BoardGameGeek » Geek of the Week » Geek of the Week #336 - James Castelli (Castelli Reviews)

Author: pincao
 

Please join me in welcoming this week's Geek of the Week jamesmckane.

James Mckane
Australia
SYDNEY
N.S.W
flag msg tools
designer
mb


I can't say I know James but have been a huge fan of his video review work for awhile. His enthusiasm for gaming and prospective on what make a good game is something I respect. I appreciate the unique and sometimes light hearted approach which he brings to his video reviews. His use of computer graphics adds a nice touch, not to mention the rock and roll audio which is pretty cool.

Just some of the videos for games I purchased based on watching Castelli Reviews:
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Hammer of the Scot
London
Cuba
Opera
Alien Frontiers
Carson City
Fresco

To gain a behind the scene sense for the time and effort that James dedicates to his work, you need to watch his most recently posted video:



jamesmckane wrote:


Well first of all I want to thank Paul for his contributions to the community and of course for allowing me to be his successor for Geek of the Week. Cheers matethumbsup.


Wow, Geek of the Week! What an honour. Well, the BGG Geek of the Week wiki page says a brief introduction should be included - so here we go.

Me: My name is James Castelli but I'm known to most simply as Jimmy. My last name for those of you who are wondering is Italian (Sicilian) and I am very proud of my Sicilian heritage. I am 27 years old and I currently live in a suburb of Sydney Australia with my beautiful wife, but Sydney is not where I call home. In my lifetime I have lived in many locations across the state of NSW, but a small town just outside of Maitland is the place I call home. I consider it home as it is there that has significantly impacted my personality, values, hobbies etc.

I am currently employed as a Postman, I deliver mail on a Honda CT110 (motorcycle). I have been working in the Australian postal system for many years holding several positions throughout that time. Prior to my current job I worked in the motorcycle industry both as a mechanic and a salesman. These days, other than for work I don't ride motorcycles any more.

I'm probably known to a few here on BGG for my review series on youtube called Castelli Reviews. Castelli Reviews in itself has become a hobby... if I am not gaming it's likely that I'm working on a review. If you'd like to know more about me (and my reviews) I recently made a behind the scenes video of my reviews. There I also answer a few viewer questions – like what other hobbies I enjoy etc. Also feel free to ask me questions here too, I'll do my best to answer all of them.

Other than that I am the type of person that loves to smile and loves to make others smile. If you have a wicked sense of humour then we'll get along just fine.

How I got started in the hobby: In my younger years I had of course played Monopoly and Chess, but it was when I was around 13 that I first discovered gaming as a “hobby”. At that time it came in the form of little metal soldiers called Necromunda and Bloodbowl. At 13 however I was more interested in painting the miniatures than the game itself. My local gaming store was unfortunately at that time around 200km away from where I lived, so needless to say it was hard for a 13 y/o to stay involved in the hobby.

When I was around 18 I was re-introduced to the Games Workshop hobby. I lived in that small town just outside of Maitland then, my family had moved there when I was 16 because of financial difficulties. It was a very hard time for me to pack up and move from my previous location as I was very happy there as I had plenty of friends and prospects. When we moved I quit school and moved to that much quieter town where I knew no one. To make things harder it was very difficult to meet people as it was hard to find work, it was the type of town where the unemployment rate was high, so was the crime rate for that matter.

I eventually found work in a major retail outlet and worked a second job as a trainee which was also in retail. I met some friends through my workplaces but they were more or less just acquaintances, we rarely hung out together outside work. During this time whatever income I could spare was spent on audio equipment such as computer programs, mixers and instruments etc. I was totally obsessed with music and movies - but something else would soon become my obsession.

At some point I purchased a copy of The Lord of the Rings (Fellowship) DVD which at the time I knew very little about, other than it was being referred to by many as a must see film. Inside the cover there was a leaflet for the Games Workshop's LOTR miniatures game, this reminded me that the “hobby” still existed. I really enjoyed the movie and soon headed off to my now local GW store to check out the game, but again at that point I was still more interested in painting the miniatures. The rest is history, I loved painting the miniatures, I learned to love the game, I met some great friends and in fact most of my friends to this day worked behind the counter of that GW store. My friends then introduced me to RPG's, then eventually we started playing boardgames together and I just loved them, soon after I sold off most of my miniatures to fund a board game collection.

So in the end even though moving to that small town was the toughest time in my life, that town eventually captured my heart ,and as they say - Home is where the heart lies. And my heart certainly lies there largely because of the friends I met through gaming.

I just want to clarify that although the situation of moving away from a place you are comfortable with may seem like a situation that isn't very “tough”, I have chosen to leave out some key details that made it particularly tough for me. (gotta keep some cards close to my chest).


How I found BGG:
If you type the name of a board game into a search engine it won't be long before you are directed to boardgamegeek. Like many other users I was a lurker here for a while before I started contributing to the community. These days I find I am having to pull myself away from the computer because of BGG. There are so many great contributors here and so much content to go through that I spend way too much time reading and watching other user's submissions. Also because of the marketplace my wallet takes a beating on occasion. Thanks Doug.

BGG has really become very special to me, I have made some great friends from all over the globe because of this site. I've also met some local gamers here in Sydney through here and we now meet up as often as we can to play games. There are two local individuals in particular are responsible for introducing me to the wider world of wargaming, I cannot thank them enough for that.

And at this point I don't know what else to say really, I'm just happy to be a part of this great community and am stoked that my contributions are enjoyed.


2 Truths and a Lie:

Poll
Which is the Lie ?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
1-James was thrown out of a Darkness concert for getting on the stage.
19.6% 31
2-James was thrown out of a Slipknot concert for getting on the stage.
50.0% 79
3-James knows the writer of the song - I've been everywhere (Geoff Mack).
32.3% 51
Voters 158
This poll is now closed.   158 answers
Poll created by pincao
Closes: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:00 am




Congratulations James. Have a great week.

Here are some questions for you to get us started !

d10-1 How have your boardgaming tastes changed over the past few years (if at all) ?
d10-2 What are some of your favorite games from recent plays, and why ?
d10-3 Which is your favorite "under-appreciated" game ?
d10-4 What are your thoughts on video vs. written reviews ?
d10-5 How do you decide which games you want to review on video ?
d10-6 Which video did you have the most fun producing (perhaps you were "dressed up" for the occasion)?
d10-7 You seem to be a talented guitarist, do you play in a band and/or do you write your own music ?
d10-8 Have you ever attended or perhaps performed with Hanna Montana in concert ?

-Paul
Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:25 pm
Author: Gnome01
Hoopy congratulations, enjoy your week

Regards

Gnome
Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:35 pm
Author: nadgamgee
Congrats! Have fun!
Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:41 pm
Author: Military Muskrat
Congratulations! Hope to see some of your video reviews soon!
Have a great week!
Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:54 pm
Author: frumpish
Congratulations James!

1) Truth or beauty?
2) Speed or precision?
3) Justice or mercy?
4) Steadfast or flexible?
5) Cynicism or naivete?
Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:02 pm
Author: Orangemoose
BRAVO

Crackers - salted or unsalted?
Football (US) or Football (everywhere else)
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Oak or maple
Datsun or Nissan?

Have a great week.
Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:09 pm
Author: PowerTrader
Congratulations, have a great week. Have fun.

Matt
Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:15 pm
Author: jamesmckane
Quote:
Congratulations James. Have a great week.
Cheers matethumbsup.

d10-1 How have your boardgaming tastes changed over the past few years (if at all) ? Wargames have now become my favorite genre. I still play many other games from other genres but the games on my wishlist are prodominantley wargames now. A few years ago I would have said euros and party games were my favorite genres.
d10-2 What are some of your favorite games from recent plays, and why ? Hannibal RvC, I played a very close game of it recently and everytime I play it I am reminded of how thematically brilliant it is. In this particular game I was Hannibal and won a battle in Italy with a double envelopment, my opponent's general and all 10cu's were eliminated as a result of the battle. As proud as I was to see a battle come close to resembling the damage done to Rome after Cannae, my opponent eventually won by taking the war to Carthage itself.

