September 14th, 2018: Whose leg is that?

Crew Members: Zevvy, Misha

Misha was in town so we had some lunch then played a game.

The Castles of Burgundy

Misha – 192, Zevvy – 179

I gave us random boards. Misha’s had lots of small chunks no bigger than three. He went for the Green Castles, tech, and small cities early on, but I managed to keep up with some small sections of my own including a Mine. I was first in turn order for a while but then Misha started filling out boats and got a lot of goods.

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I had a nice chicken pasture, and pulled ahead a bit building my size 5 city regions. I also picked up a lot of goods near the end of the game, but Misha kept filling in small sections and even for a few points each it added up.

The BGG bags made it easy to set up and clean up. Just had to have a place off to the side for unused tiles that got cleared from the board.

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September 10th, 2018: Shesh-Besh

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yael

I’m only writing this because I actually played a game of backgammon over the holiday, so I can add it to the tag cloud.

Backgammon

I remember playing this as a kid, throwing dice from weird smelling cups. I didn’t really remember the rules so Yael gave me a refresh. I picked up the general strategy and with some beginner’s luck (I rolled double 6s!) I was making a good lead. Even when Yael captured my pieces I freed them right away. But my luck ran out as Yael caught up and captured me with only one spot to escape to. By the time I got that piece out she had already started bringing hers home, and I still had about six pieces in slot 2 to bring home when she took the victory.

It was a surprisingly exciting game.

September 8th, 2018: Tips and Tricks

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, Yehuda, Eitan, Yitzchak

I was home for the weekend. This is what we played.

Innovation

Metalworking got me to four but then Yehuda pulled ahead with Agriculture and got the one. I got the two, but Kevin got the three and Empire. Yehuda used a lot of cards which gave him and Kevin points, and Kevin picked up the achievements right away as Yehuda had to wait until his next turn. Pirate Code and Combustion robbed me of my points. Yehuda also used Physsics and we all succeeded, getting everyone to level 7 tech but by then Kevin had enough achievements to win.

Odin’s Ravens

Kevin and I played this while we waited for others to show up after lunch. Neither of us really used the Loki cards in a particularly stunning way, and it was pretty close most of the game. I used up my Loki cards before Kevin but we both made it to the end in the same turn, with the same number of cards.

Food Chain Magnate

Eitan got his wish and came prepared. While he rushed waiters, I built up for Guru, not sure what I’d do after that. I helped Yitzchak get started, he got the freezer and eternal marketing, and started to sell beer. Eitan looked at the reserve cards, and his expression made me think there was a 1, 2 and 3 (I placed a 2, he obviously placed a 1). Since I went trainer first, only I had the salary discount, making it difficult for Yitzchak to upgrade until he got some cash. Eitan was nearing $100 but I was ready to sell–I got a Brand Director, built a Radio and advertised burgers to five houses, selling to all of them the following round for $150. Yitzchak started advertising Pizza but was only able to sell to a few houses with some of the burgers he saved up. Eitan just kept using Waitresses, unable to advertise or sell, and after a couple rounds the bank was empty, having only a 100 and two 200s.

Splendor

We needed something quick to learn and play, and Splendor was it. Kevin, Eitan and I all started collecting mines, no one really going for the tier 2 cards yet. We had some reserve wars with the 1 point mines. All the nobles required 3 rubies so I got rubies when available, but later Kevin ended up getting 3 of the nobles while I only got 1. Eitan was set up to get all the tier two Sapphires but I denied him one. In the end Kevin and I were both at 14, all of us having got at least one tier 3 card. Then he got one more tier 2 for the win, since he went last the game was over.

The afternoons are getting shorter, but FCM didn’t take as long as I thought it might.

September 5th, 2018: Top of the Food Chain

Crew Members: Zevvy, Shlomo, Eitan

We started with some refreshments and appetizers, then moved on to the main course. And boy was it filling.

Kingdomino

We weren’t sure who was coming so we played a quick round, Shlomo won with 40, mostly from a four crown lake. Eitan was one point behind, while I had only 20 something, none of my regions bearing more than one crown save a small swamp.

