I wasn’t able to attend.
David+, Yedidya, Avi, Nisan
No starvation strategy.
Gili, Assaf, David and others from Gili’s work
I wasn’t able to attend.
David+, Yedidya, Avi, Nisan
No starvation strategy.
Gili, Assaf, David and others from Gili’s work
A full day with lots of players including new ones. Mazal tov to David for winning all his games, including ones he just learned. Gili watched a video on how to play Argent The Consortium and they were ready to play, but then gave up. Thank you to Yona for taking some of the pictures. Special thanks to Jon for organizing the food order and driving over to pick it up. We missed Shirley, Emily and Eitan.
Jon+, Gili, Elisheva
Jon: I taught Gili and Elisheva. Gili started off with a commanding lead, but I was also making progress. Actually, I was shoring up some resources and alien power cards. Eventually I started attacking Gili (stole her resources) and took the shield card from Elisheva. I also got a plasma cannon to remove pesky ships in my way.
I noted to them that the special abilities of the cards were powerful, especially the ones that move bases around. Elisheva used one in the last round to try to thwart my victory, but I had an equivalent one to undo what she did.
Jon 9, Assaf 7, Elisheva 6
One of Jon’s favorite games, Elisheva wanted to play.
Jon: I kept a slight lead throughout the game. My secret is simply that I constantly evaluate exactly which points I am aiming for and I work straight for the points. I don’t worry about losing cities or armies if I don’t need them anymore. I worry about what the others are doing only if my path to a specific point card is blocked.
With more aggressive opponents, I have to spend more time shoring up defenses, and the game drags as a result.
Avi 114, Gili 60, Devorah 49, Binyamin 42, Yiska 39
Ben and Binyamin, Nadine and Avi
We played for a while, fun and interesting, with table talk and assistance on bidding. Avi and I set them a few times, and we all made a few. Ben and Binyamin always know who has what and what’s going on with everyone.
Binyamin 37, Irit 26, Jon 23, Gili 22
Jon: I can barely remember this, but the essential part is that you control certain areas and spread out from there. You gain points from surrounding certain pre-existing areas on the board with the majority of armies, or from certain actions, or from building temples. You can do these things only by building all of the other things first, which rate limits the game.
I pulled spectacularly bad cards hand after hand. You have to have certain cards in order to make progress, and I couldn’t draw them for the life of me. Eventually I gave up on ever getting a temple; my path, then, was to end the game before anyone else could build their second temple (they all already had one). I managed to end the game a turn before at least two other players would have gotten their second temple. Binyamin complained good-naturedly about this, but he still won by a third more points than the next player. I was barely not last.
This game is a pain to play with people who don’t know it well, since there is a lot of calculation to do and there is nothing to do when it is not your turn. With experienced players it probably plays fairly quickly.
Noy+, Arbel, Nitay, Gil, Yiska
David 145, Devorah 122, Nadine 120, Avi 117
David+, Ben, Nadine, Eszter
I do worse at this every time I play but I like the game, everyone did. New to Ben, David, Avi and Eszter.
Ilia 67, Binyamin 59, Yiska 57, Devorah 55
I’m the Boss!
Yiska+ 42, Devorah, Nitay, Benjamin, Noy, Arbel
Yovel, Binyamin, Mishie, Ofer, Lior
Ofer, Lior, Mishie, Yovel
Eli, Ron and Avi won at Pekach, the last king.
Lords of Waterdeep
Jon 161, Assaf 136, Elisheva 122
Jon: I taught this game, which is very each to teach. It’s not a high tension game, since you usually have what you need to do various things, so you’re always moving forward. Unless there is only a single source of something and you’re not trying hard enough to go first to get it (or work around the worker placement restriction). Elisheva was fairly close behind me, but Assaf jumped ahead in the end by finishing a few more quests that were also the right type for his Lord.
Jon has 5,000 new cards and 3,000 duplicates.
Jon: We played two sets of games, each set was a draft followed by best of three games. I won the first one in each set, then lost the second one due to mana problems, then lost the third one stam. In the first set I had some blue card drawing and scrying, and a few cards to take out David’s flyers (which he never got out). In the second set I had tons of creature control. I won the first game with that, but he won the third game because he kept bringing out more creatures (and he had one that popped out of the graveyard every round).
Nadine 21, Ben 20, Assaf
Avi, Yiska, Devorah
Two games, Avi and Yiska each won.
Gil+, Arbel, Nitay, Noy, Yiska
Eszter, Benjamin, Yovel,
Gili 142, Elisheva 121
Gili’s game, new to Elisheva.
