June 9th, 2018: Party Games

Crew Members: Nechama, Sasha, Zevvy, Simcha, Orit, Adam

No heavy games this weekend, since I was walking across town. But I finally got to play Codenames…I feel like I’m always missing out to play some Euro.

Sushi Go: Party!

Started with four players and the original Sushi Go set. Orit went for dumplings every round, while I managed some Wasabi Squid combos and competed with Nechama for Maki. I also got Sashimi a couple times and won with a lead, though Adam had the most desert. Once we switched to three players though it became more cutthroat and we used Eel a lot, leaving some players with minus points each round. No one really like the Temaki round when one hand was entirely Temaki (my bad shuffling). I got a lot of points with Soy Sauce, but the last few rounds with fruit Nechama managed to win each time by a few points. Spoon was confusing also and we didn’t really enjoy it.

Codenames

First we played me and Adam against the others, and I kept using my extra guess to help the other team. Next Simcha and I played as a team and got some good clues no one else understood. It was close and the other team had some luck as well as some obvious mistakes but Simcha managed to win no matter what team he was on.

I also had a close game of Star Realms with Simcha before Shabbat, he had a lot of bases but I had a lot of Blob and the round I got my Blob base I dealt a huge blow, finishing off the next round before he could rebuild.

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June 2nd, 2018: Not Historically Accurate

Crew Members: Zevvy, Avi F., Nechama, Kevin, Orit, Leora, Adam, Shemtov, Nick, Jonathan

Full house, and full afternoon.

Codenames

From what I understand, Leora Orit and Jonathan consistently won against Adam Shemtov and Nick, but their antics were a lot of fun for everyone.

Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game

I was hesitant to start this, but after randomly choosing the Greeks made my goal to end the game as fast as possible through economic victory. I wasted my first round taking Navigation, since Kevin and Nechama both took it as well. Kevin built great lighthouse and had more trade than he needed the rest of the game, never getting level III tech. Everyone but Nechama took Pacifism to start, but eventually she caught up in culture. Unfortunately, Kevin attacked her and stole her spy right before I revealed my plan to end the game. At that point everyone focused on making me lose coins, but I was prepared with several culture cards and spies of my own to cancel most of their attacks. I was slowed, but managed to end the game with Pottery and Printing Press. I also had a printed coin in my outskirts and two from great people. Avi had planned to attack Nechama’s capital, and I just learned of an advanced tie-breaker which plays out the end of the round, which probably wouldn’t have mattered this game but could be relevant and more fun in future games that come down to the wire.

7 Wonders

We had six players, Leora caught on faster than I’m used to having to explain things, which was refreshing. Unfortunately for me too, since she overtook in me in military despite me being Rhodos. Avi also did well for his first game, raking in a lot of coins as Ephesos and 51 points, but Nechama had 52, Leora 53, and Kevin 58 thanks to Science as Babylon.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

After Shabbat we did a quick game against  Kismet as Fanatic, Ra, Nightmist and Tachyon. Though Kismet destroyed our initial setup, Nightmist managed to survive though paid a lot of hit points to Banish the many Jinxes. Once taken care of though it wasn’t worth stealing the Talisman so we focused on attacking, and Tachyon’s Hypersonic Assaults kept us in good health. A few strikes from Absolution and the Staff of Ra and it wasn’t long before Nightmist dealt the finishing blow with a Heedless Lash. Amulet of the Elder Gods also redirected some chemical explosions, making Kismet’s choice of fighting us in the Industrial Complex not so lucky.

I’m always happy when a big box game hits the table. Avi said he can’t wait a full week to play again, but our schedules don’t always align. I imagine the game will only become even more interesting now that we are more familiar and exploring more Technologies that haven’t been used previously.

May 20th, 2018: To the Last Breath!

Crew Members: Miriam, Daria, Zevvy, Nissim, Kevin, Lily, Elisheva

After a late lunch folks played games.

Ca$h ‘n Gun$

Daria, Nissim and Miriam decided to try something new, and had a blast. Daria got the godfather token and wouldn’t let it go, claiming loot every round. Even so, I had a decent amount of loot, but she still won 269 to 215 to 150 to 55. Nissim unfortunately got shot a lot, and though he healed up and survived, didn’t have much loot. Even still, he said this was the most fun game he’s played in Givat Shmuel. Impressive. Miriam had most diamonds, and also had to heal from two wounds, but made it to the end. We did not play another round with powers though.

Innovation

Kevin and I played Innovation while the rest had what sounded like a lot of fun at Codenames. First game we added Cities of Destiny, and Kevin got a bit of a runaway game, as well as the Legend Achievement. I forgot about Endorsing until pretty late in the game, and it did allow me to get Wonder via splay and some other interesting effects, but I couldn’t catch up with Kevin’s lead.

Next we played with Echoes, and again Kevin got the lead though I claimed the 1 jsut before he stole all my points. Homing Pigeons kept me pretty low in points, but I got Destiny by Foreshadowing a lot with Liquid Fire, though Kevin got Supremacy with Novel. Fortunately, I stole Printing Press, drawing a purple 7 and jumping to Genetics level 9. This got me Bio-Engineering which I used the next turn to score Kevin’s leaves, reducing him to 2 leaves against my 3, claiming victory while he just needed the 6 achievement.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Miriam joined as Naturalist with me as Fixer and Kevin as Parse against Citizen Dawn. She got out Blinding Blast and Tears early, neutering our hands. Combined with her many Ongoings, it seemed hopeless. Fixer has no Ongoing control, Naturalist didn’t have Crafty Assault, and Parse only had Data Mining. By the time Parse got Segmentation Fault, we were all nearly dead. The Atlantean Throne room kept us alive a bit, but Parse got hit just as we were getting going. Fixed point led to Fixer and Naturalist having two styles / forms out for a bit, until Devastating Aurora ruined our setup. Not long later I was hit, despire Naturalists tanking. Still, Naturalist managed to survive until another Fixed point, and combined Crocodile / Gazelle began striking Dawn as fast as she could. Dawn was at 27 when the Aurora’s showed up again at the end of her deck, once again resetting our build up. Before Naturalist could get out enough defenses to survive until the next Fixed Point, she just barely was killed, leaving the Victory to the Citizens of the Sun.

