Tag Archive | netrunner

September 01, 2010

Participants: Jon, Gili

Hmm. Hopefully participation will pick up, now that summer is over. On the other hand, the next few weeks will be an erratic schedule.

Mr Jack

Jon (Criminal)+, Gili (Detective)

First play for Gili. Gili was slow to differentiate the characters, but she discovered who Mr Jack was by turn 7 (purple). However, she couldn’t manage to jump on him by the end of turn 8.

Gili (Criminal)+, Jon (Detective)

We switched sides. I eliminated four characters by the end of turn 1, and two more by the end of turn 2, but that’s how it stayed until the end of the game. Turn 8 I guessed wrong.


Jon (Runner)+, Gili (Corp)

First play for Gili. This is still a great game. It’s one problem is that too much can swing on a lucky pick (raid R&D and topdeck 3 points, when you only need 7 points to win the game).

After the game, I cataloged all of my cards and added them to my Netrunner entry on BGG. They’re for trade or for sale, if anyone wants. I just don’t think I’ll get to play it much, here.

December 10, 2008

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, David K, Avraham, Adam, Binyamin

Welcome back to a few irregular regulars.


Jon 63, Gili 49

First play for both of us, I taught this new game to Gili who liked Odin’s Ravens. Jambo is in the same niche of two-player light games.

Jambo is a card game for two. Each player starts with a six space market and several cards. The market contains six types of goods. The main cards have 3 goods on them and two numbers: the smaller number is how much the goods cost if you buy all three at once, and the larger one is how much you earn if you sell all three at once. So the essential mechanic of the game is getting the cards to match up correctly.

A whole lot of other cards do special actions, like add more space to your market, start an auction for some cards or goods, take something, swap something, cause your opponent to discard something, and the like.

Each round you get five actions, of which you can only add to your hand one card. We found this to be a very harsh limit, and it provided a slowdown for us in midgame after we both had basically nothing left in our hands. Hand management is therefore very important.

It was a nice game, about as nice as Odin’s Ravens was the first time I played that. I still like OR, but I don’t usually suggest it. We’ll see what happens with Jambo.


David/Avraham, Adam/Nadine

They played this as a starter game.

La Citta

Jon 35, Avraham 25, Gili 20

First play for all of us. This is a nice game, reminiscent of other games, but not quite like any other. You build cities by adding various buildings to your cities using money or actions or both. You need to add quarries to increase you money supply (or take an action to get money). You need to add farms to increase your food supply to feed the people on your buildings. You need to add markets and fountains to allow your city to grow beyond a certain point. And you need to add buildings in three different colors for two reasons: 1) at the end of each year, people move from cities with less of one of these colors to cities with more of one of these colors, and 2) a city scores at the end of the game if it has at least one building of each color.

In the first place, your actions are limited, so you have to make trade-offs. This is nicely done. And in the second place, having extra people is more buildings and more power, but if you exceed your food production, you are hit hard. That makes acquiring extra people dangerous. In fact, forcing other players to take your people is often a tactical powerhouse of a move. Quite the opposite of common sense, but nicely in keeping with the theme.

The board and bits are pretty, if a bit much and over-produced for what was really necessary. It’s a nice game, and I look forward to playing it several more times soon.

In our game, I realized a bit ahead of Avraham how more people is not necessarily better. Especially on the last round, where too many people equals a lot of negative points, I made sure to keep some extra food around. In fact, Avraham tossed me an extra guy and I had exactly enough. I also had the most cities. Gili was drained too much by Avraham’s nearby cities and so had the opposite problem: not enough people and room.


Binyamin 47, David 36, Nadine 29, Adam 23

First play for Binyamin and Adam, and look how well Binyamin did. I heard a lot of voices saying that while Agricola is a nice game it is simply too long. Well, with new players it is definitely longer. My last games haven’t been too long, but it takes four or five playings before you get to that point.

Again, a plowed field strategy beat a stone house strategy.


Jon 8, Avraham 0

I taught this to Avraham. I was thinking of selling this (or sending it to my secret santa recipient) since no one around here wanted to play it (i.e. David doesn’t want to play it). And it’s true that there’s a different type of luck factor in the game, but Magic also has a tremendous luck factor in it; most of our Magic games end by mana screw, after all.

Once a Netrunner game gets going, it’s always a great game, regardless of what cards come out. The only thing to watch for is if the runner has no icebreakers of the type he needs. Then he’s in trouble.

