Tag Archive | phoenicia



Eitan 34, Emily 32, Nadine 29

20130807_212322Somewhat meaningless scores. Emily and Eitan got this for half price in the states last month. They had read the rules, once I saw the game I realized I had played several times, not recently. So we went through the rules and set up. I looked up the card quantities for 3-player, and told Emily to sort the cards into A’s and B’s, and told Eitan to take 2 of each A and one of each B, then shuffle and make piles with A’s first. I didn’t mention blue when I gave Eitan his color choices, so he switched from green to blue. We pretty much understood how to play, though it’s harder to understand symbols than text. I was behind at the very beginning because I got Mining, but once I got going with it I was far ahead for a while. Emily and Eitan had way more cards than I did, so they caught up and passed me. At one point I realized that I hadn’t deducted 1 of each point when I transferred a worker, so I gave up 4 points as a penalty, which greatly affected my ability to buy a card that turn.

20130807_221312The game was moving quickly, we weren’t anywhere near the 32 mark when the cards ran out. That meant I couldn’t do anything at all to move forward, because I had placed all my workers and couldn’t buy cards. So I looked at the cards and checked – Eitan had put in one of each A and B. You’d think we would have noticed earlier but the game was new to them*, and I haven’t played with 3. So we put the A cards back into the game so that at least I could continue playing, since we had played totally wrong anyway. We also missed that the production track continues beyond the victory end point row and you get no income on the last two spots, but that didn’t affect the game. Emily and Eitan did better than me because they had more cards that gave them discounts, so they were able to get the strong cards at the end. Eitan had a lot of money, low workers and medium storage, Emily had a low money strategy with lots of workers, which worked well because she didn’t need high production and was able to advance fine in victory points on her 2-cost tile. We played that you could get more than one card in a round but no one did.

*So they learned how to play their new game, except – I thought I remembered playing with Emily and Eitan, I was partly wrong – they had played, but I wasn’t in the game, February 9 2010.


November 29, 2010

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, Mace, David K, Binyamin, Rivka, Toby, XXX

Game night was moved to Monday night owing to Hanukkah and events thereupon. Binyamin brought his wife Rivka a little late. I was going to play a three player game with them while I played Power Grid with the others, but then Toby (friend of my daughter) arrived, bringing someone new whose name I forgot. Neither Toby nor unnamed had played in the club before, to my knowledge.


Nadine 48, Gili 45, Jon 31

Kingdoms: Bureaucrat, Feast, Steward, Ironworks, Trading Post, Nobles, Haven, Native Village, Bazaar, Treasury

No extra buys in the set. No one bought Bureaucrat or Ironworks. We all tried different five point buildings, with Nadine starting on the Treasures. However, we all moved to get Treasures ourselves, eventually. I bought the first Noble and the first Province, but my luck didn’t hold out well. We all pretty much knew that Nadine was winning.

Power Grid – Benelux

Nadine 13+, David 13-, Jon 12, Gili 11+, Mace 11-

First play for Mace, and I think all of our first play on the Benelux map (one or two of the others might have played on it once before). The different fuel arrangement doesn’t make much of a difference, and neither does the occasional extra green power plant, but cycling out the lowest plant each round makes a big difference. We all ramped up in power plants pretty quickly, with the exception of Gili.

I took a look at the board before the first round, slapped my hand on my head and said that David was going to screw me in round seven. Lo and behold, the game lasted seven rounds because David ended the game precipitously, leaving me with far less than I would have had had the game gone on one round longer. He ended the game with 15 cities though he could only power 13, hoping that Nadine wouldn’t be able to build to 13; but she could, and still had enough money left to win.

Mace, as new players tend to, played a lot of green.


Binyamin+, Toby, Rivka, XXX

Binyamin set this up and explained it to Rivka when Toby and XXX walked in. This game is a bit more complicated than I would normally inflict on new players, but that’s the way it rumbled. They caught on by round two or so, and I think they enjoyed it, though they did say it was complicated at the end.

Binyamin was counting out his money at the end trying to find a way to do more than tie for first, when someone pointed out to him a discount he could apply, which let him get an extra point without much difficulty.

I told them before the game started that they couldn’t get change from their money cards when paying for auctions, which I think was incorrect in retrospect. Anyone have the rules in front of them?


Jon/David, Mace/Nadine

We played a few hands. While he played Phoenicia, Binyamin coached Mace.

October 06, 2010

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Mace, Gili, Elijah

Still a small group. Many regulars have moved away.


