Tag Archive | tigris and euphrates

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).

 

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September 28, 2016

Participants: Jon, David K, Nadine, Gili, Aaron, Avi BB, Eszter, Nati, Yahel

Yahel, Avi BB, and Nati are all new attendees. Welcome!

Magic: The Gathering

David+, Jon

David came late, so we have to built from random cards instead of draft. I pulled 60 crappy cards for deck-buildings; even with a 40 card deck and playing with 3 colors, I still had to fill out my deck with a few useless cards just to reach the card counts. If I had some more time maybe I could have made a better deck with one of the other colors.

I didn’t have any mana or color problems, but David built up a nice army and all I could do was throw things in the way until I couldn’t do that any more. Actually, I was able to ping him several times with a flyer while I was delaying his army – if I had a few good damage or game ending cards hidden in my deck I might have been able to kill him. Eventually I went down.

Parade

Jon 6, Gili 8, Yahel 10, Avi BB 21, Nati 25

First plays for Yahel, Avi BB, and Nati. Nati managed to avoid taking any cards until the end, which is great if you can keep control, but otherwise is often a recipe for death.

Gold West

Gili 91, Estzer 88, Avi BB 86

First play for all, I think. Looks like it was a close game.

Red 7

Eszter +1, Gili +1

I didn’t see this one.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 9, Nati 8, Yahel 5

First play for Nati and Yahel. I rarely get to play this gem. It took some time for Nati and Yahel to get up to wrap their heads around the rules, which is usual. They actually did quite well, especially at the start. The first five treasures left the board fairly quickly.

I built an easily conquerable monument just to show them how to do it, and then several more monuments went up. I won and lost some external conflicts, and found myself with all of my leaders off the board. I put them back down and attempted to end the game more quickly, which is what happened.

They both loved it.

Slap Deck

Jon, Nati, Yahel

I taught them this little game of mine, and we played several games. Nati won the first game with an astounding score of 1 – 0 – 0. Everyone won at least one game. They liked this a lot, too.

Candle Quest

Nati+, Jon, Yahel

And I taught them this game, and they like it, too. We played the basic game.

Augustus

Avi BB 116, Estzer 22, Gili 19

I didn’t see this, but this seems like a less close game (unless Gili got the scores wrong).

Power Grid

David 17, Aaron 16, Nadine 15

First pay for Aaron. They played on the cheapest US locations. They played without our house rule, which made for some game chaos. Nevertheless, it seems that David had the game in hand by the last few rounds, at least.

Tichu

Jon/Aaron 575, David K/Nadine 525

First game, no tichu; we had -5 points, they had 105. Second game I called and made grand tichu (with dragon, phoenix, ace, and two jacks); I passed him the dog. We had 220 to their 180.

After the fourth game and two more tichus the score was them 405 to us 395. In one of these, David had a cross-bomb situation (4 card bomb crossing his straight card flush bomb). Fifth  game they were up 480 to our 420. In the last round, Aaron called and made his first (?) tichu; I actually had a bomb and the dog to help him.

KinneretCon

Several JSGC members attended a board game convention at Kare Deshe over shabbat. We played games from Friday afternoon until a bit after motzai shabbat. In addition to breaks for food and sleep (not much for some people), the religious ones took additional breaks for prayer, etc. Nadine came up with the name KinneretCon.

Attendees: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Eszter, and other occasional attendees including Cliff, Rafi and Eszter’s son Binyamin. The event was organized by Roee of Givatayim, and about 30 other faces, familiar or otherwise, were in attendance.

People brought games into the miklat, resulting in a pile of about 150 games to play. Once in a while I had to stand outside and take a look at the very pretty and not-quite-as-severely-evaporated-as-last-time Sea of Galilee to remind myself that I was not, in fact, a dungeon dweller.

Jon’s report

Mr. Jack Pocket – First play for me, having played (out) Mr. Jack. This is a smaller, cleaner, shorter version of the game that gives nearly the same experience, so it is preferred. It’s a small tactical puzzle that plays quickly. I won as the criminal.

Nefarious – Gili and I played this with someone else, who played it for the first time.  Our twists were “lose all of your money after inventing” and “gain $2 each turn”, which pretty much canceled each other out. I won with five 4-point cards.

Tigris and Euphrates – I taught this to two people. Zoya was one, but she had played it once several years ago and not liked it. I thought perhaps because it hadn’t been explained well.

