Tag Archive | signorie

Passover Games Day 5779

Thank you to everyone who helped set up and clean up, and brought snacks and games. I came in last a lot, and only won one game of Tichu, and lost one. I don’t have info on all the games.

Antike

Jon: I taught Antike to my friend Ilana’s husband and their 4 kids. The boys all picked up the rules (sometimes one picked up a rule and had to explain it, or a different one) faster than the father. The girl played for a few rounds and decided to play with her phone instead, I didn’t see how far they got. And they had to play on the floor. So when they left right after, I thought that they didn’t have a good time. But Ilana said that they were happy to learn a new game and want to buy it.

Azul x3

Israel 113, Assaf 96, Ishai 70

Binyamin 77 Haim 70 Gili 60

Rosalynn 92, Avi 71, Azriel 65, Nechemia 38

Civilization

David+, Cliff, Gili/Jon

Jon: I inherited a bad position from Gili but turned it into second position by mid-game. The only reason Cliff and I had any chance was because David didn’t strike us down with disasters when he could have. It was obvious that David was way ahead and we could not catch up, so I asked to end early and save two hours or so.

Clank! x 2

Binyamin 131, Haim 89, Gili 74

Cliff 73, Binyamin 66, Mishi 51, Elianna 32

Jon: Binyamin played with the rules so wrong that they made the game trivial, long, and boring with no decisions. And then he said he didn’t like the game because it was too long with no decisions.

Crokinole

Ofer and kids

Hannabi x2lll

Yochai, Eliezer, Israel

They won with 21points the first game, 20 points the second one, a cooperative game.

Isle of Skye x2

David 62 Gili 49 Jon 62 . Jon and David share victory , same amount of money

Avi 83, Benyamin 73, Mishi – 72, Elianna – 57

Avi: we almost surely played the game wrong.

Kingsburg

Lords of Waterdeep

Israel 180, Assaf 163, Ishai 145

Magic

Jon++ David.

Jon: I had a killer deck. We both played BU.

Pioneer Days x2

Avi 80, Lior 77, Nadine 43

First play for all. We forgot to advance the disasters at the end. I drew 4 gold chips, all had one gold, instead of 2 or 3, not that it would have mattered much. I had two equipments for cattle, but cattle hardly ever came up.

David 67, Jon 46, Nadine 34

First play for David. He had a good cattle setup, after I didn’t take the get a second cattle chip, this game cattle came up a lot. I made mistakes in both games, in this one I lost all my people on the last round, they would have given me 18 points.

Power Grid

Nechemia+, Avi, Rosalynn, Azriel

Puerto Rico

Azriel+, Rosalynn, Nechemia, Zvi, Haim

Raiders of the North Sea

Gili 73, Eszter 66, Lior 53

Signorie

Ben 154, Avi/Eszter 107, Zvi 105, Nadine 103

Newish to them.

Sticheln

Jon 10, Nadine 8, David -5

First play for Nadine and David.

Stone Age

Ben, Assaf, Rabi, Nadine S

Izaa: First time for us. Rabi won a good 50 points ahead of me with Nadine S not far behind.

Terraforming Mars

I have a lost gold cube from the game.

Tichu x3

We didn’t finish the first game, Nadine, Ben, Avi, Chaim. I think.

David/Nadine+, Jon/Haim

David/Nadine, Jon/Haim+

I couldn’t believe how bad Jon and Haim’s cards were, we won easily. But then we played again, and our cards were even worse. Usually it’s more even during a game.

Tzolkin

Binyamin S, Elad, Elianna

Village

Binyamin S 58, Chaim 46, Yehiel 39, Yohanan 38

New to all. Jon: I also taught them Village and they played that wrong too, taking several extra turns they were not supposed to.

 

 

 

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Sukkot Games Day 5779

Thank you to everyone who brought tables, chairs, snacks and games, and helped set up and clear up. A special thank you to Gili for taking care of the dinner order; for future reference Burgers Bar completely messed up by not putting names on the burgers. And thank you to Lorenzo for the m&m’s!

Antike

I don’t have the scores.

Azul

Nadine 63, Rafi  54, Mishi  41

Mishi 79, Rafi  62, Nadine 48

I started teaching this; Jon objected and took over. This was the first time I played correctly. Rafi and Mishi liked the game, and wanted to play again once they understood how it worked.