I also played Command & Colours Ancients Epic with 6 players recently. It doesn't get much better than that. We played 3 epic games in a row so the mechanics of the game started to feel more fluent than in my previous games, and I could really focus on my strategies and tactics. Epic is also a fantastic way to learn good tactics if you allow a bit of table talk.
d10-3 Which is your favorite "under-appreciated" game ? Manoeuvre, it does have a good following but it deserves more attention. It's highly re-playable with 8 asymmetrical armies, a module playing area and dice to decide the battles. It is a more abstract wargame but it's a good one nonetheless.
d10-4 What are your thoughts on video vs. written reviews ?
I like both, I have a deep respect for people who do either type of review. I'm very jealous of many other reviewers skills, both on camera and off.
d10-5 How do you decide which games you want to review on video ? They generally have to be games I like, the vids take so long to put together that I don't want to spend that much time focusing on a game I dislike or am so-so about. It's usually a game that I've been playing alot of at the time.
d10-6 Which video did you have the most fun producing (perhaps you were "dressed up" for the occasion)? Probably my GMT music video, or my Arkham Horror one. Both are based on songs I think ROCK and are tons of fun to play. Both were pretty stressful at times though, so many things not working as well as I'd have hoped.

d10-7 You seem to be a talent guitarist, do you play in a band and/or do you write your own music ?
When I was younger I did both play in a band and write, I don't anymore though. Bands are hard to keep together.
d10-8 Have you ever attended or perhaps performed with Hanna Montana in concert ? Once, but I was in disguise so noone would recognise meninja.
Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:35 pm
Author: jamesmckane
1) Truth or beauty? Truth.
2) Speed or precision? Precision.
3) Justice or mercy? Justice.
4) Steadfast or flexible? Flexible.
5) Cynicism or naivete? Naivete.

Crackers - salted or unsalted? Salted when playing someone else's games, unsalted when playing mine. I kid, always salted.
Football (US) or Football (everywhere else) Never understood how American Football works, so much stopping. I'm not really a fan of football here either.
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Probably the Rolling Stones, but I'll admit I'm familiar with more of the Beatles work.
Oak or maple? Oak
Datsun or Nissan? Datsun.
Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:50 pm
Author: Ron1n
Congrats James! Well deserved
Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:57 pm
Author: leroy43
All right Jimmy!!! WOOT!!!
Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:59 pm
Author: TheEbonyTurtle
Congratulations! meeple
Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:13 pm
Author: Slapz
Congratulations =D

Looking forward for a full week reading about you James =D

/hug
Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:41 pm
Author: sdrewthomson
Congrats!
Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:58 pm
Author: Ragge1
James!

Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:09 pm
Author: merc007
That is awesome!!!!! Congrats!!!
Keep bringing out the reviews and the costumes n characters. Love it!!
Yah, great to see a fellow NSW-ser get this award.
Congratulations James!!!thumbsup

(NSW is a State in Australia)
Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:02 am
Author: knaves
Congrats, well deserved. I am surprised that you hadn't got this earlier. I was breifly a walking postie in the Melbourne CBD I only stopped because I wasn't able to do it and return to study. (although the early mornings were also not really that great for me)

Thanks for the interesting behind the scenes video also.

Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:36 am
Author: jamesmckane
Quote:
Congrats, well deserved. I am surprised that you hadn't got this earlier. I was breifly a walking postie in the Melbourne CBD I only stopped because I wasn't able to do it and return to study. (although the early mornings were also not really that great for me)


Thanks mate. I just finished doing a walking run a few weeks back (with a backpack). I enjoyed it, but it was very very exhausting. I'm used to early mornings, I've also done night sorting before though which was late nights and very early mornings.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:06 am
Author: waging_war
jamesmckane wrote:


Football (US) or Football (everywhere else) Never understood how American Football works, so much stopping. I'm not really a fan of football here either.


Neither. HOCKEY! Hockey holds some of the same principals as European football, only instead of a ball it's a puck, instead of kicking it with your feet you shoot it with a stick, instead of running on grass you're skating on ice and when someone pisses you off, instead of flopping on the ground and crying foul, you punch them in the face repeatedly. So really it's nothing like soccer but it's a lovely game. Here in Canada it borders on religion.

Congrats on GotW Castelli! You certainly deserve it.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:06 am
Author: boisse
Congratulations! Enjoy your week!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:38 am
Author: SamNzed
Congrats James - thanks particularly for your review of Red November I got it on the strength of that review.


Questions!

trash How do you find watching your videos? Can you bare to watch or once they're in the can that's it?

trash which review are you most proud of?

trash If you had to play a game of Squatter with 4 people, alive, dead, real, fictional who would they be and why???

trash Which 3 Aussie celebs, musos, or Polis would you prefer to play Monopoly (at gunpoint if need be) with?

trash Dr K said 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' does that mean to you
a) maximise every move
b) live in the moment and concentrate
c) have a good time

trash What is your favourite forum or place on the Geek?

trash Is there a review you just haven't done because you don't know what you think or will say?

trash What game do you wish you'd invented?

trash What board game would you recommend everyone own or play?

Keep on Geeking
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:00 am
Author: eekamouse
Woot! It's about time.

I have three letters for you people!

G M T
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:16 am
Author: ldaponte
Congratulations! thumbsup
You deserve it!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:24 am
Author: discoryno
"Like many other users I was a lurker..."

I've made it, my ship has come in, I can die happy now. I have finally made it to LURKER status!

In all seriousness, you are one of the best in the board game community.

Thanks for your work and your passion Jimmy.

Cheers
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:52 am
Author: pennincao
Congratulations James... Much deserved. Enjoy your week.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:56 am
Author: Toedash
Nice choice! Congratulations James!

Nice work on your videos, I've bought more then one game from your reviews.


Cheers,
Lee
Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:45 am
Author: jamesmckane
Quote:
...instead of running on grass you're skating on ice and when someone pisses you off, instead of flopping on the ground and crying foul, you punch them in the face repeatedly.


That sounds a lot like the NRL player's attitudes here, both on and off the field : Example.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:50 am
Author: Narl
Congrats James!

d10-1What is your favourite colour when playing a boardgame?
d10-2Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
d10-3Do you 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 day of the week?
d10-8What is your favourite time of day?
d10-9 What makes you "tick"?
d10-1d10-0What is your life-long dream?
d10-1d10-1 What is your favourite race/class in RPG?

Enjoy your week!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:22 am
Author: Garfink
Congrats! Have a great week. Great videos.

Garfink.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:29 am
Author: Chet007
Nice "behind the scenes" video, James! It's always a privilege to learn more about the personal side of an enthusiastic contributor to the BGG community. Enjoy your week!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:42 am
Author: jamesmckane
Quote:
Congrats James - thanks particularly for your review of Red November I got it on the strength of that review.


Always good to hear the vids are appreciated.

Questions!

How do you find watching your videos? Can you bare to watch or once they're in the can that's it? By the time I've edited them, I'm very much over it. Although, I have watched my own vids to get a re-fresher course on how a game is played.

Which review are you most proud of? Hannibal RvC: I was particularly happy with how that one turned out. There have been a few I've wanted to redo, I think I could now do a better one on Carson City, I think that didn't come close to doing it justice.

If you had to play a game of Squatter with 4 people, alive, dead, real, fictional who would they be and why??? I've never played squatter believe it or not, I'm not sure it'd be a very fun game so I'd have to go with some fun people. Justin Hawkins, he has a great sense of humor, Billy connolly and Graham Linehan. Then I'd invite someone like Eminem so if we got bored I could just listen to them make fun of him.

Which 3 Aussie celebs, musos, or Polis would you prefer to play Monopoly (at gunpoint if need be) with?
Well, it'd have to be at gunpoint but I'd go with Russel Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson, and I'd have the gun pointed at them

I'll be back to answer the rest tomorrow, I have an early startsnore. Keep the questions coming though guys, I'm having great fun.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:56 am
Author: Heliconia
Congrats James
Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:13 am
Author: Barad_the_dwarf
Congratulations!

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?

Have fun this week and may you play many games.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:06 am
Author: alex352
Nice one! Kudos, James.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:28 am
Author: tiggers
Congrats James!!!

Excellent choice, I must say. An outstanding reviewer (interesting, informative, funny, creative) and all round good geek. Have a great week in the spotlight James.

Some questions:

1db Have you got a review copy of Castelli from Queen yet? If yes does it live up to the name it carries? If no, why not?!

2 What is your fave game mechanic(s)?

d10-3 You are stuck on a desert island and can have access to 3 games (and the correct number of people to play them with): 1 that is 0-60 mins, 1 that is 60-120 mins, and 1 that is 120 mins+. What do you choose?

Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:06 am
Author: JohnBandettini
Congratulations James, have a great week.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:12 am
Author: Jandome
Congratulations! have a great week
Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:29 am
Author: Bombadillo
Congratulations!
You deserved this award!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:34 am
Author: Gomer
Congratulations James. Love your video reviews. Great choice for GotW!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:09 pm
Author: NthPower
Congrats James!
I like watching your videos. Have a great week!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:35 pm
Author: b5dorsai
Congratulations! Have a fun week!

What board game would you want turned into a novel written by Geroge R R Martin? or by Stephen King?
Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:19 pm
Author: Thrylos
Well deserved recognition!!!
Congratulations!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:01 pm
Author: Nap16
It is about time . . .

Top 10 Video Reviewers

Congrats!

Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:43 pm
Author: scdoster
Congratulations, James!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:01 pm
Author: pincao
jamesmckane wrote:
pincao wrote:
Congratulations James. Have a great week.
Cheers matethumbsup.

d10-1 How have your boardgaming tastes changed over the past few years (if at all) ? Wargames have now become my favorite genre. I still play many other games from other genres but the games on my wishlist are prodominantley wargames now. A few years ago I would have said euros and party games were my favorite genres.
d10-2 What are some of your favorite games from recent plays, and why ? Hannibal RvC, I played a very close game of it recently and everytime I play it I am reminded of how thematically brilliant it is. In this particular game I was Hannibal and won a battle in Italy with a double envelopment, my opponent's general and all 10cu's were eliminated as a result of the battle. As proud as I was to see a battle come close to resembling the damage done to Rome after Cannae, my opponent eventually won by taking the war to Carthage itself.

I also played Command & Colours Ancients Epic with 6 players recently. It doesn't get much better than that. We played 3 epic games in a row so the mechanics of the game started to feel more fluent than in my previous games, and I could really focus on my strategies and tactics. Epic is also a fantastic way to learn good tactics if you allow a bit of table talk.
d10-3 Which is your favorite "under-appreciated" game ? Manoeuvre, it does have a good following but it deserves more attention. It's highly re-playable with 8 asymmetrical armies, a module playing area and dice to decide the battles. It is a more abstract wargame but it's a good one nonetheless.



Thanks James,

I too find I am playing more and more wargames. Especially those that are less operational, more abstracted, with a focus on political influence. Hannibal might be my favorite but I have only played once, so it hasn't been added to my top 10. Totally agree that Manoeuvre is unappreciated. Looking forward to your video review. Hoping to get my girls to play that one with me. Command & Color Ancients is another game I think I can get my kids to play. Just need to break the shrink and dive in.

-Paul
Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:41 pm
Author: hammerman
Congatulations James!!!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:42 pm
Author: judoka
James, congratulations!!! A very well deserved honour! I love your reviews, they are a great tool to learn games; keep them coming!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:22 pm
Author: Luds
Congrats James! Well deserved!

I've been a fan of your reviews and helped me make some tough choices! My favourite review of yours is Eminent Domain, I'm very happy to have listened to this and make a great buy!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:06 pm
Author: ChrB
I am pretty shocked with this nomination...

Not that James got the award - but how he didn't already have it! One of the better video reviewers for sure, I enjoy his videos a lot!

Absolutely well-deserved, James!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:34 pm
Author: alfseegert
Paul made an excellent choice for the new GotW. Congratulations, James! thumbsup

I'm very happy to be introduced to your videos--how had I missed these before? Excellent explanations and commentary. And of course, your accent rocks.

My question: you are into both music and boardgames. Can you think of some clever way to combine the two? I've tried but have not had much success so far...
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:50 pm
Author: pincao
alfseegert wrote:
Paul made an excellent choice for the new GotW. Congratulations, James! thumbsup

My question: you are into both music and boardgames. Can you think of some clever way to combine the two? I've tried but have not had much success so far...

Doesn't every good game need a theme song or music to be listened to while playing. Oh...that's right, while this is my thread, this is not my week to answer questions. laugh

-Paul
Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:57 pm
Author: Jocab
Congratulations James!

A few questions!

1 How many hours do you use per day on BGG?
2 How many hours do you use per week on gaming?
4 How many hours do you use per week on your reviews?
Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:04 pm
Author: SimGuy
Nice choice Paul! thumbsup

CONGRATULATIONS James!
Had to do a little research to learn about you, as I haven't delved into the video review end of the BGG pool much. You have a broad gaming background – minis, RPGs, boardgames and wargames, kind of like mine though much lighter on the wargame side. On your own, pretty much by necessity, you seem to have become quite the expert at producing very professional videos.

1 Have you ever considered trying to get any videos broadcast on local TV? (Here in the States public access TV is pretty common, and your stuff is better than much of what I have seen. Most of the folks here on BGG would probably not have much need for it, but to someone who isn't a gamer it might help to introduce them to our sub-culture.cool )
2 What is the most difficult aspect of producing your videos?
3 What do you find most rewarding?
4 Have you ever gotten into a video review and just said, “Screw it, I'm just posting the words?”

Your collection is not totally devoid of wargames, but include few that I would call 'traditional' wargames.
5 What does it take to get, and hold, your interest wargame-wise?
6 What helps keep your interest more:
A Board game elements?
B Miniatures?
C Novel mechanics?
D Dazzling artwork?
E This:

As to miniatures:
1 What do you like most about minis: painting or playing?
2 What is your favorite era/genre?

Have a great week!
And if you're ever in ABQ, get in touch and I will gift you one of my guitars. Or maybe better yet, I know a guy at my local Guitar Center, who will make us a great deal on something better than you're playing now.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:23 pm
Author: PSchulman
Congrats, mate! I'm a huge fan of your reviews and you are helping me a lot in improving my english listening skills! (It is very difficult to understand you Aussies!)

I just recently found out you married! Happy new life for you and your lady! Hope watching more of your reviews, they are a wonderful help and pretty fun to boot.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:44 pm
Author: AndreKada
Hey James! I'm glad to know you have been just beamed up to the Geek altar. Congratulations, mate.
All the best to you and your wife too.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:53 pm
Author: papiklfish
Congratulations James!

Enjoy your week of fame and glory.
Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:36 pm
Author: Rev Robbo 1
Great Choice!
Congratulations James!!!
Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:38 pm
Author: calandale
ChrB wrote:
I am pretty shocked with this nomination...

Not that James got the award - but how he didn't already have it! One of the better video reviewers for sure, I enjoy his videos a lot!

Absolutely well-deserved, James! :)


Same here - maybe a lot of people thought so,
who were doing the selections.

Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:49 pm
Author: Speedyox
Congrats. Love your reviews.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:12 am
Author: senorcoo
CONGRATS! You deserve it James!
Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:50 am
Author: petegs
Great choice. A worthy Geek of the Week, enjoy it James.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:30 am
Author: iconsam
Surprised that you weren't Geek of the Week already! I purchased Rallyman solely because of your review, and I'm so glad I did.

What is your favorite snack when gaming?

What is your favorite drink when gaming?

How do you prevent greasy hands on your game?

All my questions are food related, unfortunately.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:37 am
Author: sixthecat
Congrats Jimmy!!

If it wasn't for you, I probably would never have found Hammer of the Scots, one of my favorite games ever.

Thanks again.
goldencamel
Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:46 am
Author: pincao
So it looks like I picked a great candidate for this week's Geek of the Week. Thanks for the tremendous response.

For those not aware, there is a Castelli Reviews Fan microbadge for those interested (and no I did not create it).

mb mbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmb

If you have one of these microbadges already, why not display it for the week ?

Thanks All

-Paul
Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:10 am
Author: jamesmckane
Thanks everyone for letting me know you appreciate the showthumbsup. O.k, Back to some questions.

Dr K said 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' does that mean to you
a) maximise every move
b) live in the moment and concentrate
c) have a good time

(C) I love that quote.

What is your favourite forum or place on the Geek?
I spend most of my time going through various geeklists, videos, and written reviews. I also just like reading the comments left by hundreds of users about a game I'm considering.

Is there a review you just haven't done because you don't know what you think or will say? There have been a couple I haven't done yet because I have to much to say. Half of my editing proccess is knowing what to delete. Manoeuvre is one that I've put on hold because I can't figure out the best way to approach it.

What game do you wish you'd invented? I'm a fan of unique ideas in games, Maria would be my pick, it's a very elegant design and the "Schizophrenic" role for Prussia is genius. It's one of those games when you play it you wonder how much time it must have taken to playtest and balance it. I'd also like to see the system used with other themes too, so that's another reason I wish I had invented it.

What board game would you recommend everyone own or play? Everyone should own Chess, everyone who hasn't played Chess in years should try it again, I recently did and whilst I am not a "good" player, I could see how much my game had improved because of my experience with many other games.

d10-1What is your favourite colour when playing a boardgame? Blue, but I'm not really fussed.
d10-2Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? Winter, I find it more comfortable to be chilled, it's easier to get warm than cold.
d10-3Do you play an instrument? If yes, which one and for how long already? Guitar, Bass and Drums. Although I don't really actively play them, just when I'm working on a video I'll practise some riffs.
d10-4Having fun? I sure am.
d10-5What would have been your name if your parents didn't name you James? The Fonz.
d10-6What is your favourite snack? Beer is a snack right?
d10-7 What is your favourite day of the week? Saturdays, my most frequent day off work.
d10-8What is your favourite time of day? 1pm, just enough time to squeeze in another activity on a weekend. On the weekdays I know my day is coming to an end.
d10-9 What makes you "tick"? That's a long list, a very long list.
d10-1d10-0What is your life-long dream? It's a bit Cliché, but I just want to live a relaxed life and be happy, I don't want fancy cars, a big house. I just want to buy a house somewhere nice and have a nice gaming room.
d10-1d10-1 What is your favourite race/class in RPG? A Dwarven Rouge believe it or not.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:05 am
Author: h00sha
Yippee!!! Congrats, mate
Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:13 am
Author: jamesmckane
eekamouse wrote:
Woot! It's about time.

