February 16-17th, 2018: Power Play

Crew Members: Kevin, Zevvy, David, Yehuda

David was visiting from Haifa. Friday afternoon we whomped Omnitron, but the real games would be the next day.

Nations

Zevvy: India – 37, Kevin: Egypt – 36

Kevin was Egypt, though concerned about not starting with military. I was India, intrigued by the ability to rapidly increase population. A lot of interesting things happened and unusual moves were made. This was the first game I bought Boudica, who I kept for 2 rounds. I also bought Vesuvius, because the requirement to return population was counteracted by my growth. However, the return is end of age so upkeep was still an issue. With limited Stability option and Kevin making sure to deny them from me, I had to keep most workers on the mint.

Kevin made use of his private architect quite a lot, considering there were very few in the supply in general. On the flipside, I used my massive amounts of money to ‘buy time’ and get natural wonders after Kevin had passed, which combined with Grand Canyon at the end yielded a few extra points. Kevin had no military upkeep and was ahead in books the whole game, and while I almost caught up with Chopin, overuse of my population ability left me with not enough food for the famine.

I also used an Advisor that removes colonies in exchange for stone and coin, which was helpful when I switched from Renaissance to Industrial colonies. Stone was tight at the end game and while I couldn’t deploy nearly all my men, Kevin couldn’t get enough military to overtake me for some events. The final scoring was very close however, and I came out ahead by only one point.

Forbidden Island

We had a few minutes before lunch, so David and I sat to play Forbidden Island. I set the bar to Elite, thinking we’d have little trouble unless maybe we got the Diver and Navigator. Which of course, we did. But still, it wasn’t too hard, since three temples were concentrated around fools landing we just waited patiently. The deck almost reshuffled before waters even rose, and though we ended with only a small chunk of land left there was no real doubt.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Though it was Yehuda’s first game and I wanted to start with the Mythos inspired villain Gloomweaver, I also wanted a challenge, so we played Skinwalker Gloomweaver. David was the Sentinels and I was Unity–so while both of us were good to go for Phase 1, after Gloomweaver flipped my army was destroyed and David was put on heavy defensive. Fortunately, Haka was able to tank a bit as well as take out Voodoo Pins with his buffed buffed Taiaha. Yehuda was playing guise, allowing him to make use of Durasteel Chains and Haka’s abilities, so when he had enough cards to play a few at a time made some significant blows to the enemy. Retcon was also our only real Ongoing / Environment management, though he had to sacrifice a turn to stop a volcano in the beginning of the game. Bee Bot staved off a Cultist, only to have Gloomweaver play Vast Following, restoring the cultist for heavy damage, requiring the Volatile explosion of my last two robots. In the end, Gloomweaver was down to 4 HP and flung into darkness one round before he likely would have finished off the Sentinels and Unity.

Our second game, David was playing as the new Tachyon, so we went up against Akash’Bhuta, the ultimate punching bag. While Yehuda quickly adapted to Nightmist, controlling the Villain Deck to prevent the worst, Kevin as Skyscraper was having fun in Large Mode, punching things left and right (including heroes). Only after I took a few blows as the Scholar could I turn healing back into energy, but Proverbs and Axioms also allowed others to heal a bit too. By the time Tachyon was ready to go, she was down to about 8 HP. But while it took until now for all 3 of us to do about 90 damage, Tachyon in one turn did 86 damage, playing three Lightspeed Barrages and Blizting for the damage of another. Too bad she wasn’t buffed, or each Blitz would have been boosted too. Either way, this allowed us to take down Akash’Bhuta just as Shabbat was ending, though with one final effort she played enough limbs to incapacitate Tachyon just before we finished her off. But as we all know, when the Flash runs too fast he ends up coming back somehow anyway, and I’m sure Tachyon will be back for future battles.

Saturday night we played some Spaceteam as well as Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. David doesn’t own the game so he took this opportunity to play the Defuser. We made it to the end of section 6, where the 11 module in 5 minutes with no mistakes bomb had us stuck for 30 minutes before calling it a night, though we did come very close.

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December 31st, 2017: A Game is a Game

Crew Members: Sarah B., Shlomo, Nechama, Zevvy, Orit, Anna

I’ll tag this as a holiday meeting, since there was an inyan to davka meet on the “K’ilu Rosh Hashana Shel Melachim Gregoriim”. So there.

