Geek Chat League Gelato:22 No LOS
Kev.
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GCL Gelato

What is a Geek Chat League?:

A Geek Chat League is a weekly discussion-group format for people who love gaming and enjoy talking about games. It is intended to foster depth and familiarity, producing engaging content and worthwhile interaction. Members get to know one another, establish shared interests, and generally develop a friendly and productive environment.

Of necessity, each division of GCL is kept relatively small (typically between 12-16 members, though individual divisions may incline one way or the other). A tight-knit discussion group tends to function more smoothly than a free-for-all. It allows individuals to be heard and understood, and for each participant to keep up and enjoy multiple topics as the week progresses. The format is geeklist-based, and lists are not published to the BGG front page.

But GCL divisions are not (and never will be) closed-off for the sake of exclusivity. If you're a lurker or have otherwise discovered GCL Gelato, feel free to read along with us and see what the members have to say on everything under the sun. If you have a constructive comment or something else you think would add to the discussion, consider posting it — if it's helpful, respectful, and polite to the discussion group as a whole, as well as to its individual members.

Man With a View


"L'état, c'est moi."
"L'état, c'est moi."
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Matt Robertson
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Kurt R
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1. Board Game: Vision Impossible [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Kev.
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Austin
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Sometimes what we see is not what is really there! For me An optical illusion often occurs when reading the rules to a game. In my minds eye I see the game, or the rule specific, and imagine it a certain way. My vision of the rule often gets in the way of what the rule writer, designer or my opponent knows to be the actual case case!

What illusions have you seen in your rule books or games that you now laugh about?
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2. Board Game: InnerVision [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Kev.
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Often I try to share a game with new users. Grab their imagination and fire up their excitement for a series or title. More often than not that does not work......

How do you inspire people verbally to try a game or a game series with you?
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3. Board Game: GD '40 [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:4867]
Kev.
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How do you feel about games that require you to resolve Line of Sight?

"Is that MG in the trees firing at my squad on the hill?"
"Since when did Panthers fire THRU entire city blocks?"

...yep, it seems that LoS is a mechanic that for some games or game series requires a lot of work.

Funnily enough it requires more work sometimes on a physical copy of the game versus the Digital version in say VASSAL! I was playing Bloody 110 from The Gamers last week face to face with a new friend. He was stumped by the map, as he had only interacted with the Series via VASSAL!

How do you resolve Terrain issues, spotting and allowances for height in games you might play with those types of mechanics?
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4. Board Game: Jena 20 [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3804]
Kev.
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This week was not bad for gaming.
I managed to get a partial play of Jena 20 in. A simple game, kinda cute. Fonts a bit tiny on the unit designations, but otherwise a good introductory game.

I spent quiet some time developing my Social Gaming Contract with a chap for a game of GD '40 so that we are in synch on the host of variations for this game. We did much of that over 2 scenarios of Bloody 110 in the learning section of the game.

I played some Austerlitz , which I am using BGG and my blog as the opponent by posting polls to vote for the hapless Russian and Austrians. This is such a wonderful little system. It is currently under re write, I hope they re launch successfully and blow everyone away with their monster Waterloo title. Hopefully I shall live to see it published!

This week I also cranked a turn each of A Victory Denied and Panzergruppe Guderian as I thought it would be fun to play both side by side..... I might just play each one separately, as I found myself "sharing" the rules in a horrible cross pollinated way. Very amusing.

On Wednesday I had 3 hours of Lock 'n Load: Honneur et Patrie ....wow. I had play tested a little for this title. We played the B-Team scenario.
I had a chance to play some ones i did not test. Mark Walker just nails it. Tense, suspenseful, fun Squad level gaming. I do not understand why this game is not as popular say as ASL? It has all the right elements = stunning scenarios, beautiful components, gorgeous maps, consumable rules (ok, they could be tighter), and a system that gives lots of game feel, realism feel without the massive overhead of ...oops I slipped into fanboy mode, sorry. I had fun.

Both games are very tense but for different reasons. This battle of Smolensk has not really been covered much, so I am enjoying the original classic SPI design, and early innovations and the more recent efforts of MMP to bring some fresh perspective to this conflict.

I managed one feeble turn of a small Case Blue scenario. I am trying to learn how to play the Soviets, and use air effectively, talk about slow learner.

Lets see. Saturday night I played 2nd Fleet, what a treat that game is. No where near what ships could do on one side and over gunned on the other. Despite that it is an interesting representation of Modern Naval combat. oh oh!!!! and and and !!! C.V. arrived this week, after a torturous search including 2 miss fires on offers, one for free which fell thru and one a transaction that was not fulfilled ( I can only hope the Gentleman selling it is still alive and not ill or dying!)

