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.

20180127_181546.jpg

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.

Advertisements

January 20th, 2018: A Bottle of Rum!

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, Orit, Nechama, Misha, Jonathan T., Jonathan D.

Shabbat is always a fresh start. For important things like spiritual matters. Which is But also to get revenge for the outcome last weeks board games. Or at least try.

Patchwork

This was the perfect, easy to teach, quick to play game for before dinner, and various other times throughout Shabbat. I actually did very well the first game, with only 3 empty holes. The next game was more even but I got the 7 points bonus for the win.

Mr. Jack Pocket

For a few bucks from China this is also a nice quick game, though I accidentally doubled the length of the rounds. Misha managed to catch Mr. Jack in what would’ve been enough time anyway, though the game would’ve been different with shorter rounds.

Black Fleet

First game was just me Kevin and Orit. Kevin had fast loading, but his pirate ship spent most of the game out of commission. Orit’s extra cash for raiding and extended range combo-ed nicely, but I was pretty unopposed to bury some valuable treasure in the mid map and get some ‘four capacity’ deliveries. Kevin might have caught up but didn’t quite make port before being robbed of two goods before his final turn.

Second game we played to 20, Nechama joined. A navy ship kept most people’s pirates off one half of the board, so I just went back and forth delivering goods with fast loading and ending the game surprisingly quickly. In general it seems that ‘greedy algorithm’ with some slight risk taking usually works, but I guess if one player gets a breakaway unopposed, the ship upgrades provide positive feedback that needs to be balanced by a good old fashioned gang-up.

Hanabi

After Mincha we started Hanabi but didn’t get to finish, though Misha and Jonathan got the hang of it pretty quick, though we did make two mistakes early.

Some other folks played 7 Wonders and Adios Amigos, which is a game I’ve never played but looks fun, like a combination of Bang, Cash n Guns and some quick adding. Still haven’t found anyone willing to learn Mottainai…though admittedly it’s a confusing game, especially if the first thing you eat all day is several shots of whiskey and arak…

January 6th, 2018: Unfinished Business

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, Chaim, Jonathan

Played some games Shabbat afternoon. The day is short, the task is large…

Hanabi

Started playing before the meal because these things never start on time. Two new players, we had to repeat some clues, but we’re doing pretty well on all fronts except Yellow. Didn’t get to finish though.

Nations

Played for over 2 hours, got through 5 out of 8 rounds. I almost got stuck without coins but a well times event got me out of the rut. There were some aggressive military maneuvers. I checked the rules after Shabbat and was correct that Stability only offsets loss from wars but not events, and the events took their toll. Still, it’s not too hard to come back when you get 3 free resources each round, but we didn’t finish after Shabbat.

Some people were playing Settlers–they have at least expanded to Cities and Knights, but since they usually don’t finish a regular game they weren’t even close with this one. Some people commented on Nations as they walked by, and if people we’re actually interested I’d love to teach…but when the comments are things like, “What’s this? A game with no dice?” then I know the term ‘strategy game’ will fall on deaf ears (thought there is randomness in the game due to cards…). The rule book isn’t any longer than Settler’s and there is less text on the cards than C&K. But I don’t know anyone else who actually read the Settler’s rule books–most people just play by oral tradition, which of course leads to arguments and a hodgepodge of house rules, which are fine depending on what the people you’re playing with are looking for in a gaming session. Just means Settlers has been around long enough to become the Monopoly of Euro games.

December 31st, 2017: A Game is a Game

Crew Members: Sarah B., Shlomo, Nechama, Zevvy, Orit, Anna

I’ll tag this as a holiday meeting, since there was an inyan to davka meet on the “K’ilu Rosh Hashana Shel Melachim Gregoriim”. So there.

Beer Pong…?

Yeah you read that right. Some of these folks had never played beer pong before. Surprisingly we found a lot of possible rules–makes me suspect this too was invented by Germans (see College Humor video on German Tag). I did surprisingly well, though I think I was the only college graduate in the room…

7 Wonders

Nechama – Alexandria B: 54, Shlomo – Gizah A: 51, Zevvy – Babylon A: 44, Sarah – Halikarnassos: 41

First round I got very few resources but started my blue build up, and we all tied military. No one built wonders at all first round, but Nechama started on science which would pay off. Round two surprisingly I won both my battles, but otherwise just got more blue cards. Final round military control went back to Shlomo and Nechama, and while I had lots of blue cards, Shlomo had great guilds. But Nechama’s 31 science points snagged her the victory, while Sarah’s wonder didn’t get her great discards–with fewer players Halikarnassos gets fewer options.

