November 24-25th: I Know What You Know I Know

Crew Members: Zevvy, Kevin, Avi F., Yakovah, Penina, Eitan, Yehuda

Moving again soon, but got to play a bit this weekend.

Cryptid

This was awesome, despite the initial confusion and mistakes. Everyone got really into it, trying to figure out what each other’s clues were. Kevin’s clue stumped me for a while, but just when I figured it out he took his time and guessed the right spot just before me. Really exciting game, glad people were willing to try this before returning to Settlers.

Innovation

Taught Eitan, he picked it up pretty well and got the first two achievements. Mid-game slowed down and it was a while before I snagged the 3 and then the 4 before him. He could have gotten the 5 with Coal, but was wary to destroy so many of his own cards. Later Eitan definitely had symbol advantage except for clocks, and I got lucky with Printing Press drawing a purple 6 allowing me to get level 8 Quantum Theory, letting me score and draw 10s. While Eitan had enough points for the 6, he was still only at level 5 tech, so I grabbed the 6, 7 and 8 ending the game.

Star Realms

The next day I played a game of Star Realms with Yehuda, the scenario put bases directly into play. I got Mech World early on and this led me to diversify my deck a lot. While this gave me an advantage early game, once Yehuda destroyed my Mech World my deck didn’t work so well, and he was able to quickly close the gap before I could finish him off.

I like that games like Star Realms and Innovation fit in my pocket and that I’d rather play them then most other games needing a whole table.

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November 21st, 2018: To the Stars

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yehuda

Wanted to make sure I get to play Star Realms with some expansions before moving, so Yehuda came over for a few rounds.

Star Realms

The first game we just added the new ships and bases, didn’t change much, and I over whelmed with Blob. Second game added events, which usually didn’t have too much effect except warp drive which turned a bad hand for me into the hand that ended the game–what luck. After we added scenarios, Yehuda won the next two games, the first game finishing me off with a super-turn dealing exactly enough damage just before I did the same to him, the second game I didn’t really stand a chance. We used one scenario allowing saving cards from round to round which was helpful on occasion when drawing a lone faction card with no ally. We also used one where we each started with cards from two factions.

Forbidden Desert

Having picked this up only because of the sale, we had to try it. It was fun, probably more interesting on higher difficulty with more players where water becomes an issue, as does planning who will be on what sides of the map, or keeping the tunnels from being buried. Can see a place for both this and Forbidden Island.

Definitely like the variety the expansions add. Want to try more of the scenarios, as some of them can really change up the game.

October 30th, 2018: Tea Time

Crew Members: Zevvy, Carl

Star Realms

First round I got Junkyard very early, and then focused on Yellow. Carl had a lot of good Blue in his deck, but I had trashed all my scouts and vipers and by the time he started getting powerful cards I had dealt too much damage. Money was fairly scarce this game, and the discarding caused by my cards made it hard to catch up.

Second round, I got a lot of cheap Blob early on. Carl got some powerful cards like Mothership, but rarely got to play them as his deck was filled with all the factions. Outposts were rare this game and so a few rounds undefended against my Blob armies led to a quick defeat.

Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game

This caught Carl’s attention from my shelf, as he is a long time Civ fan. Choosing randomly, I was England and Carl was India. We both started with Natural Religion. My army scouts allowed me to build Hanging Gardens fairly quickly with Animal Husbandry, and I built my second city at the start of turn 3, getting Military Tradition. While my military grew, so did my resource collection ability. Carl invested in Logistics early on to fend me off, but was brazen enough to attack me as well, even with my two Shipyard bonuses and larger standing forces. The result left us both weakened militarily, so I began investing in culture, considering my ability to build wonders was greatly aided by my many armies in Forests.

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Chivalry assisted in getting me culture, and I had a few coins from Pottery and Great Men. Carl obsoleted Stonehenge, but I replaced it with Louvre. Hanging Gardens was replaced by Angkor Wat. Thanks to Ecology Tech and investing in the Arts, I was able to advance fairly quickly up the culture track, while Carl tried to route his resources towards coin production. I was pretty far ahead at that point though, and it didn’t take long for me to reach a cultural victory.

Ultimately, the board game’s foray into breadth of systems rather than depth in a few left Carl disappointed by the game. Considering how many versions of both the board and video game there are, everyone can find something that suits their tastes.

June 9th, 2018: Party Games

Crew Members: Nechama, Sasha, Zevvy, Simcha, Orit, Adam

No heavy games this weekend, since I was walking across town. But I finally got to play Codenames…I feel like I’m always missing out to play some Euro.

Sushi Go: Party!

Started with four players and the original Sushi Go set. Orit went for dumplings every round, while I managed some Wasabi Squid combos and competed with Nechama for Maki. I also got Sashimi a couple times and won with a lead, though Adam had the most desert. Once we switched to three players though it became more cutthroat and we used Eel a lot, leaving some players with minus points each round. No one really like the Temaki round when one hand was entirely Temaki (my bad shuffling). I got a lot of points with Soy Sauce, but the last few rounds with fruit Nechama managed to win each time by a few points. Spoon was confusing also and we didn’t really enjoy it.

