June 2nd, 2018: Not Historically Accurate

Crew Members: Zevvy, Avi F., Nechama, Kevin, Orit, Leora, Adam, Shemtov, Nick, Jonathan

Full house, and full afternoon.

Codenames

From what I understand, Leora Orit and Jonathan consistently won against Adam Shemtov and Nick, but their antics were a lot of fun for everyone.

Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game

I was hesitant to start this, but after randomly choosing the Greeks made my goal to end the game as fast as possible through economic victory. I wasted my first round taking Navigation, since Kevin and Nechama both took it as well. Kevin built great lighthouse and had more trade than he needed the rest of the game, never getting level III tech. Everyone but Nechama took Pacifism to start, but eventually she caught up in culture. Unfortunately, Kevin attacked her and stole her spy right before I revealed my plan to end the game. At that point everyone focused on making me lose coins, but I was prepared with several culture cards and spies of my own to cancel most of their attacks. I was slowed, but managed to end the game with Pottery and Printing Press. I also had a printed coin in my outskirts and two from great people. Avi had planned to attack Nechama’s capital, and I just learned of an advanced tie-breaker which plays out the end of the round, which probably wouldn’t have mattered this game but could be relevant and more fun in future games that come down to the wire.

7 Wonders

We had six players, Leora caught on faster than I’m used to having to explain things, which was refreshing. Unfortunately for me too, since she overtook in me in military despite me being Rhodos. Avi also did well for his first game, raking in a lot of coins as Ephesos and 51 points, but Nechama had 52, Leora 53, and Kevin 58 thanks to Science as Babylon.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

After Shabbat we did a quick game againstĀ  Kismet as Fanatic, Ra, Nightmist and Tachyon. Though Kismet destroyed our initial setup, Nightmist managed to survive though paid a lot of hit points to Banish the many Jinxes. Once taken care of though it wasn’t worth stealing the Talisman so we focused on attacking, and Tachyon’s Hypersonic Assaults kept us in good health. A few strikes from Absolution and the Staff of Ra and it wasn’t long before Nightmist dealt the finishing blow with a Heedless Lash. Amulet of the Elder Gods also redirected some chemical explosions, making Kismet’s choice of fighting us in the Industrial Complex not so lucky.

I’m always happy when a big box game hits the table. Avi said he can’t wait a full week to play again, but our schedules don’t always align. I imagine the game will only become even more interesting now that we are more familiar and exploring more Technologies that haven’t been used previously.

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May 20th, 2018: To the Last Breath!

Crew Members: Miriam, Daria, Zevvy, Nissim, Kevin, Lily, Elisheva

After a late lunch folks played games.

Ca$h ‘n Gun$

Daria, Nissim and Miriam decided to try something new, and had a blast. Daria got the godfather token and wouldn’t let it go, claiming loot every round. Even so, I had a decent amount of loot, but she still won 269 to 215 to 150 to 55. Nissim unfortunately got shot a lot, and though he healed up and survived, didn’t have much loot. Even still, he said this was the most fun game he’s played in Givat Shmuel. Impressive. Miriam had most diamonds, and also had to heal from two wounds, but made it to the end. We did not play another round with powers though.

Innovation

Kevin and I played Innovation while the rest had what sounded like a lot of fun at Codenames. First game we added Cities of Destiny, and Kevin got a bit of a runaway game, as well as the Legend Achievement. I forgot about Endorsing until pretty late in the game, and it did allow me to get Wonder via splay and some other interesting effects, but I couldn’t catch up with Kevin’s lead.

Next we played with Echoes, and again Kevin got the lead though I claimed the 1 jsut before he stole all my points. Homing Pigeons kept me pretty low in points, but I got Destiny by Foreshadowing a lot with Liquid Fire, though Kevin got Supremacy with Novel. Fortunately, I stole Printing Press, drawing a purple 7 and jumping to Genetics level 9. This got me Bio-Engineering which I used the next turn to score Kevin’s leaves, reducing him to 2 leaves against my 3, claiming victory while he just needed the 6 achievement.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Miriam joined as Naturalist with me as Fixer and Kevin as Parse against Citizen Dawn. She got out Blinding Blast and Tears early, neutering our hands. Combined with her many Ongoings, it seemed hopeless. Fixer has no Ongoing control, Naturalist didn’t have Crafty Assault, and Parse only had Data Mining. By the time Parse got Segmentation Fault, we were all nearly dead. The Atlantean Throne room kept us alive a bit, but Parse got hit just as we were getting going. Fixed point led to Fixer and Naturalist having two styles / forms out for a bit, until Devastating Aurora ruined our setup. Not long later I was hit, despire Naturalists tanking. Still, Naturalist managed to survive until another Fixed point, and combined Crocodile / Gazelle began striking Dawn as fast as she could. Dawn was at 27 when the Aurora’s showed up again at the end of her deck, once again resetting our build up. Before Naturalist could get out enough defenses to survive until the next Fixed Point, she just barely was killed, leaving the Victory to the Citizens of the Sun.