Turns out I was right. Both of them were very happy with my rules explanation, and Zoya particularly seemed to enjoy it, despite that fact that I kind of killed them. I had 11, Zoya had 7, and the other guy had 4. It was a very bloody game at the beginning. Then, when I built a monument, they let me keep it too long, despite my urging them to attack me. I ended with game by taking the last treasure, giving me my fifth.

Tichu – Nadine and I played against Roee and Zoya Nuar, the organizers. It was the first time we had serious opponents outside of our group. I supposed at first that Nadine is shy in calling Tichu, but she called more often than I did, even a grand tichu. In contrast, I have a lot of experience but barely ever called tichu, owing to hands that were always just a little shy. The one time I called it, our opponents had two bombs.

Nadine made a few play errors that cost us some big point swings. I played very well, if I say so myself, several times exiting with the dog as my last card.

We played upwards of 15 hands, and Nadine and I were negative for much of that time. Eventually it was something like 800 to our -100, which we closed to 800 to 500, but then finally lost in the end.

Codenames – Others played this a few times. I practiced playing this one on one with Cliff, giving myself four turns and only two errors allowed. Turns out to be much harder when your opponents aren’t eliminating their own cards.

Take it to the Limit – This was on my wish list and Gilad from Reut was selling a copy. I had actually only played Take it Easy, which is its shorter baby version (10 minute game). This is a larger game that takes about 20-30 minutes, and plays up to 6 easily. Although people say it is similar to bingo – because one player draws a tile and everyone has to place that tile on their board – it’s not; it’s more like Crossword Squares, which is a pen and pencil word game where people call out letters and try to make words. In this game, you try to make high scoring lines of numbers.

Nadine was apprehensive, but in the end she was okay with it. I picked it up as a filler game for our group.

Carcassonne Big Box 5 – First play for me, I played with Yovel Zim. I had played Carcassonne before, but never with any of these expansions, and certainly not with many multiple expansions like this. Some of the expansions were ok, such as the traders and builders, and some were irrelevant, such as the hills and sheep. The ones that added luck were a mix. The wheel of fortune was fine, since it gave you additional options to play for. But it was unnecessary to have it sometimes skip a section.

I pretty much creamed my opponent, who kept not leaving himself a meeple to score with on each turn. I also played many more farmers than he did and scored bigger cities. Final score was something like 335 to 245ish.

Bruges – A classic Stefan Feld Eurostyle game I played with Cliff and Nadine (first play for me and Cliff). I tend to like games that have you acquire buildings with special abilities, like this one. I was initially concerned that the disaster events were too frequent and too strong – which is a Stefan Feld signature – but it turned out that they could be dealt with without too much harm. Still, I don’t really like attack cards (they added to the frequency of the disasters for the other players) and I would probably eliminate or mitigate them somehow.

I won this with something like 54 point while Cliff and Nadine were tied at 41 (Cliff won the tie).

Candle Quest – I taught a gamer and his non-gamer, apprehensive wife how to play, and they played the basic game with Nadine. She liked it enough by the end to request to play it again, and I sat in for Nadine on the second game. I lost.

Tokaido – This is a beautiful game with an original and lovely theme, etc. What matters is the game play, which has been – fairly – compared to Candyland. On your turn you go to the next available space that makes any sense for you (i.e. if you have money you go to the next space, otherwise you go to the next space you can afford), draw a card and do what it says. The only clear decision is whether to gamble spending money now for a few points against the possibility that you won’t have enough for a few more points next round. That’s it.

Defenders of this game say that the other decision – whether to skip forward more a few spaces to get something special (in exchange for giving your opponent extra turns) – is where the heart of the game lies, but from what I have seen I call bull. In the comparable game – Glen More – that decision makes sense, because you are getting something very highly valued in exchange for the turns you give up; sometimes 18 or more points, and each additional turn you gave up is also -3 points for the person who takes it. In this game, the most you will get by jumping forward a few spaces is 3 extra points, and every turn nets you 2-5 points, so it is never worthwhile to lose turns.

I would be happy to be proven otherwise, but until then this remains a thing of beauty that  I hope to never play again. Everyone else playing with me – Cliff, Nadine, and someone else – felt the same way. At one point Nadine went to the bathroom and we played her turns for her. The game played us, rather than the other way around. I think the game won for me.

