GCL Mafia 360: Star Wars
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Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly geeklist!

GCL Mafia Members:
• Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of last week.
• List any games played along with your thoughts/opinions.
• Also, feel free to share gaming news, life updates, random thoughts, or anything else you deem appropriate.

GCL Mafia Geeklist Format:
• A weekly game can be spotlighted and discussed. The poster will pose questions about it to encourage conversation.
• Themed questions are optional. They can be gaming-related topics or non-gaming-related topics.
• A top five question can be asked for by this week's current-list writer, but you'll have to make your own damn geeklist item for him. And it has to be Star Wars related.

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1. Video Game: Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:6867]
Video Game: Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
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Star Wars: Episode 1 is a movie where someone put a DVD of Airbud, a demonic statue, The Mask of Zorro, a few cardboard standees and a 2 hour TIVO recording of CSPAN in a blender and hit "puree".

Somewhat more seriously, the movie is a a bit of a mess in my view. It changed a lot of what Star Wars was as well. But the most important part of the story to the franchise is the discovery of Anakin and revelation of the Sith.

Movie gif:
External image


This is probably my single favorite part of the film. Darth Maul is this recently unleashed evil Sith. While Qui-Gon is meditating, Maul just impatiently paces back and forth like an eager, hungry predator waiting for his prey.




Three questions:

1. Movie: What are your thoughts on Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace?

2. IRL: Have you ever done anything where you just felt like nothing you did with it was right?

2. Games: What games have you found to just be a jumbled mess of ideas and incoherence?
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2. Board Game: Monopoly: Star Wars Episode II [Average Rating:4.04 Overall Rank:18436]
Board Game: Monopoly: Star Wars Episode II
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Star Wars: Episode II is probably the single most uncomfortable and cringe-inducing movie I've watched. Even when I was an 18 year old when it first came out, I was uncomfortable. It's the only Star Wars movie that made me question if I still liked Star Wars.

Basically, Anakin aged much faster than Padme. An assassin tries to killer her, so familiar Jedis get assigned to be her personal body guards. Anakin made Padme feel uncomfortable until she was all "You're such a total sexual harassing creep that makes me feel uncomfortable, and I love you for that." Obi-Wan discovers a secret clone army for the Republic. The jedi don't like them. He then eventually found the Sith Lord Darth Sidious got from like... some sith lord temp agency or something. Anakin does dark side stuff on the side. Everyone gets caught so we can have the most gratuitous lightsaber fight scene possible. Then the jedi decide like the Clones, so now we have droids that nobody cares if they die and clones that nobody cares if they die. So a big war breaks out between two parties that galactic citizens generally don't care about because there is nobody in the war that they care about, so why should you?

Movie gif:
External image


This Quarren senator's clapping is the best thing in this film. Actually, the best part is Ewan Mcgregor, but that's the truth for all of the prequel movies.




Three questions:

1. Movie: What are your thoughts on Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones?

2. IRL: What's one of the most awkward experiences you've had?

2. Gaming: What is a game that you played and made you want to clap like a Quarren senator voting for centralized power?
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3. Video Game: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith [Average Rating:5.13 Overall Rank:7217]
Video Game: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
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The movie starts out with a huge battle over Coruscant as the Jedi move to rescue Chancellor Palpatine, which they kinda do. Anakin kills Dooku. Obi-Wan goes to take on General Grievous (A major character who is suddenly introduced to the story) under the assumption that defeating him will end the war or something. And Anakin is appointed by the chancellor to be his representative to the Jedi, as if that's a position and not weird at all, and the Jedi ask him to spy on the chancellor. Anakin has bad dreams. Palpatine says some stuff that anybody with half-a-brain would have set off a red flag, apparently Palpatine realized how slow Anakin actually was and he came out and said "Dude, I'm the Sith Lord. Let's be evil together." and Anakin was all "Whhaaaa? Man. This sucks and you just made me mad. I have to tell the other Jedi now."

Things happen. The Jedi get killed after orders 1 through 65 didn't work. Gratuitous fight scenes drag on without much progression, and eventually Anakin and Obi-Wan meet and deliver some of the worst dialog in Star Wars history, fighting over lava. It's suppose to be very emotional.

The most significant part of Revenge of the Sith is simply the fall of Anakin. My favorite quote in a review of this movie is " ... So Anakin kneels before Monster Mash and pledges his loyalty to the graveyard smash"

The movie accelerates through time very quickly. We get a few lines from James Earl Jones at the end. The surviving Jedi scatter.

Movie gif:

External image


What I liked about this scene how dense and colorful the battle itself is. It wasn't just one rag-tag group. It was two well equipped navies clashing over Coruscant. While Anakin didn't exactly win me over still with his acting, it was still very action packed, and the best over-the-top battle space battle in the prequels.




Three questions:

1. Movie: What did you think of Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith?

2. IRL: What's the biggest conversion you've had in life?

3. Gaming: What game has the most interesting combat system you've played?
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4. Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion – Rise of the Empire [Average Rating:8.86 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.86 Unranked]
Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion – Rise of the Empire
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While not part of the Star Wars episodic saga, Rogue One is a good addition to the Star Wars family, being credited for filling a rather significant plot hole in the Death Star's vulnerability.

It's a very different tone and feel for the franchise, with it taking more of a war movie feel than the more familiar sci-fantasy feel.

The story centers on one of the Death Star's designer's daughter joining the rebellion to discover and ultimately steal the plans for the Death Star.

Movie gif:

External image


This might be my single favorite action scene across all of the films. It showed Vader being the badass enforcer he's reputable for, and that he doesn't just choke imperial captains and torture rebel agents for giggles.




Three questions:

1. Movie: What did you think of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2. IRL: Have you ever pulled off a caper or heist of some sort?

3. Gaming: What games have you played that felt a bit like the black sheep in what you'd expect? Perhaps a designer that made a game that had a completely different feel than their other works. Or one game that was part of a family of games (Alea Big Box, Harvest Series, Arzium Setting, Terrinoth, that didn't quite fit in the same category as the others.
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5. Board Game: Star Wars: Death Star Assault Game [Average Rating:4.84 Overall Rank:18046]
Board Game: Star Wars: Death Star Assault Game
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The movie starts very shortly after the end of Rogue: One. Supposedly a few hours separate the two. Vader pursues the Tantive IV. Princess Leia stows the plans away with R2D2. The droid and C3PO shoot off to Tatooine. As Leia is captured.

