Tag Archive | havoc

Yay David!


David 38, Jon 30, Aaron 29, Haim 24

First play for Aaron and Haim.

Raiders of the North Sea

Nadine 54, Nadine F 51, Gili 42

Gili brought this, first play for all of us. A nice game, not difficult to learn, but it is tight, so each action matters. I started by investing in fighting power, and mostly managed to avoid Valkyries so I didn’t lose cards. You have to manage several things but it works well. Without planning to, I took one of the tiles Gili wanted, which meant she couldn’t use her plunder efficiently. None of us used the stealing action which I don’t think I like because you’ll steal what you need, not select the player who is furthest behind, if you can even tell. The game is an award-winner, in the top 100 on bgg.


Nadine 86, Nadine F 67, Gili 63

Nadine F was trying to take into consideration what the rest of us needed, which makes sense, but I complained because it made the game too slow.


David 141, Aaron 123, Jon 114, Haim 99

Turns out that we’ve been playing wrong – you have to pay double or more to build houses where one is already built. David focused on cloth.


Jon Haim, Nadine David

We didn’t finish the whole game, but Jon and Haim were ahead when we stopped. We set one of Jon’s 3 Tichus, and they set one of David’s by playing 2 bombs.

David found and brought plastic Tichu cards to replace Jon’s almost unplayable decks. The cards are smooth and slippery, with different art, a major improvement!


Sukkot Games Day 5778

A nice day, sunny following a day of rain so we could use the sukkah.

Thank you to Jon for bringing a table and chairs, and Crokinole; Eszter for planning and organizing the dinner order; and everyone else for snacks and helping to clean up.

Most played games: Crokinole and Nefarious



Carson City
Tzvi 46+
Daniel 46
Nadine 41
Assaf B 26

Tiebreaker is being earlier in turn order. I taught this to them, it takes time to explain well and understand the mechanics. Tzvi took a long time on his turns, which paid off for him. Assaf kept taking guns, though he lost some duels. He took a Mine I wanted, which messed up my plans. Tzvi and Daniel had good building set ups.


Jon 120  Lorenzo 75  Nadine 55

This was played frequently during the day.




Noam and Yochai checked out how to play.

Binyamin +
Yael second



Five Tribes
Ben 171
Haley 134
Lorenzo 118
Aryeh 83

New to Haley and Lorenzo. Ben had a full set of cards plus two others.


Jon 38
Avi 26
Nadine 21
Tzvi 20

New to Avi and Tzvi. Jon compiled a good hand, then just called Havoc for the rest of the game so we couldn’t recruit more cards. I don’t like this type of direct ‘conflict’.

Hansa Teutonica
Lorenzo 38  Ben 37  Jon 33  Yael 32  Hailey 28

Jon taught this.

Yehuda 65
Sara 38
Chaya Bluma 36

First play for CB and Sara.

Isle of Skye
Eszter 53
Yochai 48
Noam 47
Avi 43
Binyamin S 42

Eszter has played before.

Haley 54
Eszter 48
Sara 44
Chaya Bluma 33

Taught by CB.

Sara 20
Chaya Bluma 16
Ofer 11

Ben 23
Aryeh 18
Tzvi 17
Assaf 13

Avi 23
Yochai 20
Binyamin 20
Eszter 18

Avi 20
Yochai 17
Binyamin 16
Eszter 16

Puerto Rico

Daniel 28  Chaya Bluma 27  Assaf 25  Ofer and Sara 24

First play for all but CB, who ended with two unmanned large buildings.





Daneil, Assaf B, Aryeh, Yocheved





Sushi Go!

Chaya Bluma 39 Haley 35 Yael & Sara 30

Chaya Bluma: We all enjoyed a fun game!

Tzvi and Aryeh 1100
Ben and Assaf B 990

Yehiel and Lorenzo 265
Eszter and Binyamin 135

New to Tzvi and Lorenzo

Traders of Osaka
Yehiel 17
Nadine 16
Jon 11
Avi 10

First play for all. An interesting light game with little player control.

Nadine 127
Aryeh 125
Assaf B 117
Yehiel 76

First play for all but me; they caught on very well. We thought Aryeh was winning, and he came in ahead until we remembered to score the buildings. I was the only one with any points, I had two wilds, for 20 points, which put me ahead by two. Assaf did a good job calculating in advance, but didn’t manage to put about eight of his cards on the table. Aryeh collected and played a lot of cards.