A lot of people (myself included) got to enjoy new games this weekend. So often do people refuse to learn new games, but so rarely have I seen someone regret learning once they’ve committed to do so.

February 3rd, 2018: Bupkes!

Crew Members: Sasha, Yuda, Eitan, Danya, Zevvy, Nechama

I ended up staying in Givat Shmuel for Shabbat, and finally made use of a game that was sitting on the shelf for too long.

Codenames

Easy to teach, we played a few rounds of this so everyone could have a turn giving clues. First round Sasha and Yuda were on a team and did very well, so Nechama suggested boys vs. girls (which seems to be our standard). But with this the boys took the lead, even though many clues were given with a count of “1”.

Bohnanza

Zevvy – 22, Nechama – 21, Eitan – 17, Sasha – 14

I hadn’t played this since college, but bought a copy a while back thinking it would be good for a lighter game session (Citadels in Hebrew looked too intimidating). The game still takes a while because of the nature of verbal deal making, but it was fun and lively and Danya wished she had joined in from the start.

Though Eitan got an early lead with Red Beans, Nechama tried to then stop trading with him, which allowed me to catch up quite a bit. Nechama managed to cash in some garden beans and a lot of Soy and Stink beans, making deals with Sasha. Towards the end Eitan and I were just giving each other beans, and in the last round I got one coin more than Nechama, but I also went first. I took out the Cocoa beans by mistake, so with the few extra turns they would’ve afforded, the outcome could have been different. Either way, everyone had fun, and it was just the right game for the afternoon.

I don’t have a lot of games that can handle more than 4 players. Maybe my next purchase should be something that is easy to teach, scales well, and that I too would enjoy (cause I’m sure not playing Avalon). Time to do some research.

Status Update, 2017: The Memory Remains

So my last post before this was in July. I started a full time job in August, and at first my game sessions we’re fewer as my schedule balanced out. Still played games on Shabbat occasionally. In the last couple months we’ve had pretty regular meetings at Sarah B.’s place here in Givat Shmuel. David T. has even been here a couple times and his visits were marked by our introduction to Marvel’s Legendary as well as a successful afternoon of Werewolf. In the early days of working I also had cause to go Haifa a few times and got to play with David T. and David M. a bit, including Cthulhu Pandemic, Dead of Winter, and Betrayal with the Expansion.

After Gabe (my cousin) got married, the previous make-up of the Givat Shmuel Board Game Group slowly drifted in different directions. Some members of the Givat Shmuel are still involved in D&D. Though I kept up a bit with it over Skype after leaving Haifa, I don’t think the mission is continuing. I understand Exalted happened for a bit. I also remember playing Battlecon: Devastation of Indines and Thieves Guild with Amyr.

When I first started working we had a game night involving Coup, Settlers, Monopoly Deal, and maybe some other games. People had fun but I think we’re more just looking for a social thing to do that night than to find regular board game hobbyists. For most people here, they can get their game fix on Shabbat if they want.

Most times when people play games Shabbat afternoon it has been Settlers, which always takes hours and leaves people exhausted. I have got some people to play Sentinels and 7 Wonders, and a bit of Dominion. We have had some Sentinels games that needed to be finished after Shabbat.

Now a few of us are able to meet often. We started playing games including Codenames, Avalon and (to my chagrin) even Cards Against Humanity. When a new game introduction goes well and people are excited to play it it makes me very happy. Much as when Martin was bringing a new game every week, I am introducing games with different mechanics so everyon can find something they like. Dominion and 7 Wonders have also been big hits lately, and I even got to play Pictionary a few times (still my favorite game).

Now that I have a decently paying full-time job I’m okay with paying to have games shipped here, and have a few that will hopefully arrive in the mail, though Israeli customs and postal service have me keeping my fingers crossed.

Part of me was itching for some heavier games which I don’t own, and I met Aaron at a Board Game Night and we played Terraforming Mars and Lords of Waterdeep (which I had actually played the Sukkot after making Aliyah, with Yehuda Berlinger’s Jerusalem Strategy Board Game Club). Over Chanuka I quickly stopped by Roee Anuar (admin on Unbored with Bored Games) and played Mr. Jack Pocket with Zohar, as well as King Louis with Matan and someone else (Dror?). Roee has many games I would like to try and hosts on Thursdays occasionally, so hopefully I will be able to go.

Re-reading a lot of old posts gave me nostalgia for a lot of good times. I regret not writing up the various sessions I’ve had since July. Through reading I am now still drawing enjoyment from experiences I’ve had over the past two years.

I will try to commit to photographing and writing about my sessions, as this also provided enjoyment for the other attendees, creates more of a a bond, and from what I’ve seen of successful groups, encourages people to show up and get excited about the write-up as well. It allows the experience to last longer than the few meager hours a week we manage to get together.

That’s enough writing for today. I’ll tag all the games I can remember playing since July since I like seeing them in the cloud on the side of the blog.

Looking forward to creating many more lasting experiences in 2018!

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.

Pictionary

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.

Codenames

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…