In our game, I messed up the rule for activating Nodes, but even so it was an excellent bit of fun. Well, for me, as I won. But Avraham liked the game, too, and will play it with me again if the opportunity arises.

May 30, 2007

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Elijah, Zack, Jack, Binyamin, Gili, Adam, Tal

Game night was interrupted for a half hour by a visit from Kindershpiel’s representative, delivering a few boxes of different versions of Apples to Apples to me, to assist me in my work in creating Hebrew versions of the game.

Jack came about half a year ago, so this was his second visit. He knows some games already, so was prepared to enter into anything we could throw at him.

For Sale

Zack 85, Tal 84, Elijah

These three began with a light game, while the rest of us started something a little heavier.

Power Grid

David 16, Binyamin 14, Nadine 13, Jack 12+, Jon 12-

I suggested Princes of Florence, but somehow this ended up on the table, yet again. The only problem I have with it is that a) Nadine and David tend to take a long time to think through their moves (and end up playing better because of it), and b) too much cooperation going on, with everyone figuring out the best moves for everyone else.

As a result of a), Binyamin and I played a side game of Netrunner while this game was going on, whenever it dragged down. Amazingly enough, aside from a few points at the beginning of the game, it didn’t drag down too much, even though it certainly took a long time to play (around 3 hours, not including a small break we took in the middle).

Note that we also played with a special rule change: A third row of power plants was added atop of the other two. This row merely revealed the next 4 plants coming up in the deck (no reordering or taking the highest or lowest from this row, surely a stack). As a result, the main other complaint we had about the game, which was the luck of a good power plant coming out, or a bad one coming out, after you made the best play, was entirely eliminated from the game. In my opinion, the change was an excellent one, and I intend to play with it from now on.

In our game, we played on the U.S. map with the Southwest blocked off. I had never tried starting on the expensive Northwest but decided to give it a go. It is, without question, the reason that I lost. I was expecting fighting in the East coast to offset the slightly higher prices I was paying on the West, but there wasn’t any real fighting on the East. As a result, I was simply paying more and getting less each round, and that was all there was to it. In the end, I had a line of plants stretching from coast to coast, but this was not a pick up and deliver game.

David and Binyamin took the East coast, with Jack and Nadine in the center. Jack ended up going all green, while I had some early nukes. Coal and oil were therefore incredibly low priced for the entire game, as was most of the fuel.

Children of Fire: the Board Game

Zack 11, Gili 9, Elijah 6, Adam 5

Adam taught them all this game (reminded Elijah, actually), but somehow lost anyway. They finished it in reasonable time, so I guess didn’t need the round limit that I generally impose on the game.


Binyamin+, Jon

This is a game whose main luck component is hidden cards and picking from them blindly. What this means, is that the shorter the game, the more luck and therefore the less interesting.

Our game, in contrast, was a long slow buildup, which made the game lots and lots of fun, very interesting and pleasurable. I still wish the game had a few more “Instant” like cards and direct targeting cards; I may need to buy a few more packs of cards.

I played the Corp and Binyamin the Runner. He played no hardware the entire game. However, he had a card that let him take the top card of his discard pile and a card that let him look through his deck and choose any card, As a result, he spent two actions almost every round simply picking any card he wanted from the deck.

I had a good deal of ICE out, but ultimately he found a way to my HQ through my Archives and pulled the last Agenda out of my hand.

San Juan

David, Nadine, Jack

While Kindershpiel was talking to me (and Binyamin), these guys played some San Juan, abandoning it mid-game when we resumed Power Grid.


Adam/Tal 1000+, Elijah/Zack 500

While we wrapped up Power Grid, these guys played an entire game of Tichu to 1000 points. At least once, a nine card straight from Adam was beat by a higher nine card straight from Zack.

Quite an interesting game, though playing to 1000 takes quite a long time, relatively. There were many tichus and grand tichus called and made and lost. On the first turn, Tal made a fairly silly pass to the opponents. But after that she played well. –Adam

Lo Ra

Nadine 37, Jack 35, David 27

Jack is an experienced Ra player, so it didn’t take him long to adjust to Nadine’s Jewish themed version of the game. He had quite a collection of monuments, so I’m surprised to see that he didn’t win in the end. It’s mainly due to his first round score of -5 to Nadine’s 9.

