Saturday, January 01, 2011

Fives and Dimes for 2010: A Year of Gaming in Jerusalem

The following games were played by the game group last year. This list doesn't include games I played personally outside the group. We had fewer players attending over the course of the year, thus the game counts are down in general.

The number of plays is followed by the number of plays last year in parentheses.


26 (33) Dominion(INT 23/SEA 22/PRO 1)

Yeah, this was a quarter last year and a quarter this year, as I predicted. We just got Prosperity and got one game in. I predict that the game will continue to be popular next year.


15 (20) Magic: The Gathering

Only a single dime, which is pathetic. And we tend to play more than one game of Magic in a single evening when we play it, so this isn't really a dime, either.


9 (7) Tichu
8 (7) Bridge
8 (1) Homesteaders
8 (1) Tribune
7 (2) Mr Jack
7 (0) R-Eco

Homesteaders is the only meaty game here, though Tribune and Mr jack are medium weight. I personally love Homesteaders, so it comes out often on my request.

Tichu slightly edged out Bridge, but I expect that to reverse next year. I like them both for casual play. For serious play, Bridge is several order of magnitudes better, of course.

R-Eco proved to be a nice opening game for 2-5 players.

5 (0) Age of Empires III
5 (1) Dvonn
5 (8) It's Alive
5 (0) Steam

Age of Empires III is enjoyed, and It's Alive is used as a filler (not generally requested by me, if you can believe that). I like Steam, but I have trouble getting the group to play train games other than Power Grid.

Dvonn is a great game, but it's hard to find the right players for that, too.


4 (7) Antike
4 (1) Cuba
4 (0) Nile
4 (1) Phoenicia
4 (7) Puerto Rico
4 (3) Settlers of Catan

I love Antike, but again I'm the one to suggest it. I only played Cuba once, and didn't like the orthogonal board restrictions, and didn't see what was particularly interesting about it, but I'm happy to try it again.

We gave Nile a try, but weren't terribly impressed. Phoenicia is now a sometimes games. Puerto Rico is still a great game, but suffers from overplay by some. So does Settlers of Catan, but I bring it out for new players. Some of the players who prefer lighter games still like it a lot; I like it, even though I prefer meatier games.


3 (0) 1955
3 (0) David & Goliath
3 (1) El Grande
3 (1) Le Havre
3 (7) Pillars of the Earth

We play-tested 1955 and enjoy it, though it doesn't blow us away just yet. We'll play it again.

We didn't get any David & Goliath in last year; I owned a copy and got rid of it. Any plays this year were for nights that the game group was held at Nadine's or Gili's.

El Grande is still enjoyed, though it's long. Le Havre is also long, and I like it, but it seems to be too much for other people in the group. I initially liked Pillars of the Earth, but I've been screwed over too many times by the luck in the Master Merchant drawings.

3 (5) Power Grid
3 (4) Princes of Florence
3 (0) Saikoro
3 (0) Schotten Totten
3 (0) Summoner Wars
3 (2) Vegas Showdown

Power Grid is a staple, and I'm surprised it wasn't played more. I get the feeling that people always feel like we just played it the previous week, and so want to pay something else. Princes of Florence is the same.

We didn't play any Saikoro last year, but it deserves to see the table once in a while. The company that makes it has gone out of business, I'm sorry to say.

I've owned Schotten Totten for a while, but in German. For some reason I never thought to download the English rules. I was all set to trade it away, but didn't due to various circumstances. I finally learned to play it near the end of the year and I found it to be a decent filler. I'll probably keep it.

A friend who moved away owns Summoner Wars, and it's a typical two-person-move-your-cards-around-the-grid combat game.

Vegas Showdown has become something of a staple game.

2 (7) Agricola
2 (0) Container
2 (0) Endeavor
2 (0) Hunting Party
2 (0) In the Shadow of the Emperor

Agricola is long, very long, but we still enjoy it. Container belongs to our friend who moved away. Endeavor is nice, but has a lot of pieces and is kind of fiddly. Just the long setup dissuades me from pulling it out more. It's also not truly special.

Hunting Party is Gili's, and it wasn't that interesting. In the Shadow of the Emperor is interesting, but also not truly special. It will come out one or two times again next year.

2 (1) Louis XIV
2 (0) Mu
2 (5) Notre Dame
2 (0) Oltre Mare
2 (2) Parade

I don't like the scoring conditions for Louis, but the game is good and it will come out again. We played Mu for the first time and it will probably come out again as a filler for five players; with four, we will generally turn to Tichu or Bridge.

Notre Dame is a staple, but it feels like the play is a little constricted. We'll play it again. Oltre Mare was surprisingly decent, and I hope to bring it out a few more times.

Parade didn't get as much play as I expected it too. Curious.