Beer Pong…?

Yeah you read that right. Some of these folks had never played beer pong before. Surprisingly we found a lot of possible rules–makes me suspect this too was invented by Germans (see College Humor video on German Tag). I did surprisingly well, though I think I was the only college graduate in the room…

7 Wonders

Nechama – Alexandria B: 54, Shlomo – Gizah A: 51, Zevvy – Babylon A: 44, Sarah – Halikarnassos: 41

First round I got very few resources but started my blue build up, and we all tied military. No one built wonders at all first round, but Nechama started on science which would pay off. Round two surprisingly I won both my battles, but otherwise just got more blue cards. Final round military control went back to Shlomo and Nechama, and while I had lots of blue cards, Shlomo had great guilds. But Nechama’s 31 science points snagged her the victory, while Sarah’s wonder didn’t get her great discards–with fewer players Halikarnassos gets fewer options.

Harry Potter: Mystery at Hogwarts

So I haven’t seen this game since I was a kid but Nechama brought it back from England. We played for a bit with 6 players, but as players increase, information is more sparsely distributed and the game takes exponentially longer. We played a few rounds, and based on what people asked after each other I had a pretty good idea of solving the case, but we ended early when it seemed people had enough.

Hanabi

Score: 21 (4, 5, 5, 5, 2) – Amazing!

Anna’s first game, but she picked it up pretty quick. We did explain our motives a bit as we played, and Orit made some good deductions based on the nature of the clues given. Though we did have a few mistakes, a score of 21 with 5 players is nothing to sneeze at. It’s hard since each player gets fewer turns, and it’s a lot harder to keep 5 people focused on the game and remember what each person has been told.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Villain: Deadline, Environment: Enclave of the Endlings – OBLITERATED

Shlomo – The Naturalist, Zevvy – Legacy, Anna – Skyscraper, Nechama – Fanatic, Orit – Tachyon

Deadline opened with slowly with some Catastrophe’s, but before they could act Immutus appeared, Absorbing the blows. We Destroyed his Atomic-End Glaive handily and were dishing out the damage with buffs all around. An Unnatrual Disaster did scar us as 1/3 of the Environment was destroyed at once. Bloogo came out to protect Tachyon, but was destroyed by the next wave of Catastrophes. Naturalist switched from Rhino to Croc and while he and Skyscraper walloped Deadline, Fanatic took the blows until her final Wrathful Retribution, finishing off Deadline before he could make much of a dent.

You know you’re with good people when you spend New Year’s drinking fine wine and using cardboard and plastic to help bring imagination to life. I didn’t even have my phone with me, which is why there are no photos…

Status Update, 2017: The Memory Remains

So my last post before this was in July. I started a full time job in August, and at first my game sessions we’re fewer as my schedule balanced out. Still played games on Shabbat occasionally. In the last couple months we’ve had pretty regular meetings at Sarah B.’s place here in Givat Shmuel. David T. has even been here a couple times and his visits were marked by our introduction to Marvel’s Legendary as well as a successful afternoon of Werewolf. In the early days of working I also had cause to go Haifa a few times and got to play with David T. and David M. a bit, including Cthulhu Pandemic, Dead of Winter, and Betrayal with the Expansion.

After Gabe (my cousin) got married, the previous make-up of the Givat Shmuel Board Game Group slowly drifted in different directions. Some members of the Givat Shmuel are still involved in D&D. Though I kept up a bit with it over Skype after leaving Haifa, I don’t think the mission is continuing. I understand Exalted happened for a bit. I also remember playing Battlecon: Devastation of Indines and Thieves Guild with Amyr.

When I first started working we had a game night involving Coup, Settlers, Monopoly Deal, and maybe some other games. People had fun but I think we’re more just looking for a social thing to do that night than to find regular board game hobbyists. For most people here, they can get their game fix on Shabbat if they want.

Most times when people play games Shabbat afternoon it has been Settlers, which always takes hours and leaves people exhausted. I have got some people to play Sentinels and 7 Wonders, and a bit of Dominion. We have had some Sentinels games that needed to be finished after Shabbat.

