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Subject: Geek of the Week #264 - leroy43 rss

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J.L. Robert
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When seeking my successor, I had a devil of a time finding someone whose contributions I've enjoyed and hasn't already been chosen!

I finally discovered a long-time member with many contributions who, to my shock, has not been selected GotW. A fellow wargamer. And an appropriate successor to me, an unofficial Avalon Hill historian.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you BGG's resident GMT P500 archivist and Geek of the Week #264:

"L'état, c'est moi."
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leroy43 wrote:
I'd like to begin by thanking J.L. for selecting me as the next GotW. Thanks J.L.

Hi, my name is Roger and I'm a wargamer (again). I found BGG back in the early days and have been hanging around here since 2002.

My first gaming recollections are learning Chess from my father when I was around 4-5 years old. He later taught me Cribbage, which is still one of my favorite traditional card games.

My extended family loved playing wacky card games, and any time we visited my grandmother, everyone got together around the large table and played card games and ate my mamie's famous pies and tourtiere and anything else she cared to make. I probably get my love of good food and cooking from her more than anyone else.

My dad was in the military, which meant that we moved a fair bit. Board games were an easy social "in" to make new friends and I spent countless hours of my adolescence playing Monopoly, Clue, Risk and pretty much anything else we kids could get our hands on. I still remember getting my own copy of Risk on my 10th birthday, although it's long gone.

Around Christmas 1979 we moved to CFB Lahr in Germany and that's when I really got into gaming in a big way. For whatever reason, at school our the class periods were 70 minutes long including the lunch break, and I quickly discovered a great group of guys who were into board games. With a long lunch hour, there were lots of games we could play! I got my first taste of wargaming via Ogre and PanzerBlitz, and it was love at first die.

The fall of 1980 saw another new gaming avenue open up for me, and that was Dungeons & Dragons. Our little group of gaming renegades played anything we could get our hands on at the PX bookstore (a great source thinking back), and aside from D&D we played Top Secret, Dragonquest (still a favorite system), The Fantasy Trip (as an extension of playing Melee and later Wizard), Universe (a great, if dated, system), and many many others.

D&D though became the common denominator for all of us eventually. The reality of being in a military family is that peers move away and new kids arrive and so D&D became the common gaming basis.

So, we played wargames at lunch at school, and D&D evenings and weekends. We'd even play D&D and board games in preference to Atari and Intellivision video games if you can believe that!

When we moved back to Canada, I wasn't able to bring back a lot of the games I'd acquired, but soon fell in with more gamers. Wargames and RPG's were again the common denominator, and this was also when I really discovered SPI and AH games. I remember loving AH games because of the cool components, and loving SPI for the sheer volume of stuff they were putting out. Most of my allowance money was spent on board games as I recall. My favorite game back then was SPI's Great Medieval Battles, which a buddy and I played endlessly after school if we weren't skunking one another over the cribbage board.

Once I got to university, I met yet more gamers - amazing how many gamers there are to be found in the halls of academe - and I spent more time than I should have playing monster games like Advanced Civilization, Dune, The Republic of Rome, Pax Britannica, etc... This was really a heyday of some now classic grail games for me.

After university something strange happened. I had a solid D&D group that got together regularly for what was the Best Campaign Ever (and anyone who's had a stellar DM knows exactly what I mean when I say that), but my wargaming opportunities dried up for some reason. So I spent a lot of the early the mid 1990's as a game collector. I can't recall how many games I bought and sold - UNPUNCHED! I eventually got a collection of over 300 games and sold almost all of them, right around the time my D&D group dissolved because the DM and almost everyone else seemed to find jobs in other cities.

In 1998 I moved to Vancouver, BC where I've been ever since. Some of my university friends were here and so I quickly had a D&D group again, and this opened the board game door a crack too. I played mostly Euros since that was what was hot and interesting and what I could get to the table. I also met my smart beautiful and talented wife through some friends and got married in 2002.

In 2004, I was accepted into grad school, and while working full time and doing my MA, my gaming time was quite drastically reduced, but I still got some gaming in. During my time in grad school, I got hooked on opera thanks to a course entitled "opera in context" taught by an absolutely fabulous professor who later became my thesis adviser. I even went as far as taking about eighteen months of singing lessons, learning some bel canto arias along the way and I've been a season ticket holder to the Vancouver Opera too. What I love about opera is that it has it all - great music, fabulous singing, stagecraft, great theatre, drama... you name it, opera has it. My favorite opera this past season was the Canadian premiere of John Adams' Nixon in China.

After finishing my thesis and my MA in 2008, I got back into wargames in a big way, and while I still play D&D and other board games, wargames are my favorite way to spend a gaming night.