The droids get bought by some farmers, one is Luke Skywalker. R2 seeks out Obi-Wan. Luke chases after and meets Obi-Wan. They return to Luke's home, the empire killed his family. They go and find Han Solo, and go to Alderann.

Princess Leia is on board the Death Star, gets interrogated, tells Grand Moff Tarkin the base is on Dantooine, he blows up her home world instead. That happened to be Alderann.

Han Solo, Obi-Wan, and Luke Skywalker find the Death Star, rescue the princess, and all of them escape... except Obi-Wan.

The empire tracks them to Yavin IV, and they have to mount a last resort attack. Luke makes a one-in-a-million shots via The Force, and the good guys win.

Star Wars IV: A New Hope is a relatively straightforward film about Good vs. Evil. Freedom vs. Fascism. Ambition and destiny. The world building was subtle, yet visible. Something almost as a backdrop to the drama and events of the characters themselves. But even that stands aside from that fact that no movie has had such an influence on its industry, culture, or overall significance. While the movie isn't perfect, it's a timeless film that has brought joy and enjoyment to generations.

Movie gif:
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It was a brilliant stroke to have Han shoot first. It's a classic case of showing, not telling how much of a scrappy, honorless scum bucket he can be. And it tells a great story about his process of his own redemption of being one of the good guys.




Three questions:

1. Movie: What do you think of Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

2. IRL: What's the biggest impact you've had in other people's life?

3. Gaming: What game do you love that you think will be timeless?
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6. Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:3195]
Board Game: Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back
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Rebels hide. Empire searches. Luke gets hung up to dry by a wampa and then freeze dried. He then has a force-fevered dream of Obi-Wan, before finding the inside of a Tauntan is smelly and Luke-warm. The Empire finds the Rebel base. Launch a ground assault and force the rebels to evacuate. Han takes Leia on the Falcon. Luke follows Obi-Wan's instructions.

Empire pursues Han's ship, because its hyper drive doesn't work super well. They flee into an astroid and hide. Astroid tries to swallow them, but they escape that too. They hide a ship on a ship, then pretend like they are trash. Empire leaves their garbage behind like a bad guest. Han finds Lando. Lando hits on Leia.

Luke crashes into a slimy mud hole. Finds a Yoda but doesn't know Yoda is Yoda. Yoda tells Luke Yoda is Yoda. Luke trains. Gets scared. Trains more and sees Han. Leia. Then falls over. Thinks they might die. Yoda wants him to stay and train. Luke doesn't listen.

Lando turns Leia and Han over to Vader. Freeze dries Han and gives him to a gangster. Vader sets trap for Luke. Luke falls into trap. Luke is actually better than expected and gets out of trap. Gets ass whooped by Vader who tells him "I'm your dad." Luke isn't happy to find his long-lost father. Luke falls.

Lando and Leia manage to escape. Leia gets a mental phone call. It's Luke. They rescue Luke. Other than everyone has lived, they are pretty bummed.

Movie gif:

External image


Yoda was so cool. So mysterious. A great teacher with an endearing sense of humor. A character that plays great on expectations and its juxtapositions. A big character in a small package?




Three questions:

1. Movie: Why is The Empire Strikes Back your favorite Star Wars movie? And if it's not, you know why you're wrong, right?

2. IRL: What's your favorite moment with a teacher?

3. Gaming: What's your favorite Yoda game? A game with big character but in a small package.
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7. Board Game: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Battle at Sarlacc's Pit [Average Rating:5.03 Overall Rank:18850]
Board Game: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Battle at Sarlacc's Pit
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C3PO and R2D2 are back on Tatooine. Luke is gifting them to the gangster that got Han. Leia pretends to be a bounty hunter selling Chewbacca. Leia tries to free Han. Plan doesn't work. Luke shows up. He's acting kind of like a bad ass. Confident. He's been reading "How to Jedi" or something. He still gets captured. He kills a monster. Doesn't matter, he's still captured. Han, Chewbacca and Luke go to get pushed into a different monster. Luke acts like a Jedi, saves everyone, and they escape.

Luke returns to Yoda. Yoda confirms Vader is Luke's father. Obi-Wan also does. Luke figures out Leia is his sister too.

Rebels find out there is a Death Star 2.0 and that the Emperor is there too. But they can't touch it. It's shielded. Han leads a strike team to take down shield. Rebels assemble armada. Luke shows up and says "me too".

Rebels steal a shuttle. Luke feels Vader. Knows Vader feels him. Vader lets them land. Leia finds a teddy bear. Teddy bears find Han and his strike time. Teddy bears go to cook strike team for C-3PO. Leia saves them from being cooked. Luke tells Leia he's her brother, then goes to find Vader.

Vader brings Luke to Emperor. Emperor taunts the hell out of Luke.

Shield not down. Rebel armada falls into a trap.

Strike team has a rough time doing their job. Strike team falls into trap.

Death Star 2.0 starts to shoot at armada.

Strike team is helped by teddy bears.

Luke fights Vader. Luke beats Vader. He denies the emperor who is super scary, evil and powerful. Emperor is unhappy with Luke's honor. So he tries to kill Luke slowly. Vader kills the Emperor. Strike team succeeds. Rebel armada destroys Death Star 2.0. Rebels win!

Movie gif:

External image


The Emperor was evil and he LOVED it. Before this scene, he was always dark and mysterious. But this scene tied so much together about the dark side. He mocked lightsabers. He mocked Luke. And only when Luke hit the point of demonstrating his stubbornness, did you really see the power of the dark side. And that was scary stuff. And you still got the sense that he was still just toying with Luke. He enjoyed the torture process, like he fed off of pain.




