Tag Archive | tzolk’in

Chanukah Games

Second night of Chanukah, most people were busy.

Love Letter

Nadine 2, Chaim 1. We stopped when Lorenzo came. It was luck and guessing, not deduction.


For Lorenzo to try it, he liked it; we all liked the M’n’M’s.


Lorenzo 65, Nadine 54, Chaim 33

First play for Chaim. He lost 15 points for not being able to feed workers. Lorenzo said he understood the game better this time, second play. Chaim had six workers, Lorenzo five and I had four, and buildings to feed all of them for the last two feedings. No one bought a Monument.


Lorenzo 16, Chaim 13, Nadine 11

Lorenzo was happy to try this, he had wanted to but hadn’t gotten a chance at Kinneretcon. Chaim had three Merchants and Lorenzo one. I had a four point card in my hand, but would have had to collect more coins before playing it. Lorenzo noted that there is significant luck.


May 03, 2017

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

We played at Nadine’s place, because we expected someone with low mobility to attend, but he didn’t make it in the end.


Jon 28, Daniel 27, Nadine 24

First plays of this simple filler game for Daniel and Nadine, Nadine already didn’t like it before she started playing. With the exception of Year of the Dragon (which I think has too many “negative” points), Nadine doesn’t like games with negative points.

Hansa Teutonica

David 39, Jon 37, Haim 34, Daniel 32

First plays for David and Daniel, second for Haim. I was last in turn order and I went for the “remove three cubes” bonus so that I could have a clearer path to my third action. All of us, except for Haim (who was third player), got to three actions quickly, and David eventually got to 4. As usual, the person with the most actions won, proving once again that you either get to the most actions or spend your game specifically fighting the one that does.

I got two out the three bonus points from the “points” city, while David built a large network and got to 3 points per house in the network. He was hampered a little bit because he never got past white spaces in the color track.


Gili 67 + 1/4, Nadine 67

A close game, with Gili winning by a single extra food worth 1/4 of a point. They played only two players because they were expecting two other people to show up (who never did) and we took the other four players.


Jon + Nadine 1000+, David + Haim 605 +

First or second play for Haim. David and Haim began with a reasonable lead, and we all moved up slowly. David called Tichu for each of the first four hands, making 3 of them. Then I called a Grand Tichu which essentially caught us up, and then we got Tichu and both went out first, leaving us at 995. We tossed the game in when I went out first on the next round (with at least some points).

February 22, 2017

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

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

Five Tribes

Gili 157, Aviv 156, Noa 143, Yael 140

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


Nati 69, Aaron 61, Daniel 6

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


David 175, Jon 163, Nadine 131

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

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

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

Lo Ra

Jon 37, David 33, Nadine 28

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


Jon/Aaron 1120, David/Nadine 680

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



February 08, 2017

Participants: Nadine, Jon, Riva, Elliot, Noa, Avishag, Yoshi, Gili, Daniel

First time coming for Riva and Elliot, who are new to Israel. I’m very late with this posting, so I forgot much of what happened.


Riva, Noa, Nadine, Avishag

Nadine writes: We picked it quickly, before deciding who was playing or considering other games we should have chosen based on experience and interest. Riva did a good job despite not understanding a few details. Noa understood the game well and explained things to other players. Avishag was hurt the most from not understanding the game and my explanation mistakes. She started cleaning up before I wrote down the scores.


Jon+, Eliot, Yoshi, Gili, Daniel

I brought this out of storage, having not played it for some time. Still a great game, and a good pick for new players, such as Elliot. First time for everyone else. I won by a very small amount.


Jon, Eliot, Yoshi, Gili, Daniel

We also played this, but I don’t remember who won (it wasn’t me).


Tzolk’in Love

Love Letter

David, Yael, Nadine, Ido

We played three games without Ido, then one after he came. New to Yael and Ido, they both caught on quickly to the strategic aspect and bluffing. We each won a game.


David 67, Ido 61, Nadine 58, Yael 43

David complained a lot even though he was doing fine, he said he was surprised he won. He took a strong monument in the second to last turn, giving him 3 points per placed skull, it was almost full and he placed another one. I had placed three, which helped him. He beat me to the top of the yellow by one point, I had the top of the green. Ido and Yael got points for corn at the end, first play for both of them. During the game Ido dropped one of his workers, but he didn’t hear it hit the floor, and we couldn’t find it. He finally found it in the table cavity below the extension piece.

Mazal tov to David on the birth of a new granddaughter last night! Refuah shlema to Jon who wasn’t feeling well.


Sukkot Games Day 5777

20161020_165201A lot of attendees with more new faces than usual.

Thank you to everyone who helped set up and clean up, a big help. Thank you especially to David for taking care of the long food order. We ordered from Pollo Loko for the first time. David had them read back the names for each item, but the order came without any names, missing one item, and without silverware or napkins. When David called to complain they said people need to request those. You would think with a large order they might ask if we want?


