Manchuwok's Journey: (Win a Free Game from your Wishlist)!
Manchuwok
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BoardGameGeek has been an integral part of my journey into boardgaming. This geeklist chronicles some of that journey, and some of the high points along the way. As a way of saying thank you, and to make this even more fun for everyone I want to give away a free game. Hopefully this contest will also serve to highlight much of the great content that there is to be found here!

Contest rules: You will get one entry per relevant comment you make on each geeklist item. The items themselves outline the type of comment that is required. You will only be credited for one entry per item. This means you'll get 12 entries for commenting on every item. Thumbs may or may not affect your chances in mysterious ways.

I'll randomly draw from all the valid entries some time in the next month or so.

Prize: I will send you a readily available and reasonably priced game from your wishlist for free. Shipping will be included anywhere in the world. If you have nothing on your wishlist, I'll contact you.

Good luck!
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1. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:152]
Manchuwok
Canada
Mission
BC
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Like many others here, my journey into the world of structured play began with this game. In one epic weekend after high school graduation I was introduced to The Settlers of Catan and played it about a dozen times. (That weekend also involved loincloth-clad exploration in the wilderness, but that doesn't play into this particular story). After the brief intial period of unadultered joy wore off 5 years later, it was time to look for some other games of the same calibre. That eventually lead me here. I just browsed for a few years before creating an account. While I haven't had much interest in playing Catan for quite a while, I will never forgot that it was instrumental in leading me here.

To enter the contest: Comment on this item about what game was most instrumental in shaping your interest in this hobby.
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Manchuwok
Canada
Mission
BC
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Clive Lovett
Canada
Kamloops
British Columbia
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David Short
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Every online community has a few bad nuts, but for the most part I have found BGG to be an incredibly valuable community to be a part of. Insightful reviews and comments have helped to shape my collection and my preferences. I don't even want to try the count the hours I've spent here, and I don't consider them to be wasted hours.

I've also had a lot of great interactions in the BGG chat room, particularly with the two users posted above.

But not only has BGG been useful, but I have also been blown away by the generosity I've seen here. When other members are in need, time and time again we step to the plate and help how we can. One never needs an excuse to give back to such a community, so that's the reason why I'd like to give somebody a game.

To enter the contest: Comment on this item about what one of your favourite things about BGG is.
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3. Board Game: Group Therapy [Average Rating:5.55 Unranked]
Manchuwok
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Matt Thiessen
Canada
Abbotsford
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Steven Dueck
Canada
Abbotsford
British Columbia
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Somewhere along the way I got connected with a great games group in my town. It's been a lot of fun gaming with the same people over the course of several years, and getting to know exactly how to screw them over in a game at the right moment is such a joy. These two guys have notably been great to play games with.

To enter the contest: Comment on this item about what's great about your games group, or the people you play games with the most.
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Manchuwok
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As many of you know, I've been a strong supporter of the works of Kramer. There is something about his designs that just seems to always click with me. Trying a new Kramer game is always an experience that is anticipated and rewarding. And his range is extremely impressive. There is a Kramer game for every situation! One can't forget that quite of few of his best titles were designed in collaboration with others, notably Michael Kiesling.

I also have appreciated several of Knizia's designs - notably those from 2000 and earlier.

(There seems to be a theme here that all the best designers have last names starting with K) ninja

To enter the contest: Comment on this item about what your favourite Kramer game is. If you haven't played one yet, go and rectify that lapse in judgement, and then come back. If you're still at a loss, I'll accept a comment about which Kramer game looks the most interesting to you.
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Manchuwok
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Another joy that I discovered thanks to BGG was thrifting for games. It's the ultimate treasure hunt, and the thrill of finding a copy of a grail game in shrink for $0.99 is awesome. But it does mean a lot of wasted hours, and you have to be willing to leave 8 times out of 10 with nothing. My available time for thrifting has shrunk to virtually nothing, so those of you new to the thrifting lists probably won't recognize my name from there. But in 2011 I was pretty active and thrifted all of the following:

Case Blue
Battling Tops
Chicago Express
Attika
Imperial
Giganten
HeroQuest
The Downfall of Pompeii
Loopin' Louie
The Princes of Florence
Acquire
Caylus
Divine Right
Star Wars: Epic Duels
Formula Dé
MarraCash
San Marco
Catan
Wooden Ships & Iron Men
Auf Achse

Again, all of this is only due to what I've learned from BGG. So you guys have helped in a huge way to build my collection for very little $.

To enter the contest: Comment on this item about the best thrift find you've ever made. Or if you haven't thrifted, the best deal you ever got on a game anywhere.
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Manchuwok
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Mission
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In recent years I've become interested in photography. What better way to use that interest than by taking pictures of board games? I haven't uploaded many photos compared to many users here, but my photos were appreciated enough to get me into BGG's Photography Hall of Fame.

I'm now also the latest in a line of distinguished members who have run BGG's Monthly Photo Contests. It's one small way of giving back to the community, and keeping the interest going in high quality gaming photography.

