We're plowing through the new board games. We started the evening by punching out many of the unpunched ones. Moments before game night started, I received my Secret Santa gift, which turned out to be Cuba, so we punched that one, too.
Alice and Wonderland ParadeGili 11, David 13, Elijah, Nadine
I started the game, and then David sat down in my place. I was hoping he would be able to figure out the rules just from watching what people did, but I explained it to him after all. Everyone enjoys this game. Nadine thinks it's pretty random.
Dominion: IntrigueNadine 45ish, Gili 33ish, Elijah 32ish
For some reason, I've stopped taking notes at game nights, and thus don't know what happened in this one.
Magic: the GatheringDavid+, Jon
We drafted, including the 39 new cards I brought back from America (not enough to really make much of a difference). I ended up with a wide mix of cards, and had a hard time getting down to two colors and a splash; I had no multi-mana cards.
I played BR with a splash of green (I just couldn't leave out "GG3: all your creatures deal damage as though they weren't blocked"). I don't recall what David played, but I didn't get to play my fancy green card.
HomesteadersNadine, David, Elijah, Gili
First play of this for everyone. Everyone was at first very confused about strategy, with so many options and no clue as to what to do first. Around mid-game, David and Nadine both said that they were enjoying it. Elijah had to leave after the eighth round, so they removed one of the columns of cards and continued.
At the end of the game, each player spent a very, very long time trying to figure out the optimum path to maximize points, which dragged the game to a halt. As a result, they said that the game was awfully fiddly. Hmmmmm.
I will have to try it out. I'm wondering if the fiddliness will disappear as you become use to the options. I don't recall who won.
TribuneEitan+ 39, Jon+ 36, Emily, Ksenia
First play of this for everyone. This is a very good worker placement game, which we all enjoyed.
The entire game lasted only five rounds, which was rather quick (though it took us some time to explain the game and play the rounds on our first play). Essentially collect sets of cards, and use those to collect items required for victory (or items that will grant you other items required for victory), so as to fulfill a variable victory condition. And each item also gives various benefits, all themed to ancient Rome.
Everyone else took a lot of coins, while I took almost none, gaining the few I needed from benefits. It seemed to work ok. I couldn't win any auctions, but there weren't many that I cared about.
On the fifth round, it was clear that both Eitan and I were going to have three of the six conditions necessary for victory, and we only needed three of them to win a four player game. Knowing this, I should have gone for the strategy that would have let me fulfill mine before Eitan fulfilled his, which would have been a bonus of two points more for me and less for him; I also would have forgone some other points but in favor of a gain of an equal number elsewhere. And the final result would have been me winning by a single point.
Oh well. First game is for learning.