Tag Archive | santiago

February 08, 2017

Participants: Nadine, Jon, Riva, Elliot, Noa, Avishag, Yoshi, Gili, Daniel

First time coming for Riva and Elliot, who are new to Israel. I’m very late with this posting, so I forgot much of what happened.


Riva, Noa, Nadine, Avishag

Nadine writes: We picked it quickly, before deciding who was playing or considering other games we should have chosen based on experience and interest. Riva did a good job despite not understanding a few details. Noa understood the game well and explained things to other players. Avishag was hurt the most from not understanding the game and my explanation mistakes. She started cleaning up before I wrote down the scores.


Jon+, Eliot, Yoshi, Gili, Daniel

I brought this out of storage, having not played it for some time. Still a great game, and a good pick for new players, such as Elliot. First time for everyone else. I won by a very small amount.


Jon, Eliot, Yoshi, Gili, Daniel

We also played this, but I don’t remember who won (it wasn’t me).

July 19, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili

Attendance is still so low, it’s hard to feel too bad about leaving Jerusalem. I’d like to stay and keep a good club going, but three people week after week is not much of a club. Hopefully things will pick up again if/when Nadine and Gili take over.

Quest Adventure Cards

Jon 43, Nadine 34

I was sent this to review. I received six packs (1 through 6), which is enough for a two player game. You can play up to four with more packs.

I will give a full review on Purple Pawn soon. Nadine and I played only one game. It was, at least, a quick playing game, but only because the decisions were either trivial, luck-based, or irrelevant. Maybe I’m missing something.

Nadine didn’t understand the point count at the end. Actually, now that I remember the rules correctly, since the sixth quest wasn’t completed, the game actually ended in a tie.


Nadine 132, Jon 122, Gili

This is not really meant to be a three player game; there’s too much water and the water carrier makes no money. What’s left is calculating the amount of money spent vs money returned compared to the other players, which is still fun to those who like that sort of thing.

I gobbled up a center potato field and got some cubes on some of Nadine’s fields. Gili had a smaller field, and we were all pretty sure that I was going to win by a bit. But Nadine spent almost zero money on the bidding, while I was down to about 5 dollars before the final tally. She won due to frugal spending.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Nadine 13, Jon 11, Gili 11

Although I often complain that I’m losing when it feels like I’m losing, but stop complaining when I see that I’m actually doing ok, in this game I really really felt like I was losing and I was really really surprised to see that I actually came fairly close to winning.

Though I didn’t start the game with either 6 or 8, I had good and varied numbers and resources on my starting hexes – except sheep. I even pulled an early Inventor and switched away an 11 for a 9. Wouldn’t you know it, but 11 and 8 rolled up time and time again, with barely any occurrences of 5, 9, or 10 over the entire game.

As a result, I watched Nadine and Gili pull resource after resource while I collected the occasional brick or ore. Nadine’s hand already had over ten cards several times before the barbarians hit, and she maintained a large hand throughout the game.

Gili and Nadine both got to an early/mid-game Aqueduct, while I didn’t get to it until near the end game. Wow, is it hard to do ANYTHING without Aqueduct. I already knew it’s the most important strategy in the game, and I still keep underestimating it.

Nadine had early knight control. Gili got the first metropolis (paper) and took over the knights around mid-game. I managed to disappoint them both by failing to activate a single knight, twice losing cities to the barbarians in the process.

Despite this, and my paucity of building and resources, I finally got a harbor and a string of 4s to give me a metropolis in coins. I was sitting on the merchant card. I came so close to 12, only to lose a city (twice) or be off by a single resource each time.

Nadine missed an opportunity to end the game through stealing my coin metropolis, but she managed to get her 13th point anyway on the next turn.

October 28, 2009

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Bill, Shirley, Gili, Emily, Eitan, Abraham, Sarah, Ksenia

We have new steady regulars, which is great as it keeps game night lively and provides players with a choice of what games to play. Ksenia is a visiting student from Poland who will be staying with us until mid-December, at least. She has no gaming background, but was excited to try out games night and had a great time. Welcome aboard.