Yael+, Eszter, Binyamin S, Avi, David E

20161020_145719Bang the Dice Game

Sheriff Yael, Bandits+

Shariff Yael, Deputy Binyamin S, Bandits+


Avi / Nadine, Ben / Jon

20161020_170415We played one hand before switching to Tichu, Avi made the 3NT that we bid.

Empires: Age of Discovery

Gili 104, Shnuer 94, Aaron 70, Arie 50

Castles of Burgundy

Gili 242, Yuval 206, Avi E 180, Yedidya 129

20161020_121905Gili taught this, first play for the others.


Jon: I taught this to David C, Avi Einot, and Yokhay, and they all liked it. In the first game, Avi and I gave clues, in English to David C and Yokhay, which didn’t always go so well since they are Hebrew speakers and we are English speakers. In the second game, Avi gave clues to me in English and Yokhay gave clues to David in Hebrew. Sometimes they switched to English in order to give a clue that is one word in English but two words in Hebrew.

Five Tribes

Eszter  138, Dov 129, Tal 114, Nimrod 107

Gold West

David 115, Eszter 98, Nadine 81

Eszter taught us. Then when we saw Ezra wasn’t playing a game, she taught it again to him. After being interrupted by dinner, Ezra ended up leaving, but we finally played. I didn’t get all the rules right away, even when I did, I didn’t like the resource movement mechanic. Eszter helped us with recommendations, David liked the game.


Gili 104, Binyamin S 90, Eitan 86, Emily 70

20161020_225519It’s Alive


King of Tokyo

Avi+, Nadine, Gili, David, Yedidya

I killed Gili, David and Yedidya, but then Avi killed me to win.

Lo Ra

Nadine 35, Shneur 27, Aaron 20

New to both, they liked the game. Before counting most and least money, Shneur had 32, Nadine 30.


Jon++, David +

David says Jon is on a long winning streak. Jon: David and I drafted cards and I ended up with a relatively tight deck that had some fliers and creature control, but nothing else spectacular. In the first game, I drew as well as I could have, but I had limited land after the initial opening hand and David took me down with bigger creatures.after killing my fliers. In the second game, David was entirely mana screwed, with a hand full of blue cards and no blue lands. In the third game, I was able to eke out another win where both of us had average draws.


Ben didn’t win, I don’t know who else played.

20161020_145800Pax Pamir

Gili, Cliff, Shalom, Refaela

Gilli and Cliff won together.


Jon, David, Avi, Aaron

Jon: David made one strategic and one tactical mistake in the penultimate and ultimate rounds. Avi thought it was too hard to catch up once ou were losing (although with more experience, hopefully no one will be losing by too much). I taught the game again to David, Avi, and Aaron. I hadn’t played it in a while, and we are not sure that we got the action card availability mechanics correct. David took a wide lead in the middle of the game and held it, but he spent one 20161020_170126round too long building up his infrastructure. I used that one round to gain a huge amount of victory points; that was the penultimate round. On the last round, he neglected (forgot) to deprive me of a card I used to keep my lead. While I would have gotten almost as many points anyway, it was a mistake.  





Ben 154, Nadine 133, Assaf 120

20161020_170110First play for Ben, second for Assaf. Ben complained the whole time that he wasn’t getting the game, and about his limited possibilities, though of course he did well. I don’t think he liked the game despite winning. He’s right about the luck elements, such as which flag tiles are available and which ones you need. Assaf did well with marrying daughters into cities, he placed them all in one city which limited his end game bonuses, which lost him 8 or 12 points, and he didn’t invest in many white discs. I concentrated on the book track, not enough to beat Ben’s training of sons – and he also got points from the book track.

Slap Deck

Jon: I taught this to several new people and played several times. Many people liked the game a lot, especially David C (guy from my work who came for the first time), Avi Einot, and Yokhay Liot (the last two guys are new to me and I met them at the end of the evening).

20161020_105552Smiley Faces

Gili, Yuval, David, Avi


Jon 55, Nati 52, David C 52, Yael 47

Jon: first plays for Yael, Nati, and David C, who all liked the game. I invited them to gang up on me, and they did some of the time but not all of the time. They also all played very well, but I managed to get a 2 or 3 point lead by mid game and just managed to keep hold of it until the end.


Eliezer 68, Alan Greenspan 66, Michael 61, Ofer


Avi / Nadine, David / Yedidya+

Avi / Nadine 915, David / Ben 1050+

Avi and I had a pair of kings overtaken by a pair of aces twice, ruining our plans.

