Tag Archive | princes of florence

June 07, 2017

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Aaron, Haim S

No game night last week owing to Shavuot.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon++, David+

We drafted and I ended up with a GWR deck. Unusually for me, a) I played only 15 lands, 5 of each color, b) I played 41 cards instead of 40. In addition to the lands, I had 4 cards that fetched lands (of my choice) or generated mana. Also unusually for me, I never had any mana problems, hitting 7 or 8 mana in all colors within the first 7 rounds in each game. David had some mana problems with his 40 card / 18 land deck in RGb. He played b even though his W was stronger, because he hates playing W. The only reason his W was stronger was because he negative drafted W cards away from me.

I had a few fliers (including a red 5/5 flying haste who gets shuffled back into your deck at the end of the round), some medium green creatures, and some boosters, with only three control cards (a spark jolt (1 point and a scry), a white card that buries a large creature, and a small creature that sends one of his creatures out of play until it (the small creature) leaves play).

In the first game, I brought him down to one point, and then he took out my creatures and generated his own until he won. In the second he struggled with mana a bit and I took him down. In the third, I brought him down to two points and it looked light it might be a repeat of the first game but I top-decked my red 5/5 flyer to win.

Princes of Florence

Aaron 63, David 54, Jon 53, Haim 51, Nadine 47

First play for Haim and maybe second or third for Aaron? David and I essentially copied each other’s early strategy, each taking a jester and a recruiter. Then he took two more recruiters and I took two more jesters. We both ended with no prestige cards and very similar results, as you see. Meanwhile, I encouraged Aaron to try a builder strategy; he took 3 builders and 4 prestige cards, none of them too expensive. In the last round, Haim, who had two builders, actually covered more spaces than he had, so he Aaron lost his last prestige card. However, he times his works well, taking the best work twice I think (at least once), and did very well. Haim did a mixture of about everything, with builders, landscapes, and a prestige card. Nadine also had two prestige cards, and played conservatively (spending as little as possible).

Nadine writes: Chaim blocked Aaron from getting the least empty spaces one, and blocked me from getting anything for my second one which would have been 7 for most landscapes, 4 for a tie, with 7 I would have tied David; Chaim got most lakes. I should maybe have bid more against him for a lake, but that would have just been a tie, and I would have lost one or two points from the money spent. 

Nefarious

Jon 20, David 18m Aaron 17, Haim 13, Nadine 11

First play for Haim. He keeps complaining that we are always playing different games, while he prefers to play the same game several times in a row so as to get the nuances. I sympathize with him, but I must say that I rarely encounter someone who is so good at picking up the rules of games as I explain them.. He always understands the rules on the first try, although he often checks certain rules out loud as we play (like a verbal reminder, I think).

Anyhoo, we played with the twists a) we all start with 20 instead of 10, and b) we toss down to the nearest 5 at the end of each round (unless you have less than 5). The first twist is pretty uneventful, while the second one radically changes how you play. You MUST place minions, or you have no hope of accumulating any money.

I drew tons of very expensive cards. I finally tossed them all out for some cash (the effect of a card), and when I drew again I drew the most expensive card in the game. It actually ended up helping me, because it was worth just enough points to get me to 20.

Tichu

Nadine/Aaron 620, David/Haim 280

Nadine/Aaron 310, David/Jon -120

I kibitzed the first game, tsking when Aaron called Tichu after Tichu (and then when he didn’t call Grand Tichu and he should have) and as he played his last few cards. David had some bad luck with his tichus. The I sat down to take Haim’s place, and David and I proceeded to have several hands of really bad luck, as well as a few bad plays (some of which hurt us and some of which didn’t). It was late so we gave up.

September 14, 2016

Participants: Jon, David K, Nadine, Gili, Haim, Aaron, Yael, Ido

Haim was a first time visitor

Princes of Florence

David 72, Nadine 68, Gili 63, Haim 58

First play for Haim. Nadine writes: We bid pretty low, nothing over 500. David got 3 jesters pretty early. Haim got his on the last round. David had a forest and one building, 7 professions including one recruiter. On the second round, Gili didn’t buy the last available profession of the 8 we allowed. Gili and Haim also skipped it on the next round leaving it for David, a good fit with his 3 jesters. I miscalculated but being able to get a second jester let me play a work I thought I couldn’t play. I thought I didn’t have enough actions to buy another building, but I miscounted and had two unexpected actions. I didn’t have space for the building and didn’t need it by then, so I got two bonuses. Which let me beat David by one point for the best WV at 29 on the last round.