Year of the Dragon

Nadine 102, Bill 94, Shirley 92, Gili 90, 82 Eitan

First plays for Bill and Shirley. Shirley was able to translate the Chinese symbols on the board, and they apparently don’t have much to do with the game.

They started with this game, instead of the usual filler, and it took them three hours. Nadine won, as usual. Eitan already liked the game, and Shirley really liked it. So much so, that they all sat around for another half hour discussing the game.


Jon 29, Emily 24

I stayed away from YotD, so I was able to play Dominion with Emily when she and Eitan arrived (Eitan preferred to join YotD as it was just about to start).

We pulled a dream set of cards: Chapel, Moat, Villagers, Spy, Moneylender, Bureaucrat, Throne Room, Market, Festival, and Mine. I took Spy/Chapel, she took Moneylender/Chapel.

It took a while to get to 5, but then it was steady progression. Emily Chapel’d all of her Estates, while I only dropped 2 of them. That left me at a one point advantage. We’ll get back to that later.

Heh. She managed to get 2 Provinces before I got any, which made me depressed. Then we both got one, leaving me down, 3 to 1. But then I was able to get 2 Provinces and a Duchy. 3.5 to 3. We each both got one more Province, me getting the last one and pulling an additional Estate just for kicks.

Festivals are lovely, but they have to be combined with card drawing ability or they just sit there. Of course, trashing all your Estates and Coppers in favor of Golds also doesn’t hurt.

Settlers of Catan

Jon 10, Abraham 8, Ksenia 7, Emily 5

The gateway game, and first play for Ksenia. She liked it, I’m happy to say. Once again I started off a little behind, but soon the numbers began to swing my way. I was the only one who had to dump to the robber during the game, and I did it three times. Ksenia and Emily did a little jockeying for Longest Road, while Abe and I built up cities. I won with a Largest Army and then my fourth city.

It’s Alive

Ksenia 47, Jon 43, Abraham 41, Emily 33

Scores are approximate, but in order. First play for Ksenia, and she liked it too (though not as much as Settlers). I’m STILL finding new ways to think about the money and point aspects of the game. Great game.


Abraham 99, Jon 97, Sarah 79, Ksenia 58, Emily 57

For some odd reason, the old-timers don’t like to play this game with me, which boggles me, as I think it’s incredibly elegant and fun. Luckily I had four players who had never played it before, and I already knew that Abe would like it (and probably win). it’s also new player friendly. So I got another chance to play.

Five players is the toughest scenario, of course, but even so, ours was pretty amiable. Very little land dried up completely until the last round of the game.

One of the interesting things about the game is that it’s not enough to play a round by maximizing your point score for that round only. You have to consider how many extra points you can get by taking a smaller amount this round in anticipation of tiles that will give you a really big boost in some future round.

Also, you have to weigh the points you will get if you take tile A and opp takes tile B, and the reverse; not only what you will get with your own placement.

Four of the five crops had some contiguity, while the fifth one only sprouted between the fields, so to speak. I made a bonehead move on the seventh round, missing an already watered spot on the board and therefore not bidding high enough to secure it for myself. That was a 10 point loss, I believe.

But the game came down to the end, where Queenmaker Emily got to decide whether my crops or Abe’s would be watered. Abe won out, and he won by 2 points.

August 19, 2009

Participants: Jon, Cliff, Gili

Huh. Some regulars are away, I know, but we still had a decent show last week. The only regulars to show this week were me and Gili. Cliff is a local gamer who can never make Wed nights, because he teaches. He just happened to be between sessions this week.

He brought Battlestar Galactica, but we decided that three wasn’t enough people to play it.

Blokus Trigon

Jon+, Cliff

First play of any game in the Blokus series for Cliff. He made the mistake of not getting all of his bigger pieces out first. I had a tough time deciding at several points when to place something big before my opponent could block it (though he couldn’t do anything else with that space) or take more space away from my opponent.


Jon 52, Gili 43, Cliff 33

First play for Cliff. He liked it. We played with a random assortment, where the only Attack card to start with was Bureaucrat, but Black Market pulled in a few more. Gili used it to get Moat, and she happened to pull it against several attacks.

