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.

July 5th, 2016: Vengeance

Crew Members: Zevvy, David T.

David, a new Oleh, saved the day by coming over for some much needed board gaming. He is an even bigger fan of Sentinels than I am, and has the Villains expansion, which we took a crack at.

Dominion

David – 39, Zevvy – 31

I quickly taught Dominion to David though he thinks he played it long ago. We used random cards from the Base, Prosperity and Cornucopia. I got an early lead with the Bishop, while David went on the offensive with Militia. Once we were able to afford Council Rooms though, David had more cards producing treasure in his deck and was able to pull off a double Province buy (or two, iirc). Though I had a full Province lead of points from Bishop, David ended the game before I could catch up.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Zevvy – The Naturalist (variant) / Nightmist, David – Sky-Scraper / The Sentinels (variant)

Villains: Citizens Hammer & Anvil, Miss Information, The Operative, Sergeant Steel – DEFEATED

Environment: Madame Mittermeier’s Fantastical Festival of Conundrums & Curiosities

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As the villains got into position, The Naturalist marked Sergeant Steel with The Predator’s Eye for a quick take-down. The Operative focused on The Idealist, but Dr. Medico kept her alive as we whittled down Miss Information, who seemed more interested in confusing us than trying to kill us. The environment provided little entertainment, as no Attractions came into play. Sky-Scraper’s Thorathian Monolith soaked most of the damage, and Nightmist got out her Amulet and Necklace, staying healthy and causing the Villains to hit one another. The Naturalist played another Predator’s Eye which made it easy to finish off the Operative, and Sky-Scraper’s Compulsion Canisters caused chaos between the two Citizens. Though they protected one another quite well, once Anvil was down, finally the Hammer fell (|\/|).

Before I left I considered buying Villains of the Multiverse, but it wouldve pushed the limits of my suitcases…I didn’t think anyone else was crazy enough to schlepp this game on an Aliyah flight, let alone show up at my house, but David answered the call.

May 17th, 2016: Angels and Demons

Crew Members: Zevvy, David W.

Did David M. suddenly become an evil twin brother version of himself?

No! Is David more than one person? No! (except in the game we played tonight). Someone actually found our website on google! Welcome to the crew, David.

Dominion

Zevvy – 42, David – 34

David had played Dominion before but not much, though he quickly picked up the new cards we were playing with. A combination of Hamlets and Menagerie’s made it easy to buy Peddlers, and David quickly picked up 8 of them. I went with a first round Bishop, which gave me more Victory point tokens, but David got two Provinces and a Duchy before I even got one. Twice I bought Rabble and twice I drew it with Bishop and only one action, so they both got trashed for points. But in the end my 20 Victory Point tokens brought me ahead to Victory, as David ended the game buying all the Hamlets, Menageries and Peddlers.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Zevvy – Fanatic (Incapacitated), Omnitron-X: 10, David – The Sentinels – Idealist: 11, Writhe: 13, Mainstay: 13, Dr. Medico: 12

Villain – Apostate: DEFEATED

Environment: Realm of Discord

Led by Fanatic on a quest for righteousness, our heroes descended into the Realm of Discord, the borderlands of Hell itself, to face the Demon Lord Apostate himself. But in her zealousness, Fanatic over-esitmated her abilities, and performed a Divine Sacrifice. With the responsibility to protect all four Sentinels from attack, Fanatic quickly became a Fallen Angel. Omnitron-X had a hard time getting set up as Apostate destroyed his fragile components, but slowly the Senintels began to bring out their Signature abilities. As the heroes took down Apostate’s Relics one by one, the ambient Explosive Bubbles served as a continuous annoyance to Apostate himself. Tension rose when our equipment came to life and was in danger of destruction, but the Imbued Vitality was soon replqced with Imbued Frailty, raising the stakes for everyone. Some heavy hitting from the Sentinels and some Focused Plasma from Omnitron-X cut through Apostate’s defenses, and soon he was out of precious Relics to rely on. Monitron’s Reactive Plating and Writhe’s powers of redirection allowed the Portal Fiends to direct their psychic blasts back at Apostate, leading our heroes to victory, though Fanatic was in serious need of Dr. Medico’s care. Battered but not beaten, our heroes returned from the Realm of Discord to fight another day.

David has played many games and likes co-op and well illustrated games, so Sentinels was a hit. Hopefully we can work out scheduling better so more people can make it next time, and try out some of the games Liz brought back from the US.

April 11th, 2016: Settling In

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Dima

Everyone’s been pretty busy, I wasn’t even sure if we would meet tonight, but David came after work and Dima came for what might be his last time before he moves, so it was good to see him again before he left.

Dominion

Zevvy – 41, David 33

Trade Route, Quarry, Throne Room, Bishop, Laboratory, Harvest, Mint, Adventurer, Expand

David and I played a quick game of Dominion with a trashing heavy set. It wasn’t long before we each had 4 Provinces, but I was able to Bishop a few Expands for extra points along the way.

