Gelato 301 - We Never Thought We'd Make It This Far... Now What??
Jacovis
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Las Vegas
Nevada
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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 Microbadge: GameChat League - Gelato Division: "Discover your favorite flavour!" CHIT-CHAT


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.



The Little Engine that Could

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The Railcars

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1. Board Game: Space Frontier [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Space Frontier
Jacovis
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Las Vegas
Nevada
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Our little GCL has quietly crossed a significant threshold here with our entry into our third hundreds of geeklists. I composed my first list with number 132, and since then we have gained many new members, had a few retire, and have learned much about each other both in gaming and otherwise.

What a pleasant and endearing adventure to be on with all of you! As we enter this new frontier of geeklist numbers, I ponder:

What do you foresee changing in your life during the next 100 weeks?

It's kind of amazing to think of this way, but by the time we reach number 400 I will be completely done with college for a long time (probably forever!), I will be living in Hawaii, and I will be teaching a completely different, culturally diverse group of children from those I am teaching now. It is very exciting.

I will also be several hundred games lighter in my collection by then (that's the plan at least, still working on that auction list!) and if all goes well I will have met a few more of my fellow Gelati by the end of that time.

What about you?
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2. Board Game: The Game of Life: Spongebob Squarepants Edition [Average Rating:4.66 Overall Rank:19011]
Board Game: The Game of Life: Spongebob Squarepants Edition
Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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The title of the geeklist is based off of a SpongeBob episode where Plankton finally gets to the recipe of the Krabby Patty and his wife (I believe) asks him "What are you going to do now?" because he's been trying to get the recipe forever. He responds with something like "I don't know..I didn't think I'd get this far." I always found it humorous.. I don't know if it was because it was actually funny or because I had to watch it with my son and I was desperate to find some enjoyment in it.

Take a quick look back into your Gelato past (some of you go a lot farther back!) or just think back to something that you knew you wanted, you worked really hard for, and then once you got there you weren't sure what to do.

Have you ever worked really hard for something and become so obsessed with the goal that you lost sight of why you were doing it or what you were going to gain from it?

I think the best way to apply this to myself is my previous attempt to become a history professor. I believe I would have loved that job, and I was on track for that until something happened in my family and it caused me to stop and reflect on where I was heading. I realized that I wanted to make a bigger difference than just to those kids who made it to college and decided to go there or had the means to go there, and here I am working on a path that I love that I had forgotten about in my pursuit of a goal that I can't even recall why I made it. It was an interesting experience.
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3. Board Game: New Frontier Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: New Frontier Game
Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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I know several of our members have moved to completely new countries, states, cities, and neighborhoods since we have all been together. New locations to explore have led to interesting conversations and discussions, as well as new meetings between our members!

What unexplored (to you!) frontier do you see yourself venturing into over the next 100 weeks?

Besides moving to Hawaii and teaching different students, I plan to go to Japan and/or Europe over the next 100 weeks. I have been saving and planning for a while now for Europe, so it is only a matter of timing and work that is interfering with everything at the moment. Japan is merely a matter of convenience as my wife and I have wanted to go but it is significantly easier and cheaper from Hawaii than the mainland.

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4. Board Game: The Game [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:997]
Board Game: The Game
Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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I know that my gaming interests have changed over the years. Not so much in terms of a sudden dislike of previous games, but rather a broadening of my interests as the hobby has grown. In spite of the number of games and variety of games I have played, I am still excited for potentially new and exciting ideas and designs.

What new design element, mechanism, concept, or game idea do you predict over the next 100 weeks? If not that, what game, genre, or designer do you want to try over the next 100 weeks that you have not tried before?

I have Pandemic Legacy, season 1, which I got for around $30 on sale that I opened up for my wife and son to play with me. We played the first game, but have not had the inclination to play it again. We love Pandemic, I think that the extra stuff just isn't exciting enough to warrant the extra game there for us. We shall see how that goes.

I would like to spend more time on Cole's designs over the next 100 weeks, especially with John Company on its way!
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5. Board Game: Star Trek: Ascendancy [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:551] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Board Game: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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What about your other hobbies?

Where do you see yourself with your other hobbies over the next 100 weeks? Do you see yourself becoming a master knitter, sommelier, or author? Something else?

I am rather spread out in my hobbies and interests, though board gaming is my primary interest. I would like to get more time in RPGs over the next two years, and I would also like to get back to finishing more crochet projects. I'm getting closer to finishing my dad's blanket, but it's a massive thing with smaller granny knots, so it doesn't expand as quickly as some other crochet knots do.

I'm also looking forward to getting outside more once I get to Hawaii and returning to my roots as someone who spends a lot of time outdoors. Living in Las Vegas has severely hampered that part of my life, and I feel very excited to get away from this place and go somewhere where I can revive that part of myself.
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6. Board Game: Cockroach Poker [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1019]
Board Game: Cockroach Poker
Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Howdy Gelati!

