GCL Gelato 132: To Dream the Impossible Dream
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ABOUT GCL Microbadge: GameChat League - Gelato Division: "Discover your favorite flavour!" GELATO DIVISION Microbadge: GameChat League - Gelato Division: "Discover your favorite flavour!" SUBSCRIPTION THREAD

What is a Geek Chat League?

A Geek Chat League is a weekly discussion-group format for people who love gaming and enjoy talking about games. It is intended to foster depth and familiarity, producing engaging content and worthwhile interaction. Members get to know one another, establish shared interests, and generally develop a friendly and productive environment.

Of necessity, each division of GCL is kept relatively small (typically between 12-16 members, though individual divisions may incline one way or the other). A tight-knit discussion group tends to function more smoothly than a free-for-all. It allows individuals to be heard and understood, and for each participant to keep up and enjoy multiple topics as the week progresses. The format is geeklist-based, and lists are not published to the BGG front page.

Policy: If you're a lurker or have otherwise discovered GCL Gelato, feel free to read along with us and see what the members have to say on everything under the sun. If you have a constructive comment or something else you think would add to the discussion, consider posting it — if it's helpful, respectful, and polite to the discussion group as a whole, as well as to its individual members.

Our Don Quixote de La Mancha:

Microbadge: Don Quixote fan leroy43 (Roger)

His Sancho Panzas:

Microbadge: Don Quixote fan ad79 (Stig)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan alex352 (Alex)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan Capt_S (Jon)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan cmontgo2 (Chris)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan Cole Wehrle (Cole)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan cscottk (skippen)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan eapeas (Edward & Amanda)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan Farsol (Patrick)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan leroy43 (Roger)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan Jacovis (Jacob)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan E lil red head (Nikki)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan oeolycus (Dan)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan PzVIE (Ron)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan Sluggonics (Kyle)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan tommynomad (T. Nomad)
Microbadge: Don Quixote fan wifwendell (Wendell)

E up next

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1. Board Game: Don Quixote [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:5115]
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To Dream the Impossible Dream

I am a big fan of musicals, and Man of La Mancha has always been one of my favorites. There are a lot of ways to take the storyline and songs, but one thing that I've always taken from it is that it is okay to believe that some things are unattainable, so long as you don't start believing that the quest to obtain them is not still important.

For example, I believe we will see some amazing advances in space travel at some point in humanity's future. I don't think much will happen during my lifetime, but I believe that it is important to keep it on peoples' minds so that it can be completed in the future.

I will post the questions in Italics for each item below. Consider the regular font questions to be examples to trigger conversation.

What is your Impossible Dream?

Is there something that you believe will not happen in your lifetime that you feel is worth questing toward (personally or for humanity as a whole) anyway?

Is there a board game you want to add to your collection but have never been able to find?
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2. Board Game: Don Quijote de la Mancha [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Board Game: Don Quijote de la Mancha
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To Fight the Unbeatable Foe

Who is your Unbeatable Foe?

Who (or what) is your nemesis (in Board Games or otherwise)?

Is there an opponent you have tried but never succeeded at defeating at a game?
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3. Video Game: Don Quixote [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Video Game: Don Quixote
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To Run Where the Brave Dare Not Go

What is the bravest thing you have done or seen someone do?

Serious or not, gaming-related or not!

Did you go back to fight the Black Dragon after your entire party was slaughtered except for you during a D&D campaign?

Did you watch someone eat a whole pie after finishing the entire pot roast?

Did you stand in front of a row of tanks in Tiananmen Square?

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4. RPG Item: Battlemap: Windmill [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Battlemap: Windmill
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To Right the Unrightable Wrong

What is something people (gamers or otherwise) do that you constantly feel the urge to correct, but that people continue to do?

Do you feel like you have to yell at kids all the time to pull their pants up or get off your lawn?

Does jaywalking drive you crazy?

