$10.00
GCL 17 - Look Who's Coming to Dinner
Aditya J
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
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If you came upon this GeekList accidentally and are wondering what it is: GameChat League


Roster: (next week's list preparer in bold)

1awesomeguy
Dolus
Dormammu
Fishbulb
jeep*
kristocker
McJarvis
MeYesMe
mith
petroleumjelly
Rishi
seppo21
Thesp

*If jeep becomes less busy next week and wishes to jump in, he could probably contribute for next week. However, I'll leave the final decision on this up to Rishi+mith+jeep

Instructions
The first four list items are topics for discussion. Also, please add your own geeklist item to ...

d10-1...list your plays for the week (May 8th through May 14th).
d10-2...regale us with noteworthy plays and anecdotes from this week's plays.
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1. Board Game: After Dinner Games [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Aditya J
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
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Greetings all, I'm filling in with a "guest appearance" this week, since jeep is busy.

In the spirit of this week's "guest spot", share the following:

1. Suppose you had company coming over for dinner and games. Your guests have only heard of the commercial mass market games like Scrabble, Clue, Monopoly, which are available at Target and Toys R Us; and have played some of them.
They may also have seen Dominion, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride etc. at Borders or Barnes & Nobles but have never played them. They are willing to learn some of your kind of games. Which games do you pull out to play with your guests?

What are your favoured "gateway" games?

You can answer this question based on one or more of the following granules.

(a) Do you make a distinction on which game to bring out based on your audience?
For instance, would you bring out different games to play with family members (who might be older than you) and other ones to play with work colleagues or friends who might be closer to you in age?

(b) What if you had an odd number of guests coming over?
For instance, if your guests were a couple who had a teenage child who could play with you.
What 5+ or 6+ player games do you look at gateway games, without crossing into the Party Games realm?

(c) What if there were only two of you playing and your guest was still a gaming newbie? Do you have a favourite 2p "gateway" game?

(d) Do you equate "gateway" games with being "family" games? Or are there certain "gamers' games" that you would consider family games since your family really enjoys playing them? What is your definition of "gateway game"?

(e) Are there any games whose gateway status you disagree with?
What I mean by this is: There are certain games that seem to be universally acknowledged as gateway games. Do you dispute this status for any particular game? Conversely, are there any "middle weight" games that you actually think would be better described as gateway?
This question came about after I recently saw Ra being mentioned as a middle weight game, whereas I really look at it as a gateway game.

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2. Board Game: More After Dinner Games Compendium [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Aditya J
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
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2. Now, suppose your guests had a really good time playing your "gateway" games and they keep coming back for more. Eventually, they feel open to a greater challenge.

What progression would you use, based on your favoured gateway games, to introduce your new gamers to middle and heavier weight games?

How heavy is too heavy for you?

For this question, you can also apply criterias (b) and (c) from the previous item, if you feel like it.
 
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3. Board Game: The Teachers Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Aditya J
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
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3. How do you go about explaining/teaching games? Do you always begin a particular way?

Do you have a particular spiel as a game explainer?

Would you ever explain a game cold without having played it?
Do you use the rule book as a reference to explain new games? Cheat sheets? Reference cards?


Bonus:
How do you like to have a game explained to you? Would you rather someone walk you through the game? Or would you rather read the rules for yourself?
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4. Board Game: Summertime [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:7849]
Aditya J
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
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4. Now for a slightly non-gaming tangent.

Summer is upon us. What are your plans for it? Are you doing anything exciting? Vacations or trips planned? Or will you mostly be an indentured minion to your job (like me)?
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5. Board Game: Poker [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:678]
Christopher M
United States
Goleta
California
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Strongly Plays

The Resistance x 6
Poker x 2
Durak x2
The Castle of the Devil x2
Cash and Guns
Bohnanza
10 Days in Asia
King of Siam
Tichu

Noteworthy

Poker: I was invited to two different Texas Hold 'Em poker touneys this week. I had not played poker since my college days when I used to take a bus up to Foxwoods casino. I lost both but it was still very fun. Interestingly, the host won each tournament... One of which was another member of CGL Mafia...

The Resistance: There were some fun moments this week. One friend of mine was a spy and won the game with the No Confidence card. It was the quickest game I have ever seen where no one messed something up. In another game, one spy saw the card of another spy and accused him of being a spy. We thought for sure only one of them were a spy. They totally had us from that moment on.

The Castle of the Devil: This was an interesting game that is similar to The Resistance. Both games we played were won by a single person due to the ability on one of the cards. I felt like that card was a little bit overpowered. The game was fun but not as fun as The Resistance, I think
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6. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:77]
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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Week in review

Shogun

Yep. One game only. Slow week with two mid-week game cancellations. Shogun was a new acquisition and I'd never played it before. I enjoyed it and am glad to have it, though it was dang expensive even through CoolStuffInc. I got brutalized in the penultimate turn and lost two key provinces but still only missed first place by 5 points.