Yiska+, Eszter 17, Mishie 15, Assaf 6
Sentinels of the Multiverse
Lior and Mishie
Cliff, Bill, Mishie
David 253, Devorah 166, Avi 160
Avi had only played once a while ago.
Ron and Avi 555, Eli and Nadine 145
First play for Ron and Eli, we played to 500. I called a Tichu, Avi started with a 5 straight and called a 7; I could legally play the 7 in a straight using the Phoenix, so I had to play it and mess up my hand, plan, and Tichu.
Jon and David+, Nadine and Avi
They beat us by around 500, they both managed to keep having the dog at the exact right time to save each other.
Jon: We had two grand Tichus, both made, including the one I opened with on the first hand. The last play of the last hand was also nifty. David passed to me leaving him with a single card. I played out everything and then passed back to him with the dog.
Gili 47, Lior 46, Elisheva 45, Devorah 29
Gili taught this, close game.
Eszter 62, Gili 60, Irit 46, Gil 33
Binyamin 33, Eliezer 27, Nadine 23, Yiska 23
First play for all of them. Binyamin did a good job with wood and food for more farmers, he ended with 5.
While I was away, Gili hosted a few times. They played Tzolk’in more than once, Stone Age, Settlers, and King of Tokyo. Gili’s version of Tzolk’in came with painted gears.
Lagoon: Land of Druids
This is one of the games I won at bgg.con, I hadn’t played it yet. We set it up and started playing, but after two rounds Gili wanted to stop. It probably gets more interesting as it progresses, and with more players. At the beginning there aren’t that many options, you do the available actions, pick a tile, and take a tile if you can. It’s an extremely attractive game though, with strong pieces and nice art, plus my fancy replacement chips. The game came out a week before bgg.con, but the tiles and rulebook already have a lot of information ready for expansions. Which I guess will also make the game more interesting and complex.
Nadine 349, Gili 344
Gili didn’t want to play anything new or long, and I don’t have many two-player games. I know more English words, but Gili’s really good at playing the board and finding good spots. I made a bingo for 64 points, using a blank; right after, Gili played Quite over my letters, for 70 points. We played a very friendly game, with no time limits. I played faster, which was harder for Gili because then it felt like it was always her turn. At the end, she played near a TW and told me not to take the spot. I had almost all vowels so it wouldn’t have given me any points, but in a more competitive game I might have blocked. I looked up words for her on my phone, so I knew she was going to play Joe there. Scrabble’s usually interesting, it was a good game. Gili had the Q, J and X, I had the Z and K.
Eszter, Nadine, David, Avi, Gili, Eric, Jacob
We were at Eszter’s to check out her impressive collection of around 80 games.
Avi 39, David 39, Nadine 38, Eszter 36
A light abstract game designed by Andreas Seyfarth who designed Puerto Rico. For us, there’s no comparison, we don’t really like abstracts. It took a while to catch on to the strategy. Avi did a good job of selecting the right pieces at the right time and spreading himself around the board. David went last so knew he could get the tallest building bonus. During scoring he realized that if he had made another building the tallest, he would have tied with me for first place instead of with Avi.
Eric+, Gili, Jacob
Gili taught this to Eric and his son Jacob, both new to the group, but Eric usually works U.S. time so has a hard time attending. Eric played well to beat Gili at a game she’s good at, and it shows she did a good job of teaching.
Avi 97, Eszter 85, Nadine 83, David 73
I had heard about this and was interested in playing. Eszter plays it a lot with her kids. It wasn’t so easy to understand everything, especially the interaction between the art and bonus tiles. We made mistakes due to that, and it being our first play. I held back and then got 3 good tiles including the highest, but it wasn’t enough, I didn’t get more tiles after that. David and Eszter miscalculated a bit, but it’s hard not to because you don’t know which tiles the others are saving up. Avi did very well by getting the right cubes and getting tiles with them. David would have done much better if he had realized that a tile that he could get might still be available, but he did well with a bonus card for the white tower thing. We liked the game, it has interesting new mechanics such as the time you get up in relation to mood and the bonus worker benefit. It’s interactive and you can plan but only to a certain extent because other players can take tiles you want, and there’s some luck. David had two of each color on six tiles instead of 3 of a color to get a bonus. The theme isn’t so Christian, only on one or two cards, most of the main fresco is from our Bible.