Sorry I missed this last week's list. It was the first week of classes for the semester at UNLV, and I had a ton of work to do as this semester I'm finishing my master's thesis.

I only played Cockroach Poker at Pop Culture Club this week, and I lost by default as I thought I had to leave early.

I did receive news that John Company is finally shipping, so I'm excited about receiving that. I'm glad I got to play with Cole and Asher and everyone at BGGCon.

I also picked up The Great Game: Rival Empires in Central Asia 1837-1886 from Legion Wargames. It's a light CDG based around the same period as Cole's Pax Pamir, so it was pretty much an insta-buy for me. It looks pretty neat.

I also picked up Hunt for the Ring and Star Trek: Frontiers – The Return of Khan, plus Venus Next and the Not Alone expansion. I hope I can find time to play all of these things.

We started our unit where our 8th graders get to pick their own books to read, and it's an overwhelming success already. 95% of the students are excited to read, and we are getting reports from other classes and teachers that the kids are reading their books all the time, and even during other classes when they're not supposed to. Fortunately, those teachers are supportive and excited to see the kids read too, so they have been telling them "Hey look, finish the work, then you can read" and the reading is becoming a reward. It's an incredible thing to see all of the kids walking around with books to read, and having them read them!

I hope everyone has a great week!
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7. Board Game: Deckscape: Test Time [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1713]
Board Game: Deckscape: Test Time
Jonathan Takagi
United States
Escondido
California
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Board Game: Major General: Duel of Time
Board Game: Deckscape: Test Time
Board Game: Majesty: For the Realm
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Board Game: The Lost Expedition
Board Game: Tichu


 N/A   Major General: Duel of Time x2 NEW! - An interesting little 2-player game with a somewhat novel card play system. You play cards overlapping each other, which determine both your and your opponent's actions. It feels a little tedious, so I'm not sure how long this is going to stick around.

 N/A   Deckscape: Test Time NEW! - This is an unpopular opinion, but I may like this series best out of all of the "escape room in a box" games I've tried (I have not yet played the Exit games). It's probably a little more on my level, with puzzles that I can actually figure out, for the most part. My daughter and I had a great time with this one.

 N/A   Majesty: For the Realm - I'm definitely still enjoying this one. It's enjoyable to just build an engine and score more and more points. The major flaw of the game is the usability of the components. I can't believe this was playtested and released without 5-value coins.

 5   Terraforming Mars - It was fun to take over a game from a friend, who had built a completely different style of play than I usually do, namely, plants. By the end of the game I was making 16 plants a turn, which was enough for a win.

 N/A   The Lost Expedition NEW! - An interesting cooperative game. I don't really like coops, but the challenge here was kind of fun, and the artwork really tied the whole game together. I'm not sure I would have any interest in the game if it wasn't for the artwork.

 N/A   Tichu - A fairly close match, it came down to the last hand.

I've had a shift of responsibilities at church, which has, and will continue to, affect my amount of game time.
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8. Board Game: Planet of the Apes [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:6256]
Board Game: Planet of the Apes
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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GAME WEEK

 7   Planet of the Apes x3 NEW!
 8   Star Trek: Five-Year Mission x2
 10   Elder Sign x3
 10   Firefly: The Game

Last week I got my copy of Planet of the Apes, and on Monday, Andrea and I played our first game. As we played another game on Tuesday and one on Wednesday, it’s easy to say we both like it! This game is very similar to Elder Sign (from the same author; a game I rated a “10”), but with a lot of chrome removed, and a little added. What the game achieves is a total immersion of the movie. The basic mechanism is still Yahtzee – no doubt here – but with cards and abilities, you influence the outcome of your die rolls to match the task on the story cards. As simple as this is, if you like the movie (we’re talking only about the first one – the original!) this game manages to capture the story and the spirit, including a wonderful showdown at the end. We even watched the movie again (and found out that Heston is in fact a bad actor … at least in this flick).

Friday was scheduled for roleplaying, but our GM suffered from the flu, so we switched to boardgaming instead and after all those ape playings, we went for the original: Elder Sign. Three games against Shudde M’ell, Azathoth, and Hastur and we won two of them (Hastur even woke up, but we kicked him back). Then we tried Star Trek: Five-Year Mission again; two playings and we lost both miserably. I still like it!

Sunday was cold and rainy, and we decided to put that to our advantage and set up a game of Firefly: The Game. We played our homebrew scenario, and for the first time we used all the fan expansions I bought at Printerstudio; that’s a lot of new cards and ships! More goodness, so cool. And the game was great too - after three and a half hour, Andrea won one turn ahead of me. This is one of the most thematic games in my collection, and with its sandbox design and strong ties to the series, one of my “11”-rated games – I should really ask for the ratings system to get expanded!