I played nearly straight Feasts -> Markets, Villages, and Throne Rooms, with some flavor. Regarding Throne Rooom -> Throne Room: I thought about this one for a while, and the only difference between doing Throne Room -> X, and Throne Room -> Y, versus Throne Room -> Throne Room -> X and Y, is that the latter saves 1 action (and can only do the former if X gives you an extra action).


Jon 150, Gili 133, Cliff 127

Scores approximate. First play for Cliff. I don’t get to play this most of the time, as others in the group don’t like it; I still think it’s a fantastic game.

This was my first three-player experience, and three players is far more serene – and high-scoring – than either four or five players. Maybe I overlooked a rule.

Poor peas never yielded more than a single plantation. Both Gili and I had plantations yielding 88 points, while Cliff had an 80 pointer.

I still don’t know whether it is correct to add a square to your opponent’s big field, preventing him from doing so, and with the expectation that he will add to yours, or whether it is better to add to your own field and let the opponent add to his. Must calculate that definitively someday.

April 13, 2009: Games Day

Participants: Jon, Koby, Zohar, Itamar, Oren, Nadine, Elijah, Gili, Hershel, Adam, Abraham, Binyamin, Tzvi Yehuda, Hannah, Yoseph, Yael, Dekel, Rachel A, Bill

Koby, Zohar, and Itamar arrived from the Rechovot group. Oren is also from that area. T”Y is Binyamin’s son, and Hannah is his mother. Yoseph came to our group a few times a while ago, and Yael is a good friend of both mine and Rachel’s, who came to the group before it became an official group. Dekel is a friend of Zohar’s. The rest are group regulars.


Elijah 45, Yoseph 43, Itamar 39, Yael 30

First play for Yael and Itamar.

Cosmic Encounter

Elijah+, Yoseph+, Adam+, Nadine, Zohar

First play for two of them, I forget which. Double powers seems a bit much for a first play, but I don’t get to set the rules. A triple win.

Binyamin+, Dekel+, Elijah+, Adam

First play for Dekel. Another triple win, this time against a lone defender.


Itamar 24+, Koby 24-, Zohar, Oren

Itamar won on the tie.

Koby 36, Jon 27, Binyamin 25

Jon 54, Nadine 42, Gili 21

Nadine started straight off for the Duchy’s, which I warned her wouldn’t work. She did better than I expected, however. I trashed a lot of coppers and silvers to get golds.

Fairy Tale

Elijah+, Oren, Nadine

First play for Elijah and Oren. Played as filler, and I think interrupted before finishing.


Binyamin, Jon, Hannah, Gili, Tzvi Yehuda

Binyamin taught this to all of us (except Tzvi Yehuda). I had been interested in learning it, as it is a sequel to Antike, a game I very much enjoy. We ended up quitting the game after a few turns our of a combination of boredom, annoyance, and frustration.

It looks like the core of the game is interesting, though very long. Our major problems were situational: Hannah and Tzvi Yehuda really don’t speak any English, so translation had to go back and forth all the time. Also, this didn’t seem to be Hannah’s type of game, and she was slow to learn every rule, and could make no decisions as to what to do on any turn. Tvzi Yehuda also hed to be reminded all the time when it was his turn.

The other major problem, to me, was one of the major mechanics of the game. Unlike Antike – and nearly every other game in the universe – where each player does their best on a turn by taking their turn. Turns are taken by the countries on the board, not the players. The player who currently controls the country plays for that country. Therefore, some players take more turns than others, and it’s quite likely or even probable that a player will quite literally have no turns to play. The player can still react a little on other player’s turns.

Binyamin tells me that this doesn’t detract from the fun that some people have in the game; I’m guessing that it’s possible, if difficult, to win this way. But in my book, it violates a core rules of fun in a game: equal participation and involvement by all players, or at least the possibility thereof. It’s just plain a NOT fun mechanic, to the point that, added to the other frustrations that were going on, I was really annoyed.

I may try the game again later, perhaps with four players, all quick players and all English speakers.


Elijah++, Adam

Elijah+, Dekel

Yoseph++, Elijah

Dekel brought a prototype of his game Pivot, an abstract game with pieces consisting of twin pegs connected by rubber bands. Looked interesting, and played very quickly.

