July 24th, 2018: Pizza Tactics

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yehuda

Just the two of us, so we made some use of this text heavy 1v1 game.

Pixel Tactics

First round was with set 1, I had Assassin leader and Yehuda had Ranged leader, heros have intercept. I had no intercept heroes so was open to an early 5 damage, but I got a strike in as well. My main attack cam when I defeated Yehuda’s frontline in one go and struck him for another 8, taking him 16 damage with 3 left, but I only had 6 left. He moved his Fighter to back row and dealt me 8 damage for the win.

Next round we used set 2, I had tokens to prevent defeat and gain strength, Yehuda had ability to choose which wave ability his guys used. Yehuda set up a great starting set, with Relic Hunter in the middle boosted as in rear, and heroes allowing him to attack. We skirmished a bit, while I got my own Relic Hunter in the back. Later I got Warmonger in the back for some Long Ranged 7 damage. A divinity order restored my defenses but Yehuda did the same. However, with my ranged guys in the back and him with no intercept, I played a Technologist Operation reducing his actions by one for a round. Though a valiant effort was made, my strong back line did enough damage to finish off his leader.

Also we ate pizza.

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June 13th, 2018: Two Players

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yehuda

Just the two of us today but after a long day at work that’s just fine.

Patchwork

Wanted to start with something light, and introduce this Uwe puzzle game as a prequel to Feast for Odin…I won both games, but Yehuda did better the second game. While there were some opportunities to pass strategically to gain or deny a specific piece, usually it wasn’t worth it if you could just buy something, even sub-par.

7 Wonders Duel

In this game it’s clear that more passing means more turns wasted. First game we randomly divided Wonders and Yehuda got four with the extra turn ability. He also got a lot of resource cards while the reserves showed up late, and I couldn’t buy much. By the end he was leading in Science and MIlitary as well, though it ended in a Civil victory 64 to 51. The next game I rushed production of the Lighthouse for 6 coins, but it didn’t really help at all…while I did build all four wonders, I took the Urbanism token but never had the chance to use it’s secondary ability (coins for free upgrades). Once again I was way short on coins, but could usually afford things except paper…in the end it was closer than I though until Yehuda got the Wonder and Science Guilds, reaching a score of 70 to my 59.

Pixel Tactics

We continued from our last match, removing the leaders we used (me–Scientist and Vampire, Yehuda–Priestess and free recruiter). I chose the Mascot leader and Yehuda had the Paladin (free move / clear). My initial through his defences was met with simple restructuring, though I was able to cover my leader well with the Mystic’s self healing. Yehuda had his Berserker up front dealing heavy damage but with no Intercept my Gunner got a free hit on his leader. We both hit each other with Trapper and were running low on cards. Eventually I ran out of Intercept cards as well and couldn’t protect my hero so well. Leaving him open though made Yehuda a bit over confident, and while he got me down to 1 HP I had a chance to strike back. In the end he dealt fatal damage but I struck back with a Dragon Mage boosted Gunner from the rear, dealing 10 damage reducing him to 2 HP. If I had my Assassin (the next card!) or even one more action to recruit to the rear and make a free melee attack, it would have been a simultaneous rout (but I think I would have had one more hero at that point).

I really like 2-player games–less down time, easier to plan, no gang-ups…that’s something I’d be happy to do more often.

June 5th, 2018: Hitting the Table

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yehuda, Kevin

Kind of last minute but we decided to play tonight.

Star Realms

Mostly Blob and Machine cult available at first, but then Yehuda got a few Trade Federation bases. He held off on attacking at first while building up a powerful set of bases and Machine Cult ships, though my Blob slowed him down I couldn’t do much damage to him after breaking the bases. While my deck was thinned to ten cards Yehuda dealt the finishing blow before I could start cycling every turn.

Stone Age

Interesting game with 3 players. The tools and fields were almost always filled first, except later when I tried to rush the game end on a building stack we had been taking from every round. I expanded to six workers in round two which was probably premature, despite the seven food civilization card. Some early “free” gold allowed me to score four gold on a building, which I did again on the last turn of the game. Almost every round though I sent two guys to food, which consistently got me bad rolls. It was still fairly close, I had 25 points from tech but only shamans, while Kevin had several farmers and won with 148 to my 134, while Yehuda broke 103. No one had any starvation rounds.

Pixel Tactics

First round I had the Scientist leader for an extra action and Yehuda had the Priestess leader for extra attack power after each round. The extra action let me draw a bit before acting, making sure I was prepared for an opening. As soon as Yehuda left his leader unguarded for one round, I played several orders and dealt a bunch of damage, and ended it shortly after he got his third attack boost.