Ben 104, Yosef 86, Yael 72, Gili 65

Belfort

Gili 44, Yael 32, Ofir 32, Efi 26

Bridge

Several groups played during the day. Lorenzo played for the first time and did well.

Castles of Burgundy

Yosef 222, Jon 218, other player 170

First play for the other two.

Clans of Caledonia

Roi 173, Nadine 155, Binyamin 127, Mishi 115

We played with a few clans I haven’t played with: Roi delta discount, Nadine extra contracts, Binyamin extra guy and shipping, Mishi factory discount. Everyone took advantage of their abilities. First play for all of them.

Crokinole

Ben 145, Abie 25

Many more games were played.

Euphoria

Avi, Shalom and his kids.

Five Tribes

Ben 185, Aaron 158, Roi 144

Nadine, Rafi, Mishi, Yosef B, scoresheet is missing.

Hawaii

Gili 80, Yael 74, Aaron 68, Binyamin 66

Lords of Waterdeep

Ben 153, David 150, Avraham 138

Magic

Jon, David++

Notre Dame

Avraham R  63, Nadine 57, Yosef B 32, Mishi 28

First play for them. Yosef and Mishi didn’t realize how important it was to not be overrun by rats too early in the game, and weren’t able to recover. I made one mistake which lost me the game – I took money in order to go the Notre Dame, but then realized I didn’t have a cube, and you can’t go in with cubes already used. Avraham did well, and eventually had 4 pieces in the park.

R-Eco

Nadine 14, Mishi 7,  Ophir 6, Rafi 2, Efi 2

Yosef B 16, Nadine 6, Lorenzo 6, Mishi 3

Everyone likes this as a filler, new to most of them.

Signorie

David 168, Lorenzo 167.5, Tzvi 145

An exciting finish, though I’m not sure you can have half points.

Tichu

Jon: I trounced David in half a Tichu game and then he trounced me in a whole game later. I trounced him because he overbid. He trounced me because he had all the good cards.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 11, Assaf, Tvi with around 6 and 7.

First play for them.

Trajan

Avi 123, Jon 105, Yochai 103, Assaf 82

Year of the Dragon

David 110, Gili 98, Binyamin 86

 

KinneretCon November 2017

Our third Kinneretcon. A large contingent from our Jerusalem group – Jon, Saarya, Lorenzo, Nadine, Chaya Bluma, Haley, Gili, Eszter, Binyamin, Cliff, Netanel, Mishi, Rafaella. Thanks to Roee, we played in an airy upstairs room with windows, instead of the basement.

Above and Below

I had seen people playing this at previous Kinneretcons and wanted to try. I’m not sure why I wasn’t impressed, the gameplay is fine. I don’t really like the story aspect being mixed in, the story part isn’t that interesting and disrupts the game while you read. You roll dice for success in explorations, but can injure your people for extra points. Lorenzo wisely took a re-roll two card, which helped him. Our scores, were close, except for Lorenzo. First play for all except Gili. Lorenzo 49, Roee 40, Nadine 39, Gili 38

Clans of Caledonia

I wanted to play this because I read that it was in bgg.con Hot Games. A very pretty and complex game about clans in Scotland, with nice wooden food and animal components. Cliff laughed when I told him you expand on hexes, get resources, trade in the market and fulfill contracts. I like that some of the clan representatives are women. Ortal, who had played once, taught it to us – Roee and David. I selected my choice of clan benefit, MacKenzie, a whiskey distillery, picking out of three, based on the clan of a fictional character in the Outlander books. This turned out to be a pretty good benefit, mainly giving money, which helped at the end of the game with buying and fulfilling contracts. I found out at the end that my starting goods had been random, independent of the clan, so I had been lucky to get a whiskey which started giving me money right away.

I knew there were variable round scoring tiles, but I forgot to pay attention early on, so barely got any of those points, and I didn’t even try to use any of the port bonuses. I pretty much understood the placement scoring even though I forgot about it. I upgraded shipping one level but didn’t use it. I thought I was doing poorly, as did the others, actually I was doing poorly. I didn’t have the goods for my first contract – I didn’t realize how hard and expensive it would be to make bread, I thought using wheat, which I was already producing for the whiskey, would be efficient, but it’s the opposite, it’s easier to produce something else. It took me two rounds to buy them at the market because I only had two merchants, so I fulfilled that contract on round three, of five. David thought that he could toss a contract, he hadn’t noticed that I had a problem due to that too, you only get one at a time and can’t discard it, he had already obtained goods for a new contract so that hurt him.

