Tag Archive | yinsh

November 10, 2010

Participants: Jon, Mace, Nadine, Gili, Nechama, Elijah, Rachel A

Looks like we’re stuck with small game nights for a while. I apologize that I’m writing this without notes right now, so I’m missing some of the scores and the names of the new Puerto Rico expansion buildings.

Yinsh

Jon 3, Mace 0

I taught this to Mace, who didn’t take well to it.

El Grande

Mace 98, Jon 94, Nadine, Elijah, Gili/Nechama

First plays for Mace and Nechama. Nechama actually played as a team with Gili. Our group tends to run long with certain games, and this is one of them. It took about three and a half hours.

Nadine has a habit of winning this game, which I tell everyone whenever she plays, much to her annoyance. She believes that people will prjudicely gang up on her as a result, which they don’t really do until she starts winning. I haven’t looked at the records recently, but I’m pretty sure she really does win most of her games. She started off ok in this one, too, but eventually fell behind.

I usually try for a “second-place in many regions” strategy, which works right until the card that scores only the first place in every region shows up and kills me. In this game I actually didn’t have that many cubes on the board at all. Somehow, through the judicious placing in lightly contested areas and some interim scoring cards, it looked like I was winning about mid-way during the game. Of course, in El Grande, it’s better to be second place, because first place gets ganged up on. And wouldn’t you know, second place Mace pulled to a close victory in the end.

Mace poured a lot of his cubes into the Castillo. He, and Nadine and Gili/Nechama, contested heavily for a few places, sometimes with 10 or more cubes each in one area. Actually, the only reason I did as well as I did was choosing the right place for my Castillo placements on rounds 3 and 6; I chose wrongly on round 9, which cost me 3 points (just shy of winning, anyway).

Puerto Rico + Nobles expansion

Mace 49, Jon 46, Nadine, Rachel

The three of us are far more experienced at Purerto Rico than Mace is, but a) that doesn’t mean that we win, since we all hold each other in check, and b) this was the first play of the Nobles expansion for all of us. I used every nobles building, using the standard non-expansion buildings for the other slots.

It first seemed that the nobles are an absolute must-have. Mayor was taken nearly every single round. And some of the buildings that used nobles, especially in combination, were pretty strong. For instance, the 7 and 8 cost buildings together gave you +1 noble each mayor phase and +$1 for each noble you had each craftsman phase, respectively. That’s strong. But it’s not really stronger than a Factory/Harbor combination.

The 2 cost building that lets you trade a $1 for a plantation or a plantation for a $1 was very weak. Very very weak, even with the 4 cost building that gives you points for having the least number of plantations. On the other hand, the 3 cost building that gives you either a $1 or a points each round was very strong. Very, very strong. On the other hand, both of the players who took that building – Rachel and Nadine – lost, and both of them were corn players, too.

Nadine shipped good points with the 6 point semi-harbor. But in the end, Mace’s and my buildings proved to be the major point earners.

July 07, 2010

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Miriam, Abraham, Tal

Light night. Gili is planning for her daughter’s bat mitzvah.

Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside

Jon 48, Nadine 44

Nadine may actually have had 45; she forgot to count her cards for Gardens.

Kingdoms: Village, Woodcutter, Feast, Gardens, Council Room, Secret Chamber, Scout, Trading Post, Duke, Ghost Ship

Two VP cards makes Scout an interesting buy. One Trading Post, one Council Room, one Woodcutter, two Villages, and Feasts completed my deck. Nadine doesn’t play trashing cards, so she skipped the Trading Post in favor of more Council Rooms; she also didn’t get Scouts. I’m surprised she did as well as she did.

Endeavor

Nadine 53, Miriam 49, Jon 47, Abraham 43

First plays for Miriam and Abraham. Nadine and I had played this before and had not been impressed; not bad, but not quite gelled, we thought. After this play, we both felt a but better about it, but still think there are too many positive and negative ideas to juggle on each turn, for not enough reward. I would compare it unfavorably to Oltre Mare, which has the same juggling idea with less variables.

Abraham started out strong, but lost tempo mid-game. I started off weak without the brick building, since bricks were in short supply and it then took me some time to be able to afford a building of level 3. Nadine was actually the only one to buy a level 5 building, though Abraham also got to that level at one point, while Miriam reached it on the last round (which gave her points, at least).

