Tag Archive | power grid

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).

 

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September 28, 2016

Participants: Jon, David K, Nadine, Gili, Aaron, Avi BB, Eszter, Nati, Yahel

Yahel, Avi BB, and Nati are all new attendees. Welcome!

Magic: The Gathering

David+, Jon

David came late, so we have to built from random cards instead of draft. I pulled 60 crappy cards for deck-buildings; even with a 40 card deck and playing with 3 colors, I still had to fill out my deck with a few useless cards just to reach the card counts. If I had some more time maybe I could have made a better deck with one of the other colors.

I didn’t have any mana or color problems, but David built up a nice army and all I could do was throw things in the way until I couldn’t do that any more. Actually, I was able to ping him several times with a flyer while I was delaying his army – if I had a few good damage or game ending cards hidden in my deck I might have been able to kill him. Eventually I went down.

Parade

Jon 6, Gili 8, Yahel 10, Avi BB 21, Nati 25

First plays for Yahel, Avi BB, and Nati. Nati managed to avoid taking any cards until the end, which is great if you can keep control, but otherwise is often a recipe for death.

Gold West

Gili 91, Estzer 88, Avi BB 86

First play for all, I think. Looks like it was a close game.

Red 7

Eszter +1, Gili +1

I didn’t see this one.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 9, Nati 8, Yahel 5

First play for Nati and Yahel. I rarely get to play this gem. It took some time for Nati and Yahel to get up to wrap their heads around the rules, which is usual. They actually did quite well, especially at the start. The first five treasures left the board fairly quickly.

I built an easily conquerable monument just to show them how to do it, and then several more monuments went up. I won and lost some external conflicts, and found myself with all of my leaders off the board. I put them back down and attempted to end the game more quickly, which is what happened.

They both loved it.

Slap Deck

Jon, Nati, Yahel

I taught them this little game of mine, and we played several games. Nati won the first game with an astounding score of 1 – 0 – 0. Everyone won at least one game. They liked this a lot, too.

Candle Quest

Nati+, Jon, Yahel

And I taught them this game, and they like it, too. We played the basic game.

Augustus

Avi BB 116, Estzer 22, Gili 19

I didn’t see this, but this seems like a less close game (unless Gili got the scores wrong).

Power Grid

David 17, Aaron 16, Nadine 15

First pay for Aaron. They played on the cheapest US locations. They played without our house rule, which made for some game chaos. Nevertheless, it seems that David had the game in hand by the last few rounds, at least.

Tichu

Jon/Aaron 575, David K/Nadine 525

First game, no tichu; we had -5 points, they had 105. Second game I called and made grand tichu (with dragon, phoenix, ace, and two jacks); I passed him the dog. We had 220 to their 180.

After the fourth game and two more tichus the score was them 405 to us 395. In one of these, David had a cross-bomb situation (4 card bomb crossing his straight card flush bomb). Fifth  game they were up 480 to our 420. In the last round, Aaron called and made his first (?) tichu; I actually had a bomb and the dog to help him.

Passover Games Day 5776

2016-04-26 15.30.45A fun day, with 23 people playing at peak time in the afternoon, more people came later after some had left. Mazal tov to Ofer and Michal on their one-week wedding anniversary. Thank you to everyone for recording scores, bringing snacks and games, and moving furniture, and to Gili for some of the pictures.

Adastra

Binyamin Z 58, Devora 35, Alan 26, Yiscah 24, Michael 19

Agricola

Roman 36, Ron 25, Assaf 21, Eli 9

2016-04-26 14.18.55Roman taught them. Eli is not a Eurogamer, Ron liked the game and did well for his first play, as did Assaf.

Bridge

Binyamin Z/Nadine, Devora/Yiscah

Binyamin helped everyone with instructions on how to play optimally. On the last hand, he bid 1NT. I had 13 points, 4 hearts, and AKx of spades and wanted to bid 4 hearts, but he said I should bid my honorless 4-card club suit. We ended up in 4 hearts; he made 7, he had 5 hearts and the queen dropped. So he asked Ben for his opinion on whether he should have gone to small slam, Ben basically said yes. He said he would have bid 4 hearts like I wanted to, unless he was playing with Binyamin, in which case he would know he had to bid the clubs.

