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Subject: Geek of the Week #295 - Rindis rss

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Jon
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As my week of glory is tossed onto the dustbin of history, my last duty is to pass the torch to a deserving soul.

Not an easy task given the fantastic folks out there who fully deserve the honour. However, one must forge onwards and so I have.

I took this task seriously and wanted someone who was a wargamer, but also played a number of games outside of the genre. I was also interested in highlighting one of the newer features on BGG by selecting someone who utilized one. Finally I looked for someone whose contributions to the site are more subtle than mere postings.

Rindis a.k.a. James Lowry certainly meets all those targets and more. A fellow familiar to many on BGG and who needs no introduction, but I will give you one anyway!

James Lowry
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He is practically a scion of the wargaming hobby itself having grown up playing these games and continuing to do so with titles such as Advanced Squad Leader amongst others. However, he is also a well rounded gamer and has been known to enjoy a game of Advanced Civilization or three. Not only that, but he has been the RPGGotW in the past and having won two such honours puts him in rather elite status I must say. He has a very interesting BGG blog going detailing his love of Federation & Empire (which I subscribe to). In addition, he has gone out of his way to patiently answer several questions regarding F&E when I, a stranger, approached him via Geekmail out of the blue. This to me displays the fine spirit between gamers on BGG and makes him a true asset for this site and to us all.

All of these factors and many more make James an ideal GotW. So, it is my honour indeed to give you this week's Geek of the Week, Rindis.

Take it away Mr GotW...

Rindis wrote:

I'm going to start before I was born.

My dad got into gaming when he discovered a copy of AH's Gettysburg in a store. His interest was engaged enough to eventually start a small mail-order business selling miniatures, models, and terrain for miniatures gamers. He also became somewhat active in the IFW, and got a small printing press to publish his catalog with. From there, the business expanded, starting Guidon Games in '71 and taking over the respected wargaming fanzine Panzerfaust in '72. My dad knew Gary Gygax by this point, and not only published his Chainmail miniatures rules, but also a few other booklets recommended by Gary. Guidon also published the board wargames Alexander the Great and Dunkirk by Gary. My dad had the opportunity to publish Dungeons & Dragons, as well as Dungeon!, and still regrets that he could not manage the latter.

So, I definitely come by gaming honestly, and I grew up around games and The Avalon Hill General. I vaguely remember trying Airline with my dad, and enjoying it quite a bit. There were some early games of Monopoly with my parents as well, but mostly these days, I remember Snit's Revenge and War at Sea (second edition).

As I got older, the games got more complicated, and I started paying some small attention to my parent's business. They being the only two employees for a bi-monthly magazine and mail-order business (and until 1979 wholesale distributor) meant my parents were pretty busy. But they were always there, since the business was run out of the house and a second building on the property, so overall it was a very happy childhood for me. The business finally failed in 1982; having now been part of a failed business (http://www.backbreaker.com/) I'm amazed at how well they handled it.

My dad became part of a nearby gaming group, and in high school, I got to start attending. Much of my early experience in gaming other than my dad comes from that group, and as it had a decent range of tastes, I got to see a fair number of games in that period.

Mostly, though, during high school and college, I played RPGs, as that's what my local friends were interested in. In fact, I owe a fair number of friends to the high-school RPG group. I did introduce a couple people I met in college to my recent discovery: Star Fleet Battles, while they introduced me to anime.

After finally getting to the stage of my life where I got a job, and moved away from my parents, I indulged in one thing that had interested me for years, but I'd had no money for: Advanced Squad Leader. From there I got involved in the ASL email list, and played a learning game by email. I started using VASL early on, and have watched it grow from a nice way to play ASL remotely to the Vassal engine, which I'm a definite fan of.

I eventually found out that a coworker of mine was not only a fellow history buff, but a fellow old-time wargamer, and we started playing together. Other people have come in since, and I herd cats on a group that's struggling to grow past six people. Sadly, my place can only handle six at maximum, and we have yet to find a good outside gaming space.

I got somewhat involved in editing on Wikipedia for a while, and I started coming here more and more often for information on games. Eventually, I started hanging out here some (the geeklists were an inviting place to come in and start commenting), and it became more regular as the user base evolved and more interest in wargames and the like became evident. These days, I generally have all I can do to keep up with my subscription notices, and I've started a blog here for the Star Fleet Universe, which has been one of the passions of my recent gaming life.


