Tag Archive | lords of waterdeep

July 27, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Nisan, Yael, Roman, Avi, Yedidya, Francis

Yael is the only one of the new players who showed up again, although a few said they would come. Avi brought his friend Yedidya again.

7 Wonders

Yael+, David, Jon, Avi, Yedidya

I left my scores at home (where I am currently not). First play for everyone except for me, which surprised me. Everyone liked it.

My monument was military, and I ended up playing military which I usually don’t, since competition by a neighbor can make your investment in the cards useless. I ended with military and blue cards. Yedidya had the science monument, but didn’t build any science. He also had some blue cards. He also was discovered to have accidentally built the same blue card twice (which would have been mine); he had to discard it for 3 coins.

Yael had the “play one discarded card for free” monument, which netted her 6 points at the end of the game. She also had strong military and science. David had the “build one card each phase for free” monument, which he used in phases 2 and 3. He had nice purple cards and 3 matching science cards. Avi had the “free resource” monument, and also had strong science, but he had -6 in military score.

Vegas Showdown

Roman 39, Nadine 38, Francis 36, Nisan 36

Nadine writes: First play for Francis. Everyone enjoyed the game. Roman went first with an income-centric strategy and the rest of us used a mix-and-match.

Nisan would have won and I would have done better if I hadn’t mistakenly paid 18 for the High Rollers room. I didn’t notice that I didn’t have the prerequisite required to place it, while Nisan did. I never got the prerequisite so I never place the HR room. We redrew one card combination, where two cards [gave contradictory changes to income and we couldn’t decide how to resolve them]. Francis was the only one who completed all three [bonuses for hotel, casino, and connection], but it wasn’t enough to overcome my big victory point buildings or Roman’s most income and diamond bonuses. Nisan didn’t get any completion bonuses. I accelerated the game end when I had the chance to choose a stack.

Homesteaders

Avi 54, Jon 53, Nadine 52

I suffered from not buying the gold mine, that each of them both bought. I bought a copper mine a round or two later, but it’s really not as useful, since you need two trade chips to use it for anything else. Everyone was shy trade chips.

I had the most buildings, but Avi got the one that gave 1 point per building. At the end, we thought Nadine had won with 55 points, and then we remembered her 3 points in debt, which took her from first to last by a point either way.

Slap Deck

David, Jon, Yedidya, Yael

Avi, Nadine, Jon

We played a few games each. In the first set, David and I both pulled off winning piles. In the second set, all three of us won one game each.

Lord of Waterdeep

David 153, Roman 151, Nisan 130, Yedidya 89

David writes: Nisan and Roman were both badly hurt by Yedidya, who used his first place position to take the first place position as his first move each round, [which essentially made David who played after him the first place player for the entire game, and Roman the third place player for the entire game].

Nisan writes: True. First place for Yedidya who did not truly capitalize on going first most rounds. He also went last with the lieutenant for a few rounds. Nisan and Yedidya had piety Lords, while Nisan and Roman had arcana.

Nisan was in the lead for round 2-7 with the most missions completed. In the last two rounds, David completed 25 and 20 point missions, and Roman completed a 25 point mission of his own. Everyone enjoyed the game, I think.

 

 

July 20, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Mace, Nisan, Nadine, Or, Eyal, Nitzan, Boaz, Yael, Roman

Last week’s session was at Gili’s, with Estzer and Heidi, a visitor from the US. I was unavailable (at a lecture on games and manuscripts by Stephen Jacobs from the Strong Institute of Play). This week had a whole host of new players sent over by Gili, or who found the site on FB. Welcome everyone. Also, Mace is briefly in Israel and dropped by; hi Mace!

Lords of Waterdeep

Mace 204, Nisan 156, Yael 135

First play for Yael and Mace. Nisan writes: Yael was stuck with her Lord being for warfare/arcana, where Nisan had warfare and Mace had arcana. Mace completed a commerce plot quest giving him +2 points for each completed commerce quest, and had about seven at the end of the game. Similarly, the buildings he bought gave him +2 points per use and were used regularly for the last few rounds.

Nisan completed both 25 point warfare and piety quests. Yael completed some mid-worth quests and ended up with 17 unused cubes at the end of the game. Everyone enjoyed the game.