Roll for the Galaxy – Although I don’t like dice, I sometimes like dice placement games, like Alien Frontiers and Troyes. I thought this might be the same, maybe slightly better than Race for the Galaxy, which I think it okay but not great (in particular, I don’t like games where players can act to end the game early when they are winning). Fiddly dice rolling doesn’t add much to the card game, although the ability to choose what kind of cards you draw does. So it’s a mix of things that are better than and worse than the original game. We had to stop this mid-game since shabbat was out and the owners had to go.

Lo Ra – Finally, we played this with the same couple with whom we played Candle Quest. Again, she was apprehensive, and again she warmed to it by the end of the game. The husband had played Ra, so he understood what was going on. Nadine toasted all of us by an embarrassing amount.

Nadine’s report

Someone said the event needs a name, and we came up with KinneretCon. The best game event I’ve been to, very fun and friendly in a great setting.

Roll for the Galaxy – I played twice, once Friday afternoon before Shabbat, once at the end of Shabbat where we stopped after a few rounds. It’s interesting but fiddly, I’m glad I got to try it. Tons of pretty dice.

TIME Stories –  I’ve wanted to try this since I saw at bgg.con, where it was popular. Cliff and Rafi also really liked it. I played with Gili, Eszter and Roee; Rafi got us started and answered questions. It’s a co-op game with a creative mystery story and nice art. I don’t play games for literature-like wording; the others, not native English-speakers, weren’t into the wording either. The mechanics of discovery, deduction, combat tests and puzzles are fine, but we didn’t feel like doing them for three hours, so we stopped near the end of the first run, after spending twenty minutes on the mental maze. Which Rafi later said wasn’t necessary if we had followed a different path. It was a good way to experience the game and see how it works; it’s more of activity than a game.

Five Tribes – I played with Eszter and two players new to the game, they were very good at analyzing and making beneficial moves. They were strong on the board, one had a Djinn for placing camels on empty tiles, and one could place palaces, and keep assassinated meeples. I only had 4 camels on the board, on low point tiles, and no Djinns or white meeples. I did money once. I collected cards, which I usually don’t do because they cost money, but only Eszter was collecting any at all, and there was a good selection available. I ended up with a set of seven and a set of five, I finished the second set at the end, I hadn’t tried getting two large sets in other plays. I also had six yellow meeples for the most; the assassin guy killed one of Eszter’s instead of mine because he was in competition with her for second place, whereas I would have the most either way. I also had bid pretty low, and ended up winning. We all enjoyed the game, I think the open information makes it more interesting because you end up helping people plan moves once they say what they want to do. The new version with Fakirs instead of Slaves.

Tichu – I partnered with Jon against Roee and his wife Zoya. They’re super Tichu fiends. I don’t call many Tichus, but called Grand Tichu early on. I said I don’t know if I could even make a regular Tichu against these guys, they complained about my table talk because they thought I was referring to my current hand, but got it after I explained what I meant. I’m not sure if I could have made it, but I definitely played wrong, which put us in the negative. Our opponents seemed to always have bombs at the right time to stop us from both going out first, or making Tichus. At one critical point, I was trying to go out, and had no idea that Zoya and Jon both had only one card, just because I wasn’t paying attention, a very stupid mistake. I played wrong, letting Zoya go out before me or Jon. Jon couldn’t believe it, and complained, which was totally justified since it basically cost us a lot of points and the whole game, frustrating when I had the right cards. Zoya and Roee commented on his complaining, but he wasn’t seriously mad, just pretty annoyed. And even after I played I hadn’t noticed what happened. Other than losing, it was a very long and fun game, interesting to play against serious players. Now I need to get better at several aspects of it.

Bruges – I had played this twice at bgg.con two years ago, and liked it compared to other games, but not enough to get the game. It’s not too long, and has negative effects, but they can be mitigated. My big move was making the others lose three points, but I lost a house and person card from Cliff’s attacks. I finished my canal before Cliff, a one-point advantage. Jon won, I tied with Cliff in points, he won the tie with one extra coin. I took cards from only one stack to make the game finish sooner, it may have prevented one round. Getting good person cards with synergy seems to be the best strategy, but which cards you get is partly luck.

Take it to the Limit – The game is spatial, but not complicated, so it’s a good break from Eurogames. I was trying to only make a few rows, but should have tried for one fewer, because I ended up with two in the same color with each missing one or two tiles. Next time I’ll pay more attention to the small board, and should get a better result. There’s strategy, but plays quickly.

