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.

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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…