GCL Mafia 468: Chicken Tenders
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Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly geeklist!

Important Links:
GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread (links to past lists, subscribe for weekly notifications)
GameChat League Wiki (for general information about the GameChat League concept)
GCL Mafia Wiki (for specific information about this division)
Thesp's GCL Games Played Tool (an easy-to-use tool for collating your plays for the week)

GCL Mafia Members:
• Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the 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:
• Each week, one or more questions will be posted. They can be gaming-related topics or non-gaming-related topics. Themed questions are optional. Gifs are always encouraged.
• Members can post additional items as they see fit.
• Please refrain from adding items if you are not part of the current roster.

Current Roster:
fdubois
charlest
annowme
mith
Dolus
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls
captainraffi
touchstonethefool
cferejohn
jshufelt
ambierona
LouieSTFU
Necroblaster3000
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1. Board Game: Tastes Like Chicken [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Tastes Like Chicken
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Growing up I used to be a fairly picky eater much to the chagrin of my family. As an adult I realize how annoying it must have been to be around. Chicken strips/Chicken tendies are kinda notoriously a food picky eaters gravitate towards. This was definitely true for me. Eventually I grew out of that, but there are definitely still some things I actively dislike and will make me pick and scrape it off food.

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Are there any commonly used ingredients that are a hard nope for you? How about something that actively ruins something, but you'll stomach it just to be polite?

What do you think is the most adventurous thing you've eaten/tasted?

Is your childhood favorite food the same as your current favorite food?
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2. Board Game: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:10256]
Board Game: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
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What game is chicken tenders to you? (Interpreted however you want.)
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3. Board Game: Chicken Soup For The Soul [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Chicken Soup For The Soul
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I've been watching a lot of Bon Appétit on Youtube mostly because I like watching the chemistry between Brad and Claire. (It gives me hard Jim/Pam office vibes. I know he's married just let me ship my ship yo.)

Anyways, we seem to have pivoted from fitness GCL to cooking GCL.

So what are you cooking lately? Any plans to try something new?

What do you think is the most complex thing you've cooked? What was your most spectacular cooking failure?
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4. Board Game: Chicken Party [Average Rating:4.89 Unranked]
Board Game: Chicken Party
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Alright time to go back to top 5s.

Chicken is an extremely versatile protein. In all it's forms and with many varieties of seasoning, etc.

What are your top 5 ways to eat chicken?

Different flavored chicken wings would be separate entries for example. (If you don't eat chicken than same question but with a different item that is the star of the dish)
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5. Board Game: Wingspan [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:20]
Board Game: Wingspan
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The game of the week is Wingspan. Uhh just kinda decided since it's sorta relevant to chicken tenders.

Likes, dislike, initial thoughts, have you played it?, do you even want to play it?

Strategy discussions, etc. Is egg spamming too dominant? Are public goals even worth pursing?

Favorite bird fact you've learned as a result.

Your favorite bird now.

(If you haven't played Wingspan or aren't interested what animal would Stonemaier games have to make a game about and with what mechanisms for you to be interested?)
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6. Board Game: The King's Dilemma [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:926]
Board Game: The King's Dilemma
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Board Game: Posthuman Saga
Board Game: Viva Topo!
Board Game: No Thanks!
Board Game: The King's Dilemma
Board Game: Wingspan
Board Game: Claustrophobia 1643
Board Game: L.O.L. Surprise: 7 Layers of Fun Game


 N/A   Posthuman Saga (2 all-time)
 6.6   Viva Topo! NEW!
 8.1   No Thanks! (15 all-time)
 7.8   The King's Dilemma x3 NEW!
 7   Wingspan NEW!
 8.9   Claustrophobia 1643 (4 all-time)
 2   L.O.L. Surprise: 7 Layers of Fun Game NEW!

Articles/Reviews
I was whelmed by Cowboy Bebop: Boardgame Boogie and Ars Technica published my review this past weekend.



Posthuman Saga
This is not my favorite Post Apocalyptic game but it's a solid design with some very interesting puzzle elements. It's definitely more Euro than AT, and it's very concerned with offering a strategic experience. There is a narrative and it presents little story moments out of a book throughout the game, but the overarching feel of this one is puzzling out the solution to the many different sub-systems.

I dig it but don't love it. Need one more play before review.

Viva Topo
This was pretty fun. I'd definitely pick up a copy for Lila if it was cheap and easy to find. We played a quick game during a break in King's Dilemma so a buddy could show it to me.

The King's Dilemma
This is a very good one. It's a legacy negotiation game where each player (there's four of us in our campaign) represent a house in our shared nation. We're sort of the ruling council that advises the King. The entire game is new issues popping up presenting votes and us arguing and then voting. There's resource management so it's not a strict plurality, it depends on how much power you place behind the vote.