I sat in front of Miriam, and consequently she felt that I was purposely acting to thwart her the whole game, to the point that she actually got frustrated. On her last play she deliberately thwarted me to prevent me from getting three points while getting two for herself. It took some time to convince her that, in fact, she had a better play elsewhere that netted her 5 or 6 additional points, and I could get 2 points elsewhere, so I would only end up losing 1, anyway. Reluctantly, she changed her play, and ended up beating me with those few points. I think that ameliorated her.

Meanwhile, I sat behind Abraham and felt that he was thwarting me the whole game, but I took it in stride.

Yinsh

Abraham+, Miriam

I reminded Abraham how to play, and Miriam tried it for the first time. However, she doesn’t really like abstracts, so I guess she won’t play it again. Abraham removed two disks, and then Miriam took off two. The last one went back and forth until Abraham found a subtle forking play.

Tichu

Jon/Tal 455, Abraham/Miriam 145

We played four hands. In the second one, Miriam and I both called Tichu, when Tal was planning on calling it originally. I managed to go out first with the Dog, and then Tal went out. The score was 370 to -70. On the last round, Abraham bid and made Tichu, while Miriam struggled not to go out first. Tal was able to go out after her, and then I went out. Miriam’s last cards were a pair of 5s.

October 04, 2009: Games Day

Participants: Jon, Nadine, David K and Avraham, Binyamin and Zvi Yehuda, Ben and four kids, Roni, Michael and Elijah, Eitan and Emily, Mace and Shachar, Joel, Yosef, Saarya, Ori, Gili and Lotem, Yitzchak, Eliezer, Abraham and Sarah.

Avraham is David’s kid. Zvi Yehuda is Binyamin’s kid. Roni is here in Israel for a year. Michael is Elijah’s father, and has come to other games days and nights. Mace is a friend who plays D&D, used to play Magic, and has come to games day before, with his son Shachar. Joel is a friend of Roni and lives in the area; first time here. Yosef has come a few times before. Ori is a friend of Saarya’s. Lotem is Gili’s kid. Yitzchak is a former regular who moved to Beit Shemesh. Eliezer is a Beit Shemesh regular. Sarah is Abraham’s wife, and has also come on occasion.

We didn’t have a second sukkah this year, so games were played both upstairs in the sukkah and down in the apt. It was a fairly hopping day, and things went off smoothly, for the most part. The burger place even got our large complicated order correct.

Games are presented in alphabetical order, rather than the usual chronological.

Amyitis

Roni, Saarya, Gili Zvi Yehuda

I asked Binyamin to bring this, but I didn’t get to play it.

Antike

Jon 9, Mace 5, Shachar 4

Yay, I got to wipe the floor with two more newbies. Mace didn’t like the game after he found out there were no dice in it. Also, he kept trying to figure out why he couldn’t do several actions in a single turn, instead of having to use the rondel thingie. It’s timing threw him off.

I played unusually aggressive, built a large fleet and destroyed everyone else’s temples and cities.

Battlestar Galactica

Binyamin(Cylon)+, Nadine(Cylon)+, Joel, Zvi Yehuda, Abraham

First play for everyone. The Cylons won, revealed. I began sitting in as we tried to learn the rules of the game, but the rules were so complicated and so poorly organized that I ran out of patience. It took nearly an hour and we still didn’t know what was going on, and I hadn’t had my turn yet. So I gave my seat up to Joel.

The game looked interesting enough, however, and once they got the rules down, it flowed fine, I hear.

Bridge

Ben/Zvi Yehuda, Binyamin/Nadine, Mace

Some hands were played, with Mace joining at a later time.

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers

Eitan, Emily, Levana

Levana, one of Ben’s kids, taught Eitan and Emily how to play. Apparenly not too well, and they reported that it seemed like she was making up rules as the game went on. They’ll need to try it again, I think.

Checkers

Saarya, Zeev

Saarya played Zeev, one of Ben’s kids.

Chess

Throughout the day, various people played this, generally the children. The Chess set is made of plastic figures from Star Wars Episode 2.

Cosmic Encounter

Ben/Jon+, Elijah, Eitan, Saarya

First play for Eitan, which explains why he let me win by inviting me to ally with him when it gave my my fifth base. I took over for Ben when he had to go out for a short while. Changeling and Filth were both in the game.