Tokaido – I had seen a demo of this at bgg.con; it’s known for beautiful art. Disappointing as a game; I left the room for a few minutes, and told Cliff they could take care of my Inn move. When I got back, they had done my next move too, because it was so obvious what I would choose. Which is the case for the whole game, only very minor decisions which have little effect. Our scores were close because the game is well-balanced. I would have had money for food at the first Inn if I had only bought two cards instead of three on my first move, I don’t know how much the point difference was. Jon compared it to Candyland, later I read a review that said that it’s been called Candyland for adults, and the reviewer went into the differences between the two games. A game that needs to be defended against comparisons to Candyland has major issues.

Candle Quest – Jon taught the game but didn’t play. The players did well at understanding and playing. I didn’t draw any bad candle cards, the others drew several, including the person who won. People bought cards several times from discard piles. I hadn’t played in a long time.

Lo Ra – Jon and I taught this to two new players. They wanted to be taught in Hebrew, but after Jon started explaining, one player said “just like Ra.” So Jon let him explain to his wife. They caught on well, and were interested in the game. I won because I managed to win a few good auctions at the right time. Only one person was missing a candle for the menorahs in one round.

October 07, 2015

Participants: Jon, David, Nadine, Nisan, Aaron, Binyamin G, Schneur, Roman, Alan

First time coming for Alan. He arrived while we were mid-game and had to wait a bit. Aaron brought Shneur. I can’t remember how Roman arrived, sorry (I didn’t get to talk to him much).

Magic: The Gathering

David +, Jon

David arrived early to draft. We played one game which he won; my win on sukkot was an aberration. On the last round, I had 9 life and left him with free passage to attack me with 2 creatures dealing 6 points, but he had cards to play to increase that damage by more than 3 additional points.

Tigris & Euphrates

Aaron  9 9 12 12, Jon  8 9 9 9, Nisan  6 7 9 17, Nadine 6 6 6 10

First play for Aaron, second or third for Nisan. I handed Aaron an early lead by losing an external conflict to him. I then regrouped by winning another external conflict, so, while I knew he was doing well, I thought I was close behind. Which was the case. Nisan build the first monument (out of four that got built) and ended with many blue. I took most of the treasures, although Nadine also tries for treasures. Everyone admired the game, but Aaron thought there might be too much luck.

Power Grid

David 17 17, Schneur 15 15 (85 cash), Binyamin G 15 15 (27 cash), Roman 14 14

First play for some people. I didn’t see how the game went.

No Thanks

Aaron 23, Alan 30, Jon 60, Nisan 63

First play for everyone but me. They all liked this little filler. I gave no strategy advice, but both Aaron and Nisan picked up the implications and strategies quickly (even if they didn’t always follow them).

Dominion / Seaside

Schneur 25, Aaron 24, Roman 24, Alan 10

First play for Alan, and his first game here (after No Thanks). The other three are Dominion sharks, so there you go. They played with around five Duration cards from Seaside.

Tichu

Jon/Binyamin G 1000, Nadine/David 900

Third play for Binyamin G. We played around 10 hands, and only had bombs in the third and second to last hands. David bid and made 2 grand tichus, I bid and made 1 grand tichu. Binyamin G bid and made his first 2 Tichus; on one of them. Nadine bid 2 and made 1 of them. On one of Binyamin G’s Tichus, I had 3 cards in hand: a pair of kings and a low card. Nadine played a low pair which Binyamin G couldn’t take, and had to pass on it to avoid going out first. Still a fine and fun game.

Sukkot Games Day 5775

20141014_185834A great games day with our fun games day gang. Happy birthday to Bill, he left early to work before his roleplaying group meeting, Shirley came after work; they’re both still jetlagged from a week in China. Bon voyage to Mace who left early to catch a plane back to Australia. Emily and Eitan were sans Uli because Emily’s parents are handily visiting. The dinner order was complicated as usual with a lot of people, leading to Emily resigning from the next one – with honors for the excellent job she’s done. Thanks to everyone who helped with score reporting, organizing, and carrying chairs and moving furniture.

