Tag Archive | traders of carthage

October 14, 2009

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine, David, Abraham, Emily, Eitan

Good company.

Bridge Troll

Jon, Nadine, Gili

I was considering trading this. We played it one more time to see. First play for Gili.

Result: Nadine decided she didn’t like it, but that’s typical with Nadine when she doesn’t get the strategy in a game. I still like it – maybe less than other fillers we have – and would keep it, but only if others wanted to play it. Gili thought it was ok, but wasn’t enthusiastic. As no one was willing to speak up strongly for it, I decided to trade it.

It’s got nice components and the game play works, though it’s rough in some places. The game works better with three than it does with six. Six wasn’t really fun, as you could go the entire game without scoring any real points. Three players worked fine. Several of the mechanics seemed to exist solely for game balance; I’m guilty of doing the same thing with the Villagers in It’s Alive, but that’s only one mechanic, not several.

The core of the game-play is blind bidding and the random results of what happens thereafter, which is good if you like that sort of thing, but it’s not for my group. Again, it’s a decent game, and a lot of groups will like it, hopefully the one to which I’m passing it onto.

Traders of Carthage

Nadine 19, Abraham 17, Gili 15

Playing this filler after Bridge Troll, both Gili and Nadine said that they like this game better.

Magic: the Gathering

David++, Jon+

David and I drafted. I picked up G/R with a splash of W. David had B/G/R. We each had some neat comboes.

David had a mana producer that produced mana of any color his opponent could produce, and then some sunburst cards, which gain bonuses depending on the number of different colors used to cast them. I had an equipment that automatically moves to any new creature that I brought in, and a creature with “champion” that sends a creature out of play while it is in play.

They were fun games, although I lost the second hand because I was shy of mana.

Cities and Knights of Catan

Abraham 13, Nadine 12, Gili 10

First play for Abraham. Not Nadine’s usual cup of tea, in part because it’s quite longer than Settlers. Their game lasted three and a half hours.

Dominion

David 26, Jon 23, Emily 23, Eitan 7

First play for Eitan, second for Emily. Emily wasn’t thrilled with her first game, mostly because it was dominated by Militias. No Militias in this game, but there were Witches.

Bonus actions were Cellar, Market, and Laboratory. Bonus cash was Workshop and Market. Defense against Witches was Remodel. Getting to 8 cash was nearly impossible, especially with Witches filling our hands with Curses. We also had Garden.

David played a Market – Cellar – Garden strategy. I used an early Remodel hoping to slim down my hand, but early Curses had me struggling to stay even as the game went on. Emily took an early Witch. Eitan didn’t make the transition to buying victory points early enough.

I thought I was doing better than Emily, but turns out I was wrong. I did manage to Remodel my one Gold to a Province, which was the only one taken, I think.

Jon 39, Emily 33, David 24, Eitan 19

In this game, the only bonus action was Market. We also had Chapel, Thief, and Bureaucrat. Eitan tried Mines, but Emily kept stealing his Golds. David and Emily both played Thieves, and stole from each other, although Emily was far luckier.

David took a Chapel, but didn’t quite get it to work right. I think he’s not using them correctly; he thinks he just didn’t luck out. He got discouraged mid-game and gave up trying at some point.

I took an early Chapel, let it work wonders, and, though slightly and disconcertingly slowed by an early Thief taking a Copper I actually needed to buy my first Market, still managed to get on a roll. I had no cash at all, but I had 8 of the 10 Markets, and a Workshop. I began rolling Provinces very nicely, but without a Cellar, I slowed down after four or five Provinces. Emily and Eitan both bought one Province before me, using their Bureaucrats and Thieves. Eitan once again didn’t transition to accumulating VPs early enough.

Eitan really liked the game, and Emily also enjoyed it more than last time.

Tichu

Jon/Emily+, David/Eitan

First play for Emily and Eitan, I think they liked it. We played three hands, and I called and made Tichu on two of them.

