Tag Archive | london


macao 2Mark, Gili, Bill, Eszter, Eliyahu, Michael, Nadine

Eliyahu and Michael are serious gamers who live nearby, friends of Eszter’s. We spend more time than usual socializing and discussing all sorts of things including media coverage of our 8-day-old war.

Love Letter

Mark+, Nadine, Gili

I taught this to Mark, then Gili arrived and joined. It’s perfect as a filler while waiting for people.

It’s Alive!

Bill 53, Michael 52, Mark, 50, Gili 41, Eliyahu 37

We started playing; when Eliyahu and Michael arrived, Eliyahu took over my position, and Michael took a few extra turns. Bill’s good at this, he finished first, we played with the It’s Alive! rules so he got a 5 point bonus for finishing first, he used a Villager and paid 4 for the discard he needed. There was quite a bit of auctioning. The new players wanted to be able to bluff on money.


Nadine 34, Eliyahu 2

We couldn’t all play Macao, even though Eliyahu offered to just teach and monitor, but also Mark wanted a shorter game because he needed to leave early. As it turned out he couldn’t even stay to finish London. After playing Eliyahu understood the game and strategy much better. He had 27 negative points from poverty from 21, I ended with 8. I lost 7 for not repaying a loan that I only needed to take when I was short one pound to pay Eliyahu two for Lloyds of London, then I forgot to plan for it early enough, but I may have gotten more than 7 points out of the 15 pounds I would have had to pay back.


Michael 94, Eszter 69, Gili 39

Eliyahu and Michael love this game and people like Gili were looking forward to playing it. Bill started off playing but stopped soon after the rules explanation because he needed to leave, and Mark decided to leave with him since he’d need to leave soon after in any case. I mostly heard them joking about the game makes you say PP for prestige points. The game looks very pretty, and Gili and Eszter liked it. Eliyahu said Michael needs some competition, sounds like he always wins by a lot.





David brought pictures from his recent vacation to New York, LA, Bryce, Zion, Las Vegas/Hoover Dam, Yosemite and Disneyland. They got to Disneyland early so managed most of the main rides before the lines got long.


20140611_205351David 53, Nadine 44, Bill -7 (3)

Bill suggested this and it was a good choice. Even though the game is slow, it’s interesting. First play for David; it’s been about two years since Bill and I played. I just looked up the last time I played, I won, but it was everyone else’s first play. Bill won the last time he played, 31 to the next closest at 17. David did well even with some rules misunderstandings. David looked like he was ahead which he was, I did better than we expected. It was closer before David remembered to add 4 points from Undergrounds. Bill could pay to change card colors which he used well, and David could exchange a hand card each turn which he also used a lot.

I had the don’t count cards in your had for poverty at the end, but only applied it twice, and I placed it at the expense of a money-generating card. I had two loans that I didn’t pay off, one by choice because I used the money for a 7 point card which reduced poverty and gained two points for my remaining six coins. I made a mistake earlier in the game when I bought and had no money left to build so I had to take the second loan. Bill paid off one loan, David only had one loan, he had a lot of money during the game, and low poverty. I had 6 boroughs, David 5 and Bill 2, which is why he ended with 14 poverty after subtracting my lowest of 5. After the game Bill and David calculated that if Bill had, as he had considered but rejected, built on the last hand instead, he would have had less poverty and a score of 3 instead of being negative. We want to try again while we still remember the game.

More gamers

Well more and less, Emily and Eitan weren’t able to make it at the last minute. Steven lives in LA but spends time in Israel for work projects, and was happy that he was able to attend for once. He’s a wargamer, as is Cliff who usually isn’t able to make it on week nights.

Steven, Hershel, Gili, Leah, Eszter, Cliff, Nadine

It’s Alive

Hershel 57, Steven 50, Nadine 40

First play for Steven who liked the game. He drew 3 villagers, but also coffins. I got one villager, no coffins. Hershel may have gotten coffins and no villagers.


Cliff 32, Steven 25, Leah 13, Nadine 0

We were going to play Puerto Rico which Steven had never played, but Cliff isn’t so into it, and then Steven saw this and likes Martin Wallace. I taught the game, which wasn’t so difficult now that I’ve played. We had to look up a lot of little rules, including on bgg. I thought I might end up negative. I haven’t done so poorly at a game that I’ve played before in a long time, if ever. I don’t even know why, I didn’t make any particular mistakes. I did build and run my city the first time with only one borough. Cliff used the Millbank Prison card twice, it gets rid of poverty and gives points. Cliff and I had 4 stacks and ran our cities three or four times, Steven had 8 stacks and ran his city two or three times, Leah had two stacks and ran hers a few times. I played the Fire Brigade at the end so everyone had to pay the bank a pound for each borough they owned, which meant no one could pay back loans. Steven would have had 5 more points otherwise. Cliff had one poverty point at the end. I had 13, for minus 19, plus an unpaid loan. Steven and Leah also had few poverty points. I don’t think my cards were so bad, I had 5 boroughs by the end, but I couldn’t manage to have the right number or color of cards and money. I just checked, on Pesach games day I beat Hershel, Jon and Elisheva. But it’s not a luck game, or is it?