Alien Frontiers

Or (won), Nitzan, Eyal

First play for everyone. I taught the game and yelled answers to their questions while I played at the next table. Everyone like it, I believe.

Mr. Jack

Or+ (criminal), Boaz (police)

Boaz arrived late and had to wait around. First play for both of them.

Parade

Boaz and Yael lost with 26 points each. Mace won with 15 points. David had 21 and Jon had 22 (if I recall correctly).

Merkator

Jon 48, David 44, Roman 42, Nadine 37

First play for David and Roman, first multiplayer play (and third play) for Nadine and Jon. I think we played all the rules correctly this time around, and we found the game more balanced and worked correctly. We played without the random tossing of goods (which is a stated variant; randomly tossing goods is a Bad Mechanic). David enjoyed it and wanted to play it again.

I, on the other hand, feel that the game substituted complex calculations for tactics/strategy; and there is very little in the way of strategy. Just because it’s hard to calculate doesn’t make it a good tactical game. It’s decisions that matter, not analysis paralysis.  Our game took quite a while to play.

I won with the most buildings, which was not a big surprise. We may have overvalued the bonus cards at the beginning and David, being fourth player, was concerned that he wouldn’t get any as they could all be bought before it was his turn; in fact, Roman who went first bought five of them. They are not game changing cards; still, I think a limit of one per turn, or how many you can buy altogether, or at least a larger deck of them would be nice.

June 30, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Avi, Nadine, Nisan, Alan

We say good bye to Alan, who is moving to Petach Tikve and so won’t be around for the foreseeable future.

Love Letter

Nadine+, Avi

Nadine was left with the Princess.

David+, Avi+, Nadine

Lords of Waterdeep

Alan 145, Avi 128, Nisan 126

I usually play without the Mandatory Quests, because they are too powerful and too annoying. Nisan was used to that, so he was surprised when one was played on him, because he thought they were out of the game. They agreed to remove them at that point, I believe. Alan is not as opposed to them. Alan and Nisan kept giving each other intrigue card benefits.

Both Avi and Alan built buildings early; Nisan only built one in round 7. Alan completed 7 quests, Nisan 6, and Avi 5.

Nefarious

Nisan 20, Avi 19, Alan

Nisan had three minions on research and won on a round where both of the other players played research. The twists were Stolen Goods (other players lose $2 when you play an invention) and Perpetual Motion (play two actions each round).

Inca Empire

First play for David, second or third for Nadine, fourth or fifth for me. Nadine thinks she should be bad at the game, since it has routes, but the routes are not so much the point as is the optimizing from round to round. Strategy plays a part; not as much as tactics, but good strategy AND tactics is better.

I took a small early lead, so David played bad cards on me and good cards on him and Nadine, until and even after it was clear that Nadine was winning from the board position. Too late.

Two phases left until the end of the game, and Nadine was ahead 69 to me at 65, and David at 56. But she was already locked into more points per round than either of us and it wasn’t likely to change; perhaps I could have caught up a bit, but she was probably still going to win.

We abandoned the game because Nisan and Alan had left leaving Avi with nothing to do. Nadine: And Tichu is more fun.

Tichu

Avi/Nadine 1060, Jon/David 840

David and I apparently suck at getting the actual card points during the game, because even when we make Tichus we still end up with less points. On the first round, Avi called Tichu and then I did, and I made mine. Score: 90 us, 10 them. The next round we were even again, and we stayed even until the penultimate round, usually within 10-20 points of each other. They then both went out first to clinch the game.

Nadine: On the last round, David was down to three cards; Jon and I hadn’t played yet. Jon thought for a long time about calling Tichu and finally decided, rightly, not to. I thought about calling as I played my Dragon, but wasn’t going to because David’s three cards would be a threat to me whereas they wouldn’t have been to Jon, but Avi encouraged me so I did, fortunately. I had three pairs and my first bomb of the night; David played two Kings to beat all my pairs and would have gone out, but I bombed him and was able to go out. Jon ended up with the dog and a five.

I had only one bomb during the game (David had several), and my bomb was a straight card flush opposite my partner’s Tichu. I also had the Dog. And I still went out last.