20161020_212706Jon / Yechiel 1195, Aaron / Shneur 605

Jon: I played with Assaf’s friend Yechiel from Kokhav Hashachar (first play) against Aaron and Shnuer (first or second play). Yechiel made some beginner mistakes, but played very well for his first time. He even called Tichu twice (made it once). I called it three times and made it twice. In one of the times I made it, Aaron on my right played his second to last card (a 7) and I called Tichu, which shocked him. I played an 8. Luckily for me, my partner played his K so Aaron could not play his last card, which was a K. I overtook my partner’s K with one of my aces, played a long straight, then a full house of Q’s over aces, and then got out with the dog.

In another interesting hand, I pulled in my opening 2 aces, 3 Q’s. 3 tens, a straight 2 to 6, and the phoenix. David and Avi’s advice for passing was to pass one 10 to each other player, but I decided to pass the 2, 3, and 4. I got back 2 4’s and the dragon, making an easy tichu. Aaron also called and made or lost some tichus. At one point, one hand took us from 795, and them at 105, to us 695 and them 405, and then us 695 them 605. But those two hands were their only streak. In the next hand it was 995 to 605, and then 1195 to 605.

20161020_170110Year of the Dragon

Nadine 105, Ben 96, Shneur 81, Assaf 79, Ezra 76

New to everyone except me, Ben had played once. This is a very hard game to get on the first play but they all did well, especially Ben. Assaf jumped ahead of me in turn order before the game and took a dragon, I took one on the next round. Ezra started with Books but couldn’t maintain it, no one else focused on it either. Ben had a lot of people, but was slower with round points. I did single building for a while until I finally took a builder. I took a Monk at the beginning for turn order, and was unexpectedly able to keep him til the end of the game. I got one double one, Ben had two double ones.


Bang the Dice Game


A lot of teaching

Attended: Nadine, Aaron, Schneur, Haim, David, Ben, Jon, Oshrat, Lior, Francis, Helen. Oshrat had been in touch with Gili, she brought Lior. Jon called at 8:45 and was surprised that we hadn’t started any games yet, so we waited for him for PR. Bon Voyage to Jon’s daughter, and Ben’s niece, Tal, who is off to a semester in Germany.

Love Letter

I taught Aaron and Schneur, Schneur won our first two games. Haim joined in, he had played before and did well. When David came I let him take my place because I wasn’t doing well, David and Aaron both won some rounds. They all liked playing.


Aaron 72, Ben 59, Haim 55

I taught this while we were waiting for more people to arrive, new to all three of them – Aaron had played once but didn’t remember too much. They really liked the game. Ben was behind but got a Monument giving him 22 points.

Settlers of Catan

Oshrat +, Lior, Francis, Helen

Then I taught Settlers, Oshrat had played before. Helen left early so Jon played for her for a few turns, but then left to play Tichu. They did well at catching onto how to play, and enjoyed the game. Thank you to the players who remembered to move my table back.

Puerto Rico

David 49, Schneur 47, Jon 43, Nadine 37

David taught this to Schneur while I was teaching Settlers, and we played a few practice rounds. Before we started I said Schneur as the new player should get corn, which led to a discussion of which starting positions are strongest, Jon said fourth then third, which were the positions David and Schneur played. Jon and David had Factories, but were each surprised when they were ready to build that the cost was 8, even though David had set it up that way. I made one bad mistake, not trading which would have let me buy a big building, and I didn’t play so well in general. David and Schneur had two large buildings, I had one. Jon took a Wharf instead of a large building, which seems to not have been worth it. When he was discussing that whether it was a good move or not depended on how long the game lasted, I didn’t realize that he knew he wasn’t going to get a large building. But he had 5 corn, and crafted and shipped at least 4 times. I was on his right, so barely got to ship anything from his crafts. It was fun to play, we haven’t played in person or online in ages because the site we played on crashed, and it’s not on Yucata.


David/Nadine 1000+, Jon/Schneur 135+

We didn’t calculate the exact score on the last hand, David made a Tichu. First play for Schneur, who liked it and did well. We all had mainly bad hands, no grand tichus, one bomb. David called Tichu on the first hand and made it easily in two hands. I got the Phoenix a lot and always passed it to David, even when I had the Dragon. Except once, while trying to decide which to pass to David, I realized that I should maybe keep them both and call Tichu myself, so I passed him the Dog. My hand wasn’t that good otherwise, I didn’t really have entries, but I called Tichu because I had given him the Dog. I ended up making it somehow, Jon didn’t have a good hand to block with and kept letting me get rid of low cards. David and I were very lucky a few other times and both went out first, with bad or medium hands, but the opponents had worse hands. At one point David won a trick with a 3 over a 2. On the last hand Schneur bombed David’s straight after David had called Tichu, leaving David with one card, and Schneur with three. I was able to get the lead, feeling bad that I didn’t have the Dog. I played a low single card, but since it was passing through Schneur who played high, I didn’t expect it to work, but David had the Dragon. I don’t think I made any mistakes, it’s been a while. Of course luck helps.