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Snoweel's Spiel

Random observations from a "Gamer Dad" in Huntsville, Alabama.

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INWO stuff for trade

Clay Blankenship
United States
Huntsville
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EDITED July 17

This is for the old CCG Illuminati: New World Order. Will update as I have time. Have a couple of boxes of cards I got through various trades
that I am trying to complete some sets from (for my collection as well as selling off extras). Will trade for equivalent value cards (or I could hook you up with tons of spare Magic cards (nothing pricy). If you don't care about trading I will make you a reasonable cash offer.

Mostly trying to complete common and uncommon sets (since I am so close) but would not mind working toward a rare set.

Most pressing needs in bold.

BASIC SET (either version) RARES NEEDED
Cover of Darkness
Cover-Up
Eat the Rich
Hidden Influence
The Weak Link
Time Warp
Senate Investigating Committee

Count Dracula
Elders of Zion
Finland
The Mafia
Men In Black
Red Cross
Ross Perot
Texas

ASSASSINS RARES NEEDED
Screaming Meme (Resource) *****

___________________________________________
HAVES (more to come)
Promos:
Trading Card Games
The Great Pyramid (corners worn)

ASSASSINS COMMONS FOR TRADE
most

ASSASSINS UNCOMMONS FOR TRADE
+1 Backfire (Plot, Freeze)
+7 Don't Touch That Dial! (Plot)
+7 Fickle Finger of Fate (Plot, Zap)
+3 Go Fish (Plot)
+2 Lama Ramadingdong (Personality)
+2 Security Leak (Plot, Zap)
+2 State Lotteries (Organization)
+3 Supreme Court Nomination (Plot)
+1 Teddy Kennedy (Personality)
+7 Truck Bomb (Plot)

ASSASSINS RARES FOR TRADE
2 Sudden European Vacation (Plot)
Science Alarmists
Shock Jocks
Oil Spill (Disaster)
EPA
(Others not listed)

(I have no ultra-rares.)

BASIC SET
have most commons and uncommons

gold title=limited (L)
pink/blue/lavender title=unlimited (U)

RARES TO TRADE (will possibly trade others if you really need one)
(More to be listed later)

Limited (gold text):
An Offer You Can't Refuse
NWO: World War III

Unlimited:
Deasil Engine
Let's You and Him Fight

Have almost all other commons and uncommons for trade, most Illuminati, and some rares.

More to come. Ask if you need something.
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Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:32 am
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The subject "42" is too short.

Clay Blankenship
United States
Huntsville
AL
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Today I am 42. I changed my Facebook banner to a Hitchhiker's Guide one in honor of the occasion. Seems strange that it's been nearly 30 years since I read that.
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Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:10 pm
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Tennessee Games Day 2013 Report

Clay Blankenship
United States
Huntsville
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I wrote this up for my local group but didn't get around to posting until now.

TGD 2013 Report
5 (excellent) Coup, Love Letter 9/A
4 (great) Suburbia+, Tzolk'in, Police Precinct, Yedo- 8/B
3 (good) CoPE, Hostage 7/C
2 (ok) Canterbury, Lost Temple 6/D
1 (bad)

I played 10 games, all new to me. I felt like I had a really good con getting to try lots of games that I wanted to play, not getting stuck in any games that I really didn't enjoy, and not having a lot of down time.

Friday:
Conquest of Planet Earth. Knepper invited me to play this literally as I was walking in the door. You are aliens all fighting over Earth. This is an epic game with a gazillion special powers and modifiers. Maybe a few too many. This was probably worse because we were using an expansion. Anyway it was enjoyable even if it was hard to keep up with everything that could happen. I got a Borg cube (which has a really big mini) from one of the special cards. It seemed really powerful although my opponents managed to kill it a couple of times. I think I came in second. In retrospect I should have stayed close to my base to minimize people messing with me but I was trying to take advantage of my special power to land new guys in any devastated area. This is the first time I have played a Flying Frog game. This game scores a medium on the fun/work ratio, meaning the special powers are neat but there is a lot to keep track of. [Here fun=blowing stuff up and using special abilities. Work=figuring out all the modifiers.]
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5). Don't need to buy but would play again.

Coup
A quick bluffing game that is really interesting for a very small set of rules. Lends itself to replay easily. I'm glad I bought this earlier.
Rating: 5 stars

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
This is an ambitious worker placement game. Going over the rules and figuring it all out the first time is pretty daunting. Once you get all the symbols it is probably a lot easier. This needs another play to figure out where this lands on the fun/work scale. [Here fun=building a bunch of stuff and work=all the advance planning you have to do to get all the pieces.] I think the system is pretty neat for a worker placement game. You can either put some guys on the tracks (wheels) or take some guys off the wheels and do their actions.
Rating: 4 stars (provisional, could go down but I think it will stay.)