And of course:

Poll
Two truths and a lie. Which of these statements is a lie in regards to Rindis?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
While I've visited all 50 states, I have never left the United States (except if you count international waters). I didn't hear of passports until relatively late in life, and still have trouble with the concept.
57.6% 57
During high school an out-of-town friend and I commiserated over our gaming groups. He was jealous that there were girls in mine, I was jealous that there were wargamers in his.
25.3% 25
One of my best friend's favorite stories is talking about going to Origins with me and watching old men suddenly light up, come out of their booth, pinch me on the cheek, and call me "Little Jimmy!" when they realized who I was.
17.2% 17
Voters 99
This poll is now closed.   99 answers
Poll created by Capt_S
Closes: Sun May 15, 2011 6:00 am
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Jon
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I get to start the ball rolling....

Question 1 -
Since you now have GotW and RPGGotW honours, will you be going for the trifecta to also be the VGGotW in order to rule over us all?

Question 2 -
Can you explain your avatar to us?

Question 3 -
What is your favourite movie and why?

I reserve the right to pester with future questions as I see fit!

EDIT: Is see that your links did not come through when I cut and pasted your bio. Sorry about that.

EDIT Part Deux: OK, I added the links for the bio the best that I could and I think they are almost like you had them. If any problems arise, blame me folks and not James.
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Pete Belli
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Congratulations!
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武士に二言無し
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Hey James!

ConBGGratulations!

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Bob
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CONGRATULATIONS

Enjoy your week in the spotlight!!! thumbsup

Question:

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

meeple
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Jan
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Congratulations! Nice to meet a RPG Geek over here on the Boardgameside! Only problem now is my usual questions.

My usual questions:
- Ever played any RPG's?
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site?
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterpart?
- What will you say to convince all these boardgamers that they also should have a go at an RPG?

Have fun this week and may you play many games.
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T'Leynti
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Congrats James!

d10-1What is your favourite colour when playing a boardgame?
d10-2Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
d10-3Do play an instrument? If yes, which one and for how long already?
d10-4Having fun?
d10-5What would have been your name if your parents didn't name you James?
d10-6What is your favourite snack?
d10-7 What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?
d10-8What is your favourite time of day?
d10-9 What character would you be in a Star Trek setting?

Enjoy your week!
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Wendell
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Congratulations James!

You seem to enjoy wargames from different eras - but is there one war or era you prefer?

You have an Asimov microbadge - what is your favorite novel or short story by Asimov? And did you ever read his hilarious book of limericks?

Your microbadge says you enjoy the repetition - but how MUCH do you enjoy the repetition?

Isn't Sunnyvale, California where Buffy lives?
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ian morris
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Congratulations James. Four in a row now for the wargamers !



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Leo Zappa
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Congrats to another of my friends being named GOTW! Have a great week!!!
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Troy
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This overtext is far more interesting than I am.
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Congratulations James!

Have a great week!
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Bill Lawson
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Congrats!! Have a great week!
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Lucius Cornelius
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Congratulations!
The Chain is unbroken!
What is so fun about RPG thingy? Is it like fighting dragons with spells?
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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Congratulations!
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Johan Pettersson
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Congatulations to the Honour with capital H.
And bansai for another usagi-fan on the throne.

My question is of course connected to Stan Sakai's masterpiece.
Which is your favorit story and which is your favorite character in the Usagi Yojimbo epos?
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Art Gorski
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Congratulations! OK, everyone has their favorite SFB story. Mine is the Romulan Warhawk uncloaking at range 1 in front of the Gorn Dreadnought, dropping shields to maximize power, and blowing away the forward shield of the DN. The pissed Gorn then fires at the naked Warhawk, causing it to detonate, which causes the DN to go also. Heh. What's yours?
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J.L. Robert
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Enjoy your week. And thanks for sharing your pedigree with us.
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James Lowry
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Capt_S wrote:
I get to start the ball rolling....

Question 1 -
Since you now have GotW and RPGGotW honours, will you be going for the trifecta to also be the VGGotW in order to rule over us all?

...I've been contemplating it. Considering the amount of time I have spent on video games over the years, I'm surprised that I haven't been spending more time on VGG than I have. My video game preferences tend to be non-mainstream, and given how BGG and RPGG tend to operate, I would think VGG would be a better place for me than most video game sites.