Board Game: Planet of the Apes
Board Game: Star Trek: Five-Year Mission
Board Game: Elder Sign
Board Game: Firefly: The Game


NEW GAMES

Empires of the Void II came in … I didn’t like Empires of the Void very much, but the kickstarter for the sequel looked very promising so I backed. After browsing through the rules I think I like what I read, and I’m looking forward to my first game. The basic engine is some kind of Puerto Rico role selection with a “follow” mechanism and there is enough room for conflict and tension. This might be a good game.

Board Game: Empires of the Void II


OTHER NEWS

Talking about Firefly and sandbox design: There's a new kickstarter, Western Legends. I still have no really good game with this topic, but this one looks very promising. The campaign seems to be very successful with lots of stretch goals and additional stuff. After watching a couple of videos about it, it seems that this might be a game right up my alley.

Our daughter got a Star Wars Crochet set as a present. Andrea was so excited about this, that I checked out amazon and ordered one too for her too, and now we have a Stormtrooper, Yoda and Leia as little crochet puppets near our other Star Wars fan stuff. Luke Skywalker is in the works. I’m tempted to use them in the Star Wars RPG! meeple

I hope you all had a great week too! meeple
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9. Board Game: Canyon [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:4041]
Board Game: Canyon
A face in the crowd
Canada
Chestermere
Alberta
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Games played (about 10 days worth):

Clubs - 2 games, and I lost both which is unusual since I normally win at least one.

Canyon - This one I totally smoked the rest of the gang. I was done while the other four players still hadn't even reached the rapids yet.

Hearts - Nostalgia struck, and the guy who called it had a great game. Me not so much. Althoughmy wife was the one who finally broke 100, to end it all.
(If there had only been four of us, Spades would have been a logical choice. Alas; we were five)

Eggs of Ostrich - I made a Print & Play version, and we test-drove it. I lost (came 3rd) but it was an intriuging exercise. We've vowed to try it again when the one fellow gets back from his vacation in Cuba. Lucky bastard.

Monty Python Fluxx - Silly fun, although one guy was totally not into it and his lack of enthusiasm brought everyone down.

Backgammon - 3 games; it ended in a push. I won the first, lost the second one after doubling my opponent earlier, and then clawed it back in the third.

Zooloretto: The Dice Game - A two-player night, and this one was tight. I went big for a lion, but my friend wasn't buyin' (it). When the game was all done, I had lost by just one.

Tally Ho! - More 2-player action. I stared out as hunters and managed to bag his bear and a few foxes, before bearing off 4 of my hunters. In the second half I held onto my lead by eating a hunter with one bear, before being shot, and then bearing off with the other bear for a big 10 points. Winner: I.

Jaipur - Classic back and forth, but his extra bonus chips outshone my most camels chip, and I am down by 1 leg. Time ran out before we could finish, so we will continue on next time we meet up.
_____________________________________________________________

Beer:

Yep. Uh huh. A memorable stout (on-tap at a brewpub) and a really nice bitter IPA from a local microbrewery. They are popping up everywhere; I think the last article I read said there are 21 in the city and plans for 3 or 4 more by year end. Within one hour's drive north, south, east or west, I could add another 15 to that list.

The other eye-opening discovery was the Cuban (ficelle) sandwich that I had at the brewpub. Pulled pork and coleslaw, a spicy and garlic-y sauce, sauted onion, and strips of pickles in a long crusty baguette bun. Best sandwich that I've had in months. Perhaps a year.

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______________________________________________________________

Otherwise:

I've been baking a fair bit, and knocking out some tasty soups and stews to go along with the breads.
Work is sort of slow, but that goes with the industry at this time of year.
My mom and sister have planned a short trip to France in May. They will be based in a small community an hour west of Paris, and will do day tours of Monet's garden, Normandy, and such.
My brother-in-law is trying to convince me to join him on a ten day trip: to London (again; I did manage that in 2011) and up to Aberdeen for a couple days, where his sister lives. As sorely tempted as I am, being a "one-man operation" at work requires me to forego holidays. Even short ones.
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10. Board Game: Space Empires: Close Encounters [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Space Empires: Close Encounters
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Gaming

Board Game: Flamme Rouge
Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Board Game: Onitama
Board Game: LYNGK
Board Game: Star Realms
Board Game: Space Empires: 4X
Board Game: Memoir '44


N/A  Flamme Rouge x3
Played a 3-stage solo tour against a Peloton and a Muscle team. Fun gaming although I was not very successful. A good light solo game.

N/A  Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Ingmar,Geri Erik and Me continued our campaign and this scenario was fun. We won but it was interesting. The app integration is good, but not being able to redo or undo is sometimes a hassle.

N/A  Onitama x4
After we finished our Imperial Assault game we tried playing two games at once. I played Onitama vs. Ingmar and Lyngk against Gerir Erik. First game of Onitama I fooled Ingmar and won after 3 moves I think. Second game was a long drawn out affair that Ingmar took in the end. It worked quite well to play two games at once.

