The Magnificent Seven

This week we were seven. (You would never have guessed, if I hadn’t told you, would you?) Azriel, Nechemiah, Laurie, Peleg, Rosalynn, and Sheer were in attendance, with Nechemiah slightly delayed by an over long commute that seemed to go on and on. So we started with six and a game of the excellent 7 Wonders.

It is a different game – still very much enjoyable – with that number, but I always take too long to adopt to the change in pace and scoring opportunities. Unsurprisingly, I was in contention right from the start – for the wooden spoon. I won it, easily. Peleg (who dislikes the game, but bravely plays it without complaint) beat me by a fair bit. Rosalynn (64 points), Laurie (66 points), and Azriel (68 points) were right up there, but just could not keep up with Sheer’s pace, and he won (78 points) with a combination of a big military and big guild score. Rosalynn deserved some kind of consolation, as she scored a whopping 54 points just from the science cards. Wow.

After that, Nechemiah joined in, and we split four and three. Nechemiah, Rosalynn, Sheer, and Peleg played the classic Acquire. Sheer won that. They followed it up with R-Eco, with Rosalynn getting her revenge.

The pack is about to be broken by Mr Blue and Mr Blue.

Meantime, Laurie, Azriel, and I played the newcomer Flamme Rouge, a light bike racing game with cool cards and pieces, giving each player two riders to get round the track. Laurie won that. However, although the game only awards a win to first past the post, using a house scoring system, Azriel would have tied for most points over the first four finishing. My racers were fifth and sixth…

Susan made us into a foursome, and then we played Dominion which I managed to win, so some consolation.

Another terrific night.

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Count the money!

acquire

This week, Susan and I were joined by Azriel, Nechamiah, Peleg, and newcomer Yair.

Yair was a latecomer (by arrangement) so the first five of us settled down for a quick game of Ticket to Ride: Europe. Peleg won this, but it was a close, close game, with everyone within one or two scores of one another. Great stuff.

Yair joined us, Susan departed, and we tackled Acquire. Peleg and I had played it before, so I explained the rules and off we went. It didn’t take long for players to understand what was going on, though by then most had lost track of who bought what shares.

I had a reasonable idea that I was doing well, especially when I secured the biggest shareholding in the biggest chain. When it came to the final counting of the cash, Nechamiah was closest. Then he recounted and discovered he had more money, so he was the winner. (Yes, I recounted my own money too, but my pile did not grow!)

We finished with a session of Codenames that we called after one round apiece to the respective teams.

Thanks to all who came for another good night of gaming.

 

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The seven wonders of Acquire

For last week’s session, I was joined by Amiram, John, Peleg, and Sheer.

We started with a standard game of 7 Wonders (this being Amiram’s first try at the game). It was cool for me to listen to Sheer (helped by Peleg) doing the rules explanation in Hebrew. Much better than my Hebrew explanation would have been. And much, much, shorter…

7 Wonders is one of those games where the first time player has too many decisions to make that can sink him. However, Amiram paid careful attention to what was going on around him, and with some helpful advice, did commendably well. In fact, Amiram, Sheer, and Peleg all ended up on the same 47 points.  I did better by a solitary point, but John was a couple ahead and so won the first game of the night.

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Next up, Acquire. This turned into a real slogging match with the lead looking as if it was changing every couple of turns. First me, then Sheer, then John, with Peleg and Amiram holding off in the background. However, eventually the lie of the tiles sunk us all except John who could claim a clean sweep of the honors on the night. Sheer was in second spot, and the rest of us were lagging well behind.

Two great games that we are sure to play again. Thanks to all who came for making the evening.

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Acquiring a win

acquire

This week’s session saw newcomer Amiram, John, Sheer, and Yehuda join Susan and me for a varied night of gaming encounters.

While I waited for Yehuda, I setup Amiram, John, Sheer, and Susan to play the classic Ticket to Ride: Europe.

Amiram was the only one completely new the game, but he picked it up well, and wasn’t that far away. Poor John, who had played the app version was rather cut up by the human players in the real game! Susan had the most tickets completed, but Sheer’s combiantion of tickets and longest network meant he was the winner.

Yehuda and I played Netrunner and Tash-Kalar while the others finished off their Ticket to Ride game. We scored one win apiece.

Susan retired, and the remaining five of us played Acquire. I think both Amiram and John were new to this game, but again both picked it up well. Indeed, John did so well I think he finished second, with Amiram, Sheer, and Yehuda close behind. But I got the win. (Don’t ask me why, but there are some games I know I will do well at, no matter what. Acquire is one of them.)