Power Grid

Itamar 15+, Adam 15-, Hershel 14, Jon 13, Koby 12

First play for Hershel. We played on U.S. without the southeast. Adam dominated the entire west for most of the game. I started in the northeast and quickly got crowded. It was anyone’s game until the last two turns, as usual.

Zohar 17, Tzvi Yehuda 15, Hannah 14, Yoseph 13

I hear that they accidentally played on all six regions. When they realized their mistake midgame, they closed of one of the regions, but couldn’t close another one. First play for at least someone.

Puerto Rico

Jon 39, Gili 35, Rachel 32, Nadine 32

Gili hadn’t played in a while.

Jon Rachel Nadine Gili
Round 01 Settler Builder Mayor Craftsman I start with quarry and leave a corn to Rachel. I build a Small Indigo first round, and accidentally take an indigo when Gili crafts, forgetting that I didn’t have indigo fully manned. I sheepishly put it back when I remember.
Round 02 Builder Trader+ Prospector+ Captain+ Early trade for Rachel. I build Small Fashion District (2/1 trade indigo at +2).
Round 03 Prospector Craftsman+ Settler+ Mayor+ Rachel also has a Small Fashion District, but she never gets to use it since I always do. Nadine already has a Tobacco going.
Round 04 Mayor Builder+ Craftsman Trader+ I forgo Builder+ since I need more colonists and have nothing to build.
Round 05 Captain++ Settler+ Prospector+ Trader My captain prevents Rachel from trading again, I think. Gili took Trader five times during the game. I begin to realize that I can’t compete in victory points and so have to end the game early with building. I eventually get Factor and tobacco, and never get corn.
Round 06 Trader Mayor+ Builder+ Craftsman+
Round 07 Builder Captain+ Prospector+ Trader
Round 08 Settler Craftsman+ Builder Mayor+
Round 09 Trader+ Captain+ Mayor Prospector+
Round 10 Builder+ Settler+ Craftsman+ Trader Gili trades coffee, as she does several other times during the game. She had a coffee monopoly, and eventually a coffee boat. I build my first big building. Gili builds a Wharf that she only uses once.
Round 11 Builder Prospector+ Captain+ Trader I build my second big building.
Round 12 Builder Settler+ Craftsman+ Captain I build my 11th space. Gili builds a big building.
Round 13 Builder Mayor+++ Captain Settler I would have taken Mayor; Rachel then would be unable to buy and man a big building, because I would buy my last building at the same time and fill up my board. To take pity on her, I agreed to buy if she would mayor; I needed Mayor to man my two big buildings. I ended with 4 shipping points, but many more building points.


Itamar 12+, Koby 12-, Zohar, Oren, Hershel

First play for many of them. Koby loses on the tie, again.

Binyamin, Tzvi Yehuda, Hannah, Abraham 12+

Race for the Galaxy

Abraham 67, Jon 41

I played this at the same time as Power Grid, and it’s not easy. For some reason I tried some military might, but Abe beat me down with 6 6-point developments.

Koby 41, Itamar 27, Binyamin 21

Binyamin usually does better than this.

San Juan

Gili 40, Nadine 38, Jon 37, Elijah 35

We hadn’t played this in a while. The game desperately needs expansion sets. Close game, as you can see. I spent time trying to find 6-pointers, only to realize that Nadine was holding on to one, and Elijah had buried one in his Chapel. As usual, the players who built the most 6-pointers scored highest.


Jon 103, Elijah 95, Yoseph 90, Adam 84

I was happy to play this, as usual. First play for Yoseph. I concentrated more than the others and paid higher for things when they were worth it. Adam caught on to the valuation, and was fierce competition for me. Don’t know why he didn’t score higher.

Stone Age

Abraham 205, Tzvi Yehuda 134, Gili 131, Hannah 127

Someone else smudgily wrote these scores down, so I don’t know if they’re accurate. First play for some of them. This is a game I very much want to try, but haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s on the buy list.


Jon+, Koby, Itamar, Hershel

First play for everyone. Koby was looking forward to playing it. Afterwards, he thought it was nice but not worth buying. I liked it a lot.

