Tag Archive | nefarious

Passover Games Day 5778

A busy games day, with most people staying the whole time. Thanks to those who came early and stayed late to help with set-up and clean-up – Nechemia, Assaf, Lior, Binyamin and Jon, who also brought an extra table and chairs; and to Gili for the pictures she took and for organizing the online dinner order. Quite a few close games, a crazy Tichu game, and even a few hands of bridge, and welcome to Lorenzo’s wife Sara. Game trend – titles that begin with the letter C. Played more than once: Crokinole, Oh My Goods, Tichu, Traders of Osaka.

Alchemists

Binyamin 27, Haley 21, Eszter 12, Gili 11

Bridge

Nadine and Binyamin S, Jon and Binyamin

Binyamin really wanted to play, Binyamin S has never played so we walked him through. First hand I opened 3 spades with 7, Binyamin S passed, and Jon and Binyamin made game in hearts. Next games I bid and Binyamin passed, Jon and Binyamin went one down in 4 spades with Binyamin playing it, I had a strong hand.

Catan

Azriel+, Lorenzo, Binyamin, Eszter

Clans of Caledonia

Nechemia 130, Sara 120, Nadine 108, Assaf B 103

First play for the other three. We played with 4 points per all import goods, with no tracking or coins for them. I tried the delta clan, which did help somewhat, partly because being near rivers helped me get most settlements, and I upgraded to two lochs which I usually don’t do. Nechemia had the whiskey clan, Sara had double contracts, and Assaf had the one with the extra initial placement. Nechemia tied Sara for most contracts with 5, and had 72 in export good points. I had a lot of whiskey at the end that I didn’t have market tokens to sell, I should have done more market upgrades in the last round.

Codenames

Eszter, Binyamin S, Efrat, Gili, Noam, Maria

They played three rounds.

Concordia

Binyamin, Rosalynn, Nechemia, Yehuda K

Not Rosalynn’s type of game, not sure it’s mine either though I heard it’s good. Nadine S left to join Walnut Grove.

Crokinole 

Jon, Elianna, Rosalynn and others throughout the day. Jon:  Crokinole, not too much play, but some fun play nonetheless. Binyamin didn’t take to it, and especially not the high price I paid for the game.

Deep Sea Adventure

Lorenzo, Binyamin S, Azriel

Dinosaur Island

Jon 79, Lior 77, Gili 74, Efrat 71

Jon complained a lot about the Hooligan mechanic, which adds total luck to a strategy game. It doesn’t have that big of an effect and the luck sometimes evens out, but annoying nevertheless, Gili likes it because it adds fun and suspense.

Jon: A game with somewhat confusing graphics, but straightforward gameplay. As I mentioned several times during the game, the game has a bunch of random and strategic elements, which are fine, but then ends with a luck draw out of a bag that serves absolutely no game purpose other than to screw some people instead of others (much like Thebes). In some games there may be a person or development that you can buy to mitigate it, but often not, and only one person would be able to do it. And there is no, absolutely no, purpose for the mechanic. It is as useful as simply rolling a die and handing out victory points based on the number you roll – actually, it is exactly like that. Remove the mechanic and the game plays EXACTLY the same, but far better. I like the game other than that. It’s a basic planning and allotment of resources game that works well enough with enough theme to color it.

Hansa Teutonica

Jon, Avi, Efrat, Lior

Jon: Enjoyed by all players. I didn’t take any of the instant circle bonuses, like I usually do. Instead, the game ended rather quickly as Avi and I spread a network of cities across much of the left two-thirds of the board. I had a boost from having 4 disks, while one other person had any, and only one.

Homesteaders

Efrat 54, Lior 49, Gili 34

First time for all players.

Lewis & Clark

Nadine+, Lorenzo, Yokhay

First play for Lorenzo and Chaim. I’m starting to understand the game, first time I played with the rule where you can discard cards to pay equipment, we had missed it until now and it makes a difference. Fewer cards were bought than in previous games I’ve played, I only bought one, a 3, which helped, but my main advantage was it being their first play. Lorenzo bought the card I wanted at the start, but then gave me good advice. Lorenzo hogged the Indians, there were a few times where there were none available at all. We shortened the trail by 7 spaces to finish sooner, which may have hurt them with a stronger infrastructure.

Mercator

Nadine S 44, Adrien 41, Avi 34, Elianna 33

New to all of them. Jon wanted to try this again, but after teaching it ended up trying Alchemists, which he also didn’t play in the end.