Passover Games Day 5776

2016-04-26 15.30.45A fun day, with 23 people playing at peak time in the afternoon, more people came later after some had left. Mazal tov to Ofer and Michal on their one-week wedding anniversary. Thank you to everyone for recording scores, bringing snacks and games, and moving furniture, and to Gili for some of the pictures.

Adastra

Binyamin Z 58, Devora 35, Alan 26, Yiscah 24, Michael 19

Agricola

Roman 36, Ron 25, Assaf 21, Eli 9

2016-04-26 14.18.55Roman taught them. Eli is not a Eurogamer, Ron liked the game and did well for his first play, as did Assaf.

Bridge

Binyamin Z/Nadine, Devora/Yiscah

Binyamin helped everyone with instructions on how to play optimally. On the last hand, he bid 1NT. I had 13 points, 4 hearts, and AKx of spades and wanted to bid 4 hearts, but he said I should bid my honorless 4-card club suit. We ended up in 4 hearts; he made 7, he had 5 hearts and the queen dropped. So he asked Ben for his opinion on whether he should have gone to small slam, Ben basically said yes. He said he would have bid 4 hearts like I wanted to, unless he was playing with Binyamin, in which case he would know he had to bid the clubs.

Bora Bora 

Gili 188, Jon 178, Avi 121

boraboraJon: I decided to try this one more time to see if it was as finicky as I recalled or if it was just that my first play was overwhelming. I remain convinced that the game should have been streamlined and a few mechanics taken out. I WAS less overwhelmed, but I don’t think I will play it too often.

First play for Avi; he shared my sentiments, and by the time we were halfway through he wanted it to be over. We stuck it out. I thought I was doing OK, managing to build a building every round by the skin of my teeth, which should have given me a tidy sum. Unfortunately, owing to the luck of my first mission draws, I was a single tile shy of competing my last mission, which lost me at least 10 points. Gili finished all of her missions but was one shy of finishing her buildings, she beat me by 10 points, and I’m not sure how she beat me. If I ever play this again, I am going to try building all my tents, just to see what happens.

20160426_205142Castles of Burgundy

Binyamin Z 238, Nadine 205, Ofer 151

Jon: I taught this to Ben, Binyamin, and Ofer. Ben got bad luck with his rolls and was thoroughly sick of the game by the end of the first phase; he was perhaps too tired to figure out how all of the buildings worked, and I don’t really blame him; the iconography is not terrible, but it’s not great. On the other hand, Binyamin really liked the game and scored pretty highly.

I was happy to take over for Ben instead of playing Frank’s Zoo. Binyamin had placed the same buildings in the same area, and I let him do it again to finish a section because he had taken the building based on playing that way. I got good yellow tiles – the 3 bonus for colors of tiles sold, and the play the same building in areas, that Binyamin should have had, but it wasn’t enough to beat Binyamin’s yellow 4 point bonus tiles for 2 buildings, and his first place in several colors.

694fddfa-504b-487f-8275-f27ec404b3a5Eldritch Horror

Gili, Roman, Yonatan, Avi, Noam, and Alan beat the game in this co-op.

Frank’s Zoo

7af56e6b-146e-4240-b398-00d4bef946f4Michal 9, Devora 7, Binyamin R 6, Yiscah 4

Yiscah 25, Binyamin R 14, Eszter 14, Devora 13

Guildhall

Eitan 20, Emily 13, Ofer 10, Michal 8

guildhallIn the last turn Eitan got two series of dancers. Eitan said he exploited a loophole which allows combining extra actions with additional card draws.

Homesteaders

Jon 64, Michael 52, Avi 44

Michael had requested the farming game with the apples ahead of time, Jon realized which game he meant.

Jon: I taught this to Avi and refreshed Michael’s memory of the game. It was a nice experience for all, as I remember, but in the end my experience gave me the edge. The end scores were pretty close, however.

Lo Ra

Eli 25, Efrat and Yossi 17, Eitan 9, Ron 1, Emily 1

At least they all had positive scores. Our house version of Ra with a Biblical theme.

Lords of Waterdeep

Avi 133, Gili 122, Noam 116

Second play for Avi and Noam.

