Tag Archive | Ticket to Ride

Kinneretcon November 2018

A nice group of us attended the fourth Kinneretcon this year – Jon, Saarya, Tal, Robby, Gili, Eszter, Binyamin, Lorenzo, Haim, Nadine, Nadine F, Helen

Helen is a new gamer, she liked getting to learn new games, including Azul, Ticket to Ride and Pioneer Days.

Gili
In The Year of the Dragon, Stone Age, Kingsburg, Alchemists, Horizons, Luxor, Azul, Bears and Bees.

I liked Horizons, and it might be better with more players as Jon said. I also liked Luxor, a race game with hand management.

Jon

Key Flow: card game version of Keyflower. Not bad, but I miss the auction from Keyflower.

Unstable Unicorns: Very cute but godawful game.

Horizons: ho hum game of colonizing planets. Might be better with 3-4 players.

Pioneer Days: very good Euro from TMG with replayability.

Ex Libris: nice game of tile arranging with powers. Not punishing enough and might not be well-balanced, but correctable I think.

Lorenzo

Railroad Ink: nice short game for (in theory) an arbitrary number of players. No interaction between players, everyone should do the best with the same game options.

Blood Maison: investigative card game. Not the best luck/fun ratio imo.

Titan Race: racing game with dice drafting. Very direct interactions. Actually fun, especially for younger players.

Azul: nice as always

Ex Libris: design and mechanics are nice. However, too many moving options make the game less elegant. The huge number of combination of strategies and possibilities made me concerned about balance. Looking to try it again.

Scythe: I love this game.

Pioneer Days: very nice game. I thought I was doing well, but at the end I had not understood the game at all :).

Who Goes There?: the game that impressed me the most. It’s a survival co-op with the possibility that one player becomes “the enemy” in the middle of the game. Only negative is that you only know if the Bads or the Goods win at the end of the game. Still a great late night game.

Imaginarium: the pictures are great, but the game mechanic (card drafting, card combination and action selection) could be better.

Nadine

Ex Libris: An interesting game. Jon’s Trash Golem power was unbalanced, even though he didn’t win with it. I didn’t realize what was important for scoring, Lorenzo did and won.

Herbaceous: I taught this to a few people as a filler, it’s a nice quick game, and pretty.

Scythe: My first play, I really liked the game. And did better than I expected to, partly because one of my missions was to get $20, which helped towards the scoring which is based on money. The 4 of us who were new had close scores, Lorenzo had twice as many points. It looks like a fighting and area control game, but there are other strategies with building and resource management.

Reef: A very simple game, which I managed to not do well at. It doesn’t seem as nice for kids as Takenoko.

Puerto Rico: I taught it to the one player who hadn’t played, and answered rules questions for the other two. I didn’t remember that Construction Hut is of no use when you take Settler yourself, the other players took early buildings that our group doesn’t take, such as Construction Hut, Hospice and Hacienda. Of course, the player with 3 Quarries won.

Lanterns: A nice game, but the score seemed related to turn order rather than quality of play. It’s tactical, the first player had 44 points, next one 43, and last one, me, 42. The scoring chips decrease as you go, so the first player advantage makes sense. Very pretty, quick and fun.

Firenze: After I decided to play, I realized that I had played before and hadn’t like it. I didn’t like it any better this time. Experience helps, but there is a lot of luck, which can be mitigated somewhat but not interesting to me.

Dinosaur Island: I taught this to Haim and another player. I didn’t remember the setup details well so it took a while. After we started the other player said that it’s not so complicated. Haim kept saying he had no idea what was going on, but he won. I shortened the game by one Objective card, and didn’t use the Hooligans.

Tichu: Various partners and partial games, always fun. Jon and Saarya played against me partnering Tal and Robby, we were winning after a few rounds when we stopped for dinner. Jon and I wanted to play against Roee and Zoya, who were taking turns with their 7-month-old, and then had to leave to get their other kids. Jon and I played against Zoya and Saarya, then Roee and Zoya, but only a few hands. Playing against Saarya, at the end of a GT I had called I played 2 fives and lost, my other card was a king, and I knew all the aces were out, but forgot right then.