Le Havre

Hershel+, Gili, Eszter

Hershel brought this. Gili played once but didn’t remember it, and Eszter also wanted to try it. I remember it as not so interesting or fun. They enjoyed it, it was a learning game for Gili and Eszter.


I see London I see France

Gili, Sara, Eszter, Emily, Eitan, Nadine

Recently in the news referencing Prince Harry’s Las Vegas escapade.

Notre Dame

Eitan 71, Nadine 56, Eszter 33

First play for Eszter. Eitan ran away with the game, he had double my score at the end of the second round. He played well, though I also made mistakes, such as not having a cube available to go to Notre Dame second round even though I had money, and two ND cards. He kept cubes in the car spot, and took more bonus points instead of fighting rats. I didn’t go over on rats, Eitan did several times, and Eszter once or twice. I had too much invested in rat defense and money, and not enough cubes and points from cards at the end of the round.


Emily 56, Gili 51, Sara 50

We have to re-learn this every time because we don’t play often. Now at least some people are up on it. They had to look up rules questions, it’s not always clear.

Louis XIV

Nadine 54 (9 missions, 9 shields), Eszter 52 (7 missions, 17 shields), Eitan 48 (6 missions, 18 shields)

Also a close game. And also first play for Eszter; second for Eitan. I went first, a slight disadvantage. I got the king on the last round, I didn’t try for it on the others. It’s hard to know exactly how things will turn out, shields add up.  It’s much less competitive with 3 players, I enjoy it more that way.

Passover Games Day April 8, 2012

A well-attended game day which went pretty smoothly, with the majority finding groups to play with and games they wanted to play. A successful dinner order thanks to Emily.

People came from Ra’anana, Rehovot, Beit El and Haifa, coming and going all day and evening, so I almost had enough chairs.

The JSGC Matza Awards

Awards QA – Nadine

Best CEO – Emily

Best CFO – Hershel

Best Dungeoneer – Zvi Yehuda

Best Pyramid Builder – Sara

Best Mine Controller – Sara Kochman

Best Multi-tasker – Saarya

Best Newbie – Mike

Best Non-gamer – Ruth

Best Royal – Laurie

Bravest Participant – Devorah

Fastest Car – Binyamin

Gamers-in-training – Eliana and Chana Tova

Knocking over the most game pieces – Eitan (runner-up – Jon)

Largest Army – Elisheva

Most points for playing incorrectly – Abe

Mr. Congeniality – Ofer

MVP – Gili, who beat Jon in Antike

Most Versatile Gamer – Moshe

Quickest Learner – Avi

Snobbiest – Eszter, Kati and Brett, for only playing games taught by the designer himself

Tease – David

Valiant Knight – Kate

Worst Student – Jon

Awards Committee – Eitan, Emily, Abe, Sara

7 Wonders

Sara 59, Jon 55, Avi 53, Hershel 51, Elisheva 46, Saarya 32

Heshel brought and taught this. After the explanation, Avi arrived and took my place. I was going to help him, but he understood the game very quickly and came up with beneficial actions faster than me. First play for Sara, Elisheva, Avi and Saarya. Elisheva did well with military.

Alien Frontiers x 2

Binyamin 8, Zvi Yehuda 6, Gili 5, Moshe 5

Emily 8, Eitan 7, Sara 6, Abe 6

Sara was ahead most of the game. Eitan accidentally knocked pieces around during set-up. Ofer let them keep playing with his game when he left, they played well past midnight. Lots of colorful pretty dice.

Amun Re

Sara 42, Nadine 39, Avi 34

First play for Sara and Avi. Everyone did well, it’s a bit easier 3-player and the provinces were relatively equal.


Gili 8, Jon 7, Hershel 6, Elisheva 4

First play for Heshel and Elisheva. Jon usually wins but the rest of us keep improving – good job Gili!

Blockade Runner

Eitan 223,000, Emily 200,000, Michel 183,000, Abe 171,000

One of Eitan and Emily’s new games. Binyamin and Zvi Yehuda stopped playing during the second round.

