Tag Archive | no thanks

January 18, 2017

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Elad, Ofer

Welcome to new attendee Ofer.

No Thanks

Gili+, Elad, Jon, Nadine, Ofer

First play for Ofer. Gili decided to take the second card which was adjacent to the first card that I took. Later on, Elad decided to take a card which was adjacent to another one of my cards. Apparently we’ve become a more aggressive game club. 🙂

For the last card, Gili calculated everyone’s score in order to determine if it was safe to simply take the card (it was).

Age of Empires III

Jon 90, Elad 76, Ofer 65, Nadine 63, Gili 48

First play for Elad and Ofer, first play in a long while for Nadine. Again, the play was pretty aggressive, although we had no soldiers in the new world until turn 6 or so, but then we had 4 warfares every turn (for three turns), most by Ofer.

This game is designed a little unbalanced toward money and buildings, in my opinion. Admittedly the design would work better if warfare and combat were easier and more worthwhile. It should be easier to get soldiers into the new world. Whomever controls a region should have an additional resource of the region’s type. Warfare should be a bit more flexible and less costly.

Anyhoo. Elad cornered the early commodities and then managed to win 7 out of 8 merchant ships. After his third one, it was no longer any use fighting for them. I think he had a merchant and captain every round. He had the highest income, and had no problem getting the “4 points for every merchant ship” building, but he had almost no points from the new world. Gili sacrificed herself to take the “steal money from each player equal to your merchant ships” building before Elad could, even though she had no merchant ships. I had one, and would have been willing to take it myself for the modest gain it would have given me, but she decided to keep it away from both of us.

Meanwhile, I was doing okay in the new world, but so were others. I was slightly outclassed in the new world, and Elad slightly outclassed me in building and income points, but since I had both new world ad buildings – and no one else did – I ended up ahead. It was hard to see that until the end. However, Gili apparently saw it, because she attacked every first place region I had on the board. I still came in second in many regions.

Everyone except for Gili failed their last discovery by a single native.

The game took about 3.5 hours, including explanation.

October 05, 2016

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, David K, Nati, Yael, Avi, Tal, Nimrod, Eitan

Tal and Nimrod are first time attendees. Avi and Nati came back for their second visit.

No Thanks

Jon+, David, Nadine

I took an early large number that helped me avoid most other cards for the rest of the game. David tried for one too many inside straights.


David 48, Jon 46, Nadine 41

We played this in two parts, stopping to play 7 Wonders between rounds 3 and 4. I suggested this since I hadn’t played in a while. I’m not a fan of the hidden win conditions aspect. But mostly, David kept taking exactly the dice I needed, sometimes – apparently – by accident. For example, I needed a white 3, and he had an extra influence point he needed to spend (to make room for more he was about to get) so he re-rolled the die and got a 6. 6 is better than 3, unless you need that number exactly for adding a cube to the 3rd column in the castle.

I also forgot about a few of the rules before play, and so missed a few opportunities for better plays.

Robinson Crusoe

Gili, Yael, Nati, Avi

First play of this co-op by everyone. They lost. Gili said it was somewhat frustrating.

San Juan

Gili 36, Yael 35, Nati 25, Avi 23

They included the expansion cards. First play for some of them.

Slap Deck

Tal, Nimrod

These guys came late, and someone was supposed to come (turned out that he had already come and I hadn’t noticed). I taught them this filler and they played until my roommate Eitan showed up and convinced one of them to play Chess.


Eitan, Tal/Nirmod

I didn’t see how this went.

7 Wonders

Tal 66, Jon, David, Nadine, Nimrod

I taught this to Tal and Nimrod. Tal ended at least 10 points ahead of anyone else, which was amazing. Nadine and I did science. Tal had a complete military set, and I started out with some too, but David on my right built more than I did. In the end he misplayed and lost the last military battle to mine. I had a smattering of other things as well. Nimrod’s points were all in blue cards.