Nadine 28, Mace 28, Jon 22, Gili 1

Kingdoms: Chapel, Workshop, Throne Room, Market, Ironworks, Lighthouse, Warehouse, Navigator, Sea Hag, Wharf

I started with an early Chapel, but it never managed to dump more than one copper and one Estate. As a result, the rest of my game felt a lack of synergy, and I watched Mace and Nadine begin drawing Provinces well before I could. Lighthouse seemed to be a good card here, but Mace made Ironworks and Navigator sing.

Gili’s score was her initial three Estates and two curses.

Elijah 28, Jon 22, Mace 21, Nadine 15

I insisted on playing the same kingdoms again, since I was sure that a better start with Chapel would give me better results. And it did, indeed, start better, with me getting to 6 or 7 fairly quickly and buying golds. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of thinking that just because Lighthouse worked well in the last game meant that it would work well in this game, too. It didn’t.

Nadine took Sea Hags this time to annoy other people, but I dumped them all. I’m not really sure how Elijah won.


Gili 34, Elijah 31, Jon 27, Mace 26, Nadine 25.

First plays for Mace and Elijah, but Gili, Nadine, and I had to relearn the rules, anyway.

I started off convinced that someone behind was going to stay behind throughout the game. However, Gili started off behind and went on to win. I started off in the middle and then fell behind for most of the game, but I somehow made it back to the middle on the last round. So I may be wrong.

We’re still playing with the introductory rules, which include each player starting with a 5 money card and each player only able to collect 1 “building” per turn. We’ll have to try without the latter rule in the future.

At the present, I think the game is quite balanced with many different options. It seems like you have to get workers and advanced industry to thrive, but you don’t really. So I don’t know how to win, yet.


Jon/Mace 330, Elijah/Nadine 70

First play for Mace. We played two hands, and I called and made two Tichus.

February 09, 2010

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, David K, Binyamin, Abraham, Sara, Eitan, Emily

Game night moved to Tuesday night owing to a wedding on Wed.

Dominion + Intrigue + Seaside

Nadine 36, Gili 31, Jon 30

When Treasure Map shows up, one has to decide whether to go for it early or try something else. Last time I played with it, Chapel was also available, which made the decision easy. This time we had Warehouse (draw and discard three cards), which was nearly as nice, though not quite. Nadine and I both went for it, and she scored it well before I did. Which makes the game a little too reliant on luck.

Truth is, I should simply have bought a third one and I would have done better, so I really have myself to blame.

Gili went without it, taking Festivals, Feasts, and Mining Villages, which we also got to eventually.


Binyamin, David

Binyamin took this game home to learn and then taught it to David. Binyamin said it would take five minutes to explain and fifteen minutes to play, but it seemed like it took fifteen minutes to explain and five minutes to play. David didn’t look too enthused about playing it after the explanation, but since they were waiting for us to finish our game of Dominion, they went ahead.

There is apparently some tactical depth to the game, but I didn’t hear either of them raving about it. Still, I’ll have to try it eventually.


Eitan, Emily

When they arrived, they played this twice. When I first got the game, I thought the box was excellent, but recently I’ve noticed that the dice don’t really tumble properly if you just shake the box (like they do with Boggle). Eitan took the dice out and dumped them over the board. Still a nice game, though.


Binyamin+, Jon, Gili

This game is deceptively simple and coddling, which is probably why Nadine likes it. Something nice is always happening to you, even if you’re not winning. After a few plays, however, you realize that you need the nice things to happen to you faster than they do to the other players.

Some of your initial strategy depends on your opening hand. Gili said, at the end of the game, that her hand was particularly crappy, which is why she didn’t manage to claim any factions on the first round, and subsequently lost the game. I’m not sure how accurate this is. It would have to be really, really crappy, and there must also be no way of remedying the situation on the board, which doesn’t seem possible in a three player game.

Binyamin and I both started strong. I think I even may have started a little stronger, but I didn’t control both factions that I needed on the second round, so I didn’t get the Tribune until the last round of the game. Meanwhile, Binyamin ended up with control of five factions in round 3, which is unbelievable. Gili had ten cards for control of one of the factions on turn two, and, no surprise, she kept control of it until the end of the game.

The game ended after turn four, which seems to be about normal; it’s a quick game, even with the most “difficult” requirements.


Abraham+, Sara

Abraham taught Dvonn to Sara when they arrived, and Abraham won narrowly.

