I received an evaluation copy of Apples to Apples Jewish Edition, and we spent some time looking at the cards. More on that on my blog.
Cosmic EncounterBen+, Jon, Elijah
Elijah always wants to play Cosmic, and I haven't had the chance to play in a while. Most of the others are bored (?) of it, or something. But Ben still likes to play, so we made a threesome.
As usual, it was a game of sheer lunacy. Ben had Antimatter and Loser; the winner was the loser who was the winner who was ... something. I had two great powers, Judge and Witch, the former of which is a tad overpowered. And Elijah had Pacifist and Filth.
With the Filth in the game, it was hard for Ben or me to get foreign bases in Elijah's system. I was Judging my way to extra bases and having fun with my curses, which were not all that effectual. Ben decided to take me out.
A number of conflicts were decided by just a point or two.
The game was in a situation where Ben and I had three foreign bases and Elijah had two. Elijah had an empty home planet and a base in each of our systems. I won an attack against Ben, which would have given me my fourth base, but decided to play Emotion Control, generously offering Ben a base so that he would join me in an attack against Elijah, or invite me for the same, if we could flip Elijah's system.
Instead, I flipped hum again, and he was able to win the game on his turn by convincing Elijah to abandon his base in my system. I'm still not sure how all of that happened, but that's the way CE breaks.
Power GridNadine (14), David (13), Adam (11+), Zack (11-)
David loves this game and convinced the others to play either this or Caylus. This despite the acknowledgment by all [except Adam --Adam] that there is too much luck in the power plant supply. They propose that from now on, the next four plants that will flip up are kept face up in a third row, in order to reduce this luck factor.
They played on the expensive part of the U.S. map. David was faced with a situation of either ending the game one round and achieving second place, thus allowing Nadine to win, or extending the game one round and achieving last place, thus allowing Zack [you mean Adam. Zack was broke. --Adam] to win. He chose the former.
Zack was wholly bored by the game by the end of it. Adam enjoyed it, however.
I think the luck factor is overstated. For example, on the third round, both Zack and I got some fairly nice power plants, which put us as the favorites at that time. Then everyone started complaining about luck. In fact, I had been planning to be in that position from the beginning of the game. Of course. there was still some luck as to exactly what came down, but I think everyone was overstating it.
Zack a couple of times paid very large amounts for cities (once for example paying a connection fee across the board in order to force round two). He also bought a few too many power plants in my opinion. Otherwise, he would have been the leader easily. -- Adam
San JuanBen 39, Jon 28, Elijah 27
Ben got out an early Library, which made the game impossible for me, basically. Combine that with a slew of production buildings and a Guild Hall, and there you go. I did my valiant best with a City Hall and lots of minor buildings. Elijah did poorly, but also gained a Library mid-game, so was able to almost catch up to me.
TichuAdam/Jon 735, Zack/Elijah 665
I played this simultaneously while I played Bridge, and only suffered once because of it. It's really a very nice game, although it's missing the depth of Bridge. We won by Adam calling and making a Grand Tichu on the last hand.
I called Tichu a couple of times (too many), and missed a few of them, otherwise we wouldn't have been in the situation where we need to make the Grand Tichu on the last round. There's a strategy as to when to call Tichu, which I'm starting to figure out. -- Adam
BridgeJon 1520, David 1120, Nadine 930, Ben 530
I played this simultaneously while I played Tichu, and suffered several times because of it. Bridge really needs more of my attention.
Both I and Nadine made errors that cost us contracts, while David made an error that gave us a contract. Ben didn't make any major errors, but managed to lose for all that.
I found the card part of the evening much more enjoyable than the board game part of the evening, and would be happy to have several evenings only playing cards for a while.