N/A  LYNGK NEW!
I played this one against Geri Erik. He took the win on tie-breakers. A good game.

7  Star Realms x4
Played a quartet of this gem against a friend. We played 99 life instead of 50 and it worked well. First game I got a bunch of Green cards and the comboes demolished my opponent. Second game he built a base strategy that ensured he got the win.
Third game I struck back in a long game, but my blue-yellow comboes gave me enough life and the discard abilities of yellow took away his comboes.
Fourth game was a one sided massacre where I ended with 115 against his -15 points.
A lot of game in just the basegame, but I still look forward to the Frontiers set coming later this spring.

9  Space Empires: 4X
Got a mail from GMT telling me they had charged my Replicators expansion, so I needed to get the Alien EMpires scenario to the table. I really liked it and took the win with the help of some well placed warp points that allowed me to have one big fleet that could zoom back and forth to stop threats while the extra ships being built just joined up and then took out the homeworlds. Terraformed 5 barren planets and the Alien tech from those also helped alot.

9  Memoir '44 x3
Continued my Khalkin-Gol campaign against Geir Erik. My Japanese forces were superpowered and I went from being one point down in the campaign to being 12 up. We ended that night with two games of Onitama, where we took one victory each.

Books
Finished «Berge». Good read. I decided to make a geeklist about the books I read.

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11. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:61]
Board Game: Five Tribes
Julia
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So... life. It's bigger. And you, you're not me...

Nope, sorry, not that one But yes, life. Been sick, had to work, got an aweful weekend but the good thing is that we finally were able to play something different from top secret projects.

- Five Tribes, 1x: I really like Catalha's designs, and this one looks incredibly promising. The rules are easy and fast to memorize. The game seems infernal and evil beyond comprehension. You move, resolve, and then there's always something missing. Seems also quite unforgiving: I made a mistake 1/3 into the game, and Andrea trashed me (at endgame he scored 95 points more than me). But it's really great. Huge replayability and tons of possibel ways to victory. Or so it seems, need to play it a bit more of course

- Bastion, 3x: I love mathy puzzles and coop games and this scratches both itches. We loved working on this game, and it's a pleasure playing it once it's finally released. Cat loves it too. So far we played the introductory scenario 3 times, adding artifacts on our latest two playthroughs. Looking forward to attempt the more challening ones

- Lords of Waterdeep, 1x: possibly our most played euro (despite the game being mediochre at least). We had it on a long pause, so returning to the Yawning Portal was fun. Also, fun fact: Andrea down for the whole evening (under drugs) kept napping and waking up just for the move. In the end he scored 281 points. Not enough for the victory tho: Cat scored an impressive 306 (2nd best score of all times)

- Cosmic Encounter, 6x: I know it's mostly poker / a casino game, but it's insanely evil and fun




Watched a few flicks while sick: Ghostbusters (the original one, finally in blu ray; curious enough, I've seen it only once before, and I've never seen the second one, so, guess what's the next in line); Like crazy (La pazza gioia) (still heartbreaking even at the second pass, but so joyous and mad; plus this time I waded through all the extra footage and discovered so much - love the fact that for the movie some real "interrupted girls" were used, and the director, instead of using the backstage time to talk about the movie, just uses the camera to record their story. Tough to watch, but made total sense), and Big trouble in Little China (again, first time for me). I'm kinda recovering some '80s cult movies

And really enjoying Young Sheldon. The initial episodes were really meh, but then the series becomes a ton of fun to watch, and the young Ian Armitage is simply brilliant




Games. I should have some money landing in for yet another tech edit, and I was thinking GMT here. So, my list of must have at the moment is

- Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain (top priority for too many reasons, no room for debate)
- Wild Blue Yonder (because of the game and because after 80 months on the P500 queue I don't want to miss it out)
- there's a sci-fi GMT game I talked about with Stig and whose title I need to dig out again
- Welcome to Centerville (because Andrea's obsessed with this game and so I'm happy if we pick it up)

I have room for one, maybe two more GMT titles. Any suggestions on antyhing important released in the last 12 months (or so) that is not the game about Pericles that I've already picked up?
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12. Board Game: Agricola, Master of Britain [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:4269]
Board Game: Agricola, Master of Britain
Avri
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Last week's gaming:

Board Game: Button Men
Board Game: Strawberry Ninja
Board Game: Agricola, Master of Britain


 8   Button Men x2
 6   Strawberry Ninja
 7   Agricola, Master of Britain NEW!

Tried a learning game of Agricola, Master of Britain this week. The game is intricate and interesting and, despite an epic victory in battle and managing to place a garrison, I did not survive the first round. I *think* I was just unlucky (along with not understanding in advance exactly how the VP scoring worked) in that I would have had enough cash to buy my way into the second round had it not been the three hostiles in the box next to my starting legion, which stole enough to ensure my failure.

Looking forward to trying again now I have seen a whole round from start to finish.