After fulfilling my first contract I was able to use my whiskey money to buy contracts, and managed to get ones that required whiskey, which by the end of the game I couldn’t use for income anyway. I also noticed, when Roee used the benefit, that you get a free contract for emptying a row; I had emptied my whiskey row a while ago, so got a free contract. I fulfilled four contracts in the last two rounds, pretty much catching up on contracts, and unexpectedly got the most contracts bonus of twelve.

Roee understood the game well, competing with Ortal for the placement bonuses, first place is eighteen. I made some placement mistakes, but the worker, production, and upgrading mechanics weren’t that hard to understand. I didn’t even realize there was a ranking mechanic til the end, the ranking of the import goods which are contract rewards change based on the number of each, but I don’t think knowing affects play much, because you mainly take contracts based on which one you can fulfill. I got 44 points for one good that I had on contracts, ending up second. Ortal had around 120, I had 100 and Roee 99, and David a bit less. I like the game, but it will take me several plays to understand how it all works.

Signorie

I taught this. Partly selected for Lorenzo, who is Italian; he kept trying to figure out who the families were. They caught on and liked the game. I did mainly books, Lorenzo had a lot of men. Lorenzo 158, Effi 137, Nadine 131, Yossi 114

Herbaceous

A great, fun filler which I learned last time. I taught it twice, and played it once, and won.

Crokinole

I played two rounds at one point. The game was a big hit with everyone.

Antike

Jon taught it to four people including CB, but two people who listened to the explanation decided not to play, so Haley joined and learned it. We all did pretty well, but Jon is always faster. He had the advantages of being off to the side, and being first player, but as he said, he would have managed to win anyway. I get better as I play more, but don’t play often enough. It’s a very elegant game.

Tresette

Lorenzo taught us this Italian game, using his pretty cards. It’s a trick-taking partnership game similar to bridge, without bidding or trump, and suits of 10 cards. The game is fine, but we had a hard time telling the suits apart due to the similarity of the artwork. Lorenzo offered to switch to regular cards, but we liked the challenge, and almost had the suits down after the two rounds we played. In addition, Lorenzo plays counter-clockwise.

Samurai

First play for all. A nice-looking abstract, with a lot of depth. Spatial, I played mostly tactically.

6 Nimmt!

We played a round of this game, I didn’t realize it was 6 Nimmt!, which I’ve heard of, we were playing with the Hebrew version which has a different name. Cute light game, pretty random.

Lorenzo’s other plays:

Rococo – Lorenzo 74, Gilad 63, Yossi 38

Edge of Humanity – Tal 11+ (He won the tie on more survivors) Lorenzo 11-, Effi 10, Pini 8 (the creator)

Bang

3 games. First was won by the renegade, Saarya was imprisoned for 3 rounds and never played. The second match the bad guys won, outnumbering the sheriff. Last game sheriff and deputy killed all after a long battle with Saarya.

Mazal tov to Cliff for winning Argent!

– Nadine

Jon’s report:

Gentes

A wonderful game with simple, elegant graphics (with one or two niggling problems) and elegant gameplay: buy cards and play cards for points and abilities, and buy cities and workers to allow you to play the cards. Cities also give bonuses. That’s pretty much it, but it works very well, with a worker-taking mechanic and the additional payment of time counters – most actions use up two slots on your action track – the worker you take and the time counter to pay for it, but some require you to take two time counters. You can either take them as two time counters, using up a third slot on your actions, or as a double time counter which then turns into a single time counter the next round, effectively meaning that you use up the second slot on the next round instead of the current one.

I played by buying very few cities, but in the end I had to buy some in order to play certain cards. I did okay, but not as well as the winner by a good distance.

The complexity is about the same as Hansa Teutonica. I loved it. Unfortunately, it is a limited run game until or unless it gets reprinted.

Corto

A ridiculously over produced game with cartoons, rulebooks and action strips instead of a board, two massively sculpted pieces and cards. All for a pretty straightforward and annoying “take that” abstract game of collecting coins, only a few of which you can collect during the game, and the rest of which go back and forth like a yo-yo until someone who is marginally ahead decides to end the game. Last player is at a disadvantage, and no compensation is given for it.

