Sunday, March 04, 2012

Shabbat Gaming

Eitan and Emily joined me for shabbat, which was nice.

Friday night I had a family over as well, and they had some sharp teenagers. It is now typical for Anglo teens to have heard of or played a few decent games - Settlers, Ticket to Ride, Tigris and Euphrates - at least in the communities I've seen. Which is odd because the games are only available in Israel in a few select places and even then only Settlers and Blokus. I know a few dozen families that can trace their game playing to me, but I don't know where the rest of them got it from.

After dinner the teens stayed to play RoboRally with us. I don't know who selected it, but we were six people and the teen boy was keen to play it. He really loved it, and he won, too. I'm still not sure how. I proceeded precisely and without interference towards my goals, while he got knocked around and fell into a pit. Only two rounds I didn't get the cards I needed and I rotated in place. But he beat me by one round.

The teen girl had a good time, but she didn't really grok the game strategy and so played (deliberately) random cards for a while. It was amusing, since these didn't do too badly for her. She says that she's better at other types of games.

Saturday I had Abraham and Sarah over for lunch as well. After lunch we played two games.

We started with Through the Desert (some of them said they might have played this once before but didn't remember it). It went well. Sarah and Emily both liked it a lot. Eitan started by cordoning off a large corner of the board without any opposition (16 hexes, plus the tiles in them). I floundered about here and there and everyone, especially Abraham and me, thought I was losing. My saving grace was that I had majorities in two colors; probably because the others forgot about the majority scoring at the end. I came in second with 58, one point behind Abraham.

Eitan then taught me, Abraham, and Sarah how to play Glen More, a game that's on my wishlist. I liked it a lot, and I hope to pick it up. It's a small box game from Alea that plays like a big box game (much like Louis XIV does). The game is build around a rondel, where every step on the rondel had a square building you can acquire, with new buildings replacing the ones taken.

Turn order is "whomever is in last position", so you can skip forward to a newly revealed building if you really want it, but you sacrifice some of your turns to do so. To balance this, you also lose three points for every building you acquire, so every building you take has to net you (on average) three points or more.

The buildings either give you cubes in any one of five colors, let you trade cubes for points or a commodity, give you cards, or give you workers and let you move your workers around. You can only place new buildings near your workers, so you have to keep moving the workers to the edge tiles; you can also move workers off the board. Every time you place a building, you activate the building and each other building touching it (in 8 directions). There are three scoring events, and each gives points based on the number of commodities, cards, and off-the-board workers that you have. Your score is based on the difference between how many of something you have versus the player who has the least of that something.

I concentrated on workers. Eitan got some great interim scoring going, repeatedly placing buildings to net him cubes and them convert them to victory points, so I thought I was losing badly. I ended up snagging a special scoring tile that doubled my points from workers off the board, however, so I made some back. In the end, I came in second place again, two points behind Emily. Abraham tried to take a minimal amount of tiles to avoid the -3/tile effect, but he didn't gain enough points to make that worthwihle.

An interesting game.


Emily said...

Not that it matters but actually Eitan and I won RoboRally (more Eitan than me although I did plan out our last move...). Also, we had a wonderful Shabbat with you!

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Oh. Sorry.


The Reish Galuta of the Geula said...

I believe that castle doubles the count of your chiefs, not the points you score from them. (And it only doubles the meeples, not the Tam O' Shanters)

The Reish Galuta of the Geula said...

I believe that castle doubles the count of your chiefs, not the points you score from them. (And it only doubles the meeples, not the Tam O' Shanters)

Yehuda Berlinger said...

That's what I originally thought, but it's not what the card actually says. I will have to look it up.

jmeter said...

Wow, this post brought memories of Saturdays spent playing board and card games with my cousins at grandma's house (while grandpa is yelling at us to keep quiet). Oh, the nostalgia.