Three questions:

1. Movie: What do you think of Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi?

2. IRL: Have you ever had help from the most unlikely of places?

3. Gaming: What's a game you like, but it feels like it has too many things that have to go "right"?
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8. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – The Force Awakens Core Set [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:408] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – The Force Awakens Core Set
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Star pilot for a paramilitary force grabs a map on Jakku that leads to Luke Skywalker, who has gone missing. The re-emergent Empire, now known as the First Order, is also looking for Luke Skywalker. Star pilot named Poe Dameron, gives map to droid. Poe gets captured by Kylo Ren. Kylo Ren happens to be Ben Solo, son of Han and Leia. The Village Poe was in also gets destroyed. One stormtrooper goes "nope."

Droid finds Ray who is a scavenger.

Stormtrooper escapes with Poe. Stormtrooper gets named Finn, but they crash land on Jakku. Finn runs into Poe's droid and Ray. The First Order finds them too. They flee on the Millennium Falcon. They are found by Han Solo and Chewie. They go to a castle to help their ship get lost in the noise. Finn tries to run away. Ray finds Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. She goes "nope". The First Order uses Death Star 3.0 to send a shot heard 'round the galaxy and they blow up the New Republic's capital. The First Order then attacks the place Han, Ray and Finn are at, but the resistance arrives. Ray still gets captured. Finn has a change of heart and wants to rescue her.

The resistance forms a plot to destroy Death Star 3.0. Han takes Finn to Death Star 3.0. Ray got a case of acute forceritus. Oh, and she's also on the Death Star 3.0.

Fin and Han find a way to get the defensive shield turned off. The Resistance attack, and it doesn't go super well. Ray is found by Han and Fin. Han is killed by his son Kylo Ren. They They destroy structures that help the attacking fleet. Chewbacca goes on a rampage, Fin and Ray run. Kylo fights them. Ray goes toe-to-toe with Kylo and doesn't die. Everyone else "important" doesn't die before it is too late.

Movie gif:

External image


This is the single most exciting moment in all of Star Wars for me. And it is totally built off the backs of the giants. But the whole movie was about finding the great legend of Luke Skywalker to get his help. The resistance was without hope. Han Solo had just died. Finn was out. But it was Rey that brought hope. Rey that rose up to the challenge.

And it felt like minute of Star Wars came to this moment. There's a look of fear and courage in Rey. It sends chills down my spine every time. Though that also has something to do with John Williams.




Three questions:

1. Movie: What do you think of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens?

2. IRL: What's something you resumed doing something after a very long hiatus from it?

3. Gaming: What's a game that feels very similar to an existing game, but you like both for different reasons?
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9. Franchise: Star Wars
Franchise: Star Wars
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GCL Mafia 360b: The Last Jedi (SPOILER DISCUSSIONS)!

Movie gif:

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Kylo taunt loop.




Three questions:

1. Movie: If you've seen the Last Jedi, what's your general feelings on it now? If you haven't, when will you?

2. IRL: Have you ever had a story actually ruined when someone spoiled the story or big reveal?

3. Gaming: What's your 8th favorite game?
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10. Board Game: Speculation [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:2862]
Board Game: Speculation
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So there is a Han Solo Star Wars story movie coming out. Then Episode IX. Then rumors have it an Obi-Wan Star Wars movie before a whole new trilogy coming out after that.




Three questions:

1. Movie: What are some things you might like to see in future Star Wars?

2. IRL: What are some big plans you have for the next few years?

3. Gaming: What are some games you're hoping to see in the future?
 
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11. Board Game: HeroQuest [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:563] [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Board Game: HeroQuest
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Long thoughts here- I'll put anything specific to Episode 8 in spoiler tags , but everything else is fair game.

After digesting The Last Jedi, I've come to the conclusion that Episodes VII and VIII are severely lacking in how they develop the Jedi characters, and that all ties back to a central idea that Lucas built his films around and does well. To me that's the essence of Star Wars, and why the prequels can feel right to me while the new movies don't.

For those who don't know of him, Joseph Campbell was an author best known for his commentary on mythology. He wrote a book in the 1940s called "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", which surveyed mythology and identified common traits in the heroes of these stories. What he developed is commonly known as "Campbell's Hero Cycle". In short order (stolen shamelessly from Wikipedia):

I. Departure
1. The Call to Adventure
2. Refusal of the Call
3. Supernatural Aid
4. Crossing the Threshhold
5. Belly of the Whale

II. Initiation
6. The road of trials
7. The meeting with the goddess
8. Woman as temptress
9. Atonement with the father
10. Apotheosis
11. The ultimate boon

III. Return
12. Refusal of the return
13. The magic flight
14. Rescue from Without
15. The crossing of the Return Threshhold
16. Master of Two Worlds
17. Freedom to Live

Now George Lucas read this, and it was critical to his development of Star Wars. He intentionally set Luke on this journey as he plotted out A New Hope, and you can see its influence here. After he had big success with the film Lucas met with Campbell to view the Star Wars films and discuss in relation to the Hero cycle.

I would argue that in all the Star Wars film, the central character is a Jedi. They're the ones who get the most character development and are doing the ultimately extraordinary things in the universe, where the flow of all the events seems to swirl around them. While there are lesser journeys to be observed for the likes of Han Solo, Obi-wan Kenobi or Finn they're not as central as the good Jedi in each trilogy. So I suggest looking at the three main protagonists, and apply the hero cycle to see how each character grows in their journey.

Luke Skywalker's journey

If you look at the films, you can see Luke walk through the first two portions of the path. He is called to adventure when he gets the secret message from Leia, even though it is intended to Obi-Wan. Despite his complaining to Uncle Owen and Beru, when he is given the chance to go to Alderaan he balks at it. He gains a supernatural mentor in Kenobi, who offers to train him in the ways of the Force. He crosses the First Threshhold as he leaves Tatooine behind and ventures out into the galaxy. And he separates himself from his known world by embracing and using the Force to destroy the Death Star. He is moving from being a whiny farmboy to a noble hero.

