Thursday, August 02, 2007

August 01, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda, Ben, Yitzchak, Rachel A, Gili

A comfortable evening of games. Nadine did some game hopping. Every time a game opened up that she liked more than the one she was playing, I took over for her and she switched to the new game. Binyamin tried to do the same thing without any luck.


Zvi Yehuda+, Binyamin, Jon, Gili

Samurai is a Knizia tile-laying game that I have been avoiding simply because of the little Buddha statue pieces, which irk my religious sensitivities. Binyamin bought the game and solved the problem by taking sandpaper to each of the little round pieces.

You place tiles with numbers and pictures, and whenever a space with a piece is surrounded, the person with the highest valued tiles of the appropriate piece type surrounding the piece takes it. Placing tiles that affect multiple spaces, joker tiles, and two special effects tiles make the game tactical enough.

It's pastoral like Through the Desert, but I think a slightly better game. TtD was nice and simple, but nobody really loved it. T&E is a heavy weight game, of course. Samurai is lightweight, but possibly more interesting.

Unlike these other two games where the scoring was neat and interesting, the scoring here is the one thing I don't like about the game. It is convoluted and arbitrary. One other drawback is the easy possibility of giving things away to your LHO, which makes your RHO feel rather frustrated.

Zvi Yehuda won mostly due to luck. I played senselessly, as it was my first game and was just experimenting with the pieces. I expect I will do pretty well in this game hereafter.

El Grande

Nadine+, Gili, Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda

Nadine took a commanding lead early on, and the other players resigned after the second scoring phase, rather than drag on the game.

Lost Valley

Nadine, Zvi Yehuda, Binyamin

Nadine taught this to Binyamin and Zvi Yehuda. We discovered that we had gotten a number of rules wrong the last time we played, the most major of which would have extended the game a bit longer to good effect.

Since the river ended very quickly, the game ended up being rather short. A shorter game means more luck. Binyamin complained about the luck in the game for the whole game.

Puerto Rico

Rachel 54, Ben 50, Yitzchak 43, Nadine/Jon 42

I took over Nadine's high shipping point but otherwise pathetic position as she switched to El Grande. I wasn't able to make up the money differential and so lost rather decidedly. Rachel swept to another victory with Discretionary Hold and Factory.

Power Grid

Yitzchak 1, Jon 16, Ben 14

In this rather unusual game, I did everything counter-intuitively and ended up losing by a hair. I raced ahead in cities that I couldn't power after the first several rounds.

In a three player game, goods are rather scarce, and coal and oil essentially ran out while garbage and nukes hit the 1 to 3 cost range. Only then did we start switching.

Being ahead in cities, Ben and Yitzchak were somehow convinced that it was within my power to end the game by building too many cities. As a result, they bid fiercely over some high powered plants, trying to convince each other that they should get the plant or I would win. For instance, Ben bought the 30 for 99.

I didn't feel like I was anywhere near winning, but I admit that I got all of my plants, slowly but surely, with almost no fighting.

In the end, Ben and Yitzchak had more capacity in plants. But Ben ran out of money to build cities. Yitzchak had just enough to build to his capacity in cities, plants and fuel. I lost to a single mistake in the last round.

I replaced my 5 triple coal plant with a 7 triple garbage plant, instead of replacing my 4 double garbage plant. The reason that I did this was because I thought that if I left myself with coal/oil requirements, then Ben and Yitzchak could buy out all the fuel before I could get any, which was true. However, I didn't realize that if they did that, they wouldn't have had enough money left over to buy cities.


Binyamin, Zvi Yehuda, Nadine, Jon/Ben

Ben or I (depending on whose turn it was in Power Grid) played with Nadine against Binyamin and Zvi Yehuda for a few hands.


Anonymous said...

From my experience, Samurai is great for two players. You can see the exact score of your opponent, and hence you can plan your strategy pretty well.

I like reading your session reports and hope to come to play with you again when time allows.

Meanwhile our Russian speaking gaming group takes momentum. We play every Sunday and sometimes get around 10 players in a single session.Maybe we should arrange a big Jerusalem gaming evening in a while...


Yehuda said...


We host a twice yearly Games Day. You're all invited, and you're welcome to challenge us at games of your choice.