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New Players

Parade

Jon 10, Haim 19, Amir 23, Nadine 23

Ticket to Ride

Gili 171, Tzvi 140, Amir 86

Taught by Gili.

Puerto Rico

B S B T Nadine 14 39 9 60, Haim 24 23 11 57, Jon 21 23 12 56

We were all surprised that I won, and that Jon came in last – we all thought Jon was winning, especially during the first half of the game. Jon and Haim had factories early, before their coffee buildings. I had a tobacco monopoly once I finally got it, and took the 6 ship for it. I kept producing which gave Jon and Haim tons of money, Haim had 17 even after getting a big building, Jon had about 13. I focused on producing and shipping because I had no money; I took Customs House after Jon took Guild Hall, he also had Fortress, Haim had the other two. When Haim bought a Large Warehouse mid-game, Jon said it wasn’t worth it in a 3-player game, and we let Haim switch. During the game he tossed at least 5 goods that he would have kept with LW. Jon tossed a few more goods than I did, we didn’t have warehouses. So Haim might have won with LW. Jon had Harbor. Jon thinks we may have made mistakes with my shipping points, I don’t think so but it’s frustrating not to be sure – Jon usually has a good sense of what’s going on in games, better than I do. Haim keeps requesting to play this so he can improve, he did very well and we may stop giving him corn to start.

Nefarious

Jon+, Haim, Allegra

Twists: Double card effects, Can’t take the same two actions in a row. First play for Allegra, who seemed to catch the spirit of the game when she enjoyed causing the other two to each lose 6 dollars. Jon got to 20 with an invention that gave points for his other inventions.

Notre Dame

Nadine 49, Gili 42, Zvi 39

Zvi’s first play. Gili and I were competing, she didn’t get cards she needed at one point.

Crokinole x 2

Haim, Jon, Allegra

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.

Suburbia

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.

Kramim Con

Gili drove me, Eszter and her son Binyamin to the kibbutz Friday morning. We were able to get our rooms, and other people showed up to start playing. Gili did a great job organizing the con, she has relatives on the kibbutz, located near Beer Sheva, easier to get to than the Kinneret.

Mombasa

Gili and I joined Roi and someone else to play this. I had played with Roi and Eszter at Kinneretcon, first play for Gili and the other player, Roi is experienced and won again by around 80 points. I came in second again, but Gili was close. I did a bit better than last time, but still missed a lot. You need to make all the right moves, and many of them are competitive. I made a lot of travel moves at the end to help red, where I was ahead, but it didn’t net that much. Roi made it to the end or close to the end of two tracks. I didn’t do bookkeeping at all, and sold several cards for money without buying enough, so second to last round I only played three cards instead of the four I finally managed to qualify for on the jewel track. We all liked the game.

R-Eco

I played with Eszter and Binyamin right before Shabbat. Eszter liked the game but had never played, which amazed me, and Gili when she heard.

I also played with another group, including the guy who asked me to bring the game because he wanted to try it. They all liked it as a good strategic filler.

Dominion

We picked a set from the list in the original game, but then modified it, replacing cards we didn’t like. We all went through tons of cards, with Market and Village. Three players; I did well but lost by one point, 37 to 36.

Sushi Go

Eszter and I played a series of light games with others. I had heard of Sushi Go and how popular it is, and wanted to try it. This was the Sushi Go Party! expansion, which includes the base game, very nice art and components. It took us a while to get the correct cards. It’s a light drafting game with simple scoring. Seems too light as a game.

Kingdomino

Eszter also played. The only game of this type, tile placement, that I like. It’s quick with a small area, and very simple but still fun. I even won.

Panic Lab  

Eszter also played. A pretty party game too complicated for me.