Binyamin+, Elijah, Michael, Joel, Abraham

All of the others had super powers: Vampire, Fungus, Void, etc. Binaymin won with Crystal while they were all fighting each other.

Dominion

Jon 27, Ben, David, Avraham

We started Games Day with this. The set included tons of powerhouse cards, including Chapel, Cellar, Village, Festival, Smithy. I Chapel’d away my three Estates on my third round, and bought four Festivals, the others got 3, 2, and 1 Festival.

When I won, they all complained that I won because of my 5/2 start, though none of the others took Chapel.

Ben 25, Jon 24, David, Avraham

So we played again with the same set, and we all agreed that each person had to start 4/3. The others took Villages and I took Chapel. And I once again began fine tuning my deck, first dropping three coppers, and then three Estates.

This time I didn’t get Festivals as fast as the others, but it still looked like I was winning. Turns out that Ben, with his Bureaucrat squeaked in a win with a final victory point. Beats me how he did it.

David, Ben, Avraham

They played this again later.

Ben, Nadine, Yosef

Played later in the day. After paying, Nadine declared that she doesn’t like the game, because other players can simply play your entire turn for you.

Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation

Binyamin (White)+, Zvi Yehuda (Black)

Played as an opener. I think Zvi Yehuda hadn’t played before.

Magic: the Gathering

David, Roni

I was going to play Magic with David, but Roni ended up playing instead.

Jon/David++, Ben

Later, Ben and I took random cards and made decks. Mine was a killer deck with black creature kill, red damage splash, and white flyers and soldiers. Ben’s was less killer, shall we say, but did have that incredible Equipment that gains a +1/+1 counter every time its wearer deals damage, which is practically a game ended in and of itself (in fact, David and I won’t play with in sealed).

Even with my better deck, I only squeaked out a victory over Ben in the first game. David took over for the second game, and he had less problems, apparently.

Market of Alturien

Mace+, Shachar, David, Avraham, Zvi Yehuda

First play for everyone. Binyamin brought and taught it. I had never even heard of it.

Notre Dame

Nadine 58, Eitan, Emily, Jon 38

Played to end game night. First plays for Emily and Eitan. Emily was off to a great start with double park on turn 1. But Nadine’s cars and cube swapping powers swamped us all in mid-game. Just in round 6, I think she netted some 25 points.

Emily said that this was her favorite game, so far.

Pirate’s Cove

Gili, Lotem, three of Ben’s kids

Gili taught this to Ben’s kids.

Pitch Car

I asked Nadine to bring this as I figured correctly that it would keep littler kids amused throughout the day.

Princes of Florence

Ben 60, Eliezer 57, Mace 54, Shachar 48, Jon 47

First game for Mace and Shachar. Five players is a tight game, and the auctions were difficult. I thought I wasn’t doing too badly, but I had to go back 5 points for get a second Jester that I desperately needed. Ben won nearly every game today, I think.

Puerto Rico

Yitzchak 44, Nadine 42, Yosef, Ori

First play for either Yosef or Ori, or both. They scored 39 and 35. Close game.

R-Eco

Zvi Yehuda, Avraham

Played somewhere in mid-day.

Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm

Abraham+, Elijah, Michael, Saarya, Ori

First play for most of the others. Abraham is nearly unbeatable at this, having played several hundred times online. This was played early in the day.

Abraham+, Elijah, Eliezer, Yitzchak

These guys played this near the end of the day.

Eliezer+, Elijah, Abraham, Yitzchak

And then they played again.

Yitzchak 49, Abraham 41, Elijah 39, Eliezer

And again.

Abraham, Elijah

And again. This time without the expansion, I believe.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Michael 3, Jon 2

An exciting game of this was played toward evening. I began with Rock, forgetting that that’s an all too common opener. It still beat Michael’s Scissors.

Then I did Scissors to his Rock. 1-1. After that things got tense for several milliseconds. We both did Scissors, and then I did Scissors again to Michael’s Paper. 2-1 for me. I did Scissors again to Michael’s Rock: 2-2.

We then tied again Rock to Rock, and finally, Michael brought out a Paper to my Rock, clinching a hard-won victory of 3-2. Close game, though.

