July 5th, 2017: Why is that sheep drowning?

Crew Members: Gila, Zevvy, Sarah

After finally finishing my course, it was nice to be able to kick back and play some games.


Gila – 286, Zevvy – 272, Sarah – 242

This game is like Scrabble and Rummy. Players draw and discard letters, trying to use up all their cards to spell words. Longest word and most words get 10 point bonuses, and each round players have an extra card, so there are more words to consider. Most rounds, someone played all their cards the first turn, forcing everyone to make do with what they had. We used online dictionaries and helped each other out too, having fun and learning a few new words in the process. (Jur is British for push, and not just an alien from Omicron Persei 8).

Settlers of Catan

Gila – 10, Zevvy – 7, Sarah – 6

This was Sarah’s first time, and she picked it up quickly. Though more complex than it seems at first, many players are willing to learn and enjoy this game. Ore was scarce and Gila decided to monopolize on it, while I relied on my brick port, and Sarah expanded settlements. Later, Sarah got the Sheep port but by then Gila had raked in so much ore and was the only one to build a city that she overtook us quite quickly. I did manage to get 2 victory cards, and it was stealing Gila’s longest road that could have prolonged the game. But she was getting enough resources as it was that it wasn’t long before she was crowned Lord of Catan.

Hoping to make board gaming a regular thing again. Might actually be visiting Haifa next week, and though I live in Givat Shmuel now this group will always maintain a connection with its origins.


May 2nd, 2017: Haifa BBQ Crew

Crew Members: David T., Zevvy, Melody, Roy, Ludmilla

If mayonnaise is an instrument, then hamburger should be a board game.

Valley of Kings

Melody and I started a game while some of the meat cooked. We didn’t get to finish, but at least I learned a new game. While this is a deck building game, your deck doesn’t really grow–cards are used until you entomb them in order to score points. There are different categories with different types of effects, and you get points depending on how many cards of each color you have. Players choose cards from the bottom of a ‘pyramid’ each round, but the cards can be rearranged to advance a card or stymie an opponent. I had a few of the green weapons, and Melody had a bunch of teal cards and treasures, but that’s about all I remember.


Back in December Melody actually explained this game, but we didn’t get to play. Players at tiles to an expanding volcanic island, trying to build settlements, temples and towers. Placing all of two types of building, or having the most temples when the tiles run out wins the game. As the height of the island grows, portions of settlements can be destroyed, but not lone settlements. Temples can only be built two tiers from the ground, and Towers three.


I started with a lone settlement surrounded with no where to expand, but this also prevented others from destroying and expanding on top of me. Melody and Ludmilla got the first Temples, while Roy and I struggled to expand. Eventually though I sneaked a Tower from a third tier tile Melody placed, though she soon built one of her own elsewhere. Just before the tiles ran out I built a second Tower, and having built all my Temples as well ended the game.

Though technically David didn’t play any of the games, he definitely won hamburger.

April 4th, 2017: Maybe, there is no team…

Crew Members: Sarah, Dina, Gila, Zevvy, Josh, Abigail

A bucket of chips and a pile of games. And people. Those things are important too.


My favorite game which no one ever wants to play…and it was a blast! Aside from some differences between British and modern English, this was a good quick game to join (connect?) the group.

Good Cop, Bad Cop

This is a hidden identity game where you must discover who is on your team and take down the leader of the other side. Different items like smoke grenades and planted evidence can change the order of play or even a player’s team at the last second. Betrayed by Josh in the first round, I was wary to trust him in the second round but we managed to work together anyway and convert Dina to the crooked side at the last second. Gila was the Agent twice in a row, but in the last round I was the Agent and outnumbered. No one other than the Agent or Kingpin was ever killed, but I can imagine in an 8 player game more shots will be fired before a leader is taken down.