Avi 53+
Jon 53
Nadine 48

Jon, Ben, Haley, Yael and Lorenzo played one round early on, but stopped when Ben seemed too far ahead. That experience made it easier for Jon to teach it to me and Avi later, I had played once a long time ago but didn’t remember the details. I got 18 points from Traveling, but it wasn’t quite enough, I also had people in the Church, but not much else. Avi did well in the green cube building and had at least 5 trade chips, Jon also had trade chips, and traveled. And died at better times.


April 13, 2011

Participants: Jon, Jessica, Nadine, Binyamin, Tzvi Yehuda, Zachary

Zachary and Jessica both returned for a second visit. Binyamin brought T”Y to game night because they won’t be able to make it to Games Day next week.

7 Wonders

Binyamin 59, Jessica 53, Jon 50, T”Y 50, Zachary 49, Nadine 40

First play for all of us except for Binyamin and T”Y. Of course I’d heard about this game on BGG, but I never really took a closer look, assuming it was some kind of long civilization building game. It was entirely unlike what I was expecting.

The game is simply a card game, a cross between Fairy Tale and Race for the Galaxy. The game comes with huge over-produced but beautiful boards and bits in a large box; but it’s just a card game; the boards and bits are essentially superfluous.

Each player gets 7 cards. Pick one to play and pass the rest to your neighbor. Repeat until you’ve each played 6 cards. Repeat 3 times (a total of 18 cards). That’s it.

The cards can “produce” resources, give you military power, give you victory points, add to sets (that also give victory points), or have some other minor effect (give you cash, reduce the cash you need to play something). Many of the cards also allow you to play future cards for free, i.e. if you have card A in play, you can play card B without requiring its resource cost.

In addition to the above, you can also toss a card out for 3 money, or place it face down to activate one of the three stages of your city, each of which requires some resources and gives you a similar benefit to playing certain cards.

Resource “payments” is not actually a payment; you just need to have it in play. A resource never gets used up. If you lack the resources you need to play a card, but one of your neighbors’ has that resource, you can pay two cash to that neighbor and utilize his or hers.

That’s it, really. What’s good about it is that you have to pass away all those cards you want while deciding which one to play; as the game progresses, you might want to not pass a card that will give your neighbor too many points. You also have many areas in which to concentrate: the brown cards, the grey cards, the blue cards, building your city, the green sets, etc. Naturally, you won’t get the cards you need to focus perfectly.

Like certain other games, if you are focusing on a strategy that others are ignoring, you are in much better shape than if you are competing for the same card types.

What’s bad about the game is a) it’s really light. That’s not much of a problem, but you might have been expecting something more substantial. And b) the tableau and its effects become crowded and difficult to review as the game goes on. You may have 12 cards that you can play for free now; each time you get new cards, you have to review all the cards you have in play and check the names of all the cards you were passed. Then you have to do the same for each of your neighbors. This can be time consuming, so, in my first game, I didn’t do much peeping into my neighbors’ fields. But you really have to in order to do well.

It’s really, really Eurogamey: the theme might as well be vegetable gardens as ancient wonders. In any case, I didn’t notice the theme while I was playing, despite the nice artwork. And there’s hardly a whiff of confrontation. You get certain extra points if you have more military strength than your neighbors at the end of each round, but they only lose one point for it if you do. The rest is simply denying them the cards they need.

We enjoyed it and would play again to explore it more. Nadine in particular liked it and found it easy to pick up and understand, compared to some other recent games. Nadine concentrated on blue cards but didn’t succeed, as you can see. I tried for early brown resources and then green sets, with some late military might (late military might is worth a lot more than early might is). I don’t really know what Binyamin did to win.

Age of Empires III

Binyamin 142, Zachary 110ish, T”Y 80ish

Zachary requested this, and it was his first play. I think he enjoyed it, but I don’t know anything about how the game went.

Puerto Rico

Nadine 49, Jessica 47, Jon 46

First play for Jessica, who is probably the brightest non-gamer to join our group. She professes to be confuses initially, but she picks up games very quickly. I helped her through the first few rounds, but she was already making confident and reasonable choices by mid-game.

