GCL Mafia 502: Seasonal Change
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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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)
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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, pictures of muffins, 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.

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1. Board Game: Indian Summer [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1308]
Board Game: Indian Summer
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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From my estimation, this GCL is about 50/50 between folks living in mono-season regions and those in multi-season areas.

I'm in the latter, with Northeast Ohio slowly shifting towards autumn at this point. If I don't mow my lawn again, I'm confident it won't grow much more at this point (but I'd once again shake my fist at whatever French aristocrat under the Sun King set the precedent for grass cultivation). At this point, the constrant lovely droning of insects like cicadas, katydids, and crickets fills all hours, some birds are beginning to migrate, and our garden is reaching its peak ripe phase.

If you're multi-seasonal, which is your favorite season? If you're mono-seasonal, what is your favorite part of that setup? Least favorite?
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2. Board Game: Autumn Harvest: A Tea Dragon Society Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Autumn Harvest: A Tea Dragon Society Game
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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If I could wear a coat all day, feel the brisk, drizzly air on my face, and never spot the sun for months on end, I'd find my perfect season. Oh, that's autumn. I recall spending time in Seattle many moons ago and deciding that the Pacific Northwest climate is, in fact, my absolute ideal.

Still, seasonal change, as exemplified in the autumnal shift from summer to winter, is a reminder that we never really stay the same as people. Our interests, priorities, strengths, and weaknesses change over time, sometimes coming back into prominence and other times fading forever.

Given how many adages refer to "seasons of life," are you content with your current season? Within your power, what would you change? What do you find difficult to resign to, if it can't be helped? What do you hope for in the next season of life?
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3. Board Game: Winter: Reaction Cards [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Board Game: Winter: Reaction Cards
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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The weather is always extreme in Northeast Ohio. The summer is 90+F and near 100% humidity. The autumn is blustery and filled with heavy storms. The winter often dips below 10-F and the snow piles up by the foot. The spring is rife with flash flooding and rivers of mud.

Still, I often find that the most peaceful days of the year are in the deep midwinter, when a few moments standing outside offer me pristine silence and stillness in the world. The snow muffles all sound, the breeze is low, and the monochrome white-gray everywhere snuffs out distracting color.

What times in your life have you had sincere stillness? Peace? Unmitigated focus and mindfulness?
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4. Board Game: Spring Meadow [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1695]
Board Game: Spring Meadow
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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In his poem, "The Waste Land," T.S. Eliot famously opens with these lines:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.


Why should winter be warm, and spring be so cruel? In a place like where I live, the constant of winter, however bitter, blankets and suppresses contrast of any kind. Spring rolls in, suddenly exploding with color, warmth, change.

I often like to glory in the mundane, seeing it as the best stuff of life. The everyday. The take-it-for-granted. The bulk of our days... The mundane can be easily cast in dull and uninteresting light when peaks of excitement and emotion pierce our typical experience, leaving the ordinary as a sort of grayscale washout.

Do you prefer the mundane, or do you seek after contrast--the peaks and valleys?
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5. Board Game: Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Ironskull's Boyz [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Board Game: Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Ironskull's Boyz
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire x9 NEW!

---

Boom! Games. Well, game. I saw Warhammer Underworlds: Online on sale on Steam so I told my stepbrother to pick it up and play with me. (I had given him the physical version a few years ago.) I enjoyed my one play of Nightvault almost two years ago and I would probably have bought everything if I 1) had someone to play with and 2) painted minis. Actually, I'd probably just commission someone to paint my warbands bright, obnoxious, neon colors for me. I don't have the patience or talent for painting minis despite thinking it'd be fun to try one day.

Anyway, we played on Friday and Saturday night. It was fun and I'm looking for more warbands to be added. And by "more warbands" I mean I'm waiting for the naked dwarf men. In the meanwhile, the orks and skaven have been my bois.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out, again, how stupid BGG's logging system is. Just let us log a family of games. Having to log under a specific game for an expandable series is dumb.

---

On My Mind:

Someone commented on my AH: TCG dividers about an update. I was actually further along in my progress for The Circle Undone than I had remember so I finished them up and posted them. It always feels good to see someone comment that they like the dividers and/or ask for more. Maybe I'll try to work on the other cycles in the evenings.

The new WoW expansion comes out at the end of October and I'm debating starting up my account again. Apparently there is a massive XP boost right now.

External image


I say all of the above things like I have copious amounts of free time.

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6. Board Game: Clinic: Deluxe Edition – Covid-19 [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Clinic: Deluxe Edition – Covid-19
United States
Yay Area
California
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Board Game: Spirit Island
Board Game: Crokinole
Board Game: Clinic: Deluxe Edition
Board Game: Clinic: Deluxe Edition – Covid-19


 10   Spirit Island x11 (82 all-time)
 8   Crokinole x7 (26 all-time)
 8   Clinic: Deluxe Edition (8 all-time)
 8   Clinic: Deluxe Edition – Covid-19 New!

