Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hasbro's Latest Sexist Shopping List

Hasbro's latest recommended toys.

For boys (the entire list):


For girls (the entire list):


The 1950s are alive and well in America.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Have a Meaningful Fast

Part Four: Time and Eternity


I THINK just how my shape will rise
When I shall be forgiven,
Till hair and eyes and timid head
Are out of sight, in heaven.

I think just how my lips will weigh
With shapeless, quivering prayer
That you, so late, consider me,
The sparrow of your care.

I mind me that of anguish sent,
Some drifts were moved away
Before my simple bosom broke,—
And why not this, if they?

And so, until delirious borne
I con that thing,—"forgiven,"—
Till with long fright and longer trust
I drop my heart, unshriven!

Emily Dickinson

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Session Report, in which I win Antike and tie in Magic

The latest Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club session report is up. Games played: Dominion, Odin's Ravens, Antike, Princes of Florence, Race for the Gathering: The Gathering Storm, Magic x 2

I win a game of Antike, and split games of Magic. First play of RftG:tGS, but I didn't play, so no details.

Friday night I played Sequence; it's a mainstream game, on par with Sorry. Eh. Could play it with young children.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Games Day Jerusalem: Sun Oct 4

On Sunday, October 4, the 1st day of Hol Hamoed Sukkot, the Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club will host another Board and Card Games Day.

The JSGC plays all types of board and card games, from classics such as Go, Scrabble, and Bridge, to modern day European and American games such as Puerto Rico, Settlers of Catan, and Twilight Imperium III. We teach new games to people of all ages, so don't be afraid to come if you don't already know the games.

You must have curiosity, good manners (no throwing tantrums or game pieces), and a modicum of intellect.

Games Day is from 10 am to 10 pm on the roof sukkah at 7 Hayarden St, Jerusalem. Please bring snacks to share or money to cover any owner supplied snacks.

The JSGC meets almost every Wed, all year round, at 7/5 Hayarden St, from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm. We have had players aged 7 to 70; the average ages are 20s to 40s, men and women alike.

For more information, please call Yehuda at 0545-987034.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shana Tova

Have a blessedly good year, everyone. See you on the side of Rosh Hashana.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

37 Vintage Board Game Commercials from the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s

Just testing out YouTube's play-list embed feature. Enjoy. Don't miss "Mystery Date". Clip four has several commercials together. And yes, "Ball Buster" was a real game, near as I can tell.

Session Report, in which I learn and review Jamaica

The latest Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club session report is up. Games played: Jamaica x 2, Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico, Dominion.

We learn Jamaica and I review it. And first time three-player PoF for a long time.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Somewhat More Successful 2009 Jewish Bloggers Conference

The 2009 Jewish Bloggers Conference has ended. It was something of a mixture, with many signs of improvement, but the conference still has a ways to go to reach maturity.

It was good enough to give me hope for future iterations.

Location and Organization

The location and organization was excellent. Food was fine. Service was fine. Acoustics and timing were fine. Things even went, roughly, on schedule. Kol hakavod to the organizers.

There were a few snafus. The location of the event was announced in the initial email sent to those bloggers who were invited to attend, but then this information was not repeated. And the location was not listed on the web site!!! The organizer told me that this was done on purpose in order to prevent the uninvited from showing up, which I think is rather a strange thing to say. Many bloggers only found out where the event was by tweeting about it in the morning.

Also, for Track A, the first session was in room 102 and the second in room 103, while for Track B, the first session was in room 103 and the second in room 102. The room numbers were in teeny print, and thus I found myself suddenly in the wrong session when the second session began. I assume this devious room arrangement had something to do with the number of people who registered for each session (103 was bigger than 102), but the room change could have been made clearer. Such as signs on the doors listing the sessions that would be within and the Track numbers.

Vast numbers of people interrupted the beginning of both of these second sessions as they switched around.

One more thing: I had trouble seeing the video on the official site. In Firefox, it kept asking me to allow Flash to access more disk space, even after I had granted it unlimited disk space.

Topics and Targets

Unlike last year's conference, the topics for this year's conference were much improved, dealing with the thing that bloggers have in common - blogging - and not about what Nefesh b'Nefesh wished we would all have in common - hasbarah.

The first half of the convention was workshops. In the workshops, the first two tracks were about social media and monetization, while the third track was about "defending Israel", with the last session about being a better blogger.

The second half of the convention was only one track, and covered (allegedly) the topics: social media and community, social media and Jewish community, defending Israel (again), and social media and aliyah. More about these later.