Tikal

Jon 111, Aaron 97, Yael 84, Ido 74

First play for everyone except me. But I hadn’t played in a long time, and it turns out I had played several things wrong in every other time that I had played. One, I didn’t know that you can only cap two digs during the game. Two, I didn’t realize that you can only uncover a level if you have as many diggers equal to the level in the same hex. I also might still have the rule about the chief digger incorrect.

The correct rules make the treasures even more valuable, since it is harder to get points at the digs. Still, the game played pretty similarly to the way it always had, for me. I got the earliest treasures, and that helped my score, but others caught up.

Vegas Showdown

Nadine 62, David 60, Gili 58, Haim 47

First play for Haim. David had only played it a long time ago.

March 09, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Gili, Yovel, Assif

We played this week at Gili’s apt, and her daughter Assif joined us for one game. Yovel lives in Tekoa but doesn’t usually join us. This was his first time, I think.

But first I met David early and we played Magic.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon+, David+

I thought I drafted BRW, but in the end I played RWu; I had more B than U, but they were nothing special, while the few U I had were nice. I had a U sorcery that exiled any amount of my own creatures (1U each) in exchange for replacing them with 4/4 flyers. I jokingly said that I would play with the RR1 sorcery I had drafted earlier that gave me 3 1/1 goblins, but in the end that was exactly what I did!

But first I endured a quick smack-down from David in the first game. He played BG. Turn 3 he cast a 1/1 flyer with lifelink while I couldn’t find more than one mountain or any cards that didn’t have RR in their casting cost. Turn 4 he put 3 +1/+1 counters on it and I died shortly thereafter while he gained life. In the second game he tried something similar (no lifelink) but I had my 4/4 flyers out and he had to defend against me. He jacked up one creature with three spells to 9/10, but I did him some damage and then cast a sorcery that had a creature do damage to itself. We were both down to no creatures, but I was able to build right back up with enough to take him down.

Parade

Gili 8, Jon 11, Nadine 12, Yovel 31, Assif many

David sat out this filler. First play for Yovel and Assif. They both caught on quickly, but Yovel kept taking a few too many cards, letting Nadine stay at 0 for nearly the entire game. At the very end she had to take a 10. She was hoping to build up that card’s suit, but I also needed to do it, so she had to swallow 12 points; still not bad, but Gili managed to end with 4 cards in 2 suits.

Princes of Florence

David 70, Jon 57, Gili 56, Nadine 55, Yovel 46

First play for Yovel. David isn’t a fan of five-player games, but we chose a classic that we don’t play too often, so we all enjoyed it. We played with my change for five players: the professions are  pick 2 choose 1, and the last profession card cannot be bought but can be recruited. The intent is to not give player 2 a huge advantage in that she can get two profession cards while everyone else can only get one. But it only works if everyone (or everyone but player 2*) buys a profession card on the first round, which makes that round rather dull. I thought of a possibly better solution: same rules, but add that each player can only buy one profession card during the game. Eh, it might not be necessary.

In our game, I got an early cheap Recruiter (200 on turn 1) and Nadine took a 200 Prestige card on turn 1. Jester was 1000, Builder 7 or 800, and Yovel took an expensive forest. David amassed 2 Jesters and 3 Recruiters, which is insane, and explains his win. I had the other 2 Recruiters, 1 Jester, and 3 Forests which I took because it fulfilled the only Prestige card that was even possible that I took in round 4. Nadine also wanted the Forests, but not as much. She had some nice works and two Builders. Gili concentrated on Builders and bonus cards, as well, playing a 34 WV work in round 6. I ended up not being able to play my last work, which took me a long time to figure out in turn 6; this was partly because during rounds 3 to 5 I thought I needed the University for it but it turns out that I needed the Workshop. The writing is not that clear and I wasn’t wearing glasses, but I still should have known it (from the number, etc).