Does your friend eat Cheetos and play his/her boardgames at the same time?
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5. Board Game: Don Q. und die Vermessung von La Mancha [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Board Game: Don Q. und die Vermessung von La Mancha
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To Reach the Unreachable Star

Tying everything back to the Impossible Dream, I think that maintaining the quest for something in spite of its impossibility is actually reaching a desired goal.

This is similar logic to the (in?)famous Reiner Knizia quote:

'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.'

What is your Unreachable Star?

What is something you do just for your own reasons that others might take more seriously than you? (If it is boardgames, be specific!)

(e.g. I play Fantasy Football for the chance to have some laughs with several old friends of mine. I really don't care about American football in the least, but I play the Fantasy League anyway and have a great time and feel like I get just as much if not more out of it than those who take it very seriously)

Do you have any "Zen" hobbies or activities you do just for the chance to escape for a little while as opposed to any larger sort of purpose?
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6. Video Game: Destiny [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1034]
Video Game: Destiny
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I have not gotten any board gaming in yet this week, but I will update this thread if/when I do. I tend to run from Monday to Sunday when considering my played games (work schedule works that way might be why ) and my wife and I are planning on playing some games tomorrow since we are both off work for once.

I am at 67% of my 10x10, and I'm hoping to potentially get it done by the end of the year.

I have 3 more games of Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Original Series as my closest game to close out, so we will probably do that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have been playing Destiny on the PS3 the past few weeks when I've had time. I'm not a hardcore video gamer any more, and I'm not usually a fan of first person shooters, but I have been really enjoying this one. All of my friends have upgraded their systems already unfortunately, so I haven't done any of the end-game stuff yet, but it's fun nonetheless.

Friday I got to take my son to his Fall Festival at his school. It was a lot of fun, and they had a haunted house, obstacle courses, and lots of Halloween-themed carnival/midway style games for the kids to play, so that was really a great evening.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Edit: My wife and I got in three games today just under the wire:

1 x Twilight Struggle. I was USSR this time. This was her best game yet, and she held me off until the ninth turn when I got a string of victory point gains to push me to 20.

2 x Manoeuvre. I still really love this game. I played the Russians versus her Ottomans the first game and went straight for her cavalry to nip that advantage in the bud. I won an attrition victory at 5 to her 3 units defeated.

The second game was her Spanish versus my Prussians. I won again with a 5-3 attrition victory, but it was much closer this time, as she was about to run her deck out and trigger game end when I finally nailed down the fifth unit.

Both of these were part of my 10x10 challenge, and they brought me up to 70%! I might make it after all.
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7. Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:552]
Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game
Chris Montgomery
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Joliet
Illinois
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Weekend Round-Up

This past week, these games were played face-to-face:
Bang! The Dice Game x 1
Zombie Dice x 1

This past week, these games started:
None.

This past week (through date of posting), these games continued:
Song of Ice and Fire RPG v. 4-Player
Burnside Takes Command, Scenario 2 v. Carsten (100-Game-Play Challenge!)
Space Empires 4X v. 4-Player (GCL Gelato!)
Stonewall Jackson's Way II, Scenario 6 v. Patrick (Advanced Game!)
1830: Railways and Robber Barons (GCL Gelato!)
Lincoln's War Tournament Scenario v. Brian Marrs (bartbert)
Pax Porfiriana v. 5-Player (GCL Gelato!)


This past week, these games concluded:
None.

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:
None.

This week, these games are on my radar:
Star Wars: Armada
BL2E: Hernfar Guardians
BL2E: Warband of Skorne
Greenland
Pax Pamir (GCL Gelato!)

This past week, these interesting things happened in my games and my life:

1 ---> 100-Game Play Challenge. My PBEM games of GCACW have slowed to a crawl due to my busy life. My apologies to those fellow Gelati who have been shunted off into a siding waiting for my turns to be filed. I hope to get back on track on this week, but things are not looking good.

