Tag Archive | tichu

Sukkot Games Day 5778

A nice day, sunny following a day of rain so we could use the sukkah.

Thank you to Jon for bringing a table and chairs, and Crokinole; Eszter for planning and organizing the dinner order; and everyone else for snacks and helping to clean up.

Most played games: Crokinole and Nefarious



Carson City
Tzvi 46+
Daniel 46
Nadine 41
Assaf B 26

Tiebreaker is being earlier in turn order. I taught this to them, it takes time to explain well and understand the mechanics. Tzvi took a long time on his turns, which paid off for him. Assaf kept taking guns, though he lost some duels. He took a Mine I wanted, which messed up my plans. Tzvi and Daniel had good building set ups.


Jon 120  Lorenzo 75  Nadine 55

This was played frequently during the day.




Noam and Yochai checked out how to play.

Binyamin +
Yael second



Five Tribes
Ben 171
Haley 134
Lorenzo 118
Aryeh 83

New to Haley and Lorenzo. Ben had a full set of cards plus two others.


Jon 38
Avi 26
Nadine 21
Tzvi 20

New to Avi and Tzvi. Jon compiled a good hand, then just called Havoc for the rest of the game so we couldn’t recruit more cards. I don’t like this type of direct ‘conflict’.

Hansa Teutonica
Lorenzo 38  Ben 37  Jon 33  Yael 32  Hailey 28

Jon taught this.

Yehuda 65
Sara 38
Chaya Bluma 36

First play for CB and Sara.

Isle of Skye
Eszter 53
Yochai 48
Noam 47
Avi 43
Binyamin S 42

Eszter has played before.

Haley 54
Eszter 48
Sara 44
Chaya Bluma 33

Taught by CB.

Sara 20
Chaya Bluma 16
Ofer 11

Ben 23
Aryeh 18
Tzvi 17
Assaf 13

Avi 23
Yochai 20
Binyamin 20
Eszter 18

Avi 20
Yochai 17
Binyamin 16
Eszter 16

Puerto Rico

Daniel 28  Chaya Bluma 27  Assaf 25  Ofer and Sara 24

First play for all but CB, who ended with two unmanned large buildings.





Daneil, Assaf B, Aryeh, Yocheved





Sushi Go!

Chaya Bluma 39 Haley 35 Yael & Sara 30

Chaya Bluma: We all enjoyed a fun game!

Tzvi and Aryeh 1100
Ben and Assaf B 990

Yehiel and Lorenzo 265
Eszter and Binyamin 135

New to Tzvi and Lorenzo

Traders of Osaka
Yehiel 17
Nadine 16
Jon 11
Avi 10

First play for all. An interesting light game with little player control.

Nadine 127
Aryeh 125
Assaf B 117
Yehiel 76

First play for all but me; they caught on very well. We thought Aryeh was winning, and he came in ahead until we remembered to score the buildings. I was the only one with any points, I had two wilds, for 20 points, which put me ahead by two. Assaf did a good job calculating in advance, but didn’t manage to put about eight of his cards on the table. Aryeh collected and played a lot of cards.

Avi 53+
Jon 53
Nadine 48

Jon, Ben, Haley, Yael and Lorenzo played one round early on, but stopped when Ben seemed too far ahead. That experience made it easier for Jon to teach it to me and Avi later, I had played once a long time ago but didn’t remember the details. I got 18 points from Traveling, but it wasn’t quite enough, I also had people in the Church, but not much else. Avi did well in the green cube building and had at least 5 trade chips, Jon also had trade chips, and traveled. And died at better times.



September 06, 2017

Participants: Jon, Gili, Haim S, Nadine, Chaya Bluma, Noam

We are back from vacation, although there was some game activity during our absence (or so the Whatsapp group informs me).


I brought this back from the UK. We didn’t play any full games, just some practice rounds.