Codenames

First we played me and Adam against the others, and I kept using my extra guess to help the other team. Next Simcha and I played as a team and got some good clues no one else understood. It was close and the other team had some luck as well as some obvious mistakes but Simcha managed to win no matter what team he was on.

I also had a close game of Star Realms with Simcha before Shabbat, he had a lot of bases but I had a lot of Blob and the round I got my Blob base I dealt a huge blow, finishing off the next round before he could rebuild.

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…

Pesach 2018: Game Summary

Mostly played games with my sister, though I tried to teach Mottainai to my brothers, they weren’t interested. One brother learned Impulse and we had two good games. The first one, he didn’t send any ships to the sector core until I already had a head start there, and I managed to get six points from trading two Size 3 blue cards in one go. The next game, he built up a huge fleet and attacked me 7 vs. 3 but I had two reinforcement cards and despite the size of the fleet he was defeated. Still, he liked the game.

I played several rounds of Star Realms, and often times the overwhelming “base” strategy dominated, though Blob focus seemed to win a lot as well.

My sister did really well at Splendor, forcing me to even rethink how quickly I go for level 2 and 3 cards versus building up mines.

Our few games of Machi Koro were enjoyable, and usually pretty close, but still coming down mostly to luck of the dice.

We did okay in some rounds of Hanabi, and got 19 in a game with our third cousin who is used to playing only Chess.

The most interesting games were our Innovation games. In one of them, my sister and I were racing for final achievement, and she had almost 50 cards tucked and splayed on her board, using Industrialization to get Monument. Our game with the cousin, his first time, was also close with achievements, but as the 10s pile thinned, my sister pulled ahead in points. To prevent her victory I coordinated with the cousin to set off Fission, and after a few rounds picking up the few remaining cards, he actually won, 17 to 16 to 15.

We also played Spit, Rummy 500, and Set, as well as Sushi Go: Party with the base cards and one round with Menu, Eel, Fruit, Tofu, Onigiri, Uramaki and Tea.

January 27th, 2018: Un-Nameable Title

Crew Members: Zevvy, Yehuda, Elad, Kevin, Avram

I guess this blog has become more about any time I personally end up playing board games, rather than some sort of specific crew. But that’s fine, because we are many.

Hanabi

Yehuda, Elad and I played Friday night, and started off very strong, except in white. We made some mistakes in the mid-game, but managed to get a couple 5s at a critical moment. The final round we missed one more 5, but a final score of 19 for a first game is not bad.

Star Realms

Yehuda picked this up right away, though we kept forgetting the Outpost rule. The first game a lot of expensive cards clogged the market, and while I had some good ships Yehuda had many bases. After taking a beating I managed to get a good strike in between Base plays, but just when I thought I was done for I smashed the bases yet again and made a final push before Yehuda could recover. Our second game I trashed very heavily and overran with Machine Cult and Blob.

Shabbat Day we played another two games I think, and one game Yehuda overwhelmed with Blob while my Trade Federation couldn’t heal me fast enough.

Dominion

The first game I got an early Bishop which helped my trashing, and I managed to trigger my Magic Lamp eventually for gold, which in turn activated my Legionairre attack. Yehuda was able to Mine most of his treasures but bought a Bishop late, so my engine was already ahead. Guide came in handy a few times for both of us though.

Next game had some events, ‘Plan’ which we both used to Trash when buying Nobles, the only real card drawer. Coin of the Realm made it easier to not get stuck, and Count was an interesting card which helped Yehuda trash many of the curses he got from my Soothsayer. This game was closer but while Yehuda had more Nobles and a Duchy, I won the Province split 5-3.

Arkham Horror

Yehuda was finally able to bring over this granddaddy of Mythos themed games. Kevin came over and Avram showed up just in time to join as our fourth. Even without my starting blessing, I got pretty lucky as Sister Mary and picked up a bunch of clues early on. We had a lot of Monster Bursts in a row, so while Terror increased, most of the monsters weren’t in our way. Kevin as the Professor finally managed to defeat one particularly strong monster with the help of the Shotgun, but lost many clues doing so. Though he did seal a gate with an Elder sign, removing several monsters.

Avram as the Magician had quite an arsenal of spells, but before he could go monster hunting was sucked into a gate, forcing several turns to be spent in the Outer Worlds. I used a gate Trophy to bless him but we both lost our blessings the same round, making things even more difficult. Yehuda had some good items, but was knocked out and driven insane, setting him back a bit, though he managed to start rebuilding his arsenal of spells and items quickly thanks to his ability to choose Events.

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With the Doom track more than half filled and only two gates sealed, we weren’t in the best position, but unfortunately ran out of time in the real world.

So many games, so little time…we plan to play Arkham Horror again though, and now that Avram lives closer it should be easier to coordinate game nights on this side of town.