2016-04-26 21.16.49Magic

Jon: David and I drafted and we both ended up playing colors that we weren’t expecting. David played BRG and, while he got out a lot of his strength, it didn’t seem to be enough. I played BWu, with many fliers and some control cards. In the first game, my fliers took him down. In the second, I started with only one mana. I tossed a creature to get my second, which was luckily the right color for me to cast a spell that let me pay life for 2 more cards. I got out one more, a mana unicorn, and that was enough to get me started until more flowed in. We traded some kills, we both played a few big creatures, and then I took some of his out and he resigned.

Mundus Novus

Devora 95, Ofer 59

Devora +, Haim 41, Guy and Gilad 19

noblemenNoblemen

Binyamin R 92, Yosef 91, Eszter 90, Nadine 74

Eszter has the game but hadn’t played. Yosef taught us, he had read the rules but never played, so we looked up things as we went, and of course played a few things wrong. The cards were in German but it doesn’t matter because it’s just the card title, no text otherwise, we had the rules in English, and he taught in Hebrew. The game pieces are beautiful, and it’s a nice game. I forgot to do one or two things which led to my having no moves for about half the game, because I was out of tiles and money. Everyone else had tons and couldn’t understand it. I forgot to place one guy when I build a castle, which would have given me a few more tiles. I did have bad luck with tile drawing – I had three down, and every time I drew three more, which is limited to once per the three rounds, none were the forests which let you draw more tiles. I also forgot that the point of the purple churches was to get cards, which also would have helped me get more tiles. So the problem seems to have been my playing, and not the game. The theme is well-integrated as you have masquerades to increase your rank, but it resets twice per round.

2e6ead30-2c26-4939-9d4a-a31aa192eae7Notre Dame

Yiscah, Shira, Haim

Power Grid

David 15/17, Roman 13/14, Ksenia 11/15

2016-04-26 12.22.22David taught this to Ksenia who we all enjoyed seeing on her visit from Poland. We were going to use the German side, but three regions didn’t seem balanced. I left to play 7 Wonders Duel before we started, and after Ksenia and others came.

R-Eco

Devora 15, Yiscah 10, Binyamin Z 4

First play for all of them.

7 Wonders

Emily 54, Yonatan 54, Noam 51, Ofer 43,Michal 42, Eitan 37

2016-04-26 12.42.117 Wonders Duel

Yosef 88, Nadine 75

I had wanted to try this. It’s more interesting than 7 Wonders, with a similar theme and feeling, but still a lot of luck. When you select cards, it opens up new cards for the other player/s. I made mistakes with this a few times early on, and a few other mistakes. Yosef is experienced so he gave me advice. I thought he’d end up further ahead than he did. There are three ways to win; I was in a good position to win with military, two away, but the cards worked out for him, and he took advantage to block me. He was able to take the last card he needed to win in green, but preferred to keep playing and count points, he said otherwise the points are a waste. Counting points seemed complicated and time consuming, he did it. We played in French, his main language and my first one.

signorieSignorie

Binyamin R 150, Eszter 128, Nadine 127, Assaf 115

New to the others. Binyamin was competing with me for the lead most of the game, but pulled ahead at the end. He caught on well to what he needed to do. Eszter didn’t realize she should pay and get points when placing daughters, but we gave back the 5 she had paid for points with the bonus and back paid for all her placements, which gave her more points and caught her up to near me; she passed me by one at the very end. Assaf only had three helpers, Binyamin had the most.

Slap Deck

Avi++, Jon+

Jon: I taught Avi how to play this, and he really liked it. We played three times, he won twice. He asked to play it again several times when I wasn’t available.

83bda1f1-e1d1-4cde-b231-ac9cdab63769Suburbia

Jon 134, Binyamin 114, David 11, Ben 110

Jon: I taught this to Ben, David, and Binyamin. David like it and wanted to play again. Ben seemed to like it, too. Binyamin didn’t like it, because there is nothing to do when it is not your turn and the other players’ turns took too long for him. It’s true that there is not much to do on your turn, and not much in the way of player interaction or interfering with other players (other than taking the building he wants), but I think the game is fast enough and interesting enough to be good; I actually really like it.