We're really enjoying it. The narrative is very interesting and your choices spiral in interesting directions. I'm very eager to see where it goes.

Wingspan
Made some comments in the Geeklist entry for it, but I very much enjoyed it. I'm a fan of tableau builders and engine building and the game was very smooth and non-fussy. Really dig the three rows and how you gain in capability as you add to them.

LOL Surprise 7 Layers of Fun
This is 2 layers short of Dante Aligheri's vision of hell. It still includes all of the pain and suffering though.


On My Mind
We're playing Oceans this week for sure, kind of excited about that one as it looks to be more interactive than Evolution. Not sure what else we'll hit but there will only be three of us.

I forgot to mention this in a past list I believe, but I really loved Joker. I thought Joaquin did a phenomenal job and the climax was fascinating.

We started watching For All Mankind and I'm digging it. I didn't realize Joel Kinnaman was in this, absolutely love that dude ever since The Killing. Thanks for the recommendation Fabrice.

We watched half of The Report last night, an Amazon Prime film with Adam Driver exposing the CIA waterboarding/torture techniques after 9/11. Pretty interesting so far.

Hoping to see 1917 soon.

My daughter started girl scouts this year (she's a Kindergartner) and my wife of course volunteered to be their leader. It turns out the local boy scout troop invites the girl scouts to participate in their Pinewood Derby. I haven't built a Pinewood Derby car since I was 10 maybe, so this is interesting.

I'm not very handy (my dad is but he didn't teach me anything). When I fix something like the dryer or some basic PVC plumbing or whatever, I fist pump and feel great for a few days. I don't own any power tools besides a basic drill and have no idea what I'm doing. So my wife pushed me into going to this Derby workshop they were doing in the nearby middle school shop room where a bunch of boy scouts were going in with their dad's to start working on their cars. I was pretty anxious about this as I have a big fear of looking stupid in front of people.

We ended up going with a very simple wedge (we'll be more adventurous next year) and are going to favor speed over looks. I successfully used a band saw and it's looking alright. Waiting for the small weights I ordered to get in then going to proceed to the next step.

Lila wanted a Pikachu theme so we're going to paint it yellow and then paint Pikachu's face on the front, maybe mount a little lightning bolt tail on the back made from balsa wood.
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7. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:11] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Board Game: Scythe
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Board Game: Scythe
Board Game: Bourré


Scythe
Bourré

Scythe

Last week was one of those weeks where the game group Slack was poppin' all week. I tracked down a relatively cheap blended scotch I like that punches way above it's price, and somehow that turned into "Let's drink whiskey and chartreuse and a bottle of sparkling wine" during game night.

Game 1 was Scythe. Tom didn't love it the first time he played and he soldiered through this one, everyone else seemed to enjoy it though it didn't blow anyone away. I got exactly what I wanted out of it; a satisfying engine, some jockeying for position, and I muscled a couple combats in to a satisfying win. That said, there's a shit ton to manage in Scythe from a goals perspective and I definitely benefited from having played more times than anyone. Tbh, I may drag this out again soon. I liked it and want to try an expansion faction.

Booray

Due in no small part to all the booze, the first like 5 hands of booray were wracked by arguments about exactly how you play. Matt modified his Official CoolDudesGames Flowchart and I offer it here to all my friends. The official soundtrack to this game is We R Who We R by Kesha.

From gallery of captainraffi


On my mind

I took a painting class this weekend, mostly airbrushing with some more advanced brush techniques as well.

From gallery of captainraffi


From gallery of captainraffi


Really happy with the skin tones and blends, and while the blue crystal doesn't photograph well it looks great in person. Now thinking about getting another airbrush to have a 3rd needle size available.
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8. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:19]
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Dragon Dice


Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Jennifer and I had a date night recently, had some pupusas which were amazing, and then played the second scenario of AH:TCG. It's been nearly a year since we played, so lots of stumbling as we worked out way through. There were a couple of "oops" mistakes but no biggie, so we just continued forward. The scenario looked hard, but we actually won it pretty handily. I did a LOT of fighting, though, and had a close call when my gameplan had to be to face off against the toughest monster, go all out to put it on the brink of death, let it attack me to put me 1 sanity and 1 health from death and hope the Mythos step wouldn't kill me (which has consistently dealt 1 damage of sanity or health per turn for the last 3 turns), and it worked out. So it was very close. but we defeated the cultists pretty handily. It was an interesting story, and we have 1 scenario left.

We played this at our game store, so on the way out we bought the Dunwich Legacy expansion. Now I've learned how the expansions work. 8 scenarios in a cycle, starting with a 2-scenario box, 6 separate scenario decks, and then an additional box you can buy to put all of the cards in. Woohoo?