Now a few of us are able to meet often. We started playing games including Codenames, Avalon and (to my chagrin) even Cards Against Humanity. When a new game introduction goes well and people are excited to play it it makes me very happy. Much as when Martin was bringing a new game every week, I am introducing games with different mechanics so everyon can find something they like. Dominion and 7 Wonders have also been big hits lately, and I even got to play Pictionary a few times (still my favorite game).

Now that I have a decently paying full-time job I’m okay with paying to have games shipped here, and have a few that will hopefully arrive in the mail, though Israeli customs and postal service have me keeping my fingers crossed.

Part of me was itching for some heavier games which I don’t own, and I met Aaron at a Board Game Night and we played Terraforming Mars and Lords of Waterdeep (which I had actually played the Sukkot after making Aliyah, with Yehuda Berlinger’s Jerusalem Strategy Board Game Club). Over Chanuka I quickly stopped by Roee Anuar (admin on Unbored with Bored Games) and played Mr. Jack Pocket with Zohar, as well as King Louis with Matan and someone else (Dror?). Roee has many games I would like to try and hosts on Thursdays occasionally, so hopefully I will be able to go.

Re-reading a lot of old posts gave me nostalgia for a lot of good times. I regret not writing up the various sessions I’ve had since July. Through reading I am now still drawing enjoyment from experiences I’ve had over the past two years.

I will try to commit to photographing and writing about my sessions, as this also provided enjoyment for the other attendees, creates more of a a bond, and from what I’ve seen of successful groups, encourages people to show up and get excited about the write-up as well. It allows the experience to last longer than the few meager hours a week we manage to get together.

That’s enough writing for today. I’ll tag all the games I can remember playing since July since I like seeing them in the cloud on the side of the blog.

Looking forward to creating many more lasting experiences in 2018!

January 5th, 2017: New places, new faces (and old faces).

Crew Members: Zevvy, Shlomo, Allan, Yoni

I moved to Givat Shmuel and when I found out I had a rare night with no work, I mustered a few folks for some good old Thursday night gaming. Allan has been doing an internship and I met him at a Technion Shabbaton, and we’ve hung out a couple times since. Shlomo heeded the facebook call for board games and lives in the neighborhood. And Yoni lives near by and I’ve known him for almost 15 years. I feel old saying that…

7 Wonders

Allan – 51, Zevvy – 51, Shlomo – 45

Allan as Alexandria had every resource he needed except early brick, but Shlomo was a head in military the first two rounds. I tried for an early science lead but mostly just got Tablets. I also tried to get a trade advantage but Allan made sure not to build any Cloth production. In the last age, I got a lot of Science including the Guild, and Allan pulled ahead in Military. Final score was a tie, and we also tied for coins, the only tiebreaker. Never seen that happen before.

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Sentinels of the Multiverse

Not sticking to usual format here. We played an introduction game against Baron Blade in the Mobile Defense Platform. It was pretty easy until a Devious Disruption took out most of Omnitron’s components, dealing massive damage as well. Visionary controlled the Villain trash and deck and helped Fanatic keep her Divine Focus on Baron Blade until she could Wrathful Retribution to finish off his first side, at which point we started a new game since Yoni had arrived.

Against La Capitan we did not fare as well. It took a while to get going, but once Argent Adept had his instruments her and Guise tag teamed for a lot of card plays. Sky-Scraper did not get many useful links, and Parse was doing more control than damage. Eventually La Capitan lost steam and we hit her pretty hard, but some ill-timed Villainous Weaponry and Meteor Shower a turn too late left Argent Adept incapacitated. La Capitan and her remaining crew were sure to make short work of the rest of heroes so we called it quits.

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I would like to continue blogging in the same place, and hopefully will still play in Haifa from time to time  as well. Not sure I have much time now, but will establish a crew in Givat Shmuel as well. And people will wonder why we are the Haifa Board Games crew.

 

November 15th, 2016: Tea Time

Crew Members: Zevvy, David T., Palina, Nima

A small but pleasant evening for us sophisticated board game type folks.