The Road to Canterbury
Another one Knepper had. I had been interested in this since the Kickstarter for its unique theme. Based of course on the Canterbury tales and the corrupt Pardoners. Here you are trying to tempt pilgrims to sin so you can profit off selling them indulgences. In spite of the flavorful theme, this felt like just a majority game of putting cubes on areas. It was OK but did not live up to expectations.
Rating 2 stars.

Police Precinct
I introduced myself to Greg Schloesser, who is someone I have known online through reviews and messageboards ever since I started in the hobby 15 or 20 years ago. He taught us this coop game. We played with 6 players and the dirty cop variant. The game has a pretty interesting narrative where you are trying to find evidence about a murder but you keep getting distracted by accidents and burglaries and the ever present street punks. It was a lot of fun. Time will tell how much replay value it has but it seems promising. The dirty cop won about 1 or 2 turns before we would have caught the murderer.
Rating: 4 stars.

Saturday:
Indonesia.
I had signed up to play this but they replaced me while I was one table over explaining the rules to Tzolk'in. A bit disappointing but oh well...

Love Letter
Another simple but fascinating game in the vein of Coup. (In fact I played with some of the same people I tried Coup with and we enjoyed both games.) This time there is not bluffing but there are still secret identities. I hope I can find a copy of this soon.
Rating: 5 stars

Hostage Negotiator
I wandered around during some downtime and A.J. of Van Rider Games showed me this prototype of a quick solitaire game. I wasn't drawn to the theme at first but I figured I'd give it a try. It has a deck-builing mechanic but the cards go straight to your hand. (I guess you could call it hand building.) Every card has 3 results based on how successful you are, resolved by dice rolls. The number of dice you get depends on the threat level. You need to gain conversation points (stalling for time basically) to buy new cards which let you do things like get hostages released, or send in the SWAT team, or whatever. It was a fun and innovative game that I will support when it shows up on Kickstarter.
Rating: 3 stars

Yedo
In this game of feudal Japan, you represent a clan vying for power through intrigue, assassination, or whatever it takes. I am sure much of the mechanics came from Princes of Florence (a personal favorite) as it uses the same auction and bonus card structure. However instead of trying to hire the musician by getting Freedom of Travel, a concert hall, and a park, you are trying to execute a mission by getting a geisha, a ninja in a certain district, and a throwing star. The missions range from the benign (figure out who is coming to the shogun's party) to the sinister (a merchant is disrespecting us so KILL HIS SON!). A pretty neat game of juggling multiple system and resources. Maybe has 1 or 2 things going on than are really necessary, so probably a 0.9 on the fun to work ratio.
Rating: 3.5 stars, might buy depending on price (I'm not sure it is easily available right now)

Suburbia
Pretty much Sim City, town building with buildings that affect their neighbors (residential near the park is good, near the landfill is bad) and other buildings anywhere (airports help each other, restaurants make previous restaurants less profitable, office supply stores gain income any time an office building is built). The mechanics are pretty clever, with decreasing prices on new buildings in the purchase queue, and three tracked scores that your buildings can modify: population and income (self-expanatory) and reputation. Reputation is the population you add or subtract at the end of each turn. At certain population thresholds you lose an income and a reputation so you don't get a runaway leader. The winner is simply the person with the highest population (after adding bonuses for public and private victory conditions). A nicely designed game. While there is a good bit to keep track of, it is pretty easy to do so.
Rating: 4 stars, will probably buy

Lost Temple
It's like Citadels, only you are in a race instead of building buildings. While the theming is good (the various characters, collecting machetes to travel through the deep jungle spaces without stopping) and the role selection is well thought out (There are lots of ways to catch up, and there is a lot of interaction in the role selection), there is so much chaos here that it seems like the first 80% of the game doesn't matter. (One of the roles lets you swap places with a character that you name, so if you do that right you can go from last to first.) We had some good moments, such as when someone stole a boatload of gems from me and I stole them back 2 turns later, so I guess it succeeds at what it tries to do, but my basic reaction is there is just too much chaos.
Rating: 2 stars
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Wed Apr 3, 2013 8:27 pm
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RPG Superstar!

Clay Blankenship
United States
Huntsville
AL
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I submitted a magic item to the Paizo (Pathfinder) RPG Superstar contest, and I made the Top 32. I've always liked RPGs but haven't had much time for them since high school, but recently I've been playing a bit online (play by post) at the Paizo forums and running a game for my kids occasionally.