Clinic: Deluxe Edition : COVID-19 expansion - I backed this on kickstarter because FOMO. Still not entirely sure where my feelings are on this. I know it was made with good intent
Alban Viard wrote:
100% of the benefits will be given to research institutes to find a vaccine for CoVid_19:
just not sure how I would quite approach teaching this to people. Does it trivialize the situation for some people? Would they much rather play something else that doesn't literally remind them of that time? Anyways, I'll just stew on that for a while on my own I guess.

Actual gameplay, you no longer choose a goal instead everyone’s goal is more patients survive COVID-19 than die. You choose a difficulty level representing how infectious the disease is and how well people are socially distancing. Based on that you just get a certain amount of tiles each round that you MUST give to people in your clinic representing them having been infected. For your staff they must quarantine and don’t get used that round. Patients require +1 more level of care in order to treat. Doctors that get infected essentially become patients and can’t treat until they’ve been cured.

Overall it’s definitely a lot more stressful, the game already is extremely tight on actions and being forced to operate at a higher level or with reduced staff just makes it significantly more difficult despite me playing on the easiest condition. As far as a cooperative goal it is an interesting option for the game that isn’t just (get the highest score) although realistically it kinda is the same thing since they both require you to be scoring really well in order to win.


Spirit Island -

Thematic Map -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
There is the spirit island board you are probably familiar with seeing and then there is the thematic board on the reverse side. The art makes it fairly difficult to see what terrains are which. Aside from that it has different setups printed on the boards along with there are slightly more lands in total on the thematic side. This was my first time playing on this board. It was interesting, but visually I think I prefer the standard side.

heart Varied Terrains scenario -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I really like the idea of this scenario, it essentially gives each terrain a new ability which makes them feel a bit more interesting. I think it would be an interesting addition to maybe your 2nd or 3rd game once you get the hang of the game but don’t quite want to add in all the rules of an adversary. Unfortunately I played with Grinning Trickster Stirs Up Trouble and on the thematic side of the board so I was able to do a good job preventing any of the special new things from ever happening.


Elemental Invocation scenario -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Kinda funky scenario making use of the element tokens. You can essentially spend energy to permanently add elements to an intersection of lands. The benefit is that any powers targeting those lands specifically gain those elements. I played with Volcano Looming High which has a couple innate abilities that target the land it’s in so that really helped getting to activate those consistently. I also played on the thematic map so the two mountains were next to each other so overall reaching other lands not in my cluster was difficult.


Rituals of the Destroying Flame scenario -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
2 losses with Heart of the Wild Fire, I think it’s probably doable but blight just gets way too out of control with the rituals. One final attempt with Lure of the Deep Wilderness which made extremely short work of the scenario, was able to get the necessary elemental thresholds at clutch moments to make the end game a cake walk.


Guards the Isle's Heart scenario -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Victory with Stone's Unyielding Defiance. Except for an early turn scare I don’t think it really came close to losing at any point.


Kingdom of Brandenburg- Prussia adversary - Level 2/4.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Stone's Unyielding Defiance fairly easy win at Level 2 so I bumped it to level 4, had a very bad blight effect that really doomed me along with an event that made the deck shorter meaning I had less turns just really ended me. Attempted once more at level 4 and got a win.


Ward the Shores scenario -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Victory with Shifting Memory of Ages. The board state ramps up super quick I thought I had it under control and was getting a bit careless and almost got stomped. Fortunately made the comeback, had a redonkulous 23 power income in one turn.




Other -

Work - Very busy last week, I think around Thursday I was telling people about how it felt like I’ve just been non-stop typing all week. Someone made an error and unfortunately it caused me like three times as much as work to review and fix on top of the aforementioned busy week.

Power Outtages - Power was out yesterday. Was planning on setting up a solo game of something but didn’t want to be straining my eyes since my home office setup is super dark. Apparently they might also be implementing rolling blackouts?
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EDIT: ADDED THIS TWEET


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7. Board Game: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:4827]
Board Game: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Board Game: Spicy
Board Game: Impact: Battle of Elements
Board Game: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars: The Sleeper Expansion
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars: Shaggai Map Expansion
Board Game: The Bottle Imp
Board Game: Babylonia


Spicy (2 all-time)
Impact: Battle of Elements x3 (23 all-time)
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio NEW!
Cthulhu Wars (22 all-time) + Cthulhu Wars: The Sleeper Expansion (6 all-time) + Cthulhu Wars: Shaggai Map Expansion NEW!
The Bottle Imp (15 all-time)
Babylonia (4 all-time)

Played some 3p games F2F with my regular gaming partner and one of the other regulars from my regular local group. If my regular gaming partner and the other guy hadn't been playing F2F since the beginning of COVID, I would have found it too risky, but given that I've been playing with the latter by proxy this whole time, I figured it was a much smaller risk.