I have three letters for you people!

G M T


Hey Joel,

I'm just downloading episode 2 of Wooden Cubes & Iron Soldiers and some other podcasts now for tommorrow at work. I liked the first episode.

My usual questions:

- Ever played any RPG's?

D&D quite often a few years ago, I've owned many others over the years but didn't play them reguarly. I like Storytelling games like The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site?
Visited briefly yes, but not in a long time.
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterpart?
I probably will, but have not yet, do I use my same log in for those sites? I'll give it a crack now.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:18 am
Author: jamesmckane
Have you got a review copy of Castelli from Queen yet? If yes does it live up to the name it carries? If no, why not?! It's very unlikley I will get a review copy, but I saw the game for the first time this weekend in the city. $85.00!, I will buy it, but it can wait at that price. I'm just hoping that the game includes some meeples.

What is your fave game mechanic(s)? Worker placement when it comes to euros. With Wargames I like Card Driven Strategy, and I am at the moment really liking the simplicity of Richard Borg's system (Memoir 44 and C&C: ancients).

You are stuck on a desert island and can have access to 3 games (and the correct number of people to play them with): 1 that is 0-60 mins, 1 that is 60-120 mins, and 1 that is 120 mins+. What do you choose?

0-60:Mr. Jack in New York. It's my most played game and I still really enjoy playing it. So if I were on an island, I know it has a high replay value.
60-120: Carson City, it may also be that at the moment that one is a priority for me to play again. But I like the variation and different paths to victory.
120 mins+ The Republic of Rome. Because by the time I have read and understood the rules, we'd be rescued.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:30 am
Author: jamesmckane
What board game would you want turned into a novel written by Geroge R R Martin? or by Stephen King?
George RR Martin does Ghost Stories, it'd be great to have a strong story for the fantastic art.

I too find I am playing more and more wargames. Especially those that are less operational, more abstracted, with a focus on political influence. Hannibal might be my favorite but I have only played once, so it hasn't been added to my top 10. Totally agree that Manoeuvre is unappreciated. Looking forward to your video review. Hoping to get my girls to play that one with me. Command & Color Ancients is another game I think I can get my kids to play. Just need to break the shrink and dive in.


After only one play of Hannibal if you think it may be your favorite, I'll tell you it only gets better. If you like less operational and more abstracted wargames, I'd reccomend Maria. This review by Roger sold me on the game..along with his contribution on this podcast. Also a friend of mine did a nice write up on it not long ago. It depends on how often you can get three people to the table though, I don't play it all the time because of that but it's a beautiful game.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:35 am
Author: jamesmckane
alfseegert wrote:

My question: you are into both music and boardgames. Can you think of some clever way to combine the two? I've tried but have not had much success so far...


I have tried a few times...Literallylaugh.







In terms of boardgame design I think there is a huge gap with musical themes. I'm not alone in thinking that, the below quote is from Warren's Geek of the Week thread.

jamesmckane wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
What game needs to be designed, what theme or historical topic do you feel is begging to be made into a game but hasn't been done yet?

Thanks James!! I would love to see a solid rock and roll game. Not trivia, but maybe a euro about seeing/managing shows or gaining culture points (?) in a game that spans from Little Richard/Elvis to Depeche Mode/New Order. Maybe rock icon 'leader' cards, events like woodstock, putting a band together. Not sure what it would look like, but I would really be interested if it were a solid game and not cheesy. Tall order!


Through the ages: The rock era. I like it....alot. What a great Idea and unique too.


I like Warren's Idea. What I'd attempt is to create a game based on manipulating the charts as a record company. Each year is a turn in which you'll be trying to sign bands that suit the pop charts, each year what is "popular" changes so you either have to reinvent the band to fit in whith the current market (which costs resources), or sign others (which costs a lot of money). You could either focus on creating a giant like Madonna who has lasted in the industry for decades. Or you could just sign a lot of new acts each year to fit in. Essentially the game would be market manipultaion, the market is the charts. The goods are the artists.

Quote:
Doesn't every good game need a theme song or music to be listened to while playing. Oh...that's right, while this is my thread, this is not my week to answer questions.
LOL, You are so right, when I game at a friends place he often puts on a soundtrack, we played Julius Caesar whilst listening to The Game of Thrones soundtrack, it really sets a good gaming atmosphere. I have to invest in some soundtracks myself, we played another game of Julius Caesar here once and I put on HBO's Rome swries in the background....Yeah, a few of those scenes were distractingninja.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:01 am
Author: Corps_of_Oa
Many Congratulations James meeple
Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:25 am
Author: Gelete
Very much deserved, I like a lot your revies

And now...



a) Have you ever been to Spain or The Netherlands?
b) What game in my collection would you like to have in yours?
c) What game in my collection you dont like?
d) If you could save just three of your games... what games would you keep and why?
e) Brunetes, blondes or redheads (boys or girls, whatever your taste is)?

Happy week as GW
Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:00 am
Author: pincao
jamesmckane wrote:
pincao wrote:

I too find I am playing more and more wargames. Especially those that are less operational, more abstracted, with a focus on political influence. Hannibal might be my favorite but I have only played once, so it hasn't been added to my top 10. Totally agree that Manoeuvre is unappreciated. Looking forward to your video review. Hoping to get my girls to play that one with me. Command & Color Ancients is another game I think I can get my kids to play. Just need to break the shrink and dive in.[/b]


After only one play of Hannibal if you think it may be your favorite, I'll tell you it only gets better. If you like less operational and more abstracted wargames, I'd reccomend Maria. This review by Roger sold me on the game..along with his contribution on this podcast. Also a friend of mine did a nice write up on it not long ago. It depends on how often you can get three people to the table though, I don't play it all the time because of that but it's a beautiful game.


Thanks James,

I will definitely take a look into Maria. Thanks for the reference material links. I have stayed away because two of my group members have rated Friedrich poorly. Does Maria have the same system ?

The game really needs a good vid. whistle

-Paul
Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:26 pm
Author: cruzmatias
Congratulations!

Thanks James for you wanderful reviews,unfortunately they´ll made ​​me spend lots of money
Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:15 pm
Author: Castef
Noooooh!

That's the wrong "Castelli"!!!!! crycrycry

(many compliments!)

Just a question: did you buy this game?
Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:31 pm
Author: pincao
Castef wrote:
Noooooh!

That's the wrong "Castelli"!!!!! crycrycry

(many compliments!)


Good one. Sorry, my mistake. laugh
Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:35 pm
Author: Guantanamo
Why the Bruno Cathala fan badge? It's the only designer you have a badge for, yet it doesn't look like you have any of his games highly rated.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:40 pm
Author: Bicho
Congratulations, James! Great choice, very much deserved!

Enjoy!
Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:43 pm
Author: winterplum
Congratulations. Well Deserved for all the pertinent and useful, and entertaining reviews you have so graciously taken the time to produce. It is foremost because of your review of 'Julius Ceasar' that we now own and enjoy the game.
In gaming, your well-respected opinion really matters to us. Well done!
Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:27 pm
Author: Yokiboy
Heartfelt congratulations James! I hope to stop by later with some questions, once I've had time to catch up on the thread.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:09 pm
Author: gameguru
Woohoo, it's about time. Super hoopy congrats to you James and hope you have a fun time.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:17 pm
Author: goshublue
Congratulations, James. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Jo sends her congratulations, too.....well, when I told her you were Geek of the Week, she said "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that", but when I told here it was actually a good thing, she said "Oh, well that's nice"....which passes for congratulations around here!

Enjoy your week

Brent.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:09 am
Author: zestyonion
Congrats. Love the reviews and appreciate what you have done with reviews.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:20 am
Author: jamesmckane
How many hours do you use per day on BGG? At the moment probably only 2 or 3, I just started a new position at work which is more time consuming. Before then it was more.
How many hours do you use per week on gaming? Playing = maybe only 2 or 3 on average. Reading rules, solo play throughs etc would be many more though.
How many hours do you use per week on your reviews? At the moment per week, around 8 hours probably.

Have you ever considered trying to get any videos broadcast on local TV? (Here in the States public access TV is pretty common, and your stuff is better than much of what I have seen. Most of the folks here on BGG would probably not have much need for it, but to someone who isn't a gamer it might help to introduce them to our sub-culture.
I don't think we have public access TV here... Not to my knowledges anyway. I doubt the average Australian would bother to watch though, board games stopped after Monopoly - as far as most people I encounter in this country are concerned anyway. I've often thought that going on a morning show to discuss the development of board games might be a good Idea. Those shows often seem to have a family focus, board games would fit in nicely I would think. Either way I'd likley be to nervous to appear on real TV.