Happy Salmon  

Eszter had wanted people to play this, it’s good for a group. It’s fun and fast, you try to get rid of your deck of cards by finding another player with the same card, you need to perform the card action to eliminate both your cards. Actions are fist bumping, high five, switch places and arm pats.

Fruit Mix

A set collection and memory game. Eszter also played, Binyamin won.

Secret Hitler

I didn’t want to play this because of the name and the deception mechanic, but agreed to play because Eszter really wanted to even thought it’s hard to believe she has a game with that name. Roi didn’t want to play either but joined to try it out. Others including Binyamin were also playing. There are two teams, Liberals and Fascists. The Fascists know who they are and who Hitler is, but Hitler doesn’t know who is on his team. If the Hitler player is voted in as Chancellor the Fascists win, which they did, partly because Eszter was one and is experienced at the game.

Puerto Rico

I taught this to a new player, one of the other players had played a few times. Then a fifth player joined us, my LHO, he said he usually plays 3 player, sometimes with 4. I wasn’t sure of some details, like colonist and VP counts for 5, and number of goods which as it turned out we were missing a corn. The rules weren’t in the box, so LHO looked up the information online, not restrained by Shabbat. I was first player, started with Setter corn, got 4 corns pretty early, and the boats seemed OK so I took a harbor first. With no trade goods or quarries, it took me a long time to get a Wharf, which I barely needed. One time I missed production due to 7 on the corn boat, and it had taken a long time to get enough colonists. My LHO had a coffee monopoly, I had coffee but didn’t build the building. He traded and built a lot, he ended the game with three large buildings, one unmanned. He said I’d win, I of course said he would, and I was right. He had 7 shipping points, I had 29, but no buildings or bonuses. He had 40, I had 37.

Saturday

Takenoto

We wanted a short light game, I played this last time, very cute. Eszter also played. I triggered the end game which lets the other players have one more turn. I had 28 points, I told Zoya that if she got 5 points she’d beat me. She managed to play a 5 point card, so we thought she won. But then someone pointed out that the end game card I received gave me an additional 2 points, so I won.

I played again later with Gili, we modified the rules a bit, but the kids are game players and liked it with the ganan and hapanda.

Voyages of Marco Polo

I played this at bgg.con, and taught it to people including Roi at Kinneretcon, but got a travel rule wrong because I never travel in the game. Gili and I have been playing online with David, and Gili wanted to play on the actual board to understand the game better, she said it helped. Yovel also played, his first time. I usually just do contracts, which doesn’t work against good players who travel and also do contracts. I had the character who doesn’t need to pay to place on top of previous players, Gili picked first and took the one who starts in Beijing, Yuval could jump from one oasis to another, and Roi had two travelers. I went third so had more money to compensate, and didn’t have to pay for placement. I had money, so I started by traveling instead of doing contracts. The second travel location bonus was an additional travel step which facilitated travel. So I got to the small city which had the three points per round bonus first round. I traveled a bit more and got good bonuses and placement options, including the dice for gold, which Yovel also had, but only used last round. I also did contracts, which were easier for me because of my character. Somehow I got far ahead, and ended up winning. For the first time I got points from my travel bonus cards, I had 3 cities, the other was close but too hard to get to. I had around 80 points, Gili and Roi around 50. Roi said he liked the game less this time, Gili said it helped her a lot with how it works. We all agreed that my character was much stronger than the others in the game, and possibly all of them.

Corto

I was waiting for this to be set up. During set up I started Gili and her niece and nephew on Takenodo, but didn’t finish explaining it because the Carto explanation started. As soon as I understood the main mechanic which sounded abstract and spatial, I left to play Takenoto with Gili and the kids.

Hawaii

Roi wanted a new game, so I taught this to him, Zoya and Yovel. After one round Shabbat was out, and even though people had planned on staying and playing afterwards, everyone ended up leaving. I haven’t played Hawaii in long time, Gili likes it borrowed it. We play sometimes on Yucata.