2 ---> Solitaire Gaming / Miniatures Painting. The following painting projects are coming along:

(a) Sails of Glory. Status: Half the ships have all the masts painted and are ready for ratlines. The other half have the uprights painted, but I still have to paint the cross-beams. This week, the goal is to finish the painting, and start (complete?) the ratlines. After that, I'll just have rigging, and flags. I think the rigging is going to take the most time, so I will be exploring "quick and dirty" tricks to get that accomplished faster. One trick which I think I might use is using paint-brush bristles for the rigging. I also intend to parse-down the amount of it to help the project go faster.

(b) Crossfire Miniatures Painting. Status: No Progress this Week - and likely nothing until after BGG Con.

3 ---> Family. Well, my busy life . . . it seems that every second of my week tends to be scheduled, including sleep. Just as I finish a legal case and think that some free-time might open up, I get another call (or two) from another client who needs more legal work. Normally, I would turn down the work in order to have free time, but since the wife and I started saving for a (different) house two years ago, I have been loathe to turn down work because it's another few pennies in the piggy bank. This past two weeks I completed a real estate closing in 14 days (they usually take 45 days), and it compressed everything into a flurry of anxiety-driven activity as I worked at the fire station, watched the kids, answered the phone while changing diapers, and generally had an all-around insane time. I was able to surf BGG, but didn't really have the time to spend on my PBEM games because I didn't want to have to *think* . . . I LOVE games that make me think, but after thinking all day, it's just not relaxing, so I had to take a break from it. This is also coupled with the self-imposed necessity to get the Sails of Glory ships done (why do I do this to myself?). So in the hour or two each day I had to myself, I watched TV, painted ships, and surfed the web. I tend to have a lot more free time at work, but of course, I'm at work . . . so I usually can't do anything until later in the day.

4 ---> BGG Con 2014. Everything is coming together for the Con, and I. Can't. Wait. My awesome wife knows it's my favorite time of the year (you can keep Christmas, Santa!), and she does everything she can to accommodate me. As you all can probably see from my weekly posts, I don't get to game very much, other than PBEM. And PBEM, while giving you some time to consider your move and look up rules, it is really not my preferred way to play *board* games. I want people. Interaction. And a faster resolution than 2-9 months. I enjoy my PBEM games, but I wouldn't do it at all if I had the time and face-to-face opponents to play.

5 ---> Bang! The Dice Game. Played this for the first time this past Friday. It's a fun little game . . . someone's review of it was "80% of the fun of the card game in 20% of the time." After a single play, I would tend to agree. The game plays fast, and it's usually over in 15 minutes. Ours was over in 20 minutes, but that included game explanation. It's a great little filler game.

6 ---> On-Going PBEM Game Notes. 18XX has been a wild ride. I really do feel like a guppie in a shark tank. I'll eventually get better, but the number of things to think about in 18xx is really staggering. In our current game, Cole pulled some fancy footwork to deprive me of the B&O private's income, then drive my net worth to about half of what I started with. He's also excellently manipulated the stock market, and I find myself holding an acceptable company, but really sucking the hind tit when it comes to generating revenue. I like Ron's style in this game . . . as Cole and I trashed company after company (including Ron's) into the dust, Ron quietly bought up all the shares and put together a monster of an income-generating machine. Dan also suffered in the Great Stock Sale of SR3, but he is nothing if not resilient - his net worth is on the rebound, but Ron has rocketed past the three of us into the stratosphere, which huge % gains on this stocks, while also generating large amounts of income. This play has been really interesting and very instructive on the different strategies you can pursue when a few players decide that they want to throw sh*t at the fan. Lincoln's War has not impressed me thus far. It has novel mechanics, but I am sure they are mechanics for me. I am certainly going to finish my current game, and play a game at BGG Con, as well, with , but it has really got me to thinking about my tolerance for abstract mechanics in wargames . . .