Second game I had Vampire while he had the Free Recruiter. I started with a strong combo of placing the Templar up front, which when attacked could strike back for large damage and healing. I kept the Templar alive in the back row then swapped him to the front again, but eventually he fell. My next plan was to nuke Yehuda’s back row before placing my Assassin in the back, but I mistakenly placed my Gunner to the Unit and it all went downhill from there. Still, I dealt a bit of damage to his leader and stayed alive for a while, but in the end couldn’t cover my leader and couldn’t heal him before it was too late.

Roommate thought Stone Age looked interesting and asked what it was like. I told him to join but TV is more interesting I guess…

April 16th, 2018: To the Bitter End

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, Yehuda

Back to our usual epic game night.

Arkham Horror

We were finally ready to face Cthulhu, I as Joe Diamond, Kevin as Mandy Thompson and Yehuda as Dexter Drake. Yehuda took out a bank loan and got an early Elder Sign, as well as a blessing. I spent my money on a +3 movement Ruby but never really needed to move that much. Kevin got a lot of clues early so we sealed two gates, but then hat to close a couple before Cthulhu awoke. Kevin unfortunately went insane, while I was just barely staying sane as I closed a third gate, and Yehuda used his Elder Sign on a fourth. This gave us some breathing room, but Yehuda had to sacrifice all his spells on a rumor and eventually lost most of his items just before paying off his bank loan. A few rounds of no gates appearing though gave us time to get clues and seal the last two gates no problem.

Pixel Tactics

Yehuda and I continued from Shabbat, with our previous leaders removed. He chose a leader for free recruiting and I chose free Movement and Corpse Clearing. This lead to many tactical decisions, but the freedom of movement was really what I needed to survive Yehuda’s onslaught. Eventually, his over-recruiting filled his unit leaving him inflexible. My unit was usually almost empty, but I could make use of the AOE damage spells. I got several hits before Yehuda finally hit back. As the decks ran thin, my leader was open to almost fatal damage, but Yehuda had to defend his own Leader as well. I drew up just enough cards to pull off a combo, almost with the +3 Scientist actions, but Yehuda still held on. Finally, using the last few cards in my deck, I broke open his defense just as the round switched, using my First Player move to squeeze in exactly the damage needed to finish off his Leader.

While we seem to have mastered Base Arkham Horror, Yehuda does have the Innsmouth expansion for us to try next time. As for Pixel Tactics, we’re just getting started. I definitely felt like I was planning ahead more now that I knew what cards were available in the deck.

April 14th, 2018: Not Friday the 13th

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, Nechama, Yehuda

Now that we have long Shabbat afternoons, I’m able to bring out some of the longer games in my collection. Hopefully we’ll see you soon, Twilight Imperium…

Pixel Tactics

Yehuda and I finally got to play a round of Pixel Tactics. We just dove right in, he had a Leader that healed his flank 2 each turn, while I had a hero that damaged each of his heroes 1 each turn. We both opened with Homunculus guarding the leader, and Yehuda took out my Gunner. Though my Berserker damaged his attackers, he healed them up. Once I took out his Leader’s protection though, I got some heavy hits in thanks to my Scientist allowing Homunculus to attack. When Yehuda left his Leader open for another round, my combined Scientist and Doppleganger allowed me to do just enough damage that even his Vampire couldn’t save his Leader.

Powergrid

Yehuda mentioned that he saw this game and wanted to try it. This is one of those games I bought after playing it a few times but haven’t used my personal copy until now. Everyone got really into it right away, and we had some interesting moments where people counted on getting a future power plant only to have them remain in the future market longer than expected. By mid-game Kevin had a bit of a lead, but while Nechama started off slow in cities, she had two eco-power plants and quickly ramped up during Step 2. Yehuda struggled but by the last round was able to power fourteen, just one behind myself and Nechama. Kevin however had enough to power 16, and while Nechama could build more cities, Kevin ended the game just in time to snag the victory.

Innovation

Nechama picked this up pretty fast, and despite some back and forth point stealing, had four achievements while Yehuda had two and I only had one. Yehuda got a third, so Nechama focused on him while I snuck in and got the 8 and 9. While I was racing to empty the 10 pile, Nechama “accidentally” played just the right card to get the Empire achievement, ending the game. I had also played Fission as a contingency but didn’t have a chance to activate it.

Pixel Tactics is the first game I bought without having played it first, but it was definitely a good investment and I hope to play more. Power Grid is one of the few games I bought which I haven’t played with my copy yet, so I was happy to kill two birds this Shabbat. Even though today’s reading states one bird is supposed to be set free (Leviticus 14:4-7).