I attended one session from each workshop track. From my understanding, all the sessions in the first two tracks were at an incredibly low level. But the audience, to my shock, was also at an incredibly low level, asking what a "trackback" was, what an "inbound link" was, and what Facebook was. So it appears that, while the workshops were uninteresting to me and a number of other bloggers, they were probably interesting to many.


David from Jewlicious talked about social networking. Jewlicious gets 8-10,000 visitors a day. They also use Twitter, Facebook, and sponsor a festival in NY.

According to David, the Internet was started by geeks, who gave lots of voluntary contributions for no money. Now there is a lot of money floating around. But those geeks who created the biggest sites (Google, Yahoo, ...) are the gatekeepers of the Internet. You can't be successful without them.

Geeks reward geek-like behavior: Google, etc will only link to you if you provide value to others "for free". Jewlicious leverages the social community for click-throughs and community-building activities. And they can raise money for donations, and make some money from banners and t-shirts.

David spoke well and was well prepared, within the time frame, and entertaining. It was very low level, but was news to many in the audience.


Ahuva Berger gave an introduction to Twitter.

Ahuva prepared and spoke well, and she gave a good low-level introduction.

However, she also added a lot of her own ideas as to the "right way" to use Twitter. If I didn't already know something about the subject, I would not have realized how subjective her ideas were.

True, she often said that SHE uses Twitter for such and such a reason, and SHE likes to see such and such. But then she implied, or said directly, that this was the right way to do it, and if you didn't do it this way, you should be using a different medium, like a blog.

Her way includes: not locking the feed, not posting only about your business, not being anonymous, engaging in a lot of @replies, not maintaining two accounts, not posting two posts containing a longer message, and a few others do's and don'ts. All of which are true if you're using Twitter for a certain social reason in a certain way. But not everyone has to use Twitter that way, and they don't.

(Come to think of it, when I gave my talk about corporate blogging at the Tech Writers evening, I might have done the same thing.)


David Bogner of Treppenwitz gave the highest level workshop presentation that I saw - not exactly high, but not entirely basic, either. He said that many of his ideas were inspired by the blogger MightyGirl, aka Maggie Mason, and her book Nobody Cares What You Had For Lunch.

It turns out that people actually are interested in your mundane experiences when you live in an exotic location (to them), e.g. such as Israel. Just practice the following:

Tempo: pace yourself. Don't burn out. But posting too little is also bad. No excuses for not blogging, though.

Length of posts: be yourself.

Save your writing often. Proofread.

Be more substantial than simply inspiring controversy. Be responsible to your readers.

Comments: Be responsive to commenters. Put up rules and delete or modify abusive comments when required. And encourage but moderate track-backs.

How personal should you get? Being personal gains you a real-world community of friends.

Stats: don't be a stat-crackhead, but do notice them.

All sound advice for beginners, if none too revelatory to experienced bloggers. David presented very well, was entertaining, and well-prepared.

From hereon, only a single track continued.


David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post

JPost gets a lot of traffic: 2.5M unique vistors/mo, and the online site makes the news day 24/7 the whole year, except Yom Kippur.

He welcomes suggestions from bloggers at

The Internet site, though huge, didn't detract from subscription or income from the printed edition. However, the huge online site doesn't add much to revenues, either.

David is of the opinion that news sites made a mistake releasing their content online for free, and is now looking for ways to lock up the content and charge money for it. In my opinion, this is a HUGE MISTAKE, not only huge, but so obviously a mistake that it's stunning that people as smart and clever as David still think it will work. I will explain more about why this is such a suicidal idea in a separate article.

David spoke very well and was well-prepared. As to his topic - how social media is influencing community - he only touched on that, by saying that news is now a 24 job and bloggers should um, I don't actually remember. Mostly, it was about the JPost.


A panel discussion. Topic was supposed to be about social media and the Jewish community.

Tova@JGooders: social networking sites make for better relationships, and NPOs should use them for fund-raising, better transparency, and getting info to people and spurring them to donate. NPOs who master the technology become sexier, which may distract from needier causes that don't do this.

David@Jewcy: Bloggers cover topics mainstream news doesn't/won't cover. Anonymous bloggers don't rise to the same level as named blogs, and they hide behind attacks.

And I zoned out for the rest.

Yonasan@JPost: The Haredi columnist. He doesn't know anything about the internet, blogging, or Facebook. But he thinks it all sounds neat.

