February 21st, 2018: One Player Dungeon

Crew Members: Zevvy

I’ve never written a post about playing a game by myself…but I just got my copy of One Deck Dungeon and had a great experience. The game is designed for 1 or 2 players.

One Deck Dungeon

My first game I went classic, Warrior in the Dragon’s Den. I feel like I used up my potions too early on, trying to take damage for Frenzy. I made sure to get a few items to improve my magic, but my skills weren’t all that helpful except Valor (roll a free heroic die). After many close calls, I made it to the dragons den. I only scored 3 hits the first round, and 4 the second round, but ran out of steam and was taken down before I could deal the finishing blow.

I also wanted to test Forest of Shadows, and the Caliana caught my eye as an interesting character. In fact, she was quite powerful, especially since I could take my time at the stairs clearing the floor before continuing. I also got some useful skills and was pretty well rounded, in addition to the fact that I used almost none of my many potions. Probably because I never needed to heal, since any damage is an instant loss to Caliana. This made the final battle pretty tense, but I managed to finish off the Mud Golem without too much trouble.

Even as a single player experience this was excellent, and after a lot of Arkham Horror I am wary of dice. But here even after the dice are rolled there is still the choice of how to use skills, and I’m sure with 2 players it’s even more interesting, combining abilities to overcome the challenges. Traps are quite difficult as one player before getting an item though.

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February 16-17th, 2018: Power Play

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, David, Yehuda

David was visiting from Haifa. Friday afternoon we whomped Omnitron, but the real games would be the next day.

Nations

Zevvy: India – 37, Kevin: Egypt – 36

Kevin was Egypt, though concerned about not starting with military. I was India, intrigued by the ability to rapidly increase population. A lot of interesting things happened and unusual moves were made. This was the first game I bought Boudica, who I kept for 2 rounds. I also bought Vesuvius, because the requirement to return population was counteracted by my growth. However, the return is end of age so upkeep was still an issue. With limited Stability option and Kevin making sure to deny them from me, I had to keep most workers on the mint.

Kevin made use of his private architect quite a lot, considering there were very few in the supply in general. On the flipside, I used my massive amounts of money to ‘buy time’ and get natural wonders after Kevin had passed, which combined with Grand Canyon at the end yielded a few extra points. Kevin had no military upkeep and was ahead in books the whole game, and while I almost caught up with Chopin, overuse of my population ability left me with not enough food for the famine.

I also used an Advisor that removes colonies in exchange for stone and coin, which was helpful when I switched from Renaissance to Industrial colonies. Stone was tight at the end game and while I couldn’t deploy nearly all my men, Kevin couldn’t get enough military to overtake me for some events. The final scoring was very close however, and I came out ahead by only one point.

Forbidden Island

We had a few minutes before lunch, so David and I sat to play Forbidden Island. I set the bar to Elite, thinking we’d have little trouble unless maybe we got the Diver and Navigator. Which of course, we did. But still, it wasn’t too hard, since three temples were concentrated around fools landing we just waited patiently. The deck almost reshuffled before waters even rose, and though we ended with only a small chunk of land left there was no real doubt.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Though it was Yehuda’s first game and I wanted to start with the Mythos inspired villain Gloomweaver, I also wanted a challenge, so we played Skinwalker Gloomweaver. David was the Sentinels and I was Unity–so while both of us were good to go for Phase 1, after Gloomweaver flipped my army was destroyed and David was put on heavy defensive. Fortunately, Haka was able to tank a bit as well as take out Voodoo Pins with his buffed buffed Taiaha. Yehuda was playing guise, allowing him to make use of Durasteel Chains and Haka’s abilities, so when he had enough cards to play a few at a time made some significant blows to the enemy. Retcon was also our only real Ongoing / Environment management, though he had to sacrifice a turn to stop a volcano in the beginning of the game. Bee Bot staved off a Cultist, only to have Gloomweaver play Vast Following, restoring the cultist for heavy damage, requiring the Volatile explosion of my last two robots. In the end, Gloomweaver was down to 4 HP and flung into darkness one round before he likely would have finished off the Sentinels and Unity.

