Tag Archive | navegador

And it’s Emily by a nose

Kate, Gili, Emily, Eitan, Nadine


Kate 138, Nadine 135

Kate’s husband Moshe received this to review; we played while waiting for the others. The cards are nice and it’s fun to make word combinations. You place as many of your 7 cards as you can on your turn, with points adding up with each adjacent card. You’re supposed to make two word common phrases, but what qualifies can be subjective. For example, ‘head’ followed by ‘table’ clearly works, while ‘land’ ‘case’ isn’t clear. We think there could be a more interesting and strategic game with the cards, maybe with hand management and some planning, which there isn’t now. And it’s a lot of adding for the scoring.


Emily 97, Eitan 96, Nadine 84, Gili 80, Kate 78

I’ve played this twice, Gili once, first play for the others. At the end of the game we scored our boards one at a time, Eitan’s first and then Emily’s, when she overtook him by one. Everyone enjoyed the game and the different possible strategies. We spent time at the beginning going over how to play, so people had a pretty good understanding. Eitan concentrated on colonies, he had around 10, and he had factories. Emily had 9 factories, Kate had blue chips and brown buildings, I had 5 gray buildings, and Gili sailed a lot and had 5 blue chips. I did terribly with money, most of the game Emily and Eitan were getting twice as much money in the market. I missed being able to afford a colony once, the same thing happened to Gili. I didn’t buy ships and had only one blue chip, everyone else had at least two.

We didn’t like the market mechanic. It’s fine to have it relate strategically to which colonies and factories you get, but the calculations are really tedious. Eitan worked hard figuring out the best deals for people seated away from the market, but it takes a lot of time, holding up the game for not that much differentiation. There should be a simpler way to achieve the slight interaction which doesn’t even affect whether people go to the market that much, they go if they need money. We want to play again now that we understand the game.




Jon and I started off playing Nefarious, by the designer of Dominion. It took me a while to understand it, but it didn’t matter that much because we had crazy condition cards. I came in second.

Tanto Cuore

Then we walked around and played a game similar to Dominion, Tanto Cuore. It’s Japanese with a theme of hiring maids, Jon had heard of it, and they had a demonstrator in a skimpy maid costume. Jon’s really good at Dominion, I’ve beaten him like once and usually don’t even come close. We thought we understood the game well, but didn’t understand the set-aside mechanic which is not in Dominion. I did very well, but Jon still beat me, 51 to 47, with 30 for the demonstrator, who may not play as hard as possible, or you can’t get good players to wear a maid costume.

I reached the person giving me Agricola by phone, and on the way to Madras Pavilion for lunch we picked it up from him by his hotel. Madras Pavilion was great even though it’s not a pavilion but in a strip mall. Really good kosher vegetarian Indian food, with Bill as a very helpful guide to Indian food.

Space Mission

After lunch Bill, Shirley and I went to pick a game from the game library. Bill wanted a space theme, so we picked Space Mission from the Essen games, and went into the main room. While we were trying to figure out how to play two other players joined us, one was Simon Strange. We managed to work it out, it’s a nice simple game. Tom won the tie with Simon at 39, Shirley and I had 30 and Bill 29. I commented on the nice look of the planets, Simon said better than ours. It turns out that he is a video game developer of Hellboy: Asylum Seeker and Godzilla: Save the Earth among others. He’s now working on a space-themed board game, with prototype artwork including planets, hence his comment. After Space Mission, Bill, Shirley and another player played his prototype with him. It looked too route-like so I decided not to play. Simon also play-tested Bill’s game and provided feedback.


I played Navegador, which I had played once before. I had won that game, but we played something wrong so I shouldn’t have won. This game was the first time for everyone else, someone came by and gave a quick overview. I made a mistake on my first move and was behind the rest of the game. Two of the other players were doing really well, one was doing terribly. He improved, and we ended up tying for last place, he won the tiebreaker, so I lost.

At dinner, Jon said that I played Navegador which he likes, and he played Walnut Grove, which I wanted to play, and didn’t know til then that he had gotten to play. By then, his Secret Santa had written me that he got Navegador and Incan Empire for Jon.

Puerto Rico

Jon and I wanted to try the game library’s copy of the fancy new 10th anniversary edition of Puerto Rico, but it was checked out so we took the regular one. The new version is approved for sale in Europe, but not in the U.S. because of the lead in the coins, they have to reprint them. Jon held it up for a few minutes and two players joined, one had played before. Jon’s much better than me at Puerto Rico, but I can beat him. I’m also not experienced or good at 4-player, we usually play 3-player, and online I play 3-player.

One of the other players crafted into Jon, who was able to trade sugar with two role coins, and he pretty much had the game from there with a coffee monopoly. I got blocked out of trading and couldn’t get anything going. I had a small warehouse, but no harbor, factory or wharf. One player, who only had tobacco and corn, took a harbor at one point. He had enough for a wharf, but I didn’t say anything, because he seemed to know what he was doing, having rejected advice before. But it turns out he had a wrong impression of how harbor works, so I should have mentioned it. I did tell him later that he should consider shipping, which he did, to my detriment. It’s always hard to know how much to help other players, they learn more by making mistakes, but it also makes the game more frustrating. Jon won by less than I expected, but still a lot, I came in second. 58, 45, 40, 37.


