaform, Vampire, Plant, Mirror, and others.

For Sale

Binyamin and family played this.

Go

Adam 38, Michael 24

This took them a while on a full board. Michael is somewhat better than I am, and so proved a closer match for Adam.

Kingsburg

David 45, Gilad 44, Gili 39, Koby, Nadine

Koby brought this game and taught it to the others.

Lo Ra

This is Nadine’s Jewish themed version of the game Ra. Played in the other sukkah.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Adam (dark)+, Binyamin (white)

Frodo was stomped to death by the Balrog while trying to pass through Minas Tirath.

Zvi Yehuda wanted to play this later in the day, but no one had time to explain the English to him.

Louis XIV

Michael 52, Yosef 51, Elijah 49

First plays for all of them, they all really liked it. Good thing we still have Nadine’s copy around. It may see more play again.

Magic: the Gathering

David+, Jon

David and I got one draft and game in, and e beat me as usual, even though I played a four color deck and wasn’t mana screwed, and he played a three color deck and was.

Mission: Red Planet

Rudo 54, Omri 47, Jon 36, Nadine 23

This is an are control game from Bruno Faidutti, and has his characteristic elements of chaos and bluffing. Which, unfortunately, I don’t like, although I like Bruno Faidutti.

You have ten rounds, scoring after rounds 5, 8, and 10. You have four ships active at any one time going to 10 different areas of Mars, and holding between 2 to 5 astronauts. And you have 9 character cards, that let you a) add astronauts to one or two ships, and b) do a special action, including moving your astronauts, swapping an astronaut, and redirecting or blowing up a ship. The latter two, in particular, are the most chaotic parts.

Lastly, you have bonus points for a mission, or can put secret cards under many of the areas, so that, at the end of the game, that area scores nothing, or double, or gives some other random bonus. More chaos.

Each round, each player selects one of their characters and then turns it over in turn order, like Citadels. You only get your cards back if you play character 1.

Nadine and I lost mostly because we didn’t understand the vast importance of the areas with more points, which exponentially accumulate in latter scoring rounds (I somehow thought they would be linear). So we didn’t fight for them more.

It’s not a bad game, and certainly not as annoying as Assassin, but I still screwed Nadine out of her moves twice at the beginning of the game, which was probably not enjoyable for her.

And there’s no reason for it. If the cards are played like El Grande, instead of like Citadels, and if the cards placed on regions are placed open instead of closed, the game looks to be vastly more fun and interesting.

Mr Jack

Nadine (Detective)+, Jon (Criminal)

I survived with three suspects until round 8. I only had an unseen Jack in one round, and Nadine had to ensure that I didn’t escape, preventing her from discovering anyone that turn.

Nadine then accused the right person, and not entirely at random. One of the three she had eliminated with a card from the red guy. And one of them she thought I had been positioning more for exit than the other.

Notre Dame

Yosef+, Gili, Saarya, +/Jon

I took over for someone in round four, but I forget who.

Power Grid

Shachar 17, Jon 16, Elijah 15++, Avi 15+, Mace 15-

We played on the German map, missing the south coast. Aside from the western area, prices were pretty expensive. All of us except for Mace started on the western shore, anyway.

Larger plants came out fairly early, and I snagged my entire plant needs before anyone else. Still, because I was behind in cities, I was producing less money, and so everyone else managed to catch up with their plants and building. In the end, I simply couldn’t build more than Shachar owing to less cash. I’m still not quite sure how that worked.

Elijah and Mace were up to 14 cities when we were all at 12 on the last round. They had a bidding war over the only plant that would let one of them win, but it went too high for either the winner or loser to win. If it hadn’t Elijah could have won after all.

Puerto Rico

Rachel 64, Jon 58+, Adam 58-, Nadine 56

Rachel was convinced she wasn’t going to win when Nadine and I took second big buildings and Adam secured her first. She and Adam both had Harbors to Nadine and my Factories. But she played on anyway, taking a Discretionary Hold, something I probably should have taken.

It was all very close, but Rachel managed to ship 43 shipping points to my 21. Yowza.