In my game, I stayed away from the pool of points available at one end of the board, but I was still a target for some reason, and I was down to 0 points on the board in round 4 out of 6.25 (with two permanent points collected). I complained about this. Then I finally spent a little time thinking about what to do about it, tossed some cards and took no actions in round 5 to get better ones (since I could hardly lose my position any further by that point), and played all my cards in round 6, netting me 18 points. The player after me (who was first player) ended the game; he had 19 points, I had 20, and everyone else had less.

Bleah. I’m not a fan of “take that” mechanics, and this didn’t change my mind. It didn’t help that the explanation for the game took a few repetitions to understand. But it has pretty pieces.

I also played:

Age of Industry – taught this to various people, and while the game is still dry, they enjoyed it.

Antike – see above

Crokinole – see above. Lots of people played this, and several talked about buying it.

Slap Deck – a few times

No Thanks

Sticheln – I think it’s okay, but the people around me whined a lot.

I taught Power Grid

I saw the sunrise over the Kinneret: very pretty.

December 27, 2016

Participants: Nadine, Elad, Jon

Among the Stars

Jon 103, Nadine 82, Elad 75

First play for Nadine.

Signorie

Elad 69+, Nadine 69, Jon 68

Second play for me, first for Elad. I was slightly bothered by this the first time, and more bothered this time. I just don’t like some of the core random mechanics, in particular the availability or lack of tiles. It is beyond your control, can’t plan for it, and simply rewards some people instead of others. The male/female divide of extra actions is also annoying and unnecessary.

In theory, people should gain men and women at roughly the same amount. I rolled only 2 women in my first 30 or so rolls, which made life difficult.

The game had a blowout score discrepancy, as you can see.

Sukkot Games Day 5777

20161020_165201A lot of attendees with more new faces than usual.

Thank you to everyone who helped set up and clean up, a big help. Thank you especially to David for taking care of the long food order. We ordered from Pollo Loko for the first time. David had them read back the names for each item, but the order came without any names, missing one item, and without silverware or napkins. When David called to complain they said people need to request those. You would think with a large order they might ask if we want?

Antike

Yael+, Eszter, Binyamin S, Avi, David E

20161020_145719Bang the Dice Game

Sheriff Yael, Bandits+

Shariff Yael, Deputy Binyamin S, Bandits+

Bridge

Avi / Nadine, Ben / Jon

20161020_170415We played one hand before switching to Tichu, Avi made the 3NT that we bid.

Empires: Age of Discovery

Gili 104, Shnuer 94, Aaron 70, Arie 50

Castles of Burgundy

Gili 242, Yuval 206, Avi E 180, Yedidya 129

20161020_121905Gili taught this, first play for the others.

Codenames

Jon: I taught this to David C, Avi Einot, and Yokhay, and they all liked it. In the first game, Avi and I gave clues, in English to David C and Yokhay, which didn’t always go so well since they are Hebrew speakers and we are English speakers. In the second game, Avi gave clues to me in English and Yokhay gave clues to David in Hebrew. Sometimes they switched to English in order to give a clue that is one word in English but two words in Hebrew.

Five Tribes

Eszter  138, Dov 129, Tal 114, Nimrod 107

Gold West

David 115, Eszter 98, Nadine 81

Eszter taught us. Then when we saw Ezra wasn’t playing a game, she taught it again to him. After being interrupted by dinner, Ezra ended up leaving, but we finally played. I didn’t get all the rules right away, even when I did, I didn’t like the resource movement mechanic. Eszter helped us with recommendations, David liked the game.

Hawaii

Gili 104, Binyamin S 90, Eitan 86, Emily 70

20161020_225519It’s Alive

 

King of Tokyo

Avi+, Nadine, Gili, David, Yedidya

I killed Gili, David and Yedidya, but then Avi killed me to win.

Lo Ra

Nadine 35, Shneur 27, Aaron 20

New to both, they liked the game. Before counting most and least money, Shneur had 32, Nadine 30.

Magic

Jon++, David +

David says Jon is on a long winning streak. Jon: David and I drafted cards and I ended up with a relatively tight deck that had some fliers and creature control, but nothing else spectacular. In the first game, I drew as well as I could have, but I had limited land after the initial opening hand and David took me down with bigger creatures.after killing my fliers. In the second game, David was entirely mana screwed, with a hand full of blue cards and no blue lands. In the third game, I was able to eke out another win where both of us had average draws.

Nefarious

Ben didn’t win, I don’t know who else played.

20161020_145800Pax Pamir

Gili, Cliff, Shalom, Refaela

Gilli and Cliff won together.