Jerusalem area
Nadine, Gili, Lotem, Eszter, Binyamin, Bill, Shirley, David, Avi, Eitan, Emily, Shalom, Shachar, first timers Jordan and Chaim

Modi’in
First timer Avraham

Ra’anana
20141014_122457Jon, Sa’arya

Rehovot
Old timer Elisheva

Haifa
Ofer and Oran

Australia
Mace

Alien Frontiers

Jon 9, Avi 6, Ofer 6, Bill 1

First play for all except Jon.

20141014_162336Belfort

Eszter 53, Binyamin 37, Elisheva

New to them; they liked it.

Bridge

David/Jon, Nadine/Avi

Played at the end of the night. Jon had pretty bad cards overall. We played a fun, relaxed game without scoring and with discussion of bids, good practice. I was playing a hand, I was already set, and Jon asked ‘why are we still playing this?”, which I took to mean he was generally bored as usual. But he meant, ‘can’t you claim yet?”; I realized after that play that I could but hadn’t thought about it. Avi plays very well, he overbid once, I overbid also. Jon and David at first were either playing or bidding well, but not both on the same hand.

Carson City

Eszter 52, Avraham 40, Saarya 39, Elisheva 34

New to all except Eszter. A crowded board set up with most of the mountains very close to the town.

20141014_193338Dixit

Emily 32, Eitan 25, Gili 22

Played on the couch and floor at the end of the evening.

El Grande

Emily 34, 87, 127  Eitan 31, 83, 116  Gili 35, 89, 112

Very close scores, a fun favorite. I don’t think I’ve ever played with 3.

Eminent Domain

Another space game in the sukka. Jordan and Gili tied for 15, both in pts and resources and fighter, Elishiva 13, Shalom 12

20141014_191600Hanabi

Jon, David, Avi, Avraham, Shirley

They all enjoyed playing tremendously, despite, or because of, the challenge of having to remember information about cards that you can’t see, and did very well.

Hawaii

Gili 116, Eszter 99, Binyamin 98, Elisheva 85, Lotem 65

First play for Elisheva, Binyamin and Lotem.

High Frontier

M0, c8, s8, v4, Jordan 7 (1 v), Eitan 12 (1 v, 1 d, 1 s), Emily (1c + 4 turns), Shalom 8 (2 v)

This was the entertainment for people who went to have lunch in the sukka. They all really sounded like rocket scientists, the game emulates thrust, oxygen etc in detail.

20141014_114239Lords of Waterdeep

Jon, David, Shirley

Jon: Shirley won. David was a few points behind her and I was a few points behind him. I was ahead often in the game with 25 point quests, but the others were close behind with smaller quests and plot quests. And I only fed my lord 4 times for 16 points where they each ended with 32 points.

Love Letter

Nadine+, David, Avi

I did better than usual. This game is fun with people who get it and enjoy the uncontrollable situations. I lost when I had the countess and David the princess, next hand it was reversed.  They think it’s funny how much information I don’t remember, and helped me eliminate available cards for guessing to speed things up.

Machi Koro

Jordan 4/7, Shalom 6/7, Elisheva 7/7 (win), Eszter 6/7

Shalom’s game with similarities to Settlers according to him.

20141014_113521Magic

David+, Jon

Apparently a very close win. I knew they drafted, but didn’t realize they then make up decks with half the cards.

Mykerinos

Gili 43, Binyamin 32, Elisheva 32, Eszter 30, Lotem

Nefarious

David+, Jon, Bill, Avi, Nadine

New to David and Avi. We had positive special cards – including extra money if you haven’t built yet. I didn’t do well at selecting cards. Bill would have reached 20 points right after David did. Jon played cards with negative effects on other players such as losing minions and cards, but Avi countered with one giving everyone a card.

20141014_134411Nexus Ops

Avi+, Chaim, Ofer

Power Grid

Oran 17/17, Nadine 18/12+, David 18/12-

Easier with 3. New to Oran. He didn’t listen to the good advice David and I gave him, such as not buying so many intermediate power plants, and when to build. So he was right, very good play to beat both of us first time, and with his own strategy. We played regular, no card previews which changes the calculations. I was doing better than usual, I was in a good position throughout, and David was doing worse than usual, we don’t know why, but it was still fun to play, I haven’t played in at least a year.

Set

Jon, Ofer

Jon: I taught him and he creamed me.

Avraham, Nadine

New to Oran, who had a hard time finding them.