I also scheduled my teaching slot for ConnCon, March 23rd - 25th 2018 in Stamford, CT. I'll be running For-Ex and Alien Artifacts, and competing in the annual Reiner Knizia's Decathlon tournament. As I mentioned, I'll be missing the Friday to see Weird Al, but it would be great to see any Gelati who might show up there - it really is my favorite convention.

-----

Work is exhilarating and exhausting and almost terrifying in a way that I haven't felt in many years. It's just a lot of change all at once - new A/P workflows to conquer, new Bookkeeper to train, new software to sell our vendors on and now, after 20 years, we're moving into new offices next month. Days fly by, I'm never bored, and I'm confident we'll get the hang of all the new, but in the meantime every day is a mess of adrenaline and stress.

Just as well then that I've started blowing off steam twice a week at Blitz Dojo, 45 minutes of aerobic stretching, crunching and kickboxing. It leaves me physically exhausted, but seems to relieve my mental exhaustion. Exercise is good, and the weight loss can't hurt.

Oh, and there a new Strangers in Paradise book out, the first in 10 years. It is sitting on top of my "to read" pile as I finish rereading the 100 or so issues that came before. I'm a couple of dozen issues from the end, and I don't think I've read some of this since it first came out. I am a different person today than the boy who first followed the adventures of Francine, David and Katchoo, but the impact these stories had and have on me has not changed. It is funny and sad and powerful and beautiful and enraging and unfair and infuriating and almost perfect.

Like life.
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13. Board Game: EastFront [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:1843]
Board Game: EastFront: The War in Russia, 1941-45
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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This is the CascadeCon that was:

I'm going to open with this past weekend, where I had the immense pleasure of attending CascadeCon in Bellingham, our very own O.Shane's inaugural con.

I went down with my friend Allan who is the designer of Crimson Sands, and who was demoing/playtesting his game all weekend.

Board Game: Tsuro
Board Game: Secret Hitler
Board Game: Dune
Board Game: 7 Wonders
Board Game: Here I Stand
Board Game: EastFront
Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure
Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Board Game: Conquest of Paradise


 5   Tsuro
 7   Secret Hitler x3
 8   Dune x2
 5   7 Wonders x2
 9   Here I Stand
 10   EastFront
 8   Deep Sea Adventure
 8   Castles of Mad King Ludwig
 9   Terraforming Mars
 9   Conquest of Paradise

Friday
I opened my Friday morning with Dune. It was originally just going to be the one game, but then it was over on turn 2 because the Guild snookered us and boom, done. So we immediately reset and played a second game.

The second game took for-freaking-ever, and we actually called it after turn 13 because some of the group had scheduled other things. I played the Fremen and had an alliance with the Harkonnen. The second game was marred by the Emperor-Guild alliance deciding that they would bankroll the Atreides-BG alliance on the second to last turn to prevent my alliance from getting any cards. While it's technically a legal move, giving spice to anyone any time you wish, I felt it went against the spirit of the game. But by that point I was too tired to care. The Guild won.

During our dinner break, Allan and I introduced Heidi and Io to Tsuro (via iOS app).

After dinner, we got some 10 player Secret Hitler going and O.Shane's son was on the winning team all three times.

The one game too many on day one was a round of 7 Wonders. It was an hour of sleep I'd dearly love to have had back the rest of the weekend.

Saturday
The only thing I had booked was Here I Stand later in the day, so I roamed around and met a really nice guy named Ted (Hi Ted! if you're reading this) who had EastFront (the original) set up and said he'd been wanting to play it for 15 years. I obliged him, and then promptly managed to win as the Germans in the Kursk scenario.

A quick interregnum saw me introduce Deep Sea Adventure to another convert.

Then a lovely round of the Castles of Mad King Ludwig. The owner of the game was awesome. "There's an expansion? Why have I not heard of this?" "There's an APP?? Why have I not heard of this!" I won, mostly because I got 28 points off the king's favour tiles at the end.

Finally, we had a six player game of Here I Stand. I took the Protestants, and I came as close as I ever have to winning with 24 points on turn 7. Printing Press + completing all three bibles. Then it all fell apart on turn 8 as I got a hand of lousy cards, the Pope finally got hot dice (burning 2 debaters), and the Hapsburgs ignored the French to capture all the electorates in Germany instead. So I ended up in last with 6 points. Naturally, without Hapsburg attention, the French won.

Speaking of France, the revised rules have made the French a much more interesting and fun power to play because instead of just building chateaus with their home card, they roll a die and there are modifiers, and they can get cards as well as VP. This makes up for a lot of the limitations the French typically face of not having a lot of room to expand and thus get more cards in hand. Such a relatively small change for such a big difference!

Sunday:
Sunday opened up quietly as all the big heavy games were done, including the MegaCiv tournament that went for 14 hours on Saturday. So folks were generally in the mood for lighter fare.

I opened my day with 7 Wonders with both O.Shane, his son, and two others.

