The winning margin

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After an enforced break due to renovations, it was oh so good to get back to some gaming, especially as I had been locked out of my games while the works were ongoing. So, there was added joy in welcoming Azriel, Nechamiah, Peleg, and Roslynn.

The main game of the night was Princes of Florence, which only Peleg and I had played before. It is a classic game of resource management, with the players competing to build works of art to merit fame, fortune, and the all important victory points! The game has a neat combination of auctions, and actions. Auctions allow you a chance to buy what you need, but nothing is guaranteed. Actions allow you a lot of leeway, but if the auction has gone badly that may not matter.

Because we had played it before, Peleg and I had a fairly stead progression through the first two (out of seven) rounds. After that, Azriel, Roslynn, and Nechamiah started to become more assertive and things got a bit more competitive.

Going into the last round, Peleg was out in front, with me in second place, and the others close enough to be threatening. Peleg had a good last round, and must have been surprised to see Roslynn’s bonus scoring which was outstanding, and put her in the lead, just. Even more surprising was Azriel’s final scoring, which put him on the same score as Roslynn. Unfortunately, my last round fell short, and Nechamiah wasn’t able to muster a serious challenge.

Azriel then claimed the win on the tie break, having a measly 100 florins more than Roslynn. Well done Azriel, and commiserations to Roslynn.

For some light entertainment to finish off, I ran a quick game of Hey that’s my fish. Nechamiah proved the best penguin fish fetcher.

Thanks to all who came for getting the gaming back in the groove.

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The dominion, the prince, and the star

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This week’s session began with a quick and intensive three player game of Dominion. John, Yehuda, and I fought over a high value set of Action Cards. However, it was the rather lowly Militia that did the damage, winning the game for John.

Sheer and Tal joined us for a game of Princes of Florence. Yehuda did his usual excellent job of explaining the rules to John and Sheer. Both of them did an excellent job of picking up the key points, and were well in contention save for some understandable errors. Tal seemed to lose her way a bit, possibly because she was still thinking about the work she was doing for a friend, when she should have been maximizing her score! It’s a tricky game to master, but Yehuda has done that, and his ‘come from behind’ approach showed us all how to win. Well done, Yehuda!

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Tal dropped out to check out some music and allow the four guys to get a first shot at Among the Stars. We played the non-aggressive mode, fairly fast, made some mistakes but had some fun. As John and Sheer pointed out, once you build up familiarity with the cards, you will have a better chance of maximizing the score and doing well. Yehuda won, with Sheer and John not that far behind. I was well in last place. It was great to get the first run done and get used to the mechanics. The additions – goals and alien races – should make for an interesting combination. We are sure to play it again.

Thanks to all who came.

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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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