My favorite game is Twilight Struggle, which I've played over 200 times since I was first introduced to it two years ago. As a child of the Cold War era, it has a narrative grip that I just love. At BGG.Con 2009, I got to meet Jason Matthews:



Outside of gaming, my big passions are food & wine (I'm half of a small personal chef and wine consulting company), music (opera, 20th century classical, Al Stewart, heavy metal and electronica from my teen nostalgia years, and many others - my music tastes are as varied and eclectic as my gaming tastes), travel (haven't been to Asia, Africa, or Central/South America yet...), and reading (mostly non-fiction these days, but my favorite fiction author is Robert Silverberg).

I also like the NFL, the World Cup, MLB baseball and NHL hockey during playoff season, House MD, Big Bang Theory, and I used to be a big cinema fan but my wife's taste in films and mine don't really mesh all that often so I don't really go to the cinema very much anymore.

As if that weren't all enough, I still like researching and writing about 20th century art, music and literature (Thomas Mann, Benjamin Britten, Arnold Schoenberg, Wassily Kandinsky, ...) and I've even had a paper published about Death in Venice...

But enough rambling. I'll take questions now. You, yes you in the back there with your hand up...

Here are two truths and a lie:

Poll
Which one is the lie?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
When I took my wife on a road trip to see Al Stewart in Walla Walla, WA in 2000, I had a nice chat with Al about his Victoria, BC concert in 1984. And shook his hand.
24.5% 24
I've met and kissed world famous opera soprano Renee Fleming during a back stage tour at the Vancouver Opera. She's as beautiful and gracious in person as she is on stage.
32.7% 32
I sung an excerpt from Lehar's Der Zarewitsch at a friend's wedding. I was given a huge roar of applause too.
42.9% 42
Voters 98
This poll is now closed.   98 answers
Poll created by leroy43
Closes: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:00 am


Enjoy your week, Roger.

Now, to get you started, some questions.

1. Let's go with the premise that Twilight Struggle is NOT a wargame. What is your favorite wargame?

2. What motivates you to create the monthly GMT P500 Geeklists when this data is pretty much available directly on the GMT website?

3. Do you support local game stores? If so, how much of your game-related purchases come from local retailers?

4. If you could only attend one game convention per year, which one would it be?
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Robert Wesley
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Hoi and GRATZ! as YOU 'reign-in' the accolades with your esteemed colleagues astride your 'coat-tails' as befits!
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Russ Williams
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Hi, enjoy your week!

Wow, I had no idea you are so into music and opera in particular. If for some reason the Vancouver opera came to you right now and offered to professionally stage any opera you like, which opera would you request?

Who are some other classic authors besides Thomas Mann who particularly affected you?

I see we both like Go and rate it 10; what other pure abstract strategy games do you like?

Exploring the limits of your "I do enjoy a broad spectrum of games", what is your take on the following types of games, and your favorite (if any) from each:
Coop game?
Solitaire game?
Dexterity game?
Party game?
Children's game?

Have fun!
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John Bandettini
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Congratulations Roger. Enjoy your week in the spotlight.
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James Mckane
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Congrats mate, I couldn't have Imagined a more worthy GOW.
I've got a question for you, what theme hasn't been done (or done well) that you'd like to see a game about?
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ian morris
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Congratulations Roger. What's your favourite AH game ?



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Pete Belli
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A superb choice.

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Pete Belli
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BTW, I'm almost certain that you did indeed have a nice chat with Al Stewart... he did a song about the Russian Front in WWII.
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Alex H.
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This was overdue. An excellent choice for GW.
Kudos to the man who made me discover Maria.
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Jerry Wilkinson
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Congratulations, Roger!

Since you are an NFL fan, what teams do you like or dislike? And have you ever played fantasy football? Thanks! Jerry
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Congrats Roger! mb
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Colin Hunter
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Grats. well deserved dude!
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Congrats! I read the GMT thread every month and appreciate you're dedication to it. Well deserved. For a reward, I give you this:


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Jesse Dean
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Congratulations. Its about time. So why do you collect food-themed games?
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Congratulations! A great choice!
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Victor Caminha
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And so it begins...
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Congratulations!
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CONGRATULATIONSblankROGER

A fine selection for GoTW. Enjoy your week in the spotlight! thumbsup

Question:

What is your most/least favorite game mechanic and why?

meeple
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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J.L.Robert wrote:
Enjoy your week, Roger.

Now, to get you started, some questions.


I'm sure I will!

Quote:
1. Let's go with the premise that Twilight Struggle is NOT a wargame. What is your favorite wargame?


There was a time I'd unhesitatingly answer EastFront to that question. I love the game system and the use of HQ units for command and control to really bring to the fore the logistical nightmare the eastern front was for the Germans is simply brilliant. My desire to play it is constrained only by my ability to get it to the table with a willing local opponent.

However, a game that I'm beginning to appreciate more and more as I get to play it more and more is the Combat Commander Series.