In Empire Strikes back, he undergoes a series of trails to transform into a Jedi. Campbell specifically mentions the hero failing at least one test, and often there the failures come in threes. You can chart Luke messing up in overlooking Yoda, with lifting the X-wing, and then at the cave. His first Meeting with the Goddeess (which means his crisis or confrontation with the deepest part of his heart) occurs at the cave, to win the boon he seeks (in this case status as a Jedi Knight). He fails, and attempts to skip to the next step (The woman as Temptress)- a temptation to evil. Luke's impulsiveness puts him in a situation he is not able to confront, and he ultimately has to flee as he cannot stand down Vader or even attempt Atonement with the Father. (Notice how the famous reveal fits in with the steps in the process). For Campbell, this is the absolute most important part of the journey. And it is arguably the most important event in the first three films. Kenobi sees and recognizes it before it happens- he flat out tells Luke on Dagobah that "This is a dangerous time for you, where you will be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force."

Luke must attempt these steps again in Return of the Jedi. He is successful in Meeting with the Goddess when he meets with Vader on Endor, and he holds true through the Temptation to the Dark Side during their battle in front of the Emperor. He will not turn, and can claim the Atonement with the Father (which also is the event that bring his father back from the Dark Side- it all sits in front of everything). This also leads to greater understanding by Luke, and he claims the boon- he is a Jedi, like his Father before him.

Leaving off at this point for Luke is also extremely compelling- he is left with bigger things in front of him., with greater adventures to come.

Anakin Skywalker's Journey

We can see Anakin go through a similar journey. He is called to join QuiGon and leave his entire world behind (the fact both are Tatooine is a huge parallel to what we saw in Luke). He's reluctant to leave his mother. He has a mystical guide (initially QuiGon, but later Obi-Wan) and he is taken away from it to learn with the Jedi. And he covers the Belly of the Whale as he enters the Jedi order at the end of The Phantom Menace. He leaves his childhood and his mother behind to embrace the heroic life.

Anakin's journey goes wrong in Attack of the Clones. He has his road of trials as he's trying to become a full-on Jedi knight instead of just a Padawan. And as he comes into the ultimate crises (the Meeting with the Goddess) he begins to show problems. He clings to the idea of his mother (which is notoriously against Jedi values) and he tries to win Padme (again a violation) and is rejected. So as he faces The Woman as Temptress, and he fails miserably - both personified with the crucial females in his life. He goes to slaughter the Sand People to get revenge for his mother, which to me is the most powerful thing in AotC. And he subverts his vows as a Jedi to be with Padme. This makes him so interesting and flawed- both he and Luke go into this stage with good intentions, and fail at this stage of the journey. But Luke realizes his mistakes, while Anakin cannot let go of his.

Anakin's journey twists in Revenge of the Sith. He's given similar opportunities to defeat the Woman as Temptress several times. But he instead chooses to execute Dooku, and when the time comes to confront the obvious evil of Palpatine he fails. His temptation to save Padme, while good in itself, leads him to overlook or misunderstand his failures. Instead of finding the all critical Atonement with the Father in the way of the Jedi and renouncing his attachments, he instead embraces what Palpatine offers to get his goals without the necessary pain, suffering or sacrifice. He then completes the cycle in a twisted and evil fashion- his atonement makes him a slave instead of a free actor, his Apotheosis is corrupted and used to justify all sorts of evil that will continue in his lifetime, and while he receives the power of life he's so desperately chased it is nothing but pain and misery for him. He'll be stuck in this existence until just before his death, where he finds true atonement in saving Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi.

I find this to be absolutely powerful, which is why I love Revenge of the Sith as well as I do.

Rey's Journey

In watching the latest films, I feel that Rey's journey falls short. Instead of being an intentional development, I feel that the aping of previous Star Wars tropes causes some of the steps to occur by accident. And as a result Rey's character (one of the most developed ones in the new films) is really flat and weak for it.

Starting with The Force Awakens, we have the Call to Adventure. Rey has BB-8 and the Rebellion enter her life. But she's not reluctant to leave Jakku behind- there's never been anything for her there. So she misses that step. She's also rooked pretty badly on the Supernatural Aid, in that she can instinctively use the Force. This step specifically offers a guide for the young hero to give them supernatural help, but Rey can inherently use the Force with no training. You can't even argue that Han Solo's street smarts come in- she can already expertly fly his ship. Rey is innately born with these talents, rather than have to quest to get them.

The Crossing of the First Threshhold (which signals entering a realm of adventure) is also all muddy. Since the above items are missing, it cheapens Rey's journey. There are not great stakes for her joining the Rebellion or fighting the Dark Side- staying in her life on Jakku is such a poor option she'd be foolish to do anything else, and she has no safe option she can bail out into. And again, there doesn't seem to be any underlying choice in her taking the Jedi path, nor is she separating from who she was before in the Belly of the Whale. She's the same person as at the start of the film, but with Force powers working. All she's left behind are her circumstances- she's the hero, but she was always the hero. Never had to grow into it.

Looking at the Initiation steps in The Last Jedi will be done in spoiler text.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Her Road of Trials very much apes what Luke went through in ESB, which I think is more paying tribute than the actual thought. You only see her fail one major test though, when Luke is telling her to reach out and she comedically misunderstands him. But she's again got full Force access, with incredible power, despite the lack of training. She also gets a meeting with the Goddess, in a similar temptation to Luke at the cave. But her confrontation is not framed as a failure or a problem, and it seems almost a part of self discovery than any external factor facing her. She rushes off to meet Kylo Ren, "underprepared", not because she failed, but because she's frustrated that Skywalker did not give her what she sought.

She goes through a really poorly framed temptation with Kylo Ren. I say it is poor because he doesn't make clear offers- when Vader is talking to Luke in cloud city he brings concrete ideas to the table. Ren merely mentions her families are nobody, and he'll make her somebody. And she does not seem to be tempted- she has a half a heartbeat and immediately says "no" to the dark side.

How can she achieve any of the hero goals? She's always acted like a hero, never seriously looked like she'd stray from the heroes path. There is 15 seconds where it looks like she is considering joining Kylo Ren, but her immediate actions afterward make it obvious she was never going to do it. And while Luke technically calls her a Jedi, it's never been missing. She's a Force savant who learned with next to no training- it was always there for her. There's no drama, and utlimately her character did not go on any sort of internal journey.