Nadine was first player and achieved a tobacco monopoly, though she never got any corn. She took a mid-game Harbor in place of a Factory. I was second and took an early sugar, a coffee to play in front of Jessica, and a Factory. I only got a trade good at the end of mid-game; enough to buy two big buildings, but not quite enough to buy anything else. Jessica had the first trade good, a coffee, and Guild Hall, filling out the entire building.

Havoc: The Hundred Years War

Binyamin 29, Nadine 28, T”Y 26, Jessica 18, Jon 16

First play for Jessica. As you can see, I lost every game I played this evening. I suggested this game because it was a light game for five, and we hadn’t played it in quite some time.

Still a fun game, though we still can’t figure out the rules for how dogs work. I think I understood it once, but I lost it again.

With five players, I wasn’t able to get anything approaching a straight flush, but I had a mid-range of three and four of a kinds. I took some mid-game wins and second places, but the rest of my attacks, including Agincourt, I was defeated and wasted my resources entirely. Binyamin was behind at mid-game, and he only came in first in the seventh battle, but he squeaked out a win with that.

June 11, 2008

Participants: Jon, Max, Sergei, Nadine, Avraham

A bunch of regulars were out teaching games at some sort of other event. Avraham is a new guy who lives nearby and who’s just getting into board games.


Jon 38, Nadine 29, Sergei 21, Max 18

Those scores are approximate, since I didn’t write them down when the game ended. I’ve always found this game to be fairly enjoyable, if not stellar, but I enjoyed this session more than most. Maybe because I won.

Max and Sergei were first time players. Sergei emptied his hand fairly early, winning the first two battles, as well as the fourth, but then having and empty hand for the rest of the game. He tried to win one more battle with a five card hand that was full house; when he lost the battle, his hand was literally empty.

I came in second in some of these battles, and then won the key ones I needed. I remembered mid-game that the Dogs can be used to form a simple straight flush with low cards, which helped win one of them.

Power Grid

Nadine 14, Jon 13 (142), Max 13 (130), Avraham 13 (86), Sergei 13 (74)

This was a first play for both Avraham and Sergei. They took to it well enough, although Avraham thought it was a bit too long. We played on France, without the northeast area.

I started alone in the south, Max in the east, and the others fighting around Paris and suburbs. I remained undisturbed until mid-game. The game eventually came down to who could buy the best plant capacity. Max started off with the most in the end-game, but and incremental plant I bought allowed Nadine to buy a better plant with which she was able to win the game.

It’s Alive

Avraham+, Nadine, Jon

I introduced Avraham to this game. We first tried the basic version, which I lost soundly. It’s really quite different in strategy from the advanced version. It’s slightly better in one sense, in that the lower cost tiles are also beneficial. But it lacks a certain depth.

Avraham 49. Jon 46, Nadine 41

And then we played the advanced version. I ended the game, but I couldn’t beat Avraham’s coffin laden board. I don’t think I even pocked any coffins in the game.

We tried two variants: 1) Buying out of the graveyard for two coins instead of face value. This didn’t work, as it made the Villager cards less useful. 2) Combine coins and cards for when you could use cards. This had the effect I knew it would, making cards simply feel like cash, which I don’t like.

As far as I’m concerned, the game stays the way it is.

January 09, 2007

Participants: Jon, Mace, Shachar, Nadine, Gili, Yitzchak, El-ad

El-ad is a friend of Shachar’s who showed up in the middle of games night.


Mace 42, Shachar 25

Mace and Shachar arrived early and played this two-player while I finished organizing my life. They needed a few rule lookups during the game, but otherwise managed ok. By the time they were done, El-ad showed up.

Down Under

Gili 28, Jon 23, Nadine 23

I like this little filler game. After this play, my third play, I just started thinking about new levels of strategy and tactics for the game. I believe that a careful player should be able to count several moves ahead to determine if a path is worthwhile or not. Also, the game becomes more confrontational as it goes on.

It’s quite nice. I wish I could get the others to like it as much as I do.

Pirate’s Cove

Jon 41, Gili 36, Yitzchak 35, Nadine 31

This was my first play, and second or third for the others. As was expected, I really don’t like dice combat mechanisms, and this one was no exception. Which is a shame, because I liked every other aspect of the game.

Pirate’s Cove is a blind bidding game. Each player has four stats: initiative, two combat stats of which the lowest one determines how many combat dice you roll, and treasure capacity. Each round, five cards are revealed, one in each of five locations, and each player secretly decides which one to take or whether to cash in treasures already earned. Four of the five locations also allow you to increase one of your stats using earned gold, while the fifth allows you to buy power cards.