I shot a youtube commercial for a friends gaming store a few weeks back, it will be live soon on youtube but at the moment its a private link. I won't upload it to my current channel as I don't want my subscribers to feel as though I am force feeding them adverts.



What is the most difficult aspect of producing your videos? Animating, but the part I dislike the most is when I film myself, I find it a bit stressful sometimes. Also the windows are closed with the fans off to keep the noise down, it heats up something terrible.
What do you find most rewarding? When people let me know they enjoyed the vid.
Have you ever gotten into a video review and just said, “Screw it, I'm just posting the words? Kind of, some of my written reviews started off as video scripts and then I decided to alter it so that it'd suit a written format, it's just easier for me to do written ones.
What does it take to get, and hold, your interest wargame-wise? It generally has to cover a theme I'm interested in, Ancient Rome is very appealing to me. There are no shortage of those.
What helps keep your interest more:
A Board game elements?
B Miniatures?
C Novel mechanics?
D Dazzling artwork?
E This:

(C) Novel mechanics. The other elements above are just icing on the cake.
What do you like most about minis: painting or playing? Painting, I'm currently working on Dreadfleet and Hannibal RvC miniatures.
What is your favorite era/genre? Rome as a republic, there were many very interesting things happen during that time and some very interesting personalities.

Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:33 am
Author: jamesmckane
What is your favorite snack when gaming? Nuts, and cracker biscuits.
What is your favorite drink when gaming? There are beverages besides beer now, when did this happen? Being honest when I game I don't drink much beer, if I do it's usually lights so I'd have to say, Cascade light beer. Also Coffee, instant coffee is fine by me.
How do you prevent greasy hands on your game? I wipe them on my shirt or pants before picking up a component. Probably not the best Idea, but it's true nonetheless.


a) Have you ever been to Spain or The Netherlands? I've never left Australia unfortunately.
b) What game in my collection would you like to have in yours? Crokinole, I've always wanted to play it but it seems most people I know don't have it, it's just very pricey to have shipped here I suppose. However, when you get your Virgin Queen Pre-order I may change my mind.
c) What game in my collection you dont like? Carcassonne, I've never really understood why there was such a big fanbase for it, to me it was just an average game. I wouldn't care if I never played it again.
d) If you could save just three of your games... what games would you keep and why?WOW, that's a tough one. I honestly have no Idea. I don't think I could do it. I would probably just sacrifise myself to save the other games.
e) Brunetes, blondes or redheads (boys or girls, whatever your taste is)? Brunetes, more specifically black hair. Women from the Mediterranean drive me crazy.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:17 am
Author: jamesmckane
pincao wrote:
jamesmckane wrote:
pincao wrote:

I too find I am playing more and more wargames. Especially those that are less operational, more abstracted, with a focus on political influence. Hannibal might be my favorite but I have only played once, so it hasn't been added to my top 10. Totally agree that Manoeuvre is unappreciated. Looking forward to your video review. Hoping to get my girls to play that one with me. Command & Color Ancients is another game I think I can get my kids to play. Just need to break the shrink and dive in.[/b]


After only one play of Hannibal if you think it may be your favorite, I'll tell you it only gets better. If you like less operational and more abstracted wargames, I'd reccomend Maria. This review by Roger sold me on the game..along with his contribution on this podcast. Also a friend of mine did a nice write up on it not long ago. It depends on how often you can get three people to the table though, I don't play it all the time because of that but it's a beautiful game.


Thanks James,

I will definitely take a look into Maria. Thanks for the reference material links. I have stayed away because two of my group members have rated Friedrich poorly. Does Maria have the same system ?

The game really needs a good vid. whistle

-Paul


It basically uses the same system, but it is different. I have not played Friedrich myself but I own it and have read the rules. The group I play Maria with most have played Friedrich and they too were not "huge" fans of it, but they really like Maria. One of the biggest critisisms of Friedrich was the random event deck. In Maria, events are now bid on using the same cards that are used in combat, so there is some control over what "random" events are triggered. If there is an event up for auction, it is also possible to win it and not activate any of it's effects, it's the winners choice... Negotiations also come into play because of that on occassion. The roles are also not as straight forward, Prussia is in a tough position as they are described as "schizophrenic", they are working against Austria on one side of the map, and essentially with them on the other. It's worth checking out. Ask your friends what it is they didn't really enjoy about it, I think you'll find it was the events, in which case the mechanics there are very different.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:36 am
Author: jamesmckane
Castef wrote:
Noooooh!

That's the wrong "Castelli"!!!!! crycrycry

(many compliments!)

Just a question: did you buy this game?


laughlaughlaughlaughlaugh
I have not yet picked it up as it's very expensive at the moment, I will buy it but I'm being patient. The question I have for you, is are you going to pick it up, have you already picked it up? Surely it has to be a must have for all Castelli's.

Quote:

Why the Bruno Cathala fan badge? It's the only designer you have a badge for, yet it doesn't look like you have any of his games highly rated.

Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc designed the Mr. Jack series, which I rate very highly. Also a few years ago I exchanged some geekmails with him, he is a very nice bloke.

goshublue wrote:
Congratulations, James. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Jo sends her congratulations, too.....well, when I told her you were Geek of the Week, she said "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that", but when I told here it was actually a good thing, she said "Oh, well that's nice"....which passes for congratulations around here!

Enjoy your week


laugh That made me absolutley crack up, cheers mate.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:49 am
Author: pincao
Hey James,

Can you elaborate on why Washington's Wars is on your previously owned list ? Just curious, as this is high on my want to play list. Would also be interested in your thoughts on A Few Acres of Snow.

Thanks.

-Paul
Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:08 am
Author: jamesmckane
pincao wrote:
Hey James,

Can you elaborate on why Washington's Wars is on your previously owned list ? Just curious, as this is high on my want to play list. Would also be interested in your thoughts on A Few Acres of Snow.

Thanks.

-Paul


Washington's War:
I've only played it once. I was fortunate enough to have a friend teach me the game because I was having a rough time understanding the game from the rule/playbook. The theme is also very foreign to me, as an example; for a long time I thought Abraham Lincoln was the first US president. Prior to playing 1960TMOAP I also thought California was next to New York. American History (geography) is not something I was taught at school, so any thematic references in that game were completely lost on me. So basically I thought to myself, If I have Hannibal and Twilight Struggle do I need another 2 player CDS that I'm unlikley to play often, I came to the conclusion that I did not. It is a good game though, I struggled with the rulebook but maybe if you understood the theme it'd be easier to learn.

A Few Acres of Snow: I think this is a very innovative twist on the deck-building genre. I liked the way it incorporates the board, it is a board game driven by cards that are gained by deck building. I don't consider it to be a wargame myself, after all it is possible to win a game of A few Acres of Snow without any military conflict, it is unlikley but it is possible. It has all the makings of a great Wallace game - "I want to do this with this card, but I also want to do this with it, ohhhh but I could do this If I get this..." He has a habit of creating good engaging options for players, and forcing them to prioritise, I like that. A few of the games I have played dragged on far too long where neither player seemed to be making much progress. I learned that if you mess with your deck (remove cards) you had better be confident that you know what you are doing, it can truly make things very difficult. You may spend several turns just trying to undo a mistake with your deck. Overall I did like the game, but my copy is currently in a trade proposal.

After seeing what the Halifax Hammer could achieve I was a bit down on the game, initially I wasn't sure that strategy was all that strong, until it was pointed out that I was doing it incorrectly. There are other strategies to explore so the best fix for that strategy was just to agree not play that way. I have not since played with the new rules, so I can't comment on it's current state. My last few experiences with the game did leave a bit of a bad after-taste, it might be that taste is still lingering and that's why I'm willing to trade it. I'll leave you with a quote from an email between myself and a friend of mine, the quoted text was my comment.

Quote:
The reason I'm selling it is because it just feels different now, it's like when you take your car in to get fixed because you hear a strange noise. They fix it, but you wonder if you can still hear that noise. Anyway, It's a good game but we do have better 2 player games.




Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:38 am
Author: Brichs
Congratulations!
Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:52 am
Author: Gelete
Quote:
Women from the Mediterranean drive me crazy.


Then you should come here as soon as possible my friend
Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:25 am
Author: jamesmckane
Ohhhh, I don't have to travel.

Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:47 am
Author: TMVM
Congratulations my GOTW brother.

1) Do you ever play Video Games?
2) If you could make any video game into a board game which would it be?
3) If you could make any board game in a video game which would it be?

Have a good week.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:45 pm
Author: EgorjLileli
Congratulations!

I've enjoyed your video reviews.
Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:15 pm
Author: Guantanamo
PollutedMonkey wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
Why the Bruno Cathala fan badge? It's the only designer you have a badge for, yet it doesn't look like you have any of his games highly rated.


