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Subject: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (Castelli Reviews) rss

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Paul Incao
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Please join me in welcoming this week's Geek of the Week jamesmckane.

James Mckane
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I can't say I know James but have been a huge fan of his video review work for awhile. His enthusiasm for gaming and prospective on what make a good game is something I respect. I appreciate the unique and sometimes light hearted approach which he brings to his video reviews. His use of computer graphics adds a nice touch, not to mention the rock and roll audio which is pretty cool.

Just some of the videos for games I purchased based on watching Castelli Reviews:
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Hammer of the Scot
London
Cuba
Opera
Alien Frontiers
Carson City
Fresco

To gain a behind the scene sense for the time and effort that James dedicates to his work, you need to watch his most recently posted video:



jamesmckane wrote:


Well first of all I want to thank Paul for his contributions to the community and of course for allowing me to be his successor for Geek of the Week. Cheers matethumbsup.


Wow, Geek of the Week! What an honour. Well, the BGG Geek of the Week wiki page says a brief introduction should be included - so here we go.

Me: My name is James Castelli but I'm known to most simply as Jimmy. My last name for those of you who are wondering is Italian (Sicilian) and I am very proud of my Sicilian heritage. I am 27 years old and I currently live in a suburb of Sydney Australia with my beautiful wife, but Sydney is not where I call home. In my lifetime I have lived in many locations across the state of NSW, but a small town just outside of Maitland is the place I call home. I consider it home as it is there that has significantly impacted my personality, values, hobbies etc.

I am currently employed as a Postman, I deliver mail on a Honda CT110 (motorcycle). I have been working in the Australian postal system for many years holding several positions throughout that time. Prior to my current job I worked in the motorcycle industry both as a mechanic and a salesman. These days, other than for work I don't ride motorcycles any more.

I'm probably known to a few here on BGG for my review series on youtube called Castelli Reviews. Castelli Reviews in itself has become a hobby... if I am not gaming it's likely that I'm working on a review. If you'd like to know more about me (and my reviews) I recently made a behind the scenes video of my reviews. There I also answer a few viewer questions – like what other hobbies I enjoy etc. Also feel free to ask me questions here too, I'll do my best to answer all of them.

Other than that I am the type of person that loves to smile and loves to make others smile. If you have a wicked sense of humour then we'll get along just fine.

How I got started in the hobby: In my younger years I had of course played Monopoly and Chess, but it was when I was around 13 that I first discovered gaming as a “hobby”. At that time it came in the form of little metal soldiers called Necromunda and Bloodbowl. At 13 however I was more interested in painting the miniatures than the game itself. My local gaming store was unfortunately at that time around 200km away from where I lived, so needless to say it was hard for a 13 y/o to stay involved in the hobby.

When I was around 18 I was re-introduced to the Games Workshop hobby. I lived in that small town just outside of Maitland then, my family had moved there when I was 16 because of financial difficulties. It was a very hard time for me to pack up and move from my previous location as I was very happy there as I had plenty of friends and prospects. When we moved I quit school and moved to that much quieter town where I knew no one. To make things harder it was very difficult to meet people as it was hard to find work, it was the type of town where the unemployment rate was high, so was the crime rate for that matter.

I eventually found work in a major retail outlet and worked a second job as a trainee which was also in retail. I met some friends through my workplaces but they were more or less just acquaintances, we rarely hung out together outside work. During this time whatever income I could spare was spent on audio equipment such as computer programs, mixers and instruments etc. I was totally obsessed with music and movies - but something else would soon become my obsession.

At some point I purchased a copy of The Lord of the Rings (Fellowship) DVD which at the time I knew very little about, other than it was being referred to by many as a must see film. Inside the cover there was a leaflet for the Games Workshop's LOTR miniatures game, this reminded me that the “hobby” still existed. I really enjoyed the movie and soon headed off to my now local GW store to check out the game, but again at that point I was still more interested in painting the miniatures. The rest is history, I loved painting the miniatures, I learned to love the game, I met some great friends and in fact most of my friends to this day worked behind the counter of that GW store. My friends then introduced me to RPG's, then eventually we started playing boardgames together and I just loved them, soon after I sold off most of my miniatures to fund a board game collection.

So in the end even though moving to that small town was the toughest time in my life, that town eventually captured my heart ,and as they say - Home is where the heart lies. And my heart certainly lies there largely because of the friends I met through gaming.

