Tag Archive | tichu

April 19, 2017

Participants: Jon, David, Gili, Aaron, Yael, Nadine

Magic: The Gathering

David+, Jon+

We didn’t have time to Rochester draft, so I chose a balanced color assortment of 120 cards and we created decks from our half. The decks were stronger than usual. David played BG, and I played BRW. Yes, I still played three colors, although, in my defense, all but one of my cards had only one colored mana requirement. I had a few nervous moments at the beginning of both games, but I got out most of my cards without difficulty.

I had many fliers and I was hoping enough to stock David’s ground forces. And I had a Mindcrank, even one of which is pretty insane in a 40 card deck. In the first game, he had a large reach creature and then he had too many big land creatures to block all of them. In the second game, I stopped his ground forces, and even though he was gaining life, I decked him with my small fliers.

Bruges

Jon 60, Gili 51, Aaron 37

First plays for both of them, who wanted to learn. We discovered that I had misread one of the cards that I thought was way over-powered in a previous game. Gili took control of the canals early on, and I couldn’t draw the color card I needed to build the canal segment I wanted, so I concentrated on people and VPs from them. I also had a person that made me more immune to disasters, while Gili played a person that removed some of her tokens.

They both liked it.

Puerto Rico

David 54, Nadine 50, Yael 40

First play for Yael. Nadine writes: David had two big buildings including Custom’s House, as well as Factory and Harbor. Yael did very well for her first time, and we didn’t help her much.

Among the Stars

Gili 88, Jon 83, Aaron 82

First play for Gili and Aaron, and first time I played with objectives. We also played special powers: Gili could use a discarded card, Aaron knew of a secret objective, and I earned a few extra points at the end of the game. I like the game; it’s not rip roaring fun, but it’s a nice management game.

Tichu

David/Aaron 1005, Jon/Nadine 595

Very few bombs, and Aaron made a grand Tichu. They took a steady path to victory.

Passover Games Day 5777

Thank you to everyone who came, and brought snacks, and helped set-up and clean up. Special thanks to Jon for doing the food order, and Jon and Aaron for picking up the food from Black in town, and Aaron for taking some of the pictures.

Most popular games – Five Tribes, Nefarious, Tichu

Intrepid rules resource and teacher – Jon

Special welcome – Emily and Eitan, our stalwart gamers who rarely make it nowadays because they’re raising their own game group.

Amerigo

172 Ariel, 154 Avraham, 123 Aaron, 110 Assaf

Antike

Yael and others

Bora Bora

Emily 149, Assaf 139, Gili 139, Eitan 130

Taught by Gili.

Bridge

Nadine and Avi+, David and Jon

We didn’t officially keep score. Avi and I did pretty well, though Ben said that’s only if you don’t count two missed slams. Jon and Ben managed to have several hands each with less than 6 points.

Ben also played this earlier with another group.

Bruges

Jon 56, Shira 45+, Haim 45-, Avi 41

New to Shira, Haim and Avi, I explained the game to Shira and Haim while Jon and Aaron were picking up the food order, then Jon taught the game after Avi joined.

Jon: The game’s mechanics work okay but they feel disconnected and awkward. Okay to play, but need polishing. Really too much luck. Have to implement some other of my changes.

Five Tribes

Ben 172, Ofek 127, Asif 117, Gili 110

Taught by Gili

Aaron 140, AA 121, A 138, G 125

Ben 205, Yedidya 150, Daniel 129

Game of Thrones

Noam 6, Elad 5, Avi 4, Nati 4, Yael 2, Yochai 0

They stopped after about 7 rounds of 10, a super long game.

Lo Ra

(Nadine 13, Jon 7, Assif 6, Gili 5, Ofek 4)

We stopped after two rounds to play other games because a lot of people arrived. We did not score tribes or Gili’s Ark, Jon had by far the most in tribes.

Love Letter

David +, Aaron, Avi, Nadine 0

Avi 4, Nadine 4

Avi lost the first four on the first or second round, due mainly to luck that he couldn’t do anything about.