Nefarious

Jon 20, Binyamin, Binyamin S, Haley

Oh My Goods

Lorenzo 25, 24 Binyamin S 24, Eszter 21

Rosalynn, Elianna and Azriel also played.

Puerto Rico

Noam 54, Yael 50, Yossi 48, Maria 46, Assaf B 39

Rising Sun

Yael, Yehuda K, Avi, Binyamin, Yossi

Yael taught this, they played a long time but didn’t finish the game.

Tichu

Jon and Lior, Azriel and Binyamin S played a hand or two earlier.

Avi and Nadine vs Assaf B and Yehuda Klein

First game
300 -100
600 -100
635 -35
935 -35
1100 0

Second game, which we didn’t finish
40 -40
100 0
405 -5

I called Tichu at least 3 times in the first game. Avi offered to switch partners after the first game, but they said no. It was mostly luck of the cards, though Yehuda K hadn’t realized he could play his 4 bomb over my 3 bomb. It might have stopped my Tichu but he couldn’t have gone out easily. I played something like the 1, 3, Queen, 3 bomb and a 7-card straight with the Phoenix.

Traders of Osaka

Jon, Lior, Efrat

Jon, Binyamin, Nechemia

Jon: It played well enough, but it’s just a bit too long for what it is, which keeps it from being a far better experience. There is often just a little more to the gameplay then there seems to be, however.

Tzolk’in

Nechemia 63, Sara 58, Assaf B 57, Rosalynn 33

New to all of them.

Walnut Grove

Nadine 29, Nadine S 25, Yochai 24, Elianna 18

First play for all but me. I lost 6 points on the last turn – I couldn’t pay 3 cubes, and only had 2 left – not enough to pay back a loan, so I had to take two Neighborly Helps and used a gold coin, but I had 3 bonus tiles which made the difference, two 2-point per bonus tiles for 12; Nadine S had 2 and the others one.

Yinsh

Jon+, Nechemia

Passover Games Day East – April 4

Jon went to visit David in Maale Adumim because David isn’t attending public gaming events while in avelut. Report by Jon:

David and I and two of his kids played Nefarious. We had the twists a) when you research, draw two cards and then toss a card, and b) you gain 1 vp for every 5 coins you have. Everything was pretty normal, until both of the kids got to 21 on one round. David had 20 and I had 19. So we went another round. Both kids had 22 and I got to 22, as well. The next round two people had 23. The next round two people had 24. The next round two people had 25, but I got to 26 and won.

We all played Tichu for a while, and my partner and I went very negative. We were -350 to 350 at one point. We stopped for dinner when my side was -170 to 570.

After dinner, David, Avi, and I played Lewis & Clark. Probably not the right game for David, even though he loves it. It’s a real analysis paralysis machine, as you know, and David took a long time on his very first turn. So did Avi. I was patient. Eventually, David got ahead of us, Avi eventually started playing faster just because he didn’t want to think too long, and we all make some of those famous mistakes, which is the point I think. David won several rounds ahead of any of us. They both enjoyed it, but agreed that maybe David shouldn’t play it.

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October 18, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim S, Aaron, Chaya Bluma, Elad, Yael, Gili

Gili and Aaron return from trips. This report is being written after a week, so I forgot who played what.

Traders of Osaka

Jon, Aaron, Yael, Haim S

First play for all but me, I don’t remember who won but it wasn’t me.

Keyflower

Jon 75, Haim 47, Aaron 30

First play for Aaron and Haim. They both liked it and want to try again. I told everyone about Nadine’s winning strategy from my previous game, and Aaron was intending to try it, but he passed too early and I took the building he wanted. Even if he had gotten it, I would have choked his barrel supply.

A weird game where not a single black good was available (two minor gold production buildings were available).

Dominion

Elad 31, Chaya Bluma 24

Nefarious

Yael, Chaya Bluma, Gili, Elad

There was some confusion in the rules, and I think they decided to just stop the game.

Tichu

Jon/Aaron, Haim/Chaya Bluma

All I remember was that we lost something like 1050 to 150 or so. Very sad.

Sukkot Games Day 5778

A nice day, sunny following a day of rain so we could use the sukkah.

Thank you to Jon for bringing a table and chairs, and Crokinole; Eszter for planning and organizing the dinner order; and everyone else for snacks and helping to clean up.

Most played games: Crokinole and Nefarious

 

 

Carson City
Tzvi 46+
Daniel 46
Nadine 41
Assaf B 26

Tiebreaker is being earlier in turn order. I taught this to them, it takes time to explain well and understand the mechanics. Tzvi took a long time on his turns, which paid off for him. Assaf kept taking guns, though he lost some duels. He took a Mine I wanted, which messed up my plans. Tzvi and Daniel had good building set ups.