If anybody is getting rid of their old AH:TCG collection on cheap let me know. Otherwise, depending on how likely we are to play through more of this, I may start jumping on the cheap local sales as people offload their old copies.

Dragon Dice
I've been playing a lot of Dragon Dice postal games online, and running some as well. I'm very happy to see this becoming a more regular thing for me now and I am having a lot of fun with it. I'm also taking steps to return to creating video content to support the game. I've got 1 video recorded and I just need to check it before I upload it. I'm lazy so there probably won't be much video editing on this one, but I should probably add some sort of intro/close to the video. I've got several video ideas moving forward now based on what people have been requesting.

My two most recent in person plays, however, have been amazing.

I discovered a player about an hour away from me. He started to get into the game in the 90's. And within the last year, got into the game again with just a starter set. I invited him over to play a game and I'll call it a teaching game. But it wasn't a teach all the rules game, but kind of a 'let's play a game with running commentary and me fully explaining my thought process and reasoning.' It taught a few rules that aren't as obvious or don't come up in early plays, as well as many strategic considerations for play. He already had the basic rules down well. It was a good game and I look forward to more games with him. He had to come and leave early, so he didn't get to meet the rest of the group, but next time we meet hopefully he'll be able to.

Later that day, my two other friends came over and we played a 3 player game.
I forgot to mention, all these games lately have been sealed style. Open 3 kickers (45 health), choose 36 health worth and pick any terrains/dragons, and play.
Our 3-player game was Goblins versus Swamp Stalkers versus Coral Elves (me). I'll copy what I said in the Facebook group, but this was possibly the best game of Dragon Dice I'd ever played, and certainly had the most dragon action I'd ever seen in a game. All 6 dragons were summoned and were moved about the terrains frequently to attrition players and push players off of sealing a victory position.

Quote:
I had an incredible game of Dragon Dice today!

Two friends came over for a 3-player game; swamp Stalkers, goblins, and my Coral Elves. It started out mostly uneventful and in my favor. I kept trying to pick up swamp Stalkers with missile while they recovered and picked off goblins from reserve with mutate. Myself and goblins both took an 8th face, and I went for the second 8 at the frontier. Eventually I brought it up to 6 and eliminated all other units at my terrain. I had everything alive. Goblins were 2/3 alive all at their 8th face, and Swamp Stalkers were about half alive mostly are a 1 magic terrain. This is where it got interesting.

Goblins rolled for magic and got 22 magic! I gave a nudge and suggested that 3 black dragons summoned against me might help (they each brought 2 black dragons). If you didn't know, YES! you can summon an opposing players dragon. There goblins then retreated half their army to later face off against me to keep me off the 8.

Then the swamp Stalkers had a good magic roll and summoned a 4th dragon on me.

It was still close, but this was still enough to eventually chase me away from the terrain, bring lucky enough to roll a ferry during the second dragon attack to retreat the entire army. This eventually turned into a rather large dragon warfare of summoning their 4 black dragons and my 2 blue dragons around the board depleting all of our armies and chasing everybody off of 8 faces until finally myself and the Swamp Stalkers were eliminated and the Goblins managed to recover half their army and their 8th face back at home.

It was such a great game, and the most dragon action I had ever seen in a game of Dragon Dice.
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9. Board Game: Rhino Hero: Super Battle [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:716] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Board Game: Rhino Hero: Super Battle
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Push Cubes. Blow Stuff Up.
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Board Game: Villa Paletti
Board Game: Tsuro
Board Game: Lost Cities
Board Game: Wingspan
Board Game: Rhino Hero: Super Battle
Board Game: Animal Upon Animal
Board Game: Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization


Villa Paletti (4 all-time)
Tsuro x3 (6 all-time)
Lost Cities (20 all-time)
Wingspan (7 all-time)
Rhino Hero: Super Battle x7 NEW!
Animal Upon Animal x4 (22 all-time)
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization (29 all-time)

One of the guys I used to mentor was back in town, so we went to the local game cafe/FLGS, The Malted Meeple, and had boozy Star Wars-inspired milkshakes (mine was a peanut butter malt with ground-up Cap'n Crunch and Bailey's) and played games. We've played heavier fare together such as Twilight Struggle and Eclipse, but we only had just over an hour or so, and opted for lighter stuff. Villa Paletti saw my hubris become my undoing as I tried to stack the top layer with enough columns to ensure that his next placement would collapse the structure (while I was in a position to win) but I ended up knocking the whole thing over anyway. The staff gave us a round of applause. Lost Cities and Tsuro are simple, but always fun. Short and sweet. Of especially amusing note to me was the table next to ours where a guy was feverishly attempting to teach Bios: Origins to three strangers within an hour of the store closing. Bruh.