Race for the Galaxy

Nadine 54, Gilad 40, Roee 29

First play for Roee.

R-Eco

David 12, Avi 7, Mace 7, Shachar 2, Koby -1

The opening game. Played again at least once later during the day.

Samurai

Zvi Yehuda 9++, Binyamin 9+, Amir 9-, Adam 8

No further info.

Settlers of Catan

Yosef 13, Elijah 6, Gili 5

Yosef won every game he played tonight, I believe. They played to 13, but it didn’t help.

Shadows Over Camelot

Zvi Yehuda, Tikva Shira, Omri, Roee, Rudo, Avi

First plays for all but the first two, I taught them and then hovered around a bit to help them start. Luckily, Nadine was also sitting nearby and could fill them in on a few rules that I forgot, as well as help Avi on his first game.

Taj Mahal

Yosef 65, Gili 59, Elijah 28

First play for Yosef. Nadine and I looked over in mid-game, and Gili had a 20 point lead. We said that they should just concede, although Yosef did have a handful of cards.

Well, it seemed that Yosef was more persevering than we realized, making a dramatic comeback.

Tower of Babel

Yosef, Rivka, Devora, Iska

First play for Yosef, and Devora and Iska are very small kids, so I’m sure they weren’t experienced players. I don’t know any more about the game.

Ubungo

Rivka, +, +

Rivka played this shape game with two of her kids.

Year of the Dragon

Nadine 128, David 108, Gili 102, Gilad 81, Koby 72

First plays for Gilad and Koby.

Omri 107, Nadine 105, Rudo 102

First plays for Omri and Rudo.

Games Day: April 24, 2008

Participants: Jon, Saarya, Nadine, Adam, Binyamin, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda, David Klein, Avi Klein, Yarom, Maayan, Maya, Yardena, Yedidya, Yitzchak, Jonathan, Roie, Omri, Rachel A, Yosef, Dylan, Ben, Gili, Dvir, Shimon, Ari, David B, Pini, Yosef B, Richard, Vera, Raphaela

I’m Jon and Saarya is my son. Nadine, Adam, and Binyamin are group regulars. T”S and Z”Y are Binyamin’s kids. David is a group regular. Avi is David’s kid. Yaron has been playing games in other parts of Israel for many years, but rarely gets out to my group. Maayan and Maya were his guests. Yedidya and Yitzchak are Yardena’s kids. Jonathan is a new group regular. Roie and Omri saw the ad on Tapuz. Rachel A is my wife. Yosef saw the ad on Janglo or my blog, I think. Dylan is a group regular, Ben is my brother and a group regular, Gili is a group regular. Dvir, Shimon, and Ari saw the ad on Tapuz. David B is my other brother and Pini and Yosef B are his kids. Richard, Vera saw the ad on Janglo, and Raphaela is their daughter.

32 people is record attendance. In fact, if we get this many or more in the future, we need a bigger place.

Amun-Re

Binyamin 51, Roie 42, Ben 38, Omri 31, Zvi Yehuda 531

Ben doesn’t get to play this game in his community because his gamers object to the other deities and sacrifice.

Nadine 54, David B 39, Yosef 38, Ben 34

This was first game for David and Yosef. David thought it was a good game but the -3 card (stealing 3 gold) wasn’t strong enough to overcome the loss of a free item.

Anagrams

Jon, Yardena

I went easy on Yardena at the start of this game under the assumption that I would be much better than she was, since she had Scrabble experience but not Anagrams experience. After a few words, however, it turned out that she was excellent. After that I played as well as I could and we both ended up with about the same number of words.

Bridge

Nadine, Ben, Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda

They played a few hands toward the end of the day.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Yitzchak, Yosef

Played a two-player game to learn the rules, I believe.

Yosef 13, Jon, Jonathan

I started off pretty well, but Yosef relentlessly hit me during the game and rose over my back. He got a quick early metropolis, and another one soon thereafter. He won the game with Longest Road.

Colosseum

Zvi Yehuda 83, Gili 80, Tikva Shira 65

This is a big sprawling game with busy graphics. I played it once and thought it was a typical Euro.

