January 15th, 2018: Make America Great!

Crew members: Jonathan, Zevvy, Ariel

I ended up free tonight, and called into the void. Ariel was also looking for a game tonight, and I asked Jonathan if he’d be down for Nations, even after our 7 hour game on Shabbat. Of course he was!

Nations

Ariel – America: 47, Zevvy – Egypt: 46, Jonathan – Vikings: 29

The first age showed zero military cards but many raids. As Egypt I started with no military, so I had to buy the war and not much else. Though Pillar of Hercules gave me a temporary +7, so that was quite opportune, but Jonathan’s Viking powers still kept his military lead intact. Ariel’s strong starting production kept him flush with resources for the entire game, until the very last turn when he actually ran out of food.

The second age actually saw no raids, so heavy reliance on raids for stone the previous round left Jonathan with little income. He got some nice bonuses for stability though, and Sun Tzu let him double action, while Ariel’s Buddha let me make some key moves before him, and we competed a bit for architects. At least one round my private architect came in handy.

While I led in books in the early rounds, I soon had to shift my focus elsewhere (like Stability for Genghis Khan), and Jonathan and Ariel overtook me. I definitely took workers faster than others, and Suleiman gave me another two, but for a while I had not enough stone to deploy them. One of my wonders let me buy stone, which was super helpful throughout the game.

Ariel had a nice combo that gave him a ton of stone for upgrading buildings, and in the final round his upgraded buildings gave him tons of books and points. Jonathan didn’t manage to upgrade his buildings that much and lack of resources saw him often passing well before the two of us, though the last round I passed first for a point on the Forbidden Temple. Jonathan did manage to fill out his wonders in the last round, with Titusville and Ford Motor Company combo-ing nicely.

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In the end it was down to one point, but the distribution made this a particular interesting game. Until next time, America was Made Great Again!

This game is more forgiving than some, but can still be punishing if a person doesn’t have the flexibility to change strategies. That’s why I like the dynasty addition, although so far very few people have ever changed–it seems being dynamic with your workers and upgrading at the proper intervals is more important.

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January 12th, 2018: What are you building?

Crew Members: Vered, Zevvy, Ariel

With a couple free hours Friday afternoon I went over to Vered since she had some other friends coming over anyway.

Caylus

Zevvy – 64, Vered – 61, Ariel – 60

So I had played this once before almost a year ago, but Ariel refreshed me on the rules. Last time I played I barely contributed to the Castle, but focused more on the blue buildings. This game there wasn’t even an option to get Villas or Blue buildings until the very end, and no one got a blue one anyway. Though there were some opportunities to be a bit more cutthroat in the early game, for the most part no one got screwed over by the white pawn (Provost?). I took the ‘always pay only one coin slot’ from Ariel right away and held it for the rest of the game. There also wasn’t much gold during this game, though Vered got a bunch at the end with the Alchemy building. Though we all had some plans that didn’t quite work out (Royal Favor still confuses me) it was a very close game.

As expected, I stayed about 30 minutes later than I planned but made it home just fine before Shabbat. Glad I got to play this game again with good people.

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.

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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.

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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.