Tag Archive | love letter

Passover Games Day 5777

Thank you to everyone who came, and brought snacks, and helped set-up and clean up. Special thanks to Jon for doing the food order, and Jon and Aaron for picking up the food from Black in town, and Aaron for taking some of the pictures.

Most popular games – Five Tribes, Nefarious, Tichu

Intrepid rules resource and teacher – Jon

Special welcome – Emily and Eitan, our stalwart gamers who rarely make it nowadays because they’re raising their own game group.

Amerigo

172 Ariel, 154 Avraham, 123 Aaron, 110 Assaf

Antike

Yael and others

Bora Bora

Emily 149, Assaf 139, Gili 139, Eitan 130

Taught by Gili.

Bridge

Nadine and Avi+, David and Jon

We didn’t officially keep score. Avi and I did pretty well, though Ben said that’s only if you don’t count two missed slams. Jon and Ben managed to have several hands each with less than 6 points.

Ben also played this earlier with another group.

Bruges

Jon 56, Shira 45+, Haim 45-, Avi 41

New to Shira, Haim and Avi, I explained the game to Shira and Haim while Jon and Aaron were picking up the food order, then Jon taught the game after Avi joined.

Jon: The game’s mechanics work okay but they feel disconnected and awkward. Okay to play, but need polishing. Really too much luck. Have to implement some other of my changes.

Five Tribes

Ben 172, Ofek 127, Asif 117, Gili 110

Taught by Gili

Aaron 140, AA 121, A 138, G 125

Ben 205, Yedidya 150, Daniel 129

Game of Thrones

Noam 6, Elad 5, Avi 4, Nati 4, Yael 2, Yochai 0

They stopped after about 7 rounds of 10, a super long game.

Lo Ra

(Nadine 13, Jon 7, Assif 6, Gili 5, Ofek 4)

We stopped after two rounds to play other games because a lot of people arrived. We did not score tribes or Gili’s Ark, Jon had by far the most in tribes.

Love Letter

David +, Aaron, Avi, Nadine 0

Avi 4, Nadine 4

Avi lost the first four on the first or second round, due mainly to luck that he couldn’t do anything about.

Magic

Daniel+, David

Jon+, David

Jon: In Magic, David and I entered a vast build up of on the ground forces, each hoping to find the flyer in our deck that would get through,

My forces were a litter stronger, so as our decks were dwindling, I decided to attack with everything, leaving a few behind as defense. David and I were being hurried by you to rejoin Tichu, and he didn’t feel like calculating out how to defend against me, so we both agreed to just abandon the game. So I didn’t actually win.

Nefarious

Daniel 33, Yael 25, Ben 29, Yedidya 25

Ben 22, Yael 20, Daniel 15, Yedidya 11

Niagara

Avi+, Gili, Nadine

The game needs more players.

Notre Dame

Gili 64, Assaf 57, David. B 55, Sara 23

Taught by Gili.                       

Power Grid

Ben 16 16, Jon 16 16, Nadine 15 16, David  8 8 Banana. Cities / Power plant total

David, very unusually, didn’t do well. As usual, I started off well then blew it. I got the 50 Power Plant relatively early on, but had no spots where I could build during Step Two, and by Step Three, Ben was too far ahead with cities and plants. He and Jon agreed to tie rather than going for another round, Jon had slightly more money.

Jon: Same idea here as in Magic. We got to the end game, and didn’t feel like slogging through one more round to see who would win. David did poorly because we played on the Benelux board, first time for all of us, and he misjudged the value of an early 4 power green plant.

Puerto Rico

Yosef  56, David B  49, Jon 48, Nadine  47, Sara 44

David B gave a thorough and detailed explanation to Sara, including strategic analysis, to teach her the game. David and Yosef spent time during the game analyzing their best moves, many to block me, then selected the role Jon knew all along they would take. Yosef was first, he started with Prospector which is unusual in our group, though we also rarely play 5-player. He said it was to stop Jon from being able to build Tobacco on the first round, but Jon said that doesn’t matter since it would ship. Another game where I started off well, but didn’t play well enough afterwards. Though I don’t think I could have beaten all those experts.

