Tag Archive | settlers of catan

May 25, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Gili, Nisan, Francis, Binyamin, Aaron,, Shneur, Sagi, Eszter, Binyamin R (Eszter’s son)

Eszer brought her son, Gili brought Sagi I believe. From the group chatter I thought there was going to be one more person.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon++

Once again, I ended up playing a color I was not expecting to, which made me regret several of my draft choices. I had a few R direct damage and some basic red creatures, but my W had some fliers and game enders. Also, I was already playing BG, and I had an artifact that gave BGW mana. My casting costs were pretty low and my card power was medium. I didn’t have anything very strong, which made me worried.

David had some strong creatures and most were fliers, but he only played with 10 creatures. In the first game he picked ok but I was able to take him out. In the second game he just didn’t pick any mana.

Love Letter: Batman Edition

???

Nadine 9, David 0

This was played early in the evening by some people, and then later several times by Nadine and David. Nadine toasted David, as you can see. Nadine doesn’t like the Batman themed art. She won with the Baron’s card 6 or 7 times.

Die Dolmengotter

David 81, Jon 70, Nadine 44

I taught this is a filler game to Nadine and David. Nadine doesn’t like abstracts, so she didn’t try much. I learned that putting your best stone as the first stone in an octagon is not necessarily the best play, since other stones placed on top later (even your own) will sink it.

David apparently figured this out before I did and so ended with the higher score. This game is far better with three players than with two, and may even be better with four. More players give you more room for strategy and interesting tactical play.

Dead of Winter

Binyamin, Aaron, Shneur, Francis

These four are players who favor thematic games, so they joined to play one of Binyamin’s new arrivals. It is a cooperative game with a potential traitor. There was no traitor, and they all won. The game includes electronic instructions, like a VCR/DVD game. I think they all had a good time.

Settlers of Catan

Nisan 11, Gili 6, Sagi 6

First play for Sagi, I gather. The scores were something like 7/7/7 at one point. I believe that Nisan won by stealing Largest Army and Longest Road in one play.

Steam

David 77, Jon 67, Nadine 65

The last time we played this, David made an early mistake but was sure he could do better. He always beats himself up when making a mistake (even after taking a long time to think about it), forgetting that everyone else is also making mistakes and probably not even smart enough to realize it. In the end, he is very good at these kinds of games.

Nadine wasn’t sure if she wanted to play again, but she admits the game is good. Like last game, I spent most of my time off in a corner, so Nadine fed David some extra points by using his tracks. Maybe the center really is the better location. Hard to tell.

It’s possible that the game is 1 or 2 rounds too long with three players. There are still things to do, but the scoring positions of the players never seem to change in these rounds.

Nefarious

Eszter 21, Jon 20, Nadine 18, David 16, Binyamin (E.s.) 14

First play for Binyamin, and a reminder of the rules for Eszter. Eszter and I both passed 20 on the same round, but she had the extra point. Our twists were a) cycle all cards in hand after each build, and b) use the previous invention’s effects when playing an invention without effects.

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A lot of teaching

Attended: Nadine, Aaron, Schneur, Haim, David, Ben, Jon, Oshrat, Lior, Francis, Helen. Oshrat had been in touch with Gili, she brought Lior. Jon called at 8:45 and was surprised that we hadn’t started any games yet, so we waited for him for PR. Bon Voyage to Jon’s daughter, and Ben’s niece, Tal, who is off to a semester in Germany.

Love Letter

I taught Aaron and Schneur, Schneur won our first two games. Haim joined in, he had played before and did well. When David came I let him take my place because I wasn’t doing well, David and Aaron both won some rounds. They all liked playing.

Tzolk’in

Aaron 72, Ben 59, Haim 55

I taught this while we were waiting for more people to arrive, new to all three of them – Aaron had played once but didn’t remember too much. They really liked the game. Ben was behind but got a Monument giving him 22 points.

Settlers of Catan

Oshrat +, Lior, Francis, Helen

Then I taught Settlers, Oshrat had played before. Helen left early so Jon played for her for a few turns, but then left to play Tichu. They did well at catching onto how to play, and enjoyed the game. Thank you to the players who remembered to move my table back.