Settlers of Catan

Zevvy – 13, Dima – 9, David – 7

We quickly taught Dima the additions for Cities and Knights, and managed to finish the game in just under 2 hours. Many more nines than statistically probable were rolled, giving myself and Dima an early advantage over David. An early Robber placement also hit me and David pretty hard. I got two early Defender of Catan cards before Dima upgraded both his knights with a Smithy. David and Dima both had 3:1 ports which I needed, until I finally got the Brick port after settling two heavy brick spots. Dima had the Acqueduct which helped him get Brick and Ore which he didn’t make from cities.

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Towards the end we started rolling more 7s and other numbers which hadn’t come up, but the whole game not a single 4 was rolled (4 never comes up!). I managed to win after several 5’s were rolled, filling my hand with Bricks, then playing Irrigation for 4 Wheat and building a Metropolis, settlement, and taking the Merchant just before the Barbarians would have attacked.

Time flies, and these meetings help mark the weeks as everyone finds their place. Meetings  might be more sparse in the coming weeks, but we will do our best.

March 21st, 2016: Duchies or Collectives?

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Roman

It had been a while since we played Dominion, and with a small group this was a good opportunity. We refreshed Roman on the rules and tried not to use too many weird cards.

Dominion

Zevvy – 35, David – 21, Roman – 11

Mostly base cards, including Moat and Witch. There was also Chapel and Laboratory, that powerful combination of religion and science. David began Chapeling early, but most of the Action cards did not provide Treasure, and so his buying power was limited. Roman got an early Witch but didn’t take advantage of trashing, and once my deck was thin enough to be drawn every turn, the other players were getting curses faster than they could trash or draw past them. The Village / Council Room combo made it easy to find the cards needed and I was able to buy two Provinces a round until they all ran out.

Zevvy – 39, David -37, Roman – 14

No curses this game, but Militia which Roman picked up early. However, there were many ways to protect from Militia, including Menagerie which is in my opinion one of the most powerful cards for its cost. David picked up a bunch of Vaults thinking that they acted like Cellar in addition to providing treasure, but when he realized the mistake began Remaking them into Gold. Though he was able to draw his deck every round, with only one buy he could not get two provinces. The Talisman stood in for extra buy in the early game, and was useful considering the number of four cost cards, but Woodcutter was the only true +Buy card. Roman did not make use of the Menageries like David and I did, and was not able to get to eight consistently until most of the Provinces were already gone.

David and I were going to play another round, but we ended up talking politics and different forms of government… of course, running your own kingdom of witches and Duchies is often more fun in game form than in real life…

January 6th, 2016: Curses!

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Dima

I wasn’t sure if people would make it tonight, but David showed up with some coke (the brown kind) and Dima showed up with some chocolate (the brown kind). We played some games.

Dominion

Zevvy – 32, David – 29

Chapel, Cellar, Hamlet, Trade Route, Fortune Teller (Bane), Young Witch, Monument, Horse Traders, Bureaucrat, Quarry, Venture

It was a pretty low powered game, with Venture being the only five-cost card. I thought I could pull off the ‘trash-your-deck -except-Venture’ chaining strategy, but my luck with Chapel was not as good as David’s. I also suffered from curses as David opened with Young Witch and Chapel, while I opened Silver and Chapel. In the end it worked out for me though as my Monument counteracted the curses and I eked out the win.

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Dima – 36, Zevvy – 28, David -17

Cellar, Watchtower, Woodcutter, Talisman, Quarry, Farming Village, Monument, Tournament, Witch, Festival

As opposed to last week, tonight was not David’s night. The game began with people buying Witches and Watchtowers, though Dima got a head start on this with a 5-2 opening. At first David seemed to be doing the best, and was the first one to buy a Province. With Tournament on the board,David seemed in good shape. But with no trashing other than Watchtower, the curses began to add up, and even with Cellar after Cellar, it was hard to get a good hand going.

Dima meanwhile had no specific strategy at first, but bought many Monuments which turned out to be very helpful and allowed him to get points without filling his deck, and he began buying Provinces too. I was also able to get a few Provinces, but in between my hands were pretty lousy. I did win a Torunament, but took a Duchy instead of a Prize since the end game was near.

I bought the last few Cellars, and David bought the last Festival to end his misery. In the end, Dima won by a clear margin.

Enzymania – Demo

I spent a few minutes demonstrating a game I’ve had a vague idea about for a long time now. It is based on everyone’s favorite subject, Enzyme Kinetics! I am still sifting through some possible mechanics, but essentially the players use Enzymes to convert abstract molecules, trying to maximize the concentration of those molecules which will give them points via their ‘Membrane Protein’. It still needs a lot of fine tuning. And readable cards that I didn’t just make a few hours before the meeting…

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Forbidden Island

David – Messenger, Dima – Navigator, Zevvy – Explorer

Dima had played Pandemic before, so he picked this game up quickly. But as Forbidden Island is designed for a younger audience, the randomness is a little less polished which forces the players to bend over backwards sometimes to save Fool’s Landing or some other important tile. We played the ‘Island of Shadows’ setup, a 6 x 4 grid, instead of the default setup.

