Tag Archive | walnut grove

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.


172 Ariel, 154 Avraham, 123 Aaron, 110 Assaf


Yael and others

Bora Bora

Emily 149, Assaf 139, Gili 139, Eitan 130

Taught by Gili.


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.


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.


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.


Daniel 33, Yael 25, Ben 29, Yedidya 25

Ben 22, Yael 20, Daniel 15, Yedidya 11


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.


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.


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).



Gili was going to come, but after checking that we had three players, she appreciated being able to rest. Lior and Raz returned.

Walnut Grove

Lior 31, Nadine 21, Raz 19

New to both Lior and Raz. They liked the game. Lior had two bonus card multipliers for 12 points, giving him the game – well played. While checking the rules I noticed that the city page says you can use coins to pay costs, and in the feeding section it doesn’t mention the coin option, so after I had paid 4 coins for food and wood, we switched to playing that you can’t do that. Raz had 4 fenced areas but no bonus tiles, and she drew 4 zero coins on her last turn.


Lior 99, Nadine 99, Raz 68

These are the people with whom I had a 3-way tie in Puerto Rico, as they reminded me. Lior was far ahead the whole game, getting 4 points per shield, and the round bonuses, I never got them. Raz got the pay only one foot tile at the beginning of the first round, but then had tons of feet leftover, I should have noticed and explained the islands and resource switching tile again. So she would have done much better. I was the only one getting boats, but Raz would have if she had realized how they worked. Lior had the boat bonus tile, he only got one surfer, but stopped me from scoring for 4 boats. Though I had the fruit bonus one and only one village, so I would have had no place. I haven’t done fruits and one village since I first played, I had both fruit bonus tiles, one double, and around 7 fruits. I had a two point hula dancer, and the 5 point tile, and points for shields but I only got about 6 points from it. Somehow I caught up with all the fruits, which also gave me extra resources to use on islands during the game, I only got more than 4 point islands the last two rounds, and the 9 point island didn’t show up. They liked this game too.

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

First timer Avraham

20141014_122457Jon, Sa’arya

Old timer Elisheva

Ofer and Oran


Alien Frontiers

Jon 9, Avi 6, Ofer 6, Bill 1

First play for all except Jon.


Eszter 53, Binyamin 37, Elisheva

New to them; they liked it.


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.


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


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.


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.


David+, Jon

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


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


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.


Jon, Ofer

Jon: I taught him and he creamed me.

Avraham, Nadine

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


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!


The Wild West

Well, pioneers actually. We had two tourists from northern England who are leaving tomorrow morning, Rich and Kate.

2014-04-09 19.46.37R-Eco

Rich 13, David 12, Kate 11, Avi 3, Nadine 2

We were going to play Love Letter but had too many people before we started. New to Rich and Kate who did well, way better than me. They didn’t dump so got a bonus. We played random chips.

Walnut Grove

Nadine 24, Avi 23, Rich 18

First play for Rich and Avi. They both caught on well after one round, but Rich didn’t have large enough areas to support his four workers so he was short cubes for feeding. He ended with two neighborly helps for -4 from a respectable 22 points. Avi got the bonus for coins, and sold a lot of cubes, and he had a shed. I didn’t sell as often, but it was earlier in the game, and I drew higher coins. So I had 2 silvers and 2 golds for 6, he had 4 silvers and 1 copper for 4, plus his bonus of 5, but I had a bonus of 3 for buildings. So with a switch of one coin he would have won, so he didn’t like that element of luck.

2014-04-09 20.52.55Homesteaders

Gili 53, Eszter 52, Kate 50, David 49

First play for Kate, and Eszter who’s been wanting to play this. At first Gili’s score was 51 and we though Eszter won, until David recalculated her end game options. They did correct a few rules as they went along.


Nadine, Avi, Rich

I ended with 2 sets +3, the others with 1 set, +8 for Avi, +4 for Rich. New to both of them. First time I’ve played almost right, with players taking advantage of the trading. We had to correct the planting a bit after I checked the rules partway through the game.

Love Letter

Avi +++

Rich, Avi and I played a bit, Rich was very familiar with the game and cards, new to Avi who really liked it. We played twice more, me, Avi and David. It is fun with deduction and luck.

Misha and Masha

Gili, Ori, Michael, Misha, Masha, Nadine

Ori returned after a long absence. He took his Eminent Domain; I thought I had lost the rules because I remember reading them, but he said they had been in his car. Misha and Masha are gamer friends of Michael’s.

No Thanks

Misha 8, Gili 25, Ori 39, Nadine 43, Masha 74

An opening filler, new to some.

2014-02-19 20.28.39Dungeon Lords

Ori 28, Michael 21, Gili 0

Gili said she could have not played all evening because she ended up with a score of zero, she’s taking it off her wishlist. She liked the game, but said I wouldn’t like it and she doesn’t think our group would play it, and it takes practice to be good. This was Ori’s second play, it’s his game.

Walnut Grove

Nadine 26, Misha 19, Masha 14

New to both of them. It’s a tight game – they got the mechanics, but it’s hard to calculate everything. And I was lucky with coins. They liked the game.