Jon: You definitely had a strong initial advantage, but twice you didn’t craft when you should have; once you took captain and once you took something else. As a result, the timing and your money didn’t quite work out. Also, Yosef got to five good with Factory, and so could take the two big buildings ahead of you. And the fact that he had tobacco ahead of me gave him reasonable early trading and late shipping.

Sara had a coffee monopoly for a while, so she also did okay, but no buildings to speak of. I had tobacco following Yosef, which hurt, but I had a harbor which helped.

R-Eco

Gili 12, Jon 10, Assaf 7, Ofek 6, Nadine 6

An early filler, we played with random number order. Eszter and others played a game later.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Cliff, Mishy, Avi, two others

Per Cliff: VICTORY WAS OURS!! The boys enjoyed it but thought it was too easy.

Study in Emerald

Mishy, Eszter, Assaf

Per Cliff: Assaf won a close victory. We all enjoyed the game but definitely needs some replay to really learn the strategies.

Tichu

820 Aaron and Ben (finished with David), 245 Yedidya and Daniel

Jon and David +, Nadine and Avi

We didn’t play a whole game, we switched to Bridge

Jon: I didn’t get to play this enough.

Tigris and Euphrates

Avi and others

Walnut Grove

Aaron 27, David 25, Nadine 23, Eszter 19

Taught by Nadine, David and Eszter hadn’t played in a long time, new to Aaron. David took a lot of workers early, Aaron had two extra storage areas and two bonuses for goods in storage, and 8 goods left, nice job. I didn’t do well with my board, and didn’t take another worker til late. Eszter took an extra storage right away which helped her.

Jon: I taught Amerigo, Tigris and Euphrates, R-Eco to Eszter and some others, Lo Ra, and Antike, but didn’t play them (except for Lo Ra).

 

March 8, 2017

Agricola

Nadine 35, Aaron 30, Ido 30, Daniel 18

Aaron played once or twice. New to Ido and Daniel.

I rarely win this but managed this time. I had cards that helped with stone houses and rooms.

Love Letter

Nadine+, Aaron, Daniel, Elad

New to Daniel.

Tzolk’in Love

Love Letter

David, Yael, Nadine, Ido

We played three games without Ido, then one after he came. New to Yael and Ido, they both caught on quickly to the strategic aspect and bluffing. We each won a game.

Tzolk’in

David 67, Ido 61, Nadine 58, Yael 43

David complained a lot even though he was doing fine, he said he was surprised he won. He took a strong monument in the second to last turn, giving him 3 points per placed skull, it was almost full and he placed another one. I had placed three, which helped him. He beat me to the top of the yellow by one point, I had the top of the green. Ido and Yael got points for corn at the end, first play for both of them. During the game Ido dropped one of his workers, but he didn’t hear it hit the floor, and we couldn’t find it. He finally found it in the table cavity below the extension piece.

Mazal tov to David on the birth of a new granddaughter last night! Refuah shlema to Jon who wasn’t feeling well.

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.

May 25, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Gili, Nisan, Francis, Binyamin, Aaron,, Shneur, Sagi, Eszter, Binyamin R (Eszter’s son)

Eszer brought her son, Gili brought Sagi I believe. From the group chatter I thought there was going to be one more person.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon++

Once again, I ended up playing a color I was not expecting to, which made me regret several of my draft choices. I had a few R direct damage and some basic red creatures, but my W had some fliers and game enders. Also, I was already playing BG, and I had an artifact that gave BGW mana. My casting costs were pretty low and my card power was medium. I didn’t have anything very strong, which made me worried.

David had some strong creatures and most were fliers, but he only played with 10 creatures. In the first game he picked ok but I was able to take him out. In the second game he just didn’t pick any mana.

Love Letter: Batman Edition

???

Nadine 9, David 0

This was played early in the evening by some people, and then later several times by Nadine and David. Nadine toasted David, as you can see. Nadine doesn’t like the Batman themed art. She won with the Baron’s card 6 or 7 times.

Die Dolmengotter

David 81, Jon 70, Nadine 44

I taught this is a filler game to Nadine and David. Nadine doesn’t like abstracts, so she didn’t try much. I learned that putting your best stone as the first stone in an octagon is not necessarily the best play, since other stones placed on top later (even your own) will sink it.