If two people go for the same card, they fight. Alternately roll dice; hits are subtracted from an opponent’s stat of your choosing. An any time, or if one of your stats falls to zero, you can withdraw and fix your damaged stat and draw a power card, or draw two power cards and pay two gold to fix your stat. The remaining player gets a VP and the fought-over card.

Cards give random amounts of VPs, gold, treasures which can be cashed in for VPs, and/or power cards. Power cards are worth VPs, great benefits in attacking or defense, and so on. Naturally, like the dice rolls you need, the power cards you get may or may not be the ones you need. Some are greatly better than others almost any time.

It was readily apparent to me that given a rather straightforward choice between VP’s or treasures, VP’s were a better strategy. They don’t require you to waste a turn cashing them in for treasures, can’t be stolen, and require no particular capacity to store. Naturally, if everyone has this idea, there will be lots more fighting over the cards that give better VP bonuses; and, generally speaking, the player with better stats or better power cards will win fights. Or the better roller, naturally.

Adding to the mix is a Big Pirate that travels around to areas 1-6 in order. Anyone who wants the card in that area also has to fight this guy first. He’s hard to kill, can do some nasty damage, and may be worth a nice or small amount of VPs.

In our game, the Big Pirate gave a fair chunk of VPs. Everyone else was avoiding him, so I decided early on that the best chance of leaping ahead was to save my best power cards and take him on. Not only will I get the VPs from beating him, but then I will get the card from the area uncontested.

I waited until he was in an area with a nice VP card. Took him out, gained nice points, gained even more nice points, and that was basically game, because the next Big Pirate flipped up to replace him was just as nasty but gave only half the VPs. Furthermore, it was already near the end of the game and people hadn’t been saving up just for a battle like that.

So even with my average dice rolling, my planning won the day. Which made me appreciate the game. But still: dice rolling combat. Shudder. There must be a universal way to fix all games with dice rolling combat.

Settlers of Catan

Mace 10, Shachar 7, El-ad 4

I can’t believe that Mace has never played this before. El-ad was a total stranger, so that he hadn’t played it before wasn’t a shock. Anyway, Mace won as you can see, and they continued on for second place, which ended up being Shachar.

Vegas Showdown

Jon 50, Nadine 41, Yitzchak 40, Gili 38

Nadine and Yitzchak had played this once before, while Gili and I hadn’t. They had figured out most of the confusing rules from the last play, but we still had to work out a few rules issues. I really liked it, even though I wasn’t totally happy with the card flipping mechanics, but once again my enthusiasm wasn’t shared by everyone else. Others’ opinions ranged from ok to boring to a bit long.

Vegas Showdown is an auction game with bidding similar to Amun-Re except you can rebid in the same place. You’re bidding on rooms to lay on your hotel/casino area.

Each tile has doors that must connect (a lot like Alhambra) and gives varying bonuses to your income, people count, or VPs. Unlike other games, the granted income bonuses are not great; still, it’s always better to have more than less. Your best method for income is to punt and not build anything once in a while. That starts you off the next round a building’s worth of money ahead of everyone else (unless they did the same).

Each round, buildings drop in prices. As the game goes on, the better and more expensive buildings show up. These require you to have bought earlier buildings (like Attika) and they have less doorways so they are harder to place.

At the end of the game, you get points for transitory points gained along the way, filling in certain areas of your board, highest income or people, and having arranged the more expensive buildings in certain ways (this is the hardest and least profitable strategy, from what I could tell).

In fact my victory is based on having acquired the plush transitory VP buildings around midgame, and ensuring that I got roughly the same bonuses everyone else would gain at the end of the game. I can see someone else winning by gaining one or two of the very last buildings to show up, however, which no one ended up purchasing in our game.

After special buildings are bought, new ones are replaced according to a card that flips up indicating what building stack to pick from for a replacement building as well as an “event” that affects the remainder of the round. While these “events” are cute, they don’t really add much to the game. In fact, they could easily have been dispensed with and the game would have been must better. It’s not because they are “event” per se, it’s that they’re not good ones. Too many of them randomly give out bonus points to people in a game where victory is not decided by too many points, or otherwise disrupt the game flow too much.

Still, I greatly enjoyed this game and would love to play again, if I can find more willing parties to join me.