In addition to Animal Upon Animal, Theodore also received Rhino Hero: Super Battle for Christmas... and Anastasia and I are kinda-sorta addicted to it. I mean, my kid plays it, too, but man, Haba is killing it with these stacking games. I think I've found that stacking/dexterity games are secret sauce for me. I need to try them all. All of them. Immediately.

Wingspan continues to be quite good, especially at the 2-3 player count. Nothing overly special to report, but it's a hit. Not terribly interactive, but when it is, I like how it's done. Also, birbs. I ordered the European Expansion last night.

In another excellent session of Through the Ages, Bill Gates was a pushover and DID NOT win me the game like he does in every other instance. For real, Bill? I count on his petulent grin to wring out those tech points for me, and he fails to deliver. I even built him THE INTERNET. The expansion cards are fabulous. A fantastic expansion, overall. Another example of "more of what you already like" but with a few novelties that spruce up the gameplay.

After seeing The Rise of Skywalker in theaters two weeks ago, Anastasia decided that it was time to re-watch the entire saga, so we did. My condensed thoughts:

- Return of the Jedi is way better than I rememebered.
- The acting and screenplay of the Prequels suck, save for Ewan MacGregor.
- The PLOT of the Prequels is really, really good.
- Palpatine is my spirit animal.
- The Clone Wars TV show is vastly underrated.
- More people needed to tell George Lucas "no."
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10. Board Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:75]
Board Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Joseph
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Went to game night this week, given that my wife wasn’t told we need to go to the hospital, and it might be a while until I can play any games.

Super good night of gaming. I was hoping to just be with a group of 4, because I brought a lot of great games I wanted to play, but an unintended 5th show up anyway. No problem though.

Board Game: The Mind
The Mind - Pulled this out just to pass time while waiting for another friend to show up. It was a 3-player game. One great strength of this game is that it’s easy to play, easy to explain, but such a different experience overall. So this game is quick for a little pastime activity. It’s starting to cool for me a bit. But I still have a good amount of fun with it.

Board Game: Parade
Parade- The friend still wasn’t there, but the 4th player came in. We decided to play Parade. I thought “no problem. This game is easy to explain” - Except I realize now it has been nearly 3 years since I last played it, and I totally forgot how to play it. So it was a bit rough up front. I cannot believe it’s been that long at all. Still. We got through a couple of games of it. One to warm up. A second to actually play it.

Board Game: Cryptid
Cryptid- Finally, the 5th player showed up. I looked at my bag of games, and only one played up to 5. Cool. No problem. I was wanting to play Cryptid anyway! We played two games of this. And it’s remarkable how it works out. Really impressive. The second game showed some fragility issues. I took a stab at a spot, and everybody set down their discs. I was amazed that I won. We all disclosed our clues and… one person messed up. My win was in vain! We were all laughing about it though. Tons of fun. I love Tobago. A lot. And while at their very core, they are significantly different games. (One is Deduction, the other is Reduction), they both capture a similar essence. I actually like the reduction mechanism more, but when it all fits together and plays out, the only thing Tobago is better at is presentation. The art and pieces are much better in Tobago. But gameplay is so much smoother, and focused. I retired Tobago. One of the games I’ve had the longest in my collection

Board Game: No Thanks!
No Thanks!- One of the players only had a little bit of time left, so we spent it playing No Thanks!. Got my hands on the new AMIGO version with oversized cards. While the look of it is improved, and the slipper weighty tokens are nice… this box is just too damn big! Great fun being a chip bully in this game. Played twice. I won once.

Board Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Quacks of Quedlinburg-
Okay. Fine gamers. This is a great game. There only reason why I'm angry is because I don't have the acrylic pieces from the BGG store. But seriously. This game. Seriously? So easy to learn. So fun to play. Best family weight game I’ve played. Way better than I expected. I want to get this to the table again. But I want the BGG acrylic pieces even more.

OMM: - The biggest thing on my mind right now is my wife. I think I get more anxious and nervous with each of her doctor’s appointment. Full disclosure, I’m typing this up on Friday. Who knows what the future holds? I’m just shaking my knees anxiously as my wife is about to head off to her appointment.

Knowing that no matter what, my world is about to be changed tremendously is just… remarkable. I’m worried and concerned for my wife, the baby, and my daughter.

Trying to catch up on all of our bills and scheduling stuff. I updated my board game collection, including my ratings. It isn’t 100% right. But it’s really close enough.

I “played” Animal Upon Animal with Lillian. I have sat on the ground a few times and just stacked up the animals. But she’s picked it up too. The concept of taking turns clicked with her immediately. She also loved pushing the stack of animals over when it got too tall.