David apparently figured this out before I did and so ended with the higher score. This game is far better with three players than with two, and may even be better with four. More players give you more room for strategy and interesting tactical play.

Dead of Winter

Binyamin, Aaron, Shneur, Francis

These four are players who favor thematic games, so they joined to play one of Binyamin’s new arrivals. It is a cooperative game with a potential traitor. There was no traitor, and they all won. The game includes electronic instructions, like a VCR/DVD game. I think they all had a good time.

Settlers of Catan

Nisan 11, Gili 6, Sagi 6

First play for Sagi, I gather. The scores were something like 7/7/7 at one point. I believe that Nisan won by stealing Largest Army and Longest Road in one play.

Steam

David 77, Jon 67, Nadine 65

The last time we played this, David made an early mistake but was sure he could do better. He always beats himself up when making a mistake (even after taking a long time to think about it), forgetting that everyone else is also making mistakes and probably not even smart enough to realize it. In the end, he is very good at these kinds of games.

Nadine wasn’t sure if she wanted to play again, but she admits the game is good. Like last game, I spent most of my time off in a corner, so Nadine fed David some extra points by using his tracks. Maybe the center really is the better location. Hard to tell.

It’s possible that the game is 1 or 2 rounds too long with three players. There are still things to do, but the scoring positions of the players never seem to change in these rounds.

Nefarious

Eszter 21, Jon 20, Nadine 18, David 16, Binyamin (E.s.) 14

First play for Binyamin, and a reminder of the rules for Eszter. Eszter and I both passed 20 on the same round, but she had the extra point. Our twists were a) cycle all cards in hand after each build, and b) use the previous invention’s effects when playing an invention without effects.

A lot of teaching

Attended: Nadine, Aaron, Schneur, Haim, David, Ben, Jon, Oshrat, Lior, Francis, Helen. Oshrat had been in touch with Gili, she brought Lior. Jon called at 8:45 and was surprised that we hadn’t started any games yet, so we waited for him for PR. Bon Voyage to Jon’s daughter, and Ben’s niece, Tal, who is off to a semester in Germany.

Love Letter

I taught Aaron and Schneur, Schneur won our first two games. Haim joined in, he had played before and did well. When David came I let him take my place because I wasn’t doing well, David and Aaron both won some rounds. They all liked playing.

Tzolk’in

Aaron 72, Ben 59, Haim 55

I taught this while we were waiting for more people to arrive, new to all three of them – Aaron had played once but didn’t remember too much. They really liked the game. Ben was behind but got a Monument giving him 22 points.

Settlers of Catan

Oshrat +, Lior, Francis, Helen

Then I taught Settlers, Oshrat had played before. Helen left early so Jon played for her for a few turns, but then left to play Tichu. They did well at catching onto how to play, and enjoyed the game. Thank you to the players who remembered to move my table back.

Puerto Rico

David 49, Schneur 47, Jon 43, Nadine 37

David taught this to Schneur while I was teaching Settlers, and we played a few practice rounds. Before we started I said Schneur as the new player should get corn, which led to a discussion of which starting positions are strongest, Jon said fourth then third, which were the positions David and Schneur played. Jon and David had Factories, but were each surprised when they were ready to build that the cost was 8, even though David had set it up that way. I made one bad mistake, not trading which would have let me buy a big building, and I didn’t play so well in general. David and Schneur had two large buildings, I had one. Jon took a Wharf instead of a large building, which seems to not have been worth it. When he was discussing that whether it was a good move or not depended on how long the game lasted, I didn’t realize that he knew he wasn’t going to get a large building. But he had 5 corn, and crafted and shipped at least 4 times. I was on his right, so barely got to ship anything from his crafts. It was fun to play, we haven’t played in person or online in ages because the site we played on crashed, and it’s not on Yucata.