And he said that the Haredi world is fearful of the blog world (loshon hora, etc.) but it is still in use for many kosher purposes.

And he used the word "Hegelian".

Orit@LA Jewish Journal: Social networking exists. People use it socially. For social purposes, like dating.

All of them spoke well enough, though I couldn't really follow what Yonasan was saying.

After all of this, there were questions from the audience, and things descended rapidly into disaster. Questions had even less to do with the topic than the speakers did. One guy began baiting liberal blogger David@Jewcy about his left-wing politics, and everyone was thoroughly bored, as far as I could tell. I left early.

This was the low point of the conference.


Benji Lovitt, a comedian who blogs at What War Zone was invited to do his thing.

He was "on" and often funny; I laughed out loud a few times. He spoke a little too rapidly and low at certain points, which wrecked a few of the punchlines for me.


Ron Dermer, Senior adviser to the PM spoke on Defending Israel. (Last year Bibi spoke.)

He started assuming that there is a generational gap for technology, but the audience proved him wrong (the majority were over 30). He admitted he was wrong.

He said: Govmt is looking for ways to use this tech. This tech is highly transformative.

Israel Govmt's have put too much emphasis on peace and not enough on rights. Our argument against their argument of "occupation" should not be "give 9X% of the land back". Also, the conflict has been taken out of context; namely that it is Israel (underdog) vs Arab nations, and not Palestinians (underdog) vs Israel.

Then he said something about the Palestinians dedicated to killing our innocents, while Israelis is dedicated to protecting our innocents. We each have engineers, but they are working on different projects.

We must use the right strategies, and our distribution of our ideas must be enhanced with social media.

So we should all use our blogs to ensure that "rights" are the subject of discussion, not occupation.

He promised to make sure bloggers gain press credentials, and that he will work on getting things going in the govmnt regarding social media.

He spoke very well.


The last panel, about aliyah and social media. Half or more of the people left before this panel began. I was falling asleep.

Clifton@Jobshuk: build your brand (via blog, social media) for employers to see. He spoke well, but later, in the questions, he appeared to not know that there were other Israeli job sites other than his. Which was annoying. So much for being a geek.

Zev Stub@Janglo: Janglo is a social network.

Rebecca@BigFelafel: Spoke about her blog, and why it's a good read for olim.

Assaf@OyPeople: Spoke about OyPeople, and why it will be a big social network for Jews.

Marc@NbN: Said that social networking is about relationships.

And that was that.


Better prepared speakers on appropriate topics (with exceptions), good physical organization, and separate tracks of interest, all contributed to making this a more successful conference.


The level of the conference talks must be raised, or additional higher-level tracks must be added. We need to get into Wordpress plug-ins, JS tools, out of the ordinary marketing techniques, and other more substantial discussions.

Panel speakers must stick to the topic, and have something of general interest to say, and not simply pimp their site.

Moderators must enforce that questions stick to the topic, and blowhards who turn every discussion into political or religious bashing should just stay home.


Lazy Shabbat Gaming

Nadine, Abraham, Eitan, and Emily came over for a game on shabbat afternoon.

Nadine and Abraham are regulars to the group. Abraham's wife is out of the country, so he was bored. Eitan and Emily are a couple that came to a recent group meeting once, and now plan to attend with some frequency.

I chose Power Grid as a good game for a shabbat afternoon for five, including two first-time players (E&E). And Abe had played only once.

Several truism about Power Grid, which we expressed at the beginning of the game: the game is really decided in the last two or three turns, assuming you play reasonably; and everyone falls 1 or 2 dollars short at least once in the game.

Actually, I didn't experience the last one this game. And I also discovered another truism: it's harder to get the plants you need then the goods and cities you need. That's because you can only get one plant at a time, and only a few or no decent one will be available on each turn. Which isn't to say that you can't be locked out of fuel on occasion. But it's a secondary concern to the plants.

In our game, we played without the Southeast on the US map.

Nadine had the plants she needed close to the beginning of the game. I took Pennsylvania as my opening move, and Nadine still insisted on taking New York. As a result, within tow or three turns, she was locked into three cities for all of stage 1. The closest city she could get to after that was at a cost of 51 (Knoxville or somesuch). Despite that, and despite terribly low income as a result of that, she still managed to make it to 14 cities in the last three turns, when she could finally expand.

Abraham took the West and tried valiantly to lock everyone else out of it. Eventually, however, we crept through his wall here and there. Eitan especially found his way from Duluth to Seattle and shot out from there.