Another game with very few rules, but very interesting implications. And beautiful pieces.

Nadine+, Bill, Gili

I taught this to them and left them to play it, only to discover that I forgot to tell them that you couldn’t build more than one temple in a settlement. They had to start again. Nadine thought it was good, but not her type of game, which I predicted. Still, she says she would play it again.

Tigris and Euphrates

Nadine 7/7/8/8, Adam 6/6/7/9, Hershel 6/6/7/7, Zohar 4/4/4/5

First play for Hershel and Zohar. First win for Nadine, I think.

Year of the Dragon

Oren 96, Zohar 95, Elijah 92, Nadine 84, Gili 75

First plays for Oren and Zohar, and they won, too. I think second or third play for Elijah.

May 21, 2008

Participants: Jon, Bill, Nadine, Jonathan, Sergei, Daniel, Max, Binyamin, Ari

Bill came back even though we didn’t have a quorum for role playing again. Luckily, he plays board games, too. Max came a few times before with Jack (who only came a few times). Max and Jack were running a Russian-speaking game group in downtown Jerusalem for a while, but it petered out. Max brought with him Daniel and Sergei.

Robo Rally

Ari+, Jon, Binyamin, Jonathan, Max

This was a first game for Max and Binyamin. I picked a single board and a single flag. But it was the Maelstrom board, nearly entirely covered with concentric circles of walkways moving at different speed and depositing into a central pit. And the flag started out on one of these walkways, so moved one space each phase, too.

Needless to say, it looked like it was going to be wild and fun. For some reason, I calculated that the best way to get to the flag was to skirt the opposite direction to the walkway’s movement around the edge of the board and then try to rush in. Ari, instead, jumped onto the faster moving walkway which took him right opposite the slower moving flag in one turn. He won on turn two.

Jon+, Nadine, Sergei, Bill

Later in the evening we played again. This was the first play for Sergei, and second (?) for Bill.

We also used a single board and flag, but a simpler one, and the flag was stationary at the far corner. This time I won in two turns, by virtue of having hands full of Move 2 and Move 3 cards in both turns.

El Grande

Nadine 122, Daniel/Jon 104, Sergei 103, Bill 98

This was the first game for Sergei and Daniel, I believe. Daniel unfortunately had to leave after the second scoring round, so I took over while also playing Santiago.

When I took over, Nadine was well ahead of every other player, so she obviously neglected to inform them that she usually wins big time and they should all gang up on her. By the time I got there, it was too late. On round 8 she took an interim scoring opportunity which essentially sealed the game.

Round 3 scores: Nadine 37, Bill 37, Sergei 41, Daniel 35
Round 6 scores: Nadine 89, Bill 73, Sergei 74, Daniel 77


Jon+, Ari

After Ari won the first game of Robo Rally, we played two more rounds to see who would come in second. To keep Ari occupied, I played Saikoro with him.

It’s still a lovely game. I had no trouble cornering Ari for the win, as it was his first game.


Binyamin 72, Jon 62, Ari 45, Jonathan 43, Max 43

I love this game and have wanted to get it out for a long time, but I haven’t had the opportunity since some of the other club players don’t like it. But, with a new audience, I was finally able to do it. This was the first play for Max, and second plays for Ari and Jonathan.

Both Binyamin and I got in on an early potato field, while I also got an early sugar field, and he got a later pepper field. He had one more guy on the potato field, however, and managed his cash just a bit better, so as to earn a victory.

Race for the Galaxy

Binyamin 23, Jon 18, Nadine 18

Yes, very low scores, entirely because Nadine built low cost buildings on every single building phase, ending the game in some eight or nine rounds. Nadine knows the brown building strategy and isn’t happy when she doesn’t get those buildings. Binyamin says that he has tried the game with variants where you build up to twenty buildings (instead of twelve) and increase the vp chips, which he likes better than the standard game, as it ends too quickly.

It’s Alive

Sergei+++, Jonathan+, Max+

When they finished playing this, I thought they had played only one game and I asked their score. When they said that Sergei won with three, and Jonathan had one, and Max had one, I was confused, until I discovered that that was the number of games they had played, not the point counts. They played five games back to back in the time it took us to play Race for the Galaxy.