July 08, 2009

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Oren (?), Bill, Abraham

Gili came with her young cousin, whose name is Oren, I think.

Bridge Troll

Jon 25, Bill 24, Nadine, Gili, Oren, Abraham

Nadine and I had played this once before with three players, but with the wrong rules. This was the first play for everyone else.

The rule we left out last time was the one where each bidder receives the bid stones of one of the other bidders and the end of the round (lowest bidder generally takes the highest bidder’s stones, and so on). The designer told me that this was an important rule, and we had to play the game with it. So we did. And while it’s a decent mechanic, it nearly completely eliminates any reason to not bid at all, and thus get free stones from the center.

The number of stones you get from not bidding is now not significant compared to the number you get if you bid anyway. Furthermore, now the center stones run out (since nothing is supplying the center, except a very occasional goat) and you end up taking your stones from other players. Often, the second player to pass takes the newly acquired stones from the first player to pass. It’s another one of those cases where we got the rules wrong on the first play, and when we found out the right rule, we kind of liked our way better.

And there is a rules ambiguity: the rules say to take the stones from the player who has the most. But if player A has 8 stones, and player B has 7, do I take all 5 of my stones from player A, or do I alternate taking from whomever has the most after each stone, so that players A and B are both left with 5?

Onto our game.

This time I forgot a rule which I remembered last time, namely that one of the cards is face down each round. We remembered as soon as the first Seer was flipped up (the Seer being the card whose special power is to peek at the face down card).

A six player game is just a mess of chaos, which will appeal to some people. It was so confusing that I had to act as facilitator, calling out whose turn it was to act, who won the bid, and so on every single round, right up to the end of the game.

With six bidders, you have scant control over what actually happens to you during the game. You may be able to bid very high and secure a single card once, but you may also (or not) end up taking the last penalty card, depending on whether someone else drops out of the bidding or not.

As a short game, this works out fine, similarly to the chaos of the bidding in For Sale. But the game is a wee too long for me for this type of mechanic. Not very much too long; just a bit too long. We finished in about 1.5 hours. That’s about an hour for most people.

And that’s really what it feels like: a very long game of For Sale. If you like For Sale, you’ll like this game. Our group liked it well enough as a filler game, especially since there are not too many 6 player filler games available. They all said that they would play again, especially now that they had a little more grasp of the rules. I was somewhat less enamored, but I would also play again. I think I would prefer 4 or 5 players over 6, however.

Traders of Carthage

Gili, Oren, Abraham

Gili needed another filler game, as she and Oren had to leave early. First play for Oren. I don’t know the results.

Agricola

Nadine 39, Jon 31, Bill 7

First play for Bill.

Nadine had some killer occupations at the beginning of the game that exempted her from needing to worry about food. There is probably a direct line between this and her win, in my opinion.

But it’s hard to draw any sort of straight line in Agricola, even when there are only one or two rounds left in the game. You find yourself adding and re-adding the dozens of different possible moves, trying to figure out which one actually leaves you with the most victory points at the end. If you’re prone to AP, that makes for a long game. Otherwise, you eventually go with your gut and then realize you made a colossal mess of you end game, which is what happened to me.

Bill had plowed fields and grain up the wazoo, since he got a field every time he took a grain. But that, and some final pastures, was all he had. And he starved by two food in the last harvest, anyway.

Nadine had vegetables and tons of animals, since she got an extra sheep when she took a sheep and also converted three sheep into a boar and a cattle. And got an extra wood and two food whenever she took wood. She was all ranched out on round 4 or 5, and spent the rest of her time growing her family and slaughtering her overflowing animal population.

I had early conversion to a stone house, and got some grain fields and pastures, but could never hold any animals or grains long enough to reproduce them. I ended with final grain and sowing, but no animals. I got a bunch of bonus points for improvements, however.

Tichu

Abraham/Nadine 280, Jon/Bill 120

Abraham stuck around until the end of our Agricola game, and I took pity on him so we played two hands of Tichu. First play for Bill. Bill enjoyed it well enough.