Stone Age

Sara 140, David 116, Abraham 115, Nadine 62

While I mocked them for rolling dice, they all seemed to enjoy playing this. They ended about the same time as we ended Tribune.


Jon 36, Binyamin 34, Emily 31, Eitan 26

First plays for Emily and Eitan. First win for me. This is another game that rewards multiple plays, and I’m starting to grow on it. It also looks like it cold use expansion buildings, like so many other games with special ability cards.

This is the first game where I didn’t worry too much about getting early people. I think that paid off, because placing people is expensive. I got an early Dyer and then something to boost my production. The first few rounds we all started off about the same, but I eventually burst forth from the pack with my Dye House, followed closely by Binyamin. Emily also kept pace with victory points, but not with production, and so couldn’t quite make the final push.

Eitan fell massively behind in production, but got both of the Shipyards, and so was poised for a late game comeback, but couldn’t come back enough.

Le Havre

David, Abraham, Nadine

Last time we played, David claimed an early debt strategy would be good, and so attempted to implement that this time. But they played for two hours and only made it halfway though the game, and so gave up when it began to get late.

Nadine and David both find the game fiddly. David likes the game well enough, but I think likes Agricola more. Nadine definitely likes Agricola more, while Abraham likes Le Havre more. So it taiku.


Binyamin, Abraham, David, Nadine, Jon

Abraham played a few hands with Binyamin against David and Nadine, and then I played a few hands with David against Binyamin and Nadine.

January 06, 2010

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Ben, Binyamin, Gili, Abraham

Welcome back Ben. I wanted to play Homesteaders, but once again didn’t get it to the table.


Binyamin, Ben, Gili, Nadine

First play for all but Nadine. I taught them. The game is pretty straightforward when you play it, but, like Ra, each little piece has its own set of rules. As such, they appeared to be overwhelmed. Even though, all the rules and exceptions are brilliantly printed in the right location on all the game components.

Often, players forget that they can get this benefit OR that benefit. Often, they forget that they can do this thing ONLY if they also have that things. In this game, they all forgot about the chariot bidding for most of the game.

As a result of the last mistake, Ben ended up losing by a coin or two; if they had remembered, he would have won, fairly handily I hear. Instead, Binyamin won. Though he thought it was a bit confusing, he enjoyed it


Jon 66, Abraham 50

Meanwhile, Abraham and I played with kingdoms from all three sets. This was only my second play of Seaside, and third of Intrigue.

Our first set had no bonus actions at all. What it had, instead, was Chapel and Treasure Map, which are a freakingly deadly combination. In four or five rounds, my hand was stripped to nothing but four Golds and a Copper or two.

Abraham tried the same strategy, but took longer to get the second Treasure Map, and didn’t get the Treasure Map combo until several rounds later. He took Smugglers, however, and matched many of the cards and points I drew. Not enough.

Jon 27, Abraham 27

Our second mix was more interesting, perhaps. Bonus actions for Upgrade and Treasury, the latter of which I though was pretty nifty, as the gold they provide essentially continues to accumulate until you buy victory points. We also had Throne Room to turn these into double actions. None of the cards cost less than 4.

Abraham Upgraded away all of his Coppers, and I took Thief to try to rob him of his higher valued treasures, but Throne Room / Thief several times in succession only managed to nab one Gold and one Silver. Pathetic thieves. We both carefully cycled through our entire deck each round, and ended in a tie.


Jon+, Abraham

First play for Abraham, who had played Yinsh once. Yinsh is more “fun”, but I think Dvonn is the best game in the series (I only played Tzaar once, however, and I loved it as well). Abraham also appreciated it. We don’t play this game enough.


Abraham 38, Ben 32, Binyamin, Jon, Nadine

Since Gili left, we were able to play a five-person game. It was nice to bring out a new game for a second play. Hopefully it will see many more. First play for Ben and Binyamin.

I think we all liked it, although I once again did very poorly. It is possible to partially catch up during the game, but not significantly enough to affect the eventual outcome, which is a tad frustrating. Abraham was pretty much leading by mid-game, and the outcome was forgone.

I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, yet, but I suspect that I’m making very bad decisions as to the relative value of different paths of progression. Last time, Abraham was producing poorly, but had many discounts and came in one point away from winning. In that game, I produced well, but had to throw out some items due to lack of storage space. This time, I had storage space, was producing poorly and had some discounts, but I wasn’t really in contention. It didn’t help having additional competition (five players) for the items I needed.