Puerto Rico

David 49, Schneur 47, Jon 43, Nadine 37

David taught this to Schneur while I was teaching Settlers, and we played a few practice rounds. Before we started I said Schneur as the new player should get corn, which led to a discussion of which starting positions are strongest, Jon said fourth then third, which were the positions David and Schneur played. Jon and David had Factories, but were each surprised when they were ready to build that the cost was 8, even though David had set it up that way. I made one bad mistake, not trading which would have let me buy a big building, and I didn’t play so well in general. David and Schneur had two large buildings, I had one. Jon took a Wharf instead of a large building, which seems to not have been worth it. When he was discussing that whether it was a good move or not depended on how long the game lasted, I didn’t realize that he knew he wasn’t going to get a large building. But he had 5 corn, and crafted and shipped at least 4 times. I was on his right, so barely got to ship anything from his crafts. It was fun to play, we haven’t played in person or online in ages because the site we played on crashed, and it’s not on Yucata.

Tichu

David/Nadine 1000+, Jon/Schneur 135+

We didn’t calculate the exact score on the last hand, David made a Tichu. First play for Schneur, who liked it and did well. We all had mainly bad hands, no grand tichus, one bomb. David called Tichu on the first hand and made it easily in two hands. I got the Phoenix a lot and always passed it to David, even when I had the Dragon. Except once, while trying to decide which to pass to David, I realized that I should maybe keep them both and call Tichu myself, so I passed him the Dog. My hand wasn’t that good otherwise, I didn’t really have entries, but I called Tichu because I had given him the Dog. I ended up making it somehow, Jon didn’t have a good hand to block with and kept letting me get rid of low cards. David and I were very lucky a few other times and both went out first, with bad or medium hands, but the opponents had worse hands. At one point David won a trick with a 3 over a 2. On the last hand Schneur bombed David’s straight after David had called Tichu, leaving David with one card, and Schneur with three. I was able to get the lead, feeling bad that I didn’t have the Dog. I played a low single card, but since it was passing through Schneur who played high, I didn’t expect it to work, but David had the Dragon. I don’t think I made any mistakes, it’s been a while. Of course luck helps.

February 10, 2016

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Jonathan, David K, Nisan, Alan, Gili

Flipwiz

Jon, Nadine, Alan, David

We tried Jonathan’s prototype word game, which is pretty good, but not my style. He is still refining the game, and hopefully it will find a home one day.

Settlers of Catan

Nisan 11, Gili 5, Jonathan 6

First play for Jonathan. Nisan and Gili are very experienced, but likely haven’t played in a while.

Homesteaders

Jon 53, Alan 43, David 42, Nadine 38

First play for Alan. Nadine thinks she doesn’t like the game, but then she thinks she does but that it’s just hard. It is hard, but – though it has planning that involves points and money, it doesn’t seem to bog down in long calculations of numbers. The calculations are more about resources and how far an opponent is willing to bid.

I really like it, even though I win it often. I try to do the same thing each time, but I always end up doing something very different. This time I took up to 7 debts, paying off only 3 by the end. The amount of points I made with the buildings was enough to balance it out. Alan ended with the most buildings, and David had the biggest point burst in the last rounds, but not enough.

Still one of my favorites.

Tichu

Alan/Nadine 1035, David/Nisan 565

First actual play for Alan, I stood behind him and gave him advice, often very specific, sometimes very general. I let him play on his own for a few hands.

We opened the evening with a hand that had four bombs. Other hands after that had multiple bombs. Nisan called grand tichu at least six times. The first time he made it. After that his team took a drubbing. Alan/I even called and made tichu against his grand tichu. Three times when David realized that his teammate couldn’t make grand tichu, and we had called tichu as well, he simply bit the bullet and went out first. At one point the score was 915 to -415.

Then they caught up 800 points in two hands, and our team began edging slowly down in points, from 915 to 890 to 825. Finally we went ahead again to 960. They won another 400 points bringing them to 340, but we finally ended the game after 15 hands.

A lot of Paris

Gili, Josh, Sara, Eitan, Emily, Itai, Nadine

I thought we’d have light attendance due to vacations, but we had a good crowd in the end. Emily and Eitan brought Itai, a fellow student, Jewish Philosophy and Law.

El Grande

Eitan 19, 36, 41, 64, 80, 103  (before the first scoring, first, before second, second, 8th round, end)
Itai Yellow 28, 40, 52, 75, 79, 105
Emily Red 14, 30, 47, 66, 80, 108
Nadine Blue 26, 58, 68, 89, 116, 134

OK, also Spain. Nobody understands why I win so often, I don’t really either though I do have a lot of experience now. I played high cards at the beginning to take the king and special scoring, but the others also took those. I did have some regions to myself for some reason. It was Itai’s first play, he did very well, and he’s not an experienced board gamer, he caught onto the strategy and started off strong. But he and Emily fought over his Grande region, Granada, ending with over 20 cubes there between them, and both their Grandes. I blocked him once because I didn’t want him to score high in two regions, he had the eight scoreboard in Granada, but I didn’t realize Emily already had more than he did there. The game was close except for me. Emily planned well for a Lose all your guys from one region card, it hurt Itai and Eitan because they had to pick a region with at least 3 guys.

