Well, I've made it to the other side of the Seder. I even have some digital pictures of our Seder table, taken before Passover started, which I might upload.
We had 17 for the Seder, which I think is a lot. Funny enough, some of our friends have that many for every meal on shabbat, and more for Passover Seder. Therefore, our conversation goes like this:
Friend: Oh, we had a small Seder, only 23 people.
Me: Well, we had a really large Seder, with 17 people.
It's all relative, as they say.
The next day, recovering from too much matzah, we played a few games. I played and lost Yinsh to my son Saarya (his choice of game). I played and won a game of Oh Hell with my daughter Tal (my choice of game). In the latter game, I started off +20 to her -10, but the gap gradually narrowed until the last hand, when we differed by only three points. The game was decided by the last card.
Some of our guests for the Seder included Nadine from the game group and a family from America who are friends of hers and also game players. Rachel and I went for a walk in the afternoon and meandered over to Nadine's house to play. I brought Havoc with me, because I didn't know how many people we would be; Havoc plays 2 to 6, and is fairly easy to teach, and good game for the complexity (similar to my game, in that regard).
We started off playing Puerto Rico with Rachel, Nadine, myself, and one of their kids. Rachel was corn 1 and I was corn 2, and we started off mirroring each other. By turn 4, however, it was obvious that the other player (Devorah) wasn't really into it; too complex for her tastes, I gather.
By then, the parents had come home, so I brought out Havoc. We played five players (Rachel, Nadine, me, Devorah, and Beth the mother) while Rachel also had a conversation with the father about his trip to Poland. Despite this distraction, I managed to teach the game, and we played and enjoyed it. Beth, Rachel, and I started off well; Beth and I ran out of steam, while Rachel was just getting started.
Meanwhile, I was collecting 14s and the other players starting winning a few points. Nadine totally stole Agincourt with a pair of 10s, as no one was interested in competing with her for it (no second place score). I eventually pulled a full house for battle 8, and 5 14s for battle 9, netting me second place in each. Rachel scored in neither of these battles, so I pulled ahead to first place.
Due to the distraction of the side conversation, some of the players missed some of my rules explanations, such as only being allowed to play 6 cards in a battle. Naturally, this "failure on my part to fully explain the rules and ascertain that all players understood" was noted and complained about by some players. To this I say: Pttthhhhhft! First game is a learning experience.
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