San Juan

Nadine 41, Elijah 39, Roni 38, Eitan 36

Played as a games day opener, first play for Eitan and Roni. Ron had previously played Puerto Rico, however.

Shadows Over Camelot

Elijah (Traitor)+, Yosef, Saarya, Roni, Eitan

Amusingly, this was being played at the same time as Battlestar Galactica, occupying both tables in the sukkah.

Yinsh

Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda

Binyamin taught this to Zvi Yehuda, but they stopped in the middle.

July 09, 2008

Participants: Jon, Avraham.

Another game night alost didn’t happen. Avraham called and came a bit late, but everyone else seems to have disappeared.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation

Avraham++, Jon

I taught this to A, and he beat me twice, as Black and then as White. And he was still wresting with the abilities, too.

Yinsh

Jon+, Avraham

I taught this to A, and was happy to win so as to make up for my defeat in LotR:tC. He enjoyed the game.

Tigris and Euphrates

Jon 14, Avraham 4

And I taught this to A, too, and won by a compfortable margin, as you can see. We played on the entire board, although sometimes I play two-player on a reduced board. I started in the river delta, and built a massive kingdom with Green and Black. We had very few external conflicts; I think only two the entire game, and they were small ones.

We built a few monuments, and kicked them back and forth for a while with internal conflicts, but I ended up with control, and even abandoned one of the colors later as I didn’t really need it. Basically: I was gaining fast, and he wasn’t doing enough to disrupt me.

Games Day: September 30, 2007

Participants:

Adam – club regular
Akiba – schoolmate of Saarya’s
Ari – first time attendee from Jerusalem
Assaf – first time attendee from Jerusalem
Avi – David’s son
Ben – club regular, my brother
Benjamin – friend of Elijah’s
Coby – gamer from Rechovot; hosts game nights there
David – club regular; old friend of mine and my brothers
Elijah – club regular
Jack – infrequent club attendee since he started his own Russian-speaking game club in Jerusalem
Jon – me
Michael – infrequent club attendee; Elijah’s father
Nadine – club regular; close friend of mine and Rachel’s outside the club
Richard – attends game days only; an historical bridge partner of mine; likes Settlers, but otherwise only prefers classic games such as Bridge and Go; Richard brought me a whole bunch of classic game board and books as a gift
Saarya – infrequent club attendee, since he’s in sleep-away school; my son
Seraphya – son of friends of ours; first time attendee
Shachar – son of same friends of ours; infrequent attendee
Shlomiyah – daughter of same friends of ours; first time attendee
Tal – infrequent club attendee; my daughter
Yitzchak – club regular
Yuka – friend of Jack’s and attendee of the Russian club

Games Played:

Bridge x many

Played as a filler and ender by Jon, Richard, Nadine, Ben, and David.

Casbah

Adam taught this to Saarya, Elijah, and me. It is an elegant idea: pick tiles, place them, score points for what you’ve placed minus what you couldn’t.

We only played one game, but I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea. I really didn’t like the drafting mechanism of the tiles wherein the best tiles are essentially taken in order around the table. I know I can find a better mechanic than that. And the principal of some times being harder to place than other tiles doesn’t hold up, since they’re all easy to place at the beginning and harder to place as you go on.

I have to read the rules myself and see if I’m missing something.

Adam won by a slight margin.

English rules are here. –Adam

Caylus

One of the long games played in the last several hours of the day; around four hours, I think, for a five player game. First plays for Michael and Shachar, but Yuka and Jack know the game from their club. It was late and Shachar was beginning to fall asleep.

Jack won with 72, Yitzchak was in second with 69, Michael 63, Yuka 59, Shachar 43.

Cosmic Encounter x 2

Elijah’s favorite, and he played it twice.

The first time was with Ben, Saarya, and me. I had Oracle and Aristocrat, with which I was pretty happy. Ben had been unhappy with Empath, a power which we both think is underpowered, so we changed it to be that the Empath’s opponent loses twice as much for failing to make a deal, which seemed to restore its balance. In any case, Ben never got to try it out, having all around bad hands as usual. Saarya and I earned a joint win.

The second time Elijah played with Saarya, Adam, and Yitzchak. Yitzchak won as the Philanthropist/Subversive. Adam had fun with the Witch.

