April 11th, 2016: Settling In

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Dima

Everyone’s been pretty busy, I wasn’t even sure if we would meet tonight, but David came after work and Dima came for what might be his last time before he moves, so it was good to see him again before he left.

Dominion

Zevvy – 41, David 33

Trade Route, Quarry, Throne Room, Bishop, Laboratory, Harvest, Mint, Adventurer, Expand

David and I played a quick game of Dominion with a trashing heavy set. It wasn’t long before we each had 4 Provinces, but I was able to Bishop a few Expands for extra points along the way.

Settlers of Catan

Zevvy – 13, Dima – 9, David – 7

We quickly taught Dima the additions for Cities and Knights, and managed to finish the game in just under 2 hours. Many more nines than statistically probable were rolled, giving myself and Dima an early advantage over David. An early Robber placement also hit me and David pretty hard. I got two early Defender of Catan cards before Dima upgraded both his knights with a Smithy. David and Dima both had 3:1 ports which I needed, until I finally got the Brick port after settling two heavy brick spots. Dima had the Acqueduct which helped him get Brick and Ore which he didn’t make from cities.

IMG_20160411_230105082

Towards the end we started rolling more 7s and other numbers which hadn’t come up, but the whole game not a single 4 was rolled (4 never comes up!). I managed to win after several 5’s were rolled, filling my hand with Bricks, then playing Irrigation for 4 Wheat and building a Metropolis, settlement, and taking the Merchant just before the Barbarians would have attacked.

Time flies, and these meetings help mark the weeks as everyone finds their place. Meetings  might be more sparse in the coming weeks, but we will do our best.

April 9th, 2016: A Long, Civilized Afternoon

Crew Members: David, Liz, Zevvy, Martin

David and Liz have finally settled in their new apartment, so Martin and I came by for games in the afternoon…and the late afternoon…and the evening…

Scrabble

It had been a long time since Liz and I played Scrabble, and we were due for a rematch. The board remained pretty narrow for a while, and David had the most points for a word with 30, until I opened the board with the word Encore. Liz then presented David a chance to score a Triple Word, but he didn’t have anything good and left it open for me to score 66 points with the word Zero (the Z was doubled and tripled). We played until Martin showed up, but at that point I was pretty far ahead.

Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game

David – Greeks, Liz – Arabs, Martin – Romans, Zevvy – Russians

David: Military Victory

Martin has been wanting to play this for a while, and a long Shabbat afternoon is probably our only chance to do so. The game is based off of elements from the Civilization video game series. Each nation has cities producing buildings, soldiers, and trade points as we explore the map for new locations to settle and huts and villages to conquer. Trade points are used to research tech which improves various aspects of the player’s civilization, such as production or movement speed, or various other benefits.

As the Arabs, Liz focused a lot on culture, but it took her a while to get a second city established. Martin’s special abilities also gave him a decent amount of culture. I focused mostly on military, and discovered several city-states which tied up my forces while David attacked me. Fortunately I was able to hold off David’s attacks, and mount an assault on Martin’s city. I didn’t have quite enough forces to take Martin’s capital, and decided to focus on stealing tech. But at this point David had built up his army and was still not deterred from attacking me, especially after my battles with Martin left me weakened. Towards the end, Liz was very close to a cultural victory, though David and Martin had interfered a little bit with her. But in one large attack David defeated my whole army, and had no problem taking my capital after that, securing a Military Victory. The Russian space program failed due to over extension of their Military…

After learning the rules, Civilization only took us about 7 hours. We didn’t use the Great Person’s deck or Investment deck, which add some more options for players. We were using the rest of the expansion pieces and rules, which make battles more tactical and balance aspects of the original release of the game.

April 5th, 2016: Global warming? Who cares, I’m rich!

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Nima, Martin, Misha

Ca$h ‘n Gun$

Martin brought this game back from a convention, and soon we were all pointing guns at each other. For cash. Martin stayed as the Godfather (who can point one gun away from him, and choose loot first) for most of the game, though David got a lot of diamonds in one round and ended up with more cash overall. The second game we used traits, Martin was Smart (gets bullets back for laying down), David was , Nima was Stealthy (able to steal 10K when laying down), and I was lucky (if shot twice, dodge both bullets). Extra bullets showed up early on, but I didn’t get them and ended up going through my bullets pretty quickly, though I did use my lucky power once. After running out of bullets I couldn’t bluff anymore, and though I had a lot of diamonds early, David had a round where he took all the loot, but it was mostly 5 K bills. I think everyone was Godfather at some point that game, and Nima actually won with a large amount of paintings and 20 K bills, with David’s diamond bonus still leaving him 6K behind Nima.

One round, as soon as we had all pointed our guns but before we shot, Misha called. It was perfect timing.

20th Century

The wheels of production are turning–too fast! Clean up all that garbage, or else! This game combines auctions and worker placement and resource management, with some technologies thrown into the mix that add some mechanics. Martin got a few early bids, which meant he didn’t have much garbage to deal with. David didn’t take much land at all at first, which meant he had less garbage but less income. Nima and Misha played pretty balanced, but in a 5 player game, taking the later bids left Misha with no small amount of garbage. I got a lot of land, some of it cheap, but with a lot of garbage.

Players must also be concerned for pollution, which can be offset by certain technologies. Fortunately I didn’t get too polluted, and game progressed I took plenty of tiles with recycling plants, which allowed me to keep up during the first partial scoring. Martin, Misha and Nima had good Science production which benefited them in the second partial scoring, though Misha often saved his science points at the expense of consigning himself to a low spot on the disaster each round. David began buying land once the stronger tiles came out, but was a bit behind.

IMG_20160405_231533104

When the final technologies came out, I was able to remove a good deal of garbage, and somehow had the second most cash and science (Nima had more cash than I did), which also counted for some points, squeaking out the victory. Misha had high point production, but all the garbage in the last round brought his score down significantly. Martin and Nima both had no garbage in the end, but I had almost twice as much land, and my Flower (non-pollution) level was high, netting a lot of points for what clean tiles i did have.

I wasn’t very good at Ca$h ‘n Gun$, but my greedy non-concern for the environment worked out in 20th Century. Martin actually donated Ca$h ‘n Gun$ to the game club so we can enjoy it in future meetings even if he is not there (thanks Martin!) He also suggested we play it on an airplane…