Magic

Daniel+, David

Jon+, David

Jon: In Magic, David and I entered a vast build up of on the ground forces, each hoping to find the flyer in our deck that would get through,

My forces were a litter stronger, so as our decks were dwindling, I decided to attack with everything, leaving a few behind as defense. David and I were being hurried by you to rejoin Tichu, and he didn’t feel like calculating out how to defend against me, so we both agreed to just abandon the game. So I didn’t actually win.

Nefarious

Daniel 33, Yael 25, Ben 29, Yedidya 25

Ben 22, Yael 20, Daniel 15, Yedidya 11

Niagara

Avi+, Gili, Nadine

The game needs more players.

Notre Dame

Gili 64, Assaf 57, David. B 55, Sara 23

Taught by Gili.                       

Power Grid

Ben 16 16, Jon 16 16, Nadine 15 16, David  8 8 Banana. Cities / Power plant total

David, very unusually, didn’t do well. As usual, I started off well then blew it. I got the 50 Power Plant relatively early on, but had no spots where I could build during Step Two, and by Step Three, Ben was too far ahead with cities and plants. He and Jon agreed to tie rather than going for another round, Jon had slightly more money.

Jon: Same idea here as in Magic. We got to the end game, and didn’t feel like slogging through one more round to see who would win. David did poorly because we played on the Benelux board, first time for all of us, and he misjudged the value of an early 4 power green plant.

Puerto Rico

Yosef  56, David B  49, Jon 48, Nadine  47, Sara 44

David B gave a thorough and detailed explanation to Sara, including strategic analysis, to teach her the game. David and Yosef spent time during the game analyzing their best moves, many to block me, then selected the role Jon knew all along they would take. Yosef was first, he started with Prospector which is unusual in our group, though we also rarely play 5-player. He said it was to stop Jon from being able to build Tobacco on the first round, but Jon said that doesn’t matter since it would ship. Another game where I started off well, but didn’t play well enough afterwards. Though I don’t think I could have beaten all those experts.

Jon: You definitely had a strong initial advantage, but twice you didn’t craft when you should have; once you took captain and once you took something else. As a result, the timing and your money didn’t quite work out. Also, Yosef got to five good with Factory, and so could take the two big buildings ahead of you. And the fact that he had tobacco ahead of me gave him reasonable early trading and late shipping.

Sara had a coffee monopoly for a while, so she also did okay, but no buildings to speak of. I had tobacco following Yosef, which hurt, but I had a harbor which helped.

R-Eco

Gili 12, Jon 10, Assaf 7, Ofek 6, Nadine 6

An early filler, we played with random number order. Eszter and others played a game later.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Cliff, Mishy, Avi, two others

Per Cliff: VICTORY WAS OURS!! The boys enjoyed it but thought it was too easy.

Study in Emerald

Mishy, Eszter, Assaf

Per Cliff: Assaf won a close victory. We all enjoyed the game but definitely needs some replay to really learn the strategies.

Tichu

820 Aaron and Ben (finished with David), 245 Yedidya and Daniel

Jon and David +, Nadine and Avi

We didn’t play a whole game, we switched to Bridge

Jon: I didn’t get to play this enough.

Tigris and Euphrates

Avi and others

Walnut Grove

Aaron 27, David 25, Nadine 23, Eszter 19

Taught by Nadine, David and Eszter hadn’t played in a long time, new to Aaron. David took a lot of workers early, Aaron had two extra storage areas and two bonuses for goods in storage, and 8 goods left, nice job. I didn’t do well with my board, and didn’t take another worker til late. Eszter took an extra storage right away which helped her.

Jon: I taught Amerigo, Tigris and Euphrates, R-Eco to Eszter and some others, Lo Ra, and Antike, but didn’t play them (except for Lo Ra).

 

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.

Bruges

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.

Suburbia

Aaron, Gili, Elad, Daniel

I don’t know what happened here.

Nefarious

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.

Tichu

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.

 

February 22, 2017

Participants: Nadine, Jon, David, Gili, Daniel, Nati, Yael, Noa, Aaron, Aviv

Aviv is a first-time attendee who found the group through Gili.