Eszter played real Ra, Isle of Skye and Blood Rage which she likes and won, and Terraforming Mars. She was ahead the whole game, and had a lot of money to buy cards, but no cards that would help her turned up. Someone else said there’s no control in the early rounds.

Binyamin played Isle of Skye, Cash ‘n’ Guns, Carto, Opera, Nadlan B’Katan (For Sale), Brick Party.

Gili played Ticket to Ride and Settlers with her relatives, Cash ‘n’ Guns, Nadlan B’Katan (For Sale).

The game Above and Below looks interesting, about growing plants, but you can also build buildings underground. In Brick Party pairs compete to build with actual Legos based on an image on a card. One partner builds without seeing the picture, the other gives the instructions. The image is just the outside shape without showing the bricks, I don’t think I could build from that, much less direct someone else.

We were helping a group playing Five Tribes, I discovered they had played completely wrong, they were only using tile actions if they put a camel on it. The guy who had told them didn’t want to believe me, he said that’s how he’s always played.

Passover Games Day 5776

2016-04-26 15.30.45A fun day, with 23 people playing at peak time in the afternoon, more people came later after some had left. Mazal tov to Ofer and Michal on their one-week wedding anniversary. Thank you to everyone for recording scores, bringing snacks and games, and moving furniture, and to Gili for some of the pictures.

Adastra

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

Agricola

Roman 36, Ron 25, Assaf 21, Eli 9

2016-04-26 14.18.55Roman taught them. Eli is not a Eurogamer, Ron liked the game and did well for his first play, as did Assaf.

Bridge

Binyamin Z/Nadine, Devora/Yiscah

Binyamin helped everyone with instructions on how to play optimally. On the last hand, he bid 1NT. I had 13 points, 4 hearts, and AKx of spades and wanted to bid 4 hearts, but he said I should bid my honorless 4-card club suit. We ended up in 4 hearts; he made 7, he had 5 hearts and the queen dropped. So he asked Ben for his opinion on whether he should have gone to small slam, Ben basically said yes. He said he would have bid 4 hearts like I wanted to, unless he was playing with Binyamin, in which case he would know he had to bid the clubs.

Bora Bora 

Gili 188, Jon 178, Avi 121

boraboraJon: I decided to try this one more time to see if it was as finicky as I recalled or if it was just that my first play was overwhelming. I remain convinced that the game should have been streamlined and a few mechanics taken out. I WAS less overwhelmed, but I don’t think I will play it too often.

First play for Avi; he shared my sentiments, and by the time we were halfway through he wanted it to be over. We stuck it out. I thought I was doing OK, managing to build a building every round by the skin of my teeth, which should have given me a tidy sum. Unfortunately, owing to the luck of my first mission draws, I was a single tile shy of competing my last mission, which lost me at least 10 points. Gili finished all of her missions but was one shy of finishing her buildings, she beat me by 10 points, and I’m not sure how she beat me. If I ever play this again, I am going to try building all my tents, just to see what happens.

20160426_205142Castles of Burgundy

Binyamin Z 238, Nadine 205, Ofer 151

Jon: I taught this to Ben, Binyamin, and Ofer. Ben got bad luck with his rolls and was thoroughly sick of the game by the end of the first phase; he was perhaps too tired to figure out how all of the buildings worked, and I don’t really blame him; the iconography is not terrible, but it’s not great. On the other hand, Binyamin really liked the game and scored pretty highly.

I was happy to take over for Ben instead of playing Frank’s Zoo. Binyamin had placed the same buildings in the same area, and I let him do it again to finish a section because he had taken the building based on playing that way. I got good yellow tiles – the 3 bonus for colors of tiles sold, and the play the same building in areas, that Binyamin should have had, but it wasn’t enough to beat Binyamin’s yellow 4 point bonus tiles for 2 buildings, and his first place in several colors.