Crokinole

Jon 120  Lorenzo 75  Nadine 55

This was played frequently during the day.

 

 

Diplomacy

Noam and Yochai checked out how to play.

Euphoria
Binyamin +
Yael second
Noam
Yochai

 

 

Five Tribes
Ben 171
Haley 134
Lorenzo 118
Aryeh 83

New to Haley and Lorenzo. Ben had a full set of cards plus two others.

 

Havoc
Jon 38
Avi 26
Nadine 21
Tzvi 20

New to Avi and Tzvi. Jon compiled a good hand, then just called Havoc for the rest of the game so we couldn’t recruit more cards. I don’t like this type of direct ‘conflict’.

Hansa Teutonica
Lorenzo 38  Ben 37  Jon 33  Yael 32  Hailey 28

Jon taught this.

Homesteaders
Yehuda 65
Sara 38
Chaya Bluma 36

First play for CB and Sara.

Isle of Skye
Eszter 53
Yochai 48
Noam 47
Avi 43
Binyamin S 42

Eszter has played before.

Keyflower
Haley 54
Eszter 48
Sara 44
Chaya Bluma 33

Taught by CB.

Nefarious
Sara 20
Chaya Bluma 16
Ofer 11

Ben 23
Aryeh 18
Tzvi 17
Assaf 13

Avi 23
Yochai 20
Binyamin 20
Eszter 18

Avi 20
Yochai 17
Binyamin 16
Eszter 16

Puerto Rico

Daniel 28  Chaya Bluma 27  Assaf 25  Ofer and Sara 24

First play for all but CB, who ended with two unmanned large buildings.

 

 

 

Splendor

Daneil, Assaf B, Aryeh, Yocheved

 

 

 

 

Sushi Go!

Chaya Bluma 39 Haley 35 Yael & Sara 30

Chaya Bluma: We all enjoyed a fun game!

Tichu
Tzvi and Aryeh 1100
Ben and Assaf B 990

Yehiel and Lorenzo 265
Eszter and Binyamin 135

New to Tzvi and Lorenzo

Traders of Osaka
Yehiel 17
Nadine 16
Jon 11
Avi 10

First play for all. An interesting light game with little player control.

Trajan
Nadine 127
Aryeh 125
Assaf B 117
Yehiel 76

First play for all but me; they caught on very well. We thought Aryeh was winning, and he came in ahead until we remembered to score the buildings. I was the only one with any points, I had two wilds, for 20 points, which put me ahead by two. Assaf did a good job calculating in advance, but didn’t manage to put about eight of his cards on the table. Aryeh collected and played a lot of cards.

Village
Avi 53+
Jon 53
Nadine 48

Jon, Ben, Haley, Yael and Lorenzo played one round early on, but stopped when Ben seemed too far ahead. That experience made it easier for Jon to teach it to me and Avi later, I had played once a long time ago but didn’t remember the details. I got 18 points from Traveling, but it wasn’t quite enough, I also had people in the Church, but not much else. Avi did well in the green cube building and had at least 5 trade chips, Jon also had trade chips, and traveled. And died at better times.

 

June 07, 2017

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Aaron, Haim S

No game night last week owing to Shavuot.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon++, David+

We drafted and I ended up with a GWR deck. Unusually for me, a) I played only 15 lands, 5 of each color, b) I played 41 cards instead of 40. In addition to the lands, I had 4 cards that fetched lands (of my choice) or generated mana. Also unusually for me, I never had any mana problems, hitting 7 or 8 mana in all colors within the first 7 rounds in each game. David had some mana problems with his 40 card / 18 land deck in RGb. He played b even though his W was stronger, because he hates playing W. The only reason his W was stronger was because he negative drafted W cards away from me.

I had a few fliers (including a red 5/5 flying haste who gets shuffled back into your deck at the end of the round), some medium green creatures, and some boosters, with only three control cards (a spark jolt (1 point and a scry), a white card that buries a large creature, and a small creature that sends one of his creatures out of play until it (the small creature) leaves play).

In the first game, I brought him down to one point, and then he took out my creatures and generated his own until he won. In the second he struggled with mana a bit and I took him down. In the third, I brought him down to two points and it looked light it might be a repeat of the first game but I top-decked my red 5/5 flyer to win.

