GCL Gelato 191 - The Bottom of the Barrel
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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.

This week:
The Bottom of the Barrel


We often focus on the positive here. Well, let that stop. I have once again trolled your profiles for information. This time, I looked at your bottom-rated games. Why did you dislike them so much? Do you recall? Why did you play them? Was Christmas involved in obtaining some of these games? A white-elephant perhaps?




And because of all the negative, a video above that just makes me smile for the clips.


Barrel Man:

leroy 43 (Roger)

Barrel Monkeys:

ad79 (Stig)
alex352 (Alex)
Bacchus (Kevin)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
cscottk (Scott)
cubbieblue (Steven) ***
eapeas (Edward & Amanda)
Farsol (Patrick)
Hanibalicious (Sonderegger)
Jacovis (Jacob)
jtakagi (Jonathan)
Lil Red Head (Nikki)
Neil Thomson (Neil)
oeolycus (Dan)
PzVIE (Ron)
tommynomad (T. Nomad)
wifwendell (Wendell)


*** = Next Week
Next up Steven!
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15. Board Game: Potions [Average Rating:4.41 Overall Rank:18553]
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17. Board Game: Cranium [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:7765]
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18. Board Game: A Question of Scruples [Average Rating:4.64 Overall Rank:19470]
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19. Board Game: Star Wars: Escape From Death Star Game [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:19400]
Board Game: Star Wars:  Escape From Death Star Game
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And, lastly, do you have your tickets?
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20. Board Game: Hapsburg Eclipse [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:3712] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
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I had several plays of Hapsburg Eclipse this week, winning a couple. I quite like it; only my second State of Siege game (Soviet Dawn the other).

Other plays, all by Vassal, include: 1989, Victory Roads (live with Vassal), Cuba Libre (J26 is up for the last play before final propaganda), Churchill x3. And I've just started a PBEM playtest of Cataclysm, and set up The US Civil War's 1863 scenario on my solo table.

Oh, and zero plays of Scruples.
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21. Board Game: 1856: Railroading in Upper Canada from 1856 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:1102]
Board Game: 1856: Railroading in Upper Canada from 1856
Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Howdy Gelati!

I didn't get a lot of gaming in this last week, but I had some fun nonetheless with some train goodness.

Besides the just getting started game of 1856, I played the following:

Board Game: Railways of the World
Board Game: 1853


 N/A   Railways of the World NEW!
 N/A   1853 NEW!

I really enjoyed the concept of 1853, and I'm looking forward to more time with it. I think I'm going to try it with two just to teach my wife, which because of the rather subdued stock market will be manageable I think.

1856 is interesting as well, and I am curious to see how things develop. I'm really looking forward to dumping some mismanaged companies onto some others running the best darn railroads ever run in Canada! ninja

Railways of the World is a neat, fun little step into more interesting railroad games. I am looking forward to more plays of that as light fillers with my wife. She liked it quite a bit, and that is always good because that means she will suggest it sometimes when I ask what she wants to play!

Other than that, no acquisitions as such this week!

I did get to see the Nevada Conservatory Theater's annual production of A Christmas Carol at UNLV, which was really good this year. They went with the more traditional approach, following the novel more closely, and I think it worked out rather well.

I was also very surprised to find out who was playing Scrooge!

He is, of course, the gentleman on the right:

From gallery of Jacovis


For those who may not recognize him, that is Armin Shimerman, who played Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as well as several other characters over the years on various popular TV shows.

He was very gracious, and thanked me for bringing my son to see live theater, and before I could even ask he gave me permission to get a photograph, then made sure they took another one just to make sure it came out!

I don't usually get star struck, because I just don't care for celebrity status, but I'm a pretty big Star Trek fan (not to mention Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day) so this was pretty exciting, moreso because I didn't know he was in the play when I bought my tickets.

Overall, a very cool experience. This is the third time we have gone to this production, and they of course have different cast every year.

I also watched Ant Man for the first time tonight. I was impressed. It was funny, but not too over the top, well done, and (spoiler below)

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The foreshadowing with the tank on the keychain was perfect. The whole movie I was like "That had better be a real tank...." So awesome!


Very good times.