May 08, 2016

Participants: Jon, Amy, Nadine, Gili, Francis

Game night was moved to Sunday owing to the holidays. Amy is a friend who stopped by for the first time. She had played Ticket to Ride and likes board games in general. I taught her how to play Settlers of Catan, but we didn’t get a chance to play it.

No Thanks

Jon 27, Gili 28, Amy 41, Nadine 48

Gili 11, Jon 39, Nadine 49, Amy 60ish

First plays for Amy. We played this as both opener and closer for the evening.


Jon+, Nadine, Gili, Amy, Francis

First plays for Francis and Amy. Nadine suggested this for five players. I picked a medium game with 4 requirements chosen from 6 options. The game played over 6 rounds. On the first round I took 2 factions with baby cards, yet I still kept one of them the entire game and I often had 2 factions during the game. One would have thought that this would be more difficult with 5 players.

One of the features of this game, like some others (such as Cities and Knights of Catan) is that you have to focus on achieving the victory conditions and not spend too much time fiddling around with the mechanics. It’s not an elegant game, and some of the victory conditions are far harder to achieve than others, or they require fighting the board as opposed to fighting opponents. I picked the easiest path, somehow.

Amy and Francis both did well, although none of the other players had achieved more than 2 of the conditions. Nadine was the first with a permanent favor, with Gili getting hers near the game’s end. Only Amy got a Tribune, I believe.



January 6, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Binyamin, Aaron, Shneur, Roman, Nadine, Gili, Eszter, Jonathan, Nissan, Cliff

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

David and I chose mono-color decks: David chose red and I took white. In both games I took out several threats of his, but I couldn’t follow it up with enough damage to hurt him before he was able to regroup and kill everything of mine.

No Thanks

Roman 26, Nadine 41, Shneur 78, Aaron 50

First play for Shneur. Well done, Roman.

Lords of Waterdeep

Eszter 137, Nissan, Cliff, Roman 112

First play for some people, I don’t know whom.

Vasco da Gama

Jon  107, David 103, Gili 82, Nadine 78

First play for everyone, I had read the rules once, but it felt like starting from scratch. Even the setup took a while.

This is a pure Eurogame with some very clever and interesting mechanics. You take turns placing guys, but you don’t do your actions until everyone has placed. You pay more for later actions, but only until a point, after which all actions are free. You can also take the amount of money you would have paid for the action instead of the action.

There is almost no randomness and almost no luck. The random elements are the starting position for where actions become free and some essentially unimportant arrangements of how much money is available and how ship workers are available. The luck comes in after everyone has placed their workers; you then flip over a tile to adjust from what point actions are free, so you may end up not paying for an action after all, or paying for one if you were willing to risk taking one of the actions that was in the range of where this could fall. If you just assume that you’re going to pay for these actions, and plan for it, this doesn’t affect much, but it’s kind of annoying.

I basically got the game by the end of the first turn, but I still struggled to calculate the right amount of money I needed by the end for each of my actions: the order in which you take your actions is critical, and it’s (fun but) painful to figure this out. But I was a bit ahead of the curve. The others seemed to be having more difficulty and less fun. I enjoyed it. David said that it was just a bit too much work for the enjoyment, as did Gili. Nadine complained a lot, but in the end I think she felt it might be worth trying again. The most pain comes in near the end of the game where, if you calculate wrong, you end up not being able to play what you intended to play, and there is no next round to make up for it. Nadine and David both calculated wrong, and in both cases we let them try to adjust their moves to avoid the frustration.

Update: It turns out that we played with a number of rules errors, many of which (when played correctly) make the game harder.

Cutthroat Caverns

Shneur 21, Jonathan 17, Binyamin 16, Aaron 6

I didn’t see how this went. I know it’s not my kind of game, however.


Shneur 38, Roman 36, Aaron 27, Benny 22

It was getting late, and Binyamin really wanted to go home. He had planned a strategy where he would build lots of little things to end the game quickly, and he would have won, too. Then they all stopped this from happening, and the game dragged on for several more rounds, totally destroying his strategy and driving him to distraction. He also said that the lack of a particular card flipping up prevented him from executing the strategy before they could stop him.

