Tag Archive | high society

April 26, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim S, Gili, Noa, Aaron, Nadine, Elad

Welcome Haim S, First time attendee. Haim used to play war games back in the day, so he’s not exactly a new gamer.

Coloretto

Jon 30, Gili 23, Noa 22, Haim S 19, Elad 16, (Nadine, Aaron)

First play for all but me and Gili. Aaron and Nadine came in during the game and kibitzed. It’s not quite as much of a game as Parade or R-Eco, but it’s also quicker and lighter. I like it.

Hansa Teutonica

Jon 73, Aaron 62, Haim S 55

First play for Aaron and Haim, I had just received the game in the morning’s post. I scared everyone else away by saying the game was mechanical. Aaron and Haim both liked it a lot. The mechanics work well.

We played on the 2-3 player board, of course. Even with only one path to the “extra action” city, we didn’t find it too much of a crunch to get the actions. I got mine first, but I stayed at three actions until about halfway through the game. Aaron got his fourth action sooner than me, and also got to five. Both of them also developed more tracks than I did.

Instead, I took the first two spots in the points city while Aaron was taking his extra actions and other tracks. Then while he went for the better points in the point city (he got both of the other two spots), I spent my time building offices. He locked me out of making the route between the two edges, but I still built more than enough on the board to make up for my lost points from the tracks and his slightly better “point city” points.

It still bothers me that you HAVE to get to three actions, at least, and it’s something of an advantage to be the first to do so. Haim stayed at two actions for most of the game and didn’t do so well. It’s not so simple to start everyone off at three actions, but maybe add another route to the action city, or make it (like Antike) easier for all players after the first to get that first action track marker removed (2 instead of 3 disks).

Carson City

Elad 51, Nadine 42, Gili 37, Noa 30

First play for Elad and Noa. Elad did well, as you can see, ending the game with 12 guns. Nadine writes: We left the “gun space” circle at 3 guns [Ed: we often play it as 2 guns] and we used the gun character. Noa and Elad really liked the game. Gili lost a few duels by 1 gun.

High Society

Haim 18, Jon, Aaron (L)

Jon 17, Haim, Aaron (L)

First plays for both of them (Aaron may have played it once).

Parade

Jon 25, Haim 36, Aaron 37

First play for Haim.

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November 02, 2016

Participants: Jon, Aaron, Saarya, David C, Ido, Nati, Nadine, Avishag, Oriane, Batya

Ido is a different Ido than one that came before; I didn’t catch his first name. Saarya played and invited his friend Batya. Avishag is an experienced gamer who came for the first time and brought her inexperienced friend Oriane.

High Society

Nati 16, Nadine 10, Ido 9, Jon 6, Aaron –

First play for everyone except me and Nadine. Aaron not only ended with less money than everyone else, he also ended with -10 points, having taken the x2, -5, and a good card that was killed by the 0. His spending allowed Nati to win; Nati spent a lot early and hoped someone would outspend him. I ate the 1/2 after everyone else spent a lot more than me.

Amerigo

Jon 147, David C 144, Aaron 93

First play for David and Aaron. I had played this in Ra’anana and liked it, so I bought a copy. David liked it a lot, Aaron liked it, but both of them loved the cube tower mechanic. Aaron concentrated on good multipliers, and he ended with many more than we did, but much fewer interim points and more pirate losses. David achieved synergy with the pirates and had a very nice island to himself. I scored many interim points and some goods, and I had the 1/2 damage from pirates tile. I played the “jump to first place on the scoring track” tile to win the game, essentially, but I didn’t play it according to the proper rules, so I also let David play a tile not according to the rules, and so the final score is in question.

Puerto Rico

Nati 61, Ido 57, Nadine 49

Nati taught this to Ido. Nati had Wharf, Harbor, and three quarries. Ido had Custom’s House, Harbor, Factory, and a tobacco monopoly. Nadine had Guild Hall, Fortress, and Factory.