We finally got to try the Cthulhu Wars: Shaggai Map Expansion for CW, and it was interesting. It was marred by the fact we were playing 3p (which I'm getting more and more annoyed at how not great it is), but the shrinking map offers an interesting tweak on what the Cthulhu Wars: Primeval Earth Map offers. I did like that destroyed areas gave whoever owned destroyed pieces either power or elder signs back, but I wasn't a fan of "you can move through destroyed areas at the cost of a unit." As usual I struggled with trying to make Sleeper work (I was playing against Opener and Black Goat, neither of which had worthwhile copy-abilities for my Snake Man spellbook), and I think I got distracted with trying to make Death from Below work to wait to get my GOO out on turn 3 rather than turn 2. The destroyed areas on the map also meant that there were fewer opportunities to snatch up unguarded gates after using Lethargy to bide my time, and I finished a distant third.

Of a lot more interest was finally getting my shiny new copy of Gulf, Mobile & Ohio to the table, and it was really fascinating! It really changed up the cube rails formula in a number of ways, and I was intrigued by the Through the Desert style of track laying along with the interesting timing puzzle of when and where to start new companies. My regular gaming partner, who usually dislikes Cube rails games, was drawn in and managed to waltz his way to a victory (in retrospect there was definitely an auction I could of won that I let him have, but there were a lot of non-obvious decisions the first time through). I'm really interested to explore this design further as it's genuinely one of the "beat people over the head with your briefcase full of money" cube rails games out there.
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8. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:24]
Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game
Louie
United States
SF Bay Area
California
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I didn't play any board games this week.

OMM

Grad school's been a positive adjustment. It's moreso just getting used to the new schedule. The online format has been completely fine as of now. My schedule's not that much different than when I was working, in terms of schedule, which is nice.

A couple changes I made in the past month were getting back on my Fitbit and getting 10k steps a day. My first attempt (three weeks ago?) ended up with me getting a gnarly heel blister after three blocks. laugh Of the past 17 days, I've only missed three days. At this point I'm thinking I can work in hikes during the weekend again, and start jogging through C25K. I'm worrying about the air quality this week, though.

I also started Ring Fit Adventure, about three weeks back. I like sharing my daily exercise, because it helps with accountability. I'm on World 5, and I just beat Armando and I'm about to meet Abdonis.

So my goal with all this is just getting some positive habits back into my life. I picked up a bunch of COVID weight by just stressing and sitting at home, and playing Animal Crossing. Three weeks in I feel better.

From gallery of LouieSTFU


I made this curry and it was really good. The gold box curry has a recipe, but I used more of my instincts because the recipe itself was basic (just throw all the shit together in a pot, brown the stuff, and add water). I seasoned and floured the beef, seared it. I removed the beef, then sweated down the onions. Then used beef stock instead of water.

The bad news is that I forgot about the curry after I portioned out the leftovers into meals, so now I DON'T HAVE CURRY ANYMORE.
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9. Board Game: Operation [Average Rating:4.09 Overall Rank:19512]
Board Game: Operation
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Board Game: Cosmic Frog


 N/A   Cosmic Frog

More Cosmic Frog which again delivered. Getting ready to write my review soon.

I did finally write about the Galactic Corps expansion for Core Space. I talked a little bit about my experience working for a police department and how that, as well as our current times, colored my experience. Article here: https://playerelimination.com/2020/09/04/i-am-the-law-though...


On My Mind
We did some stuff for Labor Day with the family on Saturday and Sunday, and lined up Monday to be a relaxing day where we stay home. Well, it didn't turn out that way.

Lila fell off a rope swing we have in the yard and ended up breaking three fingers. One was offset about 20 degrees from the knuckle and looked pretty bad.

Fun fact - I do terrible with medical stuff and have actually full blown fainted around 6 or 7 times in my life. That didn't happen here though.

She's doing better now and we're just hoping that the X-Rays they take on Thursday show her middle finger healing properly, otherwise they'll have to insert a pin. Here's a pic of her afterwards, putting on a good smile:

From gallery of charlest


Less serious stuff: I've kind of been underwhelmed with Lovecraft Country. Really enjoyed the first episode but the rest have been a bit lackluster.

However, I do really enjoy HBO's new Sci-Fi weirdness that is Raised by Wolves. It has a feel of Prometheus mixed with the new Lost in Space, maybe.