Isle of Skye

Scoting was for Oxen on Roads to caste, Mountains, Brochs, and vertical segments of 3. Shlomo got an early lead with the Oxen while I collected Brochs early. This got me a lot of points in later rounds, while Eitan and I both had columns as well. Shllomo didn’t have mountains or columns, and fell behind while I pulled ahead of Eitan. I also doubled my Sheep scroll, winning with 70 something to eitan’s 60ish, and Shlomo mid 40s.

Food Chain Magnate

At first I was apprehensive about bringing this out, especially since Shlomo was hungry for real food. It started a bit slow, but once things started to sell the interest was palpable. Eitan got many of the early milestones, but once we started advertising a bit I undercut him on a lot of early sales. Shlomo was the only one to build a new restaurant, and got a Coach before I got my Guru. He was primed to take advantage of our advertising. 20180905_232859.jpgI placed a lemonade airplane but didn’t consider the order of the houses and ran out of lemonade, while Shlomo made a ton off my garden house. Eitan also marketed, but didn’t get to sell too much. While Eitan and I both geared up for massive advertising near the end of game, Shlomo just got Chef’s and Trucks and outsold us all, the lack of lemonade from Eitan upgrading his Errand boy to a Cart Operator with not enough range screwed him over. Shlomo and I both got $100 first, but he ended with $450 something to my $250, while Eitan didn’t even break 100. The Reserve cards were 2x $200 and $100.

I had been thinking a lot about FCM and glad we played. Eitan said he wants to play again ASAP, so hopefully Shabbat afternoon we can make that happen.

September 3rd, 2018: Birthday Baron Burger Bash

Crew Members: Yehuda B., Zevvy, Daniel B., Shoshana

How did I not have a birthday category tag yet on this site? Have to go back and check if we had any other birthday meetups. Anyway, in addition to making burgers we made mince meat out of Baron Blade. And gained another convert to the Way of the Sentinels.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

The very idea of the game appealed even to Daniel’s wife, and Yehuda and I were more than happy to play after dinner. We used only cards from the base set, Tempest, Legacy, Visionary and Fanatic in Mars Base. Baron Blade started with targets (minions, turrets), and with an early Takedown we got a good start. I even took out Living Force Field with Mental Divergence. That’s when Devious Disruption came out, dealing 7 damage to each of us. Elemental Redistributor made Tempest unable to strike, so he switched to healing. Legacy got his ring and the added healing from Motivational Charge helped out as well. Prophetic Vision let me put Meteor Shower on top just before Baron Blade played a series of three Hasten Dooms which would likely have incapacitated Legacy and brought the rest of us dangerously low. Tempest was down to 5 and Legacy less than 10, and we still had a ways to go on Blade’s flipped side. But Fanatic became our main damage dealing, playing a series of Smite the Transgressors boosted by Legacy for 11 damage each turn, and in a couple rounds we destroyed Blade once and for all.

Great way to celebrate Yehuda’s birthday, and looks like Daniel is buying Sentinels first chance he gets, probably with Rook City/Infernal Relics pack as well.

August 29th, 2018: Seasoned Gamers

Crew Members: Kevin, Yehuda, Zevvy, Eitan

I was so physically exhausted I needed a refresher. So tonight I got to show off my old foray into game design. Also, I was actually in Haifa for a few hours today but met up with David T. for dinner in Tel Aviv…everyone moves, but the games go on…

Settlers of Catan: Seasons and Sorcery

We finally played my old homemade expansion to settlers. The first version was made I think in 2010 and updated in 2013 with a fancy new look and some rule tweaks. Still could change some things, but we played as is and boy was it a blast. I haven’t had a thoroughly fun game of Settlers (or any game of Settlers) in a while. Best of all, no one fell behind or was completely out of options. The seasonal resources and acess to magic gave everyone something to grab for. All the seasonal buildings were bought, except the Schoolhouse (it was a low brick game), which I would’ve bought on my turn to win if Kevin hadn’t built another settlement and won on his turn. Yehuda was the first to invest heavily in magic and it paid off a bit but he became targeted a lot.