Mr. Jack?


I stand corrected. I didn't realize that was his. But, the overall question still stands. It's the only designer badge you have, yet you don't have 'many' of his games in your top ratings. And you have other designers with a game in your top ratings, without a badge. What makes him stand out?
Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:17 pm
Author: pincao
Guantanamo wrote:
PollutedMonkey wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
Why the Bruno Cathala fan badge? It's the only designer you have a badge for, yet it doesn't look like you have any of his games highly rated.


Mr. Jack?


I stand corrected. I didn't realize that was his. But, the overall question still stands. It's the only designer badge you have, yet you don't have 'many' of his games in your top ratings. And you have other designers with a game in your top ratings, without a badge. What makes him stand out?


I think James addressed this questions already on this page.
jamesmckane wrote:

Guantanamo wrote:

Why the Bruno Cathala fan badge? It's the only designer you have a badge for, yet it doesn't look like you have any of his games highly rated.

Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc designed the Mr. Jack series, which I rate very highly. Also a few years ago I exchanged some geekmails with him, he is a very nice bloke.

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:26 pm
Author: Dorkfest
Congrats! I'm looking forward to your review of Castelli... wa waaaa
Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:31 pm
Author: Tuttle757
Congrats James
Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:48 pm
Author: pincao
jamesmckane wrote:
pincao wrote:
Hey James,

Can you elaborate on why Washington's Wars is on your previously owned list ? Just curious, as this is high on my want to play list. Would also be interested in your thoughts on A Few Acres of Snow.

Thanks.

-Paul


Washington's War:
I've only played it once. I was fortunate enough to have a friend teach me the game because I was having a rough time understanding the game from the rule/playbook. The theme is also very foreign to me, as an example; for a long time I thought Abraham Lincoln was the first US president. Prior to playing 1960TMOAP I also thought California was next to New York. American History (geography) is not something I was taught at school, so any thematic references in that game were completely lost on me. So basically I thought to myself, If I have Hannibal and Twilight Struggle do I need another 2 player CDS that I'm unlikley to play often, I came to the conclusion that I did not. It is a good game though, I struggled with the rulebook but maybe if you understood the theme it'd be easier to learn.

A Few Acres of Snow: I think this is a very innovative twist on the deck-building genre. I liked the way it incorporates the board, it is a board game driven by cards that are gained by deck building. I don't consider it to be a wargame myself, after all it is possible to win a game of A few Acres of Snow without any military conflict, it is unlikley but it is possible. It has all the makings of a great Wallace game - "I want to do this with this card, but I also want to do this with it, ohhhh but I could do this If I get this..." He has a habit of creating good engaging options for players, and forcing them to prioritise, I like that. A few of the games I have played dragged on far too long where neither player seemed to be making much progress. I learned that if you mess with your deck (remove cards) you had better be confident that you know what you are doing, it can truly make things very difficult. You may spend several turns just trying to undo a mistake with your deck. Overall I did like the game, but my copy is currently in a trade proposal.

After seeing what the Halifax Hammer could achieve I was a bit down on the game, initially I wasn't sure that strategy was all that strong, until it was pointed out that I was doing it incorrectly. There are other strategies to explore so the best fix for that strategy was just to agree not play that way. I have not since played with the new rules, so I can't comment on it's current state. My last few experiences with the game did leave a bit of a bad after-taste, it might be that taste is still lingering and that's why I'm willing to trade it. I'll leave you with a quote from an email between myself and a friend of mine, the quoted text was my comment.

Quote:
The reason I'm selling it is because it just feels different now, it's like when you take your car in to get fixed because you hear a strange noise. They fix it, but you wonder if you can still hear that noise. Anyway, It's a good game but we do have better 2 player games.





I think because of my great first time experience with Hannibal:RvC, I am less eager to get Washingtons War to the table. I just want to play H:RvC. I definitely will be purchasing the Hannibal:RvC microbadge. I just saw it...pretty sweet.

I have only played AFAoS a few times and the first time I kept forgetting to add location cards into my deck which obviously bogged me down and prolong the game. soblue I intentionally have not read any of the strategy discussions and I have only played with players that agree to not use the HH strategy.

-Paul
Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:04 pm
Author: 1nf1n1ty
Congratulations James!

Some questions for you:

d10-1 What is your favorite part of the geek?

d10-2 What is your favorite contribution to the site?

d10-3 What is your favorite game to play with your family?

d10-4 Do you have any gaming goals for the year?


Have a great week!!
Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:40 pm
Author: MrBaggy
Fabulous another Aussie getting the recognition he deserves.
I just have one question (in two parts).
I have a sneaking suspicion your a metal/rock fan (guitar & drums bit of a giveaway)

What's your favorite metal/rock band?
a) of all time
b) recent history (2000-now)

Enjoy your time in the spotlight, it's been well earned.
Cheers
Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:56 pm
Author: buseyhead
Congrats Jimmy
A random question.

Were you or are you a fan of Midnight Oil....started listening to them back in the 80's? I believe Peter Garrett is in Parliament now.Not many Americans had heard of them back in the day.
Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:08 am
Author: marnaudo
Good job, James... about time!!

Some useful questions:

how do you keep connected with your Sicilian heritage?

in your function as a postman, did you ever deliver something unpleasant / embarrassing/ truly bizarre?

do Australian postmen have an oath like American ones?

have you ever traveled in time and space?

if you were to be exiled on a planet of the solar system other than ours, which one would it be?

if you could play a game with a famous historical figure of the past, which game and which figure would be featured in this momentous event?

if you were made of metal, which medal would that be?

if you had to choose between triskaidekaphobia and coulrophobia, which one would you prefer to have?

what's your favorite salad dressing?

in a match between Superman and Duffy Duck, who would win?

what do you see in the image below?




and what in this one?



ENJOY YOUR WEEK!!
Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:55 am
Author: jamesmckane
TMVM wrote:
Congratulations my GOTW brother.

1) Do you ever play Video Games?
2) If you could make any video game into a board game which would it be?
3) If you could make any board game in a video game which would it be?


1) Not really, everytime a new Grand Theft Auto comes out I buy a consol, play it, then when I'm bored of the game I sell it. I would like to play Skyrim though so I may get a PS3.

2) I have no idea, maybe the old Double Dragon. A co-op beat em up game.

3) Command & Colours Ancients, I'd like to see a really nice strategic simulation of ancient battles. Rome Total War was o.k, but I mean something much more detailed and focused solely on battles.

Have a great week mate and congrats.

1nf1n1ty wrote:

d10-1 What is your favorite part of the geek?
In general it's just the community, about 99% of users I have found to be nothing short of great people. There are not many online communities that I've come across that are like this.
Quote:
d10-2 What is your favorite contribution to the site?

There are many, but I really like when I get a notification that a new review has been added to Roger Reviews.
Quote:

d10-3 What is your favorite game to play with your family?
I don't play games with my family. They don't really get the hobby.
Quote:
d10-4 Do you have any gaming goals for the year?
My goal is to own fewer games that get a lot of play, as opposed to owning a lot of games that get fewer plays. I've been trying to achieve that goal for about 7 or 8 months now, at this point I'm pretty happy with how things are going.



Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:15 am
Author: jamesmckane
Quote:
What's your favorite metal/rock band?
a) of all time
b) recent history (2000-now)


Hey Mr. Baggy.

Of all time - ACDC. Their riffs still translate well into the modern era of Rock/Metal music. I'm not the most hardcore of ACDC fans but in my opinion they are the greatest of all time. Honorable mention to Queen.
Recent History - They have been around since before 2000 but there is only one band that I buy their album as soon as one is released. Other than than them there is very little new music I am really into. Now, they will not be everyone's cup of tea, so I do not recommend looking them up on the internet if you are unaware of who they are. But the band is Cradle of Filth, they are incredibly talented musicians, Dani's voice has a range like no other but it is perfectly suited to the music. Their current Drummer Marthus is unbelievable. They band look more serious than they are, live they are full of Jokes etc. Honorable mention to bands with Justin Hawkins (The Darkness, Hot leg).

There isn't a lot of music left in my opinion that is isn't about appealing to the masses. It seems a lot have gone down the path of attempting to make "Pop"ular music and they have forgotten that there was a crowd that enjoyed their once origonal sound.

Quote:
Were you or are you a fan of Midnight Oil....started listening to them back in the 80's? I believe Peter Garrett is in Parliament now.Not many Americans had heard of them back in the day.

No I wasn't really a fan, infact I'm not really a fan of much Australian music; or movies. A few exceptions like ACDC of course. Peter Garrett was (or still is) a part of a political party here (Labour I think). I'm not sure how he is doing with it though.
Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:40 am
Author: jamesmckane
Hey Marco I mentioned before I liked episode one of your podcast, great stuffthumbsup.