Harry Potter: Mystery at Hogwarts

So I haven’t seen this game since I was a kid but Nechama brought it back from England. We played for a bit with 6 players, but as players increase, information is more sparsely distributed and the game takes exponentially longer. We played a few rounds, and based on what people asked after each other I had a pretty good idea of solving the case, but we ended early when it seemed people had enough.

Hanabi

Score: 21 (4, 5, 5, 5, 2) – Amazing!

Anna’s first game, but she picked it up pretty quick. We did explain our motives a bit as we played, and Orit made some good deductions based on the nature of the clues given. Though we did have a few mistakes, a score of 21 with 5 players is nothing to sneeze at. It’s hard since each player gets fewer turns, and it’s a lot harder to keep 5 people focused on the game and remember what each person has been told.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Villain: Deadline, Environment: Enclave of the Endlings – OBLITERATED

Shlomo – The Naturalist, Zevvy – Legacy, Anna – Skyscraper, Nechama – Fanatic, Orit – Tachyon

Deadline opened with slowly with some Catastrophe’s, but before they could act Immutus appeared, Absorbing the blows. We Destroyed his Atomic-End Glaive handily and were dishing out the damage with buffs all around. An Unnatrual Disaster did scar us as 1/3 of the Environment was destroyed at once. Bloogo came out to protect Tachyon, but was destroyed by the next wave of Catastrophes. Naturalist switched from Rhino to Croc and while he and Skyscraper walloped Deadline, Fanatic took the blows until her final Wrathful Retribution, finishing off Deadline before he could make much of a dent.

You know you’re with good people when you spend New Year’s drinking fine wine and using cardboard and plastic to help bring imagination to life. I didn’t even have my phone with me, which is why there are no photos…

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!

October 27th, 2015: A (7) Wondrous First Meeting

Crew Members: Ofer, Zevvy, Abi, Roman, Denis, Oran

Thank G-d, our first meeting at Ofer’s was a great success, once everyone found the place. We had an abundance of snack food thanks to everyone who brought. Looking forward to many more meetings and gaming!

7 Wonders

Roman: Gizah – 60, Zevvy: Babylon – 60, Ofer: Ephesos – 56, Oran: Olympia – 47, Abi: Rhodes 43, Denis: Alexandria – 34

First time for everyone except Ofer and myself. Roman had strong military early, and a good number of blue cards and a couple Guilds. I had 36 points in the sciences, though made a mistake playing two of the same card. Abi also had strong military and blue cards, but with a strong neighbor didn’t make as many victories as Roman. Denis had points in the most variety of colors, but none strong enough to bring up his score. Oran also had decent military and blue cards. Ofer started strong with may Yellow trading abilities and some military. Everyone built their wonders to level 3.

IMG_20151027_205104400

Hanabi

Ofer, Zevvy, Abi – 17 (Crowd Pleasing!)

We needed a short game so Abi could head home. First time for everyone but Ofer. We started off well enough, using our hints and not making any guesses. Got lucky on several discards. But by the end we could not sustain our hints, and only managed to get one color to level 5. In the end it was a decent score, and we all had fun.

Kingsburg

Oran 39, Roman 29, Denis 27

I am not familiar with the game, but it lasted after 7 Wonders until the end of the night. First time for Roman and Denis I think, they enjoyed.

IMG_20151027_225613165

Summoner Wars

Ofer – Benders: Victory, Zevvy – Dwarves: Defeat

Denis tells me we picked the hardest two factions to begin. Ofer had played before. I got an early lead as my Dwarves were simply sturdier than the Benders. But Ofer had a creature which could convert my units and began to overwhelm me. I walled up my Summoner but it was a downhill battle, especially since I let Ofer convert many of my units instead of killing them myself.

TowerFall Ascension

Ofer, Zevvy

Okay, this isn’t a board game but it was a lot of fun. First couple rounds were very close, I got jumped on a lot. Then we turned off seeking arrows. Ofer won on the map with the bomb arrows, and I won with the laser arrows.