Dixit Odyssey ++

Saarya, Avishag, Oriane, Batya

Alien Frontiers

Nati 5, Avishag 4, Oriane 2, Nadine/Ido 2

Avishag expressed a great interest in playing this, since she had played it once and loved it but had forgotten the rules. So I taught it, not realizing until close to the end of the rules explanation that Oriane was not an experienced gamer, so it was not a good starting game for her.

After Nati and Ido finished their Puerto Rico game, they came over to help and then play (while also learning the rules themselves). Nadine played one turn for Ido, and they only played until 5 instead of until 14.

March 30, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Binyamin, Gili, Nadine, Aaron, Haim, Francis, Eszter

Haim is a newcomer who lives nearby. He came to check us out and hopes to come again, maybe with his wife sometimes.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David+

We drafted. R and W gave me 21 playable cards. I chose U flyers as a splash. My deck was all flyers or cards that make you fly, or direct damage, or completely prevent him from blocking for one turn. I thought it was pretty good, although it had no mana prisms and no extra card drawing, so I was likely to stall or crash with a mana problem. Meanwhile David played W for the first time in a long time, as well as G and U.

I had a mana problem in the first game (no Plains), and my other cards were the ones that prevented him from blocking. He flew over and pinged me, even though I took out two of his creatures with a Fireball. The second game I had no mana problem and everything flowed well. I stalled a little bit, but as long as he couldn’t touch me I could wait him out until I had enough firepower to overrun him in one turn, which I did.

High Society

Binyamin+, Jon, Gili-

First play for Binyamin and Gili. Binyamin was distracted during the game, and Gili had a hard time wrapping her head around the “least money loses” rule. Gili was too aggressive and she lost, I was too conservative and I had almost no points. So Binyamin won. I don’t think Gili liked it.

Libertalia

Jon 86, Gili 73, Francis 63, Binyamin 62, Eszter 52

This is a medium weight game, kind of a cross between the 3×6 card play of 7 Wonders crossed with the screw your neighbors feel of Citadels. I hated that aspect of Citadels but I enjoy 7 Wonders.

Each player starts each round with the same numbered cards. You blind bid one each round. Lower numbers play their card effects first (which can sometimes assassinate a higher valued card) and then the higher valued cards take first picks from available chips. When two players play the same valued card in a round, each card has an an initiative number; supposedly these initiative numbers are distributed evenly among the player colors, but they are fixed on each color’s cards. In practice, the highest valued card always nets around 5 points and the lowest around -3. But there were exceptions, and sometimes the bad chips can be turned to good.

This game has a lot going for it, and it mostly seems to work well. I started poorly and didn’t see how I could do better. Then I realized how even the “bad effects” of the chips can be either neutral or even good if you combine certain card effects and chips in certain ways, and that made it more enjoyable. Nevertheless, as the game went on, I also realized that I was frustrated at the near-complete chaos and lack of control.

I don’t believe that there is control in blind bidding and “bluffing” games, both of which are fancy ways of implementing “total luck unless your opponents are idiots”. In this game, your reward depends slightly on how well you play, but mostly on whether  your opponents play things that totally screw you. And if anyone managed to make progress, your opponents can gang up on you.

A more worrying problem is that the players have different fixed card values. These are supposed to be balanced, but I found that there are certain cards that are far more valuable to be played in the first or last rounds of each phase, and therefore more critical to have the “better initiative”, while other cards are equally valuable when played in any round, and therefore initiative on these cards is irrelevant. Unfortunately for me, the Yellow cards had the poor initiative on the cards that actually needed them, and good initiative on cards that didn’t matter. So I was at a disadvantage if I played sensibly.

As you can see, I won anyway, despite not playing sensibly. This is because everyone else was also playing for the first time. Yellow’s biggest screwage was with the Monkey card, which would have totally screwed me if more of my opponents had decided to play them all in the last round of the phase, but only two of them did. There was nothing in our game that could have stopped them, although certain cards possibly could have if they had come out the right way for me.

As I said, the game isn’t bad because it’s medium weight, and some people will like the luck of flipping up the cards and then winning by luck or losing by luck (which is what happened to Estzer). I think that the game might more interesting played using El Grande type bidding mechanics, where each player plays cards in turn openly, and you can’t play the same card someone else played. Some of the powers might have to be altered a bit and rebalanced for this to work.

