Game night was a day early, owing to a conference I'm attending tomorrow night. We didn't have a chance to test my prototype. Zack attended last year, but his family went back to the states. He's here for a few weeks, but tonight will be his only game group appearance. Elijah also returned after a long absence.
Year of the DragonNadine 101, Elijah 97, Hillel 92, Zack 83
First game for all but Nadine, who had to explain it a few times as players slowly arrived at the club and needed to hear the explanation from the beginning.
Nadine writes: Zack lost points due to getting the least explanation due to coming late. I only won because no one [else] had played before.
CaylusJon/David 84, Avraham 74, Gili 58
We played about half the game and then I got up to let David finish my position when he arrived. I'm not thrilled about the game anyway.
I gave David an ok but not thrillingly good position. He promptly made a mistake in his inherited position and lost ground. And yet, he still won the game. Go figure. This was Avraham's first play and he underestimated the importance of Green/Blue buildings. Gili missed out on the second and third castle scoring (she had one house in the last castle section; none in the second).
Cosmic EncounterElijah+, Saarya+, Hillel, Nadine
Hillel's first play. All of them were a little rusty and came to me with rules questions. Even so, they made several mistakes, throwing into question the game's results. For instance, they played the Vacuum as the one who selects which tokens the other player loses, which is deadly. Elijah and Saarya won on a joint comp/comp.
TichuJon/Avraham 1025, David/Nadine 875
I opened with a Grand Tichu, which I made, and we both went out first to boot. A 400 point lead. I called and made Tichu again. Then David began to call Grand Tichu and Tichu, and after several rounds, we were only ahead 60 points. I won the last game with a Tichu, and that settled it.
In every hand, David and I had our cards down first; of course, being Avraham's first play, and Nadine dividing some attention in the first few hands with Cosmic, this was understandable. In nearly every hand, either David or I called Tichu or Grand Tichu; Avraham and Nadine never called it. And in nearly every hand, David and I went out first, leaving Nadine and Avraham to play for third. Too bad David and I weren't teammates.
David made a Tichu where both Avraham and Nadine had bombs and he didn't. His Grand Tichu was also helped by getting passed cards to complete both a bomb and an inside eight card straight. I had a single bomb, on the last hand, which I broke up to play a 10 card straight, followed by a three of a kind. I was left with a 9. David eventually played an 8, letting me go out.