Back to glory

nothanks

After an enforced break, this week saw a return to a euro gaming session. I was joined by Amiram, Peleg, Sheer, Susan, and Rosalynn.

Sheer’s watch was acting up, so he was late. Until he arrived, we busied ourselves with a quick game of No Thanks (aka Geschenkt). Peleg one with a single figure score. Well done that man!

Then we split into two groups.

Peleg and Sheer had several high energy games of Netrunner. As Sheer said afterwards that the more he played it, the more he enjoyed it, this game will definitely be back for more.

Amiram, Rosalyyn, Susan, and I played a couple of games of Dominion: Adventures. There’s a lot to grasp for those who are new to the deckbuilding style of game, and especially one as supercharged as Adventures. So, the first game saw some tentative play by novices Amiram and Rosalynn. However, that all changed in the second game, with both Amiram and Rosalynn pushing very hard indeed, and coming within one card of victory. Unfortunately for them, and me, Susan excels at this game, and she was the winner in both games. Let’s hear it for Dominion champ Susan!

Rosalyyn, Sheer, Susan and I finished with a quick game of the classic Reibach and Co. Rosalynn jumped into a first round lead, and never looked back. She easily held on for the win. Way to go, Rosalynn!

After all of that, the adrenaline was flowing and I could not get to sleep, even though it was late. The buzz was terrific. I love gaming!

Goodbye John

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Bittersweet night as Amiram, Peleg, Sheer, and I said goodbye to John as he prepares to return to home back in the USA. He’s been terrific company, and we will miss his ever pleasant disposition. But we live in hope that he will return.

So far as the games are concerned, here’s what happened.

nothanks

We started with No Thanks (aka Geschenkt) which is a handy light filler in which you try to avoid collecting cards by paying coins. Unfortunately, you only have a limited number of coins. John and Sheer struggled with the idea, first time around, and I won quite comfortably.

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Then onto a favorite, Ticket to Ride: Europe. Sheer pulled off a surprise sudden ending of the game that smashed any chances Amiram, Peleg, and I had. However, John’s completion of an incredible ten tickets meant he was right up there. It was only the longest route bonus that edged Sheer ahead so he could claim the win.

ivanhoe

Next up, Ivanhoe. This was new to everyone except me, but it is not a difficult game and play was soon well under way.  The highlight was seeing Peleg race ahead to three tokens. (Four are needed for the win.) Then, in a stroke of genius, John changed the color of the combat round so that Peleg’s fourth win was invalid because he already had the color. That stroke, however, allowed Sheer to win. Everyone – except me – was in with a chance, and there was a lot of laughter round the table as fortunes ebbed and swayed.

Finally, back to No Thanks. This time John managed to avoid buying too many cards and so won his final game in the group. Way to go, John. It’s been fun having you in the group.

And goodbye.

 

Hansa folk

[This is from Yehuda, for which, thanks. It’s a follow up to this post and is also crossposted from the Ra’anana Boardgames Group blog]

Hansa Teutonica: I taught this to Rosalyn. HT is a game whose progress depends on groupthink. If the players, as a group, concentrate on certain areas, then certain strategies pay off big time. If they concentrate on other areas, those strategies falter and other ones will succeed.

The obvious strategy in HT is to go as quickly as possible for extra actions (as it is in any game where there is a path to get permanent extra actions). This option will quickly dominate if, and only if, the game continues long enough for you to make up the actions that you spent getting those extra actions. So the longer the game goes on, the more it will pay off.

Other players can try to stop this by

  1. getting extra actions themselves or
  2. ending the game quicker by filling in buildings and creating a path between the two far cities on the board.

However, the counter-strategy is not easy. First of all, the player with more actions can undo everything you do and still have extra actions to play with; every player needs AT LEAST one extra action (3 actions per round instead of 2) to have any chance. Second of all, getting extra actions also gives you bonuses, like the 4 point bonus for completing the track, and the ability to quickly take and use bonus chips. which are also extra points. Third of all, it appears to take just a little too long to end the game this way.

Anyway, I told Rosalyn much of this when the game started, and Laurie already knew this.

In the 3 player game, only one person can quickly get his first extra action; I was the starting player, so I got it. Despite my prompting them to block me, I also got my 4th, and then my 5th extra action in somewhat rapid succession, while Laurie got her third action somewhere in the middle of this, and Rosalyn didn’t get any extra actions until nearly the end of the game. Laurie opened up her color bonuses quickly, and took the top two spots in the color bonus building (11 and 9 points).

With my extra actions, I was able to get the other two spots, and still get a complete path between the two far cities, a large city group (obviously), an extra point per city in the group, two complete tracks, and 6 bonus chips. My ending score was nearly double Laurie’s (around 84 to 44) with Rosalyn a bit behind Laurie.

No Thanks (aka Geschenkt): After HT, one of the kids (I forget who) joined us for two games of No Thanks, which we played using cards from that Zombie game. Laurie toasted us in the first game with 20 points, while everyone else had at least 40. I won the second game with 17 points, while second place was somewhere in the twenties.

Coming up fast

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

Before the games this week, Peleg, Laurie, and I handled the emotionally difficult task of burying the family goldfish. After a few meaningful words – Get a move on! – it was time to go and game.

This week’s session saw a game start split between Smallworld and Hansa Teutonica.

Yehuda, Laurie, and Rosalynn played Hansa, and I am hoping Yehuda will sneak in sometime to post some details.

Azriel, Michael, Peleg and I played Smallworld.

This was the first time out in the game for Azriel and Michael, and though there was a degree of – Oh no! What have I got myself into? – at the beginning, this slowly, but surely, receded.

Azriel took great delight in choosing his next race, and probably would have scored better if he had focused on points rather than the cool factor. However, he enjoyed himself and that is the main thing.

Michael, wisely, didn’t trust any of the advice I was giving him… Also, he did not shy away from the occasional blood thirsty land grab that is so, so necessary in this game. Fortunately, for me, I was at the other end of the board, so it was poor Peleg who suffered much more than anyone else. That was why Peleg finished a wee bit behind Michael. (But you were still in the top three, Peleg!) I held on for the win – just ahead of Michael – which gives me a 3-0 record in the game. I had a good time. These last two sentences are not connected.

I believe the others played a game of Geschenkt using the cards from the Walking Dead game. How radical!

Thanks to Rosalynn for hosting.

That’s it till after Tisha B’Av.