Cosmic Encounter

Binyamin, Pini, Yosef, Zvi Yehuda

I think I have the wrong people written here, except I know that Binyamin got bored by the game since he didn’t think the aliens were interesting enough (he had Void/Zombie).

Go

Adam+, Jon

Adam slaughtered me by capturing a large central area on an 11×11 board. I still love the game, but I really really suck at it. I started with two stones.

Jon+, Yardena

I taught Yardena how to play on a 9×9 board. Even by the end of the game, she wasn’t quite sure she had grasped the rules of capturing groups. She started with a two stone advantage.

Imperial

Binyamin brought this and taught it to several groups of people, but no one took him up on the offer to actually play it.

Magic: the Gathering

Jon++, David++

David and I did our usual Rochester draft. Both of us ended with serious difficulties in cutting down colors for our deck. I had more Red, but I settled on Blue as my third color. There was no way to cut it down to two colors. I did BGU while David did BRU.

I lost the first game. The second game, I was distracted by some other events around me and forgot to say I was casting a blocker from my hand, so I lost, but David said I should have won (I recorded it as his win). In the third game my deck worked and his didn’t. In the fourth, we were well on a repeat of the third so he resigned.

David+, Pini

Pini used my deck to play David while I was eating dinner and lost.

Pirate’s Cove

Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda

I saw them playing this two player. Binyamin heard the rules and wasn’t interested because of the excessive dice rolling. I sympathize, but I like the game anyway, for some reason.

Power Grid

Dylan+, Dvir, Shimon, Ari

I taught the latter three this game and then stepped out for Dylan to play. I forgot that Dylan’s grasp of the rules wasn’t perfect. As a result, they forgot that you couldn’t have more than three power plants. I’m sure they got some of the power plant rotation rules wrong, too. Dylan won on the tie breaker.

Puerto Rico

Rachel+, Roie, Omri

Omri and Roie brought two games, PR and Princes of Florence, both of which I have. They sat down to play with Rachel. I was thinking of warning them that they don’t know what they’re up against, as she is a killer.

She ended up winning, but not as badly as I won against inexperienced players the day before at the Beit Shemesh club – something like a 10 point spread. She said it was fun, especially when she had no idea what her opponents were going to do, unlike when she played with us regulars.

Race for the Galaxy

Yaron, Maayan, Maya, Jonathan

This was the first time for all of them (2nd for Jonathan?). It took them quite some time, as first game are want to do.

David B 29, Pini 25, Yosef B 15

I taught all of them how to play and then left them to it. As a result, they were often confused. David realized that their was a lot to the game, but the other two were somewhat frustrated. They all would have enjoyed it more if I had played with them as well; I’m sorry I didn’t.

Nadine 42, David 32, Jon 29

We three wanted to play this at the end of the evening. Nadine won using her usual brown world strategy. I started with the military world, which I think is a poor strategy in comparison.

David 64, Jon 45, Nadine 41

I tried a brown world strategy, but David took it from me and did it better. He also had yellow worlds going. it was obvious a third of the way into the game that he was going to slaughter us. Which began to make me resent the game. Once I was losing and my initial worlds turned out to have been the wrong ones, there was no hope of catching up and a whole game to know that.

RftG is therefor a fascinating puzzle, but somewhat frustrating as a game.

R-Eco

David 17, Jon 3, Nadine 2, Avi 0, Adam 0

My only points were from not dumping. David pulled the 4 and 5 of red in his last two moves.

Avi 16, Nadine 8, Yardena 6, David 5

Yardena liked the game because the rule set was simple and she didn’t have to think too much (she thinks a lot during work, generally).

David B, Pini, Yosef B

I taught them this and they all liked it for what it was.

Yosef, Gili, Binyamin

Played near the end of the day.

Robo Rally

Jon+, Nadine, David, Avi, Adam

This was our opening game and it was fun. We played on one board with two flags at opposite corners. David, Nadine, and I were all close, with Adam right behind. This despite my opening turn as nothing but left and right turns. As usual, chance played heavily in who was able to get the second flag in the final stretch.