El Grande

Played by Ben, Saarya, Nadine, and Elijah. Ben started off ahead after the first scoring round, 44 to 39, 38, and Elijah at 23. As a result, he was attacked and fell behind. As usual, even after he was behind he still got attacked, leaving Nadine to do her usual and take a soaring victory. Elijah also made a good comeback. Nadine won with 129 to 99, 99, and 98.

Go (19×19)

One of the games Richard plays, I don’t know how this game went except that Adam won.

I beat him fairly easily, although he played well. We should have played with some handicap stones. –Adam

It’s Alive x 5

Along with Bridge, this was the filler game of choice for the night. Some of our new visitors asked to pick up copies. Games played include: Nadine+, Saarya, Jon; Tal+, Elijah, Adam; Adam+, Elijah, Tal; Shlomiyah++, Seraphya, Shachar. All games played were the basic version.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation x 4

The two-player filler game of choice, apparently. Adam played and beat Elijah twice. Elijah played and beat Shachar, and Seraphya and Shachar also played.

Lost Valley

I was still keen on playing this game, so Saarya and Adam joined me. It was Saarya’s first game. Previous games I’ve had were very different from each other, but this one was a splash in the face of disappointment.

I couldn’t make money to save my life owing to the distribution of the tiles. Saarya took a lead in finding money and the explored continuously to run out the clock, a mechanic which I didn’t like last time but now really hate.

Furthermore, the arrangement of the tiles and the rule about only one player allowed on a vertex at a time allowed Adam to block and entire area of the board simply by standing and moving back and forth whenever I tried to go around him, which simply makes no sense.

I’m glad this wasn’t my first experience with the game. I really like the game, otherwise, and I need to find resolutions for these problems. I think one of the best resolutions is still my first proposed alteration to the game: each player starts with 2 gold nuggets, which eliminates the catastrophe of being shut out early.

Magic: the Gathering x 3

David and I got in a draft and three games of this. Both of us had very weak hands. Even though mine was weak, I thought it did have a little synergy. Still, David killed me handily in one game, lost the second due to mana screw, and came back to win the third from being down 20 to 2. I picked well in all three games, so there you go.

Power Grid x 2

Yitzchak introduced the game to Shachar, Seraphya, and Shlomiyah, and unsurprisingly won. This is David’s favorite game, so he made sure to get a game in later with Ben, Nadine, and Assaf. This was Assaf’s first game, and he came in a respectable second to Ben’s runaway win.

Nadine: David complained the whole game about how poorly he was doing, but we didn’t believe him because he always complains and always wins. But this time he was happy that losing vindicated him.

Princes of Florence

Yitzchak played David, Saarya, and Ben, and won 64 to 60, 57, and 52. Nothing unusual, except that a glass of water spilled on the game boards and cards.

Puerto Rico

Lots of members play this online, or with their own groups all the time, so they prefer not to play it also at the club. Still, I wanted to teach Ari, a newcomer to the game. Nadine and Adam joined us. Despite my best efforts, Nadine essentially gave up early and helped Ari. Ari flourished, as a result, and he won with 57 points to my 53, with Adam and Nadine trailing.

Nadine: I helped Ari by giving advice, which he did a good job of deciding when to take and when not to. And he essentially had a Tobacco monopoly, I got my Tobacco online much later, and only traded it once, and he got a Tobacco boat early on. I didn’t realize that I probably should have produced and tried to trade Indigo instead of Sugar, and gotten a Large Market.

Settlers of Catan x 2

David, Nadine, and Avi played, but they appeared to get bored of it midgame. Still, Nadine won in the end.

Nadine: Sixes were rolled very often, as were sevens. That caused problems for me and David – I had no sixes, David had a lot, but kept losing cards to the sevens, which also cleared soldiers off my tiles. Avi received three times as many cards as we did, and would have won early on if he had listened to David and used his cards differently.

Coby, Akiba, Shachar, and Benjamin played this later in the day, one game that all of them knew how to play.

The Menorah Game

There remains a group of members of my club who prefer the original themed version to the remake It’s Alive. So we played an advanced game of one of these. I won with a handy 50 points to Yitzchak’s 37, and Saarya’s 32.

Winner’s Circle

Tal was very much keen to play this, and we taught first-time players Coby, Akiba, and Shachar. All appeared to enjoy the game. Shachar won to Tal’s second place.