Edits: None.
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8. Board Game: Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1 [Average Rating:8.21 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.21 Unranked]
Board Game: Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Weekend Round-Up

This past week, these games were played solitaire:
Memoir '44: Tigers in the Snow x5 Played the "Villers-Bocage" standard scenario from this expansion 5 times after I got home from watching Fury. The movie had a very cool Sherman-Tiger battle and this scenario has only Tigers on the Axis side. Five times and the scores were 6-1, 6-2, 4-3(Allied win), 6-2 and 6-1.
YatzheeSUBS x1 This is a Yathzee game with a sub theme. Still just Yathzee. It is a joke after a feloow on SGoYT said The Hunters were just YathzeeSUBS. If you are interested you can find the scoresheet here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c9mv9gwwsye8b5f/YahtzeeSubs.pdf?dl...
Reiner Knizia's Decathlonx1 Played this one and did fairly well. 264 points.

This past week, these games were played face-to-face:
None.

This past week, these games started:
Started playing the Barbarossa campaign as the Axis. We are playing all three campaign branches at once, so three sceanrios going on simultaniously. I have played this campaign this way before on vassal and it is a very cool way to play.
Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1Bug River
Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1Raseiniai
Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1Brody

This past week, these games continued:
Thunder Alley Second Gelato game. This time on Verghn's.
Cuba Libre Playing as the Syndicate against, Roger, Tommy and Scott. Gonna be interesting to see Scott and Tommy in action.
Cuba Libre Gelato game 3. Playing as 26July. As Dan is busy at work right now, this one has slowed down for the moment. Expect it to pick up again when Dan's work calms down.
Thunder Alley 7 team pbem game on Saint Adriana with some folks from the SGoYT list. Crawling along.
Space Empires: 4X Gelato pbem game. On again after Alex' trip.

This past week, these games concluded:
Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1 Dunkirk vassal pbem scenario. Finished the Fall Belb campaign. Axis lost the Dunkirk scenario but won the campaign easily.
Space Empires: 4X Had to abandon my solitaire Doomsday scenario as my Technology researched had fallen out of my production sheet. Didn't remember what I had researched so I'll just start a new one.

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:
None, but made a list of my incoming games. incoming

This past week, these interesting things happened.
Watched Fury with my wife on Friday. A very good movie, but fairly brutal at times.

Also bought "Deadpoll kills the Marvel universe" and read it. Very cool comic book. I like Deadpool. Disturbing fella.Thiking about picking up "Civil War" from the Marvel comics. Anybody have any thoughts on that?

My son(3) has started digging Captain America and got a Captain America figure on Tuesday. I also made him a cardboard shield so he is "catching thiefs" all day, every day.

Did a bikeride on my mountainbike today for the first time since dislocating my finger. 11 degrees, rain and strong winds. had an awesome time zooming through pools of water and zipping in between trees. Great fun.

Still looking forward to Ron and his thoughts on Essen.
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9. Board Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:149]
Board Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System
"L'état, c'est moi."
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Weekend Round-Up

This past week, these games were played face-to-face:
Xia: Legends of a Drift System 2 New to me!

Xia is an interesting game. It's a kickstarter game my friend Allan backed and we played it as his place on Thursday. It's got a variable VP end condition (players agree to the total before the game begins) and we played two games - an intro game to 5VP and then a second one to 10.

The game suffers from a lot of downtime between turns as the active player does everything they need/want to on their turn and then it passes on to the next player.

The bits are GORGEOUS. The game is only ok, but entertaining enough. My Thursday crew are Firefly fans and said it feels like the show. I haven't watched enough Firefly yet to make that assertion, but I'll take their word for it.

This past week, these games started:
None.

This past week (through date of posting), these games continued:
Pax Porfiriana (Gelato)
Conquest of Paradise
Cuba Libre (3x)
A Distant Plain (stalled)
Thunder Alley (x2)
1989 (almost over)
Twilight Struggle (ACTS - my opponent has stalled)
Unhappy King Charles! (Jon - on hold)
Greenland (Phil's new game)

This past week, these games concluded:
None.

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:
None.

This week, these games are on my radar:
Pax Pamir
Wir Sind das Volk!

I have the Pamir files from Cole. WSdV! is on its way to me.