In the first round, RHO went out, and then I could have gone out, but then my LHO would go out, leaving them to collect all of my partner’s tricks. And he had all of our tricks. Both LHO and partner had a single card, so instead of playing my 7 card straight, I played one at a time working my way downward. And wouldn’t you know? Both LHO and partner held 8s. 200 points for opps.

In the second game, Abraham bid and made his Tichu, but the only cards he scored were the Phoenix and a five, netting him 80 points to our 120.

July 1, 2009

Participants: Jon, Elijah, Nadine, Shachar, Gili

Shachar came for his first time. He’s the son of some synagogue members of ours, and he (or his mom) was interested in trying some games other than Chess.

Traders of Carthage

Jon 14, Shachar 12, Nadine 10, Elijah 6

Scores were something like that. First play for Shachar, and second play for Nadine and Elijah. Nadine wasn’t overly impressed, but then she’s not often overly impressed with lighter games.

Antike

Jon/Gili 7, Nadine 5, Elijah 4, Shachar 2

First play for Shachar, second or third for the others. First 5 player game for me. It took ten minutes of wrangling to settle on this game, as nearly every other game was vetoed by either Elijah, Gili, or Nadine.

Five is definitely more crowded than three, but the reduced number of points needed to win makes the game feel about the same overall. I still totally love this game, though I recognize it has possible problems of ganging up and definite problems of king-making.

Shachar declared his hatred for the luck of Risk, and I offered this as an alternative. Though he did rather poorly, he really liked it. Asked for the name, and possibly intends to buy it. Gili was the least happy to play, but coming in tied for first helped raise her spirits about the game a little.

How did we tie? …

We played on the Arabian side. I played Greece, Shachar played Syria, Nadine the Black Sea region, Gili Arabia, and Elijah North Africa. We all got to one point fairly quickly, and Nadine even led to two points.

Nadine was defending her borders and growing rather slowly. Gili had the advantage of isolation for nearly the entire game. Elijah and Shachar traded skirmishes in the center of the board, which kept them occupied. Then I leaped ahead with some seas sailed.

Add to that 10 cities and two know-hows (sailing and navigation), and the last two points seemed like it would be my capturing two of Shachar’s or Elijah’s temples. But in the meantime, Gili had also grown to five points, and she only needed 2 additional ships to gain a seven seas card, 13 gold to gain the free know-how point (for all know-hows), or 1 additional temple. She was going to win in two turns unless I won first.

Elijah dropped a boatload of fleets to stop me ransacking his temple, and I could now either occupy 14 seas or sack one temple; I would lose too many ships to do both. And then it would take me a few more rounds to get my last point. So it looked like Gili would win after all.

But then Elijah, seeing that Gili was about to win, abandoned defense on his own temple to sack one of Shachar’s, which just let me get enough manpower to sack his. He simply wanted to end with one more point. Mind you, my sacking only worked by bending the theme pretty badly: some of my further away ships had to clear out Elijah’s remaining ship defenses, and then my closer ships could just make it far enough to reach his temple.

I had gone first in turn order, so we let the round finish and Gili ended with her points anyway. If Elijah hadn’t king-made, Gili would simply have won.

Bridge Troll

Elijah 45, Jon 44, Nadine 36

The designer sent me a copy of this new game.

Bridge Troll is a blind-bid set-collection card game. You play trolls trying to snag the people crossing your bridges. Each round a number of people try to cross, and players simultaneously reveal bids for picking order. Cards are then collected one at a time by bidding players, until all cards are gone (there are often more than the number of bidding players). You may opt not to bid in order to collect more cubes for bidding; you then collect no cards.

Some of the cards are bad, and all the cards must be taken. So if there are N+2 cards, and 1 of them is bad, second highest bidder is going to get stuck taking the bad card on his second pick. So going first is not always good. Sometimes, if all but one player passes, one player gets all the available cards, which is usually a windfall.