694fddfa-504b-487f-8275-f27ec404b3a5Eldritch Horror

Gili, Roman, Yonatan, Avi, Noam, and Alan beat the game in this co-op.

Frank’s Zoo

7af56e6b-146e-4240-b398-00d4bef946f4Michal 9, Devora 7, Binyamin R 6, Yiscah 4

Yiscah 25, Binyamin R 14, Eszter 14, Devora 13

Guildhall

Eitan 20, Emily 13, Ofer 10, Michal 8

guildhallIn the last turn Eitan got two series of dancers. Eitan said he exploited a loophole which allows combining extra actions with additional card draws.

Homesteaders

Jon 64, Michael 52, Avi 44

Michael had requested the farming game with the apples ahead of time, Jon realized which game he meant.

Jon: I taught this to Avi and refreshed Michael’s memory of the game. It was a nice experience for all, as I remember, but in the end my experience gave me the edge. The end scores were pretty close, however.

Lo Ra

Eli 25, Efrat and Yossi 17, Eitan 9, Ron 1, Emily 1

At least they all had positive scores. Our house version of Ra with a Biblical theme.

Lords of Waterdeep

Avi 133, Gili 122, Noam 116

Second play for Avi and Noam.

2016-04-26 21.16.49Magic

Jon: David and I drafted and we both ended up playing colors that we weren’t expecting. David played BRG and, while he got out a lot of his strength, it didn’t seem to be enough. I played BWu, with many fliers and some control cards. In the first game, my fliers took him down. In the second, I started with only one mana. I tossed a creature to get my second, which was luckily the right color for me to cast a spell that let me pay life for 2 more cards. I got out one more, a mana unicorn, and that was enough to get me started until more flowed in. We traded some kills, we both played a few big creatures, and then I took some of his out and he resigned.

Mundus Novus

Devora 95, Ofer 59

Devora +, Haim 41, Guy and Gilad 19

noblemenNoblemen

Binyamin R 92, Yosef 91, Eszter 90, Nadine 74

Eszter has the game but hadn’t played. Yosef taught us, he had read the rules but never played, so we looked up things as we went, and of course played a few things wrong. The cards were in German but it doesn’t matter because it’s just the card title, no text otherwise, we had the rules in English, and he taught in Hebrew. The game pieces are beautiful, and it’s a nice game. I forgot to do one or two things which led to my having no moves for about half the game, because I was out of tiles and money. Everyone else had tons and couldn’t understand it. I forgot to place one guy when I build a castle, which would have given me a few more tiles. I did have bad luck with tile drawing – I had three down, and every time I drew three more, which is limited to once per the three rounds, none were the forests which let you draw more tiles. I also forgot that the point of the purple churches was to get cards, which also would have helped me get more tiles. So the problem seems to have been my playing, and not the game. The theme is well-integrated as you have masquerades to increase your rank, but it resets twice per round.

2e6ead30-2c26-4939-9d4a-a31aa192eae7Notre Dame

Yiscah, Shira, Haim

Power Grid

David 15/17, Roman 13/14, Ksenia 11/15

2016-04-26 12.22.22David taught this to Ksenia who we all enjoyed seeing on her visit from Poland. We were going to use the German side, but three regions didn’t seem balanced. I left to play 7 Wonders Duel before we started, and after Ksenia and others came.

R-Eco

Devora 15, Yiscah 10, Binyamin Z 4

First play for all of them.

7 Wonders

Emily 54, Yonatan 54, Noam 51, Ofer 43,Michal 42, Eitan 37

2016-04-26 12.42.117 Wonders Duel

Yosef 88, Nadine 75

I had wanted to try this. It’s more interesting than 7 Wonders, with a similar theme and feeling, but still a lot of luck. When you select cards, it opens up new cards for the other player/s. I made mistakes with this a few times early on, and a few other mistakes. Yosef is experienced so he gave me advice. I thought he’d end up further ahead than he did. There are three ways to win; I was in a good position to win with military, two away, but the cards worked out for him, and he took advantage to block me. He was able to take the last card he needed to win in green, but preferred to keep playing and count points, he said otherwise the points are a waste. Counting points seemed complicated and time consuming, he did it. We played in French, his main language and my first one.

