Tag Archive | suburbia

December 20, 2017

Participants: Jon, Aaron, Nadine, Gili, Haim S, Zvi, Avi K, Klara

David’s son Avi came; we last saw him at Games Day. His friend Zvi also came for the first time.


Aaron and I tried out this very miniaturized version of a collect resources / buy buildings game. Gilad (from Modiin) warned me that the volatility (which cannot be planned for) in the market makes planning impossible. For me, the biggest problem is that the game has basically three mechanics, with one or two other mechanics that are so weakly implements that they don’t actually have any effect on the game.

The game is so stripped down that it is basically a slew of ways to move your counters a little to the left and right until you can buy a building, after which you do and start over. Owning the buildings has essentially no effect on game play, so there is almost nothing to the game which is very dull. Which is a shame.


Zvi 50+, Aaron 50-, Gili

First play for Zvi, who won with the tie break on money.


Avi 45, Jon 42, Haim 36, Nadine 28, Klara 25

First play for Klara, Avi, and Haim. All of them felt like they could do better on subsequent plays. Avi got to the high income before any of us, which is usually a sign of victory. I had one more link than he did and was starting to catch up in shipping points, but not enough. Avi spent most of his time on the NE corner of the board, while I had a corridor don the center of the board and over to the west.


Aaron, Zvi

First play for Zvi.


Jon/Avi, Nadine/Haim

We splayed several round as teams, with all sides being very close. We gained 15, 10, 05 points each round, and once we were tied.


Nadine/Avi/Aaron+, Jon/Haim

Avi and then Aaron and Nadine gained an initial lead, but then I set tichus a couple of times, which placed us ahead. Before the last round, we were up 870 to their 630. I told Nadine not to worry, because they can just call Grand Tichu and both go out first.

Which they did. Aaron called Grand Tichu, passed me a 2, and called a 5, which destroyed the bottom of my very large run, giving me a far worse hand. Nadine’s second to last play was a long run which I would have been able to beat if I had my 5. And then she went out.


Aug 02, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim S, Nadine, Gili, Yael, Yocheved

Yocheved is my neighbor, whom Nadine met and dragged to the group. Despite my warnings, Gili and Nadine plied her with two complicated games, which overwhelmed her somewhat. We will see if she ever comes back.

Notre Dame

Nadine 70, Gili 50, Yocheved 45

First play for Yocheved. She said that it’s “a strategy game” so she would have to play a few times to get the strategy.


Jon 122, Haim 92, Yael 65

Second play for Yael and Haim. Despite some early confusion in my strategy, I kind of knew I was winning by mid-game (so long as I was ahead in a few goals, which I was). So I regret taking away one of the goals that Yael was trying for which was, in effect, running up the score. Haim played many greens and did okay, but I don’t think it’s a viable strategy.

Five Tribes

Yocheved 151, Gili 138, Nadine 138

First play for Yocheved, who said the same thing after this game that she said after Notre Dame. Nadine writes: Yocheved had 9 yellows and the djinn that gives extra points for them, and 3 camels. Gili had 2. They both had cards. I didn’t. I used the djinn which let me buy empty tiles, so I lost. Gili took blue a few times for a lot. Yocheved played for herself without advice.

Ticket to Ride

Jon 156, Yael 151, Haim 95

First play for Haim. This time I was severely blocked in early game and was frustrated. Despite this, I finally sneaked a path to the city I needed, by which time I was spread over a lot of the board. I got lucky picking a few more routes, which gave me just enough points to win. We were all kind of crowded on the East coast.

July 05, 2017

Participants: Jon, David, Gili, Aaron, Yael, Haim S

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

We drafted rather mediocre cards. I played RBw, David played BGw I believe. I have a number of fliers and some boosters, but not much else. David had some kill, boosters, and better creatures.


Jon 117, Hai 81, Aaron 42

First play for Haim. I got a high income quickly and then almost never bought a building that cost more than my income. by the last few rounds, I had some 50 cash, I still bought very little, instead doubling some key reputation boosters. Aaron went out of his way to take the Casino (never loses income when crossing a red line), but his reputation was so low that he fell back down to the last row of population and only crossed red lines on his last two turns. Haim made two of the common goals, I made one and my hidden goal, both of which were worth more points.