GAMES DAY: April 4, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Ben, Tal, Josh, Avri, Keren, Debbie, Gili, David K, Saarya, Binyamin, Adam, Pinchas, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda, Itamar, Nadav, Shlomo, Rafi, Meir

21 Participants, for a fairly smooth, albeit loud, Games Day. My apartment is simply too small for this. I must find a larger place for next Pesach. Sukkot we play on the roof, anyway, so the noise is not so bad.

Avri is a player from Beit Shemesh who came for the first time, bringing his brother Rafi. Rafi brought his brother-in-law Shlomo, and Shlomo brought his brother Meir. Or something like that.

Keren is a reader of my blog, and she came by for the first time with her friend Debbie. Except for Gili playing Settlers with them, I somehow neglected them while they were here, which I feel bad about. Come again, and I promise to play more with you personally.

Itamar brought his nephew Nadav, and Binyamin brought his kids Tikva Shira and Zvi Yehuda. Pinchas came on the last few Games Days too, and he is an old Bridge partner of mine.

The others are regulars.


Tikva Shira+, Zvi Yehuda

I taught this to the kids; they kept forgetting the rule about rows not going past 24, and Z”Y never quite got the way you get points.


Saarya 43, David 36, Nadine 33

Nadine was ahead 2 points in the interim scoring, 15 to 13 to 13.


Jon, Adam, Nadine, Ben

We played this simultaneous with our game of El Grande, while waiting for people to take their turns.

Binyamin, Adam, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda

They played one hand of this at the end of the evening, waiting for the Amun-Re game to end, so that Binyamin could take the game home.

Carcassonne: the City

Jon 130ish, Binyamin/Ben 85ish, Nadine 55ish

Binyamin taught us this version of Carcassonne. It has the usual three area types, but one third of the way through the game you begin placing walls and towers around the tiles.

The most significant difference is that only roads have to match, not areas. We found this to be a huge huge Bad Thing. Most of the tactics of Carcassonne derives either from merging with other areas, or from locking opponent’s areas so that they can’t close them. This rule significantly reduces both of these options, making the game simply a matter of picking the best tiles and putting them down in the best places each turn. Whoopee.

It is one of those situations where too many opportunities for scoring makes a significantly worse game, rather than a better game. There is not enough tension.

I got luckiest. Nadine made a few sub-optimal choices, according to Binyamin, and he got upset enough to leave the game early. Ben filled in for him for the last few rounds, without any understanding of the rules.


Pinchas+, Jon

Pinchas loves Chess, and I play very infrequently, and totally tactically. I also get bored with games where it’s clear that one person is winning, and the only way for them to lose is to make a dumb mistake.

So I enjoyed the game at the beginning where I managed to secure a lead over Pinchas by a Knight and a Pawn. Then I got bored, moved too quickly (I should mention, perhaps, that I don’t like to take too long with my moves, and I was also simultaneously playing El Grande at the time), and went down to a single Pawn advantage.

In the end, I didn’t feel like dragging the game out for another 50 moves, so I lost a few more pieces and resigned. It was a little rude of me. Sorry, Pinchas.

Keren, Debbie

Keren and Debbie played a game of this later in the day.

Die Macher

Jon, Gili, Binyamin, Adam

This is one of our grails of gaming – simply getting it onto the table. That took most of the day.

The rule explanation then took another hour and some, as usual, and it was about three hours before we finished the first round. I was really hopeful we would finish the game, for once, because we were ll enjoying it, and the second round went much quicker and smoother. But Gili had to leave before the game would finish, so we only finished three rounds.

We all really enjoyed it, for what we played. There are a lot of rules that I have to keep digging up and remembering, but we all suffered the adverse effects of this, and managed to keep on forging forward, anyway.

El Grande

Nadine 107, Adam 100, Ben 94, Binyamin 90, Jon 83

I made the mistake of having a slight early lead after round three, which made me a target. And this despite the fact that this is Nadine’s signature game. And she won, of course, in the end.

Nobody was horribly behind the whole game.


Rafi 13, Avri, Saarya, Shlomo, Meir

I taught them this game as a brain cleanser between the games of Power Grid and Santiago. Rafi won it.

Lost Cities

Keren+, Debbie+

They played two games of this, while we were davening Mincha. I think I didn’t explain the rules completely. I believe they were drawing and then playing, and opposed to the other way around.