Next week we are visiting family in Idaho for the Christmas holiday, and that will be the first time I have been home for Christmas in fifteen years, so I'm looking forward to that. There will, unfortunately, be members of the family not present, but we will have most of us there. My wife is humoring me, and I am looking forward to showing her and my son what it's like to play in the snow during Christmas time!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
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22. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:454]
Board Game: Pax Porfiriana
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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x1 Pax Porfiriana
x1 Pax Pamir
x1 Duel of Ages
x1 Schrille Stille
x1 Cthulhu Wars

It's been an odd week. I just got a moment at the computer now. I spent a lot of time pushing hard on my writing with some success, but I have many more late campus nights in my future. There were also some unexpected personal things that came up and made the past couple days trying. Everything's fine; it'll just take some time to get back to normal.

So board game projects and bgg slid into the background. I'm once again holding up our Cuba Libre game. I will promise to attending to that when I'm a little more lucid tomorrow. Sorry.

Somehow, despite the chaos, I managed to play a bunch of interesting stuff this week. In order of play:

Cati and I played a game of Duel of Ages. It was fab as always. I'm closing in on having seen every character in play.

I got a few players together to work on a Pax Pamir project. It went well. More on that in a week or two.

I stumbled into a game of Cthulhu Wars. I was not interested in playing but wanted to be polite. CW is not the kind of game I usually like. Esp after Blood Rage last week, I couldn't help but think that big minis are the deck-building of ameritrash. What started as novelty is now a fixture of every design. YET, I found the game rather breathtaking. I am surprised at myself and a little confused.

Lastly I went to a game night up in the burbs on Saturday. Despite wrestling with some tricky family stuff, I had a good time and folks let me leave the table to take a couple calls. We first played Schrille Stille, a zany german game, where I used my yomi skills to dominate the table. We followed this with a game of Pax Porfiriana. I've played dozens of games of Pax, but this was one of my favorites. I had 3 new players and 1 player with a little experience at the table, and we played a slow learning game that reminded me of all of the reasons Porfiriana is brilliant. I was ready to play a second round but it was getting late.

The week ahead:
Secrets, secrets, secrets.
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23. Board Game: Möbelrücken, oder: Wie kommt denn der Toaster ins Schlafzimmer? [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Möbelrücken, oder: Wie kommt denn der Toaster ins Schlafzimmer?
Board Game: Dungeon Busters
Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Board Game: Fairy Tale


 5   Dungeon Busters
 7   Battlestar Galactica
 5   Fairy Tale

In which we continue our weeks of dungeon-busting-fun. Kidnomad and I also blew the dust off Fairy Tale, and played more or less a real game (except I let him choose any card he wanted pre-draft). In the end he beat me 44-26, but I was more focused on ensuring he got good combinations for scoring (he's on an arithmetic kick) than on winning myself. As a result I just fed him cards. His brother the Tot broke out Escape from Atlantis, but as I wasn't involved in his nom-nomming ways, I didn't record the play. He also solo'd our For Sale variant, in which he flipped cards and called out the animals depicted as quickly as possible.

The last Gents' Club of 2015 tabled Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. Fitting the spirit of this week's list, I had given it a  4  based on my previous play, which was tedious and long. But this night we were moving along at a nice clip, and the fate of humanity came down to the very last card. Our President had done a masterful job at hiding his traitorous identity until it was no longer beneficial to his...race. Thrilling dice-chucking (we missed the centurions on 7 of 8 consecutive rolls to lose) fun, I bumped my rating of it up 3 points--something I don't think I've ever done before.

PBEM games continue, with the final Prop card in Cuba Libre on the board. I am very keen for the post-game discussion of this one, as I still feel very much like the newb at the virtual table. It's the summer of 1989 for Roger/Wendell and I. Roger's latest email has me not wanting to open the VLOG file.

The office is buzzing with the end of the semester and Star Wars (which plays here 16 hours before the US/Canada). I'm happy to report that an hour from now all of my teaching duties for the year (including grading) will be done. Shenomad and I are also looking into getting a projector for our workouts/movies/pornography watching. We acquired a really nice (Bose) bluetooth speaker this summer, but we're only using it for music so far. Getting the projector will mean I'll happily wait until the DVD releases of Spectre and Force Awakens, and watch them cuddled on the sofa.
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24. Board Game: Burgen Land [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:6948]
Board Game: Burgen Land
Jonathan Takagi
United States
Escondido
California
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A light week, I hope to have more to report next week!