I just want to clarify that although the situation of moving away from a place you are comfortable with may seem like a situation that isn't very “tough”, I have chosen to leave out some key details that made it particularly tough for me. (gotta keep some cards close to my chest).


How I found BGG:
If you type the name of a board game into a search engine it won't be long before you are directed to boardgamegeek. Like many other users I was a lurker here for a while before I started contributing to the community. These days I find I am having to pull myself away from the computer because of BGG. There are so many great contributors here and so much content to go through that I spend way too much time reading and watching other user's submissions. Also because of the marketplace my wallet takes a beating on occasion. Thanks Doug.

BGG has really become very special to me, I have made some great friends from all over the globe because of this site. I've also met some local gamers here in Sydney through here and we now meet up as often as we can to play games. There are two local individuals in particular are responsible for introducing me to the wider world of wargaming, I cannot thank them enough for that.

And at this point I don't know what else to say really, I'm just happy to be a part of this great community and am stoked that my contributions are enjoyed.


2 Truths and a Lie:

Poll
Which is the Lie ?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
1-James was thrown out of a Darkness concert for getting on the stage.
19.6% 31
2-James was thrown out of a Slipknot concert for getting on the stage.
50.0% 79
3-James knows the writer of the song - I've been everywhere (Geoff Mack).
32.3% 51
Voters 158
This poll is now closed.   158 answers
Poll created by pincao
Closes: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:00 am




Congratulations James. Have a great week.

Here are some questions for you to get us started !

d10-1 How have your boardgaming tastes changed over the past few years (if at all) ?
d10-2 What are some of your favorite games from recent plays, and why ?
d10-3 Which is your favorite "under-appreciated" game ?
d10-4 What are your thoughts on video vs. written reviews ?
d10-5 How do you decide which games you want to review on video ?
d10-6 Which video did you have the most fun producing (perhaps you were "dressed up" for the occasion)?
d10-7 You seem to be a talented guitarist, do you play in a band and/or do you write your own music ?
d10-8 Have you ever attended or perhaps performed with Hanna Montana in concert ?

-Paul
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Nick R
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Hoopy congratulations, enjoy your week

Regards

Gnome
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congrats! Have fun!
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congratulations! Hope to see some of your video reviews soon!
Have a great week!
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congratulations James!

1) Truth or beauty?
2) Speed or precision?
3) Justice or mercy?
4) Steadfast or flexible?
5) Cynicism or naivete?
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
BRAVO

Crackers - salted or unsalted?
Football (US) or Football (everywhere else)
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Oak or maple
Datsun or Nissan?

Have a great week.
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congratulations, have a great week. Have fun.

Matt
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Quote:
Congratulations James. Have a great week.
Cheers matethumbsup.

d10-1 How have your boardgaming tastes changed over the past few years (if at all) ? Wargames have now become my favorite genre. I still play many other games from other genres but the games on my wishlist are prodominantley wargames now. A few years ago I would have said euros and party games were my favorite genres.
d10-2 What are some of your favorite games from recent plays, and why ? Hannibal RvC, I played a very close game of it recently and everytime I play it I am reminded of how thematically brilliant it is. In this particular game I was Hannibal and won a battle in Italy with a double envelopment, my opponent's general and all 10cu's were eliminated as a result of the battle. As proud as I was to see a battle come close to resembling the damage done to Rome after Cannae, my opponent eventually won by taking the war to Carthage itself.

I also played Command & Colours Ancients Epic with 6 players recently. It doesn't get much better than that. We played 3 epic games in a row so the mechanics of the game started to feel more fluent than in my previous games, and I could really focus on my strategies and tactics. Epic is also a fantastic way to learn good tactics if you allow a bit of table talk.
d10-3 Which is your favorite "under-appreciated" game ? Manoeuvre, it does have a good following but it deserves more attention. It's highly re-playable with 8 asymmetrical armies, a module playing area and dice to decide the battles. It is a more abstract wargame but it's a good one nonetheless.
d10-4 What are your thoughts on video vs. written reviews ?
I like both, I have a deep respect for people who do either type of review. I'm very jealous of many other reviewers skills, both on camera and off.
d10-5 How do you decide which games you want to review on video ? They generally have to be games I like, the vids take so long to put together that I don't want to spend that much time focusing on a game I dislike or am so-so about. It's usually a game that I've been playing alot of at the time.
d10-6 Which video did you have the most fun producing (perhaps you were "dressed up" for the occasion)? Probably my GMT music video, or my Arkham Horror one. Both are based on songs I think ROCK and are tons of fun to play. Both were pretty stressful at times though, so many things not working as well as I'd have hoped.