signorieSignorie

Binyamin R 150, Eszter 128, Nadine 127, Assaf 115

New to the others. Binyamin was competing with me for the lead most of the game, but pulled ahead at the end. He caught on well to what he needed to do. Eszter didn’t realize she should pay and get points when placing daughters, but we gave back the 5 she had paid for points with the bonus and back paid for all her placements, which gave her more points and caught her up to near me; she passed me by one at the very end. Assaf only had three helpers, Binyamin had the most.

Slap Deck

Avi++, Jon+

Jon: I taught Avi how to play this, and he really liked it. We played three times, he won twice. He asked to play it again several times when I wasn’t available.

83bda1f1-e1d1-4cde-b231-ac9cdab63769Suburbia

Jon 134, Binyamin 114, David 11, Ben 110

Jon: I taught this to Ben, David, and Binyamin. David like it and wanted to play again. Ben seemed to like it, too. Binyamin didn’t like it, because there is nothing to do when it is not your turn and the other players’ turns took too long for him. It’s true that there is not much to do on your turn, and not much in the way of player interaction or interfering with other players (other than taking the building he wants), but I think the game is fast enough and interesting enough to be good; I actually really like it.

Even though I had the highest income at the start, I was cash shy for a lot of the game. Binyamin took early greens but he ended up with negative income and no money, which made many of his last turns useless; even lakes couldn’t bring him enough cash not to lose them, and he couldn’t save money to buy income generating buildings. David also had a lot of cash, from the building that doubles lake income, which he then doubled again (for triple). He made use of his cash finally in the last third of the game hovering near the top of income and reputation until the last round. But it was too late, and he had no bonuses. Ben and I each made two bonuses, and Binyamin made three. On the last move of the game, Ben handed Binyamin his third bonus in order to take around 14 points himself.

Tichu and Where’s Tichu?

Avi/Nadine 375, Jon/David 225

We started the day with this. My favorite Tichu partner, and players. When David said maybe the teams aren’t fair, Avi said we like playing together, and I said it’s worth losing for the times we do manage to beat such good players. First hand I called a Tichu and made it. The others asked me why I called it so early, at least a hand before I played my first card, and I said because I always forget to call it if I wait. On another hand Avi could have gone out first, but wanted to give me a chance to play so we could go out first and second, but neither one of us ended up going out first, he should have just gone out. Jon thought about calling a Tichu but decided not to. One game he did well, but would have done better if he had remembered that he had passed David the Dragon and therefore knew where it was. We stopped when more people came, which I had said at the beginning would be our strategy.

Jon/Ben 735, David/Assaf 565

We couldn’t find Tichu among all the games people brought, which were stacked on shelves, couches and tables. Whenever I asked if they had looked somewhere they said yes. I know things slip between my couch pillows, so I looked carefully, and found it with a few others small games behind a back pillow.

Jon: We taught Ben and Assaf how to play. Ben picked it up quickly; Assaf took a bit longer, but they both seemed to enjoy it (it helped Ben’s enjoyment that we were winning). Ben was my teammate. David called and made 2 grand tichus, including one on the opening hand. I called and made regular tichu on the second hand. Even when our opponents made tichus, they always seemed to end up with the short end on points, so Ben and I did very well.

Ticket to Ride

2016-04-26 15.30.55Shira 123, Yiscah 121, Devora 109, Haim 98

Year of the Dragon

Shira 112, Ben 105, David 86, Haim 95

David taught this to the others, and then proceeded to do much worse than he usually does. They were all close in the number of people left at the end.

 

September 9, 2015

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Aaron, Ezra, Rachel, Ben

Rachel is a newcomer who is moving into the field of game development. She and her husband Ezra showed up with a game for us to try. Ben came about mid-evening.

