July 28th, 2018: Yeehaw!

Crew Members: Zevvy, David T., Kevin, Lily, Nechama, Yehuda B., Eitan S., Jonathan D.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

We played one game of this at night against La Capitan and won. A big help came from Dark Visionary allowing us to avoid Raiding Party twice. Cosmic’s constructs were never destroted–even Battle Forged couldn’t kill them because of Cosmic Crest. The T-Rex’s did some damage but Visionary Wrested the Mind of one of them. Sky-Scraper’s links wreaked some havoc for the villain and the Scholar got a few hits in and helped everyone play cards. Eventually Ra put out Imbued Fire and two Obsidian fields came out, speeding up the game considerably as we tore away at La Capitan after flipping her back from being Split Across Time.

The next day, Eitan, Kevin and Yehuda played four games, three of them with David. They defeated Apostate, but lost to Chairman thanks too a poorly timed Prison Riot. They won against Citizen Dawn but lost to the Matriarch.

One Deck Dungeon

David and I started a game against the Scorpion as Paladin and Slayer, but after two floors we had to stop. He had most of the Magic while I had lots of Dexterity and we both had some Strength. We had to use a few potions along the way but still had some in reserve for the final floor and the boss.

Hanabi

Jonathan and I played a round, and made too many mistakes. Then David joined and we did quite well, scoring 22 (5-5-5-5-2). The red pile was the one we failed at, taking a long time to get a red one, and the other Red 2 being the last card in the deck.

Great Western Trail

Realizing there was a lot to explain, I didn’t go through every last icon, but just the neutral buildings. Sure enough, after a couple turns people seemed to know at least how to move around. Developing a plan is something else. Only one Engineer was available early on, so I focused on Cowboys. Nechama and Kevin raced up the train track, claiming Station Master tiles. Jonathan and Nechama got some builders and focused a bit on getting powerful buildings. Kevin didn’t employ much but set up some nice combos with his buildings and had a lot of tiles to complete objectives. I definitely got a head start on improving my cattle deck. In the end, Kevin and I were the only ones to make it to San Francisco. I had some deliveries to other high point cities, and finished with 105 but Kevin did quite well at 93. Way better than my test game against my self of 77-74. John and Nechama were close to each other but lower down, at 48-44.

Kevin really liked GWT and would even consider buying it. Considering I only bought it cause 365 had it cheaper than AliExpress, I’m glad it was a hit in the end.

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July 24th, 2018: Pizza Tactics

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yehuda

Just the two of us, so we made some use of this text heavy 1v1 game.

Pixel Tactics

First round was with set 1, I had Assassin leader and Yehuda had Ranged leader, heros have intercept. I had no intercept heroes so was open to an early 5 damage, but I got a strike in as well. My main attack cam when I defeated Yehuda’s frontline in one go and struck him for another 8, taking him 16 damage with 3 left, but I only had 6 left. He moved his Fighter to back row and dealt me 8 damage for the win.

Next round we used set 2, I had tokens to prevent defeat and gain strength, Yehuda had ability to choose which wave ability his guys used. Yehuda set up a great starting set, with Relic Hunter in the middle boosted as in rear, and heroes allowing him to attack. We skirmished a bit, while I got my own Relic Hunter in the back. Later I got Warmonger in the back for some Long Ranged 7 damage. A divinity order restored my defenses but Yehuda did the same. However, with my ranged guys in the back and him with no intercept, I played a Technologist Operation reducing his actions by one for a round. Though a valiant effort was made, my strong back line did enough damage to finish off his leader.

Also we ate pizza.

July 21st, 2018: Feast Before the Fast

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin

A Feast for Odin

Just the two of us this time, the Wood/Player + Ore action looking less attractive. This game I got three exploration boards and was able to fill each one pretty efficiently. I was getting lots of bonuses but was worried about the home board, since my islands weren’t actually worth that much. I emigrated once, and tried for pillaging but got terrible rolls, taking rune stones a few times…Kevin focused more on animals and hunting, and in the end no one broke 100. I had 99 and Kevin had 85 after a few minuses left over.