Capt_S wrote:
Question 2 -
Can you explain your avatar to us?

Sure, I already have in a couple of geeklists around here, but...

My avatar, is, in a very real sense, me. First of all, watch this, and pay attention to the closing credits:


Not only is that my voice, but the character was completely redesigned from the version in the comic that short is based off of to fit my voice. You can see the original version of Dwain here.

And yes, that is a crop of an actual frame from the short. It's from when he's picking up the mug and examining it.

Capt_S wrote:
Question 3 -
What is your favourite movie and why?

I have to pick ONE?!?!

I'd probably have to say Star Wars. My dad was into science fiction, but in 1977 I wasn't, and didn't care for Star Trek at all. Two hours in a movie theater changed that for all time, and really turned me around. Somewhat ironically, I'm more of a Star Trek fan than a Star Wars fan.

Other strong contenders for top film are Star Trek II (the best bit of Trek ever put on film), The Iron Giant, and Porco Rosso.

Capt_S wrote:
I reserve the right to pester with future questions as I see fit!

EDIT: Is see that your links did not come through when I cut and pasted your bio. Sorry about that.

EDIT Part Deux: OK, I added the links for the bio the best that I could and I think they are almost like you had them. If any problems arise, blame me folks and not James.

Well, I had everything italicized originally, but that's okay.

Thanks again for nominating me! It means a lot, especially coming from someone who highly deserved the GOTW honor himself.
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James Lowry
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Ashitaka wrote:
What is your most & least favorite game mechanic and why?

Ah, starting with the tough questions already?

I don't have a lot of strong opinions about that. For me, just about any mechanic can be a good one, in the right context. Though... I suppose I can say just about anything that requires dexterity would automatically go into the 'least favorite' pile. My dex score is really low, and such things are a pain to me.

I suppose the only thing to say for favorite is hex-and-counter! devil

Barad_the_dwarf wrote:
Congratulations! Nice to meet a RPG Geek over here on the Boardgameside! Only problem now is my usual questions.

My usual questions:
- Ever played any RPG's?
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site?
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterpart?
- What will you say to convince all these boardgamers that they also should have a go at an RPG?

Well, I intended to go congratulate the current BGGotW when I was RPGGotW, but never got around to it. So, yes I should, but if you're one of the RPGGotW or VGGotW reading this, and I haven't gotten to you yet, consider yourselves congratulated, I hope you're having a fun week!

Convincing someone to play an RPG is very much a case-by-case thing. I will say that there's just as much variation there as there is here. If the usual image of D&D doesn't do it for you, trust me, there's RPGs that are just as far away from that as Agricola is from Advanced Squad Leader
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James Lowry
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Narl wrote:
Congrats James!

d10-1What is your favourite colour when playing a boardgame?

Well, in general, my favorite color is blue, so that's the color I tend to pick in games where you're just picking color.

Narl wrote:
d10-2Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

...walk into a bar?

Spring, I suppose. Not that the seasons have a lot of identity in Southern California, where I grew up.

Narl wrote:
d10-3Do play an instrument? If yes, which one and for how long already?

No, I didn't have a lot of interest in music until about high school. And I'm still happy to be an un-knowledgeable listener.

Narl wrote:
d10-4Having fun?

I usually am. I expect this week will rate highly on the 'fun' scale.

Narl wrote:
d10-5What would have been your name if your parents didn't name you James?

No idea. I know about the relative I was named after (died before I was born), I don't know of any back up names.

Narl wrote:
d10-6What is your favourite snack?

Nila wafers are one of my major weaknesses. I actually hardly ever have them because I'll go through most of a box if I'm not paying attention.

Narl wrote:
d10-7 What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?

For normal purposes, Coke. When I'm spending a bit more, Henry Weinhard's Root Beer.

Narl wrote:
d10-8What is your favourite time of day?

Generally late night. I'm finally awake (from having stayed up too late the night before), most things are done, and I can settle in for some time reading, browsing the web, or whatever.

Narl wrote:
d10-9 What character would you be in a Star Trek setting?

Spock. I like all the others, but I naturally tend towards a very Vulcan-esc demeanor.

Narl wrote:
Enjoy your week!

Okay, just for you, I will.
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James Lowry
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wifwendell wrote:
Congratulations James!