Haim 15, Nadine 13, Jon 10, Gili 5

I also brought this back from the UK. Al of us had played before, although apparently with a few confusions about rules. Haim did the nearly complete “no point” cards strategy, which eventually let him acquire three nobles and enough cheap point cards to eke out a win. I had no “no point” cards, although I usually have a few, and I was only a single round from winning. So I’m still not sure what the best approach is.


Nadine 91, Jon 61, Chaya Bluma 52

Second play for CB, who looked like she might be leading a bit by the end of spring, but by the middle of fall it was clear that Nadine had blown us away and the question was by how much. She was the only one who had a fully functioning barrel production and point production combination, and, since no one else cared much about moving barrels, we didn’t act to stop her. Nadine also passed a lot in the third round to have enough meeples to move the barrels (she ended up with 21 barrels on one hex at 3 points each).

Instead, CB and I fought over a few tiles that were worth points, but it was only a fight for second place. On the Whatsapp score, we forgot three points I had in gold barrels at the end, which made no difference. Nadine: We had both the 4 and 5 Movement tiles in play which hasn’t happened in the games I’ve played before. I thought our house rule of protected home tiles was in effect, but found out in Winter that it only applied when there are new players. It actually helped me, because I was able to move 6 barrels with 5 yellow meeples by using other home tiles, I didn’t have six of the same color left. I ended up producing more than I planned due to the Movement tile availability, I was planning on using my extra meeples to take more of the final scoring tiles. 

Taj Mahal

Haim 49, Noam 43, Gili 40


Haim/Nadine 1060, Jon/Noam/Chaya Bluma 540

I sat with Noam and taught him how to play, and then let him play some of it (correcting him on occasion). Nadine or Haim had all the bombs and often all of the high cards. Nadine: I had almost all good hands, I only passed a high card once or twice. No one called Grand Tichu or defeated any Tichus.

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.






June 21, 2017

Participants: Jon, Chaya Bluma, Yael, Haim S, Aaron

Aaron showed up late. Welcome first time attendee CB.

Puerto Rico

Jon 48 + 16, CB 48 + 5, Yael 36, Haim 29

First plays for CB and Haim, second for Yael.

This was a slow game, but everyone enjoyed it. CB did an amazing job tying me on her first try.


CB/Jon/Haim 1080, CB/Yael/Aaron 920

First play for CB. Yael stayed for a short time while I coached CB. Then Yael left and CB took her seat while I took CB’s seat opposite Haim.

We started this game late and the game went 12 hands. I inherited a come-from-behind position, which I did with the help of a last round Grand Tichu (before which we were down 775 to 925). And my opps had two bombs against the GT. We ended late, around 1 am.


June 07, 2017

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Aaron, Haim S

No game night last week owing to Shavuot.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon++, David+

We drafted and I ended up with a GWR deck. Unusually for me, a) I played only 15 lands, 5 of each color, b) I played 41 cards instead of 40. In addition to the lands, I had 4 cards that fetched lands (of my choice) or generated mana. Also unusually for me, I never had any mana problems, hitting 7 or 8 mana in all colors within the first 7 rounds in each game. David had some mana problems with his 40 card / 18 land deck in RGb. He played b even though his W was stronger, because he hates playing W. The only reason his W was stronger was because he negative drafted W cards away from me.

I had a few fliers (including a red 5/5 flying haste who gets shuffled back into your deck at the end of the round), some medium green creatures, and some boosters, with only three control cards (a spark jolt (1 point and a scry), a white card that buries a large creature, and a small creature that sends one of his creatures out of play until it (the small creature) leaves play).

In the first game, I brought him down to one point, and then he took out my creatures and generated his own until he won. In the second he struggled with mana a bit and I took him down. In the third, I brought him down to two points and it looked light it might be a repeat of the first game but I top-decked my red 5/5 flyer to win.

