A busy games day, with most people staying the whole time. Thanks to those who came early and stayed late to help with set-up and clean-up – Nechemia, Assaf, Lior, Binyamin and Jon, who also brought an extra table and chairs; and to Gili for the pictures she took and for organizing the online dinner order. Quite a few close games, a crazy Tichu game, and even a few hands of bridge, and welcome to Lorenzo’s wife Sara. Game trend – titles that begin with the letter C. Played more than once: Crokinole, Oh My Goods, Tichu, Traders of Osaka.
Binyamin 27, Haley 21, Eszter 12, Gili 11
Nadine and Binyamin S, Jon and Binyamin
Binyamin really wanted to play, Binyamin S has never played so we walked him through. First hand I opened 3 spades with 7, Binyamin S passed, and Jon and Binyamin made game in hearts. Next games I bid and Binyamin passed, Jon and Binyamin went one down in 4 spades with Binyamin playing it, I had a strong hand.
Azriel+, Lorenzo, Binyamin, Eszter
Clans of Caledonia
Nechemia 130, Sara 120, Nadine 108, Assaf B 103
First play for the other three. We played with 4 points per all import goods, with no tracking or coins for them. I tried the delta clan, which did help somewhat, partly because being near rivers helped me get most settlements, and I upgraded to two lochs which I usually don’t do. Nechemia had the whiskey clan, Sara had double contracts, and Assaf had the one with the extra initial placement. Nechemia tied Sara for most contracts with 5, and had 72 in export good points. I had a lot of whiskey at the end that I didn’t have market tokens to sell, I should have done more market upgrades in the last round.
Eszter, Binyamin S, Efrat, Gili, Noam, Maria
They played three rounds.
Binyamin, Rosalynn, Nechemia, Yehuda K
Not Rosalynn’s type of game, not sure it’s mine either though I heard it’s good. Nadine S left to join Walnut Grove.
Jon, Elianna, Rosalynn and others throughout the day. Jon: Crokinole, not too much play, but some fun play nonetheless. Binyamin didn’t take to it, and especially not the high price I paid for the game.
Deep Sea Adventure
Lorenzo, Binyamin S, Azriel
Jon 79, Lior 77, Gili 74, Efrat 71
Jon complained a lot about the Hooligan mechanic, which adds total luck to a strategy game. It doesn’t have that big of an effect and the luck sometimes evens out, but annoying nevertheless, Gili likes it because it adds fun and suspense.
Jon: A game with somewhat confusing graphics, but straightforward gameplay. As I mentioned several times during the game, the game has a bunch of random and strategic elements, which are fine, but then ends with a luck draw out of a bag that serves absolutely no game purpose other than to screw some people instead of others (much like Thebes). In some games there may be a person or development that you can buy to mitigate it, but often not, and only one person would be able to do it. And there is no, absolutely no, purpose for the mechanic. It is as useful as simply rolling a die and handing out victory points based on the number you roll – actually, it is exactly like that. Remove the mechanic and the game plays EXACTLY the same, but far better. I like the game other than that. It’s a basic planning and allotment of resources game that works well enough with enough theme to color it.
Jon, Avi, Efrat, Lior
Jon: Enjoyed by all players. I didn’t take any of the instant circle bonuses, like I usually do. Instead, the game ended rather quickly as Avi and I spread a network of cities across much of the left two-thirds of the board. I had a boost from having 4 disks, while one other person had any, and only one.
Efrat 54, Lior 49, Gili 34
First time for all players.
Lewis & Clark
Nadine+, Lorenzo, Yokhay
First play for Lorenzo and Chaim. I’m starting to understand the game, first time I played with the rule where you can discard cards to pay equipment, we had missed it until now and it makes a difference. Fewer cards were bought than in previous games I’ve played, I only bought one, a 3, which helped, but my main advantage was it being their first play. Lorenzo bought the card I wanted at the start, but then gave me good advice. Lorenzo hogged the Indians, there were a few times where there were none available at all. We shortened the trail by 7 spaces to finish sooner, which may have hurt them with a stronger infrastructure.
Nadine S 44, Adrien 41, Avi 34, Elianna 33
New to all of them. Jon wanted to try this again, but after teaching it ended up trying Alchemists, which he also didn’t play in the end.
Jon 20, Binyamin, Binyamin S, Haley
Oh My Goods
Lorenzo 25, 24 Binyamin S 24, Eszter 21
Rosalynn, Elianna and Azriel also played.
Noam 54, Yael 50, Yossi 48, Maria 46, Assaf B 39
Yael, Yehuda K, Avi, Binyamin, Yossi
Yael taught this, they played a long time but didn’t finish the game.
Jon and Lior, Azriel and Binyamin S played a hand or two earlier.
Avi and Nadine vs Assaf B and Yehuda Klein
Second game, which we didn’t finish
I called Tichu at least 3 times in the first game. Avi offered to switch partners after the first game, but they said no. It was mostly luck of the cards, though Yehuda K hadn’t realized he could play his 4 bomb over my 3 bomb. It might have stopped my Tichu but he couldn’t have gone out easily. I played something like the 1, 3, Queen, 3 bomb and a 7-card straight with the Phoenix.
Traders of Osaka
Jon, Lior, Efrat
Jon, Binyamin, Nechemia
Jon: It played well enough, but it’s just a bit too long for what it is, which keeps it from being a far better experience. There is often just a little more to the gameplay then there seems to be, however.
Nechemia 63, Sara 58, Assaf B 57, Rosalynn 33
New to all of them.
Nadine 29, Nadine S 25, Yochai 24, Elianna 18
First play for all but me. I lost 6 points on the last turn – I couldn’t pay 3 cubes, and only had 2 left – not enough to pay back a loan, so I had to take two Neighborly Helps and used a gold coin, but I had 3 bonus tiles which made the difference, two 2-point per bonus tiles for 12; Nadine S had 2 and the others one.
Passover Games Day East – April 4
Jon went to visit David in Maale Adumim because David isn’t attending public gaming events while in avelut. Report by Jon:
David and I and two of his kids played Nefarious. We had the twists a) when you research, draw two cards and then toss a card, and b) you gain 1 vp for every 5 coins you have. Everything was pretty normal, until both of the kids got to 21 on one round. David had 20 and I had 19. So we went another round. Both kids had 22 and I got to 22, as well. The next round two people had 23. The next round two people had 24. The next round two people had 25, but I got to 26 and won.
We all played Tichu for a while, and my partner and I went very negative. We were -350 to 350 at one point. We stopped for dinner when my side was -170 to 570.
After dinner, David, Avi, and I played Lewis & Clark. Probably not the right game for David, even though he loves it. It’s a real analysis paralysis machine, as you know, and David took a long time on his very first turn. So did Avi. I was patient. Eventually, David got ahead of us, Avi eventually started playing faster just because he didn’t want to think too long, and we all make some of those famous mistakes, which is the point I think. David won several rounds ahead of any of us. They both enjoyed it, but agreed that maybe David shouldn’t play it.