Yaron, Maayan, Maya, Dylan, Jonathan

I taught them all how to play, and warned them that a typical game, even on a short board with one flag, takes a good hour and a half. Dylan then won on his second play.

Santiago

Maayan+, Yaron, Maya, Jonathan

This was another new game for all the players.

Settlers of Catan

Roie, Omri, Yosef, Yedidya/Yitzchak

Y and Y really wanted to play but there wasn’t enough room so they shared a position.

Shadows Over Camelot

Gili, Tikva Shira, Saarya, Richard, Vera, Raphaela, Jonathan

I taught some, and some had played once or twice. Richard, Vera, and Raphaela came in just as we were about to start and I included them. This was their first game, and they didn’t make it through to the end, even though Vera told me that it was much better than Monopoly. Still, it’s a fairly complicated game for your first game, though the mechanics themselves are pretty easy.

When they left, three players finished the game three player, each with two roles. Gili inherited the traitor (or started as the traitor). he game ended with seven white swords, but then two flipped because the traitor was still in the game, so the company lost (and Gili won).

Winner’s Circle

Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda, Tikva Shira

The opening game for them.

Year of the Dragon

Nadine 104, David 84, Gili 77, Tikva Shira 58

David and Nadine had both played Year of the Dragon once, and David had won that time. Tikva Shira knew the basics, and it was Gili’s first time. This game is played in preference to Notre Dame, being considered nearly the same game but better (though ND is a fine game).

August 29, 2007

Participants: Jon, Yitzchak, Nadine, Adam, Gili, Ben

Nadine returns from chu”l. She played games at Yahoo’s HQ in California with South Bay Boardgamers (San Juan and Aladdin’s Dragons) and met someone who had already ordered It’s Alive.

Princes of Florence

Ben 79, Nadine, Yitzchak

Ben won by around ten points over Nadine and Yitzchak, one of whom had one more point than the other, but I forget which one. That’s what comes from not writing down the scores.

At one point, someone here expressed a desire to be allowed to move the buildings around after they have been placed, an idea at which Adam scoffed at as unrealistic.

Lost Valley

Gili 37, Jon 29, Adam 19

Again, scores are approximate. This was a rambling and full game, with a long river, a lot of gold mined, and a lot of explored territory. Gili stole from some of the work that Adam did. That should have been to my advantage, but my lack of equipment slowed me down. I had previous experiences of the game ending too quickly and so I didn’t want to waste the time in investing. Since the game lasted for some time, my lack of investment hurt.

I eventually went back and got a boat, which is really nice. Gili had a cart, which is about as nice. I think both, plus fishing rod and axe, is probably the best set of tools.

It was pretty obvious that Gili was winning already with the last quarter of the game to go. I think that the biggest negative is picking a single or double gold nugget from an event, which is nigh useless.

We still have some rule issues. Can people drop or sell back equipment, for instance? And the rules for how and where you can lay out territory are still confusing. When you are required to add a water tile is confusing. Can you collect river gold if you are on the wrong side of a river but own a boat? And other issues that keep coming up.

At one point, Gili expressed a desire to be allowed to move mines around after they have been placed, an idea at which Adam scoffed at as unrealistic.

Modern Art

Jon 537, Adam 532, Gili

I think this is my first victory. Unlike other auction games, I think this game is better with three than with four or five, as you have more control and more chances to lay down cards, instead of being at the whim of what everyone else decides.

Bridge

Jon/Yitzchak, Ben/Nadine

We played a number of hands of this, and I got a lot of 4333 average hands. I also tried playing Bridge together with Modern Art, but that didn’t work out too well.

Go

Adam++, Jon

We played on an 11×11 board, and even with handicap stones, it’s clear that I am just not good enough to challenge Adam, yet. I need to go back and learn some basics again.

July 18, 2007

Participants: Jon, Binyamin, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda, Tal, David K, Ben, Nadine, Adam, Dylan

I’m doing this without notes again, for some reason.

Shadows Over Camelot

Binyamin, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda, David K, Ben, Nadine

They took this out to start the evening, which is a good choice as people can join as they come. I’m not thrilled about the game, so I sat out until some stragglers showed up. I believe that the Loyalists won. I don’t know who was the Traitor.