Bora Bora 

Gili 188, Jon 178, Avi 121

boraboraJon: I decided to try this one more time to see if it was as finicky as I recalled or if it was just that my first play was overwhelming. I remain convinced that the game should have been streamlined and a few mechanics taken out. I WAS less overwhelmed, but I don’t think I will play it too often.

First play for Avi; he shared my sentiments, and by the time we were halfway through he wanted it to be over. We stuck it out. I thought I was doing OK, managing to build a building every round by the skin of my teeth, which should have given me a tidy sum. Unfortunately, owing to the luck of my first mission draws, I was a single tile shy of competing my last mission, which lost me at least 10 points. Gili finished all of her missions but was one shy of finishing her buildings, she beat me by 10 points, and I’m not sure how she beat me. If I ever play this again, I am going to try building all my tents, just to see what happens.

20160426_205142Castles of Burgundy

Binyamin Z 238, Nadine 205, Ofer 151

Jon: I taught this to Ben, Binyamin, and Ofer. Ben got bad luck with his rolls and was thoroughly sick of the game by the end of the first phase; he was perhaps too tired to figure out how all of the buildings worked, and I don’t really blame him; the iconography is not terrible, but it’s not great. On the other hand, Binyamin really liked the game and scored pretty highly.

I was happy to take over for Ben instead of playing Frank’s Zoo. Binyamin had placed the same buildings in the same area, and I let him do it again to finish a section because he had taken the building based on playing that way. I got good yellow tiles – the 3 bonus for colors of tiles sold, and the play the same building in areas, that Binyamin should have had, but it wasn’t enough to beat Binyamin’s yellow 4 point bonus tiles for 2 buildings, and his first place in several colors.

694fddfa-504b-487f-8275-f27ec404b3a5Eldritch Horror

Gili, Roman, Yonatan, Avi, Noam, and Alan beat the game in this co-op.

Frank’s Zoo

7af56e6b-146e-4240-b398-00d4bef946f4Michal 9, Devora 7, Binyamin R 6, Yiscah 4

Yiscah 25, Binyamin R 14, Eszter 14, Devora 13

Guildhall

Eitan 20, Emily 13, Ofer 10, Michal 8

guildhallIn the last turn Eitan got two series of dancers. Eitan said he exploited a loophole which allows combining extra actions with additional card draws.

Homesteaders

Jon 64, Michael 52, Avi 44

Michael had requested the farming game with the apples ahead of time, Jon realized which game he meant.

Jon: I taught this to Avi and refreshed Michael’s memory of the game. It was a nice experience for all, as I remember, but in the end my experience gave me the edge. The end scores were pretty close, however.

Lo Ra

Eli 25, Efrat and Yossi 17, Eitan 9, Ron 1, Emily 1

At least they all had positive scores. Our house version of Ra with a Biblical theme.

Lords of Waterdeep

Avi 133, Gili 122, Noam 116

Second play for Avi and Noam.

2016-04-26 21.16.49Magic

Jon: David and I drafted and we both ended up playing colors that we weren’t expecting. David played BRG and, while he got out a lot of his strength, it didn’t seem to be enough. I played BWu, with many fliers and some control cards. In the first game, my fliers took him down. In the second, I started with only one mana. I tossed a creature to get my second, which was luckily the right color for me to cast a spell that let me pay life for 2 more cards. I got out one more, a mana unicorn, and that was enough to get me started until more flowed in. We traded some kills, we both played a few big creatures, and then I took some of his out and he resigned.

Mundus Novus

Devora 95, Ofer 59

Devora +, Haim 41, Guy and Gilad 19

noblemenNoblemen

Binyamin R 92, Yosef 91, Eszter 90, Nadine 74

Eszter has the game but hadn’t played. Yosef taught us, he had read the rules but never played, so we looked up things as we went, and of course played a few things wrong. The cards were in German but it doesn’t matter because it’s just the card title, no text otherwise, we had the rules in English, and he taught in Hebrew. The game pieces are beautiful, and it’s a nice game. I forgot to do one or two things which led to my having no moves for about half the game, because I was out of tiles and money. Everyone else had tons and couldn’t understand it. I forgot to place one guy when I build a castle, which would have given me a few more tiles. I did have bad luck with tile drawing – I had three down, and every time I drew three more, which is limited to once per the three rounds, none were the forests which let you draw more tiles. I also forgot that the point of the purple churches was to get cards, which also would have helped me get more tiles. So the problem seems to have been my playing, and not the game. The theme is well-integrated as you have masquerades to increase your rank, but it resets twice per round.