I also anxiously await the arrival of The Blitzkrieg Legend. A hollow 3 map area fills my desk with empty desire.

Well, that is the week that was. Next time I shall include some happy snaps of in game fun.

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5. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:31]
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This is the week that was:
Power Grid 2
Dixit 1
Glen More 1
London 1
TransAmerica 1

It was actually a decent week for live gaming. My wife learned Power Grid, and she really enjoyed it! She said she wasn't wild about the graphics, but the game play was right up her alley. We played a learning game on the Germany map with a robot along for the ride. I've played with the robot before, and didn't care much for it, but for two players it's really awesome because although the robot never really has a chance to win, especially if the players do their best to hose the 'bot, the robot does enough to get into the way of players to make it interesting. The robot also opens up one more map area.

The second game was the next day with my friend Jonathan along and we played the Quebec map from the Power Grid: Québec/Baden-Württemberg map. That one was also with a robot simply because Jonathan had never played with the 'bots, and again, the bot helped get in our way in a good way. I won by $4 with Jonathan and I both powering 18 cities at game end.

Friday at the pub is back on because my daughter is back in art school for the fall term. Her claymation class was cancelled as she was the only one who had registered (I thought they should have run it and she would have learned a million things), but they allowed her to transfer into an ostensibly full class with the instructor's permission. The teacher there has seen a lot of our daughter so she's suggested to her that she spends the time they work in their sketchbooks to do some storyboarding for spring when we hope there's another class (and if not, spring and summer break are coming). My wife and I enjoyed some beer while playing Glen More and Transamerica.

In the world of wargaming, I've got four games of Unhappy King Charles, my 1989 game with Ania, one game of Here I Stand, still three of Virgin Queen, and there's a fierce battle in the game of Le Vol de l'Aigle I'm in.

Spoiler alert for Le Vol de L'Aigle - if you're in my game, don't read this!

Spoiler (click to reveal)
my cavalry (I'm playing Kellermann) is fighting and winning in a fierce battle, but Mouton's infantry has just arrived on the scene to relieve me.
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6. Board Game: Ardennes '44 [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:1482]
Marco Arnaudo
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Bloomington
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this week I completed my campaign game of Ardennes '44; it did not go to the end of turn 22, but only turn 19, when things were going so poorly for the Germans that it was clear they'd never be able to win the game, so the German side conceded. I loved this game, and i don't remember playing a game exclusively for almost 2 weeks. Even with long games that I love I still take breaks to intersperse them with other shorter games, but with this one I felt drawn to the bloody forest of the Ardennes every moment that I had some free time to play. The game constantly felt on the verge on some decisive event, that then the opposite side always managed to prevent from taking place, and this created a constant cliffhanger feeling.
My video review is available, for more details.

After that, I spent the last 2 nights playing Dust Tactics, to test some new units I received in the mail last week but I had not had the time to play with yet. In particular I tried the fearsome heavy walker, the Red Devils, and the Axis gorillas, but also some new hero + squad combos and different configurations of walkers. I played generic tourney-style battles, and I had great fun doing it!!

Speaking of Dust Tactics, yesterday I got in the mail a new shipment of units, with which I now own at least a copy of every existing model so far, and several copies of some models. So, what's the next step going to be? Easy: to slowly replace my unpainted miniatures with beautiful, pre-painted minis. these are ridiculously expensive so i'll have to sell some more games, use my gaming allowance, wait for holidays to receive gifts, etc, so this is definitely a long term plan. But while I gradually improve my army I'll still be able to play any battle or scenario I want, so that's great!
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7. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:274]
Kurt R
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Philadelphia
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_10_ Scripts & Scribes 3
_9_ Roads & Boats 1

Light week for me as I went to see two plays during my usual game nights. I saw a comedy show in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and "New Jerusalem" which is a play I'd seen last winter and they re-mounted it due to popular demand. It's about the excommunication of Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza and still has my head buzzing this morning thinking about the ideas proffered in his testimony.

I taught Roads and Boats to a friend who is as excited about the game as I am. I was not placing Wonder bricks but was exploring how to get to a Stock Exchange which I did. Interestingly, he copied my moves and just did what I did so we ended up doing the same things but it's the learning scenario and I expect us to differentiate more on a different map. The game still intrigues me greatly as to how to be most efficient while still protecting my territory and leeching off my opponent. Excited to try this one again soon.