Order of the Stick

Jon, Adam, Dylan

Even though this is quite the American style game, I thought I would give it a go seeing as it’s such a funny comic. It was certainly enjoyable dealing with the theme: the cards, the notes, and so on. I playacted Elan, too. Fun.

As a game, it’s really a typical American game, a little like Munchkin. You add your bonuses and have to roll above the monster’s strength, picking up loot and gaining abilities as you go. Not at all bad, and I would play it again, but the theme is really critical to my enjoying it.

Dylan had to go before we could finish. We were about halfway through.

Shear Panic

Binyamin, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda

Nadine showed them how to play it. They used all of their best cards early on, so that, in the last phase, all of their cards were totally useless. Which annoyed them.

Either they have to reserve their cards better, or there is something a bit clunky about the game.

Bridge

Binyamin, Tikva Shira, Nadine, Ben

They played a few hands as a filler.

Go

Adam+, Jon

I’m still pretty low ranking in Go, even though I love the game. Adam gave me the first move to even it out.

I didn’t play all that badly. I threw away some territory in favor of solidifying an area I was nervous about. Adam connected territory across the middle of the board and had an entire side. The result was something like 35 to 14.

It’s Alive

Adam 51, Jon 35, Tal 31

I suggested this, and Adam was willing. Tal was too. Adam preferred the basic game, but we coerced him into playing the advanced game.

Tal and I were both hit with Villagers and Adam won, so maybe there is some truth to the luck bit. Still, I mismanaged my money early on, so Adam’s win was as much his good play as that.

Power Grid

David 15, Ben 13, Nadine 11

We’re now playing with the house standard variant that the top four cards of the upcoming stack are visible. It actually shortens the calculation time, because you no longer have to guess what may or may not be coming. And the game is much better as a result.

David took a runaway win here, apparently.

Colosseum

Jon, Binyamin, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda, Adam

This was the first play for Adam and me. This game is big with way too many components. Other than that, it’s a fairly standard Eurogame with auctions, trading, and set collection.

It is supposed to be played for 5 rounds, but we only had time for 2. I would play again.

Session Report 2007-06-20

Participants: Nadine, Gilad, Ben, David K, Binyamin, Yitzchak, Adam

Game night was held at Nadine’s house again. Jon is on vacation, leaving me (Adam) to wreak havoc upon the session reports. Gilad has been around a few times before, I think. If I’m not mistaken, he is a gaming tycoon and owns a sprawling, multi-billion dollar gaming empire.

Colosseum

Nadine 84, Gilad 78, Binyamin 3i – 2

I did not play this game or pay much attention, but from what I could see and from what Nadine told me, it’s a lot like Go. No luck at all and a lot of deep strategic thought. That’s explains why Nadine won, because she’s good at that kind of game.

Caylus

David 92, Ben 72, Adam 53, Yitzhak 46

We played this game instead of Power Grid because we couldn’t agree on a ruleset for the latter. Some players seem to be enamoured with de-Candyland-ifying Power Grid, for some odd reason. Pure Evil.

Anyway, Caylus gives a very strong impression of being very similar to Go. It’s true that there’s a bit of luck in the starting position, which makes it a bit different from Go, but after that the gameplay is very similar. David started out with some good shimaris and was able to extend and consolate them in a way that got him both influence and territory, and eventually a commanding lead. He also played the yose very well, while I screwed up on that. By the end of the game David had a lot of good aji, and Ben was not in a terrible position, whereas Yitz and I were in fairly bad straits. I was able to make sabaki a bit near the end of the game, but wasn’t able to capitalize on it as much as I had hoped.

I also kind of blocked Yitz in the endgame, accidentally, not even thinking specifically about his position, and in the end wasn’t even able to use it. He retaliated by blocking me in a different way.

Bridge

Binyamin, Nadine, Yitz, Ben

They played this for a while and were still playing when I left. Seems a lot like Go.

Chess

David+, Adam

A classic. Very similar to Go in game play, but a bit shallow. David said that after playing so many Eurogames he doesn’t like Chess so much any more.