2e6ead30-2c26-4939-9d4a-a31aa192eae7Notre Dame

Yiscah, Shira, Haim

Power Grid

David 15/17, Roman 13/14, Ksenia 11/15

2016-04-26 12.22.22David taught this to Ksenia who we all enjoyed seeing on her visit from Poland. We were going to use the German side, but three regions didn’t seem balanced. I left to play 7 Wonders Duel before we started, and after Ksenia and others came.

R-Eco

Devora 15, Yiscah 10, Binyamin Z 4

First play for all of them.

7 Wonders

Emily 54, Yonatan 54, Noam 51, Ofer 43,Michal 42, Eitan 37

2016-04-26 12.42.117 Wonders Duel

Yosef 88, Nadine 75

I had wanted to try this. It’s more interesting than 7 Wonders, with a similar theme and feeling, but still a lot of luck. When you select cards, it opens up new cards for the other player/s. I made mistakes with this a few times early on, and a few other mistakes. Yosef is experienced so he gave me advice. I thought he’d end up further ahead than he did. There are three ways to win; I was in a good position to win with military, two away, but the cards worked out for him, and he took advantage to block me. He was able to take the last card he needed to win in green, but preferred to keep playing and count points, he said otherwise the points are a waste. Counting points seemed complicated and time consuming, he did it. We played in French, his main language and my first one.

signorieSignorie

Binyamin R 150, Eszter 128, Nadine 127, Assaf 115

New to the others. Binyamin was competing with me for the lead most of the game, but pulled ahead at the end. He caught on well to what he needed to do. Eszter didn’t realize she should pay and get points when placing daughters, but we gave back the 5 she had paid for points with the bonus and back paid for all her placements, which gave her more points and caught her up to near me; she passed me by one at the very end. Assaf only had three helpers, Binyamin had the most.

Slap Deck

Avi++, Jon+

Jon: I taught Avi how to play this, and he really liked it. We played three times, he won twice. He asked to play it again several times when I wasn’t available.

83bda1f1-e1d1-4cde-b231-ac9cdab63769Suburbia

Jon 134, Binyamin 114, David 11, Ben 110

Jon: I taught this to Ben, David, and Binyamin. David like it and wanted to play again. Ben seemed to like it, too. Binyamin didn’t like it, because there is nothing to do when it is not your turn and the other players’ turns took too long for him. It’s true that there is not much to do on your turn, and not much in the way of player interaction or interfering with other players (other than taking the building he wants), but I think the game is fast enough and interesting enough to be good; I actually really like it.

Even though I had the highest income at the start, I was cash shy for a lot of the game. Binyamin took early greens but he ended up with negative income and no money, which made many of his last turns useless; even lakes couldn’t bring him enough cash not to lose them, and he couldn’t save money to buy income generating buildings. David also had a lot of cash, from the building that doubles lake income, which he then doubled again (for triple). He made use of his cash finally in the last third of the game hovering near the top of income and reputation until the last round. But it was too late, and he had no bonuses. Ben and I each made two bonuses, and Binyamin made three. On the last move of the game, Ben handed Binyamin his third bonus in order to take around 14 points himself.

Tichu and Where’s Tichu?

Avi/Nadine 375, Jon/David 225

We started the day with this. My favorite Tichu partner, and players. When David said maybe the teams aren’t fair, Avi said we like playing together, and I said it’s worth losing for the times we do manage to beat such good players. First hand I called a Tichu and made it. The others asked me why I called it so early, at least a hand before I played my first card, and I said because I always forget to call it if I wait. On another hand Avi could have gone out first, but wanted to give me a chance to play so we could go out first and second, but neither one of us ended up going out first, he should have just gone out. Jon thought about calling a Tichu but decided not to. One game he did well, but would have done better if he had remembered that he had passed David the Dragon and therefore knew where it was. We stopped when more people came, which I had said at the beginning would be our strategy.