And after all that, Max said that he found the game somewhat repetitive. I’m guessing they liked it enough to play it five times, however.


Jon/Max, Binyamin/Nadine

We got in two hand of Bridge at the end of game night. This was Max’s first plays, and he kept comparing it to games he was familiar with.

Games Day: April 24, 2008

Participants: Jon, Saarya, Nadine, Adam, Binyamin, Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda, David Klein, Avi Klein, Yarom, Maayan, Maya, Yardena, Yedidya, Yitzchak, Jonathan, Roie, Omri, Rachel A, Yosef, Dylan, Ben, Gili, Dvir, Shimon, Ari, David B, Pini, Yosef B, Richard, Vera, Raphaela

I’m Jon and Saarya is my son. Nadine, Adam, and Binyamin are group regulars. T”S and Z”Y are Binyamin’s kids. David is a group regular. Avi is David’s kid. Yaron has been playing games in other parts of Israel for many years, but rarely gets out to my group. Maayan and Maya were his guests. Yedidya and Yitzchak are Yardena’s kids. Jonathan is a new group regular. Roie and Omri saw the ad on Tapuz. Rachel A is my wife. Yosef saw the ad on Janglo or my blog, I think. Dylan is a group regular, Ben is my brother and a group regular, Gili is a group regular. Dvir, Shimon, and Ari saw the ad on Tapuz. David B is my other brother and Pini and Yosef B are his kids. Richard, Vera saw the ad on Janglo, and Raphaela is their daughter.

32 people is record attendance. In fact, if we get this many or more in the future, we need a bigger place.


Binyamin 51, Roie 42, Ben 38, Omri 31, Zvi Yehuda 531

Ben doesn’t get to play this game in his community because his gamers object to the other deities and sacrifice.

Nadine 54, David B 39, Yosef 38, Ben 34

This was first game for David and Yosef. David thought it was a good game but the -3 card (stealing 3 gold) wasn’t strong enough to overcome the loss of a free item.


Jon, Yardena

I went easy on Yardena at the start of this game under the assumption that I would be much better than she was, since she had Scrabble experience but not Anagrams experience. After a few words, however, it turned out that she was excellent. After that I played as well as I could and we both ended up with about the same number of words.


Nadine, Ben, Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda

They played a few hands toward the end of the day.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Yitzchak, Yosef

Played a two-player game to learn the rules, I believe.

Yosef 13, Jon, Jonathan

I started off pretty well, but Yosef relentlessly hit me during the game and rose over my back. He got a quick early metropolis, and another one soon thereafter. He won the game with Longest Road.


Zvi Yehuda 83, Gili 80, Tikva Shira 65

This is a big sprawling game with busy graphics. I played it once and thought it was a typical Euro.

Cosmic Encounter

Binyamin, Pini, Yosef, Zvi Yehuda

I think I have the wrong people written here, except I know that Binyamin got bored by the game since he didn’t think the aliens were interesting enough (he had Void/Zombie).


Adam+, Jon

Adam slaughtered me by capturing a large central area on an 11×11 board. I still love the game, but I really really suck at it. I started with two stones.

Jon+, Yardena

I taught Yardena how to play on a 9×9 board. Even by the end of the game, she wasn’t quite sure she had grasped the rules of capturing groups. She started with a two stone advantage.


Binyamin brought this and taught it to several groups of people, but no one took him up on the offer to actually play it.

Magic: the Gathering

Jon++, David++

David and I did our usual Rochester draft. Both of us ended with serious difficulties in cutting down colors for our deck. I had more Red, but I settled on Blue as my third color. There was no way to cut it down to two colors. I did BGU while David did BRU.

I lost the first game. The second game, I was distracted by some other events around me and forgot to say I was casting a blocker from my hand, so I lost, but David said I should have won (I recorded it as his win). In the third game my deck worked and his didn’t. In the fourth, we were well on a repeat of the third so he resigned.

David+, Pini

Pini used my deck to play David while I was eating dinner and lost.