An old friend came into town for dinner; this is the guy I went to Belgium with a couple years ago and played Scripts & Scribes with at cafes and restaurants. He's a big S&S fan so after dinner at the restaurant we pushed our plates aside and played a few games. He took 2 out of the 3 that SOB.

My online game of Paths of Glory continues with a decidedly different feel now that a) I know what I'm doing and b) I'm not suffering the horrible my-1, his-6 dice rolls of the previous game. I've put my other online gaming initiatives on hold until I get comfortable here. It's finally all coming together for me in terms of strategy, supply, rules, and interface. I'll post a screenshot of the game's status later.

I read an interesting thread on Conflict of Heroes regarding rule improvements and decided to adopt most of the ideas. Of particular interest is the change to the damage chits. First of all, there's a great opportunity to give each nation its own set of damage chits instead of a generic one, and I believe they are doing just that in the Guadalcanal expansion. Second, Band of Brothers seems to have inspired people to look at more accurately reflecting battlefield tactics and suppression of units. I realized that while BoB the game didn't work for me, I did very much like the ideas it introduced. Now I can change some of the damage chits in CoH to incorporate at least some of these ideas.

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8. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Pete Belli
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Lion of the Desert -- the Italian conquest of Libya in 1931



This image is from the Kufra Oasis battle, based on scenes from the film.
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9. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:42]
Cole Wehrle
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x3 Netrunner (10)

Bit of a whiff on games this week. My schedule was dominated by the RSVP conference (Research Society of Victorian Periodicals), and I didn't get much chance to play games. Cati and I did manage some Netrunner games though. The game is just as wonderful as I first thought. We are trying to slowly play through all the starter Deck combinations before we get to deckbuilding. Right now I've only played as a Runner and she's been playing the corporation. After we finish the combinations we'll be sure to switch roles.

I'm impressed with the design and FFG's care. The core box has tons of possibilities and will take some serious play before we need to supplement it. That being said, I'm happy they've already announced the first cycle of booster packs.

As for the week ahead, the remainder of my Gipf set should arrive today and Glory to Rome should be here at week's end. There was a small shipping mix up but the folks at Cambridge Games Factory seem to have set things right. I'm also hopping to get another play of Andean Abyss in this weekend, and maybe some Nappy Wars in addition to the games Cati and I have been working through.


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10. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
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Ticket to Ride x4 (once with 1910) - Picked this up free on the iPhone so been playing a bit through this medium with the family. Also had a 1910 game. Yeah, I know it's not uber-exciting...

Ivanhoe - Good card game that requires minimum room.

Chinatown - This 1999 title keeps hitting the table. It is liked by a number of our different gaming couples and family so I play it more than I'd like. I do think it is a very good game though.

Vegas Showdown - This one is another "older" big hit in the house. It looks AT, but it is pure Euro in design. It is an optimisation game where you optimise your return for your money. It's not a betting game and it isn't really a bidding game either, although you may get your bid "pipped" by an opponent.

Café International - Dipping into 1989, this very light Euro has a small amount of strategy and blocking.

Still playing No Retreat! and Burma by PBEM. The HIS game PBEM has stalled, sputtered and probably died. As Mr.President said (in Death Race 2000) "It was the dastardly French!"

Soloing Ambush and PG, but haven't made time for either last week as HλLF-LIFE² and Panzer Corps have taken up my few spare hours.




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11. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:238]
Kris Moulton
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Halifax
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Navegador
Ricochet Robots new to me
Mondo new to me
Jungle Smart new to me
Thurn and Taxis new to me
Strasbourg new to me
Mage Knight Board Game
Egizia
For Sale
At the Gates of Loyang new to me
Dominion

A lot of new games this week. I played some modern classics that I had missed out on. Ricochet Robots was a fun brain exercise. It's definitely a game where you will be trounced by experienced players. It is all skill but is pretty fun too. Mondo is quite good and I think it's a bit underrated. It has the fun of building from Galaxy trucker without the destruction phase. It's also a very attractive game. The map you create on the board looks really nice when the round is finished.

Strasbourg was one of the few feld games I hadn't tried and I don't think it will be one of my favourites. The first game is going to be bad for most players as the game requires a lot of forward planning. I liked things about it but it hasn't jumped to the top of my to-buy list.
At the gates of Loyang was also new to me and I really like Agricola, Le Havre and Ora et Labora so I had to at least give this one a try. I played it 2 players which is supposed to be the best number and I really enjoyed it. It's got some interesting things going on and has a decent amount of interaction. I'll have to see if I can pick up a copy someday.

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