ones upon a game

I am almost exclusively a solo gamer and look at the gaming scene seen through those eyes. I also literally like alliteration. TWITTER: @onesuponagame

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Geeklist Indexer -- Updated with New Features

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Decided to implement a couple of new features (necessity breeds invention and all that) for the Geeklist Indexer/Auction Tools (Geeklist Indexer -- For Auctions, but Who Knows What Else?!)

The first is the ability to specify the link text that appears directly linking each geeklist item in the index of items. For uses outside of auctions "Auction Item" is not an intuitive choice. And rather than having to manual edit them post generation, you can specify it in advance.

Also added the ability to use alternate name for items as well as excluding items that have sold, part of a bundle, or just exempt for whatever reason.



To exclude an item simply drop %SOLD% or %EXCLUDE% into the item description. These will not be considered when you regenerate the list (to update auction posts, etc...)

To add an alternate name add %NAME% followed by whatever name you want to call the item. The entire rest of the line will be used, so make sure you put it on a line by itself. This can be good for specifying bundles or misc items not in the BGG database.

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Thu May 10, 2018 7:52 pm
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Geeklist Indexer -- For Auctions, but Who Knows What Else?!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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I've long admired when folks manually look up the representative image for each item in their GeekBay Auctions and produce a nice image array to head their post. And then to add to that, they add links to all the games in their auctions as well as a link to the actual auction item.

Whew! A lot of work!



Then Eureka!

I'm already doing geeklist processing for the Aggregator family of sites... So why not take the same logic to create a quick engine to generate the posting code from an auction geeklist!

So I did...

And present: http://auctiontools.onesuponagame.com/



Simply enter the geeklist id you want to process and click 'generate'. The code reads it in (if valid), sorts the items alphabetically, and then produces BGG editor code for the images and then a list of each game as well as a link to the auction item directly. While geeklists can be sorted in a few ways on the site, the API returns in the order items were added... so alphabetical made the most sense.



Cut and paste this generated code (in full or in part) into your BGG announcement or forum post and voila!



As I said, the primarly purpose is for auctions, but really any geeklist you want to create perhaps a header index to is fair game. You would need to change references to auction with something else, but that's a simple search and replace away.

A link is included in each generation to promote the tool, but I don't require it be kept in there or anything. You wanna be a jerk, go ahead (kidding!)
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Tue May 8, 2018 9:59 pm
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Great War Commander and Firefly Adventures Modular Storage

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Similar to my storage for Combat Commander: Europe, I created "Force Boxes" for Great War Commander to hold each nations counters as well as a table tray for holding the game markers. I went ahead and did tuck boxes as well using the same template from CCE years ago...

As noted before, these are based on the GMT tray "well" (or compartment) size, but since they are from folded cardstock vs. molded plastic they take up much less room (in all dimensions) and they are modular (in this case only the game marker one is), so you can use 1-4 together to make a single tray. The nation boxes are a custom 2x3 (6 "well") unit I made for just this sort of thing. I use a plastiband on each to insure the lid stays closed, but in all a pretty decent solution that fits well in the box too!








But these modular trays aren't just for wargaming of course... So to solve the storage concerns with Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats, I created a full modular tray (4 sections) to hold the game counters and tokens without having to bag and rebag to fit inside the buildings.





Details and templates: May the Force Box Be With You!
CCE Tuckboxes: Generic CC Tuckboxes from Ones Upon a Game
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Mon May 7, 2018 5:02 am
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Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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An empty tomb filled the world with hope for eternity.

Jesus Christ defeated death so death won't defeat you.

Trust in Him!


Hope you and your family all have a wonderful time remembering the reason for this "Easter" observance.
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Sun Apr 1, 2018 6:18 pm
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All Good Things Got to Come to an End...pause

Kevin L. Kitchens
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All good things got to come to an end
The thrills have to fade
Before they come 'round again

All good times, all good friends
All good things got to come to an end

~ Jackson Browne


I am writing this post to share that effective immediately I am "cancelling" suspending my blog and YouTube channel "ones upon a game".

While I appreciate greatly all the support my readers and viewers have given me over these several years, as with all projects there comes a time to reconcile costs and benefit. While running "ones upon a game" has not cost much in terms of money, it has cost in time, energy, and effort. Unfortunately in the final analysis I don't see where the total expense justifies the results.

This is not a sudden decision, and I've debated with myself on it and kept the channels going on life support for nearly a year now.

I have other projects that have been neglected for this passion of mine, but the time has come to let those children get a little attention from me as well. And so with bittersweet head and heart, I will cease production of new videos and new blog content and simply revert to being a "civilian" and regular gamer. I won't be going anywhere or leaving BGG certainly, you'll probably see me around forums and game pages.

All content on the channel and blog will remain for posterity, so video links and posts etc. will remain intact.

Thank you again. It's been a wonderful journey.

All the best and may God bless you greatly.

Kevin

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Wed Feb 7, 2018 4:08 pm
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doo doo doo doo (doo-doo, doo-doo) Khan Touch This!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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A few unboxings over the last week to share.

First we boldly return to the excellent Star Trek: Frontiers to thwart the Return of Khan.