Board Game: Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition
Board Game: Pax Porfiriana
Board Game: Nertz
Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel
Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game
Board Game: Burgen Land


 9   Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition x3

 N/A   Pax Porfiriana NEW! - I have owned this for a long time, but every time I look at the rulebook I lose all desire to play. So I was fortunate to have a friend teach us this week. It definitely took a while to click, but I am looking forward to giving this another try.

 10   Nertz x2 - Back to back wins that were extremely satisfying. Usually on game night, this is the only win that matters to me.

 N/A   7 Wonders: Duel - Even though all the points are visible on the table, it is often difficult to tell who is ahead just by glancing at the cards.

 N/A   StarCraft: The Board Game NEW! - Absolutely not my kind of game, but we are trying something a little new in our game group, so I was happy to try it. Not knowing anything about the video game, the theme means nothing to me. But it wasn't an unfun experience.

 N/A   Burgen Land - Had a great time with this one, definitely one of those little gems that faded from BGG memory rather quickly.
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25. RPG Item: We Be Goblins Too! [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:2033]
RPG Item: We Be Goblins Too!
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Gaming Life

 9   Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game x5
 10   Advanced Squad Leader
 7   We Be Goblins Too! NEW!
 6   Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
 7   Star Traders
 9   Alien Frontiers
 10   Eldritch Horror

Tuesday was a national holiday here in Austria and Andrea and I decided to play a scenario of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game (or probably even two scenarios) and then go out for some food and spend a nice evening with the stereo and a bottle of fine wine. But that game captivated us - we played the whole 5-scenario campaign (6 hours); we even forgot about eating. We won scenario 1, lost 2, won 3, lost 4 but managed to win scenario 5 and thus the whole campaign. Wow, epic! I love it!!! Not sure if this or Dark Moon will be my personal game of the year; one of the two surely is! I was so excited that I immediately sat down and wrote a review of the game ... “For Sigmar!!!” the priest cries while transforming that Goblin into green goo with his warhammer …

Another Advanced Squad Leader scenario on Thursday, this time a small skirmish in the Normandy - Yankees attacking a retreating German force. The Jerries never stood a chance, as superior fire power (or was it die rolling?) of the US boys killed most of them.

Friday was RPG night, but as Andrea was invited to a Christmas party by her company, our GM decided to go for a one-shot adventure - We Be Goblins Too!. In this funny little story, we, the players, were all Goblins from the Birdcruncher tribe on a quest to shoot some trouble for the Birdcrunchers that involved an Ogre and his wife, as well as some nasty monsters. The whole affair ended with one dead Goblin (of course, me!) and the others returning victorious back to the tribe. Of course they were celebrated as heroes while my dead little Goblin body was left rotting on the battlefield. We really had a so much fun with this one; playing a Goblin means you can totally let out the infant in you (which is an easy task for me)!

On Saturday I dug out that old Star Traders game and to my total surprise, it was a blast! We played the advanced game where you need a couple of Imperial stations and it was a game with many laughs, much backstabbing, fierce attacks and broken promises; although my faithful wife played totally nice (never used her nasty cards, never took someone's freight and always provided her codes for the others to hyperjump freely) and won in the end. Our friends where so enthusiastic about the game that they immediately ordered a used copy from a German guy here on the market place.

After that we had a game of Alien Frontiers using all available expansions and the "long game" rules (all eight colonies). Not as funny as the previous game, but very tense and we ended with a score of 12-11-10-6; I was the guy with the 10 and Andrea won again.

Next game was Eldritch Horror (also using all expansions) and this time we went for Cthulhu himself. Needless to say we were defeated again ... how can you win against this nasty one? Cthulhu is really a hard to beat enemy!

Board Game: Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game
Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader
RPG Item: We Be Goblins Too!
RPG Item: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
Board Game: Star Traders
Board Game: Alien Frontiers
Board Game: Eldritch Horror


Other Events

This week saw also the viewing of Star Wars Episode V and VI, and now, after watching all six movies again, we are ready for Episode VII. I'm so excited about this! My daughter has tickets for the 18th - I have to wait until the 20th. I already told her: just one small spoiler and I disinherit you!

Hope you all had a great week too! meeple
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