20141014_204005Tichu

Jon/Avi 1065, David/Avraham

David gamely partnered with Avraham, completely new to the game. He understood how to play, but experience makes a different. David and Avraham were ahead by a few hundred for a while, but Jon and Avi caught up, and won when they called Tichu and went out first and second; David made a mistake and forgot that Avi had only played one ace so there was still one out, Jon had it. David had 3 bombs in a row, wrecking one of Jon’s Tichus.

Tigris and Euphrates

Avraham 9, Avi 7, Nadine 5

I taught this to them, new to both. They did an excellent job catching on and built monuments, Avraham 2 and Avi 3. There wasn’t much conflict. I thought I was doing worse than I was. I think Avraham beat Avi because Avraham attacked more, he attacked me, but I didn’t play well. There is less conflict with 3 players.

20141014_193530Via Appia

Oran 92, Eszter 49, Nadine 38, Ofer 25

Ofer taught it to all of us, thought he hadn’t played before and needed to look up setup info, he didn’t have the rules in English, but he had read them online earlier. We punched out the game and Ofer managed to set up the main mechanism which releases disks with which to buy building stones. Near the end of the game, when one type of stone ran out, he discovered a new rule that you can get a coin instead of a stone – people who had tossed due to lack of storage took money for earlier moves, unbalancing the timing. It’s a cute, light game, though Pushing and losing feels like luck; it is partly, but also related to when you select that action. Eszter did really well with it, Ofer who was before her didn’t, he put them in position for her, as did I. I didn’t like that aspect, and often I couldn’t take full advantage of my actions, for example, only having one stone available to build instead of the two allowed. I focused on money for movement, but that’s not enough. I also built, but Oran had a more successful strategy, he built mainly small stones, and got bonuses for it.

20141014_162213Walnut Grove

Shachar 30, Nadine 28, Mace 25, Avraham 19

New to Shachar and Avraham, and Mace has played around once. Everyone did well, and sold a lot and bought bonuses. Mace and I had similar strategies, storage and coins. He wanted to get both coin bonus tiles but I got one. On the last turn, I changed from buying a farmer for two points to selling for 3 coins with space for 2, because of my coin bonus, even though it meant paying a coin for food. A mistake, I got all zeros, and paying for food reduced the coin bonus to one extra, for a gain of one instead of two. If I had drawn better coins I would have tied or won, but it’s less likely to draw those at the end of the game. The keep two tile year came up first, when it’s less helpful, though it does increase production quickly. It’s an easy game to learn. Eszter wanted to play it later, but too many people who had already played it were available. Shachar had 3 bonuses and almost got another one. Mace and I would have had one more point if we had drawn tiles which close fences on the last round.

Chag Sameach!

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April 27, 2011

Participants: Jon, Tal, Jessica, Nadine

Very small game night. Starting to feel like the group may have trouble sticking to a weekly format.

Boggle

Jon, Nadine, Jessica, Tal

A few games waiting for others to show up. We didn’t keep exact score, but Jessica probably won. Tal won one of the games, however.

Dominion

Jon 54, Nadine 46, Jessica 20

Kingdoms: Moat, Village, Woodcutter, Workshop, Bureaucrat, Feast, Militia, Remodel, Library, Mine

Jessica requested to try this again. The only action-granting card was Village, as you can see. Jessica didn’t tune into this, kept getting to 4, and kept buying more useless cards (sometimes two if she had Workshop).

I played Village, Moat, Feast, and Remodel, trading Feasts for 2 Library’s. These work well against Militia, especially when you also have a Village. I realized eventually that I also needed some Woodcutters for the 2 buys. Nadine also took Villages, as well as Militia and Mine. She bought the first two Provinces, but I caught up and then remodeled golds into more of them, buying Duchy’s in the same turn.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 9/9/9/10, Nadine 7/7/9/10, Jessica 5/6/6/6

First play for Jessica. Nadine goes hell-bent and straight toward treasures, which makes for a quick game. She started on the bottom right while I started in The Garden. Jessica started in the middle and eventually got booted from the board by my encroachment on her terrain. I built some late monuments which remained remarkably uncontested for the three turns they were on the board.

Blokus Trigon

Jessica 4, Jon 10, Nadine 13

First play for Jessica, Nadine doesn’t particularly like this game since it is spacial. Jessica liked it, however, and winning didn’t hurt. I love the game, as well as the original. This one is definitely better with three. However, I’m still of two minds as to how to interpret “corner to corner” when it comes to the triangular pieces and hex vertices. We played with the most liberal interpretation, but I think a slightly stricter interpretation would make a more tense game.