Eitan and Emily took most of the the center, Eitan in the north and Emily in the south. Eitan crowded against me and Abraham the most. From my three cities in Pennsylvannia, I also got crowded and jumped into the center south to compete with Emily there. Eitan triggered stage 2 with his leap to Seattle, and stage 3 came a turn later.

Eitan played primarily a green strategy. I took an early nuclear, and Emily took a later one. We were buying them at cost of 1 or 2 the whole game. We also both took hybrids, and Emily also had a garbage.

Nadine had all oil, and Abraham had all coal. Coal shot up in price early on, but as people got out of it, the price fell. Abraham still had a chance to spend a ton of money on the last turn to prevent me from powering my 7/3 coal plant but it wasn't worth his while to do so.

Final scores: Eitan 16+, Emily 16-, Jon 15, Nadine 14+, Abraham 14-

The game took us from around 4:45 to 8:00, breaking for maariv and havdalah. And then followed by dinner.

Also, Friday night I asked my guests some Moot questions. Many of the questions are not all so tough, but the subject is interesting.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Session Report, in which the night gets better as it goes on

The latest Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club session report is up. Games played: Taj Mahal, Notre Dame, Dominion.

I lose Taj Mahal embarrassingly, Notre Dame a bit less so, and squeak off a surprise win in Dominion.

On Wed night I also taught and played Mr Jack with Bill, beating him first as Criminal and then as Detective.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Pitiless Rules

Board games are won and lost according to the rules. You can be pretty or ugly, smart or stupid, insightful, witty, or dull. Rich or poor, black or white or anywhere in between.

None of that is really going to help you win or make you lose a game.

You can't buy your way to victory in Monopoly with real money (*). You can't charm a Scrabble game, or argue your way out of home base in Sorry. And you don't lose Settlers of Catan because of your race or sexual orientation. Rules are pitiless and impersonal. The only way out is through.

I told my daughter that a minimum expected grade level from school is her goal. Frankly I don't really give a damn about her grades, nor the material she will be learning to achieve them. I want her to learn, and to love learning, and that will not come from school requirements, not from tests, and certainly not from the standardized bagruyot test inflicted on high school students for their last three years.

But there is one thing that she will definitely learn: there is no mercy in succeeding. She can argue me out of discipline and chores, charm her way into treats and vacations, and buy her way out of sandwiches for lunch. But the minimum grade goal in school is absolute. She can't charm, argue, or cajole her way out of it. Not with me, and not with her teachers.

It's not enough to know the material and fail the tests: that's a great goal, and it's also encouraged, but it's not THIS goal. THIS goal is to find out what it takes to get the minimum grade and do THAT. It may make no sense. It may have nothing to do with learning. It's pitiless and impersonal.

Why make someone do something that makes no sense? Because, unfortunately, a whole lot of life's challenges are just that. Effort, sense, and pleading only count for so much. You have to face nonsense and dispassionately bear through it on occasion.

(*) My original assertion is not entirely correct: you CAN sometimes charm, cheat, and buy your way out of games, and even grades. Some parents let kids cheat at games, or cheat for them. Some people bully or buy their way into victory, whether in games or bureaucracy. This may be true. But it's my job to not do that and to teach my children not to do that.

Maybe my only job.


Media Schizophrenia About Board Games

The same newspapers can slant the implication about board game play, depending on what they want for the story angle.

In one article, board games are economical, ecological, and family togetherness time. "Bring out the old-fashioned board game," they declare. Or, if enlightened, "take a look at modern board games," and why they remain competitive with, or even best, other entertainment possibilities, such as video games or movies.

In the next article, or the next day, they'll throw out board games as an aspersion, implying people wasting their time or phenomenally bored. "Health employees are just sitting around reading and playing board games."

Then there are the articles that refer to people who play board games as "retro" or simply bizarre. "Fer chrissakes, what a geek! He plays board games!"

Media. Fear it.

Because every other idea, activity, nation, and personality undergoes the same treatment. A reporter wants to be cute, or wants to tap into something subjective about which you already feel. It's not about objectivity.


Necessary Invention: Yeshiva Stock Market

Yeshiva's beg for money to support their learning from people who make money, and then often feel superior to those who don't learn all day. That's chutzpah.

Back in the day, Issachar and Zevulun has an arrangement where one would learn and the other work, each getting the complete share of the merit for learning. Or so I understand.