The board picture is from the 8th round, they had a hard time figuring out ways to attack me (blue). Eitan Castillo’d in to tie me in my Grande region, Aragon, and Itai moved the king in when we were tied on the last round, with the 4-0-0 mobile scoreboard. Neither of us scored and no one got the king. It was the ‘move the king to an adjacent region’ which tends to show up on the last round. We skipped 3 cards at the end – Veto, Clear your court, and Take back a Power Card.

Notre Dame

Josh 57, Sara 52, Gili 50

Gili brought and taught this. At first they thought Sara won, but then Josh found some more points.

Louis XIV

Gili 64, Sara 55, Josh 49

Gili also taught this.

Notre Dame

Nadine 58, Eitan 54, Itai 48, Emily 46

I taught this, Emily and Eitan had played a long time ago. I haven’t played in a while either. I wasn’t ahead but was the only one on Notre Dame one round, netting 11 points. I had the extra point from early on, Emily and Itai did too though Itai lost it at the end. I didn’t have a lot of cubes or money. Eitan had a lot of money, last round he and Emily both had two cubes in Notre Dame. Itai used the point strategy effectively, with 5 cubes in that sector. Eitan got a lot of points for not having the extra point thing. Itai did well with the rats, the rest of went over once, Eitan and I twice.

Last week at Gili’s – Emily came in first, Eitan second in Egizia with Elisheva and Gili; Lotem won against Asif, Nina and Shlomo in Settlers.

Three weeks ago at Gili’s with six players –  Taj Mahal, Castle Panic twice, The De Vinci Code, Kingsburger, and Dominion.

December 14, 2011

Gili, Emily, Eitan, Eszter, Nadine

Glen More
Emily 50, Eitan 41, Nadine 31, Eszter 22, Gili 16
Emily and Eitan got this game last week and played it once, which helped them. Gili was hit by a card misinterpretation which lost her a lot of points. This is a complex and interesting strategy game with a lot to consider, and explore. I took the fewest turns which didn’t help me enough. It takes a while to understand the mechanics, scoring, cards and options. Emily got a Distillery right away and used it well.
Train of Thought
Gili brought over my new games, yay! We didn’t want to learn the rules to a new game from scratch, but figured it would work with a party game. We played more seriously than it seems to expect. You get words and give three word clues to get the others to guess, with required start words. There is a two-minute sand timer. It took each of us at least two minutes just to think up our first set of clues. We did make it harder by requiring the required word to be used first instead of anywhere in the phrase. And we didn’t use the timer. Because Eszter wasn’t sure of the meaning of a word, Gili introduced us to a distracting cool phone app, Camdictionary, that reads and translates words in images. Emily got the most cards for guessing. Gili did the best at having her word used in the next clue phrase, which gives no points but was impressive. The game is fun but challenging, but we didn’t really see how it’s a party game.
Previous Plays
Gili hosted while I was away. Apparently, Jake and Daphne, who met at our Sukkot games day, showed up together once, and Jake came another time on his own.
Settlers of Catan – Jake+, Daphne, Emily, Gili, Ezster
El Grande – Eszter and Eitan tied for first with Emily a close second, Gili third.
Key Harvest – Gili, Jake, Emily and Eitan started as a team, then Emily took over when Jake left while the game was in progress, the team won.

May 24, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Adam, Valla, Binyamin

I had a conflict on Wednesday, so we switched to Tuesday. Adam can’t come on Wednesdays, so he came, bringing his gf Valla.

Dominion/Intrigue/+

Jon 39, Adam 29, Valla 5

First play for Valla, second for Adam. It was perhaps not the easiest of all sets for new players, but there you go.

Kingdoms: Remodel, Council Room, Secret Chamber, Swindler, Minion, Trading Post, Tribute, Navigator, Loan, City

Lots of trashing. Lots of remodeling coppers into Secret Chambers. A few curses gained, but these were also remodeled. Valla had decent cards, but she didn’t use them to gain points until very late.

Adam bought two early five cost cards before either of us (Tributes), and also bought the first Province, forgoing his first jump to 8 for a gold. I took City and Council Room, then Tributes. Eventually I had two turns of 16+ with two buys = 2 Provinces. The first one put me ahead of Adam; the second one was pretty much game.

On the last turn, Valla finally got a turn like mine, chaining City’s and card drawing. Unfortunately, she played a Swindler. Adam turned over a Province, and he then took the last Province. Valla could only buy a Duchy.