Quote:
2. What motivates you to create the monthly GMT P500 Geeklists when this data is pretty much available directly on the GMT website?


Sure, anyone can go to GMT's website and check out the status of any given game in their P500 program, but one of the things I really enjoy about being on BGG is the interaction with other gamers. The P500 lists that various fans put up (MMP, Legion, Columbia, etc) often have information and insight that's not available at the publisher sites.

The GMT P500 lists are always fun to put together, it's nice to check in with Gene and Tony and see if there's any news they want to share, and many of the designers chime in on the list too. For instance,
Mark Mokszycki always updates us on the latest and greatest on his two designs in the queue, Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 and the newly announced Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944.

Besides, I also believe in no more boring data!



Quote:
3. Do you support local game stores? If so, how much of your game-related purchases come from local retailers?


I certainly am willing to buy a game at one of the local game shops, and the greater Vancouver area has several shops; Imperial Hobbies is my favorite.

However, my collection is close to 300 games, not to mention all the RPG stuff sitting in my closet, so most of my new acquisitions are via (math) trade.

I also like P500 programs, so new wargames tend to be company direct rather than via my local game shop.

Quote:
4. If you could only attend one game convention per year, which one would it be?


BGG.Con 2009 was my first ever convention, and BGG.Con 2010 will be my second, so I'll go with what I know. I'm already planning on going for 2011. laugh

I think it would be fun to visit GenCon some year, and I'm also going to a local con right before BGG (BottosCon).
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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GROGnads wrote:
Hoi and GRATZ! as YOU 'reign-in' the accolades with your esteemed colleagues astride your 'coat-tails' as befits!
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Merci!
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Roger,

Congratulations, I follow your comments regularly. Tell me, have you ever sat through a full production of Der Ring des Nibelungen?


Jim
Est. 1949

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russ wrote:
Hi, enjoy your week!

Grazie!

Quote:
Wow, I had no idea you are so into music and opera in particular. If for some reason the Vancouver opera came to you right now and offered to professionally stage any opera you like, which opera would you request?

I would love to see Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. The overture is a really stunning piece of music.

I've also only seen about 20 or live productions, so I have a long time before running out of the standard repertoire.

Quote:
Who are some other classic authors besides Thomas Mann who particularly affected you?

Marcel Proust immediately comes to mind. In Search of Lost Time could be retitled "in search of a plot", but I like the slow meandering tangents that he endlessly goes on.

Quote:
I see we both like Go and rate it 10; what other pure abstract strategy games do you like?

Oddly enough, not that many. I do like Chess, and I'm hoping to some day break out my Xiangqi pieces and learn that. I'm also interested in Arimaa.

However, most abstracts just don't capture my imagination. I've also found that many abstracts (not all obviously) aren't very deep. ZÈRTZ for instance.

Quote:
Exploring the limits of your "I do enjoy a broad spectrum of games", what is your take on the following types of games, and your favorite (if any) from each:

Co-op game? I'm generally not that keen on co-op games, but Pandemic works for me. However, I'll only play with the Pandemic: On the Brink expansion.

I generally find co-op games lack tension. Pandemic's game engine ensures a fairly high rate of player failure.

Solitaire game? I like the idea of solo games, but in reality I never play them. When I have some free time, the first idea that pops into my head is almost never "Hey, I'm going to set up and play _____." I've had Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic for almost a year now and I've still got the rules in the reading pile next to the bed, but have never played it.

Dexterity game? This entire category eludes me, but I do like Tier auf Tier, Gulo Gulo and Hamsterrolle. I don't have the requisite small hands to play most of these very well.

Party game? Party games are hit and miss with me. I play games primarily as a social thing to begin with, so if I'm not playing with my fellow gaming minded friends, I'm usually not interested in playing a "party" game - I'd rather drink wine and have good conversations.

That said, Eat Poop You Cat never fails to elicit raucous laughter in a mixed group of people.

Children's game? As a father of a smart pretty and cool daughter, I am totally all over kids games, and I will play almost anything in this category. Our family loves Die Siedler von Catan: Junior and my daughter is very good at planning out her strategy now and wins her fair share.
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JohnBandettini wrote:
Congratulations Roger. Enjoy your week in the spotlight.


Thanks!
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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jamesmckane wrote:
Congrats mate, I couldn't have Imagined a more worthy GOW.
I've got a question for you, what theme hasn't been done (or done well) that you'd like to see a game about?


Thanks James!

Generally speaking, I find that games about food and drink are poorly done. The upcoming Grand Cru and Vinhos look like they'll break that trend, but I'm reserving judgment.

I've also yet to see a really compellingly well done game based on zombies or matinee movie monsters (e.g. Godzilla). It's possible it's simply just not something that translates well to game form.
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Raiko Puust
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Hei, geekbuddy.

Welcome to the club...
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Congratulations, Roger!
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