Jon/Ben 735, David/Assaf 565

We couldn’t find Tichu among all the games people brought, which were stacked on shelves, couches and tables. Whenever I asked if they had looked somewhere they said yes. I know things slip between my couch pillows, so I looked carefully, and found it with a few others small games behind a back pillow.

Jon: We taught Ben and Assaf how to play. Ben picked it up quickly; Assaf took a bit longer, but they both seemed to enjoy it (it helped Ben’s enjoyment that we were winning). Ben was my teammate. David called and made 2 grand tichus, including one on the opening hand. I called and made regular tichu on the second hand. Even when our opponents made tichus, they always seemed to end up with the short end on points, so Ben and I did very well.

Ticket to Ride

2016-04-26 15.30.55Shira 123, Yiscah 121, Devora 109, Haim 98

Year of the Dragon

Shira 112, Ben 105, David 86, Haim 95

David taught this to the others, and then proceeded to do much worse than he usually does. They were all close in the number of people left at the end.

 

November 25, 2015

Participants: Jon, David, Eszter, Jonathan, Gili, Roman

Before we get to this report, I would like to report that I attended a Murder Mystery night together with Cliff and Linda and an assortment of others at the home of a new oleh in the neighborhood. Specifically, we played How to Host a Murder: The Wall Street Scandal, which is one in a series of many murder mysteries printed by Decipher games in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The basic thrust: everyone gets a character and some private information. We are given common information about the scenario, and then additional sets of common or private information in four stages, some of which we are supposed to reveal in “the course of conversation”. The last stage is the reveal, wherein all players’ histories and motives are revealed in detail and the murderer is revealed. Note that even the murderer does not know if he or she is the murderer until the reveal. In theory, we can ask each other direct questions and must reveal certain information if asked directly. We are supposed to deduce who the murderer is before the big reveal.

In practice, we barely had enough time to simply read to ourselves and then out loud the material we received each round before moving to the next round, and it still took a good two and a half hours. From the way we played and the way this particular story was arranged, it seemed like there was no way to know who the murderer was. Everyone had as equal a motive as everyone else, and in fact all of the characters essentially tried to murder the victim. The only mystery was whose poison/dart/knife/gun actually found the mark, and I don’t know how that could have been guessed. Perhaps I am wrong, and with more time and cleverer players, we could have pieced together who succeeded with the murder. I don’t know. We had a good time goofing around, pointing our fingers dramatically, and playing our characters.

On to the report.

Magic the Gathering

David+, Jon+

We drafted again, and I won the first game, this time by a comfortable margin. Then we played again and David won by a comfortable margin. My deck was 6 big creatures, 2 walls, a creature with deathtouch, and 5 flyers, together with 7 creature killers or direct damage and 3 utility cards for getting damage through. In three colors. I don’t know how to draft a better deck than this and I still lost the second game.

Power Grid

David 18, Jon 17, Jonathan 16

Jonathan is still the new player, so I wanted him to play another game that was not too complicated. He enjoyed it, and David did, too. I’m not too sure if I did, and I didn’t get screwed by the order that the power plants flipped up, so I can’t blame it on that. I know that much of the game comes down to the last few turns, and that most turns involve a few minutes of calculating money, starting from the end of the turn and working backwards. David likes it anyway, but I’m beginning to not like the repetitive calculations. Too many of the same kinds of calculations don’t make a good game, once it is transparent that there is no real “game” in the calculations. The game is about when to buy power plants and where to build your stations. The rest is just there to keep you busy. I docked the game a point on BGG; I’ll still play it, but I think it’s missing something.

Spyrium

Eszter, Gili, Roman

Eszter brought a game that I has never heard of, and I don’t know how the game went.

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.

Tichu

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.

bgg.con 2014 I play a two-headed snake

La Isla

20141121_103135Everyone was pronouncing the ‘s’, I would think it would be silent, like in isle. Another new Stefan Feld. Not my type of game, spatial positioning to coordinate with several cards and a cooperative track, one of my worst mechanics. Cute and interesting, but also light, and there’s luck with the cards and being able to get synergy. Quick and easy to learn, OK for a filler for most people. 61, 49, 48, 42, I think I was last. And red. Someone later said it has too much luck to be a good Stefan Feld game.