Now I have to hurry up and submit an archetype for the next round. This was a pleasant surprise to find out after 2 hours at the dentist today.

http://paizo.com/rpgsuperstar
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Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:31 am
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Really angry

Clay Blankenship
United States
Huntsville
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My son Ben is really into Magic now. As someone who loves to play the game but never had time when the kids were little, it's been fun for me to play with him and start taking him to local tournaments. He is so proud of his latest deck and has saved up a good bit of money to buy cards for it. We went to the tournament last week at a local store. He usually leaves his deck next to me when he isn't playing. I'm not sure if he did but somehow we lost track of it and somebody took it. So now we've lost a sizable chunk of change on those cards. It really frustrates and angers me to have something stolen. Even more so that they took it from my 10-year old son. I know in the larger scheme of things there are much worse things that can happen but it is still very frustrating.
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Tue Jan 1, 2013 7:55 pm
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What is up with the Quarriors backstory?

Clay Blankenship
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Huntsville
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OK, you're a Quarrior, using Quiddity to capture Quarry for a monarch named Quiana. Obviously they were trying to fit in as many "Q" words as possible. What title could we possibly give this female monarch?

Oh, I know!...Empress!
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Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:54 pm
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Lords of Waterdeep

Clay Blankenship
United States
Huntsville
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We played Lords of Waterdeep last night. The flavor doesn't really come across as you are collecting orange and blue cubes to fulfill quests, even if they have names like "Destroy the Vampire Coven". It's too bad they couldn't make the cubes (sorry, character classes) a little more relevant, maybe if they were needed for the intrigue cards. Mechanically, I think Agricola is a lot more interesting since there is a lot more variety in what you can do with your resources (wood is good for fences, reeds are needed for your house, crops get planted, animals go in a pasture or get eaten, etc.). Here there is little to distinguish a black cube from a white cube. (This is the same thing that makes Stone Age not that exciting for me.) It does play pretty quickly so if you need a 60-minute game it is not bad. I just feel like it could have been a little better.
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Tue Apr 3, 2012 2:51 pm
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Some new books read

Clay Blankenship
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Huntsville
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I had my iPad stolen from a hotel in January and just replaced it in March with a new iPad 3. An unexpected result of this is I ended up reading more books than usual recently.

Here are some quick reviews. I'm not really going for literary criticism here, just letting you know how much I liked them.

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson

An exciting international thriller with interesting characters and some hijinks in a MMORPG. I loved this. Much more accessible than most Stephenson.

Ready Player One

Entertaining. A bit contrived to set up a world where everyone is into 80's geek culture. If you remember early videogames, RPG's etc. fondly you will probably like this. Not sure what is up with all the dystopias and virtual worlds this month.

Thud

Pratchett can throw in some clever jokes, but I like the later Discworld books just for the plot and characters. The setting is a bit over the top with trolls and vampires and dwarfs but the characters feel very real , the plot is interesting and there is a lot of satirical insight into human nature.

Wee Free Men

This is a Pratchett book aimed at the young adult market. The main character is a young girl but it doesn't seem out of place with his other books.

Kobold Guide to Board Game Design

Throwing a nonfiction book in here. Seems like some good advice from some game industry professionals. I'm not sure there was anything terribly surprising in it. There aren't many books like this, though so if you are interested in the topic it's worth a read. I would recommend The Game Inventor's Guidebook ahead of this.

Secret of Ordinary Farm

I really like Tad Williams. The Ordinary Farm books are his first books for kids (I don't know, age 12?). The second one is only available as an e-book, oddly. I haven't heard much about these and I'm surprised they aren't more well known. Anyway I enjoyed them. There are a young boy and girl who go to visit there uncle's farm, and there are all sorts of supernatural creatures.

Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I'm reading an unusual amount of YA/kid books lately. Anyway you'd have to be living on Mars to not know about these. I think they are quite good. Easy to read, interesting characters and settings, some thought-provoking issues.

Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson

Part 3 of the Spin trilogy (not sure if there are more coming). The first two are classic big-idea mind-blowing science fiction. I did enjoy this story but not as much. It's a little bit more of a downer.