Then a great moment of serendipity as a game of Conquest of Paradise was looking for a fourth, and I was able to teach that game to those folks and a great time was had by all. On the final turn I was able to get to 22, but my neighbour got to 22-1/2. One atoll short! Doh! meeple

Final game of the day was with a group of folks who were, ironically, from Vancouver and have a regular game day not that far from me (well, far enough, but it's along the Skytrain route from me) - I've been invited to their next event. We played Terraforming Mars, but the basic game only minus the corporate cards. I'd forgotten just how much faster the game is with only the base cards, but I also paid far more attention to the milestones, grabbing two of them, and being in second on the two awards that were sponsored, and took a commanding win 56-46-46-42.

Rest of the week
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Board Game: Titan
Board Game: Glen More
Board Game: Diplomacy


 9   Terraforming Mars ww
My wife crushed me. CRUSHED I say!

 6   Titan iOS
 7   Glen More Yucata
 7   Diplomacy NEW![/q] Gelato
Has this officially kicked off yet? Have we got a play-by-forum going in our guild or elsewhere?

What's going on:
Work: I apparently passed the written exam part of the job process. Next an interview to be scheduled in the coming six weeks.

Yellowknife: I'm heading to the great white north to see northern lights in a few weeks...

BixCon: ... and to Matt's con in Regina the weekend after that.

Gloomhaven: I bought the Broken Token insert. My wife now has a craft project.

The Kelda: The Kelda took her grade VI piano exam today. By my wife's account she did great, so that's amazing and awesome and will count as a grade 10 high school credit for her when the official results come in.

I'll post some photos later...
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14. Board Game: Wizard [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:742]
Board Game: Wizard
I'm the grizzled Wizard.

Board Game: Yspahan
Board Game: Wizard
Board Game: Glen More
Board Game: Race Through Space
Board Game: Chess
Board Game: Qwixx


 N/A   Yspahan NEW!
 5   Wizard x5 NEW!
 7   Glen More
 5   Up the River
 4   Chess
 5   Qwixx

One of the last unplayed leftovers from Spellenspektakel was a promo copy of Wizard. My eldest (7yo) took to trick-taking very quickly, and now wants to play nothing else. I survived another chess bloodbath with the Tot.

I'm learning 2 games on Yucata: Glen More with Roger, and Yspahan our VASSAL games, but if it is, tell me here and I'll jump on those!

It's the last lull week before the new quarter, in which I'm teaching 3 new-to-me courses, and taking two more (Challenge: Blended Learning and Neuropsychology & Learning). Gonna be a busy spring.

No reading, videos, or beer to report.
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15. Board Game: The Great Game: Rival Empires in Central Asia 1837-1886 [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:7835]
Board Game: The Great Game
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Several solo plays of The Great Game. I like it. It's pretty simple but fun - and way improved over the version I'd playtested six years ago. It's funny; I did't get any playtest credit for this one despite quite a few plays, probably because I didn't do any with the person who became the developer later. (Not complaining - I've gotten some playtest credits that I thought were very generous given how much I played!)

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16. Board Game: 1861 [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Board Game: 1861
Nikki Ebright
Netherlands
Arnhem
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New Avatar! So much Excite! Photo credit to Debbie Ohi, who is Awesome!
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Board Game: Mottainai
Board Game: Welcome to the Dungeon
Board Game: Champions of Midgard
Board Game: What's Up
Board Game: Sushi Go!
Board Game: Sherlock
Board Game: Impulse
Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure
Board Game: Swish
Board Game: Suspend
Board Game: 1861: The Railways of the Russian Empire


 N/A   Mottainai NEW!
 N/A   Welcome to the Dungeon NEW!
 7   Champions of Midgard NEW!
 N/A   What's Up NEW!
 N/A   Sushi Go! x3
 N/A   Sherlock NEW!
 N/A   Impulse NEW!
 7   Deep Sea Adventure x4
 N/A   Swish NEW!
 N/A   Suspend NEW!
 8   1861: The Railways of the Russian Empire NEW!

GAMES
Wow, it's been a busy couple of weeks! Let's see, what have we played?

In the house in De Meern, Billy and I managed a game of Mottainai, which we've been trying to get to for ages. He smoked me in the game, and I could see it coming not that far in, but it was still fun and I look forward to trying it again. It's enough different from Glory to Rome (which I also like) that it's worth playing.

We went to a game night in Utrecht that is sponsored by a game store, but is hosted in a shared executive office drop in space (very similar to one of my day jobs in the US). It was in these caverns next to the canal and used to be a nunnery and there's some history of wine making there too - it was a fascinating space.

The game store owner gave us the tour and introduced us to people at almost every table; it was quite the welcome! We met two brothers who were looking for people to join them in Champions of Midgard. Someone was taking pictures for a university project (maybe?) so we ended up online, trying to look like fierce vikings - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2013079045399069&set...

