Laurie and Daniel kindly provided the following Session Report, covering the last two sessions.
1 November 2011
We had a jam-packed session of three back-to-back games with Ellis, Daniel and Laurie. In Sushizock im Gockelwok, Ellis and Laurie competed to gain the best-scoring sushi tiles, while stomaching the fishbone tiles with the smallest negative numbers. Laurie’s pile of higher-scoring maki won the game. One of the dice with faces of chopsticks, sushi and bones, rolled off in the dark outdoors and hasn’t been seen since. [Ellis: Ooops. The dangers of combat, I mean, garden gaming.]
We played a two-hour long match of Lost Cities: The Board Game in which the end of each round often caught each player by surprise, leaving our adventurer pawns scoring negative points. By game end, we had all collected the same amount of artifacts. Daniel and Ellis had scored more than 400 points each, with Ellis and his adventurers emerging victorious. [Ellis: I got lucky. Fun and clever reworking of the two player game.]
Finally, we played the bluffing game Diamant. Daniel followed mathematic probabilities to the hilt, yet luck was against him. His explorer had to leave his treasure behind in each of the caves we explored. Meanwhile, Ellis and Laurie explored cautiously and raked in the jewels, with Laurie taking home the most treasure to win the game. [Ellis: Laurie was on a hot streak in this game and got every call correct. Daniel, on the other hand, just couldn’t get anything going for him.]
8 November 2011
Five of us gathered for an opening round of Sushizock im Gockelwock, a first play for Peleg, Rochelle, Tanya and Tanya’s brother Rob. It’s a great starter game with lots of flavor and angst in deciding to stick with the sushi or fishbone combo you initially roll, or to roll over again to try to get chopsticks to pilfer a neighbor’s tiles. Tanya showed extraordinary luck in rolling five dice in a row with sushi when she needed it. Alas, Peleg stole her highest-scoring tile. Then Rob heisted it from Peleg’s pile. The two thieves won with four points apiece.
The four remaining players reviewed a selection of many Euro games before settling on Forbidden Island, an American cooperative game much like Pandemic, which a few of us had played at a recent games night. No dominant “director” of moves emerged, so the game was truly cooperative in shared decision making. We lost a key treasure tile at the outset of the game, adding to our tension as we tried to collect treasures before the entire island sank. Rob’s piloting powers were the most appreciated special skill of the game. Although the helicopter landing pad flooded, we managed to collect all four treasures and fly out victorious before all of the island sank. Rochelle said she preferred this game to Pandemic because of the constantly shifting, disappearing game board. Laurie enjoys both Pandemic and Forbidden Island equally, but thinks Forbidden Island is the clear winner when it comes to pieces (the Crystal of Fire is one of the top three most beautiful game pieces imaginable) and price point (it sells for about 80 shekels in Raanana.)
We winded up the evening at 22:30 so three of the players could get a head start on bird-watching in the Hula Valley, and we all look forward to meeting up again next week!