This past week, these interesting things happened in my games and my life:

1. I've blatantly copies Chris' formatting this week.

2. I had my all candidates meeting on Wednesday and it went well enough. There were originally five candidates, one dropped out officially, one didn't turn up, and of the the other three (including me), I think it's going to come down to me and one other person. The third candidate is a lovely person, but I don't think will be getting many votes.

3. I've had more than my usual pace of reviews out recently, including this one which is not getting a lot of attention because it's filed under Misc Gaming Magazine - [Roger's Reviews] VaeVictis: The best wargame hobby magazine. It's at risk of being my lone review to garner less than 10 thumbs... shake

4. My father in law is in town until Wednesday. Great time is being had by all.

5. BottosCon is coming up soon - Nov 7-9. I need to get a hurry on my games to be brought and sold there.

6. I am struggling to find a box for Dinosaur Chess that's long enough. But it will get shipped soon, oh yes precious.

7. My daughter's going as Ginny Greenteeth for Halloween, inspired by her appearance in Terry Prachett's Wee Free Men.
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10. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:295]
Board Game: For Sale
Games this Week

Mid-term exams meant my Gents' Club, which had previously been relegated to late Saturday café gaming, was able to meet twice! On Thursday morning, we gathered for an 8 a.m. start and put in a leisurely game of Power Grid. I say leisurely because one round in we were already diverging into conversation about infant vaccination. In the end (3 hours later) a 17-17 draw was broken by one player finishing with $4 more than the rookie everyone had overlooked.

On Saturday we met at 8:30 p.m. Fortunately, one of our membership had a wife out of town, so instead of the usual setting of a corner café, some of us were able to enjoy a drink/cigarette or ten. We were also less volume-and-profanity restricted, which is most agreeable (to us, anyway). The game of the night was Pillars, and with 5P around the table the expansion set finally got its full use. I came in 3rd, in this my 10th(or so) play. I now have 1x tied for first (lost on tiebreaker), 2x second, a third and a handful of dead lasts. And I have no idea what I (or the other players) did differently to affect those outcomes. Too 'busy', Pillars reminds me a bit of RftG in that respect. As attractive as the game is, I just don't enjoy it. Call it too much luck, or lack of crunch, or something else. It's just not for me. The expansion definitely improves the game, though.

Around 2 a.m. we followed it up with a couple rounds of For Sale. It has been my go-to palate cleanser game for years, but with this clever group I wanted to try something different, so after a vanilla round I suggested we try the older (and to my mind more advanced) rules. Even I was a rookie, having only read about the older rules. The result? What had been a great game became simply stupendous. If you love this game as I do, please go play it with these rules, which basically allow players to "call" bids instead of having to "raise" all the time. I've often called For Sale the game with the best decisions:minute ratio. The change made those decisions much more interesting. In the first game I managed to beat our host, but only by virtue of having the most cash in hand after a tied score. In the second he proved his business acumen: he not only won the game, but did so with BOTH blank cheques, as well as having lost the sale in which he used his #29 card. I'd never seen that before.

PBEM
Roger has managed to get to 19 points in our game of 1989. Wendell and I are enjoying making plenty of administrative mistakes in my other game.

I have no idea what I'm doing in our game of Cuba Libre. Fortunately the Pact of Caracas has significantly limited my options therein.

I now have 2 colleagues with accounts at Boar Game Arena. Free time be damned.

No solo gaming this week,but it's time to get Cuba Libre off my solo
table. I have to make room for...

Acquisitions
...Pax Pamir, which I'm helping to playtest--presumably as the token Pax neophyte, never having played Porfiriana. The cards are printed and laminated, and after this post I'm gonna go cut them. This also means that another new arrival is going to have to wait:

From gallery of tommynomad


So be it.
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11. Board Game: ESSEN [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:14285]
Board Game: ESSEN
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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I haven’t reported in last week, but really a lot happened, so this week’s entry is a little longer.

