April 27th-28th: Take Your Time

Crew Members: Zevvy, Orit, Nechama, Zoe, Kevin

Next weekend I won’t be around, so we really crammed it in today…

Innovation

Not my favorite with 4 players, but Orit was willing to read and so picked up the concept pretty fast. I just barely grabbed the 1 and the 3  with Metalworking and Currency while Kevin got the 2 and the 4. Nechama drew a lot but lost her hand to Machinery. Orit also got Engineering and destroyed many castles. Kevin’s coin monopoly let him steal many things, but not before I snagged the 5 with pirate code. It was a tense race to the 6 but Nechama let me share Coal with her, basically handing me the win.

Isle of Skye

Zoe actually joined us for this Scottish themed game as she leaves behind her Irish heritage to join the Tribe. Scoring tiles were “Ship + Lighthouse = 3”, “1 per animal on and adjacent to farm”, “3 per 3-tile enclosed region”, and “2 per tile in largest enclosed lake. This last tile gave Orit and Nechama a lot of points, whereas I completed it only in round 5 for a smaller lake. Zoe left halfway through, leaving me as last player. Nechama caught up with Orit, but in the final round I scored a lot for my scrolls, ending up tied with Nechama at over 70, with Orit not far behind.

Power Grid

Nechama’s been wanting a re-match, this time we had Orit instead of Yehuda. She learned fast but by the end wasn’t as interested since some turns took a while…Nechama tried to stay behind the whole game to be able to get first dibs on resources and building but was unable to compete once we hit step 3. Orit relied heavily on coal and the last round coal got bought out, though she only had 16 powered buildings. Nechama still had 17 powered buldings but Kevin had 18, with the Hydrogen plant. I managed to get 19 buildings though, using oil and garbage, snagging the victory.

Machi Koro

Orit, Nechama and I played this while Kevin took a break. They both got Tuna Boats, leaving me in the dust. I bought more Red and Purple than usual, but my Business Center never went off, and Orit ended it just before Nechama would have, while I still had Radio Tower and Airport to build. Had my Tax Office activated I would have slowed them down.

Galaxy Trucker

As usual when teaching we ignore the time limit, but Orit still had trouble building her ship. Nechama built a ship with no exposed connectors, but learned that finishing first means dibs on the goodies during the adventure. If first player builds a good ship then they generally will get a lot more money than the others, but in longer adventures this is mitigated as first player loses days, yet there still being time for others to collect or overtake. We didn’t have time to finish the second adventure though.

While I still have a blast with Innovation every time, I may buy an expansion (or just shell out for the Deluxe Set), since it gets played a lot and I actually people who could handle expansion content. I do like the small box and table space though. I chose Galaxy Trucker to make an actual punishment for AP, but if players barely finish it’s not much fun for me, so I don’t mind…but maybe we should stick to un-timed tile games like Isle of Skye.

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Pesach 2018: Game Summary

Mostly played games with my sister, though I tried to teach Mottainai to my brothers, they weren’t interested. One brother learned Impulse and we had two good games. The first one, he didn’t send any ships to the sector core until I already had a head start there, and I managed to get six points from trading two Size 3 blue cards in one go. The next game, he built up a huge fleet and attacked me 7 vs. 3 but I had two reinforcement cards and despite the size of the fleet he was defeated. Still, he liked the game.

I played several rounds of Star Realms, and often times the overwhelming “base” strategy dominated, though Blob focus seemed to win a lot as well.

My sister did really well at Splendor, forcing me to even rethink how quickly I go for level 2 and 3 cards versus building up mines.

Our few games of Machi Koro were enjoyable, and usually pretty close, but still coming down mostly to luck of the dice.

We did okay in some rounds of Hanabi, and got 19 in a game with our third cousin who is used to playing only Chess.

The most interesting games were our Innovation games. In one of them, my sister and I were racing for final achievement, and she had almost 50 cards tucked and splayed on her board, using Industrialization to get Monument. Our game with the cousin, his first time, was also close with achievements, but as the 10s pile thinned, my sister pulled ahead in points. To prevent her victory I coordinated with the cousin to set off Fission, and after a few rounds picking up the few remaining cards, he actually won, 17 to 16 to 15.

We also played Spit, Rummy 500, and Set, as well as Sushi Go: Party with the base cards and one round with Menu, Eel, Fruit, Tofu, Onigiri, Uramaki and Tea.

March 23-24th: Dice and Cards. And more dice. And more cards.

Crew Members: Zevvy, Sarah B., Orit, Nechama, Kevin

After the massive dinner on the roof (using Splendor tokens to weigh down the cups), I snuck inside for some Dominion with the other gamers. The long afternoon also gave us some game time, but not as much as I thought.

Dominion

We had a few old familiar cards, like Jester and Royal Seal, and a bunch of new ones, like Mill and Nobles from Intrigue. These synergized with Replace to hand out a lot of curses, but Council Room allowed drawing, while Mill at least made discarding curses viable. Coin of the Realm provided action proliferation. Sarah and I mostly split the Provinces, but I got once before the game three-piled out and had more Nobles, winning even with 7 curses.

Machi Koro

Finally got to play this, started off slow but got faster once people got the hang of it. Seemed like a long game because a lot of Purple Cards meant stealing coins back and forth. I got a ton of coins on a 7 with Cheese Factories, but in the end we rolled 4 more times than any other number, and eventually Sarah had enough to get the Airport.

We played this again at the end of the day, without Airport, game went by pretty fast. I got 22 coins on an 8 with Furniture Factories, claiming Radio Tower early. But Orit had managed to get a lot of cash early and with a few Tuna Boats nabbed the Radio tower before I could get Amusement Park.

One Deck Dungeon

We played the Vile Roots with Alchemist, Hunter, Paladin and Archer. Started out taking a few hits, though an early Mana Fountain for the Alchemist allowed abuse of the Deadly Kris. Usually Nechama would go on traps thanks to Awareness, and Kevin’s Hunter would join to maximize Dexterity. When facing two Monsters, Orit and I usually split so each group would have some magic. Halfway through the second floor the tides were turning, and our potion supply increased vastly as we identified several types. So though there were some tough encounters on the third floor, the amount of potions we brought to the final boss plus the skills we had allowed an easy victory. We also made it to level 4 just before the boss, though we all had 3 items and 3 skills.

I keep forgetting how long a game can take when players encounter it for the first time, and should probably just bring fewer games, even though the afternoons are longer now.