We stopped by our hotel office to check for packages. Jon could see a package behind the counter. The desk clerk said it wasn’t for us and went to check the back, nothing there either. Jon asked again about the package he could see, which was a big box. The clerk showed it to us to prove that it wasn’t ours, but he was looking at the return address. It was my Secret Santa package, with an Agricola expansion and London, and Jungle Speed for my kids.

Jon had played Inca Empire on Thursday and liked it, which was handy since that was one of his Secret Santa games. We picked up his package Friday on the way to David’s for Shabbat.

June 22, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Binyamin, Tikva Shira

Nadine returned, as did Binyamin, giving us a more normal session than last week’s.

As I noted on my blog, I will be moving to Raanana in August. The fate of the JSGC will be left in the hands of Nadine and Gili. Hopefully they will be able to keep it going while I’m gone (at least a year, maybe more).

Fairy Tale

Jon 39, Nadine 35, Gili 35

I saw that several of my cards were going to be worthless by the end of the game, so I was pretty sure I was going to lose. How did I win? Seven of the nine cards I scored averaged 6 points or so. Nadine and Gili had several cards that scored only 2 to 4 points each.


Gili 70, Nadine 70, Binyamin 69, Tikva Shira 67, Jon 62

I requested this, since I loved it the one time I played it. Binyamin thoughtfully brought it. First play for everyone else except for Binyamin.

I may love it, but I’m also bad at it, or at least I’m bad at the strategy; the tactics I can handle. I bought an early ship-building house and had essentially no income for the next fifteen turns. Everyone else had little houses or colonies and raked in 100+ income on markets; I pulled in 20 or 30, and I couldn’t afford to buy houses or colonies, which made is a catch-22. (Binyamin, with his extra sail action, swooped in and took the only colony I could have afforded.) I figured that this early mistake set me back about ten moves. And I barely even used that ship-building house during the game.

By the end of the game, when everyone else was pulling 250+ or more from markets, I was finally pulling around 100. I scored as well as I did because, other than that early mistake, I get the tactics of games like this. I can focus on points in a game rich with intriguing mechanics that distract from the end-scoring. As I said, I love the game. I just have to figure out how to play my start-game correctly.

T”S was the first to pull ahead in worker-building advancement, and Gili followed. Nadine had the most ships and the most blue disks. Binyamin had the most colonies.


Jon 12, Tikva Shira 8, Nadine 4, Binyamin

There wasn’t time for a full game, so we let T”S choose a short game. Binyamin would have gotten more points if he had been actually playing. Which is odd, since he’s pretty colorblind.


Jon/Nadine 550, Binyamin/Tikva Shira 0

Three hands of Bridge. Nadine and I set them one trick in two hands, and we bid and made one game in the other.

December 15, 2010

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Nechama, Binyamin, Mace

This report is done without notes and a few days after the session, so it’s pretty anemic in terms of facts. I sold off a number of games to Binyamin. Making room for a few games on the way.


Nadine+, Jon

I was sent this game in prototype form (pretty well done for a prototype, actually) to review. The game is, as of this posting, on Kickstarter.

The theme is the Cold War of 1955. Two players use card-driven mechanics to achieve political influence in 6 countries. On your turn, you play two cards, refill your hand, and move your spy. You win if you gain control of your opponent’s country or if you gain control of any three countries.

The game immediately stuck in my head as “1960-lite”. Cards allow you to either add the influence to the location identified on the card (or your home country or the country in which your spy is) or let you take the special action, but not both.

I sent some comments to the publisher. When I get a response, I will post a review on Purple Pawn.

Nadine and I each secured our own countries and one other. We fought back and forth for the remaining countries, and Nadine took it in a surprise victory.

Nadine, Gili

They played, but I don’t think they finished the game.


Binyamin 110ish, Nechama 94, Jon 91

Binyamin brought his copy and taught us. It’s a fantastic game by the creator of Antike, also with a rondel, but this time with no direct confrontation. You can only take items that others need before they get to them. It’s a tight economic game, and if you don’t have your engine going early, you’re in trouble, like I was. I finished much higher than I anticipated, actually.

A must-buy for our group. I was planning on buying Shipyard, and now I think I need both.

Louis XIV

Mace, Nadine, Gili

I don’t remember what happened, except that they all ended with the same number of completed missions.

Schotten Totten

Binyamin, Jon

Binyamin was going to buy this from me, but he didn’t. I had never actually played, so he taught me. It’s actually better than I expected, since Lost Cities is always held as a great two-player card game and I never liked it. This is better. Luck with the special cards plays too big a role, however. Either we didn’t know what we were doing (we only had the German instructions and the symbols on the special cards are worthless, so that’s possible) or we need to find a way to equalize the cards or just play without them.


Jon, Mace, Binyamin, Nadine

I don’t even remember who partnered with whom.