Essen 2014 cool

Essen-time again. I really wasn’t that eager to go there. It’s the same every year. I pay hundreds of Euros for transportation, hotel, entrance and catering, just to get a few promos that are otherwise hard to obtain. 1000 kilometers to go there (boring) and 1000 back (even more boring). Well, but I say this for years.

However, we departed Wednesday morning and arrived in the early afternoon. This year’s hotel was ok, about 2 kilometers from the show. Since they moved to halls 1, 2 and 3, for reasons I can’t explain Essen is no longer the same that it was. It seems bigger, louder and even more commercial.

I usually divide my Essen visits into two eras: the Age of Buying, where I run from booth to booth and buy all the things I marked “absolutely necessary” from W Eric Martin’s Geeklist, and the Age of Strolling, when I just stroll through the halls, chat a little here and there, and eventually even try out a game or two. This year, I had a shorter Buying Age and was already finished at Thursday, 3 PM. From then on, we just walked and browsed the sheer unmanageable number of games that come out each year. Since nowadays anyone can send a PDF to China and get his cards, dice and boxes back to assemble it into a game, the number of small publishers and designers have increased … incredibly increased! It’s nearly impossible to check all interesting things out, as I would need all four days to do so and even then, I’d have only scratched a little on the surface.

I made a Geeklist containing all the games I bought: Essen 2014 - I really restrained myself .... Nearly all of them are from publishers that are hard to get locally; some of them are games I absolutely wanted to have now! Nations: The Dice Game was such a game, as I was a playtester and I really wanted to see the finished product. As I don’t care much for localized versions of games (translation errors, stupid sounding card names, the uncertainty if an eventual expansion will also be localized, etc.), I also see Essen as an opportunity to get me the English versions of games for a cheaper prize.

They even had a few pre-production copies of Star Wars: Imperial Assault at the Heidelberger booth and sold it for 100 Euros, but I was a little too late … nevertheless, the crew there ran a demo game which I watched for a while and I’m sure, this will be my game of the year for 2015!!!

The second hand marked seemed to have stabilized a little, meaning contrary to the trend in the last years, the number of merchants seemed to be the same as last year. However, I found not a single game there that awoke my interest. And they weren’t cheap either! I blame eBay!

Apart from having 20 or so games explained to me, I actually played three games there: Spexxx, which I immediately bought (and after playing it a couple of times with Andrea, I wrote a small review: Spexxx, Schmexxx – or „Yahtzee meets 4-in-a-row“, Escape: Zombie City – an uncontrollable and IMHO stupid hectic dice game, and Planes, a simple variation of Kalah disguised with a topic.

One of the most important things to do for me in Essen is the daily visit of the Croatian Istra Steak House. I love that restaurant – their steaks, their original Budweiser and their Slivovitz. We went there every night, as we both enjoy it so much.

The trip home was boring as usual, but we made it in 8 hours and Andrea was slightly surprised that I didn’t buy more – usually I come with two or three full IKEA bags. Only one this year? What a nice surprise ...

I’m still undecided if I will go there again next year …

Games Played meeple

Well, we immediately tried out Nations: The Dice Game, as we both wanted to see how the finished product differs from our playtest version. Beautiful! I love these special dice. And I still love the game play of this one: civilization building in 10 minutes (per player). We also played Spexxx, Monsters & Maidens, Dragon Slayer and Love Letter (which does not really work well with only 2 players as we found out).

On Saturday we two sat down and finally played a game of Eldritch Horror. After studying the rules for half an hour, we started and were both totally overwhelmed – the game, the theme, the story it tells, the graphics, and the excitement! What a great game! I have never played Arkham Horror, so this was a completely new experience! We won our first game, and immediately played a second one, and a third one – we lost both. On Sunday, we started again and played two more games, this time with the Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore expansion, but also lost both games!
But we will come back and free the Earth of Cthulhu and his minions! Promised devil

Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game
Board Game: Spexxx
Board Game: Monsters & Maidens
Board Game: Dragon Slayer
Board Game: Love Letter
Board Game: Eldritch Horror


Game Group soblue

For some time, it was already written in the stars. My current main game group and I, we drifted apart. They prefer those boring Feld-Salad heavy Euro games, where everyone stares at the game board and no fun can be found for hours, while I always tried to bring more slaying and mayhem on the table. It finally resulted in the fact that I was more or less fired. Although they covered it in sweet words, it was clear, that this group will do better without me. Believe me, it came as a shock and being rejected is a little hard to digest, after so many years. But looking back, it is true: they have more fun without me, and I had no fun playing these heavy Euros. So time to look forward and find another game group. Still, I’m sad about that.