A lot of people (myself included) got to enjoy new games this weekend. So often do people refuse to learn new games, but so rarely have I seen someone regret learning once they’ve committed to do so.

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.

May 15th, 2018: Cardboard Rectangles

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, Yehuda

So there was board games with no boards and pizza with no beer. In Israel we eat pizza off of cardboard rectangles. We also play games with cardboard rectangles.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

We were K.N.Y.F.E., Setback and Argent Adept against Wager Master in Megalopolis. Wager Master opened with several conditions that weren’t Wagelings, but flipped after a few rounds while we got set up. I set up the Lyra with Inventive Preparation and Alacratous Subdominant, allowing everyone to play more cards. Knyfe used her Battlefield Experience to get us an early lead, while Setback Cashed Out a few times keeping us healthy, before Looking Up and punching the Villain down as well. The problem was, Who Are You Fighting? was face up with no direct way of flipping, so we couldn’t reduce Wager Master to zero. The Plummeting Monorails hit him a few times, but the blows to us became significant enough to destroy the rails entirely. Close Quarters and Rooftop Combat upped the damage we were taking, and Wager Master flipped back just as we were on our last legs. An Impossible Quandary left us all at less than 5 HP, but gave us the opening we needed to finish off Wager Master with the insidious Condition face down, one round before he would have finished us off.

Innovation

My deluxe copy finally arrived, so we tried out Artifacts of History. While others got artifacts before me, I had an early lead thanks to Oars and got the 1-4 and World before anyone else had much. The level 3 Relic changed hands a few times, but I got an Artifact which gave free achievements if you reveal a red 6, which made me win the game before we even really hit level 7.

Second game Kevin and I played without Relics, but still to 7. Again I got a runaway start, partly thanks to Sibidu Needle. I also got the artifact from last game claiming the 6 right before Kevin started his comeback. Splaying got me the Wonder, but Kevin denied me the 7, 8 and 9. His point lead threatened to end the game and we almost drew an 11 a few times thanks to certain effects. In the end a random meld from Robotics gave me the Empire achievement, not long before an 11 might have been drawn after Kevin attacked my score pile with Rocketry.

Setup and take down was definitely increased, but I don’t even think my pre-set rack design for storing the cards will really help that much. We spread the cards out in a long array since table space wasn’t an issue.

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.

April 18th, 2018: Big Hero

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, Shlomo

Today was a half day of work, so some folks were available in the afternoon.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

We faced off against Plague Rat with Omnitron X, Parse, and Bunker. Omnitron got a good combo going where he would take irreducible damage, but react with his Plating and then heal using Innervation Ray. Parse managed the Villain deck to prevent Infection from taking over too quickly, so we never flipped Plague Rat. Bunker did his building up until he went into Turret Mode and tore apart Plague Rat in no time.

Our second game was against Iron Legacy in Omnitron IV, with The Scholar, Guise, and The Visionary. As our hit points quickly disappeared, so did Legacy’s Ongoings thanks to Visionary. Guise and The Scholar were able to bring down Legacy’s health to 20 just as the Environment was starting to get rather dangerous (though Scholar’s Grace Under Fire was boosted nicely by all the targets). Visionary survived one more round thanks to her Decoy, but soon the Drones overwhelmed her before she could go into the Telekenetic Cocoon. Next they focused down Guise, who also managed to hold on a bit by copying Scholar’s Flesh to Iron, but soon went down as well. But since we had managed to get Legacy weakened by this point, he was the next target of the Drones and went down soon after, leaving our heroes battered but not defeated.

May we remember the true heroes, past and present, who endanger their lives so we can live in safety and security.

March 20th, 2018: The Importance of Leaves

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, Yehuda

Nothing like a hot cup of tea before you get pecked to death by crows and ravens.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Villain: Matriarch – HEROES DEFEATED

Zevvy – Expatriette, Yehuda – Argent Adept, Kevin – Bunker

We started off promisingly enough. Took a hit using Sub Machine gun to clear the first round of birds, but Argent got Bulwark and I got Nitrogen Rounds to mitigate the bits of damage. We even got a few hits on Matriarch and took out her cohorts without too much trouble, and Ammo Drop let Bunker draw a ton of cards. Just when we seemed to be prepared to start going on the offensive though, the explosive wagon came just as Matriach destroyed all of our Ongoings, increasing Matriarch’s damage and incapacitating Bunker. Adept was able to heal himself, but Expatriette was heavily injured, but managed to get Matriarch down to around 40 before it was too late. But with only Adept left, the Cohorts were too well armored to deal with, and the increased damage from the birds slowly but surely overcame Adept’s healing.

Innovation

While Yehuda and I got some of the early achievements, Kevin got “World” via Translation, so it was pretty even. I nabbed the 5 and 6 though as well, and Kevin and Yehuda just barely got the 7 and 8 before me. In the end, I still had Clothing and Agriculture as top cards, and Bio-Engineering allowed me to pull off a victory as Kevin covered most of his leaves and I had more than Yehuda.

Nothing like a hot cup of tea after you get pecked to death by crows and ravens.