Five Tribes

Gili 157, Aviv 156, Noa 143, Yael 140

Gili taught this to some or all of the others. Good show for Aviv.

Tzolkin

Nati 69, Aaron 61, Daniel 6

First play for Daniel (and maybe Nati). Nati write that the gods of corn were good to him. Daniel’s poor showing was due to losing points from not feeding, apparently.

Seasons

David 175, Jon 163, Nadine 131

First play for all of us. Nadine started complaining immediately when the first attack card hit her. After a while she came around a bit, but is still skeptical. David was a little better.

We played without drafting, and as a result had some unevenly powered cards. But, in the end, it all evened out. I suspect that my good show was due to my realizing early on that extra cards are not all that difficult to put into play, and so they gave me multiple benefits. But I still lost to David, who had a nifty series of card combinations that gave him 90+ points in the last round (before counting his card points). I had something like 130 points from card, but it wasn’t enough (I also was the only one maxed out in bonus actions).

It is certain hard to plan when you don’t know the cards or game flow, but I already got the gist that strategy can play a big part of the game. However, as is pointed out online, there are a few drawbacks to the game. The first is that the teeny tracking boards are wholly inadequate; cubes keep sliding around. It’s total junk. The second is that some cards are really wildly different than others; the draft at the start helps with that, but during the game you have to top deck cards. This would be far better if four or five cards from the deck were face up at any time, with bonus points added on any that remain between each season. The third is that there are up to 25 or 25 card effects in play at any time, and they are hard to keep track of. Some kind of system would help here, to. A good game board would solve problems 1 and 3, and my solution above would solve problem 2.

Lo Ra

Jon 37, David 33, Nadine 28

I hadn’t played this in a while, so I picked it out instead of R-Eco. David had no score in the first two scoring rounds. I managed to acquire the best bidding tiles by round two and used them to re-acquire each other (for the most part).

Tichu

Jon/Aaron 1120, David/Nadine 680

David lost an early Grand Tichu, but we were still neck and neck until the last two rounds. Great game.

 

January 11, 2016

Participants: Nadine, Jon, David, Elad, Preston, Aaron, Schneur, Tchelet, Eszter

Nadine hosted.

Magic: The Gathering

David+, Jon

David continues his winning streak. I had a sucky deck.

R Eco

David 11, Nadine 5, Elad 3, Jon -3

First play for Elad. I had one of each color chip, I think.

Amerigo

Jon 146, Schneur 138, Preston 136, David 86

First play for all but me. David made some early errors based on misunderstanding the rules and was disheartened thereafter. As usual, everyone thought the cube tower was cool, but questioned about how it affected planning.

Year of the Dragon

Elad 105, Nadine 95, Tchelet 87, Aaron 85, Eszter 70

First play for Elad and Tchelet, who appear to have done well. Elad managed to get 3 double dragons, which is nearly unheard of. He got 10 points in the last round.

Lo Ra

Aaron 41, Nadine 36, Elad 30

Elad did poorly in the first two scoring phases, but made a decnt comeback in the last.

Tichu

Jon/Schneur 960, David/Preston 240

First play for Preston, who did a great job. David lost an early Tichu which put them in negative points for a few rounds.

 

December 21, 2016

Participants: Nadine, Jon, David K, Haim G + his wife Tammy, Nati, Aaron, Mace, Elad

Nadine hosted, owing to her still recovering. Mace is back from Australia for a week or two. Hi Tammy, sorry I didn’t get to meet you more.

Among the Stars

Jon 91, Aaron 85, David 84*, Elad 76

First play for everyone but me, first time for me using the special powers. Mine was an annoying one that gave me three extra dollars but prevented me from gaining any other money (except by some rare cards) which was more of a curse than a blessing. The other players had optional powers that didn’t affect the game a great deal but at least had no negative side effects. Next time we’ll also add some objectives.

There was some struggle to grasp the right plays for most of the game, including for me. However, by the end I think they all enjoyed it. The game is most often compared to 7 Wonders; I think they’re about the same. The questions is really if the game can be played quickly enough to be considered medium or light weight. We finished the game in 75 minutes, which is pretty good for us. If we can get it down to an hour, it could be a good filler or end game.