Carson City

Nadine 52, Jon 50, Eitan 46

We played on the river side for the first time – there are only six mountains, nothing can be placed on river squares, and it acts like a mountain for mines. Jon was the only one to do anything differently, he built a bridge, but it gave me an extra point as well as him. I lost all my gunfights, in general I tried to avoid them. But losing the fights gave me two extra cowboys at the end which helped. In the last round Jon placed a cowboy on a house near buildings belonging to me and Eitan, so I placed one on a house near Jon’s buildings, which made him lose more points than I did. I had the sheriff only in the third round. Jon rolled poorly, once messing up the board and throwing the dice off the table in the same roll. Eitan won more gunfights but had only played once before.

Code 777 

Binyamin+, Zvi Yehuda, Moshe

Detroit Cleveland Grand Prix

Binyamin 360, Jon 320, Eitan 250, Nadine 210

Jon wanted a break with a light game. He fought with Binyamin over the black car, Jon had a lot of cards that helped black, but eventually gave up in the auction. Binyamin’s black car easily came in first. I was in second place until almost the end, but then didn’t have any more cards that helped me, and I had to help other people pass me. Binyamin and Eitan each had two cars.


Ofer+, Laurie, Saarya


Ofer brought and taught this. He defended against Gili and Zvi Yehuda, who succeeded in defeating him.

Egizia x 2

Abe 1st, Sara Kochman 2nd, Sara 3rd, Emily 4th

Another of Eitan and Emily’s new games. Eitan, playing Carson City, knocked a game box onto their gameboard, so they lost some information relevant to playing. They got a rule wrong which benefitted Abe.

Binyamin 127, Zvi Yehuda 114, Mike

Emily taught this to them while managing the dinner order.

It’s Alive

Kati+, Eszter, Brett

Eszter arrived later in the evening with her sister and brother-in-law. Jon taught them the game while playing Puerto Rico.


Nadine 37, Jon 31, Hershel, 26, Elisheva -1

First play for everyone except me, first time I played with correct rules. I tried to teach the game even though I realized that I didn’t know it well enough; but supplemented with the rule book it was still faster than starting from scratch. Hershel had the lowest poverty and did the best at not taking loans, Elisheva was tripped up by hers. Jon had three and still did well, I had one. As in earlier plays, the game finished faster than expected.

Louis XIV x 2

Sara 51, Saarya 46, Avi 37

I explained the game, then Saarya took over using the rule book, and Avi had played before.

Laurie 55, Gili 49, Ofer 47, Devorah 29

Devorah’s first time playing a Eurogame, she showed up in the evening after seeing a post on janglo, she didn’t know anyone. I took over for Laurie at the beginning of the last round when she had to leave, but she was in a great position, with a chip and enough money and markers so I could get 5 chips to fulfill 3 mission cards. Gili did a good job explaining and running the game, and we played her variant where the harder mission cards are 6 and 7 points instead of 5.

Kingdom Builder

Zvi Yehuda 59, Binyamin 55, Moshe 49, Kate 42

Puerto Rico

Jon 48, Nadine 45, Moshe 39, Kate 33

Kate and Moshe play this a lot, but get different buildings than we do. I wanted to see how it would work to play with them. They were a bit distracted by their tired toddler, Chana Tova. Kate started off with Hospice and got Residence at the end. Moshe had Hacienda and Construction Hut, crafted a lot, and got a late Tobacco, and no big building. I didn’t get a big building either, I got a Wharf instead, which gave me at least 10 points. But when I traded Coffee before Jon did at the beginning of the game, I got a Harbor instead of a Factory; Jon took a Factory next round. He ended up with Guild Hall and Fortress, which was just enough to beat my shipping. Jon was first player, Kate second, me third and Moshe last.

Shadows Over Camelot

Laurie, Mike, Kate, Moshe, Avi/Ruth

Ruth arrived and took over for Avi, who had to leave. Ruth has little game experience, Moshe is an experienced wargamer. Binyamin explained the game. They played without a traitor. The game ended with 6 white and 6 black swords.

Ticket to Ride Team Asia

Ofer and Laurie 115, Kate and Sara Kochman 42

Four mothers and a cute baby

Nadine, Gili, Kate, Eszter

Jungle Speed

Gili+, Kate, Nadine

I showed them how to play while waiting for Eszter to get here on a cold rainy night. Kate took the bus with 13-month-old Chana Tova strapped on. Rules are slightly different with three players, and it’s easier overall. We were all slow, but I was slowest. No fighting. I got the game from my bgg Secret Santa for my kids, mainly Yona. Eszter’s kids also play, she said the version sold here has a wooden stick, mine is soft rubber. Yona thinks the newer versions have rubber because the wood was too harmful.