Phoenicia

Jon, David, Avi, Aaron

Jon: David made one strategic and one tactical mistake in the penultimate and ultimate rounds. Avi thought it was too hard to catch up once ou were losing (although with more experience, hopefully no one will be losing by too much). I taught the game again to David, Avi, and Aaron. I hadn’t played it in a while, and we are not sure that we got the action card availability mechanics correct. David took a wide lead in the middle of the game and held it, but he spent one 20161020_170126round too long building up his infrastructure. I used that one round to gain a huge amount of victory points; that was the penultimate round. On the last round, he neglected (forgot) to deprive me of a card I used to keep my lead. While I would have gotten almost as many points anyway, it was a mistake.  

Scythe

Ofer

 

Signorie

Ben 154, Nadine 133, Assaf 120

20161020_170110First play for Ben, second for Assaf. Ben complained the whole time that he wasn’t getting the game, and about his limited possibilities, though of course he did well. I don’t think he liked the game despite winning. He’s right about the luck elements, such as which flag tiles are available and which ones you need. Assaf did well with marrying daughters into cities, he placed them all in one city which limited his end game bonuses, which lost him 8 or 12 points, and he didn’t invest in many white discs. I concentrated on the book track, not enough to beat Ben’s training of sons – and he also got points from the book track.

Slap Deck

Jon: I taught this to several new people and played several times. Many people liked the game a lot, especially David C (guy from my work who came for the first time), Avi Einot, and Yokhay Liot (the last two guys are new to me and I met them at the end of the evening).

20161020_105552Smiley Faces

Gili, Yuval, David, Avi

Steam

Jon 55, Nati 52, David C 52, Yael 47

Jon: first plays for Yael, Nati, and David C, who all liked the game. I invited them to gang up on me, and they did some of the time but not all of the time. They also all played very well, but I managed to get a 2 or 3 point lead by mid game and just managed to keep hold of it until the end.

20161020_170142Tzolk’in

Eliezer 68, Alan Greenspan 66, Michael 61, Ofer

Tichu

Avi / Nadine, David / Yedidya+

Avi / Nadine 915, David / Ben 1050+

Avi and I had a pair of kings overtaken by a pair of aces twice, ruining our plans.

20161020_212706Jon / Yechiel 1195, Aaron / Shneur 605

Jon: I played with Assaf’s friend Yechiel from Kokhav Hashachar (first play) against Aaron and Shnuer (first or second play). Yechiel made some beginner mistakes, but played very well for his first time. He even called Tichu twice (made it once). I called it three times and made it twice. In one of the times I made it, Aaron on my right played his second to last card (a 7) and I called Tichu, which shocked him. I played an 8. Luckily for me, my partner played his K so Aaron could not play his last card, which was a K. I overtook my partner’s K with one of my aces, played a long straight, then a full house of Q’s over aces, and then got out with the dog.

In another interesting hand, I pulled in my opening 2 aces, 3 Q’s. 3 tens, a straight 2 to 6, and the phoenix. David and Avi’s advice for passing was to pass one 10 to each other player, but I decided to pass the 2, 3, and 4. I got back 2 4’s and the dragon, making an easy tichu. Aaron also called and made or lost some tichus. At one point, one hand took us from 795, and them at 105, to us 695 and them 405, and then us 695 them 605. But those two hands were their only streak. In the next hand it was 995 to 605, and then 1195 to 605.

20161020_170110Year of the Dragon

Nadine 105, Ben 96, Shneur 81, Assaf 79, Ezra 76

New to everyone except me, Ben had played once. This is a very hard game to get on the first play but they all did well, especially Ben. Assaf jumped ahead of me in turn order before the game and took a dragon, I took one on the next round. Ezra started with Books but couldn’t maintain it, no one else focused on it either. Ben had a lot of people, but was slower with round points. I did single building for a while until I finally took a builder. I took a Monk at the beginning for turn order, and was unexpectedly able to keep him til the end of the game. I got one double one, Ben had two double ones.

20161020_132939

Bang the Dice Game

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.

 

March 16, 2016

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Nisan, Gili, Binyamin, Aaron

Light game night, prefaced by discussions in the Whatsapp group as to what we were going to play.

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

We drafted and I pulled in strong R and decent B, G, and U, with ok W. I had a few gold cards BGW that I really wanted to play, and I had to play R, so I ended up playing four colors, which I did because I also had two artifacts that gave me any color mana and another that gave me R and B. And none of my spells were double color.