We almost played Puerto Rico, but the third player lost interest after the rules. Another was interested in reading the Odin rules, next time if we have a full afternoon I’m down to teach.

July 18th, 2018: Kevin’s Ultra-Feast

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, Yehuda

Despire its size, this game doesn’t drag on too long, even with some amount of AP. Getting started can be tough, but then things ramp up.

A Feast for Odin

I figured since Yehuda already knew the game we could teach Kevin pretty quickly. I started with Proficient Hunter but didn’t use it until later, when I did a bunch of raiding. Kevin started with Whaling then moved towards Sheep. He had a bunch of occupations but didn’t play them, mostly useless. I didn’t have such useful occupations, but Yehuda was also getting rewarded every feast with Miller and had some other good ones. I took Iceland pretty early and had good income, and even emigrated a few times. I also took some longhouses and stone houses, though I played the Occupation for silver per house after having only one. Still, I somehow ended up with 142 points by mostly ignoring my home board until the end. I also took Newfoundland which is worth a lot of points.

So far, pillaging has seemed to be a very effective strategy, especially if no one else is taking things from the artifact board.

July 14th, 2018: I Hate the Market!

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, Shlomo, Josh, Yehuda, Simcha, Layla

Got to make use of some great games this weekend. Mission accomplished.

Istanbul

After dinner, Kevin and I thought to play a quick game of Istanbul but it caught the eye of others and we easily got 5 players. After a brief overview we dived right in. I went for the Yellow mosque tile, Kevin for the red. Shlomo went last but was able to get a wagon upgrade early. He also got the first gem by from the dealer. Josh deftly navigated the market and did quite well upgrading his wagon and makign some efficient deliveries. He hit 2, then 3, but Kevin hit 4 just as I got my second. Thinking I had no hope of catching up, we at least slowed Kevin down by occupying the Gem dealer. He set out instead to finish his wagon but I used a bonus to sell at the small market and get my fourth at the dealer–the green token was stolen by Josh. I was one coin short from finishing my wagon but Shlomo had sent his family to the dealer, giving me just enough to finish my wagon. Kevin finished as well, but his payment to me made me win the tiebreaker with cash, though he had 3 goods and a bonus card.

Impulse

I brought this thinking the space theme would interest more people, while hoping it wouldn’t get past four. With three people, Yehuda and Layla picked up the game pretty fast once I cut down my explaining. Layala got an early lead refining and mining a lot, with Green planets adding benefits. We had a lot of Execute actions in the impulse, not a lot of movement. I caught up by Trading a bit, but Layal sabotaged my fleet. Yehuda made first strike against me, but I got swift revenge. Though I traded some more and go to 16, in the end it was Layla’s refining the pushed her well over 20 points, claiming the win without a fight.

A Feast for Odin

Yehuda – 106, Zevvy – 100, Layla – 84, Simcha – 72

We were able to start this without too much explanation, and after me giving suggestions how to get started, pretty soon everyone had things they were trying, and deciphered the action spaces themselves. At first people stripped the mountains, then Yehuda used his ore to plunder early and often. Layla began whaling while Simcha had a hunting bonus and got some ships. I drew Animal Breeder and so got a bunch of animals around round 3, but it was only later that I converted them and got a bunch of blue good froms overseas trading. Simcha took Iceland and Greenland–great boards which gave him some oil and income but he was unable to cover them that much. Towards the end he upgraded a bunch of cows, but though he had almost ignored the home board until then, was able to cover a decent amount. He emigrated four Knarrs though, but had too much negative on the exploration. Layla finished her home board but didn’t have anywhere else, so her last few moves couldn’t make that many points. Yehuda also filled his home, and had his own emigration of three longboats. I had a bit of everything, covered my home board but had some negative on Bear Island and my Longhouse. It was a closer ending than it had seemed, and each little move mattered in the end.

I wouldn’t play Impulse with more because people would get bored between turns, yet I still want to play TI3 one day…slowly building people up, Games are like stepping stones, that’s why I have so many…at least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t notice the hole in my wallet…

July 10th, 2018: Istanbul, of Course!