David 18, Mishie 5, Avi 5, Yehuda -3
David taught this, new for the others, and David’s already good at it. We had Dark Ages, but they played the basic game.
Jon 68, Laurie 47, Ellis 38, Shalom 36
The Ra’anana clique was joined by Shalom.
Jon writes: This was the second play for Ellis, Laurie, and me. Shalom had apparently played a dozen times. The last time that Ellis and I played, we liked everything about the game except one strategy element that appeared to dominate: taking the extra actions track. I looked online, and many other people also complained about this track, while others said that only the first extra action is really required; the rest can be ignored by getting to the scarce victory point rewards early and/or ending the game before the other players can use their extra actions effectively. After this game, I believe the first argument, but I’m unconvinced regarding the second argument.
Part of the game’s strategy, which we are still not effectively using, is to be annoying and to thwart what the other players are doing. Someone with extra actions should be able to effectively shut down someone without extra actions if they do so patiently and consistently. We mostly play by keeping to ourselves, so this doesn’t come into effect.
In our game, I went for the first extra action only and then for the bonus victory point rewards that looked to be the most profitable: the bonus disks (that paid for themselves in terms of actions or removing other people’s pieces) and the reward spaces in the lower left corner. I got three of the spaces for 25 points, which was huge in terms of victory points, as you can see from the final score. I got another 15 from the bonus disks. The rest I picked up from two completed tracks on my board (both required to take the reward spaces), taking control of the bonus action space (rather than taking the bonus action, which netted me a point every time anyone else took a bonus action) – I got 5 points from that before someone else took control from me, and the usual assortment of controlled cities. The other players all seemed to be fussing around with controlling various cities on the board or progressing in other tracks. I don’t know if these are worthwhile strategies, but even by early to mid-game I could see that they weren’t going to hold a candle to my strategy unless someone else acted forcefully to block me. No one did.
Gili 35+, Ofek, Lotem, Asif
Cliff 47+, Oren, Gil, Irit
Cliff asked what happens when you run out of Amulets, Jon responded that it hadn’t happened before.
Yosef+, Hershel, Mishie, (Nadine)
Yosef taught this game to me and Hershel. He didn’t explain everything in advance which is fine, but he also didn’t explain strategy much. Hershel didn’t realize that the soldier option was rotating away after one turn, and neither of us realized how important the soldier action was to setting yourself up for the rest of the game. I did tell Hershel that he should at least bid for it to make Yosef pay more, but he wanted a different selection. Yosef was getting 8 coins per round, Hershel was at 2, then managed to get to 3, and I went from 2 to 3. When I decided to play, Yosef said it would take around an hour, but it was taking much longer than that, it ended up 2 or 3 hours. Mishie took over for me and did a great job learning the game while playing. He says he would have won if he hadn’t lost one city at the very end. The game has interesting mechanics, but I don’t like the direct conflict.
Shalom 23 +13, Nadine 23 +0, Laurie 22, Elijah 20
I switched over to teaching Walnut Grove, which everyone liked. It’s quick once you understand the game. Shalom was doing very well the whole time, fewer mistakes than the rest of us. First game I’ve played where people took negatives, I did too, but we paid them off. And we were playing correctly which is related. On the last round, both Shalom and I sold 3 cubes as our best bet to get more points than buying a farmer. I got 3 points, Shalom 2. So the random draw from the bag of coins could have easily changed the outcome of the game. Shalom had a huge area and the bonus building for it. Laurie had an extra barn, Elijah had a lot of gold coins.
Jon and David snuck off for their usual bout. Later, Avi and Yehuda also played with them.
From Jon: David and I have seen each other very infrequently, and we love this game. It’s a ritual. David usually wins the “best 2 out of 3” match.
David and I drafted from my cards. I didn’t think I was drafting particularly well, since I was giving up some very good card drawing cards to David, and then I ended up playing in a color I hadn’t even been drafting. I played Green with a lot of white and red support. The deck managed to come together pretty well. Even though I only put in 15 lands (7 green, 4 white, 4 red), I had a few cards that boosted mana, fetched lands, or washed colors. This allowed me to actually get out my heavy green creatures. My only concern was to counter what I knew David would be playing: blue fliers. I had just enough utility cards or creatures with reach to handle him.
He won the first game (I conceded on my turn when he had 6 points and I had 1, and I had no way to stop all of his creatures on his upcoming turn) and I won the second. We set the cards aside until the evening. I won the tiebreaker game much the same as I won the second game.