Hansa Teutonica

Jon 84, Haim 63, Aaron 44

Second play for Aaron. Haim religiously plays by blocking route he thinks people want and then waiting for them to give him extra pieces. While this give him extra pieces on occasion, it also means that he takes extra actions to actually do anything. I rarely do this, and when I do, it’s only because I don’t want to telepath what my actual intentions are (I can move more pieces at a time than place, so I can move and claim a route faster than I can place and claim a route).

Haim and Aaron had the extra actions and extra points routes blocked up for most of the game, but they both got to five actions while I only made it to four. On the other hand, I had three out of four of the extra end game city point slots (7, 8, and 11) and also built a cross-board route for 7. Haim had a nearly fully developed board and scored three time his final cluster (for 24 points).

Above and Below

David 48, Yael 42, Gili 42

First play for David and Yael.


David/Haim +, Jon/Aaron –

We didn’t finish the game, but we were certainly losing. Out of about 7 hands, Aaron called and lost 4 tichus and 1 grand tichu (he also made 1 tichu). One of them I could have saved if I had thought it through.







March 15, 2017

Participants: Jon, David K, Nadine, Gili, Elad, Daniel, Aaron

Back at my place after several weeks at Nadine’s.

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

There were no more than one or two creatures of power 4. We had to rely on our boosting cards. I played BWG, while David played RU. Both of us had reasonable mana, although David was a bit shy in the first game. I played with only 15 mana (5 each) and had no problems. But I still went down. In both cases, we had a standoff on the ground, while David’s fliers and unblockables were stronger.


Jon 75, Nadine 52, David 48

First play for David, third for me. While I already have a number of suggestions on how to change this to make it better (for my group), we played this (nearly) straight so that David could get an idea of the official game rules. This game is one that substitutes calculation for actual decision making, at least in part, which is a hacky game design technique. There are too many random elements artificially conspiring to make what you want to do difficult, so you have to plan every round, sometimes two, from the start of the round. Despite this, the choices (once you get past the calculations) are good, and the calamities that affect you are not annoying enough to actually wreck the game play.

The only change I insisted on was rolling the dice before choosing cards, which is a straightforward improvement. David had some initial confusion and irritation, but ended up liking the game. Nadine took the first bonus with canals. I played a person who kicked everyone else back on the cathedral track, which gave me the bonus for that. Then I pulled ahead of David one round to get the personality bonus (and then I fell back and let him get it). Both of them had better luck than me with the colors of cards they picked, and both of them had people out that gave then bonus actions.

I then pulled a seemingly overpowered card that gave me 2 points for each canal track, once per round (with a blue worker). With a little better luck with my card draws, I gained 2, then 4, then 8, then 12 points each round using this card. The canals I built also gave me the 3 point canal bonus, the 6 point monument, and my last personal bonus (canals).

I need to check how many other overpowered cards there are. That one is a doozy.

I think my change to the game is going to be like this: 1) I will create a Magic: The Gathering like color wheel. You will then be able to buy a neighboring color for $1, or an opposing color for $2, whenever you pay a card. 2) Some way to gain a few extra $, such as $1 income for each 3 or 4 rolled on the dice.


Aaron, Gili, Elad, Daniel

I don’t know what happened here.


Jon++, David, Nadine, Daniel, Aaron, Elad

First plays for Daniel and Elad. The first game gave us +1 point for every card we played, which made smaller cards even more powerful. The second game saw us losing money down to the nearest $5 (when over $5), which slowed the game down. I think the low valued cards are still slightly overpowered, which is a slight flaw. However, the game is still great. Strange how my group seems to like it more than most others.


Jon/Aaron 1020, David/Nadine 980

David and Nadine pulled ahead with a series of early Tichus, and it was looking bad for us. We were down something like 940 to 360. I then bid and made a Grand Tichu, with us collecting 100 points from tricks. Then we won 75 trick points to their 25. And then I bid and made another Grand Tichu and 85 trick points. A classic Tichu underdog victory.



January 25, 2017

Participants: Jon, David, Haim Gurov (1), Nadine, Gili, Nati, Preston, Elad, Haim Ginsburg (2), Shira

Haim and Shira usually can’t come Wed nights, but found time to join us tonight.

