Twilight fizzle

I had a session with Ofer this week, playing Twilight Struggle (TS) and Battleline.

We had both played TS before, but needed a wee rules refresh. Ofer took the USSR, and I took the USA. As usual, the USSR stormed into a big lead. (I had an amazing ability to draw only USSR events. Not good.)

I managed to stave off defeat – just – and we kept playing.

However, at Ofer’s suggestion we called it about half way through, as he was not enjoying the game. It did not connect. He did not feel involved. Even when he was almost winning, there was no edge or excitement or interest. So, it did not work for him.

TS is not one of my favorite games, and I do think it is overrated. I don’t feel as negative about it as Ofer, but I can well understand his view. Different people like different games. And, I suppose, different people dislike different games.

Surprisingly it was Ofer’s first attempt at Battleline, but he quickly picked it up. Unfortunately for him, by then I had got into a strong winning position. Never mind. I suspect he will get his revenge soon enough.

Princes and paupers


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.


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.]

Steaming along

[Also posted at the Raanana Boardgames Group site.]

At this week’s session, the fab four (Abraham, Laurie, Ofer and Yehuda) started off with another game of Steam.  Judging by the table talk, things were fairly tight until near the end, when Yehuda moved into the lead and stayed there and won. Ofer got some revenge for the past misdeeds of others by claiming second place. Just.

However, even with only four players, it was not a fast game, and I am not that excited about it to have to play it again. Certainly I would avoid a five or six player outing at all costs. It’s not only the length of the game I dislike, but the amount of downtime.  Funnily enough, I think I prefer the complexity of Age of Steam over Steam, but doubt it will be faster. Maybe it’s the extra auction in Age of Steam which gives the impression of more player involvement.

Meantime, the top trio of Peleg, Rochelle and I played Ticket to Ride Marklin Edition. This is a neat variation on the TTR base game, with the addition of Passengers. Each player gets three Passengers and they can score points by travelling along routes to pick up points from cities. It’s an easy mechanic to pick up, and the game rattles along. I built a good network and scored the first Passenger with a mountain of points. Unfortunately, Peleg and Rocehlle ignored my strategy, followed their own, and crushed me. Rochelle – who was playing this for the first time – beat me by a barrow load of points. Peleg, did just that little bit better to claim the win.

As the fab four were still steaming along, Rochelle and I played Lost Cities and Battleline (several games) to keep ourselves occupied. Again, these were new to Rochelle, but she seemed to enjoy them. Surprisingly – to me – she preferred Lost Cities, though she had more success with Battleline.