Tichu

David/Nadine 1000+, Jon/Schneur 135+

We didn’t calculate the exact score on the last hand, David made a Tichu. First play for Schneur, who liked it and did well. We all had mainly bad hands, no grand tichus, one bomb. David called Tichu on the first hand and made it easily in two hands. I got the Phoenix a lot and always passed it to David, even when I had the Dragon. Except once, while trying to decide which to pass to David, I realized that I should maybe keep them both and call Tichu myself, so I passed him the Dog. My hand wasn’t that good otherwise, I didn’t really have entries, but I called Tichu because I had given him the Dog. I ended up making it somehow, Jon didn’t have a good hand to block with and kept letting me get rid of low cards. David and I were very lucky a few other times and both went out first, with bad or medium hands, but the opponents had worse hands. At one point David won a trick with a 3 over a 2. On the last hand Schneur bombed David’s straight after David had called Tichu, leaving David with one card, and Schneur with three. I was able to get the lead, feeling bad that I didn’t have the Dog. I played a low single card, but since it was passing through Schneur who played high, I didn’t expect it to work, but David had the Dragon. I don’t think I made any mistakes, it’s been a while. Of course luck helps.

January 27, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Yitzchak, Ayelet, Tzuriel, Gili, Roman, Nadine, Binyamin, Nisan, Francis

It takes a while for us to get settled on games to play, especially with people waiting to hear what everyone else is going to play before deciding on a game and/or coming a bit late (while we’re setting up games). I thought it would be easier with more people. 🙂

Yizchak as a dear old friend visiting Israel, and Ayelet is his daughter. Tzuriel is a designer who dropped by (and also a friend of Gili’s).

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David

I drafted a worse deck, so I thought, and I quickly got pummeled and my forces wiped out. At 4 points, I kept drawing cards that let me hang on another round until I finally got a few blockers in play and a flier that he couldn’t block. He could get through 2 points (which would drop me to 2) at the cost of some of his creatures, but only once. In the meantime, I began poking him with my flier, and then two fliers. Then we were both at 4 points.

He finally got 3 points through to me, leaving him open to 3 points in return (after which he was poised to win), but I topdecked another point for the win.

Agricola

Roman, David, Tzuriel

David said he didn’t play well.

Five Tribes + The Artisans of Naqaba

Francis 188, Jon 169, Nadine 159, Gili 150

Binyamin brought this expansion. First play of the expansion for all of us, first play of Five Tribes of any kind for Francis. The six or seven times that I have played Five Tribes have not yet given me any clue as to the most successful strategy. Instead, playinf feels like throwing darts at a board I can’t see, hoping for the best and completely unable to do anything about the darts thrown by my opponents. Which makes it a very tactical game with no real control. It’s possible that a real attempt to understand the game and several more plays will give me a better handle on the strategy.

This expansion greatly complicates the tactics. None of it was bad, but it was just so unnecessary for a game about which I already feel no control. That feeling was magnified. I’m not ready for it. Also, I’m not sure how balanced it is, especially one card that Nadine took; on the one hand, she didn’t win, but on the other she also didn’t play robustly.

This was the first time I played taking no yellow meeples or djinns. I took cards, some rich blue meeples, and a few places on the board, but nothing extraordinary. Francis took some of the earliest and best board spaces, and also had bonuses in yellow meeples and cards and leftover money. Nadine had strong purple and good board spaces. Gili had purple chips and yellow meeples.

If the game was confusing for us, it was probably more so for Francis on his first play.

Small World Underground

Nisan 116, Ayelet 104, Binyamin 100, Yitzchak 91

First play for Ayelet, at least. I don’t know how this went.

Love Letter

Binyamin 3 Nissan 2 Yitchak 1 Ayelet 1

Played as an end of evening filler.

Tichu

Jon/Yitzchak 80, 105, 305, 365, 565, Nadine/Binyamin 120, 195, 95, 235, 235

First play for Yitzchak, who picked up the game quickly after the first hand. Binyamin and Nadine called all of the tichus, and they called them 3 out of 5 hands (but only made 2 of them). On round 3, Binyamin was my RHO and he had called tichu. After he hestitated during play, it was obvious to me that he was left with a K and the Dog. I followed him with an A and the ability to pretty much go out when I wanted. I let Yitzchak whittle down his cards first. That round and the last we both went out first.

Sababa V’Hakol

Tzuriel, Gili

Tzuriel taught Gili (I think) a game he designed. It’s up on a crowdfunding site (in Hebrew).