The hero cycle is what makes Star Wars for me. I love Lightsabers and Wookies, I get excited when people have a bad feeling about things, the Sith and the Jedi, Hoth and Coruscant, R2-D2 and Jabba the Hutt, the scruffy looking Nerf Herders and the Stormtroopers. But this all just decoration. What makes Star Wars great for me is seeing the heroes journey. It's why I can so dearly love the prequels, and why I feel the newer films being put out do not fit in as Star Wars for me.
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12. Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion [Average Rating:8.42 Overall Rank:7]
Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Jump Drive x6
Dungeon Degenerates: Hand of Doom x2 (new!)
Star Saga x2 (new!)
Star Wars: Rebellion x1
Too Many Bones x1 (new!)

Reviews
Unlock! Wave 2


Jump Drive
I'm hooked. I played a two player best of three set to start and end game night with the same opponent. That's a fantastic way to play this game. We also noticed several games coming down to the wire as we became more familiar with the cards. Still feels like luck of the draw is a large factor, but with some clever decisions you can mitigate this a tiny bit.

Dungeon Degenerates
Awesome! This is better than Fallout in terms of 2017 Adventure games. Just full of attitude and weirdness. Everyone in my group really enjoyed it and we're planning on starting a campaign soon. Never seen an adventure game with a campaign which is a nice twist. Love how open the world feels despite using the same board/map game to game. Almost has a Heroquest-like quality to it in that regard.

Star Saga
This Mantic sci-fi dugneon crawl surprised me a little. It's a simple game but it comes alive with great rules for popping out around cover and interactive terrain. You can manipulate control panels to hack into doors, hide behind tables, etc. All of these set pieces are represented with plastic miniatures, including the doors. That gives it a visual presence that helps it stand out.

This isn't a keeper for me (too many other games), but I enjoyed my first two plays quite a bit. I don't think the built in solo mode is great, however, as you need to make quite a few decisions for the bad guy and it gets kind of murky.

Too Many Bones
This game was...ok? Three players felt like a little too many, as it worked fine but there was just not a ton of group decision space to work with. The gaining of skills/dice is fantastic, but I didn't like how most skills are one use only in battles and if you whiff you kind of lose agency. The abstract grid seems like too much and could be removed entirely - I really appreciated the battle system in Dungeon Degenerates much more which is a simple enemy units engage with individual players thing like the Warhammer Quest card game.

I also have a big suspicion that while the asymmetry for each character is awesome, individual characters will kind of always be levelled up the same way. For instance, if I replayed it with the same character I'd take the same skills. They don't have a ton of options, really, and it kind of tricks you in that regard.

On My Mind
Playing Rebellion before seeing TLJ was excellent.

I've been binging Dark on Netflix. This is basically a German version of Stranger Things, and it's great.

Lords of Hellas should arrive on Wednesday, which is kind of a pleasant surprise. Would love to play it on game night but that's not really enough time. I may push to finish up the first curse in the 7th Continent.
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13. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:102] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy
Board Game: Elder Sign
Board Game: Keyflower
Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Board Game: Broom Service
Board Game: Nations
Board Game: Lucky Dogs Dice Game
Board Game: Codenames


Roll for the Galaxy x2
Elder Sign
Keyflower
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Broom Service x3
Nations
Lucky Dogs Dice Game
Codenames x2



A great week for games! AND SECRET SANTA!



Roll for the Galaxy
First off, the BGA implementation for this game works really well! Better than I suspected, for being in beta phase. It I got edged out by Joseph in our first game, but the second one is proving to be an interesting strategy for me. Secret Santa also hooked me up with the Ambition expansion, which Anastasia and I played earlier this week. Man, it's great. One of those "more of what you already like" expansions, which is fine by me. We've played through so many iterations of the starting faction tiles/worlds that this is a well-timed breath of fresh air.

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
In addition to Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition, BGG Secret Santa also sent me both core sets for X-Wing... I'm still twitching with glee. I've massively enjoyed the previous times I've played even with just basic ships, but never dared (gulp) to buy into the game myself, even casually. Welp. Now I'm smitten. Anastasia was actually quite interested in trying this (she'd never played it before), so we squared off with her flying X-Wing + T70 X-Wing, and me with two standard TIEs and two First Order TIEs. It was a choppy game of my somewhat remembering how to play and consulting the reference, but we got it down soon enough. While I ultimately lost, I did get to destroy her T70 by crashing one of my crippled TIEs into it, which was satisfying, to say the least.

The upside? This game is awesome, and I'm PUMPED to have the solid dual-core foundation. The downside? Well, I've already made a short-list of further buying options...

Help me Charlie Theel, you're my only hope.

Lucky Dogs Dice Game
This is the first game we've bought for Theodore, and he was gobsmacked when he realized it's "his" game. While it might still be a little over his head, any chance to roll a ton of dice with mom and dad is a good day in his book. This is actually a pleasantly clever little co-op game, wherein you're trying to match dice results with tiles to complete them and spell out "L U C K Y DOGS," but if you can't assign a die, you lose one to the center, and multiple tiles force you to lose a die upon completion, so the vice gets tighter and tighter as the game progresses. Light, fun, better than I expected (and awesome production quality for a kids' game).

Codenames
We introduced this two our homebrewing friends and their teenagers. As would be expected, everyone loved it and asked for a second game. I won the first game as spymaster and lost the second in spectacular fashion as an operative by confidently pointing to the Assassin.

Broom Service
This game is freaking amazing. The end.



On My Mind:

1. BGG Secret Santa was awesome. I got both different X-Wing core sets, RftG: Ambition, AND some nice jewelry for Anastasia. I had communicated with Santa quite a bit, and he/she was happy to send something along for "the spouse of a gamer," which is ironic, since Anastasia is as much a gamer as I am, but appreciated the placating gift all the same.

2. We finished season one of The Expanse. Wowza. Didn't expect that. I'm really digging Thomas Jane's performance (especially since bland-guy-who-plays-bland-character-Jim-Holden is so BORING). We're too cheap to buy and stream the second season somewhere, but I might snag it from a library etc... when we get back from Christmas vacation.

3. We're leaving for Annapolis on Saturday for a ten-day vacation with my in-laws. It's going to be lovely, and we're flying there, so it's barely an hour in the air before we land. More expensive than a tank of gas, but I'll happily shell out cash for "skip winter vacation driving" any time.