Evolution

20141121_123159Another new popular game. Run by a demoer. He didn’t explain everything before we started, and didn’t help with strategy. The player before me benefitted by playing carnivores on the first round, but then lost everything when we all defended against them so she starved, which the demoer hadn’t warned her about though he knew it was likely. Almost completely tactical, and light, but good. You have to react well to what’s happening, such as choosing when to add new animals, upgrade, and use carnivores. Easy to learn, nice components. 76, 71, 49 (me), lower (carnivore person).

Betrayal at House on the Hill

20141121_141910I wandered around the big room looking for a spot in a game I wanted to play. They were looking for players for Betrayal on the House on the Hill, so I decided to try it. I had heard about it but never played, and I like playing games with more players. We waited a bit for more players, they found two more, for five total. One person had played before. The game is fun despite the gross event descriptions, the horror part is not close to how it is in newer games, and no Zombies. I was last in turn order. After I had taken two turns, the player before me triggered the haunting phase. It’s a cooperative discovery game until then, at which point one player becomes the traitor. Each side reads their part of a matching scenario related to the room it was triggered in, giving secret goals. The guy who triggered it would have been the traitor, but due to a tie in movement points, it went to the player on his left, which was me. And the next turn started to my left, skipping my turn.

So I had to be a two-headed snake. My objective was to place 16 body parts in different rooms and explode the house to win. Or kill them all. They needed to kill both my heads, with 3 hits each, and they could reduce my might once per head with a spell with the skull in the room. They also had a card giving them additional rolling power. They all dropped both of those cards before the next player’s turn so that they could all keep using them. It seemed like it wouldn’t take them that long to kill me. They figured out to try to trap me so I couldn’t visit new rooms, and I had bad luck by drawing two closed rooms. Nevertheless, it took them a really long time, and one died and some others were close. They had to spend turns powering up. The player before me had a Heal card which he kept using to grow in might and movement. I said that’s a really powerful card. At which point, he reexamined it and realized he could only heal up, not past his starting number. So that helped a bit. I rolled really well, which caused a lot of damage to them. But they did manage to kill me after about an hour. I should have sent one head downstairs because there were about 8 rooms there, and it would have been harder for them to attack as often because the body parts doubled their movement requirements. They were still affected by new room events, but I wasn’t. I had 7 unplaced body parts left at the end of the game. My favorite coop though I haven’t played so many.

Alchemists

20141121_185141I also got into a game of Alchemists. It hadn’t started yet, so I was able to select my color while I waited for people. I had downloaded the app when I read about the game, and there were cell phones on the table for use with the game. You try to create potions from ingredients to make deductions about ingredient composition. But to get points you need to publish theories before you have all the information you need. I didn’t realize how important theories were, though I did get some in. I also didn’t realize the penalty for undebunked wrong theories. I bought a 6 point Artifact card, but that wasn’t close to enough compared to the other players’ points for correct theories. So there’s only one path to victory – good theories, which does involve some luck, but also many choices regarding use of resources and gaining information, including from what other players are doing. Turn order has a mechanic similar to Fresco.

The theme is cute and interesting, you can test on a student or on yourself, with penalties for bad results. We spend a lot of time trying to line up cards correctly using different phones. Later I noticed that the app has the options of just picking the cards, which would have been much easier and saved time. It would be complicated to play on Shabbat, you’d have to prepare documentation in advance, and have an administrator who is not playing check potion results, the way you need to play if you don’t have the app. When we finished another group came to play and wanted help learning it, I volunteered to teach them. It was late at night by then and I was jetlagged; I couldn’t remember any of the game terms though that’s not so important. I realized later that I forgot to tell them that you start with cards, but I had also said they should look up some details that I wasn’t sure of, so I hoped they had noticed and played correctly. 32, 32, 17 (me), 14

Last year I had problems with my computer – the plug broke the first morning. This year my phone didn’t charge overnight. I had almost run it out, so I didn’t check that it was charging. While Skyping with Yona during lunch I tried a different plug which worked. So for the first day’s pictures I asked other people to use their phones, and I entered my email address to send them, but they didn’t all arrive.