Kate 43, Gili 39, Nadine 39, Eszter 33

First play for Kate who did an excellent job. Eszter had bad cards and couldn’t pay back her loan; otherwise the game felt close, we didn’t know who was winning, and were all pretty close in boroughs and poverty points. I ended up with the least by one, so they all got to toss down to one or two. The game ended before anyone was ready, and it was hard to do anything constructive on the final turns. Overall, there are different things you can do and different ways to get points, and there is calculation in how best to use your cards. But there aren’t that many options, you need to place cards to get rid of them, and buy boroughs for points and to reduce poverty. (Rats are more picturesque than London’s black poverty cubes, that’s France for you.)

No one bought Undergrounds, Kate had the least piles, three, and the most points on played cards. Gili was lucky at the end that a card she needed was available. We all agree that the game is not interactive at all. Here and there you can bother someone, or everyone, but not much, and it’s not clear who is winning so that’s somewhat random. Because of the lack of interactivity there’s no feeling of suspense or build up, and you don’t really know when the game will end. As opposed to games like Puerto Rico where you not only can foresee the end but have some control over it. Well, there is control here too, the person whose turn it is can decide not to end the game as Eszter did, Gili didn’t have better options.  It is good that everyone gets a last turn. We all want to play more and get better, but it will be getting better at playing independently.

A lot of new gamers, and mazal tov to Bill!

Beth, David, Marco, Gili, Bill, Shirley, Eitan, Emily, Eszter, Nadine

Gili invited her boss Beth and her husband David, Bill and Shirley brought Marco from Holland, and most of the regulars came, for an unusually high non-game day attendance of 10. Bill and Shirley also brought Girl Scout Mint Cookies, I haven’t had those in ages – they’re different from when I used to sell them.

Notre Dame

Beth 60, Gili 49, David 27

Gili must have done a good job teaching this because she didn’t win. They played 3-player because Beth and David needed to leave, but they didn’t leave as early as planned because they liked the game and wanted to keep playing. Hopefully we’ll see them back again.


I was starting R-Eco with Marco when more people showed up. I’m not used to people requesting Puerto Rico because Gili doesn’t like it, but others do. Bill taught the popular RPG Microscrope to Eitan, and eventually Eszter and Gili. They played a few rounds before switching to London.

Puerto Rico

Marco 58.8, Nadine 58.5, Shirley 51, Emily 48

Marco has played Settlers, and learns and plays games like a gamer, with good analysis. I tried to help less, though I did point out more to him than to the other since this was his first time playing, and second Eurogame. Everyone did well, and did a good job of not always listening to my recommendations. I had a Factory but only three goods, and Wharf and four corns, which made Marco realize that corn had value. I gave him and Shirley corn to start. Marco had a coffee monopoly; it took him a while to get it going, but he traded a lot, and got two big buildings and a Harbor, but no storage. Shirley got a Hospice instead of an early Tobacco building, which hurt her with trading so she took Settler Quarry for three of them, and she got a Construction Hut. I don’t like the effect of Hospice – we had four colonists on the ship most of the game, and everyone kept needing to take Mayor. Towards the end Shirley got a Factory and Wharf and was producing four sugars and tobacco. Emily had three tobaccos going early, and a monopoly on trading, though she took a boat so traded less than Marco did. She almost got a Large Warehouse but switched back to a Small One when she realized how they work. They all gave each other a lot of advice and analyzed together. Marco didn’t take a coffee boat even though it was suggested, he preferred to ensure trading it. Emily got a Hacienda and then Residence. On the last turn, after running out of shipping points, Marco took Builder and the last tobacco for his Guild Hall. Shirley and Emily took Coffee for points. I had six coins and a quarry, so I could only get a two point building, and lost. The coffee monopoly is strong. I’m still not good at 4 or 5-player, very different from 3-player. And different with new players.


Bill 31, Gili 17, Eitan 15, Eszter 7

They had to figure out the rules from scratch, Bill didn’t remember how to play, neither did Shirley or I. They said it was a good game with numerous possible strategies. Eitan came up with a productive repetitive strategy which Bill countered by taking lots of cards to end the game. Bill also focused on not getting poverty points.

Lo Ra

Nadine 30, Emily 26, Shirley 19, Marco 16

Fun and dramatic as usual. We all thought Emily was going to win, at the end of the second yovel she had 17, to my 9, Marco’s 0 (up from -5) and Shirley’s -1. I managed to get three matching tribes and a pair, and Shirley took most baskets aways from her after Emily was out of the game. The mosaics came out quickly the whole game. No disasters until the last yovel. We had told Marco that the Ark could be used to counter disasters in one round, he didn’t understand what we meant by disasters and wanted to use it to counter what he considered a disaster – having no animals.

See you all next week!