Each card has two values: food and money. When you collect the card, you assign it to one of the two piles, generally the one with the higher value. At the end of every turn, you trade in matching values of food and money for victory points. E.g. a card worth 7 money can be matched with a card worth 6 food for 6 victory points. If you passed in the bidding, you can also use cubes to make up the value discrepancy at a rate of 2 cubes / 1 value of discrepancy.

Naturally, some of the cards also have special abilities. Some are bad, as I mentioned, and will sack your highest food or money card. That’s the gist of the game.

The components are very nice, for those who care about such things. The theme is silly.

It was pretty easy to understand most of the rules, although one or two cards were confusing and one, at least, was hidden somewhere in the rules and I couldn’t find it (we just guessed the meaning of the card; we got it right). I completely forgot one of the rules: about players snagging the bids the other players made during the round. Without this rule, we were forced to pass some of the rounds in order to restock on bidding cubes. With the rule, we may not have needed to do that.

The game flows rather quickly. Decisions were light. The hardest decision was what to bid, and that was somewhat random. A few times you had to decide whether to take a card whose ultimate value would be determined if managed to get access to some later card.

You have to manage you bidding cubes (at least the way we played, you did). I don’t mind blind bidding – I rather like it in some games – but in this game the results of the bids were a tad too important to be left to this mechanic, so it detracted from the game for us; a different more strategic bidding mechanism would have been more interesting to us, but the result would also have been a much weightier game, not necessarily fitting to the theme and intent of the designer.

Overall, it definitely works. No obvious problems, quite fun if you like this sort of filler-type game. Though Nadine complained during the first half of the game, by the end she came around to admitting that it wasn’t too bad (she doesn’t like light filler games in general). On the other hand, other than the pictures of the trolls, she loved the components: the weather die, the card and cube colors, and everything else. That was a plus for her.

The fact that it plays for up to six is also a big bonus for the game. And it probably plays better with more players than it did with only three. I thought it was fun and would be happy to play again.

In our game, Elijah lucked out on collecting a number of helpful special cards which he used to good effect. I worked on managing my bidding cubes, and that helped too, but a few times I took the face down card as a gamble and lost.

June 10, 2009

Participants: Jon, Elijah, Nadine, Ben, Max, Abraham, Gili, David K

A few early birds showed up and started playing in the living room. The flow of games that were played confused me; I’m hazy on anything played in which I didn’t.

Mr Jack

Nadine, Elijah

Nadine re-taught this to Elijah, but she wasn’t interested in finishing it as other people came in.

Dominion

Max 32, Jon 30, Abraham 27, Ben

First play for Ben, who didn’t manage to find synergy (or, in his words, had very bad luck).

Thief was in the game, as was Festival, Feast, and Library, all of which should lead to the Festival-Feast-Library and no treasure strategy. Abraham headed that way, but he got there by means of Remodels. Somehow he got the synergy going too late, though it was doing nicely at the end.

I did something of the same thing, but I also added some silvers and golds. I lost a silver to an early thief, but as the game went on, thieves are used less which made the treasures safer bets.

Max used thief and Gardens to rack in coppers. He only made it to 30some cards, but it was still enough to squeak out a victory. For one thing, his point accumulation started earlier than ours did.

Ben tried a thief without success. He managed to get an early Province, but then his two silvers were stolen by Max and he never recovered.

Boggle

Gili, Nadine, Elijah

Meanwhile, these guys played this quick filler while waiting for David to show up.

Tichu

David, Gili, Elijah, Nadine

When David showed up, we only had ten minutes left to Dominion, so they played a hand of this.

Agricola

Jon 50, David 42, Nadine 35, Max 35

First play for Max. Max requested to play this, as he had bought a copy and hadn’t been able to get it to the table where he plays, fearing that it would be too complex. After playing, he realize that he was right; he liked the game, but it’s too complex for his group.

