Thursday, November 29, 2007

November 28, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, David, Yitzchak, Gili, Ben, Binyamin

First game night back in my house, and we got to start playing the new games I brought back from my trip. Binyamin only arrived later in the evening.

Nadine and I took out Mr. Jack, but didn't get a chance to play it.

Robo Rally

David+, Nadine, Ben, Yitzchak, Jon, Gili

I've been wanting to get this game for the group for ages, and now I have. It was just as fun for me as the first time I played it back in BGG.con 1. Back then, we played with six players, four boards with 4 goals. It was too long, and there was already a runaway winner 2/3 of the way through the game at 3 hours.

I thought that 3 goals on two boards would be good - not too few to make it easy, not too many to drag on. It was definitely better, but still a bit too long, however, part of that was simply because we were all learning the game, and I was relearning the game, so we spent a lot of time going over the too long rulebook and trying to get the rules right. Even so, a lot of turns had people complaining that they didn't realize how something worked. And we played without the options, too!

Next time, I think we play on one board with two goals and see how it goes. With options.

Gili became the most frustrated during the game, when Ben ended up pushing her into a pit twice in a row. She essentially gave up and went to play a two-player game with me instead.

I was also in a lot of difficulty and stayed in last place pretty much throughout the game, although it looked like I was doing well when I started. Meanwhile, Nadine also ended up getting killed twice, but in the end it helped her. She healed back up to 7 and re-entered the board with the right cards. Yizchak came in a comfortable middle.

David won, Nadine came in second, then Ben. Ben had been way ahead, competing with David to win, but didn't have good cards. Then he had even worse cards because he barely got any, due to damage points.

I think the game was a hit with David, and Ben, Nadine, and Yitzchak also liked it. I simply had to reassure them that it was a chaotic crazy game like Cosmic, where you take it as it comes, and not a strategy game like Power Grid.

Schotten Totten

Jon/Binyamin+, Gili

I took this out and discovered that it didn't have English rules. I quickly went to download some, but not wanting to keep Gili waiting, we played the game without any of the special cards. Binyamin came in the middle and I returned to Robo Rally while he took over.

He says that the game is dull without the special cards, but actually I though it was ok even without them. I'm looking forward to playing with them. In any case, the game is light-years better than dull old Lost Cities.


Ben, Nadine, Yitzchak, Binyamin

I can't get them to stop playing this for the last hour of every evening.


Jon++, David+

We played with some of the new cards I just picked up. As we drafted, I tossed out duplicates to make sure we had lots of new cards to play with.

I ended up with a reasonably good White/Red deck with a splash of Green, while David had Green/Black. I only lost the second game because of mana screw. My cards had some synergy, and he had very little to stop my flying.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

November 21. 2007

Participants: Yitzchak, Binyamin, Nadine, Ari, Jon

I returned to Israel this evening, and caught only the tail end of the game. I substituted for Ari in Cosmic when he had to leave. Notes are sparse, and mostly Nadine's.

San Juan

Yitzhak 33, Binyamin 30, Nadine 28

I have no further information.

Cosmic Encounter

Binyamin + Subversive, Assassin; Nadine + Filth, Virus; Ari/Jon + Prolong, Grudge; Yitzhak Cavalry, Vampire

I didn't inherit a particularly good position, but neither was it terrible. Binyamin eventually won jointly with Nadine, by arrangement.

Nadine adds: Always fun, but this went on a long time as a defensive game with few
foreign bases until over an hour into the game.

Welcome back to Jon who got home from the airport then came over later as Ari was leaving.


Binyamin, Nadine, Yitzchak, Jon

Just a few rounds to cap off the night.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 14, 2007

Participants: David, Gili, Nadine, Hillel

I was away in Canada, so Nadine took notes.

San Juan

David 47, Nadine 29, Gili 28

We took Library out of the game because David thinks it's too powerful,
which it probably is. I had no 6 point cards even with Prefecture and
lots of Counselling. Gili had a Tower and all the cards. She didn't get
to build her Palace at the end. David got 14 points from Guild Hall, and
had Palace.

Power Grid

Nadine 18/18, David 17/17+, Hillel 17/17-, Gili 15/15

We had no rounds of Step 2. At the end of the game only 3 power plants
were left on the board. We didn't think I'd be able to build to 18
cities at the end, but I was able to buy 5 cities in the Northeast for
under 120. Otherwise David would have won a tie at 17 cities on money.
It seemed somewhat lucky to me though I'm probably improving somewhat.
It was Hillel's first time playing. We gave him advice, but mostly he
caught on to the strategic aspects and did well.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

November 07, 2007

Participants: Nadine, Binyamin, Yitzchak, David, Gili

The second of three game sessions at Nadine's house while I'm away in Canada/US. Nadine writes the reports.

Amun Re

David 49, Yitzhak 41, Binyamin 31, Gili 29, Nadine 26

We played Amun Re which wasn't very interesting since I lost. We
hadn't played in a while, but it seems like there was significant luck.
Yitzhak who is playing 20 concurrent Amun Re games online didn't even
win. David, unusual for him, won without complaining about how poorly he
was doing the whole time. But true to form the game did take 3 hours.

First kingdom or whatever:
David 12
Yitzhak 13
Binyamin 13
Gili 9
Nadine 9


Binyamin/David, Nadine/Yitzchak

Our last bridge hand:

West: David
5 Spades
5 Clubs
Ace of Hearts +2 red

North: Yitzhak
Diamonds AQJxxxx
Hearts K xxx
Spades Kx

East: Binyamin
6 Clubs, 5 Spades and 2 red cards

South: Nadine
Spades xx
Hearts QJxxxx
Clubs xx
Diamonds Kxx

East dealer. Bidding:
B 1 Club
N 2 Hearts
D 2 Spades
Y 4 Hearts
B 4 Spades
N pass
D pass
Y 5 Hearts
B Double
all pass

David led a Spade and they took two Spade tricks, and would get a Heart
for down one.

Binyamin wanted to know why David didn't bid 6 Clubs, which would have

Anyway, we had some interesting hands and confirmed the rule of 11.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

October 31, 2007

Participants: Nadine, Yitzchak, Gili, Dylan, Genia

First game day out of three that will be in Nadine's house while I'm away in Canada. The report is from Nadine.

San Juan

Yitzchak 44, Gili 36, Nadine 29

Gili joined late and we let her take extra cards and builds to catch up.
Yitzchak did a good job with a Quarry and Library early in the game.

Pirate's Cove

Dylan 37, Nadine 32, Yitzchak 31, Genia 29, Gili 28

We agreed that there is too much luck in this game - both in selecting
islands and dice rolling. The game is not long enough for the luck to
even out. But it's a lot of fun to play. Thanks to Gili for bringing it
again. Genia did well and was leading for most of the game, but the
resultant attacks had their effect, even though she beat a Navy ship.
Yitzchak was also leading, tied with Dylan, but was destroyed in the last
round. I was behind most of the time til the end.

It's Alive

Yitzchak 50, Dylan 46, Genia 42, Gili 39, Nadine 39

Most of us were waiting for a long time for one missing card. We had a
good time playing. Gili got a lot of Villagers, usually followed by a