Slap Deck

Jon 152, David 139, Gili 112, Yovel 65, Nadine 21

I requested that we play this and taught it to Gili and Yovel, both of whom liked it. We played to 150 (which is currently the official rule for 5 players), which took 7 rounds. Gili started by going to -52. So, technically, she gained more points that I did on the subsequent rounds, with one round alone netting her 62 points (she fought fiercely over the aces, as did Yovel). David was the most in contention with me for most of the game, but he stalled after round 4. Nadine only scored points once, because she often waits too long to decide that she wants to slap. I was at 137 in the penultimate round, so I simply took the first 13+ point batch that I saw.

February 03, 2016

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Nisan, Jonathan, Alan, Roman, David, Eszter, Gili, Francis, Binyamin

High Society

Nisan 20, Nadine 12, David 0, Jon -2, Jonathan X

First plays for all but me, third play for me. Nisan went a little crazy buying powerful cards, including two x2 multipliers, but Jonathan rescued him by spending even more. I ended up with the -5, a 4, and a x2, which did me no good.

Hanabi

Binyamin, Gili, Roman, Alan, Eszter

They started playing this but abandoned it to start longer games.

Cosmic Encounter

Jon (Seeker/Fungus) 5, Alan (Siren/Loser) 4, Binyamin (Void*/Mind) 3, Nadine (Philanthropist/Subversive) 3

First plays for Alan and Binyamin, and Nadine had not played too often. I also hadn’t played in a while, but I suggested strongly that we play this 4 player, which is best (3 and 5 are playable, but not ideal). I also played this, for the very first time, with the correct rule, which is that you can only attack a base of the player whose system you are attacking, and not any base in that system. It certainly speeds the game up, making it hard to get rid of foreign bases (unless you sacrifice a challenge to do so). But it also makes flares and powers that get rid of foreign bases more powerful.

We still played with many of my house rules: double powers, losing powers at 2/1 home bases, and others. We didn’t play with reverse cone, lucre, or moons. I strongly discouraged, but did not outlaw, purposely tanking your allies unless a specific card or power was designed for it.

It lasted about the right amount of time, and I think both Binyamin and Alan enjoyed it.

Princes of Florence

Jonathan 57, Nisan 54,Francis 46

Nisan writes: First play for Jonathan and Francis. Jonathan and Nisan had bidding war in last auction for a recruiting card. Jonathan went down two points to win the auction with bid of 1700 (Nisan had 1800, but passed and took jester). This allowed Jonathan to recruit from Francis (who’d played 7 works) and Jonathan played two works in the last turn for 37wv. In that last turn he advanced 27 prestige points (6card + 3best work inc) to win. I enjoy teaching that game to first timers and still having all be in competition by end of game.

Troyes

Roman 41, Eszter 37, Gili 35, David 25

Tichu

Jon/David+, Nadine/Binyamin

Binyamin didn’t really want to play this at the end, but Nadine and I did and David wouldn’t stick around for anything else. We forced him to play and Alan to learn (though he left after the first two hands).

Suffice to say that David and I toasted them. Binyamin started off losing a grand tichu (bid with the Phoenix, an A, and some high cards). Unfortunately, David passed him the dog and I sat after him to repeat the same things that happened last time we played: he had a high card and a low card, and I had the Dragon and many more things. The next hand David made a grand tichu (bid on the Dragon, Phoenix, 2 Aces and other high cards. He passed me the Dragon! The last card he played was the dog, hoping that I could go out second, which I did.

July 22, 2015

Participants: Gili, Nir, Jon, Nisan, Yaacov, Eszter, Nadine, Aaron, Natan

Gili hosted in preparation for the three weeks I will be away and to show off her new apt. Over the time I was in Ra’anana, several people have been amassing game collections, including Gili and Eszter. Aaron will be in India for a few weeks, but he and Aaron and some of the others appear to be new regulars, for which I’m happy.

Macao

Jon 88, Nadine 67, Natan 62, Aaron 60

First play for Natan, second or third for Aaron. Natan took a commanding lead with activated cards, which made us think he was winning around mid-game. Something stalled for him, however. The payments for points were often hovering at too high a cost and he wasn’t getting much in the way of shipping, city, or game end points. Aaron had some good synergy with red cubes and money, and a good performance in the city, but otherwise not much else to say and two dumped cards.

Nadine ended the game with a massive 30 point shipping run, but lost 12 points to unactivated cards. She was in first place on the wall for the last half of the game, except for the two rounds I needed to be first and was. She also had a good city presence.

