Tag Archive | year of the dragon

Kinneretcon November 2018

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.

Gili
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.

Jon

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.

Lorenzo

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.

Nadine

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.

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Sukkot Games Day 5779

Thank you to everyone who brought tables, chairs, snacks and games, and helped set up and clear up. A special thank you to Gili for taking care of the dinner order; for future reference Burgers Bar completely messed up by not putting names on the burgers. And thank you to Lorenzo for the m&m’s!

Antike

I don’t have the scores.

Azul

Nadine 63, Rafi  54, Mishi  41

Mishi 79, Rafi  62, Nadine 48

I started teaching this; Jon objected and took over. This was the first time I played correctly. Rafi and Mishi liked the game, and wanted to play again once they understood how it worked.

Ben 104, Yosef 86, Yael 72, Gili 65

Belfort

Gili 44, Yael 32, Ofir 32, Efi 26

Bridge

Several groups played during the day. Lorenzo played for the first time and did well.

Castles of Burgundy

Yosef 222, Jon 218, other player 170

First play for the other two.

Clans of Caledonia

Roi 173, Nadine 155, Binyamin 127, Mishi 115

We played with a few clans I haven’t played with: Roi delta discount, Nadine extra contracts, Binyamin extra guy and shipping, Mishi factory discount. Everyone took advantage of their abilities. First play for all of them.

Crokinole

Ben 145, Abie 25

Many more games were played.

Euphoria

Avi, Shalom and his kids.

Five Tribes

Ben 185, Aaron 158, Roi 144

Nadine, Rafi, Mishi, Yosef B, scoresheet is missing.

Hawaii

Gili 80, Yael 74, Aaron 68, Binyamin 66

Lords of Waterdeep

Ben 153, David 150, Avraham 138

Magic

Jon, David++

Notre Dame

Avraham R  63, Nadine 57, Yosef B 32, Mishi 28

First play for them. Yosef and Mishi didn’t realize how important it was to not be overrun by rats too early in the game, and weren’t able to recover. I made one mistake which lost me the game – I took money in order to go the Notre Dame, but then realized I didn’t have a cube, and you can’t go in with cubes already used. Avraham did well, and eventually had 4 pieces in the park.

R-Eco

Nadine 14, Mishi 7,  Ophir 6, Rafi 2, Efi 2

Yosef B 16, Nadine 6, Lorenzo 6, Mishi 3

Everyone likes this as a filler, new to most of them.

Signorie

David 168, Lorenzo 167.5, Tzvi 145

An exciting finish, though I’m not sure you can have half points.

Tichu

Jon: I trounced David in half a Tichu game and then he trounced me in a whole game later. I trounced him because he overbid. He trounced me because he had all the good cards.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 11, Assaf, Tvi with around 6 and 7.

First play for them.

Trajan

Avi 123, Jon 105, Yochai 103, Assaf 82

Year of the Dragon

David 110, Gili 98, Binyamin 86

 

Year of the Grand Tichu

Year of the Dragon

David 121, Nadine 111, Lorenzo 105, Aaron 93

First play for Lorenzo. When David arrived, he asked whether we feel like being discouraged tonight, and Aaron and I both knew he meant Year of the Dragon. Lorenzo agreed to play, and understood the game and possible strategies very well. He was second to pick people, and picked Money and Princess. He had tons of money, bought two dragons and still had money for actions. I matched David’s 11 to be first, and got a dragon, but never totally recovered. Aaron also had difficulty getting money at first, but then had enough to pay to take the dragon action and buy a double dragon.

David said he wasn’t playing his usual strategy, which is books. He usually loses all his people in the process, and Gili and I sometimes beat him by having enough people at the end. This time he didn’t play a different strategy, he played a few strategies in addition to books. Famine and taxes were four of the last five events, so we ignored rice and money too long. David built every turn, and managed to have the 6 rice he needed for the first famine, and even though he lost people in the second famine, he ended the game with 7 people and six palaces. He got around 8 points for books twice. I had one old and one young multiplier, and not that many people. Most of the game we thought David was way ahead, with Lorenzo not far behind. We had a good time playing.’

Tichu

David / Nadine +  Aaron / Lorenzo –

Aaron and Lorenzo are less experienced, but Lorenzo is very good at games in general. He says he doesn’t get Tichu yet, though he’s fine with the mechanics. David and I had both good cards and luck. I called a somewhat questionable Tichu towards the end of the game, and Aaron called Tichu. I had basically two Aces and two kings and a very long straight, and I needed one Ace to get the dragon. After the dragon I played my kings on the pair, and Aaron went over it with Aces. At that point David played a flush bomb, and led a single card to my Ace and I went out. It turned out that Aaron had a bomb that was six cards so would have beat David, but he decided he wouldn’t have been able to go out even if he had played it. In another hand, Lorenzo called an Ace, which I had even though I had passed one to David. I played the dog and David called Tichu, so calling my Ace might have helped us, though David would have called anyway.

