Thursday, March 31, 2005

March Gaming at the JSGC

We seem to be hitting a low point in attendance. This is always frustrating. It has happened before, and we have bounced back, but at times like this, keeping the game club going and getting the word out is hard work. I'm envious of those who live in population dense areas with easy access to these games (and in their native language), such that membership problems are caused by too many, rather than too few, players.

Anyway, we still have at least 5 each week, but that includes myself and my son, and occasionally my wife.

March games:

ASL - yes, a local Jerusalemite found out my club by way of the new Tel Aviv club's web forums (apparently, many people have suddenly discovered my club this way, but they live in Tel Aviv). Looking for an ASL partner, he came one evening and taught some of our members who were interested. I wasn't. Dice, combat, war. Brrr.

Amun-Re - Continues to be a club favorite by everyone but me, who painfully loses whenever we forget to play "draw two, keep one". Luck averages out over time, so they say. Yeah, right. Tell me about it.

Checkers - played with my son while waiting to start the club. I resigned after 4 moves.

Geschenkt x 7 - Elegant, light, and quick.

Hansa - Really fell flat, and we quit halfway through. Previously, this had worked ok for two players. For 4 players there does not appear to be any real buildup, just an endless series of repetition. I thought it was better than the rest of the group, but they were not convinced.

Othello - someone else played with my son. This person also lost very quickly, although the game continued until the end.

Princes of Florence - Slow, thoughtful, and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Most slow thoughtful games seem tedious, but this one seems to work anyway. Not for my wife, however, who is usually grabbing the role she wants in PR before everyone has finished with the last one.

Puerto Rico x 2 - I won't bother saying "with expansions" anymore, since we NEVER play PR out of the box. We have pretty much settled on a consistent set of rules and buildings that just works best for our group. Just a few of the buildings are not quite permanent, yet, which is great, because it keeps us on our toes. Time for me to make some new ones.

I think each group of players requires their own set of buildings, and, even more so, even within one group these buildings should change over time. In one group, Factory at 7 is simply too strong. 6 months later, the same group playing Factory at 7 might be right.

San Juan x 4 - A perfect time slot, longer than Geschenkt, shorter than a meaty game. Probably Lost Cities would work here too (others?), if I had it.

Settlers of Catan - still enjoyed once in a while, and especially with new players.

Tikal - enjoyed, and works with 2, 3, or 4 players.

Traumfabrik - a little less meaty than a meaty game. I enjoy it, but we can't figure out a strategy, yet. The person who wins is never the person we expect to win.

Web of Power x 2 - Mixed. Three good games, one poor game. Another game with really simple mechanics but some convoluted rules on placement restrictions and scoring. I like it more than the group, I think. Sort of a Taj Mahal light.


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