This worked ok the first game; I got out all of my colors and cast one of my golds early. David had more utility spells, however. He was able to knock us both down, and then I stalled while his flyer and other stuff finished me. In the second game, I had G cards and no G mana. I did a little damage and put out a 6/6 blocker, but he had a sorcery to steal my blocker and attack for 15 points in one round (I was at 15 life).

Libertalia

Binyamin 83, Aaron 66, Nisan 59

I was interested in playing this, but Nadine had me roped into another game. First play for all of them.

Race for the Galaxy

Binyamin 37, Aaron 31

First play for Aaron. Binyamin hadn’t played in a while, too, so they had some rules questions.

Signorie

David 185, Nadine 139, Jon 134, Gili 134

Second play for Nadine, first play for the rest of us. Nadine taught us some basic parts of the game and then I read the rules and retaught the game, my style.

This is a game with a ridiculous Renaissance theme of manipulating men and women in your family for money, babies, and prestige. The men are assigned into business tracks, the women are given dowries to marry well. Whatever. The basic idea is to take dice from a common pool: the higher valued ones are free and infrequently give you a bit more benefit, while the smaller ones sometimes cost more. However, if all of the dice (3 or 4) you take total to less than 14 in a round, you gain a very good benefit: so good, that it is pretty insane not to take it

You need the bonuses to get more men and women (as well as a special free action). You need the men and women to get points and tiles: tiles must be in certain sequences to give you bonus points for sets, and this is one of the bad parts of the game (see below). However, you also need money: money not only pays for the lower valued dice, it pays for bonus actions. You buy a bonus action, and then every time you take a die of that color, you get the bonus action for free. As any player of infrastructure games knows, it is crucial to concentrate on the infrastructure early in order to get more actions than your opponents (or keep parity with them). The dissuasion against that here is that some of the better valued (or correctly matching) tiles might be gone by those who take them earlier, but this doesn’t offset the positive benefit of building the infrastructure enough.

The other thing to note is that certain actions put you up in turn order, and high up in turn order can give you a lot of points. Although you have to do it again each round, your free actions basically take care of that for you.

It is Well Known that the game was shipped before it was fully baked, so the game comes with an insert that contains official variants, and we played with two of them (we left off the one that made each message only usable by one person each round, although I think we should play with that next time).

We all did fairly well, but David did very well, as you can see. I pretty much understood the game by the first round, and I actually thought that David made a small mistake in round one, but it didn’t offset the fact that he and Gili were able to start the game off by activating the “free money every round” action and Nadine and I couldn’t do that without paying so much that we would be sacrificing too many other things. And the free money, of course, let them activate many other free actions. Still, David made better use of that than Gili did, and I could see that.

Part of it was quickly shooting to the top of the turn order track each round, which gave him some 50 points over the course of the game. I admit that I completely undervalued that track until mid game; between that, the round that I didn’t have money and the ability to activate free actions, and the tile problem (see below), it explains the score differential between David and me. I think both of us play these games pretty well, usually.

The tile problem: the game has random tiles coming up each round, of different values and different types. Each player’s board needs specific types, and there are often not enough of that type, or none at all for many rounds. And you need at least three in each row to score the row. If they don’t happen to be the types that you need, then you are at a severe disadvantage unless you planned specifically for that from the beginning of the game. Of course, they weren’t the right ones for me, and I hadn’t planned for it, so I lost another 8-10 points from not scoring a set. There are actions you can take to fix this – giving you 1 point tiles that help complete any row, but again I didn’t realize the importance of this, or how badly the tile draw would screw me, until late in the game. I though of a rule change that would make this mechanic less bothersome, but I would like to try the game again to see if better planning helps. I’m really not a fan of this kind of random draw that significantly helps some players and not others. But 8-10 points wasn’t a brutal loss, just an annoyance. Meanwhile, Gili was annoyed that the 10 special ability actions that are available each round – assigned randomly to different colored dice and that duplicate abilities that are already given by those dice, and therefore may be totally useless when assigned to the exact wrong colors – were too often assigned to the exact wrong colors. I agreed with her about this, too.

I liked the game, and I think we all did, but even playing one round shorter than the original game called for it still took a good 45 minutes to understand the rules and 3 hours to play. There may be a few too many things to do each round; perhaps too much felt like calculating among the various actions than actual strategizing and playing.