Power Grid

Wandering around late at night I wasn’t sure I wanted to play anything, and didn’t want to deal with the big room. In the small game area alongside the library, I saw some guys reading the rules to Power Grid, so I played. They were locals demoing CCG games most of the day. They caught on to the mechanics, but not as much to the strategy. At the end, one player bought a 5 plant because he wanted nuclear, which brought him to 16, but there was a 7 using 3 coal available. It used coal which was scarce, there were only 4 left, but he was buying first. I didn’t say anything, his friend had already got him to switch from a 6 oil. I was the only one with 17 capacity, and had almost enough money to buy to 17. We tried two ways and it didn’t work, so I probably couldn’t have. I probably would have won next round. But they kind of conceded because it was 1:30 am and they needed to get up at 9 for demoing, and they weren’t staying at the hotel. Someone came by and said the new North America map made changes such as higher connection costs and is better, resulting in closer games.

Sukkot Games Day 5775

20141014_185834A great games day with our fun games day gang. Happy birthday to Bill, he left early to work before his roleplaying group meeting, Shirley came after work; they’re both still jetlagged from a week in China. Bon voyage to Mace who left early to catch a plane back to Australia. Emily and Eitan were sans Uli because Emily’s parents are handily visiting. The dinner order was complicated as usual with a lot of people, leading to Emily resigning from the next one – with honors for the excellent job she’s done. Thanks to everyone who helped with score reporting, organizing, and carrying chairs and moving furniture.

Jerusalem area
Nadine, Gili, Lotem, Eszter, Binyamin, Bill, Shirley, David, Avi, Eitan, Emily, Shalom, Shachar, first timers Jordan and Chaim

Modi’in
First timer Avraham

Ra’anana
20141014_122457Jon, Sa’arya

Rehovot
Old timer Elisheva

Haifa
Ofer and Oran

Australia
Mace

Alien Frontiers

Jon 9, Avi 6, Ofer 6, Bill 1

First play for all except Jon.

20141014_162336Belfort

Eszter 53, Binyamin 37, Elisheva

New to them; they liked it.

Bridge

David/Jon, Nadine/Avi

Played at the end of the night. Jon had pretty bad cards overall. We played a fun, relaxed game without scoring and with discussion of bids, good practice. I was playing a hand, I was already set, and Jon asked ‘why are we still playing this?”, which I took to mean he was generally bored as usual. But he meant, ‘can’t you claim yet?”; I realized after that play that I could but hadn’t thought about it. Avi plays very well, he overbid once, I overbid also. Jon and David at first were either playing or bidding well, but not both on the same hand.

Carson City

Eszter 52, Avraham 40, Saarya 39, Elisheva 34

New to all except Eszter. A crowded board set up with most of the mountains very close to the town.

20141014_193338Dixit

Emily 32, Eitan 25, Gili 22

Played on the couch and floor at the end of the evening.

El Grande

Emily 34, 87, 127  Eitan 31, 83, 116  Gili 35, 89, 112

Very close scores, a fun favorite. I don’t think I’ve ever played with 3.

Eminent Domain

Another space game in the sukka. Jordan and Gili tied for 15, both in pts and resources and fighter, Elishiva 13, Shalom 12

20141014_191600Hanabi

Jon, David, Avi, Avraham, Shirley

They all enjoyed playing tremendously, despite, or because of, the challenge of having to remember information about cards that you can’t see, and did very well.

Hawaii

Gili 116, Eszter 99, Binyamin 98, Elisheva 85, Lotem 65

First play for Elisheva, Binyamin and Lotem.

High Frontier

M0, c8, s8, v4, Jordan 7 (1 v), Eitan 12 (1 v, 1 d, 1 s), Emily (1c + 4 turns), Shalom 8 (2 v)

This was the entertainment for people who went to have lunch in the sukka. They all really sounded like rocket scientists, the game emulates thrust, oxygen etc in detail.

20141014_114239Lords of Waterdeep

Jon, David, Shirley

Jon: Shirley won. David was a few points behind her and I was a few points behind him. I was ahead often in the game with 25 point quests, but the others were close behind with smaller quests and plot quests. And I only fed my lord 4 times for 16 points where they each ended with 32 points.

Love Letter

Nadine+, David, Avi

I did better than usual. This game is fun with people who get it and enjoy the uncontrollable situations. I lost when I had the countess and David the princess, next hand it was reversed.  They think it’s funny how much information I don’t remember, and helped me eliminate available cards for guessing to speed things up.