Year of the Dragon

David 120, Aaron 112, Haim 102, Nadine 92

First plays for Haim and Aaron. Around turn 9 I saw David had more than 80 points while everyone else was down at around 40 or so.

Nadine writes: David had two double dragons, I had a single one, the others had more than one double each. I had the fewest people at the end, four, tied with David. I made several mistakes, one extremely stupid because it was totally avoidable. We thought David was more ahead than it turned out. I’m taking credit for how well Aaron and Haim did on their first play, they liked the game a lot.

Trains and Stations

Francis 50, Gili 33, Eszter 31, Binyamin 27

First play for everyone. Binyamin says that I wouldn’t have liked it because it has too many dice.

Tichu

Jon/Aaron 955, David/Nadine 345

David disputes the final score. Aaron is still a newcomer, and on his last turn, while trying to make a Grand Tichu, he played a card and then hesitated before playing his bomb (he was trying to remember the rules) to take it and then exit. While he was hesitating, David played his last card to go out. I told David to take back his last card and let Aaron go out. So there you go.

I also made a Grand Tichu.

 

 

 

 

February 03, 2016

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Nisan, Jonathan, Alan, Roman, David, Eszter, Gili, Francis, Binyamin

High Society

Nisan 20, Nadine 12, David 0, Jon -2, Jonathan X

First plays for all but me, third play for me. Nisan went a little crazy buying powerful cards, including two x2 multipliers, but Jonathan rescued him by spending even more. I ended up with the -5, a 4, and a x2, which did me no good.

Hanabi

Binyamin, Gili, Roman, Alan, Eszter

They started playing this but abandoned it to start longer games.

Cosmic Encounter

Jon (Seeker/Fungus) 5, Alan (Siren/Loser) 4, Binyamin (Void*/Mind) 3, Nadine (Philanthropist/Subversive) 3

First plays for Alan and Binyamin, and Nadine had not played too often. I also hadn’t played in a while, but I suggested strongly that we play this 4 player, which is best (3 and 5 are playable, but not ideal). I also played this, for the very first time, with the correct rule, which is that you can only attack a base of the player whose system you are attacking, and not any base in that system. It certainly speeds the game up, making it hard to get rid of foreign bases (unless you sacrifice a challenge to do so). But it also makes flares and powers that get rid of foreign bases more powerful.

We still played with many of my house rules: double powers, losing powers at 2/1 home bases, and others. We didn’t play with reverse cone, lucre, or moons. I strongly discouraged, but did not outlaw, purposely tanking your allies unless a specific card or power was designed for it.

It lasted about the right amount of time, and I think both Binyamin and Alan enjoyed it.

Princes of Florence

Jonathan 57, Nisan 54,Francis 46

Nisan writes: First play for Jonathan and Francis. Jonathan and Nisan had bidding war in last auction for a recruiting card. Jonathan went down two points to win the auction with bid of 1700 (Nisan had 1800, but passed and took jester). This allowed Jonathan to recruit from Francis (who’d played 7 works) and Jonathan played two works in the last turn for 37wv. In that last turn he advanced 27 prestige points (6card + 3best work inc) to win. I enjoy teaching that game to first timers and still having all be in competition by end of game.

Troyes

Roman 41, Eszter 37, Gili 35, David 25

Tichu

Jon/David+, Nadine/Binyamin

Binyamin didn’t really want to play this at the end, but Nadine and I did and David wouldn’t stick around for anything else. We forced him to play and Alan to learn (though he left after the first two hands).

Suffice to say that David and I toasted them. Binyamin started off losing a grand tichu (bid with the Phoenix, an A, and some high cards). Unfortunately, David passed him the dog and I sat after him to repeat the same things that happened last time we played: he had a high card and a low card, and I had the Dragon and many more things. The next hand David made a grand tichu (bid on the Dragon, Phoenix, 2 Aces and other high cards. He passed me the Dragon! The last card he played was the dog, hoping that I could go out second, which I did.