December 2, 2015

Participants: Jon, David K, Chaim, Shira, Raanan, Binyamin, Aaron, Schneur, Nissan, Jonathan

A hopping game night. Chaim and Shira are Hebrew speakers who found the Hebrew Facebook group, but they managed in English. They had some game experience, including Agricola. Raanan is the visiting son of a friend, also with some game experience and a lot of game sense.

No Thanks

Chaim 12, Shira 14, David 16, Jon, Raanan

First play for Chaim, Shira, and Raanan. They all liked it, and Chaim and Shira even took first and second place, which is amazing for beginners. I knew I was out by early-to-midgame, when I ran out of cash. Raaanan was overly ambitious in collecting cards for sequences. David ended with a single card and no coins.

Sushi Go

Binyamin, Aaron, Schneur, Nissan, Jonathan

First play for many of them, they abandoned the game after a few rounds. I think they simply decided to move on to meatier games.


Nissan 91, Binyamin 77, Shneur 59

I didn’t see how this played, but it looked nice.

Star Realms

Binyamin, Schneur

Played after Abyss.

Binyamin, David

Played at the end of the evening. David appeared to think it wasn’t his kind of game, or at least not until he had more experience with it.


Jon 9, Jonathan 8, Raanan 7

First play for Schneur and Raanan, who both loved it. I rarely get to play, since most of the older group members don’t like it so much.

We played to 9 instead of 10, to cut the length of the game down to something reasonable, although I realize that this favors a bit less conflict. Which is not a bad side effect, in my opinion.

I’m not going to claim victory. Jonathan started as the Greeks, which gave him an advantage as Raanan immediately built up armies to threaten me, which made me have to build some in return. Raanan pretty much did nothing the entire game except build armies and expand his empire, although he eventually claimed a point for 3 temples. He had 4 points from cities (20+) and 1 more from destroying one of Jonathan’s temples. I forget where his last point came from. He had no technology.

Meanwhile, since I was occupied, Jonathan went forward quickly on the technology track, as well as getting to 5 cities, 7 seas, and 3 temples. Despite losing his temple, he had enough gold to win the game on the turn after mine by claiming the complete technology track.

I struck first blood by killing a few of Raanan’s armies and one of his cities, and then we had a cold peace for a while. I would have liked to have attacked Jonathan, but he was so far away and it took me a long time to get to some extra movement technologies. I was first to Monarchy and Democracy (defense), which made it difficult for Raanan to attack me, since I killed his cities much more easily than he killed mine. Close tot he end of the game I was a single boat away from taking out one of Jonathan’s temples, so I took out one of Raanan’s instead, which took me to eight points; not enough to win the game, and Jonathan was poised to win on his turn. But, after Raanan pointed it out, I forgot how easy it was to conquer his cities. I simply conquered four of his cities and gained the extra point I needed to win.

Five Tribes

David 155, Chaim 125, Aaron 123, Shira 122

First play for Chaim and Shira. I didn’t see how it played, but they seemed to have a good time. Aaron ended with 51 points in yellow meeples, but was shy in board tiles. Shira had 57 in board tiles counting camels, while David had 51 counting castles. Chaim’s main points were his 40 in goods cards.


David, Aaron, Chaim, Shira

First play for Chaim and Shira. They ended after 2 hands. David went out first both times.

Robo Rally

Schneur+, Binyamin, Jon, Raanan

We played on one board with one flag, and a mishmash of rules that were not exactly correct but close enough. First plays for Raanan and Schneur. Raanan is the only one that fell off the board. Twice.

I got stuck with one set of cards that had only backwards and forwards, which hurt me while both Binyamin and Schneur progressed. Binyamin also had card troubles; he turned around for a while on a save point, but at least he got a second bonus card for his trouble.

November 18, 2015

Participants: Jon, David K, Jonathan, Roman, Gili, Alan

First time attendance for Jonathan, who actually lives pretty close. It was also his first exposure to these games of ours, and he seemed to get along well. Hopefully he will be back.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David

David arrived a bit early to draft and play with me. We only got in one game, which allowed me to experience a rare win. Even when I win a game, which is not typical, I usually the two others out of three.