Thanks to all who came for helping make the night great fun.

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Princes and paupers

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This week’s gaming group session was a bumper one, with David, Laurie, Ofer, Peleg, Rosalynn, Susan and Yehuda joining in the fun.

We started with one game of Acquire (me, Laurie, Peleg, and Rosalynn) and one game of Princes of Florence (David, Ofer, Susan, and Yehuda).

Rosalynn had won the last outing in Acquire. This time she claimed that because she now understood what the game was about, she didn’t stand a chance of winning. Unfortunately for her, she was right! Laurie and Peleg did stand a chance of winning, but were a tad unlucky in their tile draws, and I managed to keep ahead. But it was a close, well fought, fun game.

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I only know that – as expected – Yehuda’s experience with Princes of Florence was too much for the other, first timer players. I hope Yehuda will contribute some comments.

After that, there was a game of Neuroshima Hex, a couple of games of Dominion (one win shared between Susan and Yehuda, one solo win by Yehuda) and a friendly game of Battleline.

There was one final game which was a solo one by Laurie: forget the cookies in the freezer. She played a blinder and won that, easily!

I had a great time. Long may the fun continue.

[Update: Laurie reminds me that there were two other games played: Formula Motor Racing, and 7 Wonders. And I even played in the first one of these. Old age is a terrible thing… On the other hand, what a game filled night.]

[Update 2 from Yehuda: I taught David, Ofer, and Susan how to play Princes of Florence. I gave some general strategic advice, such some general paths, why to hold off on works, and ballpark values for auction items.

Nevertheless, I handily won the game by a large margin. David bid 1,000 on the first three turns for two builders and a jester. He wanted the third builder but was outbid for it. He never got it, even when on the last few rounds he could have had it for 200. He ran out of works early, but he did manage to play a work value of 34 on the last round. Ofer played 6 works, but he suffered from too little and then far too much money. Susan played cautiously, bought many landscapes and played a few bonus cards with landscapes. I was tied for the most number of works, playing five out of six of them in the last three turns. I also had two prestige cards, one fulfilled and one half-fulfilled. I only built one building, one freedom, and one landscape.]

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Six wonders

[Crossposted from the Ra’anana Boardgames Group blog.]

We had six people for this week’s session, and decided to break with the usual tradition of forcing Laurie to get out an extra table; instead we all played the one game to start with, namely 7 Wonders.

Phyllis was new to the game, but everyone else had played it at least once. Her hand of green (science) cards was impressive. Unfortunately, that was it. I went down the military and resources route, but due to missing one key resource, spent too many turns doing nothing constructive. Rosalynn built up a decent set of blue victory points to earn her a respectable score. Laurie started off looking to score green (science) but changed tack and probably suffered for that. David, looking to repeat his debut win, put together a very cool range of victory points. He just lost out, probably by a single card, to Yehuda. Well done Yehuda.

After that, we played one of my favorites: Acquire. Unfortunately, with six players the game has a higher luck element, but it is still fun to play. Phyllis certainly seemed to enjoy making takeovers happen. Laurie enjoyed holding on to her cards. David just enjoyed it. Yehuda suffered a wee bit from the random element. I knew I was doing well, but ultimately my brilliant strategy (ahem) came to nothing, as Rosalynn won by a big margin thanks to her long term Imperial holdings. Well done Rosalynn.

Thanks to all for playing, and Laurie for hosting.

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Session Report – 31 May 2011

We started with 6 players and a game of Dominion using cards from the Intrigue expansion. I think everyone had played this at least once, and we made reasonably quick progress. To my surprise, I sneaked a one point victory ahead of Steven.

Next up, 7 Wonders. Michael had been doing a bit of homework about the game, and it paid off with a finely timed victory. His 34 science card victory points was the clincher. I just managed second place ahead of Steven, my 18 military victory points compared to his -6 being decisive. Marcus, who was the only first time player, came in a highly commendable fourth.

We finished with a four player game of the classic Acquire. It was definitely my night because everything went right: I drew the chits I needed and managed the takeovers when it best suited me. (Sorry, Michael.) Martin got off to a great start, but with my luck I was slowly able to catch him and get a decent combination of shares and cash. Steven built up good holdings in some of the smaller chains, but it was just not quite enough and so I was able to claim the win by a measly few hundred pounds.

Another great night’s gaming. Thank you, guys.

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