Hannatoncon

Gili drove me, Eszter and Binyamin to Kibbutz Hannaton on Friday morning. A few people were already there, and many arrived soon after.

New game trends – Plants, lots of plants! Fruit, herbs, gardens and more. Maybe replacing farming.

Friday

Walnut Grove

We started with this, new to Yuval and Binyamin. Eszter won, beating me by one point. She made a mistake at the beginning, she thought she had a yellow farmer and board, but she had a blue one, and only realized it after setting up to produce yellow, and having returned her tiles. I had her switch to a yellow farmer instead of redrawing tiles. Everyone enjoyed playing.

Lewis & Clark

I had played this at bgg.con, and just remembered how slow it was to move up the river, which is the point of the game. It’s actually not so slow, especially by the end of the game when I understood how things worked. I wasn’t as behind as I expected to be, the other two were almost tied at the end. It’s a nice game which requires a lot of thinking and planning, with hand management, worker placement and deck building elements.

Herbaceous

My new favorite filler, though it is pretty light. After I learned it I taught it to several people who also liked it. Beautiful artwork, quick to learn and fun to play. Competitive set collection, you can take sets when you want, but can’t add to them later, so you want to maximize before other players take things.

Splendor

I had heard a lot about this award-winning game, mostly complaints that it was too light. I was pleasantly surprised, it’s a very nice game, one of the best for its length, which makes sense considering how popular it is. Easy to learn, and quick. I learned in a two-player game, we stopped for dinner, but she was close to winning, and I wasn’t. I played again later, a 4-player game with experienced players. I won on my turn, but the others all had an extra turn, and another player tied with me. The tie-breaker is number of cards you played – but we were tied again. I had set myself up to get two nobles in the hope that one would work out, I managed to get both, frustrating Zoya who was trying for the same ones.

Dr. Eureka

A brain and dexterity speed game. I wasn’t good at it, but it’s fun. Binyamin really liked it, and did well. People played it a lot.

Isle of Skye

I like it better now that I understand it. (And I’ll be able to see how it resembles the actual scenery this summer.) I was in last place the whole game, which gave me a lot of extra money, which I used to buy my own tiles. I hadn’t realized scoring and placement aspects and left a hole that no tiles matched. On the last round, two tiles for sale fit, and I was first to buy. One of them even closed off two scoring tiles; I ended up coming in second.

Mutant Meeples

A nice and original game. I couldn’t think fast enough, but it was after midnight. Binyamin liked it.

Walking around, I pointed out a few move options for a new Five Tribes player after she tried to land on an empty tile, but then saw that she understood the game and could do OK on her own. That made me realize how much I wanted to play the game.

Saturday

Five Tribes

So I got players to agree to Five Tribes starting off in the morning. One player was new, he did well with a combination of two assassin djinns – use the assassinated piece, and assassinate two. He got two tiles twice with it, but then the reds ran out. Maria had a djinn that let her place on tiles with meeples. Dima got 25 points one turn, and blocked me on a card I needed. I was doing cards but then stalled when the ones I needed weren’t available, and I didn’t  have much else, no djinns. Then the seventh and eighth cards I needed came out and I got them, and then at the end the last one came out. But there weren’t many moves left at that point, and I couldn’t land on a buy two tile. The new player took two cards, which let me get what I needed with a buy one tile. The whole game I thought I was behind, but was thinking how much I liked playing anyway. In the end I somehow won by around 30 points. I was second in yellows from a late move which helped, and no one else did a lot of cards.

Year of the Dragon

All new players, who had a hard time with the unforgiving nature of the game. We warned Maria about rice and disease, but she wanted fireworks, and did Yuval. They had around 7 each time, with a disagreement because we ran out of firework pieces. I said you can’t run out, so we used extra people to represent two tiles for Yuval. Maria hadn’t realized that we were doing that, she thought she would be ahead until his move. So we did let her redo her move to take fireworks, for 8 vs his 7. I’ve never been in a game with so many. She ended up losing all her people and palaces, ending with one palace level, but she did a good job compensating with dragons, and didn’t do too badly. People also built a lot, somewhat related to rice events being late. I won by a bit, even though I made mistakes and was down to four people at the end. The players understood the game but it is really hard, and hard to enjoy losing people. Dima did well, close to the end of the game he asked what happens when you don’t have space in your palaces for a person you take, I said that’ what everyone’s been doing the whole game, replacing people.

Fabled Fruit

They wanted a light game after that, so someone explained Fabeled Fruit, by Friedemann Friese. It’s a nice game and fun to play, good for a light game but a bit much to set up as a filler. Kids would enjoy it. We played two games then stopped, even though there is a nice mechanic of new cards and placement options coming in all the time. Dima won both games.

Broom Service

We spent a long time learning this, including starting the first round over because I misunderstood movement options, or they misunderstood my question about it. We stopped after two rounds. The main mechanic is trying to guess / deduce if other players have the same cards as you. Sometimes you know, like if they’re out of cards, and sometimes you’re guessing. The mechanic is fine, but not interesting enough to carry a whole game for another five rounds.