Machi Koro

Jordan 4/7, Shalom 6/7, Elisheva 7/7 (win), Eszter 6/7

Shalom’s game with similarities to Settlers according to him.

20141014_113521Magic

David+, Jon

Apparently a very close win. I knew they drafted, but didn’t realize they then make up decks with half the cards.

Mykerinos

Gili 43, Binyamin 32, Elisheva 32, Eszter 30, Lotem

Nefarious

David+, Jon, Bill, Avi, Nadine

New to David and Avi. We had positive special cards – including extra money if you haven’t built yet. I didn’t do well at selecting cards. Bill would have reached 20 points right after David did. Jon played cards with negative effects on other players such as losing minions and cards, but Avi countered with one giving everyone a card.

20141014_134411Nexus Ops

Avi+, Chaim, Ofer

Power Grid

Oran 17/17, Nadine 18/12+, David 18/12-

Easier with 3. New to Oran. He didn’t listen to the good advice David and I gave him, such as not buying so many intermediate power plants, and when to build. So he was right, very good play to beat both of us first time, and with his own strategy. We played regular, no card previews which changes the calculations. I was doing better than usual, I was in a good position throughout, and David was doing worse than usual, we don’t know why, but it was still fun to play, I haven’t played in at least a year.

Set

Jon, Ofer

Jon: I taught him and he creamed me.

Avraham, Nadine

New to Oran, who had a hard time finding them.

20141014_204005Tichu

Jon/Avi 1065, David/Avraham

David gamely partnered with Avraham, completely new to the game. He understood how to play, but experience makes a different. David and Avraham were ahead by a few hundred for a while, but Jon and Avi caught up, and won when they called Tichu and went out first and second; David made a mistake and forgot that Avi had only played one ace so there was still one out, Jon had it. David had 3 bombs in a row, wrecking one of Jon’s Tichus.

Tigris and Euphrates

Avraham 9, Avi 7, Nadine 5

I taught this to them, new to both. They did an excellent job catching on and built monuments, Avraham 2 and Avi 3. There wasn’t much conflict. I thought I was doing worse than I was. I think Avraham beat Avi because Avraham attacked more, he attacked me, but I didn’t play well. There is less conflict with 3 players.

20141014_193530Via Appia

Oran 92, Eszter 49, Nadine 38, Ofer 25

Ofer taught it to all of us, thought he hadn’t played before and needed to look up setup info, he didn’t have the rules in English, but he had read them online earlier. We punched out the game and Ofer managed to set up the main mechanism which releases disks with which to buy building stones. Near the end of the game, when one type of stone ran out, he discovered a new rule that you can get a coin instead of a stone – people who had tossed due to lack of storage took money for earlier moves, unbalancing the timing. It’s a cute, light game, though Pushing and losing feels like luck; it is partly, but also related to when you select that action. Eszter did really well with it, Ofer who was before her didn’t, he put them in position for her, as did I. I didn’t like that aspect, and often I couldn’t take full advantage of my actions, for example, only having one stone available to build instead of the two allowed. I focused on money for movement, but that’s not enough. I also built, but Oran had a more successful strategy, he built mainly small stones, and got bonuses for it.

20141014_162213Walnut Grove

Shachar 30, Nadine 28, Mace 25, Avraham 19

New to Shachar and Avraham, and Mace has played around once. Everyone did well, and sold a lot and bought bonuses. Mace and I had similar strategies, storage and coins. He wanted to get both coin bonus tiles but I got one. On the last turn, I changed from buying a farmer for two points to selling for 3 coins with space for 2, because of my coin bonus, even though it meant paying a coin for food. A mistake, I got all zeros, and paying for food reduced the coin bonus to one extra, for a gain of one instead of two. If I had drawn better coins I would have tied or won, but it’s less likely to draw those at the end of the game. The keep two tile year came up first, when it’s less helpful, though it does increase production quickly. It’s an easy game to learn. Eszter wanted to play it later, but too many people who had already played it were available. Shachar had 3 bonuses and almost got another one. Mace and I would have had one more point if we had drawn tiles which close fences on the last round.

Chag Sameach!

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