Princes of Florence

Aaron 63, David 54, Jon 53, Haim 51, Nadine 47

First play for Haim and maybe second or third for Aaron? David and I essentially copied each other’s early strategy, each taking a jester and a recruiter. Then he took two more recruiters and I took two more jesters. We both ended with no prestige cards and very similar results, as you see. Meanwhile, I encouraged Aaron to try a builder strategy; he took 3 builders and 4 prestige cards, none of them too expensive. In the last round, Haim, who had two builders, actually covered more spaces than he had, so he Aaron lost his last prestige card. However, he times his works well, taking the best work twice I think (at least once), and did very well. Haim did a mixture of about everything, with builders, landscapes, and a prestige card. Nadine also had two prestige cards, and played conservatively (spending as little as possible).

Nadine writes: Chaim blocked Aaron from getting the least empty spaces one, and blocked me from getting anything for my second one which would have been 7 for most landscapes, 4 for a tie, with 7 I would have tied David; Chaim got most lakes. I should maybe have bid more against him for a lake, but that would have just been a tie, and I would have lost one or two points from the money spent. 


Jon 20, David 18m Aaron 17, Haim 13, Nadine 11

First play for Haim. He keeps complaining that we are always playing different games, while he prefers to play the same game several times in a row so as to get the nuances. I sympathize with him, but I must say that I rarely encounter someone who is so good at picking up the rules of games as I explain them.. He always understands the rules on the first try, although he often checks certain rules out loud as we play (like a verbal reminder, I think).

Anyhoo, we played with the twists a) we all start with 20 instead of 10, and b) we toss down to the nearest 5 at the end of each round (unless you have less than 5). The first twist is pretty uneventful, while the second one radically changes how you play. You MUST place minions, or you have no hope of accumulating any money.

I drew tons of very expensive cards. I finally tossed them all out for some cash (the effect of a card), and when I drew again I drew the most expensive card in the game. It actually ended up helping me, because it was worth just enough points to get me to 20.


Nadine/Aaron 620, David/Haim 280

Nadine/Aaron 310, David/Jon -120

I kibitzed the first game, tsking when Aaron called Tichu after Tichu (and then when he didn’t call Grand Tichu and he should have) and as he played his last few cards. David had some bad luck with his tichus. The I sat down to take Haim’s place, and David and I proceeded to have several hands of really bad luck, as well as a few bad plays (some of which hurt us and some of which didn’t). It was late so we gave up.

May 24, 2017

Participants: Jon, Yitzchak, Haim S, Aaron, David K, Nadine, Gili, Evan, Haim B, Josh

Yitzchak is an old friend who is visiting Israel and comes once every few years. Evan is Nadine’s nephew, visiting from northern California. He just graduated Berkeley and will be moving to Seattle, where he plans to look for game groups. Haim B and Josh happened to be in Jerusalem, one visiting from LA, one from Tel Aviv.

Slap Deck

Jon, Aaron, Haim S, Yizchak

I taught Yitzchak and Haim how to play. We played two quick games.


Evan 22, Nadine 21, Aaron 20

First play for Evan. They played while waiting for Gili and a new player to arrive; when two new players showed up they split into two groups of three instead of playing Princes of Florence. Twists: +1 point per card. And something about paying minions to invent.

Five Tribes

Nadine 171, Aaron 149, Evan 149

Nadine writes: Aaron helped Evan analyze in Five Tribes. Evan had 10 yellows when the 3 point djinn came out. Aaron convinced him to bid 12, and didn’t overbid him, but it would have been worth bidding 18 for a move where he got two more yellows and could buy the djinn. I had 7 cards and some good board spots, though not the most. Aaron ran out of camels which ended the game, I had 3 left. The cards stalled when I had 7; Evan had 5. Aaron was second in yellows, I had 5 whites at the end. I took money twice, and bid low and went last a lot, though we mostly didn’t bid a lot.

Notre Dame

Haim B 61, Gili 47, Josh 46

First play for Haim and Josh.