Nefarious

Nadine 20, Jon 17, Gili 17, Aaron 15

Twists: 1) during Research, pick 2 cards and discard 1. 2) Can’t play the same action twice in a row. I thought this was a fairly dull game, although Aaron totally destroyed me by making me discard my last invention, one that would have given me three new inventions (thus saving me three turns). I was still two rounds behind Nadine.

Yahtzee

Gili, Jon, Nadine, Aaron

Played as a quick filler while waiting for Rachel and Ezra. We stopped mid-game, but Gili was winning, having already scored a yahtzee.

Exploding Kittens

Nadine, Gili, Jon, Rachel, Ezra, Aaron

This is an insipid game of drawing cards until you lose. Decisions are intended to distract you from this. The selling point is essentially the name recognition by the cartoonist who provided the humorous pictures. Still, if you like pure luck games, you may find this amusing with the right group of friends and drink.

I “quit” mid-game by simply telling people to pick on my behalf every time it was my turn. I never drew an exploding kitten card, so I was winning by the time everyone else quit.

Ticket to Ride

Jon 113, Ezra 108, Rachel 63

First play for Ezra and Rachel. They appeared to enjoy it, but not with the kind of enthusiasm I sometimes see. A close finish helped. Ezra had longest route. I had routes coast to coast and had most tickets, but still couldn’t draw another ticket of any value so lost on my last ticket pick. I decided not to try again. Ezra drew on his last turn; he also couldn’t score the ticket, and it turned out that that was why he lost.

Five Tribes

Ben 164, Nadine 153, Gili 145, Aaron 140

First play by Ben. Ben saved or acquired the most actual cash (68) during the game, with a Jinn gaining 2 points when others placed palaces, and he got at least 15 points on a blue move. Aaron had a set of cards worth 60, Nadine had 50. Gili scored 48 in yellow meeples with a Jinn card making each one worth 3 points.

May 6, 2015

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Helen, Andrew, Frances

Bohnanza

Jon 23, Gili 22, Nadine 19

I gave this game away once, but acquired it again because I thought it might appeal to some people. Apparently not to us, still. It’s kids’ game with silly negotiations. Gili tried to take it seriously. I was the only one who didn’t build a third bean field. I won because I got some generous contributions as people got bored of the game. I withheld some beans Gili needed on the last play, which would have turned the game.

Nefarious

Andrew, Frances, Helen, Jon, Nadine, Gili

First play for Andrew, Helen, and Frances; we played without any twist cards. They thought it was clever, but they weren’t blown away. Helen started with a 3 point card. Then everyone copied my “one minion on each phase” strategy, but that didn’t last long with 6 people playing cards that affected everyone. I stalled, jumped forward a few points, and then stalled again. I guess I was about a round or two from playing a card that would take me to 21. Nadine won with 20, Andrew had 18, I was close.

Ticket to Ride 1910

Jon 136, Andrew 132, Helen 30 behind, Nadine another 30 behind or so.

Nadine fulfilled one 9 point ticket and missed a 19 and 10 or something because she couldn’t get to Phoenix and didn’t realize that she needed it for both tickets, She thought she needed Seattle-Boston, but she needed Boston and Seattle to Phoenix and Portland to LA. Helen also messed up the ticket order initially, but she was able to correct it. She took a lot of tickets, but didn’t complete her 7th one because she didn’t realize that she didn’t have the city. That also gave me the most tickets, since I had completed 7.

Many of us were primarily on the East Coast. I also had a corridor from Chicago to Houston, and a teeny spike into Phoenix. Helen and Andrew both traveled coast to coast. Andrew had two massive tickets, something like SF to Miami and LA to Miami, which was pretty obnoxious.

Andrew had longest train. Nadine says that the game isn’t so bad when you play it right, but she just hasn’t yet. I think it will never be a great game, but it is always a decent, solid game, and it pleases newbies easily, like a romcom movie. Helen loved it.