Yinsh

I played this with Ari when he first came in while we waited for another game to open up. I won.

Zendo x 2

Adam taught this to Jack, Yuka, Michael, and Shachar. They played twice.

May 09, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Tal, Annette, Eliezer

Hmm. I must have scared away all the regular game group participants; the only regulars to attend were Nadine and Gili. Where did everyone go?

Annette and Eliezer came back for another visit, although it’s a long trip for them.

Hearts

Jon/Tal, Annette/Eliezer

I introduced them to Team Hearts for a quick light opener. I had to refresh Annette on the rules of Hearts, and it appears that she wasn’t too thrilled with the game. She asked if we could play President.

Tichu

Jon/Tal, Annette/Eliezer

So I tried them on Tichu for one hand. Annette appeared to like it more, but she will need more than one hand to really get into it. In our game, Eliezer went out first, Tal last, and they ended up with all 100 points.

Puerto Rico

Jon 54, Nadine 53, Annette 44

At this point we did our usual dance of what to play. Annette wanted to play Puerto Rico, while Eliezer didn’t. I assumed that more people would be coming, so I decided to play Puerto Rico at the same time that I played something with Eliezer. Little did I know what trouble I was getting into.

After Tal went off, and Gili arrived, we were five for the evening, yet, instead of playing a five player game, we ended up playing two three-player games, where I played in both games throughout the evening. How do I keep ending up in this position?

In Puerto Rico, we played with the straight building set. I was first. Both Nadine and I did a fairly straightforward four goods/Factory strategy. Nadine got a fifth good going while I took Harbor, passing up Guild Hall. In the end, she had three large buildings to my two, while I edged her out in shipping points.

Annette had nice goods production going and two quarries (to my none), but none of them were trade goods. So she remained cash shy.

Yinsh

Jon+, Eliezer

I introduced this to Eliezer and played simultaneous with Puerto Rico. As a result, I had to split concentration between these two games.

Our game was very crowded in the center. I won solely based on the fact that I understood the patterns of the game better than he did on his first play. Typical moves I used included my having a ring with two of his pieces extending one way and two of mine the opposite way. Jumping his pieces gave me five in a row.

Caylus

Jon+, Gili, Eliezer

I let Gili pick the next game as she arrived in the middle of the Yinsh game, and this is what she chose. Oh well. Not my favorite, but I’m willing.

It’s hard to describe a Caylus game. Suffice to say that I managed two large buildings including the 25 pointer, as well as a lot of castle points and favors therefrom. Gili also got two buildings, and more building points, but less castle points. In the end, she made a small mistake in building in the castle. Even without it, she probably wouldn’t have won, but it would have been closer.

Eliezer didn’t quite get the green-blue building dynamic. He spent the last part of the game getting straight victory points and gold cubes. Actually, now that I think about it, he was about 20 points behind Gili, but he had a fist full of cubes and cash that we didn’t bother to count at the end. It’s likely that he was closer to Gili’s score than we realized.

The Menorah Game

Nadine+, Jon+, Annette

We played two games, Nadine winning the first and me the second. In the second game Annette was very close to winning but got hit with a soldier and we managed to fill in our tiles before she could build up again. These were her first plays.

Nadine still doesn’t like the soldier mechanic in the game and would prefer to play with out them.

We managed to hit a situation that I had never hit before not covered in the rules. The last two cards were both soldiers. After the first was dealt with, the second is put aside and another tile is supposed to be drawn, after which the soldier set aside is returned to the deck. This makes the first time that a soldier was mixed into the deck on the second time through the deck.

Even after a few hundred plays, things like this happen.

San Juan

Nadine, Annette

Nadine taught Annette how to play this but they only played a few rounds before they had to go. Annette appeared to like it.

January 17, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, David K, Shevi, Josh, Idit, Jeremy, Adam, Gili, Binyamin, Zack, Rachel

Another week of almost-RPG, pushed off once again until next week.

The Menorah Game

Nadine+, Jon

David+, Shevi, Nadine, Jon, Zack, Binyamin

I wanted to try out a variation on the tile distribution that was designed to accommodate between two to six players. Each additional player adds a set of tiles, thus keeping the relative number of tiles available per person about equal.

