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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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).

March 7th, 2016: Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Crew Members: Zevvy, Martin, David, Nima, Roman

This is likely the last meeting at HaNamal 21 for now, as I am moving this week. Hopefully we can still find a convenient way for locals and non-locals to attend gatherings. Our group is large enough that we have enough regulars and semi-regulars to always have a decent showing.

Get Bit!

Zevvy (Winner), Nima, David, Martin

We started with a quick friendly game where players try to be the last one not to have their limbs bit off by a shark. Players take turns placing numbers, trying to be the lowest so they can move forward, but if two players place the same number, you don’t move. A little strategy, a little luck, and with one arm dangling from my side I was the last one not eaten. I guess that makes me the winner?

Power Grid

Nima – 15 (Winner), Zevvy – 15, Martin – 14, Roman – 14, David – 12

We played on the Germany side this time, which is a little more compact but with some more expensive connections. Nima picked up the game pretty quickly, and expanded in his side of the map without competition. Martin and I got pretty cheap starting areas, and David got stuck in the middle. Roman had space at the bottom, but didn’t expand beyond two cities for a while. He did get a few Windmills and when he did expand suddenly he was able to power everything easily. While I was the first to reach seven cities along with Nima, my power plants weren’t the most efficient. Since it took us relatively long to reach Phase 2, the same round Phase 3 had already begun.

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Nima, I must mention, if an Oleh from Iran, and usedIMG_20160307_224004522 a lot of Oil for his power plants, though in the end he had two Windmills. David was actually the Uranium leader, with two nuclear plants, though Martin outbid me for the coveted Fission plant, which destroys Mass and turns it into Energy for six cities (that’s why they’re called weapons of Mass destruction, right?) I had some pretty efficient Oil plants, and Roman had some windmills and a hefty Garbage plant. In the end, Nima and I both powered 15 cities, but he had 44 Electrum to my 41, just barely snagging the victory.

This may have been the ‘last’ meeting at HaNamal, but it certainly wasn’t the ‘worst’. Until next time!

 

January 12th, 2016: Watt’s up, Doc?

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Martin, Roman

Martin said he would bring something interesting, and indeed he did. Which of course meant we played that one game for four hours. Good thing we had plenty of olives and apple juice to snack on, the core diet for the Middle Eastern gamer.

Power Grid

Roman – 17 (Winner), David – 17, Martin – 16, Zevvy – 16

Players compete to bring power to their cities. We played on the America Map and since we were four, we were restricted to the Midwest and the East Coast. Martin began in New England, I took Oklahoma (family heritage), Roman took the South East and David took the Chicago area. The whole game I only used Coal and Oil, which while thematically fitting meant I could usually power more cities than I had. Roman took advantage of Wind power which saved him a great deal of money since he was usually first in cities and therefore last to buy resources. Martin stuck to Coal and Oil but upgraded to Garbage later on. David was the most diverse and the only player to use Uranium, which got as cheap as 3 Electrum per unit by the end game.

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Though David had the potential to power 18 cities, a four player game is only to 17, and money is the tie breaker. Roman and I both had 16 cities and while David was able to build and power 17, it cost him his fortune, leaving Roman with the ultimate victory. I was only able to power 16 cities, and Martin was only able to build 16 cities.

Apparently in German the word for ‘last’ player is the same word for ‘worst’ player. I guess that means I ate the ‘worst’ olive.