Tag Archive | niagara

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.


172 Ariel, 154 Avraham, 123 Aaron, 110 Assaf


Yael and others

Bora Bora

Emily 149, Assaf 139, Gili 139, Eitan 130

Taught by Gili.


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.


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.


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.


Daniel 33, Yael 25, Ben 29, Yedidya 25

Ben 22, Yael 20, Daniel 15, Yedidya 11


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.


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.


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).




Wednesday morning Jon left early and volunteered at registration, and saved spaces in line for Bill and Shirley but not for me, we were in different lines alphabetically. We didn’t get there until close to 10, which I thought was late. I talked to people I was in line with, very representative of the participants – computer programmers from Texas. I said that I was surprised that the line wasn’t moving, they told me it doesn’t open til 10. So we got there at the right time, it went pretty quickly, all very organized. You pick a free game or two upon registering, I took Highland Clans and Train of Thought, I’m not familiar with either of them.

I had read about a new game, introduced at the recent huge Essen game con in Germany, Walnut Grove, which I was thinking of buying it and wanted to try it out. All day Wednesday and Thursday, whenever I went by it in the Hot Games room, which has Essen games set up, either a game was already in progress or there was no one there. I not only needed players, but someone to teach it.


I walked around looking at games, and ended up joining one in the large main game room, K2. One of the people playing was Mischa, a friend of Jon’s who runs the bgg math trade. I had traded one game but wasn’t going to be able to attend the official trade time on Saturday, so I had emailed the person I needed to give my game to, and the person who was giving me a game. The backup plan was to leave the game with Mischa.

K2 has a simple structure with deeper strategy than it appears.You expend points for climbing and oxygen, selected from cards you pick. I didn’t understand certain things right away, so I was behind most of the game. The other woman player was doing really well, she got both of her climbers to the very top, and down again alive, without even pitching a tent which reduces oxygen required. We were playing on the easy side of the board, with only summer weather, but it was still challenging. At the end, two players weren’t able to prevent either one or both of their climbers from dying, which results in a complete loss of points, so I came in second.

First Sparks

I went back into the Hot Games room and sat down by Walnut Grove, but no players came, and I was hungry, so I found the others and we took a break for lunch. I tried again after lunch, but switched to a game nearby which was starting, First Sparks, by the creator of Power Grid. The game is similar to Power Grid which helped us figure out how to play, and someone came over to teach it. One person hadn’t played Power Grid so we gave him some tips. It has a cave man theme and is simpler than Power Grid. The card structure is similar, but you place cavemen competitively for end game points.

We found out near the end of the game, because someone overheard us, that one of the changes from Power Grid is that you don’t bid for cards, rather you have right of refusal in turn order, so you never pay more than the amount on the card. We hadn’t had much competitive bidding, so it wouldn’t have made a big difference in the game, the card movement and availability are the same. I tied to win and had 3 vs. 1 food left to win the tiebreaker. I want to get this game because it’s good with attractive graphics, and I don’t have Power Grid. The store at the con finally got it from the airport on Friday, but it will be available for less at other stores, hopefully in time for Bill and Shirley to bring it.

Coney Island

Then I played Coney Island in the large room. I had this on my wishlist at one point, but couldn’t remember if I had taken it off or not. After playing, I was really hoping that I wouldn’t receive it as my Secret Santa gift. No one liked it, there are so many better games. We all helped each other as we tried to figure out the game. At one point, they recommended that I make a different move, where if I got a red tile instead of white tile in a random draw, I would get 9 points. It worked, which helped me, though I was still behind. I did start to understand the game by the end, by which time things were mostly already placed. I did what I could, and somehow ended up winning by one point.

Flash Point

Then I joined a firefighting game, Flash Point, an Essen game but in the main room. I didn’t realize it was cooperative, but it was interesting. We were playing with intro rules which meant no firetrucks and hoses, which must make it more interesting. I was fighting fires, everyone else was rescuing people. The game actions cause explosions and destruction. We ended up losing, the house collapsed before we could rescue everyone. But I was the only one who didn’t die because I happened to be outside the house. We had bad luck with the people, the first two tokens were blank rather than victims. It’s a good game because there’s a lot of fast action and some planning.

Jon came with me to try to get a game of Walnut Grove going. Scott Nicholson of Board Games with Scott walked by, he didn’t want to play but gave us a quick rules explanation. More players didn’t join, and Jon decided he was too tired to play a new game.


We walked around a bit, Jon agreed to teach Tobago, and I saw a game of Niagara which I had heard of because one year I gave one of my Secret Santa targets a Niagara exapansion. Jon ended up playing Tobago, so I went back to join Niagara. It’s a good game, simple and cute mechanics, you physically move plastic discs in the river which push your canoes around and over the edge sometimes. It’s very difficult, an experienced player won. They played again but I left.

It was freezing cold on Wednesday, we didn’t have all our warm clothes with us because it had been so warm the day before. The rest of the week it warmed up with sun and some clouds, but we were mainly indoors.

Chitin: I

Bill and Shirley played the redesigned Chitin: I, which Bill had a copy of when he was in high school.