4. Hearthstone: Kobolds and Catacombs is absolutely fantastic. In addition to new cards and meta crap (blech), there is an awesome solitaire challenge mode which is basically a Roguelike dungeon crawl wherein you get to boost your deck in short bursts after every match, as well as occasional boons and treasures outside the normal scope of the game. It's really brilliant, quite difficult, and very strategic. It's my new favorite way to play. It's also free, and doesn't need a single lick of actual deckbuilding to play. Everyone should try it.
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14. Board Game: The 7th Continent [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:25]
Board Game: The 7th Continent
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Board Game: Codenames: Duet
Board Game: Winner's Circle
Board Game: The 7th Continent


A very light week for me. There's a chance for more this week though, fingers crossed.

 7.5   Codenames Duet x2
 8   Winner's Circle
 9   The 7th Continent

Codenames Duet went over pretty well at the party. I think that overall it still feels very similar to regular Codenames in terms of length and tension. I personally prefer it over regular because it doesn't place the entire onus of cluegiving on one person per team, which I have seen slow the game to a crawl on many occasions. It does lose the schadenfreude of seeing the other team mess up, but I'll take the overall smoothed experience over that.

Winner's Circle went over very well as a more-casual-but-not-quite-party game. It has simple rules and there's a lot of fun to be had with people rocketing their bets up the track and then tanking someone else's favorite as needed. There's a ton of randomness in this, but it's still enjoyable. Production values of the Korean edition (which I have) are excellent.

7th Continent WE FINALLY MADE REAL PROGRESS YAAAAAAYS

I'm so torn on my overall score for this game. I love the exploration and the experience when things actually progress but it's so, so easy to get multiple hours off track. I haven't really reconciled these two things but I can't argue with the fact that I'm still enjoying the game on the whole quite a bit.

I maintain that if the game had more structure to the scenarios that would rocket my score back up to a 10 easily.

Spoilerific discussion:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We reached the temple/shrine/whatever for the Voracious Goddess. We haven't actually done anything there yet, we just finally reached the space for it. We had to hoof it back from the center of the map (which it turned out we didn't actually need to go back to) and then accidentally detoured to the icy/snowy area (we needed to go west sooner than we did), but we got a boatload of food there, so it didn't actually impact us.

We found a fishing spot where a bear attacked us, but the bear was worth *six* food if you beat it. That's 30 cards! And then you can get the fishing spot in addition to it. Crazy.

We also found a random encounter card that had a *12* difficult combat on it. That's also crazy. It gave you some food back but that would be a disastrous loss of cards if you failed. Ugh. I hate the idea of artificially saving/loading to make an encounter go away but I might do it for that. Yuck.
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15. Board Game: Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:595] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Board Game: Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Board Game: Sword & Sorcery
Board Game: Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire


Sword & Sorcery x2 NEW!
Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire

Sword & Sorcery

Played the 2nd Scenario. Continuing to enjoy it but boy...the rules. Gloomhaven has a lot of "stuff" but the rules are easy to absorb. S&S has a lot of stuff as well, and while it's easy to play learning the rules is a pain. There are some inconsistencies (Critical requires rolling successes and will hit even if you deal no damage, but Poison sticks no matter what you roll or don't roll or do no damage) which led to me winning when I shouldn't have, but I'll replay. I like this, and Plano'd it up.

Doesn't feel like a dungeon crawler as described last week. It's "Point A to Point B" with some light branching based on story choices, but so far it's still marching straight forward to a boss battle.

Shadespire

Tim and I played 1 game of Shadespire after The Last Jedi. We both used the decks I built for the Bloodreavers (me) and Stormcast (Tim). I have no idea if they're any good or not. First round was very defensive; I pushed up to about no-man's land hoping to bait a charge and Tim withdrew to objectives. In the 2nd round I was able to charge in in a way that meant Tim couldn't TKO my guy and set up for a series of moves/charges to create a scrum. We both lost a figure in this round, th ough that's more punishing for Tim. In the final round he took out one of my guys which inspired everyone, and we went back and forth fighting some more. Final score was 9-6 (which is really close). Game was awesome; I think Tim needed to be a bit more aggressive with that deck and I think I need to include some stuff that's easier to score for the Bloodreavers to help get some upgrades going early.

On my Mind

Read the rules to Kepler-3042. Seems way Euroier than I was expecting, going to try a solo soon.

Secret Santas rolled in! Wiz-War from the Greatway Games exchange and Inis from the BGG one. Waiting on the RPGG exchange.

Tomorrow is Droopsmas, the annual Christmas gathering of the Dads. Can't wait. There's going to be good pizza and White Castle sliders and beer and Malort. It's going to be great.

It was a Christmasy weekend in the house. We sent our cards, baked and decorated cookies with Raffi (who adores cooking), and watched Home Alone.
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16. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.81 Overall Rank:1] [Average Rating:8.81 Unranked]
Board Game: Gloomhaven
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Board Game: Gloomhaven
Board Game: Tsuro
Board Game: Time's Up! Title Recall!


 N/A   Gloomhaven
Played Gloomhaven on Thursday, and holy cow, that was one of the best game experiences I've had. It felt like we were going to lose the entire time but managed to just eke out the win at what was really the last possible moment, with one of us down and 2 others taking a mandatory long rest because we were out of cards (so we would go down immediately next turn) when the final blow was struck. It felt like every turn we had to balance tactical and strategic decisions, and while I don't think we did everything right, we clearly did *just enough things* right to scrape by. There were some moments of comedy, moments of despair, and finally triumph.

Took 3+ damn hours though. This was scenario 11, because we...are the bad guys

 10   Time's Up! Title Recall!

So for my Friday game night, I'm going to start having a "game of the week". This week my wife picked, and she wanted Time's Up. We ended up with 6 people and had a great time. I really do like this game (and the parlor game that inspired it). We did have one 14 year old who was worried would be frustrated by not knowing many of the references. That was a problem to some degree, but she liked rounds 2 and 3 when she'd gotten to hear everything once.