Princes of Florence

Aaron 63, David 54, Jon 53, Haim 51, Nadine 47

First play for Haim and maybe second or third for Aaron? David and I essentially copied each other’s early strategy, each taking a jester and a recruiter. Then he took two more recruiters and I took two more jesters. We both ended with no prestige cards and very similar results, as you see. Meanwhile, I encouraged Aaron to try a builder strategy; he took 3 builders and 4 prestige cards, none of them too expensive. In the last round, Haim, who had two builders, actually covered more spaces than he had, so he Aaron lost his last prestige card. However, he times his works well, taking the best work twice I think (at least once), and did very well. Haim did a mixture of about everything, with builders, landscapes, and a prestige card. Nadine also had two prestige cards, and played conservatively (spending as little as possible).

Nadine writes: Chaim blocked Aaron from getting the least empty spaces one, and blocked me from getting anything for my second one which would have been 7 for most landscapes, 4 for a tie, with 7 I would have tied David; Chaim got most lakes. I should maybe have bid more against him for a lake, but that would have just been a tie, and I would have lost one or two points from the money spent. 

Nefarious

Jon 20, David 18m Aaron 17, Haim 13, Nadine 11

First play for Haim. He keeps complaining that we are always playing different games, while he prefers to play the same game several times in a row so as to get the nuances. I sympathize with him, but I must say that I rarely encounter someone who is so good at picking up the rules of games as I explain them.. He always understands the rules on the first try, although he often checks certain rules out loud as we play (like a verbal reminder, I think).

Anyhoo, we played with the twists a) we all start with 20 instead of 10, and b) we toss down to the nearest 5 at the end of each round (unless you have less than 5). The first twist is pretty uneventful, while the second one radically changes how you play. You MUST place minions, or you have no hope of accumulating any money.

I drew tons of very expensive cards. I finally tossed them all out for some cash (the effect of a card), and when I drew again I drew the most expensive card in the game. It actually ended up helping me, because it was worth just enough points to get me to 20.

Tichu

Nadine/Aaron 620, David/Haim 280

Nadine/Aaron 310, David/Jon -120

I kibitzed the first game, tsking when Aaron called Tichu after Tichu (and then when he didn’t call Grand Tichu and he should have) and as he played his last few cards. David had some bad luck with his tichus. The I sat down to take Haim’s place, and David and I proceeded to have several hands of really bad luck, as well as a few bad plays (some of which hurt us and some of which didn’t). It was late so we gave up.

May 24, 2017

Participants: Jon, Yitzchak, Haim S, Aaron, David K, Nadine, Gili, Evan, Haim B, Josh

Yitzchak is an old friend who is visiting Israel and comes once every few years. Evan is Nadine’s nephew, visiting from northern California. He just graduated Berkeley and will be moving to Seattle, where he plans to look for game groups. Haim B and Josh happened to be in Jerusalem, one visiting from LA, one from Tel Aviv.

Slap Deck

Jon, Aaron, Haim S, Yizchak

I taught Yitzchak and Haim how to play. We played two quick games.

Nefarious

Evan 22, Nadine 21, Aaron 20

First play for Evan. They played while waiting for Gili and a new player to arrive; when two new players showed up they split into two groups of three instead of playing Princes of Florence. Twists: +1 point per card. And something about paying minions to invent.

Five Tribes

Nadine 171, Aaron 149, Evan 149

Nadine writes: Aaron helped Evan analyze in Five Tribes. Evan had 10 yellows when the 3 point djinn came out. Aaron convinced him to bid 12, and didn’t overbid him, but it would have been worth bidding 18 for a move where he got two more yellows and could buy the djinn. I had 7 cards and some good board spots, though not the most. Aaron ran out of camels which ended the game, I had 3 left. The cards stalled when I had 7; Evan had 5. Aaron was second in yellows, I had 5 whites at the end. I took money twice, and bid low and went last a lot, though we mostly didn’t bid a lot.

Notre Dame

Haim B 61, Gili 47, Josh 46

First play for Haim and Josh.

La Citta

David++, Yitzchak+, Jon-, Chaim S–

We played four rounds out of six. First plays for Chaim and Yitzchak, while David and I hadn’t played in a long time. Chaim got blindsided and wiped out when he lost a central city. This is a very punishing game that can wipe out your chance of winning if you are careless. Otherwise, you have to balance winning and losing. Early mines, which David had in plenty, are game-changing. Not surprisingly, the other person who had a fair shot of winning by the time we ended also had a good income. I had a very small income; although I understood the rules better and wasn’t entirely wiped out, I wasn’t doing anywhere near as well.

