April 21st, 2018: French Economy?

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, David T., Avi F., Nechama, Orit, Shlomo

Nechama, Orit, Shlomo and David played several games of Legendary, losing most of them until the final battle. Meanwhile, on the other half of the table…

Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game

I told Avi this would be a three hour commitment–it turned out to be four and a half. I tried to minimize the number of rules to explain before starting but it still took a bit. Fortunately, despite the opaqueness of the first couple turns, Avi stuck with it and soon was planning his Tech and expanding his British empire. The tiles he discovered actually created a complete water barrier around his territory, making his innate seafaring quite handy. Kevin as the French took a while to get his second city, but his first was a production powerhouse. As Egypt I though I would focus on wonders, but discovering the Ark of Covenant made me consider culture. So I dedicated my Capital to culture but halfway up the track realized I had the wonders that might even make a tech victory feasible. Though Avi did build up his military a bit, thanks to my tech I managed to appear powerful enough to defend. Avi had the Great Wall, so attack him was kind of pointless. However, once Kevin got going, he quickly went for economic victory, and got some great people to help him with that. While I probably should have rushed economic, I was one turn away from Tech Victory using Education and Isaac Newton, but due to turn order Kevin got his final coin just before Avi was ready to attack us and slow us down.

Innovation

Kevin and I actually played this while people ate desert, and Kevin kept grabbing the achievements just before me. I did get World, and finally over took him and got 6 and 7, but in the race to number 8 Kevin finally won out, despite me having some powerful 10s on my board.

Legendary

After Shabbat I also played a game of Legendary with David, it going much faster with just the two of us. We went against Galactus, but the Scheme required us to fill our decks with Maria Hill officers, slowing down his Spiderman combo. With rogue and a lot of blue cards I got some nice hits on Galactus, but the 6th scheme twist came too early before we could finish enough Maria Hill’s to buy more time. We continued playing anyway, and within two rounds would have finished off Galactus anyway, even as four out of five sites in the city were destroyed.

We all had a great time, and Avi said he’d happily play again sometime. Another friend who is a big fan of Space Opera got excited when I told him about Twilight Imperium, so when we have an entire day or something it may actually hit the table.

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April 19th – 20th: 2018

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Sarah B., Orit, Joan, Kevin

After the BBQ some folks played a game. Also on Friday some folks played a game.

Legendary

Loki was after the infinity gems, and four of them escaped before we could really start doing anything. But we managed to barely hang on, keeping the last couple gems out of his reach. Invisible Woman and Storm helped us K.O. the starting cards and draw more, while Luke Cage helped protect from Wounds and with Jessica Jones eventually did enough damage to start attacking Loki and take him down, despite some close calls with the Scheme Twist.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Before the BBQ, David and I played against Kaargra as The Wraith, Fanatic, Mr. Fixer and Tempest. Tempest started as the healer, but soon changed roles to preventing the end of turn effects of the enemies, slowing their favor gain. Wraith was the main damage dealer, with some buff from Fanatic, and Mr. Fixer’s Dual Crowbars also earned a lot of kills and favor. We had more than enough favor but Kaargra had Chaos Lord, so hitting her played more cards. We got lucky and didn’t draw another Fickle Fans and were able to take her out a turn before she might have gotten enough favor to win.

On Friday, Kevin brought over some food and stayed for a game and a half. We faced Baron Blade, Fright Train and Friction as The Naturalist, Fanatic and Setback. The Naturalist tanked as Rhino for a few rounds while Fanatic and Setback took out Friction. Fanatic started with End of Days, immediately clearing the Villain’s starting bonuses. The Naturalist switched to Crocodile mode and with some heavy hits from Setback’s Looking Up and Karmic Retribution, we took out Baron Blade and Fright Train no problem. HP was actually kind of low, but the healing from Fanatic was a useful boon.

Second game was meant to be fast, so we faced Advanced Baron Blade in Rook City. Despite having Team Leader Tachyon, we just could hit fast enough to get past two Defense Platforms and Elemental Redistributor before drawing Consider the Price of Victory for a loss. I did play Freedom Five Absolute Zero which was able to lay on a lot of hurt and burn myself down to 1 HP, but Tachyon’s Lightspeed Barrage was just shy of flipping the Baron before his Lunar Impulsor Beam activated. Expatriette was also able to do some damage but not quite fast enough to stop the Baron.

One Deck Dungeon

David played as Caliana and I was the slayer, against Indrax. While we lost some time at the start, most encounters weren’t a problem. We lacked combat dice, but had more than enough magic and decent dexterity, making most traps a breeze. We did use a luck potion here and there, and the second layer combat requirement was tough until we each got a Charmed Panther. By the time we faced Indrax we both had four items and four skills, as well as a few potions to spare, and in two rounds he was neutralized, us without a scratch.

Since David only plays Co-op games we ran the gamut of our options (except Hanabi and The Kings of Israel…oh and Forbidden Island). Legendary sometimes feels to random to me, and One Deck Dungeon too easy. Though Sentinels has some potentially swingy villains, it’s still my favorite out of the co-op games we tend to play.

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!