A cast of the usuals joined us on this Jerusalem Day. In addition, my Scottish guests, Carrie and her son Peter also decided to join us for a game at the end. I mentioned my guests earlier in the week, when I taught Peter Yinsh, but I had been looking forward to teaching them something to play together, and especially Settlers of Catan.
And you know what? Nailed it.
Lost CitiesNadine+, Jon
I started off with this slight game, giving it one more chance to prove that it was anything better than a rummy game. Didn't happen, again. It's basically on the level of a light card game. Yeah, you have to decide what to play and what to discard. And the cards are pretty. Uh huh.
Anyone want my copy?
This was Nadine's first play, and she, too, was not impressed.
Elijah watched us play, and played with Zack when he arrived and the two were waiting for Adam. I didn't hear any shouts of glee.
TikalJon 102, Gili, David, Nadine
I wanted to play this because we hadn't brought it out in a while. We were going to play it three players, but Gili joined us just as we got started.
I didn't forget that Nadine and David were going to be their usually overly analytical selves, so it didn't surprise me that they were. And, once again, it didn't seem to help them. Really, games like these are better played with a little thought and a little instinct, both for the end results and the patience of all involved.
On the other hand, they all believe that I just naturally take to area control games, which is why I'm unfair about it.
In our game, my win was primarily due to my low bidding. The other three spent upwards of twenty or more points bidding on hexes in order to control the treasures. As a result, they gained slightly more than me each round, but they couldn't close the gap I achieved simply by taking whatever hexes came my way.
In truth, I also locked temples earlier than they did, used the action points not involved in excavating treasures to good use, and also avoided the same areas that they were competing in for the most part.
Nadine doesn't like the game that much, mostly because of the ugly treasures.
Cosmic EncounterAdam (Reincarnator, Plant)+, Elijah (Worm, Anti-matter), Zack (Warrior, Mind)
Elijah's first request every night, Adam and Zack acceded. They also played with comets and asteroids, and I refused to give them any rulings on how these work, since I don't like them.
MauAdam, Elijah, Zack
The only winner of this game was me, since I didn't have to play it and I could lob insults at the players to which they could not respond to since not talking is one of the rules of the game.
OK, I think they all enjoyed it, too. Lord preserve me from ever having to play it.
Adam taught this to Elijah, who surprisingly managed to win.
Settlers of CatanPeter+, Jon, Carrie
I taught this to both of them, and they picked it up with almost no difficulty. In fact, after explaining the rules, Peter went first and dropped his first settlement on the best spot without any consultation. In shock, I then realized that not only was it the numerically best place on the board, it also have great resource diversity, and was the best location for all three of those resources.
His win is therefore not much of a surprise, even with his generous and promiscuous trading, and the bad luck I had at the beginning of the game didn't help matters. Peter managed both Largest Army and Longest Road and got to 8 points reasonably quickly, while both of us still had 2 (I actually had an additional VP from a development card).
Despite this, I managed to work my way up to seven points, and lost only one or two rounds before I would have won by stealing away Peter's Longest Road. Carrie had a harder time, being on worse resources and numbers.
As the game wound down, Peter insisted that they buy the game, so Carrie will contact me for where to get this in the UK.
Puerto RicoDavid 67, Rachel, Nadine
Rachel was keen to play with Nadine, and to play Puerto Rico, of course. David was willing to play them. I didn't see the game, and I left the scores at home. David won.