Friday, June 29, 2007

Session report 2007-06-27

Participants: Ben, Yitzhak, Nadine, Adam

At Nadine's house again. Relatively few participants, apparently because of the hot weather, although Nadine was nice enough to put on the air-conditioning.

San Juan

Ben 31, Yitzhak 20, Nadine 20

This game is very similar to Chutes and Ladders. Apparently Ben had the advantage of hitting a lot of ladders, which let him move up very quickly, leaving everyone else behind. Yitz and Nadine ended up tied despite getting very different die rolls. Yitz got hit with a number of chutes which slowed his progress, whereas Nadine didn't roll well, but got a few ladders which kept her not too far behind.

Power Grid

Ben 18/18, Yitzhak 16/16, Nadine 15/18, Adam 12/17

I am starting to get the impression that this game turns out to be very similar to Chutes and Ladders. I was in a fairly good position throughout most of the game, but just as we were getting to the I hit a long chute and went way back. Nadine was also a bit further behind for most of the game. So in the end it turned out to be some luck as to who between Ben and Yitz won.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Session Report 2007-06-20

Participants: Nadine, Gilad, Ben, David K, Binyamin, Yitzchak, Adam

Game night was held at Nadine's house again. Jon is on vacation, leaving me (Adam) to wreak havoc upon the session reports. Gilad has been around a few times before, I think. If I'm not mistaken, he is a gaming tycoon and owns a sprawling, multi-billion dollar gaming empire.


Nadine 84, Gilad 78, Binyamin 3i - 2

I did not play this game or pay much attention, but from what I could see and from what Nadine told me, it's a lot like Go. No luck at all and a lot of deep strategic thought. That's explains why Nadine won, because she's good at that kind of game.


David 92, Ben 72, Adam 53, Yitzhak 46

We played this game instead of Power Grid because we couldn't agree on a ruleset for the latter. Some players seem to be enamoured with de-Candyland-ifying Power Grid, for some odd reason. Pure Evil.

Anyway, Caylus gives a very strong impression of being very similar to Go. It's true that there's a bit of luck in the starting position, which makes it a bit different from Go, but after that the gameplay is very similar. David started out with some good shimaris and was able to extend and consolate them in a way that got him both influence and territory, and eventually a commanding lead. He also played the yose very well, while I screwed up on that. By the end of the game David had a lot of good aji, and Ben was not in a terrible position, whereas Yitz and I were in fairly bad straits. I was able to make sabaki a bit near the end of the game, but wasn't able to capitalize on it as much as I had hoped.

I also kind of blocked Yitz in the endgame, accidentally, not even thinking specifically about his position, and in the end wasn't even able to use it. He retaliated by blocking me in a different way.


Binyamin, Nadine, Yitz, Ben

They played this for a while and were still playing when I left. Seems a lot like Go.


David+, Adam

A classic. Very similar to Go in game play, but a bit shallow. David said that after playing so many Eurogames he doesn't like Chess so much any more.

The position was fairly even throughout most of the game. David started out with mane-go (mirroring) in the beginning, but switched from that before I could punish him. There was some give-and-take throughout most of the game, with both of us building some territory and some influence, and it was quite close (though I think I had a slight lead) until I badly misread a simple life and death problem, which put me behind for good. I resigned soon after that (as David was hurrying to leave anyway).

Thursday, June 14, 2007

June 13, 2007

Participants: Nadine, Jon, Ben, David K, Dylan, Elijah, Binyamin, Rivka, Yitzchak, Adam, Gili

Game night was held at Nadine's house, as it will be for the next three or four weeks. Jon is going on vacation.


Ben 16, Dylan 12, Binyamin, Adam, Rivka

This is an updated version of Knizia's Flinke Pinke. Quick and painless, apparently. This version also included some action cards, to make things a little spicier.


Rivka+, Elijah, Adam, Binyamin, Yitzchak,

I probably spelled the name of this game wrong. This is a simple set collecting game with a very elegant movement mechanic. It looked interesting.

El Grande

David 110, Ben 100, Nadine 96, Dylan 89, Jon 88

This is one of my favorite games, especially with five. I decided to start the game off by playing my power cards randomly to see if it really made a difference. This lasted only three rounds. In the fourth round, there was a card that I really needed to take (to gain 15 points), so I chose to play my 13. From then on I played as usual.