2 (2) Race for the Galaxy
2 (0) Robber Knights
2 (0) Robo Rally
2 (4) San Juan
2 (1) Taj Mahal

I soured on Race because of the ability for one player to rush the end game, which destroys the fun. However, when no one does that, the game is really fun. We tried Robber Knights and found it to be dull. Robo Rally doesn't come out more because Gili doesn't like it.

San Juan has been replaced by other filler card games.

Taj Mahal is a staple.

2 (1) Tigris and Euphrates
2 (6) Year of the Dragon
2 (1) Yinsh

I wish T and E were a staple, but somehow I'm the only one who suggests it. Year of the Dragon gets the same attention that Notre Dame does, though it's more painful to play (for some, that's the fun).

Yinsh, like Dvonn, doesn't have the right audience here.

1 (0) Aton - I didn't play it
1 (0) Blood Red Sands (RPG) - an RPG played on Games Day
1 (1) Boggle - Played on Games Day
1 (2) Claude - Played only when Claude comes to exhibit his game
1 (5) Cosmic Encounter - A few of our people don't like it, which is a shame
1 (0) Dungeon Lords - Belongs to the friend who moved away
1 (7) Fairy Tale - Replaced by other filler card games
1 (3) La Citta - I thought about trading this away, but another play won it some more fans
1 (3) Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation - Still sees the occasional play
1 (0) Navegador - Binyamin brought his copy near the end of the year, and I loved it; I will be picking it up asap
1 (0) Netrunner - Can't get anyone else to play it; sold it ( :-( )
1 (0) Power Grid: Factory Manager - We didn't really like it
1 (0) Reef Encounter - I acquired it mid-year and need to get it to the table again
1 (0) San Fransisco - Binyamin brought his copy and we thought it was silly; I won by playing nearly entirely randomly
1 (0) Scrabble - Played on Games Day
1 (0) Set - Not a game for the group
1 (2) Shadows Over Camelot - Played at Nadine's
1 (0) Sticheln - I learned the game but forgot it again
1 (8) Stone Age - Gili owns the game; it would get played more if it lived here
1 (0) Torres - Sadly, I don't think this will get too many more plays; a shame
1 (2) Trias - Our friend who moved away liked it, and so do I; nobody else likes it much

Played Last Year, But Not This Year

0 (8) Traders of Carthage - Our friend took his copy
0 (7) Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm - Ditto
0 (6) Chess - Not a game for the group; played once with a particular visitor
0 (5) Pivot - Played once to play-test
0 (4) Bridge Troll - We tried it and found it to be so-so
0 (4) Jamaica - Our friend took his copy
0 (4) Pentago - Played once to play-test; looks solvable
0 (4) Taluva - Didn't go over with the group
0 (3) Amun Re - Gili doesn't bring her copy enough
0 (3) Amyitis - I bought this but haven't gotten it out to the table; we played Binyamin's copy once and liked it
0 (3) Jambo - Gili likes it, no one else does, really
0 (3) Santiago - I like it, no one else does really
0 (2) Apples to Apples - Not for the game group, played on Games Day
0 (2) Ark of the Covenant - Brought by someone to play-test
0 (2) Atlantic Star - The game group wasn't thrilled with it
0 (2) Carpe Astra - We really didn't like this
0 (2) Fluxx - I really don't like it, but they sometimes play it at Nadine's house when I'm not there
0 (2) No Thanks - Yet another filler, a good game but superseded by other games
0 (2) Path - We play-tested it, and didn't really like it
0 (1) Age of Steam - Replaced by Steam, which also doesn't see much play
0 (1) Battlestar Galactica - Our friend took his copy
0 (1) Blokus Trigon - Not really a game for the group
0 (1) Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers - Our friend took his copy; I own Carcassonne: The City, but despair of getting it to the table
0 (1) Caylus - I find this too long
0 (1) Checkers - Not a game for the group
0 (1) Cities and Knights of Catan - Will probably see another play next year
0 (1) Galaxy Trucker - Our friend took his copy
0 (1) Greedy Greedy - Play-tested and found wanting
0 (1) Hacienda - Not enjoyed enough by the group
0 (1) Hare and Tortoise - A kid's game, not really for the group
0 (1) Imperial - Not enjoyed during play-test
0 (1) Market of Alturien - Brought once, I wouldn't mind trying it
0 (1) Medici - We don't really favor pure auction games like this
0 (1) Merchants of Amsterdam - Play-tested, we hated it
0 (1) Metropolys - Brought by Binyamin once
0 (1) Odin's Ravens - Gili likes this, no one else does, really
0 (1) Pirate's Cove - Gili's game, it has a bit more luck than the group usually likes; I actually like it
0 (1) Pitchcar - Nadine's game, non-portable; Not really for the group
0 (1) Rock Paper Scissors - Michael didn't play it this year
0 (1) Rook - Played to teach the interested, but we have other games; I still like it
0 (1) Winner's Circle - Not really a game for the group, though I think some wouldn't mind playing again; I got rid of it

No comments: