Session Report – 4 October 2011

Avraham and Sara hosted this session, and as I couldn’t make it, Avraham extended his courtesy by providing this report. (Thank you, Avraham).

Tichu – Avraham & Sara v Yehuda & Tal

Yehuda and Tal arrived first, and we started off by playing a round of Tichu. I was dealt the Dragon, Dog, Mah Jong, one Ace, and scattered groupings of lower cards. I passed the Dragon to Sara and the Mah Jong to Yehuda. Sara passed me the Phoenix. No one called Tichu. Laurie arrived midway through the first hand, and Yehuda started explaining the rules to Laurie as we were finishing up. Laurie remarked that the game sounded complicated. I managed to go out first, then Tal, then Sara, then Yehuda. Points were not tallied at the end.

Games Day – Lior & Yehuda

Lior, one of the co-founders of Romach, dropped by briefly to discuss various Ra’anana board game events with Yehuda. I was placing an order for sushi while most of the discussion went on, so I didn’t get all of the details, but the two things that I did pick up on were that Lior is attempting to form some type of board games league, and that the previously planned date and location for the upcoming Games Day is no longer feasible. Watch this space!

Ticket to Ride: The Mega Game – Sara, Rochelle, Tanya & Tal

Rochelle brought a newcomer to the group, her friend Tanya. Sara taught Ticket to Ride: The Mega Game to them and Tal. Rochelle and Tal started off in the middle of the map, with Tanya focusing on the east coast and Sara on the west. Competition for the routes was light, and everyone seemed to finish their original tickets with only a little trouble. Everybody drew more tickets to complete, but no one seemed to draw tickets that fit their existing networks well. Rochelle and Tanya realized near the end that it could be expedient to get points just by claiming routes without relevant tickets. No one completed all of their tickets. Rochelle helped Tal in this regard by blocking one of her needed routes in the final round. Sara got the Longest Route bonus, and Rochelle got the Most Completed Tickets bonus. Sara won, with Rochelle not too far behind in second place.

Stone Age – Avraham, Yehuda & Laurie

After some discussion on what to play, we settled on Stone Age. Laurie, who had never played before, was impressed by the components but was skeptical about the role of dice in this game. Yehuda was willing to play anything, and furthermore, was willing to give Stone Age another chance despite previous bad experiences. Yehuda went for a starvation strategy, while I focused on the food track. Laurie, who was trying to figure out the optimal way to play, was influenced by our strategies and tried an occasional starve strategy while also advancing on the food track, which is not a viable winning strategy. Yehuda, although sitting in front of me in turn order, often did not choose the options that would gain him the most points as his first choice, to which I would scoop up opportunistically to thwart his plans. This greatly reduced the level of enjoyment for Yehuda, but I view as proper play in any worker-placement game. I won with a score of 180 something with Yehuda roughly 30 points behind in 2nd place. Laurie enjoyed the game, and although Yehuda was agitated by my style of play, seemed content with the feasibility of the starvation strategy. I was happy that the usual complaints of “whoever rolls the highest wins” did not surface at the end and that my victory was more from choices than chance.

Jaipur – Sara & Tal

Sara offered to play something with Tal while we were finishing up Stone Age. Tal chose Jaipur because it looked pretty and nice, which it pretty much is. Sara won the first and third rounds, and Tal won the second round. Both the first and third rounds were decided by fewer than five points.