From gallery of jshufelt
From gallery of jshufelt


We’re getting concerned with her though. She isn’t talking. She’s 21 months old, and hardly even says any words that she has spoken before. She associates things with words really well. I started showing her sign language with the spoken words too. We’re trying everything we can, but she just doesn’t seem interested in speaking. She communicates with pointing and her own gestures. But she just isn’t using words.

-----------------

At this moment, I have the following games scheduled for a transaction:

Time Stories
Tobago
Rococo
Welcome To…
Tiny Towns
Castles of Burgundy
La Granja
First Martians

I will be getting money and Dominion: Hinterlands and Louis XIV in return.

In addition to that, I will have my friend taking the following games to a FLGS’s used game section:

Onirim, Castellion, Fury of Dracula, ArtSee, The Blood of an Englishman, Fifth Avenue, Leaders of Euphoria, SOS Titanic (Maybe), Trambahn, and Zooloretto.
-----------------

Games Stats!

From gallery of jshufelt


2019 is the lowest total plays I’ve had in a year since I’ve been logging games.I was staying close to the average until July, when I changed jobs again and lost all my personal time..

Since I’m sure it will be asked, but that huge outlier in October if 2016 was when I was playing lots of games solo, especially Onirim and Legendary: Marvel.

The most played game of 2019 was The Mind at a rather small number of 8.

Followed by a 3-way tie of Betrayal Legacy, Magic Maze and Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (4 plays).

I played 53 different games. Only 17 games were played more than once.

My favorite game of the year I played was my favorite game of all, Terra Mystica.
My favorite “new to me” game of the year was Pandemic Legacy.
My favorite game actually released in 2019 was Star Wars: Outer Rim.

My biggest disappointing play was Passing Through Petra.
The worst game I played was Color Brain: Disney Edition. Though it wasn’t THAT bad for what it is.
So I’ll be more critical of Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition. I just didn’t find it interesting or inspiring. It’s very forgettable. No interaction in any way. Completely solitaire tetris, and I don’t even remember exactly if you actually “win” or “lose”. Does it even have that?

Looking at these statistics, I can tell you I did have quite a few “undocumented plays” - because I know with Railroad Ink, I played it, and all the expansions a few times just in search of what the game was. But I only logged 1 play.

The Mind, I feel like I played it 8+ times the first NIGHT. There are likely other plays here and there that didn’t make it. Oh well. It’s not actually important.

Saturday update: So yesterday afternoon, they wanted my wife to have a lab do blood work tests. But being that it was Friday, results would take until Monday to come. So they had us go to the hospital just in case the results weren't great and they were going to admit her.

Baby's gestational age is 34 weeks, 3 days. Still early. They want her to get to 35 weeks as a bare minimum. Then we'll aim for 37 weeks.

I stayed with the wife at the hospital until 9:00pm. She had a few symptoms that were a little concerning to them, so they kept her for observation overnight. I went home to be with Lillian. I ended up picking my wife up late Saturday morning. Everything is looking good for now.

Sunday update: I made mozzarella cheese. It took about 40 minutes and at one point it felt like my hand was melting into the cheese. It gets very hot. But after getting the supplies, getting about 5 balls of high quality mozzarella for the price of a gallon of milk and 40 minutes of time is worth it.

Monday update: Hi, folks!
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11. 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


Gloomhaven

Finally got back to Gloomhaven after a 6 month layoff, and my friend Grey finally got to retire his level 9 Mindthief that he'd been playing since the start of our campaign while the rest of us had all retired at least 2 characters. He opened triple-arrow, which leaves us with just tow boxes to open: Sun and Saw, and we are getting close on both of those.

It was fun to be playing it again, but boy did it take a while to set up and remember what the hell we were doing. We're just a handful of scenarios from finishing the campaign. Has anyone played Forgotten Circles? I'm leaning away from getting it because even with a 6-month layoff I'm feeling a certain amount of Gloomhaven fatigue.

Wingspan
Had a partial play of this at The Game Parlor, a game cafe in SF. See the GL item about Wingspan for my thoughts.

Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr
Before Wingspan, we pulled out this and tried to learn it, but the rules are not terribly well written. Like the game didn't seem that complex, but after about 30 minutes of trying we gave up on it and pulled out Wingspan. It seems like it might be a better fit to learn from a video and not play at a cafe, but I'm not sure if we'll bother. I do like the idea of this game.

OMM
The Game Parlor in SF was nice. The food was good - they make sweet and savory waffle sandwiches. I had a reuben, which was pretty good. We got there at like 11:30 AM and the place was empty, but by 2PM or so it was pretty full and, unfortunately, quite loud (which is part of what led Hilary to wanting to nope out of there). Some sound baffling would be helpful. All that said they had a decent selection of games (though they used *really* cheap penny sleeves, which made the Wingspan cards pretty annoying to stack and handle). I'd definitely go there again.