I played mostly heavy red cards and blues. Most of my scoring came during the game, instead of at the end. No greens at all. Aaron played mostly greens. David actually may have won if he had not mistakenly put down an invalid card as his last card (he had the option of using a discarded card and chose an invalid one). The card was worth 9 points to him; he might have been able to select something else comparable.

Trajan

Nati 153, Nadine 139, Haim and Tammy 127, Mace 118

Haim and Tammy decided to team up. First play for them and for Mace.

Nadine writes: First play for all except me and Nati. Mace had a lot of ship cards. Nati did military and got to 8 on the senate one year. He beat me by one turn for senate on the last turn. Haim and Tammy had 10 on building, but I had the bonus for it, I only had 3. The wrong demands came out at the end so mos of us lost points, and I missed the 9 point bonus. I should have picked a different bonus.

Tichu

Jon+Elad 1065, David+Aaron 1035

First play for Elad, he did very well. Picked up the game quickly, and even called and made Tichu once. David and Aaron pulled slightly ahead, slowly, at the start. Then they made a 200 point hand, leaving us 565 to 235. Then we made a 300 point  hand, and we were still slightly behind.

We continued to pull ahead until we had 895 to their 605. David then bid and made two grand tichus. All he needed was 30 points on the last hand to pull off the victory, but he ended up swallowing the phoenix to give the lead to his partner and he gave the dragon to the wrong opponent. We netted 90 points to their 210.

 

 

KinneretCon Fall 2016

Nadine and I, and others from Jerusalem, went to KinneretCon for around 30 hours of gaming on the Sea of Galilee. This was their second event, and they are planning more. Both times the event was held at a kosher hostel. Basic rooms hold 2 to 4 people and edible (if not glamorous) full board is provided. It sits 100 meters off the lake shore, which is nice; I didn’t see too much of the lake, but my kids did some swimming.

Around 30 to 35 people were around, about half of them religious.

Games played by either me or Nadine:

Amerigo

I taught this to three others, and we had a good time. Unlike the last time I taught this, where the other players loved the cube tower, this time the other players were a little unsatisfied with the cube tower and would probably prefer one of the “bag drawing” variants. I lost by a few points, if I recall correctly.

Antike

I taught this to four others, and, as usual, stressed that they should concentrate on points and not get lost in the mechanics. And, as usual, I won (by one point, instead of my usual two points). Also as usual, we played to one point less than the recommended value. I think everyone liked it.

Next time I play I might use the new tech chart from Antike II.

Castles of Burgundy

Nadine writes: I taught this to three other players who picked it to play. They did well, I didn’t win. I did help them, though I mostly gave advice on request or when they didn’t understand the implications. I forgot to tell them that a six could become a one, until I used it late in the game. Two players, including the one who won, had 5-tile regions with all the same animal. They all really liked the game.

Goldwest

A multi-player solitaire straightforward game of taking tiles and scoring points. The tiles you can take – or other actions you can perform – relay on how you distribute cubes onto your action track, but that’s somehow less interesting than it should be. There is nothing to do until your turn again, and you can’t really plan between turns.

But, as a filler (if you play quickly), it’s okay as a pastime and there are often a few options to consider each turn.

Imperial Settlers

Another so-so game, which I didn’t like mostly because it had a take-that mechanic but also a runaway winner problem. One would think that the person doing “take-that” would at least target the leader, but circumstances don’t always favor this, which just makes it more frustrating. There are cards you can play that simply counteract anything that one of your opponents does every round, making it nearly impossible for them to progress. Frustrating.

Otherwise, the game would be okay, with lots of cards and resources and a deceptively large number of things to do during each of the five rounds. I was ahead in points until the last round, but I knew I was losing by a large margin to my LHO already in round 2, and there was not much I could do about it.