Collectively we started with four Earth Stone cards, and picked up that treasure right away. We drew two Water’s Rise pretty early, which slowed us down, but meant we didn’t have to worry for a while. David and Dima divided the Fire and Water treasures among them, and I picked up four Wind treasure cards in a few rounds.

Moving around was the hardest part, and we even had to fly David to the Tidal Palace and back using two helicopters because it had become isolated. Dima’s navigation combined with my diagonal movement did allow me to move quite far, and we picked up the other treasures without delay. The deck reshuffled and we struggled to maintain a land bridge back to Fool’s Landing, but then we drew two helicopters, one to fly Dima to the Landing and one to fly home, all four treasures in hand.

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I realized many of the games I have require some setup and take-down time, so it might be good to get some quicker games to have on hand for when someone needs a fix. It’s definitely a better addiction than chocolate or coke (the white kind).

December 29th, 2015: A Flight of Fantasy

Crew Members: Zevvy, Roman, David, Dima, Liz

In a convergence of the timelines, Dima and Liz were able to make it to a meeting of the Haifa Board Games Crew.  Dima had formerly organized Thrusday afternoon game time (before leaving to start a new job and have baby…no excuse…), in which Liz and I had both previously participated, playing Carcassone, Iota, and Hanabi. Liz had also joined for impromptu Friday night games (Scrabble and Jungle Speed), but this is her first time at an official meeting. And what a fantastical meeting it was.

Munchkin

Dima, Zevvy, Liz, David, Roman

We began with Munchkin while waiting for Dima and Liz, who both showed up just in time to join. After a few rounds, it became clear that we were more the businessman type adventurers than the moster-slaying type, trying to get the best deals on trading treasure. Liz was particularly vindictive, raising the possibility that she was actually a monster and not an adventurer. Of note was when Roman caused 3,872 Orcs to wander into combat against Dima with the Insurance Salesman, only to have to face them himself due to Dima’s apt use of a Transferal Potion. At least Roman wasn’t stomped to death, though I’m sure the Insurance Salesman would not have given up his pitch. We stopped with everyone around level 5. Keep an eye out for Bigfoot, he will make you lose your hat…

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Zevvy – Fanatic: 7, David – Tempest: 11, Roman – Captain Cosmic: 13, Dima – Chrono-Ranger: 13

Villain – Baron Blade: DEFEATED

Environment: Mobile Defense Platform

A time traveler on a mission to stop the Moon crashing to Earth. It’s not Link from Majora’s Mask, but Chrono-Ranger, the time traveling cyborg cowboy! Along with an angel, an alien, and an energy wielding super-human, they did battle with the nefarious Baron Blade in his own hideout–the Mobile Defense Platform.

Baron Blade began with an Elemental Redistributor, but we handily destroyed it along with his first Defense Platform. The environment played a shield generator…protecting itself. Baron Blade activated his Backlash Field, but despite the reactive lightning bolts, Chrono-Ranger decided we needed to take Blade down “By Any Means” — adding +1 Damage dealt to the villain. With extra damage and support from Captain Cosmic, we swiftly stopped the lunatic from fully dislodging the moon from its orbit.

But Baron Blade was not finished–he escaped into his Mechanized Vengeance Suit! Not only that, he caused a Devious Disruption! Not wanting to lose our setup, we took a whopping 9 lightning damage, which destroyed all the Constructs as well. It was now a matter of time.

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Chrono-Ranger decided enough was enough. Double checking to make sure Bigfoot was nowhere near, he put on his Hat, and grabbed his Compound Bow. Blade fought back, but in the end he went down like a brick underwater. Our heroes were battered, but victorious. Or so they thought…

The Terra-Lunar impulsion beam did not pull the moon into the Earth, but did disrupt the orbit enough to affect the tides. This near environmental catastrophe has attracted the attention of a powerful alien being, who has decided that he will save humanity the trouble of destroying the world, and help speed things up a bit…

Will our heroes be able to stop this new villain before the Deadline?

Dominion

David – 43, Zevvy – 35

Village, Chancellor, Trade Route, Spy, Vault, Jester, Council Room, Goons, Adventurer, Bank

David stuck around for a bout of Dominion, which we had been trying to play for some time. The most dominant card by far was Goons, and 35 of David’s points came from his many plays of two or three Goons at a time. With Village and Council Room adding cards and buys, David tried to buy out three stacks to end the game before I could catch up. As evident by the scores, he succeeded. Goons is a fun card, but it has a tendency to overshadow other interesting cards and choices.

Despite the fantasy-heavy themed games we played today, a lot of practical discussion was had as well. I continue to Marvel at the (DC) power of board games to bring people together.