We played 2 games with the brothers and then it was time to catch the bus home.

I was busy with preparing for HexaCon and Billy was busy with work, so we mainly stayed in with an occasional walk to the grocery.

Our next gaming was with Tommy and his family, and Friday night and Saturday morning, we made up for some of our gameless days! I have Deep Sea Adventure x4, Impulse, Sushi Go x3, What's Up (and we had just met the Chronicle Games guy the week before in Arnhem!), and Sherlock, so 10 plays. It's such great fun to get to watch the kids learn games and then use that as a jumping off point for new discoveries.

Oh, and Tommy's wife cooked awesome food for us all AGAIN. I'm feeling very spoiled by the people we've met over there.

Then we were off, heading to Amsterdam on Saturday to stay near the airport for our Sunday morning flight. We flew Amsterdam to Detroit, then Detroit to Denver, with a 6 hour layover in Detroit. Billy's sister and family live about 30 minutes from the airport, so they collected us, took us home and fed us and we got to play two games with the 6 year old and one or two of the adults. Nice to get in some bonus family time, even if we were a little sleepy by then.

We ended up skipping our normal Monday night gaming, but that was ok since the con was 3 days away and we had plenty to do, and I was out of it by 8-9 pm anyway.

Con was busy, so Billy and I didn't end up getting to a game until Saturday afternoon, and we got to play 1861: The Railways of the Russian Empire!!! I'm pretty certain I've played an 18XX before, but I didn't have a recorded play of this, so it might have been my first time. Billy and I *REALLY* enjoyed it. So much that we set up a table by Con Registration so we could play again on Sunday. We may have caught the 18XX bug...

CON
The convention went well. We had about 250 people and a library of a little over 400 games; BGGCON 1 had about the same amount of people and twice that number of games, heh. People were really happy with the con, even with our crazy blizzard on Saturday night/Sunday. We are planning on doing it again in 2019 and have already started talking with the hotel so here's hoping that works out soon and we can start promoting it now.

MOVING AND MOVING PREP
We definitely liked the Netherlands and are for certain planning on moving over. I'm chairing 3 conventions in 2018 (at this time - yikes, who knows what could happen for the later part of the year!).

Convention 1 was this past weekend, so we have wrap up from this year, then contract for next year, put the info out, and then come back to promotion and such.

Convention 2 is in 5 1/2 weeks, so I'll need to mentally transition soon (this week).

Convention 3 is in a little over 5 months, so I'll also be switching gears to that this week. We have a meeting this weekend too. This one is more of a committee run event this year, so I'm trying to delegate and let people get things done without involving me.

In the longer term, we're working on trying to find people to chair a few of them, 2 and 3, specifically. The Executive Director (me) would be more of an adviser to the con chairs, and the intermediary between the con chairs and the board. It's in the beginning stages, but I feel like we're actually making some forward progress.

I also have plans to continue to go through my stuff and get rid of more things. I also need to find a home for my cat.

I'm getting to *things* that I'm keeping for emotional reasons, so that's the harder part of letting go. But I figure that the less I hold onto here the more that opens me (and Billy) up to our European adventures!

WHERE TO GO
We definitely spent time while in the Netherlands plotting and planning. We both really liked Arnhem. The character of it, the closeness of everything (we walked most places), the game store was good, the people we met were all good. I'm attracted to the history of the area as well as the closeness to Germany and the possibilities of travel from there. And it's about an hour by bus/train to Schiphol airport or Amsterdam (either one) and probably the same (or less) to Tommy's house.

We also like Den Bosch, so that's another possibility.

Regarding Utrecht: it was definitely a larger city. It had that big city feeling; more tall buildings and high rises, and very modern looking compared to Arnhem and Den Bosch.

I started to think on when I lived in England. For the first year, we were in a village of 2000. For the 2nd year, we were outside of even the village, on a road basically. I got antsy around then to be near more people again.

And I also, a few years later, lived in the mountains in Colorado, in a town of 10,000 people for 6 1/2 years. It was good, and then I got antsy for more people.

So Billy and I spent time discussing why I wanted a larger city (I've loved living in Denver), and how that translated to my interests in Europe. In England, I think living in a smaller village at first was good, as it allowed me to get to know the culture, learn some of the "touchstones", and meet people in a more repetitive way (seeing the same butcher every day, you kind of get to know them).

I also want the kind of larger things that you only seem to get by pooling lots of people together, the diversity that you find in larger groups. With so much of Europe at your fingertips, and the density of the population, I'm wondering if I don't need as large of a city (especially at first) in order to find the kinds of things I'll enjoy.

We shall see. It really depends mostly on what housing we find, but we're thinking we'll start our search around Arnhem. Also, apparently you have the best luck if you use an agent, paying them a fee up front and then they find places for you. For this part of the adventure, it's probably worth it.