Gila and I teamed up against Josh, Sarah and Dina. The first round ended quickly when I guessed “Turkey” on the hint “Oven”, which was the assassin. The next round we were more in sync, with a last minute comeback linking “Lunch-Time” to “Ketchup” and “Watch”. Next round I gave hints, and my  “War” hint almost got five agents. Sarah’s team was behind and her last clue “Wrestle” got her team to guess “Center”, “Pit”, and almost picked “Thumb” before “Bar”, but had to wait until next round. I though it was a guaranteed win for us but for my clue “Cylindrical” I overlooked the cyclindrical glasses on the table when Gila guess “Tube” and “Glass” instead of “Trunk” (I intended tree trunk).

By the way, Sarah still has lots of chips, even though she says she would be bad at poker…

March 6th, 2017: No Time for Sushi

Crew Members: Josh, Zevvy, Gila, Jacob

If Americans (or Israelis) have adopted slavish Japanese work practices, at least they have also adopted Japanese eating practices (minus the squid for us Jews at least). Let the wasabi flow.

Time’s Up: Title Recall

Josh and Zevvy – 52, Gila and Jacob – 46

While waiting for the Sushi, we split into teams for Time’s Up, a game where players try to get their teammate to guess or recall certain words (in this case, movie, book, song or painting titles). The first round one must simply describe the title, and Gila and Jacob took an early lead 15 to 9. In the second round where only one word is permitted, Josh and I made a comeback, evening the score and winning time for round three. The charades round did not start well for Gila and Jacob, but in the end it was a near split, 13 to 11. But again, Josh and I got the starting lead in the fourth round  (frozen poses), where we took a quick and guaranteed lead, ending that round 15 to 9.

Sushi Go: Party!

Josh – 53, Gila – 43, Zevvy – 42, Jacob – 41


After eating some real sushi, we played Sushi Go: Party! which includes many extra cards, thus changing the gameplay each time. Our games departure from the original consisted of Edamame, worth a point for each other player with Edamame, Soy Sauce, 4 points for the most colors, and Special Order, which copies a card already played. We also had dumplings, maki, wasabi, and pudding. Gila took an early pudding lead, but Josh scored Wasabi Squid Nigiri in the first two rounds, and with a dash of Soy Sauce he vaulted far ahead. Jacob and Gila competed for second while I lagged behind, but the second round I got a lot of points for Edamame and dumplings. The final round saw Josh lose out on pudding as well as be denied soy sauce, and Gila pulled forward despite heated competition over maki rolls. In the end though Josh was too far ahead, but Gila still managed to pull second place over me and Jacob.

Whose culture should we appropriate next time?

February 19th, 2017: Can’t Decide!

Crew Members: Gabe, Gila, Zevvy, Ben, (Carly and Sara)


My roommates got an Xbox tonight, but nothing beats plastic and cardboard. And wood. Not much of a decision there…

Can’t Stop

Winner: Gabe

This game can be played with a bunch of dice and paper, but the official board and cone shaped markers make it easy to keep track of where everyone is. Players roll four dice and climb up to three slots at a time based on the pairs of numbers their dice can make. More probable numbers require more climbing to get to the top, and if a player cannot pair their dice to continue their current climb then all progress for their turn is lost.

Gabe got an early lead by starting the 12 and the 2, while Ben and Gila had trouble getting on the board. I had a few very low down on 6 7 and 8, so not close to the peak. Ben played safely for a while and make headway, eventually overtaking me on the 7, but Gabe had already completed the 2 and was closing in on the 10. Gila took several rounds before making it on the board but eventually overtook Gabe at the 11. But Gabe was too far ahead on other fronts and it wasn’t long before he had climbed three peaks and claimed victory.


Zevvy – 80, Gila – 79, Gabe – 78, Ben – 64

A worker placement game where players add actions to the board in the form of buildings which other players can use to each other’s mutual benefit. We played a slightly simplified version where favor is converted directly into 3 points instead of other material rewards.

