A nice group of us attended the fourth Kinneretcon this year – Jon, Saarya, Tal, Robby, Gili, Eszter, Binyamin, Lorenzo, Haim, Nadine, Nadine F, Helen
Helen is a new gamer, she liked getting to learn new games, including Azul, Ticket to Ride and Pioneer Days.
In The Year of the Dragon, Stone Age, Kingsburg, Alchemists, Horizons, Luxor, Azul, Bears and Bees.
I liked Horizons, and it might be better with more players as Jon said. I also liked Luxor, a race game with hand management.
Key Flow: card game version of Keyflower. Not bad, but I miss the auction from Keyflower.
Unstable Unicorns: Very cute but godawful game.
Horizons: ho hum game of colonizing planets. Might be better with 3-4 players.
Pioneer Days: very good Euro from TMG with replayability.
Ex Libris: nice game of tile arranging with powers. Not punishing enough and might not be well-balanced, but correctable I think.
Railroad Ink: nice short game for (in theory) an arbitrary number of players. No interaction between players, everyone should do the best with the same game options.
Blood Maison: investigative card game. Not the best luck/fun ratio imo.
Titan Race: racing game with dice drafting. Very direct interactions. Actually fun, especially for younger players.
Azul: nice as always
Ex Libris: design and mechanics are nice. However, too many moving options make the game less elegant. The huge number of combination of strategies and possibilities made me concerned about balance. Looking to try it again.
Scythe: I love this game.
Pioneer Days: very nice game. I thought I was doing well, but at the end I had not understood the game at all :).
Who Goes There?: the game that impressed me the most. It’s a survival co-op with the possibility that one player becomes “the enemy” in the middle of the game. Only negative is that you only know if the Bads or the Goods win at the end of the game. Still a great late night game.
Imaginarium: the pictures are great, but the game mechanic (card drafting, card combination and action selection) could be better.
Ex Libris: An interesting game. Jon’s Trash Golem power was unbalanced, even though he didn’t win with it. I didn’t realize what was important for scoring, Lorenzo did and won.
Herbaceous: I taught this to a few people as a filler, it’s a nice quick game, and pretty.
Scythe: My first play, I really liked the game. And did better than I expected to, partly because one of my missions was to get $20, which helped towards the scoring which is based on money. The 4 of us who were new had close scores, Lorenzo had twice as many points. It looks like a fighting and area control game, but there are other strategies with building and resource management.
Reef: A very simple game, which I managed to not do well at. It doesn’t seem as nice for kids as Takenoko.
Puerto Rico: I taught it to the one player who hadn’t played, and answered rules questions for the other two. I didn’t remember that Construction Hut is of no use when you take Settler yourself, the other players took early buildings that our group doesn’t take, such as Construction Hut, Hospice and Hacienda. Of course, the player with 3 Quarries won.
Lanterns: A nice game, but the score seemed related to turn order rather than quality of play. It’s tactical, the first player had 44 points, next one 43, and last one, me, 42. The scoring chips decrease as you go, so the first player advantage makes sense. Very pretty, quick and fun.
Firenze: After I decided to play, I realized that I had played before and hadn’t like it. I didn’t like it any better this time. Experience helps, but there is a lot of luck, which can be mitigated somewhat but not interesting to me.
Dinosaur Island: I taught this to Haim and another player. I didn’t remember the setup details well so it took a while. After we started the other player said that it’s not so complicated. Haim kept saying he had no idea what was going on, but he won. I shortened the game by one Objective card, and didn’t use the Hooligans.
Tichu: Various partners and partial games, always fun. Jon and Saarya played against me partnering Tal and Robby, we were winning after a few rounds when we stopped for dinner. Jon and I wanted to play against Roee and Zoya, who were taking turns with their 7-month-old, and then had to leave to get their other kids. Jon and I played against Zoya and Saarya, then Roee and Zoya, but only a few hands. Playing against Saarya, at the end of a GT I had called I played 2 fives and lost, my other card was a king, and I knew all the aces were out, but forgot right then.