April 20, 2011: Games Day

Participants: Jon, Gili, Lotem, Nadine, David 1, Ellis, Peleg, Zachary, Michael, Elijah, Abraham, David 2, Eitan, Emily, Adam, Vallah, Jessica, Diana, Max, Hila, Saarya, Noam, Aryeh, Ori, Yishai

I think that’s everyone. I got to play several games I really like but don’t get to play often enough with my usual regulars. It was a hopping, successful games day, with just enough chair and table space to go around, and only a little downtime for some people. Most everyone enjoyed their games, from what I heard.

There was one exception: one guy who appeared to be a lonely grandfatherly type showed up to play without the slightest idea as to why or what we play. He was, perhaps, the worst match for game playing since Dan Bosley’s infamous Misadventures in Gaming series. He was loud and talked continuously in bad Hebrew (he was an English speaker, and we were all (mostly) English speakers as well). He thought he was very funny when he wasn’t the slightest bit funny, ever. He kept accusing everyone, jokingly, of cheating, hiding cards, and being a shark. He wouldn’t listen to single explanation of any rules – deliberately reading unrelated game material while you tried to talk – and complained every turn about not knowing what to do or what the game was about.

He was the first person I was going to personally throw out of my house for being impossible; thank goodness he chose that moment to leave. After four excruciating games.

Note that it’s possible that I missed a game, somewhere.

Age of Empires III

Michael 84, Abraham 83, Gili 78, Elijah 74, Lotem 52

I almost started playing this game after teaching it to Lotem, Elijah, and Abraham, but them Michael walked in and wouldn’t have had a game partner. I knew Michael would like the game, so I told him to take my place and then gave him the quick run down as the first turn got underway.

At the end of the game, as they were packing up, Michael was down 14 points. he then asked if he was supposed to score these face down tiles in front of him that he had forgotten about. So it turned out that he won by a point.

Antike

Jon 8, David1, Ellis, Peleg

The last excruciating game played with the above described non-gamer. Ellis and Peleg appeared to enjoy the game. I started off as the Phoenicians, and, while Peleg and Ellis fought in northern Europe, I took a commanding and embarrassing lead.

Citadels

Emily 32, Eitan 31

They played together when they first arrived and were waiting for other people to free up. They like this game, which I don’t because of the Assassin.

They also took Gosu off of my hands, another game that only they liked (not that no one else liked it, it’s just that we didn’t like it).

Cosmic Encounter

Adam, David2, Elijah, Zachary, Vallah

I heard a lot of laughing going on in this game. The ending appears to have come down to a major kingmaking situation.

Dominion

In all of these games, only the base set was used.

Nadine 42, Ellis 36, Peleg 27, David1 23

Nadine says that this is the first time she’s really gotten the game. She was cycling she cycled through her entire deck several times as the game played.

Abraham, Nadine, Peleg, Ellis

They ended the game early, though it appears that Abraham had tuned his deck and was on his way to winning.

Jon 33, Max 29, Elijah 24, Jessica 10

We played with the same set that was abandoned by the previous players: Cellar, Chapel, Bureaucrat, Militia, Moneylender, Smithy, Spy, Thief, Throne Room, Library.

Note the lack of a 3 point card, the lack of anything useful in 5 point cards, the great amount of 4 point cards, and the great amount of attack cards with no defense. And note that many of the cards trash cards from your own or others’ hands, or force you to discard cards.

The result was a game where decks were shrinking nearly as fast as they were growing and we were constantly mixing. Max was already starting to feel a little burnt out on Dominion, and this was a particularly annoying set.

I had dumped all of my coppers and Estates and had just enough cash to buy provinces, but lived in constant fear that a thief would take away my purchasing power. I was very lucky; the thieves either got my little money, or no money at all, or I always bought a new Gold right after they trashed one of mine anyway. Still, I thought Max might be winning.

Elijah was the only one who bothered to take a Throne Room, and therefore was able to chain double actions. It didn’t seem to help him much, as he usually ended up with only 4 purchasing power after his chains, anyway.

El Grande

Abraham/Elijah 95, Michael 94, Nadine 92, Emily 85, Eitan 64

Abraham starts this, but then switched to Steam because a) he wanted to play Steam and b) Elijah didn’t and would have been sitting around waiting for a game otherwise.