20170219_232441.jpgBen led off with providing Stone Upgrades while Gabe provided the ability to build Mansions for extra income. Gila and Gabe focused on building the King’s palace early on, while Ben focused on money and buildings. Instead of point I was more focused on long term resource management for the expensive buildings at the end. Ben and I fought back and forth over the ability to place workers for 1 gold after others pass, and one round it really paid off for me when everyone else was short on cash. There was not too much cutthroat play in terms of moving the white disc back (which cuts off actions after it from being performed), but it did prevent some players from taking critical actions. Though Ben caught up by building a Blue Building worth 16 points and 2 income, I shot ahead by getting the 25 point building. Gabe and Gila stayed close behind, though they did not have much cash they had many raw materials to build the Palace. At the very end I build another Blue Building and contributed slightly to the Palace, pulling ahead by one point, while Gila was just one resource away from building another part of the Palace.

On Shabbat at Gabe’s I played Dixit, but this is first time since we played Marco Polo that I got to play a real tabletop strategy game. Next time we have several hours to spend we’ll do Through the Ages, the one game Martin told me about but which we never got to play in person. And we’ll get a timer for Gabe so we can finish before the next Solar Cycle :p

January 22nd, 2017: Marco Polo

Crew Members: Gabe, Ben, Gila, Zevvy

I finally met up with my second cousin who not only lives in my neighborhood but is more of a board game fanatic than I am.

Marco Polo

Winner – Gabe

This is a dice-based worker placement game. Camels can be used to alter die rolls adding an extra element of strategy. Resources like silk, gold and spices are used to complete contracts which reward players with points and other benefits. Coins and camels are used to travel across the map, which allows players to build trading posts in the towns they explore for added resource production or actions.

Gabe’s character could choose his die rolls, allowing him to easily acquire resources and fulfill many contracts. Gila tied him for completed contract but despite her additional explorer did not manage to build trading posts in many cities. My character could build trading posts without stopping, but it wasn’t until the last round that I saved up enough for a big journey where I settled four towns at once. I did have many of the small cities and enjoyed steady income. Ben’s ability allowed him to travel the map easily and he collected points from a variety of sources, but Gabe was still ahead by a fair amount.

Awesome to meet more of the extended family and affirming that being a board game geek might just be genetic.

January 5th, 2017: New places, new faces (and old faces).

Crew Members: Zevvy, Shlomo, Allan, Yoni

I moved to Givat Shmuel and when I found out I had a rare night with no work, I mustered a few folks for some good old Thursday night gaming. Allan has been doing an internship and I met him at a Technion Shabbaton, and we’ve hung out a couple times since. Shlomo heeded the facebook call for board games and lives in the neighborhood. And Yoni lives near by and I’ve known him for almost 15 years. I feel old saying that…

7 Wonders

Allan – 51, Zevvy – 51, Shlomo – 45

Allan as Alexandria had every resource he needed except early brick, but Shlomo was a head in military the first two rounds. I tried for an early science lead but mostly just got Tablets. I also tried to get a trade advantage but Allan made sure not to build any Cloth production. In the last age, I got a lot of Science including the Guild, and Allan pulled ahead in Military. Final score was a tie, and we also tied for coins, the only tiebreaker. Never seen that happen before.


Sentinels of the Multiverse

Not sticking to usual format here. We played an introduction game against Baron Blade in the Mobile Defense Platform. It was pretty easy until a Devious Disruption took out most of Omnitron’s components, dealing massive damage as well. Visionary controlled the Villain trash and deck and helped Fanatic keep her Divine Focus on Baron Blade until she could Wrathful Retribution to finish off his first side, at which point we started a new game since Yoni had arrived.

Against La Capitan we did not fare as well. It took a while to get going, but once Argent Adept had his instruments her and Guise tag teamed for a lot of card plays. Sky-Scraper did not get many useful links, and Parse was doing more control than damage. Eventually La Capitan lost steam and we hit her pretty hard, but some ill-timed Villainous Weaponry and Meteor Shower a turn too late left Argent Adept incapacitated. La Capitan and her remaining crew were sure to make short work of the rest of heroes so we called it quits.


I would like to continue blogging in the same place, and hopefully will still play in Haifa from time to time  as well. Not sure I have much time now, but will establish a crew in Givat Shmuel as well. And people will wonder why we are the Haifa Board Games crew.