Mort by Terry Pratchett

One of the earlier Death books. I have not read many of these. Not as good as the Guards books.
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Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:38 am
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First impressions (Q1 2012)

Clay Blankenship
United States
Huntsville
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I'm going to try to post my impressions of games regularly. Here are some new games (to me) I played in the first quarter of 2012, along with my initial ratings. Keep in mind these are mostly based on gut reaction to a play or two but that usually goes a pretty long way.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue
played with family and friends

A solid coop, a genre that I generally enjoy. It feels a lot like Pandemic but there is a nice amount of tension here. I doubt if it will get played as much as Pandemic or Ghost Stories but it is a nice change of pace. This game is pretty accessible, I think you could teach it to a game newbie pretty quickly if you stick to the basic game (which is mostly what I've played so far). A solid

Quarriors!
played with my 2 boys

I'm not sure there's a lot here but the different cards for each die was a nice touch to keep replays interesting. My two boys love this so it's a keeper.

Back to the Future: The Card Game
played with some non-gamers at a church event

Wanted to try this retheming of Chrononauts which has some interesting mechanisms even though it's pretty random. One of my opponents was pretty confused the whole time although the teenager picked it up pretty fast.

Now for some played at Tennessee Game Days 2012.

Dragon Rampage

This was a pretty enjoyable Yahtzee-style game where you try to be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in various icons, in order to either advance through a dungeon, whack the dragon, or steal treasure (from the dragon or other players). Just the right length not to wear out its welcome.

Eclipse

Impressive. A very well designed, complex game. Exploration, tech development, ship customization... Not sure I need to own this since it's the kind of game my wife hates (mostly peaceful but you can be attacked at any time), but I'd love to play this more. Our game ended up with a massive 4-way battle for the center quadrant which was a bit long and disappointing but we probably could have more productively attacked other places (at least some of us)

King of Tokyo

A quick and fun game. Not too much depth but perfect for what it is. Waiting for the reprint. I think the boys will love it. Seems like a good gateway game also as you can explain it in about 2 minutes.

Zombie State

The mechanics were interesting but this was so long and I was almost immediately unable to do anything. There was this whole development tree and I only managed to get about 3 of the developments and I'm not sure I got any benefit from any. I think this would have been more fun if it were not so HARD. Also it went on for about 4 hours.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Great theme and art, very fiddly. Will try again with dice rather than paper.

Magical Athlete

Mindless fun. When I heard the drafting rules I thought for a minute you were going to build a team of characters that interacted with each other and those around them tactically, but it turns out you race 1 of your guys at a time. I'd still like to see that game (and I have an unfinished design along that line, maybe this will inspire me to work on it).

(End of TN Game Days)

Ankh Morpork
game group

I really enjoy these books (especially the later ones) so I'd been looking forward to this. We played it a couple of times in a row on a recent game night. The art is very detailed and it was interesting to see the characters realized in this manner. The gameplay was...good I guess. I guess it feels a little disconnected from the theme. You use a card with a familiar (or not-so-familiar) character on it and get to add a guy to a district, or maybe build a building. A big part of the game is trying to keep other people from getting their (secret) victory condition. There are only about 4 different ones so it's not too tricky. Final verdict, I'm glad I played this before I bought it. I wouldn't turn it down but I'm not crazy about it.
Incidentally a couple of the card names are a little suggestive. I suppose this element is present in the books but it's usually pretty subtle and used sparingly.


51st State
game group

Boy was this ever confusing. We had a post game-night e-mail discussion where I think all the scoring rules got sorted out. The rulebook talks about gaining 5 VP and then moving your score marker to 5 VP, hence our confusion. To back up, this is a card game with different factions in the post-apocalyptic USA. Cards we are trying to acquire can be used in 3 different ways (basically conquest, trade, or assimilation). Each of those ways has a different cost in terms of resources and distance, which can be paid by your basic faction abilities (different for each player) or by one-time contact cards). There are a bunch of ways to generate VPs. There are leaders with special abilities. There are 4 kinds of locations you acquire that might need workers (or not) and might allow opponents' workers (or not). Definitely low on the elegance scale. Needs another play but I'm not sure you get enough game play to justify the complexity.
(could go up?)


Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin
played with my wife (2p) and also with another gamer couple (4p)

I like the changes--streamlined card design, more powerful starting items, avatars. We used the epic variant, which I find a lot more interesting than only having the same few cards to choose from the whole game. It's still somewhat long and fiddly but I think it is a solid game. As a bonus, this is a dungeon crawl that my wife enjoys! The 4p game slowed down quite a bit. Maybe we need to use the "planning" turn option more where you can do a partial discard rather than shopping.
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Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:26 pm
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Yikes! (aquarium related)

Clay Blankenship
United States
Huntsville
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Came home tonight and the water was 94 degrees. Should be around 80. Heater thermostat not working. Did a water change to bring it down a little and now letting it cool on its on. Fish don't seem bothered so far.
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Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:20 am
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