All of us had a problem with the card turnover. Often six or seven of the cards are useless, which means taking a mildly useful or useless card simply reveals a good one for the next player. Worse, some basic actions that you need to stay competitive or at least climb out of your hole (or at least keep you from being bored for the last hour of the game) are simply unavailable. There MUST be a way to gain people, at least temporarily, if the cards don’t show up for it.

We played around with a few suggestions for how to fix the card issue, and David’s seems best: put coins on unused cards (for some definition of unused. And always make buying people an option, I think. I will look online for some variants.

Nadine: You should have believed me, and we should have checked our house rules: Pay one coin to replace all cards.

San Juan

Evan 35, Yitzchak 34, Gili 34, Haim S 34

First plays for Evan and Haim. Gili removed the expansion cards before playing.

 

Tichu

David/Jon 605, Nadine/Aaron 395

We ended early since it was getting late. A lot of bombs and some interesting hands. On one hand, I called Tichu after David was down to one card. I would have made it if a) Nadine didn’t have 2 bombs, and b) David didn’t decide to just go out after I ducked Nadine’s first high card play after her first bomb: I had three cards left: Dragon, 9, and Dog. I was waiting for her to play a single card lower than the 9. David thought I was stuck and could not go out. Unfortunately, even if he had not decided to go out, I still wouldn’t have made my Tichu because Nadine had her second bomb.

I called and made a Grand Tichu on a round where Aaron also called Tichu (for some reason). And then he set David’s Grand Tichu on the following round. So we went up and down in score a lot.

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 15, 2017

Participants: Jon, David K, Nadine, Gili, Elad, Daniel, Aaron

Back at my place after several weeks at Nadine’s.

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

There were no more than one or two creatures of power 4. We had to rely on our boosting cards. I played BWG, while David played RU. Both of us had reasonable mana, although David was a bit shy in the first game. I played with only 15 mana (5 each) and had no problems. But I still went down. In both cases, we had a standoff on the ground, while David’s fliers and unblockables were stronger.

Bruges

Jon 75, Nadine 52, David 48

First play for David, third for me. While I already have a number of suggestions on how to change this to make it better (for my group), we played this (nearly) straight so that David could get an idea of the official game rules. This game is one that substitutes calculation for actual decision making, at least in part, which is a hacky game design technique. There are too many random elements artificially conspiring to make what you want to do difficult, so you have to plan every round, sometimes two, from the start of the round. Despite this, the choices (once you get past the calculations) are good, and the calamities that affect you are not annoying enough to actually wreck the game play.

The only change I insisted on was rolling the dice before choosing cards, which is a straightforward improvement. David had some initial confusion and irritation, but ended up liking the game. Nadine took the first bonus with canals. I played a person who kicked everyone else back on the cathedral track, which gave me the bonus for that. Then I pulled ahead of David one round to get the personality bonus (and then I fell back and let him get it). Both of them had better luck than me with the colors of cards they picked, and both of them had people out that gave then bonus actions.

I then pulled a seemingly overpowered card that gave me 2 points for each canal track, once per round (with a blue worker). With a little better luck with my card draws, I gained 2, then 4, then 8, then 12 points each round using this card. The canals I built also gave me the 3 point canal bonus, the 6 point monument, and my last personal bonus (canals).

I need to check how many other overpowered cards there are. That one is a doozy.

I think my change to the game is going to be like this: 1) I will create a Magic: The Gathering like color wheel. You will then be able to buy a neighboring color for $1, or an opposing color for $2, whenever you pay a card. 2) Some way to gain a few extra $, such as $1 income for each 3 or 4 rolled on the dice.

Suburbia

Aaron, Gili, Elad, Daniel

I don’t know what happened here.

Nefarious

Jon++, David, Nadine, Daniel, Aaron, Elad

First plays for Daniel and Elad. The first game gave us +1 point for every card we played, which made smaller cards even more powerful. The second game saw us losing money down to the nearest $5 (when over $5), which slowed the game down. I think the low valued cards are still slightly overpowered, which is a slight flaw. However, the game is still great. Strange how my group seems to like it more than most others.

Tichu

Jon/Aaron 1020, David/Nadine 980

David and Nadine pulled ahead with a series of early Tichus, and it was looking bad for us. We were down something like 940 to 360. I then bid and made a Grand Tichu, with us collecting 100 points from tricks. Then we won 75 trick points to their 25. And then I bid and made another Grand Tichu and 85 trick points. A classic Tichu underdog victory.