 6   Tsuro
After Time's Up, we played Tsuro to end the night. Not much to say about it. It's light, it looks nice, it's fine. I won.
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17. Board Game: Psychic Penguins and the Voyage Home [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Psychic Penguins and the Voyage Home
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Dice Town 2
Fabled Fruit 2
The Prodigals Club 2
Raiders of the North Sea 1
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island 1
The Grizzled 1
Trickerion: Legends of Illusion 1 NEW!

Review: Ascension: Valley of the Ancients is not as great as I hoped.

---

Trickerion: This was fine. It has some cool things going on, but it didn't wow me. I liked the way worker placement worked. Everyone plans which dude is going where via cards, then on your turn you select one guy to go to his assigned spot. I enjoy "putting on a show" games, though I wish this had a little more to that part. I was bothered by the tricks you can learn requiring way too many different materials. I felt I built up a good selection, but still couldn't just automatically grab another spell since I was still missing an item or two, which was annoying. You're also limited to three tricks and in five rounds, it's hard to build them, use them, and try to switch over to the higher valued ones for the aforementioned reason. I'd probably play better next time, but there wasn't much there to make me want to give it another try. Still, we all ended within two points of one another, which always makes me wonder if the game is overly balanced.

The Prodigals Club: Despite having played five times before, I hadn't ever tried the possessions competition. Matt and I did possessions and elections first, then decided to try possessions and society. So now all that's left is to play with all three competitions. (Since I don't own Last Will anymore, I can't do the mega variant, which I'm not sure I'd want to anyway.)

Robinson Crusoe: First full game after my incomplete play last week. I played scenario 1 again and lost. I thought I was cruising at first, but underestimated how much food I'd need when disaster strikes.

The Grizzled: After not playing for a year and a half, this was nice to bring out. We played with three, on easy, and won fairly quickly. I'll have to throw it in my bag more as a end-of-the-night closer. I bought the expansion forever ago too and need to give it a try.

---

On My Mind:

Classes are done, but it's time to do grading. Or, procrastinate grading by dicking around on BGG.
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18. Board Game: Dinosaur Island [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
Board Game: Dinosaur Island
Joseph
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Board Game: Lords of Xidit
Board Game: Dominion: Nocturne
Board Game: Dinosaur Island


 6   Lords of Xidit NEW!
 6   Dominion: Nocturne x2 NEW!
 N/A   Dinosaur Island x2 NEW!

Early in the week, Dinosaur Island came in. I read the rulebook Tuesday night, preparing to play it. Wednesday night, before games. My copy of Gaia Project was in. I was SUPER excited for that. “Ohhh these are gonna be good! Sweet Joseph-like games just for me!” These are two of my most hotly anticipated games. And we played… Lords of Xidit.

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It’s a game I’ve wanted to try out. And it’s fine. Silly, and a nice element of chaos that programing games should have. Quirky interactions. It’s a fine game. Better than the majority of games I’ve played, but not better than the greater games I’ve played. It’s one I’d be happy to play again. One that, if I were any sort of mega-shelf collector with 1000+ games, I would have a copy of. It’s fine. I won, barely scraping by the bard scoring in the first runoff, doing well enough in coins, and then solidly placed with wizard towers.

The highlight was that I was on a town at the start of a turn, with only one little dude to recruit. Everyone else was on the other side of the map, and they all anticipated me taking that little dude - including me. But I forgot to set my dial to pick it up. It messed EVERYONE up. And that ended up making a pretty big difference. And that makes my little victory taste sweeter.

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But it wasn’t one that matches the potential I see and anticipate in Dinosaur Island or Gaia Project. Those ones look like top 10 games for me.

Also played Dominion: Nocturnal.

To be honest, I think going to game night on Wednesday night was a mistake. I should have spent more time by the wife, as I was also gone Thursday night.

Sunday evening, finally got Dinosaur Island played. This game is my JAM. I haven't rated it yet, but it's at least an 8. Maybe a 9. I want to play it more though.

It reminds me of a lighter "Heavy Worker Placement Game by Vlaada" in the same spirit as Dungeon Lords or Dungeon Petz. I like the different elements that totally change the strategies game-to-game.

Both plays were 2 players, and I can tell immediately that the game will feel super different with each added player. At 2 players, it was fairly loose, and the short game ended SUPER fast. The medium game ended not too much faster. But as each player gets in there, the spaces get tighter and tighter. It’s a game that is probably best at 3-4, based on how tight you like games.

I've also been playing Roll for the Galaxy on BGA. I highly recommend people play that with me.

OMM:

Reading Canto Bight, which is the latest Star Wars Adult book. It's a collection of 4 novellas. My understanding is most of the main characters are in the new movie as quick cameos, but the book is more about the character of Canto Bight itself.

Rules of the Game - Silly. It's about an innocuous "nice guy trope/Samwell Tarly" alien on a company-awarded vacation to Canto Bight and he gets caught up in underground shinanigins. Once you get past the implied humor of a nice guy bumbling his way through his vacation, the story is pretty bland.

The Wine in Dreams - This is about an intergalactic sommelier trying to buy a bottle of super-wine, for her dealings. It doesn’t go smoothly. She tries to buy the wine from these mysterious alien twins, but they just do things oddly. Other people are involved, and a lot of people tussle over the bottle of wine. The imagery of this story is strong. So many characterful descriptions that makes the whole thing feel wet. The end was pretty good, but overall the story was a bit dull.

Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing - This is probably the best story ever written about a retiring masseur. I'm still working through this one. So far, I'm enjoying this one the most.

Life is busy. The holidays are very busy. Work is getting very busy too. My pregnant wife is getting more pregnant. It's adorable. But she isn't having a fun time. She's been very sick. Well after the time she's suppose to not feel sick anymore.
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19. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:525]
Board Game: Medici
Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board Game: Gloomhaven
Board Game: Sushi Go!
Board Game: Medici
Board Game: Happy Salmon


 N/A   Gloomhaven
 N/A   Sushi Go!
 8.5   Medici
 N/A   Happy Salmon NEW!

Gloomhaven: Much better second effort. We destroyed the opening mission despite losing our Mindthief early. Game is a keeper- got my Broken Token insert built on Sunday. Hurrah!

Sushi Go!: Won in a White Elephant exchange. It's a game I probably wouldn' t have spent the cash on due to its simplicity, but its easy to teach to non-gamer types and travels easily. Will stay for some time.