Ben, Nadine, David, Josh

These guys were looking for what to play and started with this. Binyamin warned them that it wasn’t really their type of game, and he turned out to be correct, and they abandoned the game halfway through, not particularly enraptured.

They also complained about the sameness of the colors on the chips and other design elements.


Jon++, Binyamin

Rather than try to find my Magic lands, I taught this to Binyamin. I first played the Corp, while Binyamin drew a number of expensive cards and couldn’t quite get together a cohesive attack. I took home 5 agenda points without too much trouble, and we decided to switch sides.

We then played the fastest game of Netrunner ever played. Binyamin played his turn and didn’t protect R&D. I raided R&D three times and pulled three agendas, totaling 8 agenda points. Game over.

Perhaps there is a tad more card luck in Netrunner than in Magic, after all.

Power Grid

Saarya 14, Avri 11+, Rafi 11-, Meir 10, Shlomo 6

Saarya taught them this, and naturally won, as the only experienced player. The others bought too many power plants. They played on the US without the NW, but no one even made it into the SW.

I should note that Shlomo’s dismal score is not due to lack of plants, but probably being shut out of fuel.

Princes of Florence

Ben 58, Avri 57, Nadine 53, Josh 48, Tal 41

Tal would like it noted that she was leading at one point. Keren and Debbie also looked interested in trying this game.

As you can see, a close game, with Avri scoring well for his first time.


Avri 76, Meir 55, Rafi 51, Saarya 45, Shlomo 37

I suggested this one to them, and they were all first time players. They seemed to enjoy it.

Settlers of Catan

Gili+, Keren, Debbie

I was going to play this with them, but Gili sat down before I got there. They all enjoyed it, even though Gili was the more experienced player and gave them a trouncing, it appears.


Adam+, Pinchas

Pinchas likes Chess, so Adam taught his this Japanese game of Chess. Unfortunately, all the pieces were disks with Chinese writing on them; I have no idea how Pinchas could ever distinguish the pieces.

World of Warcraft

Itamar, Nadav, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda

The award for the day’s longest game goes to this, not Die Macher. They started playing at 12:30, and ended, without finishing the game, at around 9:00 or so. I have no idea what they accomplished during that time. The biggest problem was that none of them were native English speakers and the cards were all in English, so they had to keep running to Binyamin for explanations.


Zvi Yehuda, Tikva Shira

Played at the end of the evening.

March 7, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Elijah, Zack, Adam, David K, Gili

A light game group tonight.


When I first got home, I found Nadine waiting, and together we did a lot of cutting and drawing to try out my new prototype. Eventually five of us gave it a go. However, the components were so crude, and the crowd so not into trying a new prototype, that we didn’t even get through the rules before they made me start some example rounds. And we only got through one round before they wanted to try a real game.

Which doesn’t mean that they didn’t see potential, only that it wasn’t the right time for it. Nadine and David both said that it looked like it might be interesting. I will have to make some nicer components and try again.

Power Grid

David+, Zack, Nadine

Once again they were plum out of both oil and coal for most of the game. Zack eventually had a garbage plant and was happy. David was surprised when he won.

Children of Fire: the Board Game

Adam 10, Jon 6, Elijah 6, Gili 5

We tried this area control game again. It still appears to be a flawed game with a nice core and good theme. The game began to drag on, and we called it quits after 12 rounds.

I began the game by saying that we have to impose a turn limit, which is what I learned last time we played. I think 10 turns is probably about right. Adam, on the other hand, favors devaluing the points from the masses tokens.


Adam, Zack, Elijah

All three love the game. Zack and Adam each had a turn being the Master, and both guessed the other’s rule.


Jon(C)+++, David(R)

David began to have a bad night at this point. He built his runner deck out of my pathetic 60 cards, and each time he couldn’t draw a sentry ice-breaker to save his life. He gave up three games in a row, once after his first turn.

I’m afraid that this left him with a bad taste about the game. If the game is so dependent on drawing the right ice breakers, it’s not fun to play when you don’t. I wonder if this is solved simply by tuning the deck with more cards, or if we just have to stack one or two ice breakers on top to make the game enjoyable.

By Hook or By Crook

Adam, Elijah, Zack

I didn’t see the results of this game.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Jon(W)+, David(B)

From one ignominious defeat to another. David had only played this a time or two before, and so didn’t think through the implications of some of his card play. After falling to two piece behind, he gave up in disgust, to fight another day.

Some days are just like that.