Vinhos

Binaymin 72, Gili 64, Nadine 56

Fist play for Nadine and Gili. It took an awfully long time to explain the game, some 45 minutes. They were still going after we had finished both a slow game of Dominion and Settlers of Catan.

Settlers of Catan

Valla 10, Adam 7, Jon 7

First play for Valla, and as usual, the new player won. She started off with a strong road that cut the island in two; her Road Building card didn’t hurt there. No one else was going to steal Longest Road from her (at least, not easily).

Adam mistakenly places his initial settlements on essentially two resources – wood and wheat – and a 2 ore spot. 2 rolled up a number of times, however, and he reaped his ore.

Tobago

Binyamin 56, Nadine 41, Jon 34

We play without the curses. Not much to say about the game.

April 20, 2011: Games Day

Participants: Jon, Gili, Lotem, Nadine, David 1, Ellis, Peleg, Zachary, Michael, Elijah, Abraham, David 2, Eitan, Emily, Adam, Vallah, Jessica, Diana, Max, Hila, Saarya, Noam, Aryeh, Ori, Yishai

I think that’s everyone. I got to play several games I really like but don’t get to play often enough with my usual regulars. It was a hopping, successful games day, with just enough chair and table space to go around, and only a little downtime for some people. Most everyone enjoyed their games, from what I heard.

There was one exception: one guy who appeared to be a lonely grandfatherly type showed up to play without the slightest idea as to why or what we play. He was, perhaps, the worst match for game playing since Dan Bosley’s infamous Misadventures in Gaming series. He was loud and talked continuously in bad Hebrew (he was an English speaker, and we were all (mostly) English speakers as well). He thought he was very funny when he wasn’t the slightest bit funny, ever. He kept accusing everyone, jokingly, of cheating, hiding cards, and being a shark. He wouldn’t listen to single explanation of any rules – deliberately reading unrelated game material while you tried to talk – and complained every turn about not knowing what to do or what the game was about.

He was the first person I was going to personally throw out of my house for being impossible; thank goodness he chose that moment to leave. After four excruciating games.

Note that it’s possible that I missed a game, somewhere.

Age of Empires III

Michael 84, Abraham 83, Gili 78, Elijah 74, Lotem 52

I almost started playing this game after teaching it to Lotem, Elijah, and Abraham, but them Michael walked in and wouldn’t have had a game partner. I knew Michael would like the game, so I told him to take my place and then gave him the quick run down as the first turn got underway.

At the end of the game, as they were packing up, Michael was down 14 points. he then asked if he was supposed to score these face down tiles in front of him that he had forgotten about. So it turned out that he won by a point.

Antike

Jon 8, David1, Ellis, Peleg

The last excruciating game played with the above described non-gamer. Ellis and Peleg appeared to enjoy the game. I started off as the Phoenicians, and, while Peleg and Ellis fought in northern Europe, I took a commanding and embarrassing lead.

Citadels

Emily 32, Eitan 31

They played together when they first arrived and were waiting for other people to free up. They like this game, which I don’t because of the Assassin.

They also took Gosu off of my hands, another game that only they liked (not that no one else liked it, it’s just that we didn’t like it).

Cosmic Encounter

Adam, David2, Elijah, Zachary, Vallah

I heard a lot of laughing going on in this game. The ending appears to have come down to a major kingmaking situation.

Dominion

In all of these games, only the base set was used.

Nadine 42, Ellis 36, Peleg 27, David1 23

Nadine says that this is the first time she’s really gotten the game. She was cycling she cycled through her entire deck several times as the game played.

Abraham, Nadine, Peleg, Ellis

They ended the game early, though it appears that Abraham had tuned his deck and was on his way to winning.

Jon 33, Max 29, Elijah 24, Jessica 10

We played with the same set that was abandoned by the previous players: Cellar, Chapel, Bureaucrat, Militia, Moneylender, Smithy, Spy, Thief, Throne Room, Library.

Note the lack of a 3 point card, the lack of anything useful in 5 point cards, the great amount of 4 point cards, and the great amount of attack cards with no defense. And note that many of the cards trash cards from your own or others’ hands, or force you to discard cards.

The result was a game where decks were shrinking nearly as fast as they were growing and we were constantly mixing. Max was already starting to feel a little burnt out on Dominion, and this was a particularly annoying set.

I had dumped all of my coppers and Estates and had just enough cash to buy provinces, but lived in constant fear that a thief would take away my purchasing power. I was very lucky; the thieves either got my little money, or no money at all, or I always bought a new Gold right after they trashed one of mine anyway. Still, I thought Max might be winning.