I also feel entitled to the some of the study merit of those people I support. Whenever I give, I feel tempted to ask for some. But I don't know how much to ask for. If I give 100 NIS, is that 0.1% of the daily output of the yeshiva? Or a select group of students? How do I know that my 100 NIS wouldn't gain me better merit at some other more studious yeshiva, with better students and more disciplined finances?

I think there should be a yeshiva stock market. Individuals, study halls, kolels, and so on should float learning shares. That way we can evaluate what we get for our money. I want to support the yeshiva with the best learning (and good deeds) output. I want to know what I'm getting.

Yeshivas could report ... uh ... "mitzvaentials" on a quarterly basis: dafim learned (tested, to ensure quality), old ladies helped across the street, time spent delivering food to the needy, happiness quotient. We could more easily discover the yeshivas whose activities match our path. We could buy low (a yeshiva with unrealized potential) and sell high (when it's doing great). We could float shares. We could buy puts.

And best yet, we could sue for insider trading (you knew that the Rebbe's son was going to be accepted to your yeshiva, didn't you?).

Dominion With My Brother

Ben's first attempt at Dominion was a failure. He lost every Silver that he bought to other players' Thieves, while he never managed to steal anything back with his own Thieves. Unlike some games (Agricola), however, he was willing to admit that that was bad luck and that the game seemed basically sound.

We tried it again yesterday, with better results. No Thieves.

The only additional actions were Spies, and I was the only one to take one. The other attack card was Militia, and we both had a lot of them (no Moats). You would think that this would make getting to the magic number 8 fairly difficult. But it wasn't, really. We were both able to buy Silvers and then Golds. We used Chapel to dump a few other cards and, even after getting hit with a Militia, 8 was not too hard.

Gardens were also available; I took two. Ben lost the game because he took a Gold on his penultimate turn instead of a Gardens. He lost 46 to 43, which is respectable enough, he says.

We also played a number of hands of Bridge, including three-player with my Mom. And Friday night, I got my non-game playing friends to enjoy a half-hour of Moot trivia questions.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Gaming at Gilad's: Cloud 9, Diamant, and Factory Fun

I actually made it to Gilad's game night in Modiin, which I usually don't do because a) it's half an hour away from me, b) I play already on Wed nights, and c) he starts at 9:00 pm. I happened to be at work today, and so was passing by anyway, and Rachel isn't around so I could arrive home late.

Gilad hosts game nights once a month. The group is primarily Hebrew speakers, but most spoke English around me, which was nice.

Participants: Jon, Gilad, Tali, Tal, Ronit, Koby, Oren, Oshrat, Adi, Odded, Amir

Gilad and his wife Tali are hosts. Tal (Darom), Koby, and Oren have all made it to my house on occasion. Ronit is Tal's Koby's wife. The others are all nice people who don't make it out to Jerusalem.

Games I didn't play

Race for the Galaxy: Koby 26, Tal 28 (1st game), Oren 24, Ronit 36

First play for Tal, I don't know about the others.

Puerto Rico: Koby, Ronit, Odded, Oren

They were still going with this when I left.

Thurn and Taxis: Adi, Oshrat, Tali, Amir 22+

First play for at least some of them. The other three players all had scores in the single digits.

Cloud 9

Jon 26, Gilad 54, Tali 42, Oshrat 61, Adi 44

Cloud 9 is a light push your luck game with a number of twists. It comes with a deck of cards - each card is simply one of four colors. And four dice - four of the faces with one of those colors, and two blank faces. And a board, pieces, and scoring markers.

Each player gets a few cards to start with. Each player is "in the balloon" at the start of a round. One player starts the round by rolling two dice. Each player, other than the active player, then guesses whether or not the active player has cards in his or her hand to match the dice rolled. A blank die doesn't count as a card, so the person may only have to match one or no cards.

If a player thinks there is a match, he "stays in the balloon". Otherwise, he or she abandons ship and takes points. After all players, other than the active player, have stayed or abandoned the balloon, the active player then reveals the cards from his or her hand if he has them.

If he or she does, the balloon sails up the ladder, and the next player still in the balloon becomes the active player. Eventually the number of dice that must be rolled grows to three, then four, and at each step, the points for abandoning ship become higher, to a maximum of 25 for a completed trip.

However, if the active player cannot match the die roll, all players still on the balloon get nothing. The balloon returns to the starting position and all players return to the balloon.