David complained early on about how poorly he was doing, as usual, even though Nadine and I saw through him. He was also convinced that my few early occupations (gain a vegetable when I take one of the food spaces; add two items when I sow) put me majorly in the lead. I admit that they were decent.

However, I gained nearly twenty points in the last two rounds. If two of these had gone awry, or one of them and David achieved some other sudden coup, the end would have been different.

In my last rounds, I added my fifth clay room (+1 for the room, +2 for a minor improvement that gave me +2 for a five room house), converted to stone (+5), played an occupation that gave me an additional +1 per stone room (+5), solidified having the most/tied for most number of occupations (+3 due to an earlier played occupation), and gained a wheat (+2).

David thought he stole back the most occupations on the final round, but he hadn’t noticed that I played one on the penultimate round as well, so he only tied him. This gave him +3 as well, but didn’t prevent me from getting my points.

I had my vegetables and a stove, but I usually had to take at least one action before each harvest to ensure I had enough food. David had fantastic wheat and baking running at mid-game, and so didn’t need to worry about food the second half of the game. he also had a pasture with a bunch of each type of animal (minor improvement let him mix animals). Unfortunately, he was exactly one animal short of 3 points in each one.

Nadine expressed dissatisfaction with the artificial limitations of points for animals and produce and so on, as well as how 1 sheep is the same as 3 sheep, but different than 4 sheep. This leads to all sorts of annoying calculation that shouldn’t be necessary.

Nadine spent a very long time calculating on round 12 and 13, and in the end it didn’t matter that much. Max had good pastures, produce, and animals, but his house and bonus points were small.

Cosmic Encounter

Elijah+, Gili, Ben

Elijah always like to play this, and I thought it might make Ben happy to play something he’s familiar with. He still lost, though.

This was Gili’s second play, but had been so long since her first play that she had to relearn the game. She hadn’t been too impressed with her last play; this one she enjoyed somewhat more.

Ben played Void and something, Elijah Machine and something, Gili Visionary and something.

Traders of Carthage

Gili, Ben, Elijah

First play for Ben, and probably second or third for Elijah. Ben enjoyed this game which is weight-wise on par with R-Eco.

May 13, 2009

Participants: Jon, Hershel, Nadine, Abraham, Bill, Max

All regulars. Nadine is off to the US for two weeks after tonight.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Jon++, Hershel

I taught this to Hershel. In the first game, he played black. Already near the beginning of the game it was fairly clear that he wasn’t doing too well. Black typically kills a number more characters than white. In my case, Gimli killed the Orcs, Boromir took out Sauron, and Gandalf killed something like 5 black pieces as he stormed into Mordor. Black had one piece left to my five, with no chance of finding Frodo.

We switched it around. Gimli still killed the Orcs (on the third move, or something), but his Gandalf only managed to kill one or two dark pieces. After half the cards were gone, the Black Riders rode from Mordor nearly all the way into the Shire and began picking off the weaker characters. Finally he came to the Shire and found Sam, Frodo, and Legolas. Sam tried to save Frodo, but the Black Rider killed them all, and that was that.

Stone Age

Jon 198, Nadine 187, Hershel 152

Hershel brought his copy. This was my first play.

Stone Age is a worker placement, resource management, and set collection game. It artistically and mechanically resembles Pillars of the Earth very closely, but it’s a bit lighter. Instead of paying taxes, you have to pay food, which requires a bit more effort.

There’s no master builder phase. Instead, the big gimmick here is that the number of workers you put onto an area determines how many dice you get to roll to see how many resources you collect from your location. There are 5 things you can collect, each numbered 2 to 6. When you try to collect the resource, you roll a number of dice equal to the number of workers you allocated to the collection area and then divide the number you rolled by the number of the area, rounded down. For instance, food is 2; if you roll a total of 11 in the food area, you’ll collect 5 food. Gold is 6; roll a total of 11 in the gold area, and you’ll collect 2 gold.