Our second game, David was playing as the new Tachyon, so we went up against Akash’Bhuta, the ultimate punching bag. While Yehuda quickly adapted to Nightmist, controlling the Villain Deck to prevent the worst, Kevin as Skyscraper was having fun in Large Mode, punching things left and right (including heroes). Only after I took a few blows as the Scholar could I turn healing back into energy, but Proverbs and Axioms also allowed others to heal a bit too. By the time Tachyon was ready to go, she was down to about 8 HP. But while it took until now for all 3 of us to do about 90 damage, Tachyon in one turn did 86 damage, playing three Lightspeed Barrages and Blizting for the damage of another. Too bad she wasn’t buffed, or each Blitz would have been boosted too. Either way, this allowed us to take down Akash’Bhuta just as Shabbat was ending, though with one final effort she played enough limbs to incapacitate Tachyon just before we finished her off. But as we all know, when the Flash runs too fast he ends up coming back somehow anyway, and I’m sure Tachyon will be back for future battles.

Saturday night we played some Spaceteam as well as Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. David doesn’t own the game so he took this opportunity to play the Defuser. We made it to the end of section 6, where the 11 module in 5 minutes with no mistakes bomb had us stuck for 30 minutes before calling it a night, though we did come very close.

Frebruary 14th, 2018: Monster Sale

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, Yehuda

We managed to get one more game in before Kevin heads off to vacation.

Arkham Horror

We played against the Old One that introduces super nasty masked monsters–powerful foes that we could never truly be rid of. With only three investigators, I wasn’t sure about our chances. Our rich girl and working photographer did manage to grab some early Elder Signs from the curiosity shop, which gave us a couple early seals, while the Salesman was on monster hunting duty, and built up a significant stock of ‘trophies’ to sell off later. Rich girl Jenny acquired quite a number of male allies, who were all eager to help but it was her motorcycle that finally helped her get around. No one was very magic oriented, though Yehuda’s enchant weapon did come in handy. After our initial success though, clues were harder to come by, so we spent a decent amount of time increasing our skills and stocking up on supplies, or visiting the hospital and asylum to stay in shape. My healing stone brought me back from the brink of unconsciousness and insanity, and when we were ready to go we finally sealed off the final few gates. We almost won by closing all the gates, but a delay in the Other Worlds prevented an early victory. Becoming Deputy of Arkham restored my income though and another trip to the curiosity shop paid off with an Elder Sign. The terror level never even reached three, and this was the first time no one was devoured (though we had some close calls). This left us all with quite powerful characters in the end (though all blessings had been lost, they helped while we had them).

Still haven’t become a member of Silver Twilight Lodge. Something to try maybe for next time.

February 8th, 2018: One Man’s Sanity

Crew Members: Aaron, Zevvy, Kevin, Yehuda

There are many activities puny humans engage in to try and stave off existential doom. I don’t know what everyone else was doing, but we chose board games.

Arkham Horror

Though Kevin and Aaron were both sucked into gates almost immediately, things went pretty smoothly this game. Yehuda and Kevin both managed to get Elder Signs early on, though a close call in the Outer Worlds almost got Kevin devoured. Sure enough, he was devoured, but not before sealing at least one gate. I made it through an Outer World fairly quickly with 5 clue tokens, but continued failing to seal a gate and eventually settled for closing it. For the most part we were very lucky and able to clear the streets of monsters, terror only rising once. Aaron got a free blessing and managed to seal a couple gates, though he spent some time recovering in Arkham Asylum and the Hospital. Sealing the gates also made room for Gypsies to move in and steal his mystic powders… Kevin sacrificed his dog to stop a rumor, and it wasn’t long before we sealed up the last few gates for victory. There were many close calls, but the negative environment effects seemed to come just after they would have been more devastating, and we finished with a final score of 17, with 9 unspent monster tokens.

If you can’t hear the music, the dancer looks like a madman.

February 3rd, 2018: Bupkes!

Crew Members: Sasha, Yuda, Eitan, Danya, Zevvy, Nechama

I ended up staying in Givat Shmuel for Shabbat, and finally made use of a game that was sitting on the shelf for too long.

Codenames

Easy to teach, we played a few rounds of this so everyone could have a turn giving clues. First round Sasha and Yuda were on a team and did very well, so Nechama suggested boys vs. girls (which seems to be our standard). But with this the boys took the lead, even though many clues were given with a count of “1”.

Bohnanza

Zevvy – 22, Nechama – 21, Eitan – 17, Sasha – 14

I hadn’t played this since college, but bought a copy a while back thinking it would be good for a lighter game session (Citadels in Hebrew looked too intimidating). The game still takes a while because of the nature of verbal deal making, but it was fun and lively and Danya wished she had joined in from the start.

Though Eitan got an early lead with Red Beans, Nechama tried to then stop trading with him, which allowed me to catch up quite a bit. Nechama managed to cash in some garden beans and a lot of Soy and Stink beans, making deals with Sasha. Towards the end Eitan and I were just giving each other beans, and in the last round I got one coin more than Nechama, but I also went first. I took out the Cocoa beans by mistake, so with the few extra turns they would’ve afforded, the outcome could have been different. Either way, everyone had fun, and it was just the right game for the afternoon.