Saw Knives Out yesterday morning while Alistair stayed overnight with Hilary's parents. It was a super fun movie and I'd definitely recommend it. I've heard it compared to Clue (which I love), but it's definitely less slapstick than that, though it is still to some degree a satire of the thing it also is (a people-in-the-house murder mystery).

We leave for the cruise a week from Thursday! Alistair may just explode from excitement. Our evenings are pretty much watching videos about cruises now.
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12. Board Game: Cornish Smuggler [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:7660]
Board Game: Cornish Smuggler
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Shards of Infinity 4 (19 all-time) + Shards of Infinity: Relics of the Future 4 (11 all-time) + Shards of Infinity: Shadow of Salvation 4 NEW!
DropMix 3 (100 all-time)
Dimension 1 (16 all-time)
Marvel Champions: The Card Game 1 (3 all-time)
Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends 1 (8 all-time) + Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends – Etherweave 1 NEW! + Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends – Nethervoid 1 NEW!

---

Shares of Infinity: Shadow of Salvation: We started game night with just including the paltry 12 new cards into the center deck. Then, we decided to try out the co-op mode. We ended up defeating each boss (there are three tiers, with two choices each), making the campaign only three games long. (If you lose, you go back to the previous boss and try again, which is kind of lame.) "Campaign" is overselling the experience as we only ever added two cards to our starting decks, but it was a fun night and we can fight the other three bosses next time.

As my birthday present, Matt agreed to play any games I wanted for an afternoon. My parents took Simon and we fit in Tash-Kalar, Marvel Champions, and Dimension.

Tash-Kalar expansions: Finally got to see these in action after owning them for a few years. I played Nethervoid. It feels lame logging Etherweave since I didn't play it, but it was in the game, so I don't know. I do what I want. I'd love to get to play each many more times, but it's not the easiest game to get to the table. Supposedly though, CGE will is putting out a digital version of the game at some point, so fingers crossed.

Marvel Champions: We won against Rhino. We probably didn't cheat. Maybe we did. I don't know. There was one takesie-backsie because it would've been a loss otherwise. Whatever. Logged it as a win.

---

On My Mind:

I made Chili Cornbread Skillet, which had way too much tomato chonk and no meat. So, it's getting filed it under "good, but not worth making again".

My friend kept talking about Forged in Fire, so Matt and I started watching. It's surprisingly interesting and it's been consuming our evening TV time.

A lot of things going on this week schedule-wise, so I no game night on Wednesday. I think I'll just look at my shelves and log plays of whatever I wish I were playing.
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13. Board Game: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:831]
Board Game: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Board Game: Las Vegas
Board Game: Las Vegas Boulevard
Board Game: Keyflower
Board Game: Impact: Battle of Elements
Board Game: For Sale
Board Game: Condottiere
Board Game: The City
Board Game: Vampire Empire
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
Board Game: ReCURRRing
Board Game: The Fox in the Forest Duet
Board Game: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar


Las Vegas (15 all-time) + Las Vegas Boulevard (10 all-time)
Keyflower (11 all-time)
Impact: Battle of Elements x5 (8 all-time)
For Sale (19 all-time)
Condottiere (13 all-time)
The City (58 all-time)
Vampire Empire NEW!
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases (6 all-time)
ReCURRRing x2 (3 all-time)
The Fox in the Forest Duet NEW!
Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar NEW!

A lot of old classics hit the table this past week, and some notable new plays.

I got a copy of Vampire Empire on clearance from Minature Market a week or so ago, I have some gaming friends who've recommended it pretty highly, so I was intrigued to finally sit down with it. It's pretty good! A lightly asymmetric 2p game where one player is trying to kill some hidden vampires and the other is trying to protect them and off a bunch of humans. There's some interesting hand management and some mild bluffing, and the whole thing is over in about 20 minutes.

There are a set of 9 human cards (3 sets of three classes) that are shuffled, and three are placed face up into the "Castle" while the rest form a stack called the "City." 9 corresponding tokens are shuffled in a bag, and the Vampire player draws three secretly, those being the vampires. The human player draws two more, giving them some known non-vampires, but keeping them in the dark about the rest. Players take turns discarding/drawing from a personal deck of cards, then taking an action. The regular action is having a character in the castle attack another character, and each player has attack/defense cards that are either wild or coded to specific classes (meaning that sometimes a player can play cards in the attacks and sometimes they can't, depending on which characters are in the castle). Attackers that play a higher strength kill defenders, and the vampire player has to reveal when a vampire character is killed.

The Human player wins when all three vampire characters are killed, while the Vampire player wins either by killing all the human characters, or maneuvering the three Vampire characters into the Castle. Definitely something to check out if any of that sounds interesting.