Therein lies my first and major problem with the game. Dice. Over the course of the game, dice will kind of even out, but not entirely. And the type of decisions you make seem to be full of strategy, but in the end your success is pretty random. There’s no trading resources to make up for bad rolls, as there is in Settlers of Catan.

See our final scores? Would it surprise you to learn that I rolled the best, Nadine rolled slightly less well, and Hershel rolled poorly? There you go.

The winner is the one with the most victory points. You gain points in two major ways:

1) by collecting action cards which are available each round. Each action card has a cost of a few resources, gives some immediate benefit, and also gives a point bonus at the end depending on what else you collect. For example, some give you a certain number with which to multiply against the value of your automatic food production at the end of the game. If you get three cards of that type with 2, 1, and 1, and your food production is 8, then you gain a bonus of 4 times 8 at the end of the game.

Some of the cards just have symbols, and you get the square of the number of different symbols you collected in bonus points at the end of the game.

2) by collecting bonus tiles. Each bonus tile requires a certain combination of resources, and gives a bonus in victory points equal to the number value of the resources required to buy it. For example, a bonus tile that requires a gold (6) and two bricks (4 each) to acquire gives a bonus of 14 points when you buy it.

There are ways of increasing your food production (so you pay one less food per round), tools (so you can add to your dice rolls each round), and number of workers (pay one food per worker each round or lose 10 points for each unfed). And each resource area, other than food, only allows 7 workers per area, so occasionally you may be locked out of a particular area (which rarely makes any difference).

The game ends when either the cards, or one stack of bonus tiles runs out. One player can rush the game end by buying tiles from a single stack. That’s not unfair, but I don’t really like that mechanic too much.

You basically decide to concentrate on one of the few sets to collect. If two people go for the same set, you’re both probably screwed and someone else who is trying for something uncontested will win. In our three-player game, we were all acting pretty independently, but people will probably clash more in a four player game.

The master workers drawn from the bag in Pillars of the Earth supplies a tad too much luck, but it’s not in the same category as Stone Age. Planning in PotE is more rewarding and more interesting than in this game. But this game is still a decent game with ok mechanics. If a certain strategy is known to be dominant, this will balance out because more than one player will be trying to get it.

I would be much happier to play the game without dice: with dice rolls available for purchase with workers (roll 12 dice, and let players buy the dice rolls with their workers each round) or with each player drawing a random set of how many resources are available to them or to everyone each round, or some-such. Dice. Shudder.

In our game, I estimated the value of the cards versus the tiles and decided against trying for the card collection sets. Instead I took only cards that gave bonuses for the number of tiles you had (and some for the number of people you had), and then took 8 tiles. This gave me the regular points from the tiles and additional card bonuses for the tiles. And I rolled fairly well.

Nadine and Hershel each had a complete set of the card symbols (64 points each, or 8 points/card). Nadine also farmed a lot of gold with a lot of people and took a few tiles that netted her some 40 points for each one. Not enough.

Dominion

Abraham 54*, Max 34, Bill 16

First play for both Bill and Max. Abraham taught the game using the standard introductory set of cards. But he played the Villagers incorrectly, effectively playing them without using up actions to do so, and ending up with far too many actions than he should have. Bill noticed this mid-game. So his final score doesn’t really count.

I receive the two BGG bonus kingdoms in the mail, but we haven’t played with them, yet.

Cosmic Encounter

Hershel 4, Nadine 3, Abraham 3, Bill 2

Bill hasn’t played this since 1991, and this was the first play for Hershel. I tried teaching Max, too, but his head wasn’t into it. Too late, too complicated, and too crazy.

Hershel played Anti-Matter, Bill played Bully, Abraham played Vampire, and Nadine played Vulch. I don’t usually think of Anti-Matter as very strong, but everyone else did, and he won (they played to 4 bases).

Traders of Carthage

Jon+, Max

First play for Max, first two-player play for me. Everything went along docilely for some time, and no ships were pirated after scoring until mid-game. At that point, I managed to score a 5 point ship alone, and then shortly afterward a 6 point ship alone, at which point Max resigned. He was too tired to be playing anyway.

