Saturday, June 14, 2008

Shabbat Gaming

Nadine and another friend were over for lunch. Eliezer is not a gamer, exactly, but he's been turned on to the likes of Settlers, Havoc, and Blokus. The latter is his current addiction.

So I brought out Blokus Trigon after lunch. The beginning and middle of Trigon don't matter much, so long as a) you put out your larger pieces and b) you keep tendrils out to most areas of the board. The end game - when you have run out of your largest pieces, then becomes a matter of planning and blocking.

Fun game. I won 5 to 9 to 9. It's not Nadine's cup of tea.

Next I decided to try him on Mississippi Queen. The first time I played this, I liked it and wanted to try again. Everyone else liked it, too, but not enough to want to play it again immediately. After that, they always found some other game to play instead.

I managed to get it back onto the table again a few weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it, even more than the first play. I was eager to try again, and I decided to slake my thirst with these guys.

It ended up being more like the first play; fun, but not exceptional enough to make them want to play again any time soon. It might be because we all ended up within one round of finishing without too much difficulty, and that's even after stopping to pick up two passengers each.

Actually, the two of them tied, and I crashed in the same round, only able to slow down to 2, instead of the 1 I needed.

Last up was Settlers of Catan, to make up for MQ. Our board layout was very clumped, region-wise, which made starting with all the resources somewhat difficult. I managed to do it by placing one of my settlements onto a 3:1 port and the other on an 11 wood. I needed to trade for wood at the beginning.

Two reasons I ran away with the game: Early on, Eliezer opted to pass with 8 cards in his hand rather than buy two development cards, as he was saving for a city. I rolled a 7 and he lost the bundle. Then I placed the robber on his 8, and he lost about 4 or 5 ores in a row.

I began progressing a few rounds earlier than either of them, and stayed that way for most of the game. Nadine actually passed me in points at one point, but it was five settlements, Longest Road, and no ore production. I stole the Longest Road, and that was basically that. Final scores were 10 to 6 to 4.


ChattyDM said...

Quick Question. I assume you write this after sundown as writing on a blog is probably construed as 'work' right?

That being said. How do you feel about Catan as a mainstream game? I'm trying to get my mother (a French Canadian Gamer boomer, raised on Monopoly, Domino and Canasta) to play it but I hit strong resistance.

I think I'll start with Gang of Four as it is really close to French Canadian card games.

Any suggestions on gaming with boomers?

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Actually, it's written after nightfall.

Catan is a reasonable gateway game for non-gamers, but it's the most complex gateway game. It depends on how you explain the rules.

If you leave out the development cards and Longest Road in the rules explanation, it goes better. Just explain the rolling dice, collecting resources based on settlements and cities, trading, building chart, points, and robber. The start.

Take a look at my sidebar or gift guide for other recommended games for non-gamers.

Anonymous said...

A question - I'm an American in Tel Aviv for the summer. Do you know of any gaming shops or groups in the area? I've spent alot of time walking around the city, and haven't seen any (unlike a city like Toronto, where there's two every block).

Looking to play any misc games, not into anything really time consuming like D&D, Warhammer, Magic, etc...


Yehuda Berlinger said... . Ask the manager for gaming contacts. Also, log on to the Tapuz board game forums if you read Hebrew, and ask around. There are gamers.

Anonymous said...

Cool, I'll check there. Thanks!