You might think that my low score is from this experiment, but it's not. It's because in round 6, every single placement from the castillo destroyed my positions, despite the fact that David and Ben were doing better than I was.


I did my best to limp into the finish line. I still enjoyed the game, because I love taking the intrigue cards.

David, Ben, and Dylan had better positions, and David whomped on the last turn with a huge castle victory.


Jon++, Gili

Gili showed up in the middle of two larger games and didn't get to play anything but this. I feel a little bad about that. I rolled a number of doubles at the takeoff phases to win both games.

After this, she played Settlers/Cities/Seafarers online a little, and then went home.

Taj Mahal

Elijah (44), Yitzchak (42), Adam (33), Rivka (30), Binyamin (21)

Binyamin was not supposed to be free, as he was scheduled to play an online Bridge game tournament, but his opponents didn't show up. Yitzchak warned everyone that Elijah was not only bad at the game but always took someone down with him.

So it is an appropriate burn that Elijah ended up winning the game.

Elijah played relatively rationally. This was the first time I've played with Elijah, and his play was not as advertized. --Adam


Adam (103), Binyamin (93), Rivka (76), Nadine/Eliyahu (74), Yitzchak (53)

I haven't played this and didn't see what happened.

A very nice, fairly simple bidding game. Bidding is essentially the whole mechanic, along with some details about what counts for what. Quite similar to Modern Art, except with less diverse bidding and more details of how things score. I liked it quite a lot, though I think that I there's still a place for Modern Art when you want something that is even more single-mindedly just bidding. --Adam


Ben, Nadine, David, Dylan

I had to leave before this game.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

June 06, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Adam, Zack, Elijah, Binyamin, Gili, Yitzchak

Today we say goodbye to Zack whose family is moving back to the States. Best of luck! Zack may be back for one more session this summer.

Welcome back to Yitzchak after a long absence. I let Yitzchak know about the new club in Beit Shemesh, which should be much easier for him to get to.

Crossword Dominoes

Jon, Nadine, Gili, Zack, Adam

This game consists of fifty dominoes with letters on either side, generally a consonant and a vowel, but sometimes an important consonant combination, such as TH or WH. The object of the game is to place your tiles on the board so that only words are formed.

We didn't play this so much as play around with it. Our general impression was that turns are going to be way longer than in Scrabble. Furthermore, it is both easier to make small words, and more luck dependent.

We envisioned that simply trying to find a way to arrange all your tiles is more fun than the alleged actual game.

Settlers of Catan

Adam 10, Jon 8, Nadine 7, Gili 6

Although it looked like Adam had a very early lead, and Nadine had a very poor start, we eventually ended up at 8-8-8-7. Then Adam took back the Longest Road that Gili had taken from him and won the game. Gili could have prevented this by building another road rather than a settlement, as Adam could not extend his road any further than was necessary to win.


Binyamin+, Zack, Yitzchak

I don't know the final scores, but Binyamin won by a single point, while this was Yitzchak's first game. Binyamin did a number of things specifically to annoy Zack during the game, and he returned in kind.


Jon, Nadine, Binyamin, Adam, Zack

They decided to play some bridge hands during the previous two games when things were bogging down. Unfortunately, they kept going even when things weren't bogging down. Furthermore, I am one of the few who can really do two games at once, Binyamin and Adam weren't doing as good a job, IMHO.

It was all too chaotic for me, so I bowed out.


Adam+, Elijah

Adam played this at the same time as Bridge. He gave Elijah a 3 stone handicap on a 9x9 board and still won.

Tic Tac Toe

Adam, Elijah / Adam, Zack

Don't ask. Adam actually lost a game to Zack when he wasn't paying attention.


Jon+, Elijah

I dragged Elijah away from the Chaos to teach him this. He wasn't in a thinking mood, however, and wasn't really trying. As a result, I crushed him without too much difficulty. I hope he tries harder next time. It's a nice game.


Jon/Elijah, Adam/Zack

I don't know what the scores were, but Adam bid Grand Tichu twice, and he made it both times I believe.

Puerto Rico

Nadine 54, Jon 47, Binyamin 46

These guys decided to play only with strange buildings. As a result, we were all in uncharted waters, even if I knew the buildings better than they did.

I did some nice coffee trading, and built three large buildings, but got truly shut out of shipping. And one of my large buildings was only worth 5 points (total).

Nadine managed to outbuild me and majorly outship me.