I don’t have a lot of games that can handle more than 4 players. Maybe my next purchase should be something that is easy to teach, scales well, and that I too would enjoy (cause I’m sure not playing Avalon). Time to do some research.

January 31st, 2018: Haven’t Got a Clue

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, Yehuda, Avram

The fate of Arkham was left uncertain last time, so we convened once again. Because certain doom is way more satisfying than uncertain doom.

Arkham Horror

The horror threatening to awaken was the possibly racist named Shub-Niggoroth. With the temptation to dabble in dark magic in exchange for clues, my Psychiatrist was immediately devoured, but Ashcan Pete stepped into take over. Yehuda proved that looks and money aren’t everything, when your spray of Tommy Gun bullets does nothing against creatures from beyond. Trapped by a ghost in the Hospital until he could be rushed to the Asylum, Yehuda’s character was devoured at the end for not having a monster trophy.

Kevin was armed to the teeth but got sucked into a gate before gathering enough clues. Avram had some victories as well, but spent most of his time stuck in the Other Worlds as well. His two gate trophies did manage to solve the rumor that was spreading terror, but closing gates was not as helpful as sealing them would have been. Kevin did relieve me of my curse, but by then the doom track was nearly full.

The final battle, though futile, showed the Old Ones that humans don’t go down without a fight. Kevin’s arsenal allowed him to take out a fair chunk of health from Shub-Niggoroth, while I slowed him down with a ward and Avram chipped away, until Kevin was devoured and Avram got a few more hits in before finally being devoured as well.

So we were all devoured, and on top of that, the church took my only dollar!

 

January 27th, 2018: Un-Nameable Title

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yehuda, Elad, Kevin, Avram

I guess this blog has become more about any time I personally end up playing board games, rather than some sort of specific crew. But that’s fine, because we are many.

Hanabi

Yehuda, Elad and I played Friday night, and started off very strong, except in white. We made some mistakes in the mid-game, but managed to get a couple 5s at a critical moment. The final round we missed one more 5, but a final score of 19 for a first game is not bad.

Star Realms

Yehuda picked this up right away, though we kept forgetting the Outpost rule. The first game a lot of expensive cards clogged the market, and while I had some good ships Yehuda had many bases. After taking a beating I managed to get a good strike in between Base plays, but just when I thought I was done for I smashed the bases yet again and made a final push before Yehuda could recover. Our second game I trashed very heavily and overran with Machine Cult and Blob.

Shabbat Day we played another two games I think, and one game Yehuda overwhelmed with Blob while my Trade Federation couldn’t heal me fast enough.

Dominion

The first game I got an early Bishop which helped my trashing, and I managed to trigger my Magic Lamp eventually for gold, which in turn activated my Legionairre attack. Yehuda was able to Mine most of his treasures but bought a Bishop late, so my engine was already ahead. Guide came in handy a few times for both of us though.

Next game had some events, ‘Plan’ which we both used to Trash when buying Nobles, the only real card drawer. Coin of the Realm made it easier to not get stuck, and Count was an interesting card which helped Yehuda trash many of the curses he got from my Soothsayer. This game was closer but while Yehuda had more Nobles and a Duchy, I won the Province split 5-3.

Arkham Horror

Yehuda was finally able to bring over this granddaddy of Mythos themed games. Kevin came over and Avram showed up just in time to join as our fourth. Even without my starting blessing, I got pretty lucky as Sister Mary and picked up a bunch of clues early on. We had a lot of Monster Bursts in a row, so while Terror increased, most of the monsters weren’t in our way. Kevin as the Professor finally managed to defeat one particularly strong monster with the help of the Shotgun, but lost many clues doing so. Though he did seal a gate with an Elder sign, removing several monsters.

Avram as the Magician had quite an arsenal of spells, but before he could go monster hunting was sucked into a gate, forcing several turns to be spent in the Outer Worlds. I used a gate Trophy to bless him but we both lost our blessings the same round, making things even more difficult. Yehuda had some good items, but was knocked out and driven insane, setting him back a bit, though he managed to start rebuilding his arsenal of spells and items quickly thanks to his ability to choose Events.

20180127_181546.jpg

With the Doom track more than half filled and only two gates sealed, we weren’t in the best position, but unfortunately ran out of time in the real world.

So many games, so little time…we plan to play Arkham Horror again though, and now that Avram lives closer it should be easier to coordinate game nights on this side of town.