September 14th, 2018: Whose leg is that?

Crew Members: Zevvy, Misha

Misha was in town so we had some lunch then played a game.

The Castles of Burgundy

Misha – 192, Zevvy – 179

I gave us random boards. Misha’s had lots of small chunks no bigger than three. He went for the Green Castles, tech, and small cities early on, but I managed to keep up with some small sections of my own including a Mine. I was first in turn order for a while but then Misha started filling out boats and got a lot of goods.

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I had a nice chicken pasture, and pulled ahead a bit building my size 5 city regions. I also picked up a lot of goods near the end of the game, but Misha kept filling in small sections and even for a few points each it added up.

The BGG bags made it easy to set up and clean up. Just had to have a place off to the side for unused tiles that got cleared from the board.

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June 16th, 2018: 60% of the Time

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin

It works every time. These games, that is. Always fun.

Innovation

Back to basic innovation. Optics gave us both four points but Metalworking failed and Kevin got the 1 achievement. I managed to snag the two using pottery a few times in a row, but Kevin got Democracy early one and had points for the 3, 4, 5 and 6. I managed to force him to cover his 6s with 4s so he hard a hard time getting to 7, and I finally made it to 7 first, scoring lots of points with Perspective. We also vied to be the first to meld an 8, which I also got, having 40 points. But it was only a matter of time before Kevin would claim Empire or Wonder, I was one castle short for Empire. I used Empiricism over and over hoping to get lucky, but Kevin just used flight to splay up and claim Wonder.

Castles of Burgundy

We played on the same board, but with two players things are more limited. An early tech giving silver for gaining workers let Kevin also buy a black market mine, having two mines by the end of Year One. He also got more useful goods through shipping, while I had the green castles and useless technology. A lot of workshops came out but I used the workers pretty quickly. We missed the rule about not having two of the same building in a city but it wouldn’t have mattered much. Having no way to get silver, I was unable to use the black market until Year 3. I picked up some pigs but each round the animals that came out were completely different–again with two players, fewer animals to choose from. In the end Kevin scored around 180 while I was down around 140.

I heard Castles is excellent two players–while it’s definitely faster, I think it will shine more when we have different maps. The setup made it obvious that having access to silver first meant earlier black market access, meaning more tiles overall.

May 19th, 2018: I’m Ron Burgundy?

Crew Members: Zevvy, Nechama, Orit, Cal, Kevin, Jonathan

Indeed, castles of Burgundy happened. And other games.

Castles of Burgundy

Since it was everyone’s first game, we all played on Board 1. Orit went first and Cal last, but the two of them took most of the early ships. Cal got a tech that gave points for each good type sold. I got three mines in the first year, along with a tech that gives a worker for each mine, but Nechama started a massive pig farm. Though I seemed to have an early lead by filling in all my Castles in one turn, Nechama zoomed ahead with pigs (and goats), and it wasn’t until year 4 when everyone caught up around 150-160 points. But as I filled in all my cities I pulled ahead again, as Nechama ran out of viable scoring options. I also began my boats, and on the very last turn of the game I was first player. After post game scoring I had 220 something, Nechama and Cal both broke 200 and Orit wasn’t far behind around 180.

7 Wonders

First round Necham chose Halikarnassos and got 58 points, but Kevin beat her with 59 as Olympia, taking a lot of blue cards. Orit was close with 52 thanks to tons of Science, but lost a lot of military. Jonathan was Giza B, but didn’t build past wonder level one, and I had 50 points as Ephesos B, with one science set.

Next game I was Giza B and bought all my resources cheap from Jonathan as Babylon B. Kevin was Rhodes but got attacked quite a bit, and only built his wonder in age III. He built a ton of blue though, but I got the Magistrate’s Guild for 11 points. Nechama had decent science but was competing with her immediate neighbor Orit as Alexandria. Jonathan completed a set thanks to his wonder. I played an Arena after finishing my wonder though getting many coins, and in the end had a huge lead with 70 points.

Kingdomino

Played a few rounds of this the night before with Nechama and Orit, and this time Jonathan joined. We didn’t use any special scoring. The night before my final round I got 44 points for a massive lake. With 4 player all the tiles were used, so I actually saw the distribution. While the decisions aren’t as involved as Isle of Skye or Castles of Burgundy, this game provides tile laying satisfaction with minimal commitment and effort.

While I was out for a bit they played Yaniv also. I am very glad to have experienced Castles of Burgundy–it’s a game I bought without having played, but purely based on recommendation. Cal said he’d definitely play again, and of course Nechama won’t stop playing a game until she wins at least once