The position was fairly even throughout most of the game. David started out with mane-go (mirroring) in the beginning, but switched from that before I could punish him. There was some give-and-take throughout most of the game, with both of us building some territory and some influence, and it was quite close (though I think I had a slight lead) until I badly misread a simple life and death problem, which put me behind for good. I resigned soon after that (as David was hurrying to leave anyway).

June 06, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Adam, Zack, Elijah, Binyamin, Gili, Yitzchak

Today we say goodbye to Zack whose family is moving back to the States. Best of luck! Zack may be back for one more session this summer.

Welcome back to Yitzchak after a long absence. I let Yitzchak know about the new club in Beit Shemesh, which should be much easier for him to get to.

Crossword Dominoes

Jon, Nadine, Gili, Zack, Adam

This game consists of fifty dominoes with letters on either side, generally a consonant and a vowel, but sometimes an important consonant combination, such as TH or WH. The object of the game is to place your tiles on the board so that only words are formed.

We didn’t play this so much as play around with it. Our general impression was that turns are going to be way longer than in Scrabble. Furthermore, it is both easier to make small words, and more luck dependent.

We envisioned that simply trying to find a way to arrange all your tiles is more fun than the alleged actual game.

Settlers of Catan

Adam 10, Jon 8, Nadine 7, Gili 6

Although it looked like Adam had a very early lead, and Nadine had a very poor start, we eventually ended up at 8-8-8-7. Then Adam took back the Longest Road that Gili had taken from him and won the game. Gili could have prevented this by building another road rather than a settlement, as Adam could not extend his road any further than was necessary to win.

Caylus

Binyamin+, Zack, Yitzchak

I don’t know the final scores, but Binyamin won by a single point, while this was Yitzchak’s first game. Binyamin did a number of things specifically to annoy Zack during the game, and he returned in kind.

Bridge

Jon, Nadine, Binyamin, Adam, Zack

They decided to play some bridge hands during the previous two games when things were bogging down. Unfortunately, they kept going even when things weren’t bogging down. Furthermore, I am one of the few who can really do two games at once, Binyamin and Adam weren’t doing as good a job, IMHO.

It was all too chaotic for me, so I bowed out.

Go

Adam+, Elijah

Adam played this at the same time as Bridge. He gave Elijah a 3 stone handicap on a 9×9 board and still won.

Tic Tac Toe

Adam, Elijah / Adam, Zack

Don’t ask. Adam actually lost a game to Zack when he wasn’t paying attention.

Blokus

Jon+, Elijah

I dragged Elijah away from the Chaos to teach him this. He wasn’t in a thinking mood, however, and wasn’t really trying. As a result, I crushed him without too much difficulty. I hope he tries harder next time. It’s a nice game.

Tichu

Jon/Elijah, Adam/Zack

I don’t know what the scores were, but Adam bid Grand Tichu twice, and he made it both times I believe.

Puerto Rico

Nadine 54, Jon 47, Binyamin 46

These guys decided to play only with strange buildings. As a result, we were all in uncharted waters, even if I knew the buildings better than they did.

I did some nice coffee trading, and built three large buildings, but got truly shut out of shipping. And one of my large buildings was only worth 5 points (total).

Nadine managed to outbuild me and majorly outship me.

March 21, 2007

Participants: Jon, Ben, Binyamin, Zack, Elijah, David Barren, Adam, Gili, Nadine, Dylan

David wraps up his last visit to the JSGC and returns to America next Tuesday. Thanks for joining us!

Geschenkt

Binyamin 5, Ben 21, David 22, Zack 34, Jon “many”

First play for David and Ben. Binyamin had made me a mockup of this and I needed a filler game while waiting for the stragglers to come in. Still a nice quick game. I somehow lost control of my tokens and swallowed a lot of bad cards.

Blue Moon City

Zack+, Binyamin, Jon, Nadine

First play for all of us. BMC is a board game based on the card game Blue Moon, which none of use had played, either.