Even though I had the highest income at the start, I was cash shy for a lot of the game. Binyamin took early greens but he ended up with negative income and no money, which made many of his last turns useless; even lakes couldn’t bring him enough cash not to lose them, and he couldn’t save money to buy income generating buildings. David also had a lot of cash, from the building that doubles lake income, which he then doubled again (for triple). He made use of his cash finally in the last third of the game hovering near the top of income and reputation until the last round. But it was too late, and he had no bonuses. Ben and I each made two bonuses, and Binyamin made three. On the last move of the game, Ben handed Binyamin his third bonus in order to take around 14 points himself.

Tichu and Where’s Tichu?

Avi/Nadine 375, Jon/David 225

We started the day with this. My favorite Tichu partner, and players. When David said maybe the teams aren’t fair, Avi said we like playing together, and I said it’s worth losing for the times we do manage to beat such good players. First hand I called a Tichu and made it. The others asked me why I called it so early, at least a hand before I played my first card, and I said because I always forget to call it if I wait. On another hand Avi could have gone out first, but wanted to give me a chance to play so we could go out first and second, but neither one of us ended up going out first, he should have just gone out. Jon thought about calling a Tichu but decided not to. One game he did well, but would have done better if he had remembered that he had passed David the Dragon and therefore knew where it was. We stopped when more people came, which I had said at the beginning would be our strategy.

Jon/Ben 735, David/Assaf 565

We couldn’t find Tichu among all the games people brought, which were stacked on shelves, couches and tables. Whenever I asked if they had looked somewhere they said yes. I know things slip between my couch pillows, so I looked carefully, and found it with a few others small games behind a back pillow.

Jon: We taught Ben and Assaf how to play. Ben picked it up quickly; Assaf took a bit longer, but they both seemed to enjoy it (it helped Ben’s enjoyment that we were winning). Ben was my teammate. David called and made 2 grand tichus, including one on the opening hand. I called and made regular tichu on the second hand. Even when our opponents made tichus, they always seemed to end up with the short end on points, so Ben and I did very well.

Ticket to Ride

2016-04-26 15.30.55Shira 123, Yiscah 121, Devora 109, Haim 98

Year of the Dragon

Shira 112, Ben 105, David 86, Haim 95

David taught this to the others, and then proceeded to do much worse than he usually does. They were all close in the number of people left at the end.

 

February 17, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Nisan, Aaron, Binyamin, Roman, Francis

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David

I achieved a rare win over David, but it was close. I played WRu, and David played BGu (I think). We both drafted a lot of fliers; David also had walls and I had a few large ground creatures. But I also had more direct damage and white instant boosters. We both started a little mana shy, but no color problems. I took David down to 8 and then to 5, and was set to kill him but he jumped back up to 10. Then he got a few flying damage in, and threw 4 +1/+1 counters on his flier, but I boosted my flying defense with an instant and killed his. I eked out the last few points with two direct damage spells.

Take It To The Limit

David 428, Jon 385, Aaron 253, Nisan 245, Nadine 178

Second play for Nadine and me, first play for the others. Nadine thinks the game is ok. David I think also thought it was ok. Aaron liked it, and Nisan didn’t like it. I like this version of the game, but I think the shorter version (Take It Easy) played on a curtailed board is probably a better filler experience for most people.

Mr Jack

Binyamin, Roman

Binyamin taught this to Roman while we played Take It To The Limit; Francis came and watched. I think Binyamin won as the Detective.

Lords of Waterdeep

Roman 149, David 128, Nisan 117, Nadine 97

Nadine writes: My strategy was to stay far behind so people would give me things when required. Which worked. I was the only one below 100. We played wrong – we didn’t replace buildings when taken. Roman had strong intrigues.

Age of Empires III

Aaron 96, Francis 94, Binyamin 89, Jon 83

Binyamin requested this because he was considering buying the new version of the game. First play for him and Francis, second for Aaron. As usual, I told the to gang up on me, but there was not much need to. While Francis slowly took control of the New World, it seemed like Aaron was winning with his income and other strong appearance. He also seemed to get a lot of specialists, but then so did Francis.

I didn’t feel like I was doing too badly, especially when I had a good income and points in buildings. But I lacked points in the New World, and Binyamin and Aaron had better incomes. As usual, not too much in the way of warfare; I rarely say this, but there could be a tad more warfare in the game to make it more interesting.

It was a long game, but everyone liked it.

