Playing with palaces

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Laurie, Yehuda and I kicked off this week’s session with the filler game For Sale. It’s a bidding game that is light, easy and entertaining enough. It must have been divine intervention, because Yehuda – in a  helpful way – pointed out what he felt I was doing wrong. I won…  (Actually, his advice made sense in a world of even luck, but the cards fell in my favor, I guess.)

Rochelle arrived and we started playing the card version of Caylus. The original game is complex, deep, and very satisfying if you like that sort of thing. (I don’t.) The card game is supposed to be lighter (it is) faster (it is) and more fun (it isn’t). I was glad, therefore, to ditch it when Eyal turned up.

The five of us then played an intriguing game of Taj Mahal. This is a typical Reiner Knizia game involving a multi-layered, multi-level auction mechanism, with a very light Indian Palaces theme.  Yehuda and I had played it before, and I know he is very good at it.  Eyal, Laurie and Rochelle seemed to pick it up without too much difficulty, and by the second or third round (of twelve) everyone was in a highly competitive mode.

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By tracking Yehuda’s moves, I was able to keep his score down. Unfortunately, I wasn’t tracking Eyal’s moves, and he took advantage to claim the win by a few points. Well done, Eyal! The rest of us were grouped closely together, and I suppose I can take my second place finish as a reasonable outcome in all the circumstances.

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Eyal also claimed a win with the last game of the night, Yehuda’s own design It’s Alive. It’s another filler game that fairly rattles along. Collecting body parts makes for interesting table talk opportunities, but we were too tired by then to do much more than play!

As usual, a good night, and I left with my head buzzing. No wonder I found it difficult to get to sleep!

[Cross posted from Ra’anana Boardgames Group.]