January 27th, 2018: Un-Nameable Title

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yehuda, Elad, Kevin, Avram

I guess this blog has become more about any time I personally end up playing board games, rather than some sort of specific crew. But that’s fine, because we are many.

Hanabi

Yehuda, Elad and I played Friday night, and started off very strong, except in white. We made some mistakes in the mid-game, but managed to get a couple 5s at a critical moment. The final round we missed one more 5, but a final score of 19 for a first game is not bad.

Star Realms

Yehuda picked this up right away, though we kept forgetting the Outpost rule. The first game a lot of expensive cards clogged the market, and while I had some good ships Yehuda had many bases. After taking a beating I managed to get a good strike in between Base plays, but just when I thought I was done for I smashed the bases yet again and made a final push before Yehuda could recover. Our second game I trashed very heavily and overran with Machine Cult and Blob.

Shabbat Day we played another two games I think, and one game Yehuda overwhelmed with Blob while my Trade Federation couldn’t heal me fast enough.

Dominion

The first game I got an early Bishop which helped my trashing, and I managed to trigger my Magic Lamp eventually for gold, which in turn activated my Legionairre attack. Yehuda was able to Mine most of his treasures but bought a Bishop late, so my engine was already ahead. Guide came in handy a few times for both of us though.

Next game had some events, ‘Plan’ which we both used to Trash when buying Nobles, the only real card drawer. Coin of the Realm made it easier to not get stuck, and Count was an interesting card which helped Yehuda trash many of the curses he got from my Soothsayer. This game was closer but while Yehuda had more Nobles and a Duchy, I won the Province split 5-3.

Arkham Horror

Yehuda was finally able to bring over this granddaddy of Mythos themed games. Kevin came over and Avram showed up just in time to join as our fourth. Even without my starting blessing, I got pretty lucky as Sister Mary and picked up a bunch of clues early on. We had a lot of Monster Bursts in a row, so while Terror increased, most of the monsters weren’t in our way. Kevin as the Professor finally managed to defeat one particularly strong monster with the help of the Shotgun, but lost many clues doing so. Though he did seal a gate with an Elder sign, removing several monsters.

Avram as the Magician had quite an arsenal of spells, but before he could go monster hunting was sucked into a gate, forcing several turns to be spent in the Outer Worlds. I used a gate Trophy to bless him but we both lost our blessings the same round, making things even more difficult. Yehuda had some good items, but was knocked out and driven insane, setting him back a bit, though he managed to start rebuilding his arsenal of spells and items quickly thanks to his ability to choose Events.

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With the Doom track more than half filled and only two gates sealed, we weren’t in the best position, but unfortunately ran out of time in the real world.

So many games, so little time…we plan to play Arkham Horror again though, and now that Avram lives closer it should be easier to coordinate game nights on this side of town.

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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!

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…