La Citta

David++, Yitzchak+, Jon-, Chaim S–

We played four rounds out of six. First plays for Chaim and Yitzchak, while David and I hadn’t played in a long time. Chaim got blindsided and wiped out when he lost a central city. This is a very punishing game that can wipe out your chance of winning if you are careless. Otherwise, you have to balance winning and losing. Early mines, which David had in plenty, are game-changing. Not surprisingly, the other person who had a fair shot of winning by the time we ended also had a good income. I had a very small income; although I understood the rules better and wasn’t entirely wiped out, I wasn’t doing anywhere near as well.

All of us had a problem with the card turnover. Often six or seven of the cards are useless, which means taking a mildly useful or useless card simply reveals a good one for the next player. Worse, some basic actions that you need to stay competitive or at least climb out of your hole (or at least keep you from being bored for the last hour of the game) are simply unavailable. There MUST be a way to gain people, at least temporarily, if the cards don’t show up for it.

We played around with a few suggestions for how to fix the card issue, and David’s seems best: put coins on unused cards (for some definition of unused. And always make buying people an option, I think. I will look online for some variants.

Nadine: You should have believed me, and we should have checked our house rules: Pay one coin to replace all cards.

San Juan

Evan 35, Yitzchak 34, Gili 34, Haim S 34

First plays for Evan and Haim. Gili removed the expansion cards before playing.



David/Jon 605, Nadine/Aaron 395

We ended early since it was getting late. A lot of bombs and some interesting hands. On one hand, I called Tichu after David was down to one card. I would have made it if a) Nadine didn’t have 2 bombs, and b) David didn’t decide to just go out after I ducked Nadine’s first high card play after her first bomb: I had three cards left: Dragon, 9, and Dog. I was waiting for her to play a single card lower than the 9. David thought I was stuck and could not go out. Unfortunately, even if he had not decided to go out, I still wouldn’t have made my Tichu because Nadine had her second bomb.

I called and made a Grand Tichu on a round where Aaron also called Tichu (for some reason). And then he set David’s Grand Tichu on the following round. So we went up and down in score a lot.

May 17, 2017

Participants: Jon, Haim S, David, Gili, Nadine

Hansa Teutonica

Jon 68, David 48, Nadine 36, Chaim 35, Gili 29

This was requested by Chaim, who first played it a few weeks ago. He is keen on playing the same game a few times in a row in order to get better at it. Nadine had played this once many years ago in Raanana and lost to me and didn’t particularly relish the memory, so she wasn’t keen on playing it. And David wasn’t keen on playing a five-player game, but he had won the last time he played (which was his first time). In the end, Nadine grudgingly admitted that the game was interesting and that she would play again, but not too often. And the game was a little slow for five players, but much better than many others, so I think David didn’t suffer. I retaught the game to Nadine and also to Gili (first time for her).

David and Gili both built up little networks again, but this time neither of them could get their key values greater than 2. David was the first to get to 3 and then 4 actions. Nadine and I were close behind. Chaim took longer, and Gili even longer. Chaim took a few bonus markers, one of which he used to remove three of David’s pieces. At the end, through all of our urging, he removed some of my pieces. His game was mostly to aim to get bumped.

I ended up getting two of the four end-game Coellen-Warburg bonuses, as well as the most bonus markers and the most controlled cities (at least one of which I gained from a bonus marker). Unfortunately, although Gili was clearly not my main competition, my city network was right near hers, so my gains were often at her expense. Gili nearly completed the full route between the two red cities; I’m not sure why she wasn’t able to complete it.


Jon/David 1010, Nadine/Chaim 890

They had a series of good hands and took an early lead. Chaim failed to make an early Tichu call: being new to the game, he overvalued the strength of a hand with a few straights, which is a common mistake. He called and made two others, however.

David made a Grand Tichu, and I made one on the last hand in which we both went out first, which squeaked out a win (the score was 890 to 710 before the last hand). We didn’t have many bombs.