Pirate’s Cove

Tikva Shira, Zvi Yehuda

I saw them playing this two player. Binyamin heard the rules and wasn’t interested because of the excessive dice rolling. I sympathize, but I like the game anyway, for some reason.

Power Grid

Dylan+, Dvir, Shimon, Ari

I taught the latter three this game and then stepped out for Dylan to play. I forgot that Dylan’s grasp of the rules wasn’t perfect. As a result, they forgot that you couldn’t have more than three power plants. I’m sure they got some of the power plant rotation rules wrong, too. Dylan won on the tie breaker.

Puerto Rico

Rachel+, Roie, Omri

Omri and Roie brought two games, PR and Princes of Florence, both of which I have. They sat down to play with Rachel. I was thinking of warning them that they don’t know what they’re up against, as she is a killer.

She ended up winning, but not as badly as I won against inexperienced players the day before at the Beit Shemesh club – something like a 10 point spread. She said it was fun, especially when she had no idea what her opponents were going to do, unlike when she played with us regulars.

Race for the Galaxy

Yaron, Maayan, Maya, Jonathan

This was the first time for all of them (2nd for Jonathan?). It took them quite some time, as first game are want to do.

David B 29, Pini 25, Yosef B 15

I taught all of them how to play and then left them to it. As a result, they were often confused. David realized that their was a lot to the game, but the other two were somewhat frustrated. They all would have enjoyed it more if I had played with them as well; I’m sorry I didn’t.

Nadine 42, David 32, Jon 29

We three wanted to play this at the end of the evening. Nadine won using her usual brown world strategy. I started with the military world, which I think is a poor strategy in comparison.

David 64, Jon 45, Nadine 41

I tried a brown world strategy, but David took it from me and did it better. He also had yellow worlds going. it was obvious a third of the way into the game that he was going to slaughter us. Which began to make me resent the game. Once I was losing and my initial worlds turned out to have been the wrong ones, there was no hope of catching up and a whole game to know that.

RftG is therefor a fascinating puzzle, but somewhat frustrating as a game.


David 17, Jon 3, Nadine 2, Avi 0, Adam 0

My only points were from not dumping. David pulled the 4 and 5 of red in his last two moves.

Avi 16, Nadine 8, Yardena 6, David 5

Yardena liked the game because the rule set was simple and she didn’t have to think too much (she thinks a lot during work, generally).

David B, Pini, Yosef B

I taught them this and they all liked it for what it was.

Yosef, Gili, Binyamin

Played near the end of the day.

Robo Rally

Jon+, Nadine, David, Avi, Adam

This was our opening game and it was fun. We played on one board with two flags at opposite corners. David, Nadine, and I were all close, with Adam right behind. This despite my opening turn as nothing but left and right turns. As usual, chance played heavily in who was able to get the second flag in the final stretch.

Yaron, Maayan, Maya, Dylan, Jonathan

I taught them all how to play, and warned them that a typical game, even on a short board with one flag, takes a good hour and a half. Dylan then won on his second play.


Maayan+, Yaron, Maya, Jonathan

This was another new game for all the players.

Settlers of Catan

Roie, Omri, Yosef, Yedidya/Yitzchak

Y and Y really wanted to play but there wasn’t enough room so they shared a position.

Shadows Over Camelot

Gili, Tikva Shira, Saarya, Richard, Vera, Raphaela, Jonathan

I taught some, and some had played once or twice. Richard, Vera, and Raphaela came in just as we were about to start and I included them. This was their first game, and they didn’t make it through to the end, even though Vera told me that it was much better than Monopoly. Still, it’s a fairly complicated game for your first game, though the mechanics themselves are pretty easy.

When they left, three players finished the game three player, each with two roles. Gili inherited the traitor (or started as the traitor). he game ended with seven white swords, but then two flipped because the traitor was still in the game, so the company lost (and Gili won).

Winner’s Circle

Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda, Tikva Shira

The opening game for them.

Year of the Dragon

Nadine 104, David 84, Gili 77, Tikva Shira 58

David and Nadine had both played Year of the Dragon once, and David had won that time. Tikva Shira knew the basics, and it was Gili’s first time. This game is played in preference to Notre Dame, being considered nearly the same game but better (though ND is a fine game).