I'm hoping to get in some Dungeon Lords this week and I want to try to play Troyes so I can participate in Morganza's new Strategy Game of the Month discussion group.
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7. Board Game: Planet Steam [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:405]
Mc Jarvis
United States
Bloomington
Minnesota
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Letters from Whitechapel
Loopin Loui x 3
Mu & Lots More
Planet Steam
Luna
Tammany Hall
In the Shadow of the Emperor

My plays this week sold me on Mu & Lots More & Planet Steam, both of which will likely be upcoming purchases. Playing planet steam reminded me of how much I love heavy 3 hour economic games, but how unoften I get a chance to play them.

Luna was an interesting game mechanics wise, but much like other great & solid mechanic games (Vasco da Gama, Macao, and Stone Age come to mind) it just didn't sell me on playing again. I felt I understood the strategy fine, and didn't see anything to explore in the future.

I guess for me to really be hooked on a game, I need to see a few different strategies & be curious to try the others. I saw several strategies in Luna, but they didn't make me curious about what it would feel like to play them. (If that makes sense?) Maybe I'm just burning out on new games-- I've noticed that nothing I've played from 2010 has really piqued my interest, yet several friends of mine have said 2010 was a great year for new designs.

 
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8. Board Game: Poker [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:678]
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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Looks like Chris beat me to posting Texas Hold'em. It's awesome playing with another gamer on here

Plays:
Texas Hold'em
The Resistance x2
Trivial Pursuit - Poker Edition

Poker was fun. I hosted and we had ten players at my place. My goal for next time is 16. I managed to get first with my roommate getting a close third.

Trivial Pursuit wasn't too exciting. My fiance and I got home just after they had started, and they didn't read any rules, so there was no poker involved. Since they've already removed the spokes on the board in this version, it only made the game much more limited...
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9. Board Game: Dominion: Cornucopia [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Philip Newman
United States
Richardson
Texas
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Weekly Plays

Dominion - 55 (all isotropic)
Race for the Galaxy - 2 (base only)
Ghost Stories - 1 (solo)
Ticket to Ride: Europe - 1
Time's Up! Deluxe - 1

Mixed results in Dominion... I don't think I'm playing badly, just tending to lose close games against better players. I like Cornucopia; fun cards, nothing game-breaking (though Tournament can be a little frustrating).

Sunday we had 6, and I sat out of the Agricola game (Greg finally won, hurrah!) to teach Race again. Wednesday, Michelle and I arrived late so we played TtR: Europe while waiting for the Agricola game (Kim finally won, hurrah!) to finish - I stole a victory where again I think Michelle could have won if she had just ended the game quickly instead of taking more tickets. Then we played a 4-team game of Time's Up, which was fun as always.

My first Ghost Stories play in a while was a Nightmare loss... third incarnation was Uncatchable, and I had too many ghosts on the boards. Not sure where it went wrong exactly, just out of practice I guess.
 
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Rishi A.
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Light week on plays

Dungeons & Dragons (4th Edition) (as DM)

That's it.
 
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11. Board Game: Circus Train (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:3460]
James Lilly
United States
St. Albans
West Virginia
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Didn't get much in this past week. Played half of Circus Train. Then I learned the rules to The Great Fire of London and watched a few turns before having to leave. I did grab Top Race from Tanga this week, so I'm pretty excited about getting to play it with my friends. I've played it a lot on BSW, so I already know I like it.

I think I'm drifting towards becoming a fulltime lurker here. I hope not, because it's a fun discussion group. I'll give it a few more weeks and see if I can keep up before officially throwing in the towel.
 
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12. Board Game: Merkator [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:608]
Stephen Smith
United States
Jackson
MS
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Plays:

Mercator

So, my sole play for the week was a game of Mercator that was quite interesting as Neil has already discussed. I still think that it went very well.

New Games:

Rail Baron
U.S. Rails

I picked these up for a reasonably good price on Ebay. The copy of Rail Baron is well-played. The files for US Rails have been available for a while on the Winsome Yahoo group, but this was a sealed copy of the game. I figure that was better than a PnP I put together.

10 Days in Europe
Middle-Earth Quest

Both of these were available at the Hudsons (a salvage store) near my parents' house. I've had Europa Tour (the original version of 10 Days in Europe and the first iteration of the entire 10 Days seres) for a while. I was happy to finally pick up Europe. I grabbed Middle Earth Quest since it was only $32. I figure if I don't like it I can trade it for at least that. I may have to go pick up a couple of more copies to run through math trades.

South African Railroads

This is the newest Winsome production. It made its way to my home last week. Hopefully, we'll get a play in this next Monday.

Great Western

This is one of the games only available in the Spielbox magazine. I've kicked around getting a subscription to the English version for a while now. This new Martin Wallace train game was what finally pushed me over the edge.
 
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13. Board Game: Notre Dame Express [Average Rating:6.63 Unranked]
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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(Sorry for the late entry! Here we go
Brass
Navegador
Merkator
Florenza
Zombie Dice
Notre Dame Express
Goa
Encore
Union Pacific
Word on the Street
Things...
HλLF-LIFE²: Episode One (VG) (completed)

What a week of gaming! The games were very good. Notre Dame Express was a gift for Neil that turned out better than expected (and was a close affair as well, with a 112/119/122 point spread). I finally got to teach Union Pacific to Kristen, and predictably, she loved it. Things...Humour in a Box was entertaining as well, and I managed a last-minute victory by correctly guessing everyone's answers!
 
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