Magic: The Gathering

David+, Jon

David continues his winning streak. I drafted a deck with many flyers and a scant amount of delaying and creature control. David drafted big creatures and a scant amount of direct damage. I was hampered during the game by lack of the right mana, and not quite enough of it. Possibly I may have been able to win the second game, but we didn’t have much time left before the others would arrive.

For Sale

Haim Gu 65, David 64, Jon 63, Nadine 49

First play for Haim Gu, and the others hadn’t played in a while. It’s a pretty quick game. Nadine’s strategy during the first phase was to always bid unless she was out of money. Haim’s strategy during the second phase was to play his houses in order from least to most expensive.


David 136, Jon 110, Preston 75

Second play for David, first for Preston. We played through the first phase, by which point I was ahead in income and behind in population. David was looking unsatisfied with his progress, and asked to restart, which we were all willing to do.

This time David shot ahead in income and basically smoked us throughout the game.He captured the tile that keeps his reputation from dropping on the population track, and he also captured two out of the three public bonuses. He didn’t get his hidden bonus – both of us did, and they were each worth 20 points – but, as you can see, that didn’t matter.

At the end, they both said they liked it.


Haim Gu 37, Gili 37, Elad 27, Nati 24

First play for some of them.


Shira 129, Nadine 105, Haim Gi 102

First play for Shira and Haim. Good job, Shira.

2-Player Pinochle

David+, Jon

I taught this to David, struggling to remember the rules which I was getting confused with Honeymoon Bridge. Eventually I figured them out, and we played two hands. David won the first hand by a small amount and the second one by a larger amount.

Dixit Odyssey + expansions

David+, Jon, Nadine, Haim Gi, Shira

Something to do as the evening closes. David and I ended up in front, at 31 points each. We played one more round and David scored an extra point.


December 7, 2016

Participants: Jon, Nati, Gili, Gilli E, Nadine, Nisan, Yael, David K, Elad, Aaron

Magic: The Gathering

David++, Jon

I have lost my winning streak.


Jon + Nati, Gili + Yael

First plays for Nati and Yael.


Jon 119, Aaron 110, Yael 89

First plays for Aaron and Yael. I think they both enjoyed it.


Gili 59, Nisan 52, Nati 50

First play for Nati. Nisan writes: In round 6, Gili spent $12 to get the church. Worth 10 points + 2 points per turn for 20 points. Nati lamented that he played “stupid”. Nisan lamented that his misinterpretation of the “bank” hampered his trading/purchasing ability in rounds 6-8 (he ended up “running off the rails” of the auction-passing track). All in all I think that everyone enjoyed the game and would play it again.


Nadine 163, Gilli E 116, David K 100, Elad 96

First play for all but Nadine, who is lording it over the rest of us.

Nadine writes: First play for Gilli and David, second for Elad. Third for me, plus one completed online and two in progress. Everyone did cards except me, they were all collecting tons. David had wild cards, but even with that couldn’t get four the same. Gilli did get four of a kind, without wild cards. I had five cards, I got a pair early, then took the ship action when a card I wanted was available. So I played two pairs for ten points, partly to turn the ship over. In the last two turns of the game I won the Senate to get a bonus card for 9 points for a fire chip, and I managed to get a helmet chip which let me use one of my Demand wild cards for the fire chip bonus. I started with a bonus card 9 points for the helmet chip, so I got 18 from my only two bonus cards. The others had bonuses for cards, and got points from that, though David didn’t get many. He did a lot of building actions, most of them gave him additional actions, and they give points, he blocked me from getting a 5 point building I wanted, but he didn’t have a wild card so at the end only got 10 points for one set of three. I had two Building wild cards so got a pair for 20 points at the end. I completed a lot of 9 point Trajan tiles, and got 10 points twice from military. The others also did military, and competed for Senate. The earlier bonus cards didn’t help me because I wasn’t doing cards, and it’s hard to coordinate the cards you get with the bonuses, Gilli and Elad managed to. Basically it’s hard to plan as much as you need to, so tactically works pretty well, to my benefit. Plus luck with the Demand chips. If a second bread hadn’t come out at the end I would have had to use both my wilds, losing the 9 point bonus, and it hurt David and Gilli who were missing bread. Elad had all three permanent Demands, and Gilli also had a lot of chips.







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.


Binyamin Z 58, Devora 35, Alan 26, Yiscah 24, Michael 19


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.