Quote:
how do you keep connected with your Sicilian heritage?
It's really hard nowadays, most of my italian born family members have passed. With that a lot of the traditions went too, but I suppose we made new ones which is good. I remember at Christmas the singing, GOD DO I REMEMBER THE FOOD and my uncles personalities would have me in stitches. I suppose to feel connected I treasure those memories. I also just fantasize about Sicily, research it, I've even googled mapped it at street level to wander around and see what I can see. I sometimes listen to music that my father listens too as well, Louie Prima, and this song which is my favorite, funny too, that's one we all used to sing, I still know the words.

I'll be back later to answer more questions, I'm just going to make dinner.
Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:31 am
Author: Yokiboy
Okay James, let me try a few questions.

1 What game would you like to play if the two of us met for a game?

2 Are you, or have you been, a roleplayer?

3 Do you yearn to play some game that your regular game buddies refuse to play?

4 Do you have an old favorite game that you wax about nostalgically, but cannot quite bring yourself to get to the table again, and if so, why?

5 Is your Sicilian heritage part of your love of Mafia-themed games, and what are your top five Mafia-themed games?

6 If you had the chance to go back in time and give young James, who is just about to fall in love with board games some advice or perhaps even a stack of games, would you?

Have a great week James and enjoy the honor of being Geek of the Week.
Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:33 pm
Author: leroy43
jamesmckane wrote:
Quote:
d10-2 What is your favorite contribution to the site?

There are many, but I really like when I get a notification that a new review has been added to Roger Reviews.


modest

That, my friend, is a tremendous compliment. You're too kind.
Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:10 pm
Author: DanielCG
Congratulations !
Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:37 pm
Author: DanielCG
My questions:

d10-0 How did you meet BGG ?

d10-1 What are the qualities of a good player ?

d10-2 What is your favorite ABSTRACT GAME ?

d10-3 Can you describe yourself as a gammer ?

d10-4 Do you have any unfulfilled dream ?

d10-5 At a movie theater which arm rest is yours ?

d10-6 Can crop circles be square ?

d10-7 How could you know if a word in the dictionary was misspelled ?

Enjoy your week.
Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:40 pm
Author: Wister
Congratulations! It's surprising that you haven't already held this mantle of Geekdom. You sure deserve it!

I have a few questions and I apologize if I am repeating them from previous posters. I haven't read this whole thread.

Have you ever played Command and Colors: Ancients? If so what are your thoughts?

What prompted you to start video reviewing? Did you ever think about doing one or two, then finding you loved it?

Hope you have a great week.
Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:23 am
Author: jamesmckane
marnaudo wrote:

in your function as a postman, did you ever deliver something unpleasant / embarrassing/ truly bizarre?
I can't go into a lot of detail in regards to my job, it's not that I don't want too, I have a ton of funny stories I'd love to tell. It's just that they are quite strict about talking about stuff publicly. One thing I think is o.k to mention is I have delivered live crickets, they were in a tube with a grill so you could see them. Very odd.
Quote:

do Australian postmen have an oath like American ones?
No, the American posties have an oath? It's different in many ways here then, here it isn't even really a government job either, it kind of is but isn't. It's hard to explain.
Quote:

have you ever traveled in time and space?
No, I have smoked marijuana once but I didn't inhale so it had no affect.

Quote:
if you were to be exiled on a planet of the solar system other than ours, which one would it be?
Mars, I'd probably fit right in.

Quote:
if you could play a game with a famous historical figure of the past, which game and which figure would be featured in this momentous event?
Command & Colours Ancients with Scipio Africanus. The way he was discribed in this podcast really captured my imagination.
Quote:

if you were made of metal, which medal would that be?

What ever ACDC was made ofyuk.

Quote:
if you had to choose between triskaidekaphobia and coulrophobia, which one would you prefer to have?
You know it's funny, a lot of apartment blocks here still use 12a. As I have my own superstitions I'd have to say I'd choose triskaidekaphobia, I could deal with that. Clowns are meant to bring humour (happiness), which I believe is the most important thing in life. To be afraid of someone who is supposed to bring happiness would be a shame. By the way I had to google both as I wasn't sure what either were at firstshake.
Quote:

what's your favorite salad dressing?
Paul Newans Own.

Quote:
in a match between Superman and Duffy Duck, who would win?

It depends on what season it is, Rabbit or Duck. Daffy Duck is certainly a cunning individual, he'd find a way to take advantage of Supermans many weaknesses, Daffy has also been through a lot in his time and I'm starting to think he is invincibleninja. So I'll go with Daffy.

Quote:
what do you see in the image below?




At first I saw a dead racoon (Roadkill) but then I saw a Dragon.
Quote:
and what in this one?



Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Bieber, (he screams with a high pitched girly voice).
Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:32 am
Author: jamesmckane
Quote:
1 What game would you like to play if the two of us met for a game?

I hope you mean what game would we play first, it'd be a long games night. I think we'd start of with Memoir 44, preferably an overlord scenario of your choosing. I know it's your number one game and I adore it also.

Quote:
2 Are you, or have you been, a roleplayer?
Yes, I used to have a large collection of RPG's. Now I only own one; Hollow Earth expeditions, I've never played it though. A local group for roleplaying is a very hard thing for me to come by because for me it's all about the narrative, less about progressing a character to be some overpowered being. My best friend is a great GM but he doesn't live locally. It's probably a "You had to be their moment" but I remember once in a game of D&D where he was the DM I went to pay for something and I said "O.k, I get my coin purse", he interupted "you don't have it", I said "I've course I have it, I reach into my pocket and get my coin purse". He said "You reach into your pocket but it's not there". I pondered for a while, what did I do with it then...Then it hit me! I had previously had an interaction with a theif that I had hired for something related to the plot, I had paid him but he must have also stolen my money I yelled aloud "Jimmy the hand (the theifs name) I'll kill you". Ahh, great fun.

Quote:
3 Do you yearn to play some game that your regular game buddies refuse to play?
Cash n' Guns, that is my favorite party game. The group I play party games with most don't dislike the game, not at all, but they just never want to play it. I think there are more that I refuse to play that they like.
Quote:

5 Is your Sicilian heritage part of your love of Mafia-themed games, and what are your top five Mafia-themed games?
It certainly plays a big part.
1: Mob ties.
2: Nostra City.
3: Little Italy.
4: Famiglia.
5: Vandetta.
Mind you the last two on that list I didn't really like at all. I want to play Tom Vasel and Steve Avery's new game. That looks quite good.

Quote:
6 If you had the chance to go back in time and give young James, who is just about to fall in love with board games some advice or perhaps even a stack of games, would you?
I'd tell myself to relax, not every new game needs to be added to my collection right away. I'd also hand myself a bunch of wargames of lower complexity and a history book and say "Welcome, you are about to have no free time".

Always good to hear from you mate.
Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:03 am
Author: Yokiboy
jamesmckane wrote:
I hope you mean what game would we play first, it'd be a long games night. I think we'd start of with Memoir 44, preferably an overlord scenario of your choosing. I know it's your number one game and I adore it also.

Yes, first of many for sure, and Memoir '44 is as good a place to start as any.

jamesmckane wrote:
Yes, I used to have a large collection of RPG's. Now I only own one; Hollow Earth expeditions, I've never played it though.

Have you ever tried some of the indie RPGs? It's sounds like they would appeal to your preferences. A recommendation, you may really like the party game feel of Fiasco, especially if you're a fan of the Cohen Brothers, or similar heists-going-wrong films.

jamesmckane wrote:
Cash n' Guns, that is my favorite party game. The group I play party games with most don't dislike the game, not at all, but they just never want to play it. I think there are more that I refuse to play that they like.

Oh really, so apart from a dislike of Carcassonne mentioned earlier in this thread, what do you refuse to play to the chagrin of your gamer friends?

jamesmckane wrote:
1: Mob ties.
2: Nostra City.
3: Little Italy.
4: Famiglia.
5: Vandetta.
Mind you the last two on that list I didn't really like at all. I want to play Tom Vasel and Steve Avery's new game. That looks quite good.

No love for The Boss then, and how come you don't rank Ca$h 'n Gun$, or Ca$h 'n Gun$: Yakuzas in your top 5 Mafia-themed games?

jamesmckane wrote:
I'd tell myself to relax, not every new game needs to be added to my collection right away. I'd also hand myself a bunch of wargames of lower complexity and a history book and say "Welcome, you are about to have no free time".

That is rock solid advice, and I like the idea of being introduced to a good lighter wargame at an early age - that would certainly have raised my interest in the history lessons in school.

jamesmckane wrote:
Always good to hear from you mate.

Thanks, you too.
Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:35 am
Author: jamesmckane
Quote:
d10-0 How did you meet BGG ?

A longer answer is in my introduction, but just from surfing the net looking for info on games I was interested in.

Quote:
d10-1 What are the qualities of a good player ?
Someone who likes to laugh, someone who is a good sport and plays to have fun.