Tobago

I haven’t played this in ages. Someone else came over to explain it which took a while, but after that it went well, all new players except me. I lost three treasure cards because of the skull, I still came in third out of four. They agreed that our house rule makes sense, no skulls.

Eszter’s best new game – Insider. I saw people playing it on Friday, and on Saturday when I came in a group was engaged in a serious discussion that sounded normal, until I realized they were playing this, social deduction.

Gili’s best new game – Rococo and Grand Austria Hotel.

Binyamin’s best new game – Grand Austria Hotel, Insider, Rococo, Impotek, Isla Dorado, Istanbul, Eureka, Isla Dorado.

I’m not used to people dropping in and out to the extent they did on Shabbat, and almost everyone left before Shabbat was out. After playing the Kinneret miklat, we all appreciated a nice room with windows. It started raining Shabbat afternoon so we closed the windows by the games, but ended up moving them away. Then the electricity went out, but it came back on not long after. Most of the participants were at the previous two cons, so it’s great to see and play with the same friendly group.

The Jerusalem bridge ready for President Trump.

More Puerto Rico

Techelet brought her friend Tikvah, who is also in the Beit Shemesh group.

Master Gallery

Yael 82, Aaron 76, Nati 72, Gili 70, Nadine 69

A light filler while waiting. I had played once at Gili’s. It’s engaging, but a lot of luck. I had the fewest cards each of the four rounds because I didn’t get any that give extra cards and the others all did. Nati pointed out that then I end up with more card choices, but he agreed it’s not worth it.

Puerto Rico

Tikvah 53, Techelet 47, Nadine 45

They had both played, but not in a while. They did things we don’t usually do, but I know things tend to work anyway because it’s such a great game. They both had factories so were crafting to get money, even if they had to toss 6 goods. Tikvah got a warehouse and a harbor, and a tobacco boat, and took a tobacco plantation so that Techelet couldn’t get hers going. I was the only with coffee, but after trading once took a ship. I had a harbor and took a wharf instead of the first big building, but they were way ahead of me in money, Techelet had two large buildings, and Tikvah had Customs House. A good game.

Year of the Dragon

Gili 112+, Aaron 112, Yael 98, Nati 89

A tough game, first play for Nati and Yael. At the end, Gili told Aaron that rice would give him an extra point over taking money, he wasn’t clear on the conversion ratio, but she said he can’t win by one point. He did, but then they realized he should have one less, so it was a tie. Gili looked up the tie-breaker – ahead in turn order. She was barely ahead, on top of his piece.

R-Eco

Yael 11, Nadine 9, Nati 5

Nati 18, Yael 8, Nadine -3

Yael was waiting for her parents to pick her up after the theater, I said they may as well wait inside. And may as well play a game, first  play for both of them. In the end her parents decided to go out to eat instead of picking them up, but we got to play R-Eco. They both liked it, Nati said he thought it would be different second time, but said there wasn’t really more strategy. I had good luck in the first game and didn’t dump so got 4 points, next game I had bad luck and Nati good luck, sitting in front of me. Yael calculated to end the first game at the right time when she’d win.

January 11, 2016

Participants: Nadine, Jon, David, Elad, Preston, Aaron, Schneur, Tchelet, Eszter

Nadine hosted.

Magic: The Gathering

David+, Jon

David continues his winning streak. I had a sucky deck.

R Eco

David 11, Nadine 5, Elad 3, Jon -3

First play for Elad. I had one of each color chip, I think.

Amerigo

Jon 146, Schneur 138, Preston 136, David 86

First play for all but me. David made some early errors based on misunderstanding the rules and was disheartened thereafter. As usual, everyone thought the cube tower was cool, but questioned about how it affected planning.

Year of the Dragon

Elad 105, Nadine 95, Tchelet 87, Aaron 85, Eszter 70

First play for Elad and Tchelet, who appear to have done well. Elad managed to get 3 double dragons, which is nearly unheard of. He got 10 points in the last round.

Lo Ra

Aaron 41, Nadine 36, Elad 30

Elad did poorly in the first two scoring phases, but made a decnt comeback in the last.

Tichu

Jon/Schneur 960, David/Preston 240

First play for Preston, who did a great job. David lost an early Tichu which put them in negative points for a few rounds.

 

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?

Antike

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

20161020_145719Bang the Dice Game

Sheriff Yael, Bandits+

Shariff Yael, Deputy Binyamin S, Bandits+

Bridge

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.

Codenames

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.

Hawaii

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.

Magic

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.

Nefarious

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

20161020_145800Pax Pamir

Gili, Cliff, Shalom, Refaela

Gilli and Cliff won together.

Phoenicia

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.  

Scythe

Ofer

 

Signorie

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

Steam

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.

20161020_170142Tzolk’in

Eliezer 68, Alan Greenspan 66, Michael 61, Ofer

Tichu

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.

20161020_132939

Bang the Dice Game