Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Raanana Games Day Session Report

Participants: Jon, Laurie, Daniel, Nadine, Abraham, Sara, Peleg, Ellis, Marcus, Ben, Omer

I suspected that the group would be small, even with my announcing the event in various locations. Everyone who came was a regular or occasional to the group, or a friend of one of them. This was fine, since my sukkah couldn't have held more people. Still, we need to find a way to reach out to more people; I know there are other gamers in Raanana and surrounding communities.

7 Wonders

Jon 75, Marcus 56, Omer 53, Ellis 52, Nadine 51, Ben 26

These scores are approximate, except for mine and Nadine's. First play for Omer and Ben, second for me and Nadine. I requested this.

The first time I played this I was unhappy with the amount of time you had to look at your opponents' boards and how difficult it was to do that. This time I felt a lot more comfortable doing it, and so could concentrate more on making better decisions. I enjoyed it.

People acted to thwart me, of course, but they had limited ability to do so. Often they didn't have access to the resources required to play a card, while I did (only one of my neighbors had the resource and I didn't). So they either had to dump the card under their wonder or toss it for a measly three cash, or simply pass it on to me. The latter happened many times in age three.

I started with two blue VP buildings in the first round. Most of the intermediate ones were then taken by others, but I ended with the most points in blue anyway (28). I built very few resources: only two. I had a yellow card that gave me a selection of one of four, and another yellow card that let me buy the other three resources for only one each from my neighbors. If everyone follows that strategy, a whole lot of buildings are not going to get built. It worked for me, though, because both of my neighbors built a lot of resources.

Two of my opponents across the way (Omer and Ben) were battling it out for military might (and neglecting other point cards). Omer ended victorious, which is why he scored better than Ben; on the other hand, he also didn't win. I won nearly as many military points as he did with two military power, because neither of my neighbors cared to invest in it much.

I also gained an (unfair) advantage with my wonder. The second level was "play any discarded building for free". We weren't exactly sure how to interpret that, but we took it that I could wait until the end of the game and then build any one card discarded from any age (including those discarded on the very last round of the game). The one I built was worth 12 points, far more than the value gained by any of the other players' second level wonder.


Jon 4, Nadine 3

Played as an opener ...

Jon 13, Nadine 5

... and a filler.

Carson City

Nadine 47, Jon 43, Marcus 41, Ellis 36

The opening game for us. First play for Marcus and Ellis. Ellis scored big in the first round with 13 points. Nadine scored 13 points in the second round, and I scored 13 points in the third. I had a 35 income building, a church protecting it, and the role that doubles my income for one type of buildings and lets me keep up to $60. We thought I might be winning, but I was sure it would be close. I ended up with less owned property than I usually do, and Nadine squeaked by with the win.

I won a few battles that I shouldn't have won in the second or third round. Of note was the final round. Nadine won the three gun chip away from both me and Marcus. Marcus and I then fought for a particular building, and even though he still had a 3 gun advantage, I won it. It turned out, however, that it was not the building that I had actually intended to take (the one I wanted was next to it). So I screwed over Marcus and didn't end up with the building I wanted, anyway. Then Ellis picked up the building that he had bought, and he also realized belatedly that it wasn't the one he had actually wanted.

Dominant Species

Daniel 208, Abraham 158, Laurie 146, Sara 133, Peleg --

First play for all of them. Abraham had wanted to get the game to the table for a long time. He knew it would be too long for regular game night, so Games Day was the chance to try it. It took them over 6 hours, including the rules explanation.

I didn't see what happened. Peleg quit the game after about two or three hours, as he wasn't enjoying himself (he enjoyed only the attacking part, and there wasn't enough of it to make it worth his while). In fact, Peleg's attacking Daniel apparently helped Daniel win the game, as he was forced to take a lot of tundra (?) and he won many points on it. Or something like that.

I think everyone else enjoyed it.


Jon+, Nadine

I tested this out two player on Nadine. We got through most of the deck and then Nadine resigned. I had her down to a single animal, while I had three carnivorous beasties with lots of abilities. It seemed unlikely that she was going to be able to get anything up and living any time soon, not when she drew only two cards each turn (she couldn't find a way to kill her last creature). I enjoyed the game, again, with the provision that this kind of thing doesn't happen often against prepared players.

Tigris & Euphrates

Jon 8, Daniel 6+, Nadine 6-, Laurie 5

Last game played, I taught it to Daniel and Laurie. Some very minor external conflicts arose before Daniel started a major one against me. I had seen it coming, and so I tossed out tiles in the round before, hoping to get exactly what I needed to defend against him: I had one green and one black; I tossed four tiles of blue and red; I picked two more greens and two more blacks). Now, I would have been content to have at least one of the colors defended. It turned out that I had exactly what I need in both colors using all six tiles: three green and three black tiles. Only once before in a previous game I had exactly what I needed using all six tiles (in that game it was 3 of one color, 2 of another, and 1 of a third). Daniel was rightfully discouraged - he had made the percentage play - but gamely continued to play.

I built two monuments near the end of the game; I didn't even fully utilize them, taking only a few points in one color from each of them. Surprisingly, other people barely fought me for them. I was the only one to build monuments, toss tiles, or play a disaster (one, splitting Nadine from half of her supporting tiles in a kingdom). These actions are under-utilized by my group.
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