2014-02-19 20.28.48 Puerto Rico

Nadine 29, 15, 6, 50  Masha 11, 19, 7, 37  Misha 14, 13, 27 (S, B, B)

It’s always interesting to play this with different people. They’ve played 4 or 5 times. They’re good at the game, but use a completely different strategy. They passed up corn almost the whole game, Masha only had indigo and coffee, and 4 quarries. She had hospice and hacienda, which gave her a lot of indigo, Misha also got a hospice, and an office. Because there was always corn available, by the end I was producing 5 corns and 1 tobacco, I never specialize like that. Masha was producing 4 indigos and 2 coffees, but the boats were blocked so she tossed a lot. Misha had sugar and indigo. I almost got a harbor but fortunately realized that I should get a wharf instead, this was very early in the game because I got an early corn trade with small market, it was a while before I needed it. Masha did well with her 4 quarries, she could have gotten another big building the end, though I was close also. She took mayor to end the game on purpose to stop me from shipping again.They pretty much don’t ship, or didn’t til now, Masha learned a lot from seeing a different way to play. I didn’t say anything the whole game because they knew the game well. Misha took small market after a few building rounds. So I made up for all the games I lose online against David and Ken.

2014-02-19 22.49.35Candle Quest

Misha+, Masha, Nadine

They caught on well. We played the basic game. Misha got two unlit candles, Masha got one, and I didn’t any. I got fewer dancing candles than they did, but I bought one. Misha auctioned one and got it for 6. He ended with two limes, so he thought he hadn’t won because of the duplicates, but he had nine cards, with the right eight candles in addition. So he did very well money and card-wise.

Love Letter

Masha 2, Misha 1, Nadine 1

We stopped when the other game finished. They’ve played before, more than I have. I got a point at the end, but I lost quickly in the other rounds. I know there’s strategy, or at least relevant analysis, but I’m not good at it. It is a fun filler, and with short hands it’s easy to stop anytime.


2013-11-06 21.22.33Walnut Grove

Nadine 27, Bill 25, Eszter 20, Opher 18

Opher lives in Baka and has been looking for a game group, he moved to Israel two years ago. I billed this as a short game that takes about an hour after teaching, which would work because Shirley was going to show up later. Bill didn’t believe me and kept pointing out how long our short game took, over two hours. By the time we finished it was too late to play a game with Shirley. We did interrupt for ordering food (Burgerim), eating and conversation, and Bill and Opher were new to the game. Bill did very well, he had two bonus tiles and two fenced in areas, he got 5 points for a large area. Opher didn’t realize which bonus tile he took, if he had, he would have taken the one Bill took, and gotten 3 additional points. Eszter had one bonuse tile for stored items, she had 6. Bill and I only took extra workers at the end of the game, and we both had one hut, Bill got his later than I got mine.

Nothing worked for me, I didn’t get good tiles to make large areas, I went last in turn order, I wasn’t in the right place to get workers, I had to spend coins on my first move, and I almost never produced or sold for the bonuses on the year cards. Because my tiles weren’t working I decided to just try to get fenced in areas, the first time I’ve done that. I got one bonus tile for them, for 10 points total, and I had 2 gold coins at the end, and another bonus tile for 4 points. Not getting the extra worker til late worked, Opher had a lot of workers from the beginning but had a lot of cubes left at the end. Eszter, Bill and I took and paid off begging tiles. Eszter had two yellow workers which seemed to be doubled a lot, or you notice when you have two. Everyone enjoyed the game.




Close games

Gili, Eszter, Nadine

David was going to come with Avi but wasn’t feeling well.

Walnut Grove

20130814_210110Nadine 26, Eszter 20, Gili 19

Eszter had played once but didn’t remember much, but it’s easy to catch on. You never get to do everything you want. I was able to plan but it’s still hard. I was lucky with tiles, they were all pretty good, and I managed to get 4 closed areas. I took two bonus tiles though I lost coin points because I didn’t have the cubes. If I had realized I’d have closed areas I would have taken that bonus tile, but I got points from the points for bonus tiles one and for huts. Eszter had a bonus tile for huts, she had bought a hut and barn, I just had a barn, Gili had for coins. Eszter took 4 coins at the end instead of a farmer, but only got one point. Gili had 4 workers, one more than we did. She didn’t realize that the board edge didn’t count as closed in, but since that was the last tile she placed we let her move to where it did close in an area. Gili and Eszter sold at the end so I couldn’t, I got my second bonus tile. We enjoyed playing the game.

Louis XIV

20130814_213937Gili 55, Eszter 54, Nadine 53

Gili’s favorite game, though it’s work to play, a lot of thinking. I thought I had bad cards but they weren’t so bad. I couldn’t get a second card on my first turn and lost a chip, same thing happened to Gili later. The game is easier and less competitive with 3. We played with Gili’s card point variant. Gili had 6 points from shields, I had eight, and Eszter had 20. I had mentioned at the beginning that someone once won on shields, which is almost what Eszter did because she had far fewer cards than we did.