January 6, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Binyamin, Aaron, Shneur, Roman, Nadine, Gili, Eszter, Jonathan, Nissan, Cliff

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

David and I chose mono-color decks: David chose red and I took white. In both games I took out several threats of his, but I couldn’t follow it up with enough damage to hurt him before he was able to regroup and kill everything of mine.

No Thanks

Roman 26, Nadine 41, Shneur 78, Aaron 50

First play for Shneur. Well done, Roman.

Lords of Waterdeep

Eszter 137, Nissan, Cliff, Roman 112

First play for some people, I don’t know whom.

Vasco da Gama

Jon  107, David 103, Gili 82, Nadine 78

First play for everyone, I had read the rules once, but it felt like starting from scratch. Even the setup took a while.

This is a pure Eurogame with some very clever and interesting mechanics. You take turns placing guys, but you don’t do your actions until everyone has placed. You pay more for later actions, but only until a point, after which all actions are free. You can also take the amount of money you would have paid for the action instead of the action.

There is almost no randomness and almost no luck. The random elements are the starting position for where actions become free and some essentially unimportant arrangements of how much money is available and how ship workers are available. The luck comes in after everyone has placed their workers; you then flip over a tile to adjust from what point actions are free, so you may end up not paying for an action after all, or paying for one if you were willing to risk taking one of the actions that was in the range of where this could fall. If you just assume that you’re going to pay for these actions, and plan for it, this doesn’t affect much, but it’s kind of annoying.

I basically got the game by the end of the first turn, but I still struggled to calculate the right amount of money I needed by the end for each of my actions: the order in which you take your actions is critical, and it’s (fun but) painful to figure this out. But I was a bit ahead of the curve. The others seemed to be having more difficulty and less fun. I enjoyed it. David said that it was just a bit too much work for the enjoyment, as did Gili. Nadine complained a lot, but in the end I think she felt it might be worth trying again. The most pain comes in near the end of the game where, if you calculate wrong, you end up not being able to play what you intended to play, and there is no next round to make up for it. Nadine and David both calculated wrong, and in both cases we let them try to adjust their moves to avoid the frustration.

Update: It turns out that we played with a number of rules errors, many of which (when played correctly) make the game harder.

Cutthroat Caverns

Shneur 21, Jonathan 17, Binyamin 16, Aaron 6

I didn’t see how this went. I know it’s not my kind of game, however.

Firenze

Shneur 38, Roman 36, Aaron 27, Benny 22

It was getting late, and Binyamin really wanted to go home. He had planned a strategy where he would build lots of little things to end the game quickly, and he would have won, too. Then they all stopped this from happening, and the game dragged on for several more rounds, totally destroying his strategy and driving him to distraction. He also said that the lack of a particular card flipping up prevented him from executing the strategy before they could stop him.

December 23, 2015

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Nissan, Eszter, Jonathan, Gili

Viceroy

Nadine 68, Eszter 51, Gili 40

Nadine writes: Very nice game, tactical with luck.

Lords of Waterdeep

Nissan 191, Jon 154, Jonathan 148

First play for Jonathan, second or third for Nissan. My starting quests didn’t match what my Lord wanted (Piety and Arcana), and I only ended up playing one of them midgame. I completed 7 matching quests, 8 altogether. Nissan managed to delay one of my quests early in the game for a turn, and completely block me from my last quest. My first quest gave bonus points for Piety quests and one of the other ones gave points for Arcana. I didn’t build a single building; Jonathan built 2, and Nissan built the rest. He certainly netted a lot of bonuses from them.

Jonathan and I were both ahead of Nissan until late in the game when he started playing his big quests. Nissan then ended with 20 points in goods and coins (I had 18) and 0 matching quests. Jonathan only managed 4 matching quests.

Vegas Showdown

Gili 66,  Nadine 59,  Eszter 52

They appeared to enjoy the game.

Jonathan’s prototype

Jon, Nissan

Nissan and I tried out a tile word game prototype designed by Jonathan.

Dvonn

Nissan+, Jon

I taught this to Nissan who wasn’t sure about the game – and also I wasn’t entirely clear in giving over all of the rules, and he ended the game with a sizeable win (after I showed him another legal (and far better) move that he had available for his second to last play).