Puerto Rico with Rachel, Nadine, and her daughter Ginat. Order: Ginat, Nadine, Rachel, me.
Unfortunately, we played at Nadine's, and she doesn't have my expansion buildings, so we played with the regular set, only changing: Hospice and University allow you to move one of your colonists onto them when you buy them; Factory and University switch costs; and Discretionary Hold in place of Large Warehouse.
That left two of the most broken buildings in place: Small Market and Guild Hall. Both of which Nadine bought, and - big surprise - she won, but just barely. Nadine had 55 and 10 tie-breaking points to my 55 and 6 tie-breaking points. Ginat had 47 and Rachel 42.
I had a tobacco monopoly, while the other three had coffee. Rachel bore the brunt of that; even though she built coffee first, she never got to trade with it. She should have bought Large Market or Office to compensate for that, but she's less used to four player games and their timing issues. On round 2, Nadine took Builder instead of the scripted Trader+, and then Rachel took Craftsman+, giving me an early corn trade. I followed with an early indigo trade and then an early tobacco trade. In other words, I took three of the four first trades.
So I should have won. But Small Market for Nadine, and then an early coffee trade for her gave her first access to Guild Hall. Both of us had two big buildings, but Guild Hall was worth +10, while all the others were worth +4 or +5.
I'm working on a game for the next BGG.con, but in truth, the last one was so successful - other than some tweaks - that I might just do something similar. Piratenhandler had a lot going for it: easy to understand, social interaction, and you could play with just a few cards without having to see all of them, but you got better chances the more cards you saw. I need to balance out the paths, and make adding up the results a little easier. Unless I come up with something better.
Rachel Going to Ohio
Rachel got a job as associate professor next year at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I still have to stay here to act as home base for the kids. So we'll be apart again for several months. She'll visit and I'll visit. So I'll be playing at the Cincinnati board game club on occasion. I would play at the Dayton club, too, but they only play on Friday nights and Shabbat.
And since I'll be in the states, I imagine I'll sometimes get to some other places, and not only BGG.con.
There's a BGG forum thread following Brenda Brathwaite's Escapist article on board games created to evoke emotion. The thread starts off as predicted, but many of the later comments on pages 2 and 3 are worth the read. Of course, the big point: Games don't have to be fun, or replayable. Games made for entertainment have to be fun, but games do not have to be made for entertainment.
An article in Haaretz compares Backgammon to Chess, and how Backgammon became associated with gambling.
This NY Times article's headline reads: Gaza Militants and Israel Exchange Fire. One might think by reading that headline that Gaza fighters and Israeli soldiers shot at each other. Not, say, that Gaza lobbed rockets at Israeli civilians trying to kill farmers, families, and children, while the soldiers blew up tunnels for smuggling weapons to carry out terror attacks. One might think.