So that's where we are right now. I feel like I'm missing some things, but I'm sure they'll come out! And congrats to our Gelato League on the 300, now 301, geeklists!
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17. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:171]
Board Game: Ra
EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
United States
Orangevale
CA
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The Great Zimbabwe 3p x1

There once was a man from Zimbabwe
who didn't like playing the hard way
he got a small god
a craftsman tightwad
And sculpted a win with the new clay
--
Oh my god, what a game. It felt like there were three distinct periods. The first, which was selection of gods and the first couple of craftsmen, the second, which involved price gouging and secondary craftsman to keep that bucket full of crabs, and the third, where suddenly everyone stopped hitting each other and tried to sprint for the finish. I had an early lead, but then ended up falling behind to my left hand player who generated a billion cows a turn, and my right hand player who genuinely didn't care about pricing- and in the end, I ended up going dead last, with no hope... except that the player who went first met VR through raising, then the next player met it by spamming craftsmen, and my cow-recovery turns for placement suddenly meant that I was everywhere on the board, and was thus able to bring it home for the win.
Exhilarating. Really, just a wonderful game.

Too Many Cindarellas 3p ww x1

negative-ish outlook fuels
this advisor's awful rules
as he pooh-poohs the girls prince wants
no rice no cake
nor tea to slake
There's no girl that can best his taunts
--
Of course, silly fun. I love the subtlety involved with the special cards- use them, and there are less rules out there.

Schollen Rollen 3p ww x1

I roll and I roll
but I can't fill hole
inside my soul
with this tiny wee sole roll for sole
--
I still like it, but Megan was decidedly unimpressed.

LOTR: The Confrontation 2p x1

Frodo flew through hill and dale
but hobbit full of pints of ale
swayed and staggered through the hill
and forced to swallow bitter pill.
--
Again, I can't believe how much I missed this game. It's really the best version of stratego- and it's the number one design I point to when people say that Knizia can't do thematic. Frodo's a slippery bitch, but that tempo killer in the mountains makes the fellowship player hold their breath. Unfortunately, I didn't let him come up for air.

Circus Flohcati 3p x3

fabulous fleas don't fail to faze
it seems I've not gained cards for days
--
Genius. I can't believe how much I like this game the more I play it. The fact that a. being a chicken increases your opponent's options and b. if you fail, it decreases the availability of the suits out, and in fact, increases their value substantially. Megan crushed us all three times... well one time we came within a point.

Rescue Polar Bears: Data and Temperature 4p ww x1

Ice as far as you can see
but melting down most rapidly
Sure the bears enjoy a dip
but still they need some land to grip
so hopefully we'll change some minds
and maybe save the cap that binds
--
Ok, this is our new adorable ghost stories. It's really a neat co op with very interesting spatial elements, and awesome asymmetry. It's become the only co-op Megan and I might play instead of Ghost stories, so that's saying something. I genuinely want to play though not just with different ships, but with different ship combinations. Reading the differences between first and second edition, that's pretty much a different game- and all the changes are for the better. Might even play it this weekend.

Ra 3p ww x1

Push for failure and you will see
a world of cautious victory
--
I won with what should have otherwise a terrible decision. I went out hecka early in the third round, allowing the other players first pick... only it just ended up being RA RA RA RA. This game never disappoints, and I'm glad that the non-wife opponent got to play it again, as she improved massively, and played viciously. Hilariously the biggest difference is that she Ra's more often.

Fight for Olympus 2p x1

Manage hands most cautiously
so you can push for when and where
and thus engage the enemy
on terms that you alone declare
--
God I love the ebb and flow and the lovely hand management. Like a good Knizia, there are few options, and they all suck. I won on pocket victory point, but really, it was just a culmination of heavy battering of Olympus- that almost turned against me due to her card advantage. However, an errata'd Andromeda really held down the house, and allowed me to try a slower strategy.

Ciub 2p x1, 3p ww x1

A rose is a rose by any name
but at least it's spelled the same
not like this stupid nome de plume
pronouncing it brings froth and spume
--
I'm still enjoying this dice roller. It's about ebb and flow and pool control, both of dice and spells- although with 3p, as dice pools get shorter, faster, there's now more incentive to choose the "burn" option in play. I don't know if I'd like it with 4, but 3 is a perfectly fine game, if totally different feeling.

Street Fighter: The Deck-Building Game 2p x2

are you ready, are you stable?
care to see how I am able?
Doesn't matter- loose the Kraken:
I'm Tetsumaki Senpukyak'n
--
Thanks to Seth's moderately positive view, me and co-worker gave it the old lunch try. It might be my favourite or 2nd favourite of the ascension style DB games. Simple to teach, very interactive both thanks to attacks and shared markets. Really, a solid, fast little title. Lost the first, but the second I just bodied him with a 5/2 split giving me earlier access to my Ultra, and Blanka's Ultra is just devastating early game. Late game it's basically just a +2... but early, discarding all your starting cards just hamstrings your econ.
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