Binyamin brought his son Tzvi Yehuda, and David brought his son Avraham and two nephews-in-law (or something like that) Moshe and Har-El. Meanwhile, Miryam is a first-timer who had played Settlers of Canaan somewhere and was told by her relatives that she should check out our group.
Tonight's session was somewhat disorganized, owing to my being home late from checking my daughter in to the hospital in preparation for a tonsillectomy, and owing to having asked Binyamin to check out my mezuzah's, which I then had to reattach to all my doorposts during the first twenty minutes of game night.
DominionBinyamin, Elijah, Tzvi Yehuda, Miryam
First play for Miryam.
I set everything up and was all set to take my first move, when Binyamin told me that I had to put the mezuzah's up right away. I grumbled, but I took a Silver and then put my cards down. David Klein then played for me after he walked in. He took Throne Room (the card that let's you double an action), and then put the cards down. Then Binyamin picked up my cards to finish the game.
Unfortunately for him, Silver and Throne Room are two ridiculous cards to take on the first plays, and he spent the next five rounds playing catch up. Miryam liked the game.
Jon, David, Binyamin
And we played another game of this later in the evening, to close game night. David started slowly, but was eventually drawing his entire deck each turn (Throne Room and Smithy, Village, Festival) [DK: What makes this more impressive is that the deck had over 30 cards in it and I still pulled the whole thing!]. Binyamin is the first to play the Black Market. His most important purchase was Witch, which gave him the game. That's probably always going to be the best result of Black Market.
R-EcoDavid, Avraham, Har-El, Moshe
First plays for Har-El and Moshe.
Cosmic EncounterJon, Moshe, Har-El, Elijah
Elijah., as usual, pestered everyone to play Cosmic. I thought it would be a decent choice for Moshe and Har-El, but I was wrong: a) Har-El didn't read English too well, though he spoke it well, and b) Har-El's disconnect between what he wants the rules to be and what the rules are prevented him from grasping the rules. So he constantly tried to put more tokens in the cone than he was allowed, played extra cards, give cards to other people, make unbind-able deals, and so on. He found the game overly complicated. Can't argue with that.
We played one power each: Mind, Ghost, Prophet, and Crystal. Prophet was the strongest power, so Elijah got ganged up on early.
La CittaDavid, Miryam, Avraham, Binyamin, Tzvi Yehuda
David taught this to Binyamin, as he wanted to learn it. First play for everyone but David.
I've had a good time every time I played this, but acknowledge that there are some problems with the game: the luck of what cards are available on your turn, and your dead cities that feed people to other people's success. These haven't bothered me terribly, and I imagine that there is some way to fix the luck of the card draw, if we decided it's necessary.
Unfortunately, these guys really weren't happy with the game, owing to the above problems. So much so that they unanimously decided to abandon the game half-way through.
TaluvaJon, David, Binyamin
I taught this to David and Binyamin. It's a decent filler, very spacial and calculating. Not too many rules, but I always forget one or two important ones when I teach it. :-o
Furthermore, there are a few rule problems that come up every time, such as can a temple be used to join two small settlements, ending with a settlement large enough in which to play a temple? Can you split a settlement such that a temple remains alone? And a few others like this.
I have to make rulings on these issues each time we play. Otherwise, I find it to be a fun abstract game with a little luck in the tile draw (which can be solved with a pool of available tiles, and upcoming tiles visible).
Winner's CircleElijah, Tzvi Yehuda, Avraham
The younger ones played this to round up game night.