You seem to enjoy wargames from different eras - but is there one war or era you prefer?

Well, I grew up with the '70s AH games, so they have a lot of meaning for me. On the other hand, I'm really liking some of the stuff coming out today. I think I have to go with the current era, since games like A Victory Lost embody a lot of what I like about the '70s AH games.

wifwendell wrote:
You have an Asimov microbadge - what is your favorite novel or short story by Asimov? And did you ever read his hilarious book of limericks?

My favorite short story would be "The Final Question". Favorite novel... I guess The Naked Sun (I'm tossing out the Foundation Trilogy as a short story collection).

To a very real extent, I'm a fan of the man, more than any particular writing.

No, I haven't seen the limericks....

wifwendell wrote:
Your microbadge says you enjoy the repetition - but how MUCH do you enjoy the repetition?

I like it
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
much.
wifwendell wrote:
Isn't Sunnyvale, California where Buffy lives?

Wikipedia says "no". Buffy is in Sunnydale, and a lot of the exterior shooting was done in Santa Monica. Certainly, what tiny bits of the series I saw looked nothing like the Bay Area.
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Bill Lawson
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Rindis wrote:
wifwendell wrote:


[q="wifwendell"]Your microbadge says you enjoy the repetition - but how MUCH do you enjoy the repetition?

I like it
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
very
much.



I ENJOY THE REPETITION!!
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James Lowry
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sullafelix wrote:
Congratulations!
The Chain is unbroken!

Yeah, these chain letters are pernicious, aren't they?

sullafelix wrote:
What is so fun about RPG thingy? Is it like fighting dragons with spells?

For me, it's the shared exercise of the imagination. For me, when I'm reading, I very easily slip into this state where I'm not exactly aware of the words I'm reading, but instead I'm aware of what the words are describing. RPGs allow me a way of expressing some of that with friends.

swedgamer wrote:
My question is of course connected to Stan Sakai's masterpiece.
Which is your favorit story and which is your favorite character in the Usagi Yojimbo epos?

Well, sadly, I have not kept up with the ronin for several years now. I'd say that's due for a change, since I'm starting to buy graphic novels again, after several years of not having anything in the budget for comics.

However, my favorite story is probably "The Tea Cup". It's a good story, Usagi is perfectly himself, Genosuke is perfectly himself, and at the same time, it's a great send up of Groo.

For favorite character, I have to go with the main character, Usagi himself, though I certainly like the rest of the cast as well; out of them, I think I'd go for Kitsune.

agorski wrote:
Congratulations! OK, everyone has their favorite SFB story. Mine is the Romulan Warhawk uncloaking at range 1 in front of the Gorn Dreadnought, dropping shields to maximize power, and blowing away the forward shield of the DN. The pissed Gorn then fires at the naked Warhawk, causing it to detonate, which causes the DN to go also. Heh. What's yours?

Way back in the day (the first period of playing SFB), four of the five regulars got together to do a 2-on-2 team battle, with each player getting two cruisers. Wayne had a pair of Federation CAs, Neil had a pair of Gorn CAs; and Colin had a pair of Klingon D7s. I think there were actually minor variations for each person, like one was a CA and the other a CC. I was on Colin's team with the largest variation: a Romulan KR and a War Eagle. The WE was allowed to use hidden cloaking rules, which boosted it's effective BPV into the same realm as the other ships.

The War Eagle cloaked out, and lock-ons were immediately lost. I was kept busy just keeping track of where on the map I really was, so the KR just stayed in formation with the two Klingons. The Federation and Gorns came in at different speeds and quickly got separated. The Feds came in first, and tangled with the Klingon/Romulan squadron, getting the worst of it after some maneuvering. The two groups separated again, with the battered Feds turning away at low speed....

Then the WE cloaked in, about 10 hexes directly behind one of the Fed ships.

I couldn't have planned it any better. As it was, that was as far as the underpowered thing had managed to get.

The Gorns came in and pounded it pretty good, even after it cloaked. But the amount of damage caused forced the Federation to retire with two cripples, leaving the Gorns out-numbered and out-gunned.
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Robert Wesley
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GRATZ! 4 YOUS! while thank your Dad NOW, even though it is officially "Mom's Day" at the moment, on behalf of A-L-L of us that appreciated his efforts over the decades.
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Congratulations, James!

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