There is some story about rebuilding a city and seven races with different abilities and so on, but essentially it is an area control game. You control areas by moving to them and playing the cards of the same color as the area. Simultaneously, you can use the cards for their special abilities, such as moving further, changing card colors, gaining “scales”, and so on.

Each time you complete an area, all players who contributed to the area gain the value of the area plus a bonus for all areas completed nearby. First place in the area also collects a bonus.

Furthermore, any time you build you can get “scales” if a dragon is on your area. Whenever all the scales are collected, bonuses are given to the one with the most and all who have at least three. The scales are returned and you start collecting them again.

Eventually, you convert your collected points into cubes on the big tower, and the first to place four cubes on the big tower wins.

It is yet another one of those “get this to get that to get the third thing” games, ala Caylus, as well as having to match cards to claim areas ala Ticket to Ride or Alhambra.

The game is nicely progressive and interesting enough, and most importantly, quick enough. That’s Knizia for you.

Undoubtedly there are some strategies to use in this game, such as which areas to go for first, whether to share in many areas or steal areas all to yourself, and whether to use up your cards early or try to save up. Most of us emptied our cards early.

I can’t tell you after one playing why Zack won. All of us had three cubes on the tower when he got his fourth.

Dvonn

Dylan++, Jon

While waiting for my turn to come up in BMC, I taught Dylan how to play Dvonn and he beat me twice in a row.

Tigris and Euphrates

Gili 7, Adam 6, David 5, Ben/Jon 5

First play for David. Ben was very unhappy after losing a few conflicts he initiated, nor about lacking green and red tiles throughout the game. He also wasn’t open-minded about varying his strategy. After BMC and Dvonn finished, I stepped in to his place. He had no green cubes and few cubes in other colors, and he had one treasure.

I through out all his tiles and picked up a green and red. Then I placed a monument for Green and Blue. I didn’t worry about the Blue, letting someone else take it, since I was more concerned with boosting my own score. After two turns, I was already up to 4.

Unfortunately, people kept handing Gili 5 point conflict victories in various colors. And she had been losing until now, too. On my last turn, I made it to 5 points and I tried to end the game through a conflict by tossing out 4 tiles. Unfortunately again, I should have just tossed out all my tiles, as I was one tile short of ending the game, which let Gili have one more turn.

Either way, I wasn’t going to win, but I did pretty well considering my starting position.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Elijah+, Zack

Zack was fresh off of his victory in BMC, but he rarely wins this game against Elijah.

Tichu

Zack/Elijah 335, Adam/Gili 265

They played three hands. Elijah and Zack took the lead in the first hand, and then the next two hands were 300 point swings either way.

Chess

Zack+, Elijah

Zack wanted to play, and Elijah fought to the bitter end.

Zendo

Jon, Dylan, Adam, David, Elijah, Zack

We played two games, one with me Master, and one with Dylan master. My rule was “All objects pointing different directions” which stymied them for a good number of round. Dylan eventually guessed it.

Dylan then stymied everyone else (I was off playing Bridge) and had to reveal the rule when I kicked everyone out for the evening. His rule was “A prime number of pips”, which Adam cried foul, saying that even if he thought of that he would hev rejected it as too complicated.

Bridge

Nadine/Zack|Jon, Ben/Binyamin

We sure seem to be playing more and more Bridge. They taught Zack how to play, and then he went over to Zendo while I filled in for him.

Nadine and I had most of the hands, although nothing extravagant. I played 4 out of 5 of them.

The Menorah Game

Jon 46, Dylan 36

Dylan 52, Jon 40

I taught Dylan this. Unfortunately, he’s not much into auction games.

Go

Jon++, Dylan

I also taught (or re-taught) Dylan this. As he is a smart fellow, I simply gave him first move on a 9 by 9 board. The first game was rather close, but in the second he made a serious mistake which let me live on a large section of the board.

Great Game.

Checkers

Dylan+, Jon

I almost never get to play this deceptively simple and under-appreciated game. I figured Dylan would be willing. We played while simultaneously playing Zendo.

I made a small mistake (are there any others in Checkers?) which prevented me from keeping parity with his jumps. Once ahead, he was able to corner me into resigning.