After each round, each player gains an additional card. There are some additional rules for when you are alone in the balloon, and some wild cards, but that's the gist. Player with the most points at the end of a round after one player goes over 50 wins.

It's quite cute for a light push-your-luck game. While cute, the "balloon" was annoying, since you had to take at least a certain amount of care when putting the people into the balloon or they would just fall out.

In our game, I had the bad luck of abandoning the balloon early while everyone else stayed on, and they all got 20 more points than I did. In that situation, there is no way to catch up, no matter how cleverly I played. Luckily the game ended two or three rounds later.

I liked it enough to play again, however. I wouldn't buy it.


Oshrat 25, Jon 22, Tali 21, Gilad, Adi, Amir

Another light and quick push your luck game, this one is also called Incan Gold from a different publisher.

In this game, the object is to have the most points at the end of the game. There are five rounds.

The game comes with 15 disaster cards in five types (three of each type), and 15 gem cards with values ranging from 3 to 17 (or so).

In each round, a card is flipped up. If it is a gem card, the number of gems is evenly distributed to each player who puts them in front of (not in) his or her cart. Remainder gems are placed on the card. If it is a disaster card, no gens are distributed.

Players than simultaneously reveal if they are staying in or abandoning ship. If all players stay in, continue. If one abandons ship, he takes all the gems in front of his cart and puts it into his cart, as well as all undistributed remainder gems that were left on all cards. That can be a decent take. If two or more abandon ship, they split the remainder gems, again leaving any further remainders on the cards.

The round is over immediately after the second disaster of a certain type is revealed. At that point, any gems in front of players who didn't yet abandon ship get returned to the supply, as well as all remaindered gems on cards. All cards are returned to the deck for the next round, except the last played disaster card.

Again, another light push-your-luck game with simultaneous decision making. I liked this one slightly better than Cloud 9, but man, is it overproduced. I expect that the game would play just as well with pennies and dice.

The blind bidding is random (excuse me: "bluffing"), and it wouldn't go over well with my group. I would play again, however. it's a quick filler for at least three people.

Factory Fun

Factory Fun: Gilad+, Jon (eliminated), Tal-

This looked like a really cool game and it got great reviews on BGG. The components looked like leftovers from Robo Rally. And it has a lot of spacial features and puzzle aspects, which I love.

Each player has an empty board, four "sources" of energy - one each in four different colors, three temporary energy caps, and an unlimited supply of connector pipes and permanent energy caps.

The major component is the machines. Each machine is a 1 x 2 square with some number of inputs, in different colors, positions, and strengths, and one output.

There are ten rounds. On each round, a machine is flipped up and players grab - in no particular order and as fast as they want to - one machine to place on their board. After grabbing a machine, you MUST place it on your board or lose 5 points. The last player to grab a machine ends up with whatever is left, but doesn't have to grab any machine, and so doesn't risk losing any points.

Placing the machine onto your board is free, as is placing one of your energy sources or removing a pipe or source from your board. However, placing a pipe or energy cap costs 1 and moving a machine costs 2. You can only move a maximum of two machines each round.

All of the inputs have to match outputs, with sufficient strength. Sources are infinite strength, but cascading machines gives you many more points, and you only have one source of each color, although some machines allow you to take a bonus source in a specific color.

The game played placidly enough until around round 7. At that point, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, my machine was illegal in about three or four ways, and I quit the game to take a half an hour to completely rearrange my board just to see if or how I could fit my components onto it. There is no time limit for arranging the pieces on the board, so there is no way in hell my game group will be allowed near this game.

It was a lot of fun trying to figure out how to fit everything back onto the board, which I eventually did. But that's no way to play a game. I have no idea how many pipes I rearranged or machines I had moved. It was just incredible chaos.

I'm sure people much smarter than me will find this to be a fantastic game. I just liked playing with the pieces.


Gilad 56 (8 gardens), Jon 43 (9 duchys), Tal 52

We wrapped up with a game of Dominion, which I also handily lost. I opted not to concentrate on Gardens, which was my downfall. Gilad took two and a few coppers whenever he had 8, while I bought a Province, and when I couldn't get a Province, I bought a Duchy. Didn't work, as you can see.

The game ended with Markets, Gardens, and Duchys.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Session Report, in which two new people come but only play with each other

The latest Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club session report is up. Games played: Dominion x 2, Pillars of the Earth, R-Eco, Mr Jack, Tichu.

Two new people came, but they showed up during PotE and left shortly after it ended. PotE continues to give me bad luck.