Visit the current contest here and you'll find I'm giving away another very special prize.








Those were a few of my photos. The geeklist in the title of this item shows my journey into the Hall of Fame.

To enter the contest: Comment on this item what your favourite photo on BGG is (by any user). Display it at size small using the format: [ImageID=xxxxxx small]
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7. Board Game: Quantum Traders [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Manchuwok
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Another fantastic way of interacting with other members and getting some good games is trading. I've participated in many trades with other users. This has been a lot of fun for me and has helped me pass on games that I'm no longer interested in, but others are. I've completed about 140 trades with other BGG members. One of my favourites was orchestrating a 5-way trade that netted me Dune and a few other grail games.

Thanks everyone for the fantastic trades!

To enter the contest: Comment on this item about the best trade you've made, or if you've never done it before comment on what has been stopping you.
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Manchuwok
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As of today I've earned over 34,000thumbsup. That's not nearly as high as many here but I think it does reflect that a few of you have appreciated my content. I've posted images, one or two reviews, some geeklists, and lots of occasionally well-timed comments. It's the content here at BGG that keeps me coming back, and I've really appreciated that quite a bit of it is high quality. That's the reason why I organized the geeklist linked to in the title of this item. It was a truly great experience to see so many pitch in with great content.

To enter the contest: I was thinking about making you choose your favourite contribution of mine, but that wouldn't really be that interesting. So what you will need to do is post a comment about the user who's contributions you have appreciated the most.
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Manchuwok
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Not content just to play games, I began designing them as well. My first few efforts are not worth mentioning, but over the course of the last several years I've begun to improve and hone those skills.

I decided to enter the Ticket to Ride Map Design contest with a New York City entry (codesign with Matt Thiessen). With country and continent maps available, the obvious evolution of the system to me was to move to a single city. NYC, with mass worldwide appeal and an extremely rich history of public rail systems, is probably the best city in the world to choose for this. We didn't win the contest, but were chosen as one of the few finalists. The design stayed very close to the original system, but added one simple but critical element: the shortest path between two points is now important as well.

In any case, although we didn't win the contest and Days of Wonder will not be publishing this map, it whetted my appetite even further for game design. That map is also now my favourite way to play Ticket to Ride, so even though the masses will not be playing it, some people are having a lot of fun through my design efforts. And that's why I love the idea of designing games. Not only is it so much fun to do, but it's a way to bring happiness to a lot of other people as well. Those who say games are not about fun may not be from the same planet as me.

To enter the contest: Comment on this item about why you play games, or if you are a designer, why you design games.
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Manchuwok
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Since 2011 I've had the amazing opportunity to be a part of a group called the Game Artisans of Canada. We're a collection of more than 30 designers from the Great White North who collaborate on designs, industry knowledge, and game design theory. We also playtest eachother's games... a lot. I seriously doubt if there is a more efficient group of game designers anywhere in the world.

I have learned so many valuable things about game design since joining the group. My designs have benefited immensely. And it has been especially great because this group of skilled designers also happen to be awesome people too. The three regulars at the local Vancouver chapter have been particularly great to work with.

Graeme Jahns
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
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Sean Ross
Canada
North Vancouver
British Columbia
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Jay Cormier
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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To enter the contest: Comment on this item about which GAC game is your favourite, or which you're most interested in trying. Use the geeklist in the title of this item for ranked games by GAC, or this link for all games (including upcoming) by GAC.
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11. Board Game: Quarantine [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2006]
Manchuwok
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Mission
BC
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Quarantine will be my first game to hit store shelves. I've been working on this game since the end of 2009, but was really able to focus on it and complete it after joining the Game Artisans of Canada. I feel the only innovation here is not simply the untapped theme. I think there are some very interesting elements in the design (though of course I'm biased). More details about my design process can be found in my designer diary which I hope will be posted soon.

I'm also amazed to be in the running for the most anticipated game of 2013, in 5 different categories. I would be extremely grateful if you would cast your vote here!

I am mostly just happy to be able to share this game with the community. I hope you all enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed designing it. The preorder period for Quarantine should be starting in January.

EDIT: Several of you have expressed interest in learning more about how Quarantine plays! Luckily for you, the rules have been posted on the Quarantine page for a while now, and over 500 geeks have downloaded them already. I do understand that reading rules before a release is not for everyone, so I'll see what I can do about a summary of gameplay.

To enter the contest: Leave any comment on this item about your thoughts on Quarantine. Looking forward to it? Would rather go to the hospital than play it? Be truthful, I won't get hurt feelings... who am I kidding? Bonus points for positive comments!
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12. Board Game Designer: Mark Klassen
 
Manchuwok
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My designer page currently shows one entry for Quarantine, but this will not be the last you hear from me. I have no fewer than 8 designs that are either with a publisher or in active development. Designing games is not for everyone, but for me, it's just as fun as playing games. I hope to be able to reward the members of this great hobby with some amazing games over the next years.

To enter the contest: Comment on this item about what theme for a game do feel has never been done justice. Maybe you'll see it done!
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