d10-7 You seem to be a talent guitarist, do you play in a band and/or do you write your own music ?
When I was younger I did both play in a band and write, I don't anymore though. Bands are hard to keep together.
d10-8 Have you ever attended or perhaps performed with Hanna Montana in concert ? Once, but I was in disguise so noone would recognise meninja.
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
1) Truth or beauty? Truth.
2) Speed or precision? Precision.
3) Justice or mercy? Justice.
4) Steadfast or flexible? Flexible.
5) Cynicism or naivete? Naivete.

Crackers - salted or unsalted? Salted when playing someone else's games, unsalted when playing mine. I kid, always salted.
Football (US) or Football (everywhere else) Never understood how American Football works, so much stopping. I'm not really a fan of football here either.
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Probably the Rolling Stones, but I'll admit I'm familiar with more of the Beatles work.
Oak or maple? Oak
Datsun or Nissan? Datsun.
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congrats James! Well deserved
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » BoardGameGeek Community » Geek of the Week
Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
All right Jimmy!!! WOOT!!!
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congratulations! meeple
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congratulations =D

Looking forward for a full week reading about you James =D

/hug
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congrats!
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
James!

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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
That is awesome!!!!! Congrats!!!
Keep bringing out the reviews and the costumes n characters. Love it!!
Yah, great to see a fellow NSW-ser get this award.
Congratulations James!!!thumbsup

(NSW is a State in Australia)
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congrats, well deserved. I am surprised that you hadn't got this earlier. I was breifly a walking postie in the Melbourne CBD I only stopped because I wasn't able to do it and return to study. (although the early mornings were also not really that great for me)

Thanks for the interesting behind the scenes video also.

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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Quote:
Congrats, well deserved. I am surprised that you hadn't got this earlier. I was breifly a walking postie in the Melbourne CBD I only stopped because I wasn't able to do it and return to study. (although the early mornings were also not really that great for me)


Thanks mate. I just finished doing a walking run a few weeks back (with a backpack). I enjoyed it, but it was very very exhausting. I'm used to early mornings, I've also done night sorting before though which was late nights and very early mornings.
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
jamesmckane wrote:


Football (US) or Football (everywhere else) Never understood how American Football works, so much stopping. I'm not really a fan of football here either.


Neither. HOCKEY! Hockey holds some of the same principals as European football, only instead of a ball it's a puck, instead of kicking it with your feet you shoot it with a stick, instead of running on grass you're skating on ice and when someone pisses you off, instead of flopping on the ground and crying foul, you punch them in the face repeatedly. So really it's nothing like soccer but it's a lovely game. Here in Canada it borders on religion.

Congrats on GotW Castelli! You certainly deserve it.
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congratulations! Enjoy your week!
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congrats James - thanks particularly for your review of Red November I got it on the strength of that review.


Questions!

trash How do you find watching your videos? Can you bare to watch or once they're in the can that's it?

trash which review are you most proud of?

trash If you had to play a game of Squatter with 4 people, alive, dead, real, fictional who would they be and why???

trash Which 3 Aussie celebs, musos, or Polis would you prefer to play Monopoly (at gunpoint if need be) with?

trash Dr K said 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' does that mean to you
a) maximise every move
b) live in the moment and concentrate
c) have a good time

trash What is your favourite forum or place on the Geek?

trash Is there a review you just haven't done because you don't know what you think or will say?

trash What game do you wish you'd invented?

trash What board game would you recommend everyone own or play?

Keep on Geeking
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Woot! It's about time.

I have three letters for you people!

G M T
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congratulations! thumbsup
You deserve it!
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
"Like many other users I was a lurker..."

I've made it, my ship has come in, I can die happy now. I have finally made it to LURKER status!

In all seriousness, you are one of the best in the board game community.

Thanks for your work and your passion Jimmy.

Cheers
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Re: Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (jamesmckane)
Congratulations James... Much deserved. Enjoy your week.
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