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Eitan then got a ton of resources thanks to Fertile Ground but had to discard 11 sheep in one turn. Alter Fate did not help as much as it should have, sixes and eights being rolled less than nines. Four was barely rolled. No one used Guardian of the Way, but we saw some Magical Meddling one people had a lot of mana. Storms preventing port use in Summer wasn’t a big deal. All in all, everyone had fun, and that’s why we do what we do.

Afterwards I showed the guys my Nintendo DS programs, including a port of Forbidden Island. Unfortunately my homemade “Driven to Insanity” Bus Driver themed game wasn’t working, but maybe one day I’ll make a hard-copy version.

August 25th, 2018: The Best Laid Plans

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, Eitan, Yehuda, Daniel

Great Western Trail

This time we were only three players, after dinner. The first employee row was one of each, I took the Engineer, Kevin the Cowboy, and Eitan the Builder. The neutral building setup was randomized and we used the ‘a’ side private buildings. Using certificates I made sure not to deliver below 8, except one Kansas city delivery. Eitan delivered to KC right away, while Kevin never did. Moving my train saved me delivery costs and I also claimed four of the Station Masters, while getting a few cows including a purple. Kevin and Eitan clogged the map with buildings, but I soon upgraded my movement. I never delivered to San Francisco, but still ended with 114 points. Kevin had 74 and Eitan had 65, constructing some expensive buildings. So far the building strategy hasn’t been the most successful, but the ‘b’ sides might affect that. Eitan did perform an extraordinary delivery to San Francisco though.

Istanbul

After lunch we started light, Kevin, Yehuda and myself with Istanbul. Kevin went for the red mosque tile, Yehuda also did some gambling. I took my time around the post office, eventually getting the yellow and blue mosque tiles. Kevin spent his resources early getting two Rubies but I soon caught up. I got the other mosque tiles for 3 resources each, and a gemstone dealer, but was one resource short from getting my 5th Ruby in the round Kevin got his. Yehuda managed to get his third in the final round.

Innovation

First time playing a team game. I finagled Construction over to Daniel to claim Empire, but Kevin wrecked the score piles with anatomy and it was a long time before someone claimed the 3. When Daniel and I had four and Kevin and Yehuda had three achievements, We were digging into the 8’s and 9’s. I claimed Empire, but it wasn’t long before Kevin set off Fission after a failed attempt. In the aftermath, Kevin got a few points, and as the decks were running out Daniel had no choice but to activate Computers. This made Kevin play Robotics, getting even more points and activating A.I., which I had though would make us win with the least points, but first it draws a 10, which ended the game before the A.I. takeover. I was wrong anyway I realize because we had Computers out, not Software, but it was an exciting potential ending nonetheless. Oddly, Kevin’s society had access to the Satellites which thematically survived the devastation on Earth.

Keyflower

We finally played this, four players. Though I didn’t have the Green Worker Winter tile I focused on Greens and workers, but passed too soon and didn’t get any Spring tiles. Kevin got a Workshop and Eitan some other wood producer, but those were the only sources of wood the whole game. Kevin also got the Quarry while Yehuda bid high for dibs on the boats. Summer I took four tiles, but Eitan got both the boats (double transport and bid any color), which at the end of the game gave him a lot of points (he got all the winter boats as well). In fall I got the Inn for more workers, and while I had the Craftsman Guild for each set, I used all my blues in Winter and got 15 points for my Yellows instead from a different tile. Eitan had the Jeweler as well, and ended with 80 something points, I had 59 thanks to Blacksmith and Cathedral, which I outbid Yehuda using Greens. Kevin mostly did Mercer’s Guild and got 54 points, and Yehuda had skill tiles but didn’t realize he needed different tiles.

Hanabi

Yehuda and I played a quick round, but blew up after getting two level 3, one level 5, one level 4, and red was stuck at 2 as I discarded both red 3’s. Yehuda had some playable fours but we didn’t have more fives and were running on one hint token at at time.

I have nothing to say in the postscript except that self-reference often contradicts itself.