My regular gaming partner picked up The Fox in the Forest Duet from the Renegade booth at this past BGG.CON, and we got it to the table over the weekend and made short work of it. I really like how it incorporates a co-op framework into a trick-taking game, and at first blush I might actually like this more than regular Fox in the Forest. I'm not sure how much staying power it has; Like FitF it's a real smooth play, but I found myself getting a little bored with it after a while. Time will tell.

And finally, I got the big enchilada to the table after owning it for over a year: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar. I'd been interested in trying a COIN game for years, and Falling Sky was the one I'd picked up based on the general consensus being that it was one of the easier titles, and that the historical period was of more interest to me than the other ones. Since I got the game, I 1) set it up and ran through the sample game in the playbook (3-4 days intermittently), 2) played a few more turns off the end of the sample play (1 day), 3) set it back up and ran through a few more turns 4 handed to re-acquaint myself with the rules (1 day), and finally 4) played one half of the quick version of the shortest scenario with my gaming buddy. Phew!

It was...a lot, and I'm of two minds. On the surface this is very much not my kind of game. Rules upon rules upon rules and exceptions upon exceptions upon exceptions. The plus/minus of each faction functioning very similar to one another was helpful, as we were each playing two-handed (plus because it was less to remember, but COIN enthusiasts also count it as a minus because it blunts the asymmetry the series is famous for), and after we got our minds wrapped around the basics it wasn't too hard to start absorbing the exceptions. It seemed like an awful lot of rules to have to internalize before you could, you know, actually start playing the game.

But on the other hand, I liked the asymmetry and the turn order decisions and the more-or-less thematic victory conditions for each faction: The Romans want to crush all Gaulish resistance, the Arverni want the Roman Legions out of Gaul and want to build up a huge number of allies, the Belgae want big conquest and the tiny Aedui want to be the best at having friends (Allies)! It's slow enough that the big swings feel appropriately big, but balanced enough that the swings don't spell doom for those on the receiving end.

I'm definitely down for playing the full short scenario soon, and oddly enough I think the game will be *smoother* with more players as each person will have far less to try and absorb.
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14. Board Game: The Fun Game of Switch [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: The Fun Game of Switch
Ambie
United States
San Mateo
California
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I'm not sure how to add video games to the geeklist. I didn't play any board games this week, just video games.

Bought 5 games on sale for the Switch - Stardew Valley (haven't played), Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun!, OKAMI HD (haven't played), and Transistor (haven't played)

I had played some Phoenix Wright on my phone before (the first chapter or so is a free demo). I haven't caught up to where I was on the Switch version yet, but I enjoyed it when I played before. You're trying to find evidence to help your defendant in a murder trial, and you use that evidence to contradict the testimonies of the witnesses. Has some point-and-click type gaming with some murder-mystery.

We really like rhythm games, so I was checking if any of them were on sale for the New Year's Sale. Taiko no Tatsujin (the drumming arcade game) was on sale so we got it! It's really neat how you can play it with just the joy cons. Sometimes it doesn't register really well, and sometimes thinks you're drumming on an upswing, but so far it works pretty well and it's fun. We were confused by the star difficulty though, since 5 stars on Normal level is a lot easier than 5 stars on Hard level. I guess the stars start over when you go up a level.

I also played some more Ring Fit Adventure but not every day last week, since we also went on some walks and going on a walk with the twins (which includes carrying them downstairs in car seats) is a lot of exercise.

On My Mind
- Today Toby's back at work. So far I'm surviving. One double feed down, 3 to go. Next one starting soon. I remembered to bring the iPad up this time so I'll be able to watch YouTube during the feed.

- Editing my top 100 is taking longer than I thought it would. Turns out even though I'm just doing basic cutting, it still takes a while to edit since I'm still watching everything as I edit. I'm halfway done and plan to finish editing this week, so then hopefully I can post them after!
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15. Board Game: Brew Crafters [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:637]
Board Game: Brew Crafters
United States
Yay Area
California
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Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster
Board Game: Brew Crafters
Board Game: Dairyman
Board Game: Okey Dokey
Board Game: The Shipwreck Arcana


 10   Kingdom Death: Monster x2 (71 all-time)
 9   Brew Crafters (6 all-time)
 7   Dairyman (5 all-time)
 7   Okey Dokey x2 (8 all-time)
 6   The Shipwreck Arcana (2 all-time)

KD:M - My last play before this I lost a crapton of resources and it kinda bummed me out to want to start back up. But I finally did and I have a great survivor with a ridiculous crit rate that let me farm 25 resources from one antelope so we’re back in business y’all. Just one pelt short of building out an entire Antelope set so that’s pretty good. Also, had to cheese the Hand fight again.