I lagged behind for much of the game, but I was acquiring the goods I needed plus two bonuses for shipping: 1 double for all rice and 1 “plus 1” for all delivered tiles. We were not sure if that meant that I acquired 23 or 26 points for my rice delivery. I had not much to say in the city, but I bought points on most of the later rounds and I had 21 game ending points in cards.

We played with my luck equalizer where each round you can spend 1 coin to adjust 1 die +/-1. It definitely helped some, but it’s nowhere near enough. One negative effect of the change is that – maybe – less people bought points than they might have, since many coins went to adjusting the dice. On the other hand, they would have had less activated cards and hence less points, anyway. But the change is simply not enough. The game mechanics – the market, the price of the cards, etc – are all fairly balanced, and there is simply no simple way to change the dice mechanic without breaking it. The game might benefit if the next round’s four cards are all face up – thus allowing you to know what the next round’s market will be and what cubes you might want to aim for this round – but given all of the calculations you already have to do, it would add even more calculations to the game. The sad fact is that the game has too much luck and there is not much to do about it. You simply have to enjoy it for what it is or not get upset when the black die rolls 1s and 2s for 8 rounds in a row.

Princes Of Florence

Gili 63, Nisan 53, Yaacov 45, Eszter 40, Nir 33

First play for some of them, I don’t know what happened.

Thanks to Gili for hosting, and for everyone for coming.

May 13, 2015

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Gili, Aaron

Aaron is a first time participant who is an experienced gamer. He made aliyah a while ago but just moved to Jerusalem. Welcome aboard.

Magic: The Gathering

David 2, Jon 0

David arrived early and we drafted. I drafted sucky cards, so the games that followed at the end of the evening were a depressing, foregone conclusion. I mostly drew 1/1’s, 2/1’s, and 1/2’s in both games, and he had a pinger and an Ernham Djinn.

Princes of Florence

David 55 +3, Nadine 55 + 2, Gili 51, Jon 50, Aaron 40

David complained the whole game that he was losing very badly, while loudly claiming that I was winning by a large margin. I knew that I wasn’t winning by a large margin, but I was hopeful when I realized in round 4 that I would actually get out all of my works. By round 6, however, I realized that Nadine was too far ahead to catch, even with all of my works. I still hoped that maybe I could overtake her with my prestige card, but she played another work and it was too far. I had 3 jesters and 2 recruiters, which I thought were all I needed, but apparently not. Her buildings server her well.

David had no jesters, but he still played five works. Gili had to go back several points to steal the lake I wanted from me, but she really needed it for both prestige cards and to be able to play her last work. She had 15 points in prestige cards. David had 14 points, but that was from 3 cards. I had only one card for 7 points. Aaron’s prestige card didn’t score: he was one square behind Nadine in having the least open squares. Nadine had good synergy with her profession cards, and got to recruit one back. She would have had 4 more points if she had gone back 3 points to get the Prestige card that Aaron took.

Aaron liked the game.

Dixit

Aaron 31, Jon, David, Gili, Nadine

First play for Aaron. Nadine scored very poorly. Aaron liked the game. It was fun, and we still get creative.

BattleCON: War of Indines

Aaron, Nadine

I think this is the version they played. Aaron taught the game to Nadine, who appeared to have picked it up well.

Princes and Dragons

Princes of Florence

Lior 63, Nadine 61, David 59, Raz 53, Gili 49

20140910_204520Gili brought this because David wanted to play; he hadn’t in a while. New to Raz and Lior, more challenging with 5 players. Lior got best work 3 times, I got it only once when I tied for it on the last round. Gili skipped taking a Profession card to buy a building and get best work on the first round. Lior skipped it also, I would have bought it but forgot it was there, so David got it. That’s half a jester, I thought David would win because of that and he got a recruiter, so he played the most works. He said he made a mistake in what he recruited though. I had a recruiter, we all had one prestige card, except Raz had two, but she played fewer works. She paid a lot to get a third builder, so Lior didn’t get one. I could have picked a prestige with one more point, but I wasn’t sure I’d get the required jester; I’m glad I didn’t lose by one point.

Tichu

David/Lior+, Nadine/Raz

Lior called and made two Tichus, and on one of them David went out second. Raz is still learning, she could have gone out second when I went out first, which would have made up for my forgetting to call Tichu.

Sukkot Games Day will be October 14.