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy

A shorter, smaller meeting, but necessary after a long day.

Istanbul

Finally getting to try this out. We played the short paths setup to learn the game. While I seemed to have an early lead with the Great Mosque tiles, after four rubies I slowed down, while Kevin had a good route with his full wheel barrow and the markets. In the end I grabbed the sixth ruby while he was still two turns from getting his sixth at the small mosque. He did go to the fountain twice, so otherwise it was super close.

Our second game was randomized, but the post office and black market touched near the Small Mosque, so I got the Red tile right away and began “gambling”. I only went to the fountain once and had 4 gems before Kevin had one. He did get three pretty quickly but I did a double Gemstone Dealer action and then got the sixth without too much effort.

Might be interesting to try the Neutral Assistant variant next time if we don’t have more players. Want to explore the base game more before adding coffee or letters.

July 7th, 2018: Thank You, Come Again!

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, Avi, Nechama

Avi requested Civ, and so it was. I really though he would win with Military, but that’s not  quite what happened in the end…

Innovation

Kevin and I played Innovation after dinner, using my new 3D printed card holder, which saved table space. I got 1 and 2 with Agriculture and Metal Working. Kevin used Pottery for 3. Canal Building helped me get 20 points but I forgot to take the 4 as it was hiding behind the box of cards… then Kevin started using Statistics to empty my score pile. He also had Gunpowder so I lost most of my Castles. Kevin got 5 and 6 but Bicycle got me 27 points, then I managed to get the 7. I used a lot more “exchanging” then usual. I had five achievements but Kevin managed to hold the line using Physics and Electricity, returning cards and keeping anyone from melding higher tech. I hoped maybe to get Empire, but my castles were hidden…and I gave away Encyclopedia which could’ve melded my score pile. Eventually I got Industrialization and was about to get Monument when Kevin stole my top Yellow card, but this revealed Domestication giving me the Castles I needed.

Once again, 2-player base Innovation was exciting, tactical back and forth. Expansions are nice for a change, but not needed. Setup for them is much easier now though.

Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game

I was India, Kevin was Spain, Nechama Egypt again, and Avi Germany. I opened with devote to the arts for first step on the track. Atilla’s Village was near me but Avi ended up getting it, while I built a city. I only collected one or two huts the whole game, and no villages. Kevin as Spain got off to an impressive looking start, exploring and building for free. Nechama started with Hanging Gardens so was good for figures, but for some reason didn’t fight her barbarians or build a city until several turns in. Avi spammed military but by being nice and trading with him he didn’t raid me early on. Kevin also had military buildup. Fortunately he skirmished with Nechama and I fortified my city so I had no figures to attack. Also my first great person was Leonides, giving me +4 and +8 if attacked by stronger opponent, so I wasn’t a completely easy target. Wonders went faster than usual, and when Big Ben showed up I got it and then Education and started rushing tech victory. Still sure someone would attack me, but no one did so I got Flight and bought two planes. I also built the UN which prevented culture events affecting me. I got cards that let me change social policy a couple times which was also critical. Isaac Newton filled in a spot on my pyramid and I finally got Space Flight just before Avi was ready to invade a Capital. I did use my “any resource” ability a few times as well.

Even though Spain seems OP, the disadvantage is that everyone wants to gang up. The military tension in this game also made it feel like there was a lot of interaction and politics, and while I usually don’t like too much politics it was very thematic–pitting my opponents against each other, “currying” favor and being pacifist as Ghandi.

I mentioned the “tie-breaker” suggestion where we play out the turn to the end. Avi then could have won by Military victory, but I wasn’t there for the final battle which he says he lost, though he didn’t draw as many cards as he should have, so maybe he would have won.

I also recently played Galaxy Trucker with one totally new person and one familiar. We did level one and two flight but the new player still felt lost. It’s odd, either I can’t teach this game well or can’t present it well, or people just aren’t interested. The familiar player likes this though and is building faster, though I still need a handicap or something.