Age of Empires III
Jon 103, David 101, Hershel 77, Mishie 58
First play for everyone except Jon. My impression while playing a different game was that David would have won except for a whole bunch of mistakes and misunderstandings. David turned out to be correct in his interpretation of the Stable card – thanks to Hershel who found the information in the rules after we failed online.
From Jon: Actually, while we found others online who supported David’s interpretation of the Stables card, we then found that the official ruling (from the designer) was against David. We ended up letting David switch for a different building instead, without disrupting the rest of the game. David played against the odds in drawing cards twice and succeeded both times. He lost because, even with his good luck, he still couldn’t afford the building he wanted when he wanted it. This was due to inexperience in managing his money, I think. He still came VERY close to winning, much better than we were all expecting him to; he gained a whole lot of points from colonies in the new world. I took an obvious early lead by securing good money for buildings and then I was second place in many areas in the new world. Hershel had already surpassed my income level by mid-game, and we all thought he was doing much better than he ended up doing. I think he had almost no discoveries. Michie was the first to start wars, of course, but they don’t do very much in this game.
First play for Ellis and Shalom, Gili hadn’t played in a while. Which explains why they played wrong, Gili says probably to her benefit, she might not have won otherwise.
Elijah 139, Yosef 126, Nadine 100, Laurie 73
I taught this, no one else had played. Yosef watched the French explanation on the Tric Trac site. Elijah misunderstood and gave himself and Yosef 6 extra feet during setup, but fortunately we noticed at the end of the round, and Elijah took back most of his actions; Yosef hadn’t used the extra feet so just returned them. Elijah did a good job balancing round and end game points, and he had 6 points in spear multipliers. Yosef won a lot of round points for the highest number. Laurie balanced well but it wasn’t enough of a total. This was the first time I didn’t reach the Tiki with a village, I wasted 14 points. I don’t think I would have won anyway. I had a -4 but didn’t reach the minimum everytime. I didn’t do a good job calculating which resources to use, my only extra resources were a lot of fruit, and I got all the multipliers. The boat multiplier wasn’t available.
When Yosef asked if there was a shul nearby for mincha, someone figured out that we had our own minyan. Good timing on Avi’s bar mitzvah last week!
Gili 194, Yehuda 150, Mishie 142, Ellis 142
Gili taught this and won. She says they didn’t follow her advice to buy cards.
Lords of Waterdeep
Jon: I taught this and it was generally enjoyed.
Jon: Then I taught this to Avi and Yehuda and they loved it. We played twice, and then a third time with David and Laurie joining us. Funny: I also recently taught both of these games to a group in Raanana, who liked No Thanks, but loved Parade. Here it was the reverse.
Tichu x 2
Jon and David, Elijah and Nadine
Jon, David, Avi, Yonatan
Jon: In the second set, I played with Avi and David played with Yonatan. The hands we had all day, until the very end, were fairly lackluster, with few Tichus called and no double victories. Avi and I kept winning hands by a few points here and there. Eventually Yonatan tried and lost a Tichu, David won a Tichu but lost the points for the hand anyway (105 to 95), and I made a Tichu very luckily. I had a 2, 5, and A left in my hand but I wasn’t on lead. I thought I had goofed up. Yonatan helpfully played a 4 and I played my 5, which I thought was finally just what I needed. It came around to me and I played my A, but David played a straight flush bomb over it, leaving me with only the 2. Then Avi (my partner) got in and played the Dog, so I was able to finish. On the last hand, we were at 820 points. Avi called and made Tichu and I went out second.
Nadine 45 (24, 17, 4) Eitan 44 (14, 21, 9) Hershel 43 (17, 18, 8) Emily 41 (21, 15, 5) Laurie 39 (15, 18, 6)
A close and lively 5-player game, Laurie and Eitan didn’t remember the game from having played once a long time ago. We didn’t know who was winning, for good reason. I only had 3 different goods, with factory and wharf, one of each and two corns later. Hershel had factory and harbor. Laurie had a coffee monopoly most of the game, and Eitan had a tobacco monopoly the whole game. Hershel didn’t like the way I taught or gave advice, but I stop giving advice after two rounds except for extreme cases. But then he kept giving advice because they were making bad moves, and kept having me confirm that I would have made the same ‘obvious best move’ as him. We disagreed on building recommendations. Hershel gave Laurie an early coffee trade; but it was wasted when she didn’t buy a factory or harbor or wharf on Hershel’s recommendation, he later got a factory, and I got one. He’s right that it depends, but she would have done better with a good intermediate building.
