I had to stop at Avri's in Beit Shemesh pick up a copy of Diplomacy to use tomorrow for my big game day at work. Avri runs the Beit Shemesh board game group on Tuesday nights - what a coincidence - so I stayed for game night. I had brought along Dominion and Race for the Galaxy, figuring that I could teach them a few new games as long as I would be there.
In fact, I got there a bit early. Avri had already played Race for the Galaxy once or twice, so I taught him how to play Dominion. We played, once again, with the coddle set of basic kingdoms, which has barely any player interaction.
I have a pretty pathetic record at the game, and I don't seem to be getting any better. Avri trashed me by tossing out all of his Estates for better cards and then playing Markets to take both a Province and a Duchy on each turn. Yeah, I started taking Provinces before him, but he was still out drawing me.
I seem to have such trouble getting to that 5 coin mark.
Avri 33, Jon 28
Avri's daughter (around 5 or 6) then wanted to play For Sale, which we did. I played my houses in completely random order on the checks (without telling Avri), and I nearly won anyway.
Avri 72, Jon 68, daughter less
A few others came and we were five, so Avri kindly suggested Santiago, a game I love but never get to play in my own group because they don't like it as much. It's still a fine and elegant game, but I was still not playing optimally. Avri offered a lot of money for bribes at the beginning, which served him well. I didn't, which served me less well, but I thought the money I was saving was still doing me good.
But then I ended up spending all of my money near the end of the game, anyway.
Avri 75, Jon 64, Mory 60, Eliezer 55, Marc 54
Richie came during Santiago, and I offered to play him simultaneously, so that he wouldn't be bored. We played It's Alive, advanced scoring. This was my first play with the second edition components and rules, and in fact I wasn't even clear on all of the rule changes for second edition.
Still, I finally did well at something.
Jon 48, Richie 37
With all the new players, I taught Dominion yet again, with the coddling set yet again. I still lost, to first-time players. I suck.
Mory 28, Jon 20, Richie 18
We played Dominion again, and finally I played - for the first time - with new kingdoms. We generated a random set, and ended up with: Moat, Moneylender, Thief, Bureaucrat, Woodcutter, Militia, Smithy, Gardens, Laboratory, Mine.
Thank god for the Moat, as three of these cards are attacks. It was a painfully slow set, with very few ways to boost money, and only one cards that gave 1 additional action. Ouch.
The more interactive cards let in elements of luck that don't exist with the less interactive cards. Mory used Thief only once but it destroyed my first silver right after I bought it, which was very hard for me. Richie and I used Thief, but not only gained nothing from it, but ended up clearing out victory cards from people's decks for them.
All of us had 30+ card decks, which made Gardens a no-brainer over Duchy. I still lost.
Mory 28, Richie 24, Jon 21
While we played Dominion, the others played Race for the Galaxy. First game for all but Avri.
Avri 43, Eliezer 40, Marc less
We hadn't quite finished our second game of Dominion, so they then started up a game of Notre Dame. And when I left, my two opponents started a game of Lost Cities. I didn't stick around to see the end of either game, nor if they played any further games.