March 17, 2009

Participants: Jon, David K, Josh, Alexis, Nadine, Gili, Avraham.

We didn’t have game night last week, and this week we held it on Tuesday since I had something else to do on Wed evening.

Josh and Alexis were in the game group last year (at least, Josh was) but he moved to Boston after getting married. They were in Israel for a wedding and had time to drop by, which was excellent.

R-Eco

David 9, Josh 8, Alexis 6, Nadine 1

First plays for Josh and Alexis. They played with the colors all in the appropriate stack, but in random order. Nadine managed not to dump, but this didn’t help her as you can see.

Agricola

Nadine 42, Jon 38, Alexis 31, Josh 29

First play and explanation for Josh and Alexis. I thought I explained this before, but it felt like I was trying to explain it for the first time. Man, is that difficult. It’s not enough to just explain the victory points and actions; you have to explain the whole animal, plowing and sowing concepts, and harvesting and food concepts. I need to figure out the right order of explanation.

Josh had difficulty creating sustainable food production, so later in the game he had to take food several times. So he came in last, even though he was first to get a new family member.

He had some nice card synergies, but his best synergy he didn’t realize until later in the game, by which point it was too late to play them. Chalk it up to first game experience. He actually did pretty well with farming and animals, but had too many empty farm spaces and not enough bonus points in houses or cards.

I had only one occupation, one minor and one major improvement until close to the end game, whereupon I bought two other major improvements for the bonus points. My cards gave me two extra food for baking bread, and the ability to bake bread during the harvest. Netting 7 food during every harvest for one wheat, I was set for food throughout the game.

Nadine had a nice stone house, five people, and no empty spaces. She also had synergy with animals, so no food problems.

Dominion

David 18, Avraham 8, Gili 3

First game for Avraham, and second or third for Gili. They played the standard first game kingdoms. David was killing with a card engine that let him draw his entire deck on several occasions.

Avraham 37, Gili 24, David 15

They played with random kingdoms, including Gardens. Avraham was the only one who abused this card, ending with 7 Gardens and 44 cards (28 points from Gardens alone). I don’t know what other cards they played with.

Traders of Carthage

David, Avraham, Gili

First play for David, and second for Gili (I think). David didn’t fare very well, I understand, but I don’t know the final scores.

February 11, 2009

Participants: Jon, Gili, Nadine

Small game night, but some nice games.

Traders of Carthage

Nadine 19, Gili 17, Jon 15

A light game as an opener, in case anyone else showed up. First play for both of them, second for me.

Last time I compared the game to R-Eco: not at all in terms of game mechanics, but in terms of weight, four color collection, and hand management. I think this game is somewhat heftier. R-Eco’s randomness is very random; you do the best you can. There’s a bit more going on here, with the several ways that cards can be played and denied to your opponents.

I like it a bit more on this play than I did after the first. Nadine was confused for the first half of the game but began to pick it up in the second. Gili also liked it.

Antike

Jon 9, Nadine 7, Gili 6

First play for Gili, second for Nadine. I continue to love this game, especially when played to one less victory point than marked: makes it both quicker and less dependent on conflict. If we had played to one more victory point it would have taken another half hour and involved a lot more armies, which is fine for the right people in the right situations.

Gili realized that she wasn’t aggressive enough, and both she and Nadine think it’s good but maybe not their type of game. My experience certainly gave me an edge. I destroyed one of Gili’s temples mid-game, which gave me a decent lead, and made life more difficult for either of them. I played Greece and quickly swarmed the oceans with my vast knowledgeable fleet.

Notre Dame

Gili 58+2, Jon 58+0, Nadine 57

Gili won on the tie. A close game, as you can see. I started with 2 parks, which the others though was a great play, but of course I was struggling for cash and cubes mid-game. Nadine was flush with cash, but only went to Notre Dame once; she drove her car a lot. Gili played a very balanced game.