Health gulp

On Monday after Essen, I had an appointment with my dentist in Hungary. Last year, I suffered from a heavy infection with the result that many of my teeth started to jiggle a little, and when this happens, it’s a matter of time until another infection sets in and the tooth must be pulled. Well, I also had many problems and toothaches in the last months, so I decided to get rid of that problem for once and all and had all my upper teeth pulled to get implants. Well, I now have a temporary solution until I’m fully healed (which will need two more months) and then I get the implants, have to wait three more months and then I will finally have my new teeth. Until then: patience is in order … the first days of the last week I only ate soups and yoghurts … I’m already on dumplings and potatoes by now and will (hopefully) eat normally the next weekend. However, this is a costly thing and will eat up a good part of our savings account.
But on the plus side, I already lost a few kilos! meeple

I hope you all had a great week! meeple
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12. Board Game: Pax Pamir [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:1351]
Board Game: Pax Pamir
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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What a wild ride of a week!

x11 (!) Pax Pamir
x3 The Climbers (New to me!)
x2 Greenland
x1 Bootleggers

When last week began, I was looking at a prospectus exam that would have happened in a couple of days. My schedule was tight and orderly. But, soon folks schedules shifted around without warning and suddenly I was corralling cats and doing my best to make sure the exam didn't get pushed back a month. Added to this, I was scrambling to finish a couple of big fellowship applications.

This scramble actually left me with a weird bit of extra time since most of the day I was just waiting for my faculty advisers to answer emails so I could make my next move. I couldn't work on the prospectus because, well, my timeline was totally up in the air, so I found something else to do...

Pax Pamir has been close for awhile, but the extra time each day gave me a chance to put it in intensive testing. My brother and my wife were both home most of the day, so I would get back from campus around lunchtime and we would spend the afternoon on Pamir. I also had time to polish up the rules and get all of the other playtest material together. I tossed it to Phil on Wednesday or Thursday and he gave me the greenlight to open up playtesting.

This made me very excited, but also a little nervous and I dealt with my nervousness by scheduling even MORE playtesting this weekend, including a semi-blind session on Saturday and a session with a few gamers who hadn't played the game since February on Sunday. All of the tests went well and they helped me clarify some rules and further work on the card design.

It may seem to some of you folks in the playtest that I have been spaming you with emails and updating the rules. I'm actually pretty happy with the game's overall stability thus far. There has basically only been 1 rule change (The addition of the Sacrifice Bonus action) in about 10 plays.

The next draft of the deck, which I'll be putting together sometime this week, will have a few more card descriptions, a new connection icon, and lots of little balances and whatnot (I'm also going to get rid of the multi-location cards). BUT the changes are minimal enough that, with a sharpie in hand, folks could easily update their deck or just play with the old deck.

So, thanks to everyone for their interest. The game's various levels of information can be a little overwhelming but after a play or two I've found that players get used to it and really find themselves immersed in the theme. I'm really excited to hear what y'all think!

One side benefit of the play testing that I had not anticipated has been the number of BBG users who have had historical input. It's be a lot of fun answering these emails and really helped me understand what I want to use my designer notes for. Here's a list of forthcoming subjects which I want to write about:
1. What's in a name? Why I named the game after an obscure mountain range on the edge of the game's area of play.
2. Picture This. Visualizing the information networks in Pax Pamir
3. The Russian foe? Understanding Britain's policy in the early 19th century.
4. Fools and Patriots. Local political awareness in the game.

