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.

20170105_205533.jpg

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.

20170105_215706.jpg

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.

 

December 4th, 2016: Hey, a game night!

Crew Members: Amyr, Zevvy, David M., David T., Melody, Roman

It’s been a while since we had a regular board game night, but when it happens people show up, new and old. Even last minute on a Sunday night.

Innovation

David M. – 17, 1 A (Win by high score). Amyr – 10 pts, 3 A. Zevvy – 0 pts, 3 A

We started with what turned out to be a long game of Innovation. David M. got the fist achievement, and while he slowed us down with his Monotheism, Amyr managed to get a burst of points and grab the next few achievements before us. Using Anatomy I slowed the game but Amyr and David both got level 7 and 8 tech while I was stuck at level 4. I Melded my score pile to retrieve Construction and steal some higher tech, grabbing the Empire achievement as well. As level nine tech showed up, Bio-Engineering was played but Amy just barely had three leaves, preventing my win. In the end, Databases could have won it for Amyr except I had just grabbed my 3rd Achievement, and the game ended by David M.’s whopping high score of 17.

Unity

Melody, Roman and David T. played this abstract strategy game for three players where you win by having only one group of your pieces left. I think Roman won. Roman and I played three games of this, and he won the first one while I just barely won the next two.

Shadowrun: Crossfire

Melody and Amyr and the Davids played this four-player co-op game. Each game is a mission and can be continued with previous characters. Unfortunately, after a long effort the team was forced to abort, but they all added some Karma for next time they play.

Dominion

Zevvy – 50, Roman – 26

It’s been a long time since we played Dominion. The random set had a few attacks including Witch, as well as Moat. I took an early Loan which kept skipping my Monument, but over time trashing the Coppers helped my deck set up for Menagerie. Roman got Gold before I did but eventually I was able to put things in motion and buy two provinces in one turn. Around then I also began playing Witch, and Roman’s deck was slowed down enough that although he had more Monument points then me and some Duchies, I was able to buy Provinces faster and end the game.

I am starting a new program in Tel Aviv and likely moving in the next few months, but I’m sure the crew will carry on.

October 31st, 2016: What’s a point?

Crew Members: David M., Zevvy

David and I played a drawn out game of innovation the other day when I went to pick up the hot plate. Every time this game is different…

Innovation

I had to write this up briefly because it was probably the lowest scoring game of innovation I have seen. Using Tools and the Wheel I got to level 3 tech quickly, which David stole, and together we pretty much skipped level 2 tech completely. I got the first 2 achievements, but that was it for a while, and eventually we began splaying our cards and just building up huge amounts of resources but no points. When one of us did get a few points, the other would remove them somehow or another. I figured the endgame would be David winning with Empiricism, which did happen, though he also got the World achievement using coins. I think he also got the 3 achievement, but no one ever topped 20 points, and none of the other special achievements were claimed either.

July 28th, 2016: Innovation

Crew Members: David M., Zevvy

I went over to David’s in the afternoon for a couple games of innovation.

Innovation

In the first game, I started with both Clothing and Metalworking, giving me an early score lead. I soon switched to Sailing and though David was ahead in Tech thanks to Tools, once I got Gunpowder he was unable to keep up in resources or catch up in points before I got the first six achievements.

In the second game David got Metalworking, but it helped me almost as much as it helped him. He did get the first achievement before I did, but I grabbed the second one. However, David had all the colors and I did not, so he claimed an early Empire and managed to get the third achievement before me. Though I Teched ahead using Alchemy and Education, once David emptied my hand with Construction, I was pretty helpless for the rest of the game. I got out great tech and tons of resources, but had no cards to Score and no way to slow David down once he got Democracy which gave him at least 8 points a turn.He bought the rest of the achievements he needed and ended the game.

Although the winning player in every game I have played so far had Metalworking, I don’t think it is a deciding factor, and may be different in games with more than two players.

March 15th, 2016: 4 Ex – Explain, explain, explain, explain (expansion).

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Martin

Martin brought over what is branded as a 4 Ex game. The 4 should stand for number of hours it takes us to play such games. Learning the rules and setup only took an hour though which was pretty good, though games like this often require checking the rule book for explanations of specific situations.

Eclipse

Zevvy – 43, David – 42, Martin – 33

In the early stages, David got pretty lucky exploring, and did a lot of research, which was his race’s specialty. I picked up Orbital technology early on and built one every round, which supplemented my production. My ability to trade 2:1 also helped a lot. Martin also got some good explores, but didn’t connect to the middle as early as myself and David. It was only after a few rounds that we started buying battle technology, and I was the first to defeat some aliens. David and I formed diplomatic relations, but Martin conquered the Galactic Center and in the last few rounds, there was a lot of tension and a bit of an arms race. I didn’t have a Tachyon source like Martin and David, so my ships couldn’t pack as much fire power, but I loaded up my Space Stations with Missles and in the end swapped one territory with Martin. David didn’t fare as well and lost a 3 point planet. After receiving points for the battles, the final score was very close, with David only one point behind me, and everyone just barely paying off their upkeep for the last round. David filled up all of his technologies, and I filled up two categories thanks to the expansion technologies.

We played with some pieces of the expansion which add technologies, which definitely add choice and change the game. Next time maybe we’ll try different races and the rest of the expansion tiles.

February 25th, 2016: Let’s Start a War

Crew Members: Martin, Zevvy, David

Martin had us over to play Nations. I though that since Martin and I knew how to play already, and David would pick it up quickly, it wouldn’t take too long. We were there for over six hours…and it was awesome. We also added some expansion content.

Nations

Zevvy – Korea: 41, David – America: 39, Martin – Mali, 32

There were very few military options in the first age, so I led in military and wars while Martin and David competed in books and we all began developing our empires. Martin appointed Sun Tzu as his leader, giving him two turns in a row each round. I built Solomon’s Temple which gave me a point at the end of every age as long as I don’t lose a war, which I managed to make use of throughout the whole game. David had a lot of stability which protected him from the wars and some bad events.

IMG_20160225_233339578

The dynasty cards made a huge difference, allowing me to put resources into storage and recover from bad events. I built a synagogue because I felt I had to, but I never used it…and almost built over it with a mosque. For a while I was the only one with colonies, but David got some in the third age and Martin picked up some powerful colonies near the end of the game. The last few rounds saw a huge arms race, with Martin building enough submarines to max out his military. David’s Democratic Republic caused havoc with our dynasties and got him a lot of books. In the last round I managed to build the Statue of Liberty and pick up Florence Nightingale, who protected me from losing several points by not being able to feed any of my workers.

The final tally was very close, and any number of small changes would have allowed America to come out on top. Until next time, all hail the Korean Warlord!

We did take a break for an hour in the middle, but it’s still a long game, even if you know what you’re doing. Lot’s of fun though.