At the end of the game we let Laurie re-mayor because she had bought a warehouse and forgot to mayor it, that happened earlier also with her wharf. People do learn better when they don’t get to take back, but when you play infrequently, it’s harder to play that way. Hershel hadn’t played 5-player before, and didn’t realize that you lose factory income if goods run out. He says at their house they don’t allow discussion because they argue trying to influence moves. Emily had a large market but no trade good. Eitan did well with his tobacco monopoly, though he shipped his indigo instead of taking an available empty ship. Hershel mayored a lot for fortress, which ended the game suddenly when he was last player. We each had one big building.
Emily, Eitan, Yehuda, Avi
Abandoned because they were playing wrong. Jon: Abandoned not only because they were playing wrong (only transporting once per round instead of twice), but because everyone was really interested in playing other games instead.
Uli – our youngest and most well-behaved gamer.
Emily for playing, taking care of Uli, and organizing the dinner order all at the same time.
Eitan for letting Emily have Uli so he could make up the minyan.
Cliff for giving up playing for a last minute guiding job.
Ellis and Laurie for schlepping from Ra’anana.
Yosef for putting up with our English.
Avi and Yehuda for attending right after Avi’s bar mitzvah.
Hershel for being able to play sub-optimally.
Elijah for taking time to attend.
Gili for teaching the most games.
David and Jon for winning Tichu by only 5 points.
Thank you to everyone who brought snacks, especially chocolate!
Josh, Gili, Nadine, Leah, Nina, Shlomo
Nina found our group on Facebook this afternoon. and called to get details. She’s the fifth best Carcassonne player in Slovakia, and says she would have done better in the tournament if the European champion hadn’t been there. Shlomo is her fiance, Israeli but born in Italy and lived in London, a math major going into the army soon. Leah is a friend of Josh’s who is learning at Nishmat.
Gili 11, Josh 5, Nadine 3, Leah -1
Gili arrived but we waited a while for more people before starting a filler. We watched a bit of the news on the terror attack on a group of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. First play for Leah, and Josh played once. We played regular, and all dumped.
Gili 311, Josh 174, Leah 124
First play for Josh and Leah. I think Gili had cards.
Josh 280, Leah 177, Gili 111
Nina 14, Nadine 13, Shlomo 10
First play for Nina, Shlomo had played once. They caught on well, though we helped each other. Shlomo stayed in good turn order position, but that hurt him at the end. I built to 13 even though I figured Nina could overtake me, and she did, but would have won anyway. Nina and Shlomo were getting two mammoths each which is strong. We didn’t have a problem with not having food for technology, I kept warning them during expansion which takes care of the issue, but you do need someone to realize and warn.
Nadine 46, Nina 30, Shlomo 18
First play for both of them. I won on a combination of luck and experience. I had a lot of menorahs, but during the second round didn’t get a candle. During the last round, Shlomo used his 13 to stop me from getting a candle, there were two tiles. Another candle came up right after, and I was high with the 12. He did well with tribes, Nina had most baskets and the ark, but didn’t have an animal. In addition to around 8 menorahs I had 4 animals.
Gili, Eitan, Emily, Nadine
Emily 18, Nadine 2, Eitan 1
We managed to end with positive scores. Emily had most of the chips. We played with random piles, the -2s showed up early. Everyone dumped.
Nadine 186, Eitan 136, Emily 131, Gili 120
The first time I’ve won this. I used the starvation strategy and it actually worked. Last time I tried it I decided too late, after I already was up 2 on the food track. I paid for food my first two turns and on the last one. I had no picture cards, but I had multipliers, and I rolled well. I ended with 9 people and 9 buildings. Eitan did well but took cards instead of buildings on the last round, so I got 3 buildings. Eitan and Emily competed with Gili for picture cards, and Gili had terrible luck with rolls. She had 6 picture cards, Eitan and Emily 3 each. We had a lot of tough choices with good card options.
Eitan+, Nadine, Emily
We agreed this was our most boring time playing this game. It’s less competitive with 3 players, more mechanical. I started with two factions first round, and didn’t get another one until the last round. Eitan and Emily took a lot of factions, and with a lot of high cards. We played with 4 victory conditions. When Eitan won, I had 3 victory conditions, and was 3 laurels away from the fourth. Emily had one victory condition, but would have reached four next round. Emily went first on a round when two leaders were available together. Eitan forgot that he was getting the last laurel he needed from the purple faction. He had faction markers, laurels, tribune and favor of the gods. I had favor of the gods, legions and money.