So, if I get a little time this week, you may see those pieces start cropping up here on BGG.

In addition to the spree of Pax Pamir plays, I also played a delightful game of Bootleggers on Sunday, a couple of rounds of Greenland with Cati and my brother during the week after Owen went to sleep and a few rounds of the Climbers during breakfast. So many games!

The week ahead looks much better than the week behind it. I have a big graphic design contract which is almost done. Then I'll be polishing my prospectus and doing last minute review work. The date has been set. I should be taking the exam, on the 4th of November, election day.
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13. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:695] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Thunder Alley
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Thunder Alley was the most-played game of the week. In addition to the PBF/Vassal game, I hosted and taught two TA games at the First Minnesota's GMT/Mayfair Game Day on Saturday. Six newbies spread out over two five-player back to back games (plus one other experienced player per game, and me in both games). All six really liked it, and I hope we will see some of them at our regular Friday night gaming sessions.

On Friday, Jason and I fired up the 1943 scenario of Empire of the Sun, a game which has grabbed me since I played it a week ago Friday. I ALSO solo'd the '43 scenario, and am about 3/4 of the way thru the campaign game. What an utterly outstanding game.

Other action: World in Flames resumed as my Germans and Japanese try to hold in in Jan/Feb 1945. More next week.

PBEM games continue for 1989: Dawn of Freedom (Tommy's pro-democracy forces are winning), Pax Porfiriana (early days, we already had a depression), Cuba Libre (I'm the government and I am almost bankrupt), and A Distant Plain (nearing the end, my Coalition isn't very close to what it needs to win...).
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14. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:695] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Thunder Alley
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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skippen's Week(s) that Was/Were:


Face 2 Face Games:
Port Royal -- fun, trick-taking game that I played years ago, and I was glad to play again. Not as good as the first time, but still good.
Notre Dame -- hadn't played this since it came out. Good game, and I should play more.
Operation F.A.U.S.T. -- like the theme, and production of the prototype, but the game is not good. It is Coup, but not as good.
Tiny Epic Kingdoms -- it is ok, but I don't need to play again. At least I got to play a dwarf.
Sentinel Tactics: The Flame of Freedom -- good fun. Works quite well, and a nice, fast SOTM mini game.
Istanbul -- a nice, medium-weight game. A favorite of 2014.
Thunder Alley -- not at all what I thought it would be. A thinking man's race game. Quite fun, and in a 6-player game, I managed to get my cars to finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
Among the Stars -- always like this one.
Witch's Brew -- not bad.
Alea Iacta Est --- fun dice game with one of the worst rulebooks of all time.
Sushi Go! -- I really like this quick, light, drafter.
Evolution -- ok, but I will need to play again to form a decent opinion.
Machi Koro -- I really don't understand the hype this one gets. It is pretty boring I think.
Pandemic -- played at 1:45 AM, and we still managed to win at the hard difficulty.

PBEM/Web (started):
The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Battle for France, 1940 -- need to do my seutp.
Advanced Squad Leader x2 -- both games waiting on me to pick a scenario.


PBEM (in progress):

Roads to Gettysburg
Pax Porfiriana
The Castles of Burgundy
Brass: Lancashire

PBEM (finished):
The Castles of Burgundy
Twin Tin Bots


Acquisitions/Departures from the Collection:


In the life and Times of skippen:
Nothing too much. This past Saturday, I participated in Extra Life, and we managed to raise a good amount of money for Children's Hospital of Colorado. I am gamed from 10AM to 2:00 AM. I am a bachelor this week as my wife is in New Orleans, so I expect some good gaming time.
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15. Board Game: Dust [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2656]
Board Game: Dust
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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November "Out of the dust" challenge

We are nearing the end of the year and there are too many gems sitting unplayed in the cabinet/closet/cupboard/garage/etc.

So during November your challenge is to play a previously played game you haven't played in 2014.

Bring out the hidden gems, find your forgotten treasure.


I'm planning on bringing out No Retreat! The Russian Front at least.
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