My deck had some solid creature removal and a lot of low power creatures. David had better creatures. I had some game ending cards (like “creatures can’t block” but I didn’t get any. I won by the skin of my teeth. David attacked with everything, hoping to kill all of my creature, but I have an instant to save one of them and also grow it at the same time. He lost too many of his creatures and I was able to kill him in return.

No Thanks

David 17, Jonathan 17, Jon 31, Roman, Gili

First play for Jonathan and Roman. As his first Eurogame, it was fun to see his mind open up to the treasure that a good mechanic gives a game, and he tied for first, too. I did well until about mid-game, when I took an extra card that I thought wouldn’t be too bad, but it was not good enough to trim the sails on David and Jonathan’s neat ships.

Jonathan 20something, Alan 60something, Jon 80

At the end of the evening we played this one more time, and Jonathan walked away with a clean victory. I took an early high card, and then another because I had to. Alan also ran out of chips a few times and had to take a few cards.


Gili 44, David 43, Roman 36

First play for Roman. I didn’t see how it went.


David, Gili, Roman

Again, I didn’t see how it went.

Alien Frontiers

Alan 10, Jon 7, Jonathan 6

First play for both of them. I took an early lead, which, if you know this game, means very little. As we closed toward the last quarter of the game, it looked like I would win unless someone bothered to stop me, which they finally did. They both were greatly amused at how much damage they could do to me once they put their mind to it. I didn’t find it as amusing, not because I was being damaged, or that I couldn’t do anything about it, but simply because I know that’s how the game does. Anyhoo…

Even when I was no longer ahead and pointed out that Alan could pretty much win as soon as he could place his base on the board, I was still the target of attacks. So naturally Alan won.

October 07, 2015

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Nisan, Aaron, Binyamin G, Schneur, Roman, Alan

First time coming for Alan. He arrived while we were mid-game and had to wait a bit. Aaron brought Shneur. I can’t remember how Roman arrived, sorry (I didn’t get to talk to him much).

Magic: The Gathering

David +, Jon

David arrived early to draft. We played one game which he won; my win on sukkot was an aberration. On the last round, I had 9 life and left him with free passage to attack me with 2 creatures dealing 6 points, but he had cards to play to increase that damage by more than 3 additional points.

Tigris & Euphrates

Aaron  9 9 12 12, Jon  8 9 9 9, Nisan  6 7 9 17, Nadine 6 6 6 10

First play for Aaron, second or third for Nisan. I handed Aaron an early lead by losing an external conflict to him. I then regrouped by winning another external conflict, so, while I knew he was doing well, I thought I was close behind. Which was the case. Nisan build the first monument (out of four that got built) and ended with many blue. I took most of the treasures, although Nadine also tries for treasures. Everyone admired the game, but Aaron thought there might be too much luck.

Power Grid

David 17 17, Schneur 15 15 (85 cash), Binyamin G 15 15 (27 cash), Roman 14 14

First play for some people. I didn’t see how the game went.

No Thanks

Aaron 23, Alan 30, Jon 60, Nisan 63

First play for everyone but me. They all liked this little filler. I gave no strategy advice, but both Aaron and Nisan picked up the implications and strategies quickly (even if they didn’t always follow them).

Dominion / Seaside

Schneur 25, Aaron 24, Roman 24, Alan 10

First play for Alan, and his first game here (after No Thanks). The other three are Dominion sharks, so there you go. They played with around five Duration cards from Seaside.


Jon/Binyamin G 1000, Nadine/David 900

Third play for Binyamin G. We played around 10 hands, and only had bombs in the third and second to last hands. David bid and made 2 grand tichus, I bid and made 1 grand tichu. Binyamin G bid and made his first 2 Tichus; on one of them. Nadine bid 2 and made 1 of them. On one of Binyamin G’s Tichus, I had 3 cards in hand: a pair of kings and a low card. Nadine played a low pair which Binyamin G couldn’t take, and had to pass on it to avoid going out first. Still a fine and fun game.