July 28th, 2018: Yeehaw!

Crew Members: Zevvy, David T., Kevin, Lily, Nechama, Yehuda B., Eitan S., Jonathan D.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

We played one game of this at night against La Capitan and won. A big help came from Dark Visionary allowing us to avoid Raiding Party twice. Cosmic’s constructs were never destroted–even Battle Forged couldn’t kill them because of Cosmic Crest. The T-Rex’s did some damage but Visionary Wrested the Mind of one of them. Sky-Scraper’s links wreaked some havoc for the villain and the Scholar got a few hits in and helped everyone play cards. Eventually Ra put out Imbued Fire and two Obsidian fields came out, speeding up the game considerably as we tore away at La Capitan after flipping her back from being Split Across Time.

The next day, Eitan, Kevin and Yehuda played four games, three of them with David. They defeated Apostate, but lost to Chairman thanks too a poorly timed Prison Riot. They won against Citizen Dawn but lost to the Matriarch.

One Deck Dungeon

David and I started a game against the Scorpion as Paladin and Slayer, but after two floors we had to stop. He had most of the Magic while I had lots of Dexterity and we both had some Strength. We had to use a few potions along the way but still had some in reserve for the final floor and the boss.

Hanabi

Jonathan and I played a round, and made too many mistakes. Then David joined and we did quite well, scoring 22 (5-5-5-5-2). The red pile was the one we failed at, taking a long time to get a red one, and the other Red 2 being the last card in the deck.

Great Western Trail

Realizing there was a lot to explain, I didn’t go through every last icon, but just the neutral buildings. Sure enough, after a couple turns people seemed to know at least how to move around. Developing a plan is something else. Only one Engineer was available early on, so I focused on Cowboys. Nechama and Kevin raced up the train track, claiming Station Master tiles. Jonathan and Nechama got some builders and focused a bit on getting powerful buildings. Kevin didn’t employ much but set up some nice combos with his buildings and had a lot of tiles to complete objectives. I definitely got a head start on improving my cattle deck. In the end, Kevin and I were the only ones to make it to San Francisco. I had some deliveries to other high point cities, and finished with 105 but Kevin did quite well at 93. Way better than my test game against my self of 77-74. John and Nechama were close to each other but lower down, at 48-44.

Kevin really liked GWT and would even consider buying it. Considering I only bought it cause 365 had it cheaper than AliExpress, I’m glad it was a hit in the end.

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May 17th, 2018: Too Quick

Crew Members: Zevvy, Shlomo

It’s been a while since anyone in the other group was available, and we were supposed to be three, but Orit couldn’t make it in the end. But I’ll never turn down games.

Set

Having refreshed a bit with this game over Pesach against my sister, I was able to win the first game by a large lead. Many of the sets involved difference in all categories, which I find easier sometimes. The second game Shlomo got a good start, and the result was much closer, me winning by only 3 sets.

Kingdomino

Having picked this up a while ago because I heard it was quick to learn, teach, and play, for all ages, we gave it a go. It’s tile laying in its simplest form, yet interesting enough even with two players. I won 36 to 30, but I’m sure next time we could both score much higher. There are additional scoring rules suggested but they all seem like unnecessary ‘win-more’ effects.

One Deck Dungeon

We continued our campaign as Paladin and Archer, this time against the Yeti. As usual, the early game was tough, but our skills from the last two rounds helped out. I excelled at traps while Shlomo had combat abilities, but we saw almost no 4+ exp encounters until the second floor. I had a good variety of Dexterity abilities, while Shlomo had a mix of Magic and Strength, so we handled almost everything pretty well. We did have to use up our potions after a couple rough encounters, but faced the boss at Level 4 with one potion and 3 skills and items each. The first round against the Yeti I had to discard a lot of dice, but the rest were good rolls and we covered all boxes. The second round we had to take some damage, but over-killed the Yeti by two points.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

We played as Sky-Scraper, Haka, Nightmist and Unity against Kaargra. She entered the arena right away, and the villains got an early favor lead. Then Nightmist used oblivion, resulting in a chain reaction of claiming Titles to do more damage to defeat more enemies to gain several favor in one blow. This left the heroes a bit battered, but Haka also had The Seeker, and we could usually kill any Gladiator that came out. Kaargra was catching up though, and Unbreakable, so with Provacator Tarnis protecting her it was still a race to defeat her before 20 favor. Once Sky-Scraper went huge and Unity got some bots, we took her down with over 30 favor just in time, the Villains falling a few short of victory.

Every time I think I’ve played all my games, I forget something…Castles of Burgundy arrived from China today, hopefully will play over the long weekend.

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.

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.

March 10th, 2018: Classic Crew

Crew Members: David M., Zevvy, David T.

With this trip to Haifa the blog retains the rights to its original name. Some new and some classic games with some classic folks.

Mottainai

Friday night we had some time before dinner, so I finally got to play Mottainai with someone. Even games where one person rushes, the score can be unpredictable thanks to back-orders. I almost had a turtle victory in one game, but it was faster to just end with a bunch of paper works. David did win the last game, where I had a ton on my craft bench but no time to sell. Very happy to have played this.