After the first third, Abraham was in the lead by around 8 points. By the second scoring, the lead had narrowed to 1 point ahead of Nadine, the usual favorite to win.

Genoa

Gili 785, Eitan 700, Noam 690, Emily 550

Noam was rumored to be winning the game at around the half-point. This was the last game to finish the day.

Heroes of Graxia

Jon, Zachary

I wanted to try this game out for its first play, and I thought that Zachary would like it, since he’s more of an American-style gamer than a Euro-gamer (he likes some direct competition in his games). Yes, he did very much like the game. I liked it, too, though perhaps a bit less.

Unfortunately, we decided to stop the game around mid-way because we had messed up so many rules that the game balance was entirely off at that point. For instance, we mistook the price of the cards at one point, letting Zachary buy ten or so cards
at nearly nothing when they should have been 3 or 4 times as expensive (we mistook the toss-out value for the card cost). We forgot the defense value in our first two attacks, thus suffering about twice as many wounds as we should have. And so on.

First game is a learning experience, as I always say. I think I’m ready to teach the game for the next try.

So what do I think? Unlike Dominion, every card is available each game, but only certain cards are available to a player on his turn; you may buy a mediocre card only to reveal a better card which your opponent can now buy. So that’s bad. But, otherwise, the game looks pretty solid and enjoyable. Certainly for my opponent, who was looking forward to something with a little PvP. It’s VERY hard to figure out the right buying approach on your first play.

Homesteaders

Jessica 54, Jon 48, Ellis 41, Peleg 37

First play for everyone except me. I said a number of times, apparently, how much I like the game. I though I was doing pretty well, but I had had to accumulate 6 debt chips to do it. I was hoping to cancel most of them by the game end, but I was still left with 4. that was enough to sink me from winning.

The other three players all had piles of 4 or more trade goods (gold, copper, or cows) at the end of the game. I’m not sure exactly how Jess managed to pull off a victory; actually, I thought Peleg was doing better.

It’s Alive

Adam, Vallah, David2

Vallah noted to me later that she didn’t particularly like the game (I’m not sure if she knew that I was he designer).

Saarya, Noam, Aryeh 

Zachary 49, Elijah 43, Jon 33

First play for Zachary. This was a quickly played game. I failed miserably, as you can see.

Key Harvest

Zachary 25+, Eitan 25-, Emily 22, Nadine 19

I’ve never played this, and I didn’t see how it went.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Adam, Vallah

Played when they first came and were waiting for others to free up.

Notre Dame

Nadine 73, Ellis 50, Zachary 43, Peleg 27, David1 26

Nadine administered a beatdown, I see. First plays for everyone else.

Odds and Evens

Michael 3, Elijah 1

Michael insisted that I record this one, so that it be known that he won something.

R-Eco

Nadine 11, Peleg 7, Ellis -1, David1 -5

First play for all except Nadine.

Rock Paper Scissors

Michael 3, Jon 2

See Odds and Evens.

Settlers of Catan

Gili 10, Jessica 6, Diana/Max 4

Diana started playing this as her first game, but she got bored of it. Max took over for her when he arrived.

Steam

Abraham 46, Jon 45, Ellis 43, Peleg 14

First plays for everyone except me. A tough fought game. Any one of the three leaders could have swung the game by transitioning from income to points one move earlier or later.

Peleg spectacularly failed to get his engine moving and spent too much time building his first links.

Tigris and Euphrates

Eitan 4/4/4/10, Nadine 4/4/4/4, Emily 3/4/5/7, Gili 3/4/5/5

Looks to have been a close game.

Tobago

Jon 44, Abraham 36, Lotem 29, Gili 18

One of the first games played, first play for everyone except me. Once again we played without the curses. I took this idea from Binyamin, and I think I will play this way from now on. The amulets are still very useful for chaining actions and for removing cubes.

Torres

Yishai+, Saarya, Aryeh, Oren

First play for everyone except for Saarya, and he hadn’t played this in a very long time. Actually, no one in the game group has played this for quite a long time, which is a shame.

The cards were in German, but I only had to field one question during the game, so the symbology was basically good enough after my explanation.

Tribune

Max+, Elijah, Jessica, Hila

They played the four player medium game where 30 Denari is one of the four required conditions. First play for everyone except Elijah.