Game night was moved to Tuesday again, since I was expecting to be out of town on Wednesday evening. Being summer vacation, several attendees brought their young children with them. Also, as has happened a number of times in the last year or so, I didn't take any notes, so this report will be somewhat hazy.
NileBinyamin, Rivka, Zvi Yehuda, Gili, Jon
Nile is a new game from Minion Games. The publisher sent me a copy to review, which you can find soon on Purple Pawn.
In the first game, we forgot to mix in the used Flood cards with the discarded cards. Binyamin still insisted that we quit after the second run through the deck. He wasn't impressed with the lack of control or meaningful decisions.
The younger kids liked the game and wanted to play again.
David 2/3/3/3/3, Jon 1/2/2/3/4, Avraham 0/3/3/3/4
I thought the game might be less random with perhaps with more meaningful decisions in three player rather than five player. It was a bit better, but not especially. This time we played an entire game through. Turns became rather repetitive, and were not too engaging. Occasionally we had to make a semi-meaningful decision between two options. It's possible that we missed some strategies.
Actually, in retrospect, none of us tried a strategy of building up many cards before playing, which might work. Possibly I would try the game one more time to try that out.
But, as I said, the game is quite random, and wasn't too engaging, so I'm not sure I will. However, the younger kids still enjoyed it.
TribuneBinyamin+, Rivka, Zvi Yehuda, Gili, Nadine
Binyamin won. They played an easy variant.
Magic: the GatheringJon+, David+
David and I drafted from an uninspiring set of cards. I ended up with solid White, no Blue, but an equal number of support from the other three colors. After assessing the worth of the colors, I ended up with White/Green and a splash of Red. My mana curve was terrible, as nearly everything I had cost 4 to cast. In the two games I played, I drew perfect mana distribution, but rarely ever saw a Green card.
David played Black/Red, and, as usual, his most annoying threat was a Black pump creature.
In the first game, I brought out solid white cards and eventually hit 8 mana. David was just too slow. In the second game, I didn't get to 8 mana and I spent a lot of time tossing little guys in the way of a big Black creature. Until I got out the Droning Bureaucrats. David's Black creature didn't allow him to attack with any other creature, so all of his other guys were useless. And my Bureaucrats canceled his Black creature every round, but at the expense of using up 5 mana each round. Which put us at a standstill for several rounds.
Finally, just to relieve the tedium, I disrupted the stalemate, but it ended up with me tossing out some more fodder, him killing his Black guy so he could attack with his other creatures, and him finally overrunning me.
Naturally, my very next pick would have allowed me to kill his last guy, and possibly come back. However, by that point, he also had more things to cast and we were only about 5 cards from the end of the deck, so I might just have decked myself in the end.
SteamBinyamin, Rivka, Zvi Yehuda, Avraham
I taught this to all of them. Binyamin prefers Age of Steam or Railroad Tycoon, and wasn't impressed with this game, a decision he made before he even started playing. For whatever reason, they all stopped the game after two rounds.
R-EcoDavid 18, Jon 17, Avraham -3
Although I usually enjoy this little game - one of the better filler games - I found this session even better than usual. At several points I felt like there were some tough and important choices to make, and that I had some control over the results. This is largely due to it being a three player, rather than a five player, game.
We play with the chips all randomized and in random piles, so you never know what color or number will come up next on a pile. I chose to dump early in order to collect a few early high valued chips. David caught up fairly quickly, however. In the end, we both had dumped the same amount, but, because he was the one to end the game, he had a point more than me in chips. If it had made it to my turn, I would have taken the chip and won, instead.
Race for the GalaxyBinyamin+, Rivka, Zvi Yehuda
Binyamin at least had played this before, though he asked a number of rules questions to me during the game. He won, of course.