Medici: For a pure auction game, there's not much better. I think I lost the game when I took a treasure/0/0 load that hamstrung my buying power, and another player shipped 4 furs and got to the top of the bonus payout. I lost by 3.

Happy Salmon: Funny and goofy, works as a nice icebreaker. Really short and light, but watching the hand motions was pretty funny.

On my mind
I'm with the band Leaving for the Midwest Clinic in Chicago shortly. We had our preview concert yesterday and it went well. I'm excited for the trip- we have a really talented group, and we're going to knock people's socks off!

If we get links to anything I'll put 'em up.

I'm a little nervous about traveling with the shiny new trombone. We should know how risky it'll all be in a couple of hours.

In other obnoxious news, I went to band rehearsal in full Jedi outfit (including lightsaber clipped on the belt).

Run to the Hills: Ran for 3 miles in 30 minutes Sunday. *FLEX*. I also made my weight goal next week, and making good progress this week so far. Hope I can be disciplined as I got up to Chicago.

I did get most of my Christmas shopping done before departure, so I don't have to worry about that. And my out-of-town gifts got shipped Saturday, so they'll all be delivered on time.

Maryland, my Maryland: Kinda sad that this gets me so excited, but I've been re-reading Mr. Lincoln's Army. I'm planning a trip to hit up South Mountain and Antietam next summer, and getting to those portions of the book is getting me pretty fired up about it. Going to be a hell of a trip!
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20. Board Game: Can't Stop Express [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:5795]
Board Game: Can't Stop Express
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Board Game: Cribbage
Board Game: Santo Domingo
Board Game: Medici
Board Game: The Great Dalmuti
Board Game: Council of Verona (Second Edition)
Board Game: American Rails
Board Game: Can't Stop Express
Board Game: Word Slam
 
Board Game: New York Slice
Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King
Board Game: Illimat


Cribbage
Santo Domingo x2
Medici
The Great Dalmuti x2
Council of Verona (second edition)
American Rails x2
Can't Stop Express x5 (Solo) NEW!
Word Slam NEW!
Monikers NEW-ISH!
New York Slice
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King
Illimat NEW!

Lest the below seem otherwise, I did have a great week of gaming with plenty of old favorites hitting the table. The new stuff was more of a mixed bag...

I'm just going to re-post my comment regarding Can't Stop Express after giving it a few spins...

"A hard one to judge. I agree with Rob Seater that this game basically needed more development in it's current form (mostly unchanged from Solitaire Dice), and as such is solid but a little...off.

I've mocked up the scoring sheets in order to play with the changes implemented by Extra!, and I have to say I'm not impressed. The changes *seem* to be for the better (the variable space length for each pair more closely matching Can't Stop, the variable length of the 5-die rows), but the implementation is just...wrong for the way the math works. Sure, the tweaks to the scoring help a little, but making it *harder* to score in a game where you're already getting dinged negatively in the original is not a good look. And the variable 5-die lengths would only make sense if there were some actual variation in the probability of rolling single dice, which there isn't. Juggling which 5-die to take works just as well with even rows, and different lengths give the *illusion* of choice without any substantial meaning. I'm mystified by the few who prefer that rule set over the original.

What *did* work out for me was the suggested changes that Rob mentions in his comment: Shortening the outlier pairs even more than in Extra (but keeping everything else the same) drastically reduces the pain while still forcing you to make tough choices with your dice pairings. It's a much better improvement given the inherent arithmetic of the game and is one I will suggest to future players."

Word Slam is 100% not my kind of game. A frustrating exercise in futility with only minimal opportunities for clever play, I suspect this (like Charades) gets better once certain conventions are established to improve communication.

On the complete opposite side of the board, I finally got a chance to break out my copy of Monikers (which is not technically new to me as I've played one of the many flavors of Time's Up! a number of years ago). This is the sort of party game I can really get behind, it's got a lot more positive feedback than other "behave goofily for your team" games and is a joy to play.

I suspect Illimat is a decent parlour-style game (read, kinda random but not super difficult to grasp), but I found the Decembrists theming to be incredibly distracting and twee. For what it's worth, games like Tak do similar stuff in building up thematic chrome for some extra spark, but for me feel less egregious. As for the game itself, it's decent but a bit too chaotic for my tastes. My friend who bought a copy from the designer said that they're still tinkering with the rules, which didn't do much to improve my feelings. Glad I played this before buying and can happily cross it off my list.
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21. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:8]
Board Game: Gaia Project
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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 10  Hansa Teutonica x1 (27 plays so far)
 9  Gaia Project x1 (3 plays so far)
 7  Azul x4 (6 plays so far)

On Gaïa Project:
We played for Gleen vs Terrans (me).

On the first round, i was able to have 13 power pawns while my opponent scored 11 points by colonizing 3 Gaïa planets.

On my last round, i had 10 QIC and i spent them on the 3 special actions for a big combos (second federation, reactivation of one of my federation tile, scoring of all of my mines on Gaïa planets...).

Final scoring : 158 to 118 (me).

Thoughts :
1) awesome game, one of my all time favorite (knowing that i don't like Terra Mystica).
2) really good at 2 players (the race aspect is there and strengthened by the fact that the game entice you to stay close of your opponent in order to earn power and spend less money to build your trading stations : 3 money instead of 6 is a big deal)
3) ressources are scarce, mostly ore and knowledge
4) as a result, progressing on tech tracks is hard and you can't afford to butterfly : you need to stay focused on 1 or 2 tracks.
5) i tend to ignore Navigation : i usually spend QIC for extended range but i think that it is too costly and slow in the end.

I am hooked.

From gallery of fdubois

From gallery of fdubois

From gallery of fdubois


On Hansa Teutonica:
It was a 5 players in the base map with all players knowing the game. And it was a great play :
1) 90 minutes
2) endgame was triggered by lack of tokens
3) i was last in turn order and it took me about 30 minutes to eran my 3rd action !!! In the meantime, i went for something else valuable (Liber Sophiae and Privilegium).
4) noboby went for 5 actions
5) 3 places on Coellen were taken
6) tense final scores : 38-38-36-33-24

What else ?
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