Quote:
d10-2 What is your favorite ABSTRACT GAME ?
Qwirkle, it's the only abstract I own. I'm not generally a fan of Abstract games.
Quote:

d10-3 Can you describe yourself as a gammer ?
I love to laugh and love to play games. I never get upset if I lose a game, which is good because I rarely win.

Quote:
d10-4 Do you have any unfulfilled dream ?
Of course, I'd love to own my own home for one. I'd also like to design a good game.

Quote:
d10-5 At a movie theater which arm rest is yours ?
Never really thought about it, I've never had an argument with someone about it so I'm thinking both.

Quote:
d10-6 Can crop circles be square ?
Yep.

Quote:
d10-7 How could you know if a word in the dictionary was misspelled ?
Google it.

Quote:
Have you ever played Command and Colors: Ancients? If so what are your thoughts?




I played it again just 2 weeks ago; Epic scenarios.

It's a great game but it took me about 4 or 5 plays just to get into the flow of it. It's more complex than Memoir 44, but not overall a complex game. You really do get a good sense of the battles, light skirmishes first, the importance of keeping your units in-line, the importance of not letting your enemy break through that line and get behind you. In the game if you have your opponent's retreat path cut off, it's very likley they won't be around for long. It's a great system to enjoy the battles with enough thematic flavour, but not have it bogged down by to many rules. Overall I am invested in it. I'm actually trading my copy of A Few Acres of Snow for some expansions this weekend.
Quote:

What prompted you to start video reviewing? Did you ever think about doing one or two, then finding you loved it?
I did one review after seeing a review on El Grande, then I saw Mr. Vasel's works. My first vid was horrible, I uploaded it and then didn't really think about it again for many months after. Then I did some more because I was bored and on holidays from work. They seemed to be liked by some poeple so I just kept going with it. I never even named my show until it had a name, in my first videos I just had "a Castelli Review" as a heading. Then it turned into "Castelli Reviews". If I could do it all over again I'd have come up with a better name for the show.

Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:46 am
Author: jamesmckane
Yokiboy wrote:

jamesmckane wrote:
Yes, I used to have a large collection of RPG's. Now I only own one; Hollow Earth expeditions, I've never played it though.

Have you ever tried some of the indie RPGs? It's sounds like they would appeal to your preferences. A recommendation, you may really like the party game feel of Fiasco, especially if you're a fan of the Cohen Brothers, or similar heists-going-wrong films.


Friends of mine have mentioned Fiasco to me before. They are right into their Indie RPGs. They introduced me to games like The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Zombie Cinema too. They are the same group that don't live locally though, I'll see if they will be up for a game of Fiasco next club meet, I remember it sounded really funky.

Quote:
jamesmckane wrote:
Cash n' Guns, that is my favorite party game. The group I play party games with most don't dislike the game, not at all, but they just never want to play it. I think there are more that I refuse to play that they like.

Oh really, so apart from a dislike of Carcassonne mentioned earlier in this thread, what do you refuse to play to the chagrin of your gamer friends?
There are a few, Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game is one I don't ever want to play again but they love it, Battlestar Galactica is another, although there is a local group I could play that again with but they also know I'm not fond of it. Cosmic Encounter too.

Quote:
jamesmckane wrote:
1: Mob ties.
2: Nostra City.
3: Little Italy.
4: Famiglia.
5: Vandetta.
Mind you the last two on that list I didn't really like at all. I want to play Tom Vasel and Steve Avery's new game. That looks quite good.

No love for The Boss then, and how come you don't rank Ca$h 'n Gun$, or Ca$h 'n Gun$: Yakuzas in your top 5 Mafia-themed games?


WoW, did I mess that up. I totally forgot about The Boss...I just blanked. It's probably because I've never played my copy of it that I missed that one, I have played it but it was with a mates copy. Cash n' Guns is a Mafia themed game, you are right but it feels to me more about the heist, so I never really considered it to be a "Mafia game", but then again I've never played the Yakuza expansion, it sits unplayed on my shelf unfortunatley. I'll re-do my list.

1: Cash n' Guns.
2: Mob Ties
3: The Boss
4: Nostra City
5: Little Italy

That's a much better list. I can't believe I messed that upmodest.
Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:25 am
Author: evil_puck
one of the people I want to play in the future (even if he lives on the other side of the world...)

rock on!
Great reviews, great fun and really a very nice person
Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:31 pm
Author: Karlsen
G'day James,

Sorry to be so late to the party, it has been one of those weeks.

I try to remember to ask each Geek of the Week these gaming related questions, so to start with here's the ever so slightly modified GeekSpeak Hook questions for you:
Favourite game(s) for d10-1 player (optional, many non-wargamers wouldn't have an answer for this)
Favourite game(s) for d10-2 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-3 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-4 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-5 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-6 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-7 or more players (and you may choose a Party Game here although I wouldn't meeple )

Also Word Association Football , I will list a word and you list a game or games that you associate with it. If you like you can expand and tell us if you like it/them or hate it/them and possibly why.

Space ships
Witches
Trains
Transport (may include trains)
Workers (paid or otherwise)
Trading
Building
Pink
Theme
Ships
Money
Purple
Government
Vampires
Infrastructure
Dice
Dinosaurs
Gemstones
Dragons
Beer
Wands

Is there any particular game that you have played recently, new or old, that you would like to recommend to readers of this thread? And optionally, why?

Last but not least, what are the five games that you have played most recently?
Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:33 pm
Author: jamesmckane
Favourite game(s) for d10-1 player :

At the moment I'm enjoying Men of Iron and Infidel but I'll admit have limited experience with both games.
Favourite game(s) for d10-2 players

Wargames; Julius Caesar, Hannibal and Manoeuvre. Non-Wargames; Mr. Jack in New York, Letters from Whitechapel and Neuroshima Hex!.

Favourite game(s) for d10-3 players

Maria, I don't think there is a rival, this is the best 3 player game IMO.

Favourite game(s) for d10-4 players

Successors (third edition) and Carson City

Favourite game(s) for d10-5 players

Ticket to Ride

Favourite game(s) for d10-6 players


Cash n' Guns and C&C: Ancients - Epic.

Favourite game(s) for d10-7 or more players (and you may choose a Party Game here although I wouldn't meeple )


Telestrations
.

Also Word Association Football , I will list a word and you list a game or games that you associate with it. If you like you can expand and tell us if you like it/them or hate it/them and possibly why.


Space ships Twlight Imperium.
Witches Wicked Witches Way.
Trains Steam.
Transport (may include trains) Automobile.
Workers (paid or otherwise) Carson City (Worker Placement).
Trading Settlers of Catan.
Building Urban Sprawl.
Pink Ticket to ride. (I once saw pink trains for sale somewhere for the game)
Theme Letters from Whitechapel.
Ships Shipyard.
Money Monopoly.
Purple Carson City.
Government 1960: The Making of a President.
Vampires The Twilight Saga: New Moon – The Movie Board Game (I once bought this when Borders were closing down, it was $1. I use the parts for prototypes.
Infrastructure Urban Sprawl.
Dice Liar's Dice.
Dinosaurs Dominant Species.
Gemstones Oh man, I have forgotten the name of the game. When I remember I'll edit this out.
Dragons Dragon Rage.
Beer Norenberc.
Wands Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Quidditch Card Game

Is there any particular game that you have played recently, new or old, that you would like to recommend to readers of this thread? And optionally, why? Manoeuvre. A great game that is not complex but very deep. It is abstract enough that non-wargamers would still be able to enjoy it but not anstract enough that wargamers would be turned off.

Last but not least, what are the five games that you have played most recently? I'm not 100% sure but I believe it was 3 Scenarios of Commands & Colors: Ancients - Epic most recently, Manoeuvre, Letters from Whitechapel, Galaxy Trucker and Hotel Samoa.
Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:50 pm
Author: jamesmckane
THANKYOU

Well, my week has come to and end, I had great fun. I just wanted to thank each and every one of you who commented here. I really appreciate it.

2 Truths and a lie:

The majority got this one right. I did not get thrown out of a Slipknot concert for getting on stage. I last saw Slipknot live when I was around 16. I saw The Darkness around 5 years ago and was thrown out of Luna Park (The Venue) after getting of the stage during the concert.

I lived in a granny flat on Geoff Mack's property for a few years, my father is a musician and knoes him well (my father lived there also). Geoff and his wife are two of the nicest people I have ever met in my life, they have some of the most entertaining stories I have ever heard and in general are very entertaining people to be around.

Thanks again everyone, it has been a great week.

Our new Geek of the Week has arrived.

Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:07 pm
Author: Slapz
Thank you for a great week James

Haven't been on BGG too much, but I have read a few posts from ya Hope you had a great week.

/hug
Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:58 pm
Author: ltcltc
zhang qi is a abstract game
Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:43 pm