Watched a couple of Netflix films recently - Da 5 Bloods and Triple Frontier.

Da 5 Bloods is Spike Lee's latest and was an interesting story of five Vietnam vets returning to the country to unearth their fallen commander who had been buried in the jungle, as well as a bunch of gold they hid. It had interesting moments but also had some elements that bothered me such as uneven pacing and poor action sequences. The decision not to de-age the actors for flashbacks was odd. It was nice seeing Chadwick Boseman as the squad leader, which I didn't know going in.

Triple Frontier was a bit more enjoyable for me. It featured Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaacs, Charlie Hunnam, and the underappreciated Pedro Pascal. Fun heist movie with some grittiness to it. A few neat twists.
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10. Video Game: Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:493]
Video Game: Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game


Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game (59 all-time)

Only one play this last week, but shoot if it wasn't fantastic. My Young Life guys came over to hang out and I had no agenda. They both requested Heroes of the Aturi Cluster. We set up the final mission in our current arc wherein the Rebel objective was to strafe a planetary supply depot and bomb it to pieces. I flew a Y-Wing bomber while Will and Palma both flew their partisan/renegade refit X-Wings. It was a mop-up in the first half and a terrifying nail-biter in the second as the timer began to run short and we put off destroying the defending TIEs until too late in the session.

We ended up staggering bombs, torpedoes, and range-1 strafe runs to blow up the depot, but nearly got roasted by TIE reinforcements with very stonf positioning just behind us. Palma ended with all shields gone and one hull remaining, and Will and I were nearly as battered. We did end without losing, however, and scored a TON of XP to level up our pilots. I'm doubling down on my role and going from Y-Wing to fully-crewed Scuurg Bomber while the other guys are unsure if they want to upgrade or continue honing their X-Wings. Palma might go straight to a YT-1300 and build a personal Millennium Falcoln or add on a bunch of potent pilot abilities to his striker.

We finished The Clone Wars and I enjoyed it massively (again) and Anastasia really liked it. Despite its warts, we're moving to Rebels so the most info is available before Mandalorian Season 2 drops.
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11. Board Game: Project L [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:3141]
Board Game: Project L
Ambie
United States
San Mateo
California
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Board Game: Project L
Board Game: Egyptia
Board Game: Disciple Detective


 N/A   Project L x3 NEW!
 N/A   Egyptia NEW!
 N/A   Disciple Detective NEW!

Look at that review copy awesomeness. I'm like a real content creator.

Played Project L a couple times with Toby. It's similar to Splendor but not as bad when people take the card you're going for, since you're building the shapes on the cards with polyomino pieces so you can build most of the shapes with what you have. It's fun getting new shapes as you build each card, and you have an action that you can put one piece on each shape for one action, so it's fun to plan that out. Similar to Splendor, I keep doing more of the engine building fun-ness and then losing on points. But I like it.

Played Disciple Detective, another review copy game. It's a deduction card game where you hold your cards out like in Hanabi, and you're trying to figure out what cards you have. It's Christian themed (around the disciples), but not necessary to have knowledge on that. It's most definitely a deduction game - you have to take notes and stuff. Very thinky at the beginning, but as you guess cards it gets easier at the end since those cards are removed from the game, and there are only 12 cards that you need to guess.

Egyptia isn't a review copy, but it's free! It's a free PnP roll & write game. You roll the dice to gather resources and then build buildings on a hex map, trying to get points based on different building scoring conditions. And when you build certain buildings, you can get more resources, so I like that buildup. I liked it! So far I'm liking a lot of the free PnP games I've found.

On My Mind
- Roy has been practicing walking a lot. He likes standing up, taking a few steps, and then falling down. Sometimes he kinda runs too. And when he gets close to me, he stops stepping carefully and just lunges at me.

- I used to enjoy cooking before I had babies. Nowadays it's very stressful since it usually involves babies crying in the background and/or trying to keep babies entertained/safe while also cooking. But this morning for lunch I attempted fried rice and it actually turned out really good, and I enjoyed it! I think it was enjoyable because I was cooking during their nap, so I could actually focus on the cooking.

- Toby took vacation last week and it was really nice because he cooked everything so I could have some breaks. It was great because I got a bunch of filming and stuff done! And I could watch some board game twitch streams! But now he's back working. But I've been really efficient today, so it's not too bad so far.
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12. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:329]
Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Joseph
United States
Portland
Oregon
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No games.
A weird summer high wind storm hit Oregon/Portland last night. Around the same time the storm hit, fires started spreading. Bast over night, the PNW joined california and caught on fire.

My sister-in-law's family evacuated and are staying with us until things improve. It's only been a few hours, but I'm already exhausted.
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