Then to the library to check out a Hardback or two from Tim Fowers.




Back to the past we go and the colonization of the Americas between warring countries with Dan Verssen Games (DVG)' 1500: The New World.




And finally more Lock 'n Load Tactical goodness with this expansion to Lock 'n Load Tactical: Heroes of the Pacific, Lock 'n Load Tactical: Hell Frozen Over, covering the 1943 Battle of Attu Island.



As always, please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel for more unboxing and gameplay fun.
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Mon Feb 5, 2018 8:09 pm
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Cattle on Wayne! Cattle on Garth!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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As promised in my previous post (Great? Check! Western? Check! Trail? Check! Solo? Say What???), I've taken "Garth" the second more specialized Automa for Great Western Trail for a spin and documented how the cards work and show the results of a game. I compare the two where appropriate as well to underscore the differences in mechanics.



"Garth" Automa Rules and Cards: GWT Specialized Automa for Solo Play

SUMMARY
In all, I think both of the solo Automa work great and provide a very tough competitor at even the "normal" level. I cannot imagine playing them on the hard challenge (but will someday!).

I do believe that these options DO make Great Western Trail a must buy, even if only for solo play. The Automa run smooth and with little management and allow you to concentrate on playing the game. And the game is that good. One of the best worker placement games there is. Alexander Pfister has created a masterpiece.
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Fri Feb 2, 2018 4:13 pm
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When the Games, Come Tumbling Down...

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Space has always been a premium in my office/gameroom. With the limited shelves already full to capacity, I started stacking games on a nice window seat between the two cabinets (cross-stacked as necessary to prevent dishing!). I've looked at hard storage options and they either had too small of compartments or were too expensive or large (like IKEA shelving) for my needs.



With the stealth of the NSA, Google and Alexa seemed to share my findings to the web and suddenly Amazon recommended me these shelves. Assembled from plastic, metal tubing, and a plastic-like fabric, these shelves assembled like Tinkertoys, but were durable and strong (13.5lb load-bearing for each cube, 100lb load-bearing for overall items). Each compartment was over 13x12" as well, large enough for most common box sizes. At $21 a set, I ordered two to better organize my window seat storage.





Though designed to be set up in a 3-2-1 arrangement, other buyers reported you could also build them as a 3x2 tower (a 2x3 shorter layout is also possible). This is exactly what I would need to fit the space. Assembly was quick and easy. As I built them with less of a base than recommended, I scavenged the leftover bits to connect the two units together along the two shelf tops, reinforcing both shelves.





I'm quite pleased with how it all turned out and now when I need to get a game, I don't have to play Tower of Hanoi to extract the one on the bottom.

If organization is your problem and you cannot find a good solution, you might check out these units as well.
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Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:04 pm
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Great? Check! Western? Check! Trail? Check! Solo? Say What???

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Great Western Trail by Alexander Pfister is not only an excellent euro/worker placement game, it's now broken into the BGG top 10.

It's that good.

But unfortunately, it was only designed for 2-4 players.

I tried my first game simply running two boards to learn the mechanics, etc... and even in that mode it was fun. And you're so inclined you could do that and consider the average of the two scores to be your final score. Simple solo solve!

But the solo community across BGG is quick to fill the vacuum of missing solo modes (in games of course where the mechanics don't prevent such) and with Great Western Trail, there are two solo Automa that have been designed by members of the site.

Inspired by the Automa of Morten Monrad Pedersen (who has shepherded solo AI for Stonemaier Games' Viticulture, Scythe and others), user Wil Gerken created the "Brisco" Automa deck (Great Western Trail Automa (solo play)). This is a simple to operate, non-fiddly Automa that simulates a pretty good player. It includes three levels of difficulty (easy, normal, and hard) which vary in the buildings used, number of cards, and first delivery city.

I created a demonstration video showing "Brisco" at work to explain the mechanics of each card and the final results of the game.



The second Automa is the "son" of Brisco called "Garth" and makes the AI more focused in the strategy it takes (varying between Cowboys, Craftsmen, and Engineers). My next video will demonstrate that Automa in action as well. Subscribe on BGG or on YouTube to be alerted when that video is live.

Stay tuned!
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Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:03 pm
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Money for Nothing and YouTube for Free

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Thank you so much to those who responded last week to my plea for more YouTube subscribers (Ain't Too Proud to Beg -- Need YouTube Subscribers!). In that one day over 125 of you signed up. Much appreciated.

The pace has slowed somewhat and I scrambled to attempt to reach the final goal, the stark realization occurred to me: Why???

As stated, I don't make all that much from the ads that are shown and it dawned that I also have no control over the ads that appear. I know that on YouTube people don't associate the ads with the content providers (like on say a website directly), but at the same time, I felt it was perhaps a conflict of values to publish on YouTube and let them completely control the ads that interrupt the video and annoy my viewers. So this morning, three weeks ahead I schedule, I went ahead and demonetized all my YouTube content. The comments and feedback from watchers is more than enough.

If you want to see more, then by all means SUBSCRIBE HERE. There are benefits beyond ad revenue for having a large following. But if you prefer just catch them when shared on BGG directly.

The content is not going anywhere.

Just the ads.
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Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:01 pm
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