Tea Time

Zevvy – 44, Palina – 38, David T. – 37, Nima – 32

This game borrows characters from Alice in Wonderland. Players receive an increasing number of points for each copy of a character they have, but 5 points if they don’t have any of that character. Additionally, “mirror” versions of the character cancel each other out. Players take turns picking one, two or three connected tiles over several rounds, then add up their score.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Zevvy – Redeemer Fanatic , Palina – The Scholar, David T. – Guise, Nima – Chrono Ranger

Villain – The Ennead

Environment – Mobile Defense Platform

We started against Isis, Geb, Atum and Tefnut, taking a few hits before we got set up. An early Divine Focus provided a lot of damage over all, but not to one target so it took a while before we destroyed Isis. The Scholar tanked a bit in Iron form before converting to energy to heal up and deal damage. Guise was being Guise, borrowing Absolution and pretending to be everyone else. Before destroying our final enemy though, Nuit and Nephtys came out, though Wrathful Retribution was able to destroy Osiris in a single blow. Chrono Ranger got the Masadah and was able to tear through the armor provided by Nuit. Fortunately we finished off the enemies before the Propulsion System was brought to zero and before Set appeared.

I say. Quite.

November 2nd, 2016: Wipe the Floor

Crew Members: Zevvy, David T., Gregg, Amyr, Ziv

5 players–guess what we played?

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Heroes: Young Legacy, The Naturalist, KNYFE, Haka,

Villain: The Matriarch

Environment: The Block

We destroyed two rounds of birds, one while Legacy Heroically Intercepted the psychic backlash, and another while The Formidalble Rhinoceros tanked the rest. Ra set everything ablaze and our heavy hitters proceeded to free the birds from the Matriarch’s spell before she could even cry long enough for her makeup to run.

Heroes: Prime Wardens Argent Adept, Price of Freedom Wraith, Santa Guise, Team Leader Tachyon, Engine of War Bunker

Villain: Iron Legacy

Environment: Freedom Tower

Iron Legacy began with two Armored Fortitudes and Superhuman Redirections, and a Demoralizing Presence. His damage was mitigated by stun bolts while we destroyed his ongoings one at a time. With some bardic inspiration, christmans presents, bullets and flying fists, Iron Legacy fell before doing anything too horrible to us…

Heroes: The Sentinels (variant), The Visionary, Unity, Expatriette

Villain: La Capitan

Environment: Time Cataclysm

La Paradoja Magnifica was promptly destroyed and sent to the bottom of the deck by Visionary, while La Capitan tried to plunder…nothing…while the Sentinels and Unity got set up, Expatriette fired off and *voluntarily* donated her guns to be turned into robots. There must have been a mutiny cause Chip was the only crew member to show up. However, his death set off a chain reaction, causing La Capitan to destroy Unity’s bots which blew up in a blaze of fire, allowing Expatriette to deal the finishing blast from her Ether Twisted, Incendiary Shotgun. Dealing pineapple damage. And of course, La Capitan was down to 25 or so before this because Sentinels. They should be everyone’s nemesis.

Rainy day means muddy shoes. I need to mop…

September 28th, 2016: With friends like these…

Crew Members: Zevvy, Itay, Roy, Ludmilla, David M., David T.

Roy and Ludmilla came all the way from Atlit to play, hopefull we will see them again soon. Itay came from the room across the hall and had a great time, hopefully we will see him soon too 🙂

7 Wonders

The first game Roy started with powerful military, Ludmilla had good trade, and I was going for science with Babylon. Itay had the Pyramids of Giza, and in the end he won by a few points, the wonders definitely helping out.

The second game all six of us played, and Roy got stuck with little money since both his neighbors had better deals from others. I had a lot of money and yellow cards, and David T. got some good sets thanks to his Mausoleum, but Itay still managed to win with full military victory as well as four cards from one science track and decent guilds.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

David T. – Extremist Skyscraper, Zevvy – Visionary Unleashed, David M. – Dark Watch Setback, Itay – Tachyon

Villain – Omnitron: DEFEATED

Environment – Insula Primalis

Though Omnitron started slow with a few repair drones and some useless Terraforming, Skyskraper’s Thorathian Monolith caused her to take a lot of hits from the Sedative Flechettes. Tachyon’s Hypersonic Assaults kept the enemy at bay while Setback and Visionary got more set up. Visionary took control of a T-Rex for a bit, tearing into Omnitron’s metallic defenses. But as more deadly drones came out, our heroes stamina was waning. Fortunately by this point, two electro pulse bombs had been diverted, and with Tachyon’s trash full of burst cards it was only a matter of time before she got her Lightspeed Barrages and finished off the evil robotics factory once and for all.