Isle of Skye

First play for me. This is a game played over five rounds, where you get to add 0-3 Carcassonne-like tiles to your tableau each round. Each player gets three tiles, assigning money to two of them and discarding the other. Each player can then buy one of the other tiles from someone else, giving him or her the money and letting them keep their money. After all players have bought one tile or passed, you pay any money on any of your remaining tiles and place these tiles and the one you bought (if any) into your board. Then you score based on certain scoring tiles, each of which apply to three rounds of the game. Some tiles also provide income, but everyone gets at least 5 coins each round.

That’s it. It plays okay, and Eszter and her son liked it a lot. I liked it, but it lacked some kind of spark for me. The best part of the game was that one of the scoring tiles gave you points for money left in hand at the end of the round, which provided a good decision for whether to try to get money from others or try to place more tiles. But this scoring tile is only used if it is drawn for the game; I think the game will be even less interesting without it.

Mombasa

Nadine write: A large, long complicated game. But interesting and good. Two extra players were learning it with us, so one of them ended up helping Eszter and one helped me. We each understood different rules, so it took both of us to figure out moves. We ended up doing really well, partly inadvertently, we came in second, only losing to Roi who taught it and did really well. It has varied mechanics – company shares, worker placement, area control, hand management. Also an award winner, 2016 International Gamers Award, and Spiel de Jahres Recommended.

Nefarious

I taught this to four others. We played with the twists: a) you get have +five points if you have five cards at the end of your turn; b) if you build an invention worth more points than any previous invention, you get +2 coins. Both positive twists, which are good.

I walked to victory here, stumbling only for two rounds when one of my opponents made everyone else discard two cards.

Prime Time

A clunky-looking game about TV scheduling which is actually better than it looks. I had to leave after the first half of the game, and I suffered during some of that, but only because I made colossally bad plays and my RHO made even worse plays.

But it actually worked well and looked intriguing after I got the hang of it, and I would like to try it again.

Red 7

Nadine writes: A fun light game, good for 1:30 am. It took us two games to catch on to how to plan your turn. Binyamin S won the first game after teaching it, I won the second game. A 2014 Golden Geek award winner.

Slap Deck

I taught and played this a few times, but the response was muted (which is unusual).

Space Cadets: Dice Duel

Nadine write: Each team frenetically rolls dice, over and over, simultaneously, in a race to get missiles, offense, defense, movement and shields. Our team wasn’t as good at understanding and assessing when we’d win an attack, so we lost a lot of missiles. It also took us a while to get all the rules. Towards the end, our opponents attacked us quickly right after their previous attack; they were surprised that we had gotten a shield up so fast. So was our team, good work by our shield player. We were far behind and conceded the last point.

Takenoko

Nadine writes: Another award winner, especially in France where it was published, 2012. Great art, colors and components, extremely well done. Nice theme which is well integrated with the gameplay. A light game which plays quickly and is easy to learn, fun to play despite the luck factor. The person before me ended the game when he placed his seventh point card, he had 28 points. The other players then all get a last turn. I had 24 points, and several cards which would give me more than 4 points. But bad luck meant that I couldn’t play any of them. I didn’t roll rainfall or tokens, couldn’t move the gardener, and picked another card which didn’t work. I ended up tied with Zoya for second place. The player who won played well, but drew at least two point cards which he could play immediately because the conditions were filled.

Tichu

Tal and I played against Nadine and Yoval. Tal played well; I bid and lost a Tichu and a Grand Tichu, and I wasn’t happy about either of them (the Grand Tichu loss was not really my fault; I played poorly on the Tichu). After that Tichu wasn’t called by anybody very often, and we eventually lost after many, many hand by 1005 to 895.

Voyages of Marco Polo

Nadine writes: Roi and David wanted to play this, so I taught it to them. It’s a good game, I’m just not good at it. I made a mistake with the rules which did make a difference, but Roi would have won anyway. And I would have lost anyway. We placed trading posts on the way, not just on our last stop. We played the beginner version with the recommended characters, but selected goal cards.

Walk the Plank

Nadine writes: You’re pirates being chased by sharks, and you detach arms and legs from your large plastic person when the shark catches you, after losing your 4 limbs you’re out of the game. The main mechanic is selecting a number that no other player selects, otherwise you can’t move. I got eaten, though late in the game, in two games.