Elijah was the only one who bothered to take a Throne Room, and therefore was able to chain double actions. It didn’t seem to help him much, as he usually ended up with only 4 purchasing power after his chains, anyway.

El Grande

Abraham/Elijah 95, Michael 94, Nadine 92, Emily 85, Eitan 64

Abraham starts this, but then switched to Steam because a) he wanted to play Steam and b) Elijah didn’t and would have been sitting around waiting for a game otherwise.

After the first third, Abraham was in the lead by around 8 points. By the second scoring, the lead had narrowed to 1 point ahead of Nadine, the usual favorite to win.

Genoa

Gili 785, Eitan 700, Noam 690, Emily 550

Noam was rumored to be winning the game at around the half-point. This was the last game to finish the day.

Heroes of Graxia

Jon, Zachary

I wanted to try this game out for its first play, and I thought that Zachary would like it, since he’s more of an American-style gamer than a Euro-gamer (he likes some direct competition in his games). Yes, he did very much like the game. I liked it, too, though perhaps a bit less.

Unfortunately, we decided to stop the game around mid-way because we had messed up so many rules that the game balance was entirely off at that point. For instance, we mistook the price of the cards at one point, letting Zachary buy ten or so cards
at nearly nothing when they should have been 3 or 4 times as expensive (we mistook the toss-out value for the card cost). We forgot the defense value in our first two attacks, thus suffering about twice as many wounds as we should have. And so on.

First game is a learning experience, as I always say. I think I’m ready to teach the game for the next try.

So what do I think? Unlike Dominion, every card is available each game, but only certain cards are available to a player on his turn; you may buy a mediocre card only to reveal a better card which your opponent can now buy. So that’s bad. But, otherwise, the game looks pretty solid and enjoyable. Certainly for my opponent, who was looking forward to something with a little PvP. It’s VERY hard to figure out the right buying approach on your first play.

Homesteaders

Jessica 54, Jon 48, Ellis 41, Peleg 37

First play for everyone except me. I said a number of times, apparently, how much I like the game. I though I was doing pretty well, but I had had to accumulate 6 debt chips to do it. I was hoping to cancel most of them by the game end, but I was still left with 4. that was enough to sink me from winning.

The other three players all had piles of 4 or more trade goods (gold, copper, or cows) at the end of the game. I’m not sure exactly how Jess managed to pull off a victory; actually, I thought Peleg was doing better.

It’s Alive

Adam, Vallah, David2

Vallah noted to me later that she didn’t particularly like the game (I’m not sure if she knew that I was he designer).

Saarya, Noam, Aryeh 

Zachary 49, Elijah 43, Jon 33

First play for Zachary. This was a quickly played game. I failed miserably, as you can see.

Key Harvest

Zachary 25+, Eitan 25-, Emily 22, Nadine 19

I’ve never played this, and I didn’t see how it went.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Adam, Vallah

Played when they first came and were waiting for others to free up.

Notre Dame

Nadine 73, Ellis 50, Zachary 43, Peleg 27, David1 26

Nadine administered a beatdown, I see. First plays for everyone else.

Odds and Evens

Michael 3, Elijah 1

Michael insisted that I record this one, so that it be known that he won something.

R-Eco

Nadine 11, Peleg 7, Ellis -1, David1 -5

First play for all except Nadine.

Rock Paper Scissors

Michael 3, Jon 2

See Odds and Evens.

Settlers of Catan

Gili 10, Jessica 6, Diana/Max 4

Diana started playing this as her first game, but she got bored of it. Max took over for her when he arrived.

Steam

Abraham 46, Jon 45, Ellis 43, Peleg 14

First plays for everyone except me. A tough fought game. Any one of the three leaders could have swung the game by transitioning from income to points one move earlier or later.

Peleg spectacularly failed to get his engine moving and spent too much time building his first links.

Tigris and Euphrates

Eitan 4/4/4/10, Nadine 4/4/4/4, Emily 3/4/5/7, Gili 3/4/5/5

Looks to have been a close game.

Tobago

Jon 44, Abraham 36, Lotem 29, Gili 18

One of the first games played, first play for everyone except me. Once again we played without the curses. I took this idea from Binyamin, and I think I will play this way from now on. The amulets are still very useful for chaining actions and for removing cubes.

Torres

Yishai+, Saarya, Aryeh, Oren

First play for everyone except for Saarya, and he hadn’t played this in a very long time. Actually, no one in the game group has played this for quite a long time, which is a shame.

The cards were in German, but I only had to field one question during the game, so the symbology was basically good enough after my explanation.

Tribune

Max+, Elijah, Jessica, Hila

They played the four player medium game where 30 Denari is one of the four required conditions. First play for everyone except Elijah.