For two players, the number of tiles was slightly less than usual, but the impact on the game was extremely minimal. For six players I added most of the tiles from another set. With six players, like with so many other games that accommodate up to six players, the game bogged down considerably.

With six players, there was a tremendous amount of auctioning, so it’s not like you were bored. And the auctions went quickly. In fact, as far as bogginess, I would rate this game better than other games with six players, such as Power Grid or Wildlife. But other games with six, suchas Geschenkt or Havoc would beat it.

As a result, most of us were bored with the six player variant and we decided that three or four is still best.

In both cases we played the advanced version of the game, which was the first time for the advanced version for some of the players, such as David and Nadine. Remarkably, both Nadine and David didn’t like the advanced version compared to the basic version, and David said the advanced version was decidedly more lucky!

This is in contrast to some of the other people their, such as Binyamin and Shevi, who both much prefer the advanced version to the basic version, and consider the basic version too lucky. So it was a fifty-fifty split.

Yinsh

Josh+, Idit

I quickly rattled off the rules to these two who played while we were playing TMG. Josh won, but declared Idit to be a great blocker.

Children of Fire: the Board Game

Adam (Anakim) 12, Binyamin (Sorcerors) 10, Shevi (Children of Dark)
9, Jeremy (Watchers) 6

The same complaint from the last two plays reared its ugly head again, which is that the game is not guaranteed to terminate. When you get to the last undecided character, if the balance is equal, the game can just keep going back and forth.

This was particularly aggravating to Binyamin, whose cards were the least numerically, and therefore the worst at picking up points with the masses as everyone else did at the end of the game.

It is a general consensus that the game can be fixed with a rigorous number of turns limit, such as twenty or so. One person suggested that masses tokens become more difficult to buy as the game goes on.

Amun-Re

Zack 43, Idit 40, Nadine 35, Josh 25

This was a first play for all but Nadine. I assume that everyone liked it, although I have no further information about the play.

Caylus

David+, Jon, Gili

David and I almost started Netrunner, but Gili came along so we joined her into a game of Caylus, which was one person more than I really like to play the game.

Well, to be honest, it’s three people more, as each time I play it it goes down another notch. I was particularly bored this game, and not simply because it looked like David had a relatively early lead, but because I really didn’t care to calculate the results of my actions so much. These two facts are rather related, I suspect.

I don’t know why. I’m happy to calculate breadth games such as Magic, or depth games such as Go, but Caylus, which has so much of both, just leaves me bored.

David managed to thwart my building plans a lot, and then managed to shoot to four green buildings while Gili and I had only one, although I acquired a second. Due to my refusal to do any calculations, I ended up only converting one to a blue building (the 25 pointer). I was still about 25 points behind David, and Gili was also about that behind me.

I was happy to see the game end.

Netrunner

David (runner), Jon (corp)

And both of us were very happy to get back into another game of this. This time we made it about halfway through the game in about one and a half hours. By the end, we were still looking up tons of rules, but having a blast doing so.

Netrunner, like Magic, is a rich game with complex rules. Having followed Magic, one gets the sense that they built on Magic’s successes, tried to avoid some of the problems, and added a whole lot more. As a matter of fact, Netrunner and CCGs in general have more in common with the previous generation’s war games and RPGs than they do with modern Euro games. They sit in this lovely place in between, where the rules are deep, expansive, and complex, but the resulting game is easy and
compact, and quick to play.

Last time David took the corp and I had the runner, and this time we reversed. I had managed to cash in two agenda worth four agenda points, while David had built up a veritable army of programs and hardware, but had yet to liberate any agendas.

The next time we play will go smoother, and we may even finish the game. Only thereafter will we start to think about deck construction with our limited supply of cards. I suspect I will need to acquire more in order to give us some deck-building options.

Magic: the Gathering

Adam+, Binyamin

Although they had some play experience, neither had deck-building experience, and they had to get some tips from us as to how to pull something playable together. Then I had to field a lot of questions during the game as to how and/or why to use certain cards.

Still, they both seemed to enjoy themselves.

Puerto Rico

Zack 58, Nadine 50, Rachel 41

Zack does seem to have a genius for winning his first games, much like Elijah used to have. This was his first play of Puerto Rico, so he got a lot of assistance during the game.