Brew Crafters - I’m glad one other person at my meetup enjoys this game because it’s one of my favorites, Anyways they recommended it and I of course obliged. I felt my timing was off and I made a couple mistakes so I thought the other person pulled ahead but apparently they were having similar issues and near the end I was able to pivot from my initial mass batch plan to diversifying and hitting most of the advanced beers for the rep labels and end game scoring for the win. We also contemplated how a 3rd shift worker strategy might work and I might try to push that next time I play.

Dairyman - I’m liking this as a quick filler. It’s cute, and hasn’t quite overstayed its welcome.

Okey Dokey - Quickly blitzed two games of this to end the night, we butchered it pretty bad by forcing ourselves early into a position where we would have to play certain colors perfectly or we’d lose.

Shipwreck Arcana - Wasn’t terribly impressed with this the first time I played, it seems a bit too much thinking for what it is. A part of that might also be that I don’t appear to be on the same wavelength as my team.

Other - not much at the moment. Still have more games than I would like to have.

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16. Board Game: Great Western Trail [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:10]
Board Game: Great Western Trail
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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 9  Shakespeare x1 (26 plays)
 9  Great Western Trail x1 (24 plays)
 8  Grand Austria Hotel x5 (15 plays)
 8  Thurn and Taxis: Power and Glory x1 (7 plays)
 8  Condottiere x7 New!
 7  Famiglia x1 (28 plays)

2020 10x10 solo challenge :

01) Arkham Horror LCG
02) Expedition to Newdale
03) Fields of Arle
04) Roads & Boats
05) Mage Knight
06) Cooper Island
07) Black Angel
08) On Mars
09) Dungeon Lords
10) Grand Austria Hotel 04/10 (126,106,150,143)


Very late to the show.

Condottiere was the big hit of Christmas : i played it for 4 and 6 players with family and everyone enjoyed it a lot. Very clever and elegant design. Thanks for the recommendation Charlie.

Great Western Trail is certainely one my favorite euros and it was really great to come back to it.

Watch some review/solo playthroughts of Maracaibo, but even if i am interested in it (the french version will be available in april), i am not going to buy it blindly. I will try to play it first.

OMM :
Watch at Taco Chronicles upon Edward Euler's recommandation. Love it immensely.

Now, i will have to watch Watchmen (thanks Charlie).

I will attend to the Etape du Tour 2020 on July 5th (https://www.letapedutourdefrance.com/en/the-race/route).
177 kms with 3 cols with an elevation gain of 3,570 m in the hinterland of Nice.
I will have to ride even more and lose some weight.
Big challenge but i really need to prove myself that i am able to make it.
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17. Board Game: 3 Secrets [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:7037] [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
Board Game: 3 Secrets
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
TX
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Board Game: Dominion
Board Game: 3 Secrets
Board Game: Cryptid
Board Game: Betrayal Legacy
Board Game: Wingspan


 10.   Dominion x2 (306 all-time)
 9.0   3 Secrets x3 (7 all-time)
 9.0   Cryptid x3 (19 all-time)
 8.0   Betrayal Legacy (5 all-time)
 8.0   Wingspan x2 (6 all-time)

Games
Just some old standbys - I did get my English copy of 3 Secrets in and used that to open Roll & Cube this week, and will likely use it quite a bit going forward. Our wait list for Roll & Cube hit 6 last week - I'm going to experiment with upping the cap to 16 people this week and see how that goes.

Kristen has really been on a Wingspan kick which has been good. It's a neat game, and I think we're going to snag the expansion, we've just got to find out what sleeves we have so we can get more of them!

On My Mind
AnnaMarie's birthday this weekend, and Kristen's birthday next weekend. I'm prepared for the latter, working on the former. And I'm exhausted. One of my co-workers is out with a new baby for the next few weeks, so I'm by myself in the mornings until my boss rolls in around 12:30pm. I'm fairly lonely for half the day.

EDIT: Oh, it's a good time to be a Titans fan.
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18. Board Game: Clever Fit! [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
Board Game: Clever Fit!
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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GCL Workout Mafia was requested, so I'll be adding an item every week which briefly discusses my life updates, but primarily serves as a place for those who are interested in discussing and/or accountability for our exercise.


Life Updates:
From gallery of Epsilon_Balls

Colette turned 9 months this week. This morning she is off with Marion at her first swim lesson. Right now her favorite things include:
1. Banging toys around to make noise.
2. Rolling back and forth across our floor (no crawling yet)
3. Barking at dogs.


Exercise:
My goal for the year is to survive my 100 mile run in September. Right now that just means consistently putting miles on my feet. My exercise right now consists of about 3 hours of [teaching] cycling, and then running 30-40 miles. I've be building up that weekly running mileage, but since I am prone to foot injury I am being very cautious and taking that slowly, as well as generally running a slower pace than I did for my marathon training.
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