Stone Age

David – 187, Zevvy – 187

I picked this up from AliExpress cheap, knowing it was a classic but never having the right chance to play it. We played this before lunch while waiting for David T., and it was a blast. I managed to get fields and extra workers early, and more points off the first building. David seemed to be ahead in Green Tech cards but by the end I had 7 out of 8 and he had 4. I also had a lot of builders so the race for buildings brought the end of the game rather than cards. Turns out my instructions have a bad translation, and we should have put out more cards. Also missed the rule that resources count 1 point each, but didn’t affect the great fun of the game play. Definitely need to teach this to more people now that I know how to play.

Innovation

We also squeezed in a game of Innovation. Clothing helped me rush the first two Achievements, after which David stole my points and got to 3 and 4 before me. In mid-game, I used Coal and Canning to get 5 and 6, but destroyed most of my cards in the process. It was a tense back and forth race to get 7, but David managed to hold me off and get it first, even though he was stuck on level 5 tech for a while. Astronomy did give me the Universe Achievement though, so I only needed one more. And another particularly successful use of Astronomy got me level 8 tech with enough points before David could slow me down again.

One Deck Dungeon

After lunch we switched to co-op mode. David T. played Mage and Alchemist, I was Warden and David M. was Slayer. For most encounters, one of the magic users teamed up with the Warden or Slayer, and we made it through the first floor of the Phoenix’s Den with little damage. Things got trickier in the second floor, but since gaining a potion heals in this version, we never had anyone with more than one damage counter. The only poison we got was from fighting Rock Wyrms. We each had 3 items and 3 skills, and just barely made it to level 4 before the final boss fight. The first round against the Phoneix did see some damage being dealt to the Alchemist and Slayer, but each of the 4 rounds we managed to strike back as well, finishing off the Phoenix with one final blow.

Hanabi

We player 3 quick rounds of Hanabi towards the end of the day. First round we got all the 1s right away, David T. starting with several. After two mistakes were made though, and red and yellow cut off at 3, we were limited on the progress we could make, and ended with a score of 18. Second game saw three early mistakes so we just started again. Third game was our best, though we didn’t get Yellow until very late, we got two colors to 5 quickly, followed by a third and then a fourth. Yellow stayed at 2 because I had the 3 and 5 but the deck had run out. Final score of 22 though is quite good.

Also played some Spaceteam with 3 players, involving much yelling and surprise to David’s roommate when he return home. Good times.

February 27th, 2018: By the Skin of Our Teeth!

Crew Members: Shlomo, Zevvy

Only one other person could make it today, but that’s enough for some good old-fashioned dungeon crawling.

One Deck Dungeon

First game Shlomo was Paladin and I was Archer against the Dragon. We started off without much injury, though we sped through the first floor without me taking any skills or items. The second floor we had our first really bad consequences, losing to a Skeleton and failing to loot a Beetle. Fortunately by the time we hit the Dragon we had a couple potions in reserve, but not enough dice to cover everything each round. It took us 3 rounds to actually take out the Dragon, after using all our potions to survive just barely. The Paladin Support Aura came in handy almost every round, considering how many 1’s I rolled.

For game two we decided to continue with the same characters as a Campaign, with Shlomo taking Guile to use Sword as Dexterity, and me taking basic skill (for this round, add a Dexterity die to another die). This time was much more dangerous, and we were often hanging in with only one life left. Shlomo got a set of synergetic mana abilities, allowing him to generate mana for 2 maxed Swords as well as Static Burst for other dice. Guile also came in handy a bunch when we had Dexterity heavy Encounters. My skill was less useful until the final battle at which point I had 5 dexterity and was able to spare some on skills. Though we were forced to use up all our potions just to survive getting to the Hydra, having the right combination of skills made it possible to take out the Hydra in 2 rounds without suffering any consequences–1 damage to my Archer would have been game over.

20180227_214404

This game is way more awesome with 2-players. The campaign will continue!

February 21st, 2018: One Player Dungeon

Crew Members: Zevvy

I’ve never written a post about playing a game by myself…but I just got my copy of One Deck Dungeon and had a great experience. The game is designed for 1 or 2 players.

One Deck Dungeon

My first game I went classic, Warrior in the Dragon’s Den. I feel like I used up my potions too early on, trying to take damage for Frenzy. I made sure to get a few items to improve my magic, but my skills weren’t all that helpful except Valor (roll a free heroic die). After many close calls, I made it to the dragons den. I only scored 3 hits the first round, and 4 the second round, but ran out of steam and was taken down before I could deal the finishing blow.

I also wanted to test Forest of Shadows, and the Caliana caught my eye as an interesting character. In fact, she was quite powerful, especially since I could take my time at the stairs clearing the floor before continuing. I also got some useful skills and was pretty well rounded, in addition to the fact that I used almost none of my many potions. Probably because I never needed to heal, since any damage is an instant loss to Caliana. This made the final battle pretty tense, but I managed to finish off the Mud Golem without too much trouble.

Even as a single player experience this was excellent, and after a lot of Arkham Horror I am wary of dice. But here even after the dice are rolled there is still the choice of how to use skills, and I’m sure with 2 players it’s even more interesting, combining abilities to overcome the challenges. Traps are quite difficult as one player before getting an item though.