2012 WARGAMERS Look what Santa Grogs sent me!
Joseph Boeke
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La Crescenta
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Welcome to the 5th annual edition of the "Look at what Santa Grogs sent me!"

This year's exchange has well over 100 participants again, which makes the wargamer secret santa the biggest one outside the main BGG wide exchange!


Thank you to Roger:

"L'état, c'est moi."
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for running the exchange this year!

Details and rules for the exchange can be found here: mbWargamer Secret Santa

This year's microbadge will be automatically awarded to participants.

Lists from past years:

mb 2008 WARGAMER Look what Secret Santa Sent Me...
mb 2009 WARGAMERS Look what Santa Grogs sent me!
mb 2010 WARGAMERS Look what Santa Grogs sent me!
mb 2011 WARGAMERS Look what Santa Grogs sent me!

So, for all of us obsessive compulsive types, especially the ones who fret "did my secret Santa gift actually arrive?", this is where you can post what your secret Santa sent you.

Please only make an entry when you actually receive the present!

Another good practice is to put a link on your profile page so your Secret Santa knows where you have posted the feedback so s/he doesn't have to sort through all of the entries to find yours.


If your Santa sends you more than one item, just list them all in one listing. A good example of how to make an entry containing multiple gifts is located at: this entry.

Remember to include any comments you want your Secret Santa to know!

Also, for all of your statistical pleasure, be sure to check out the Most Popular Games of the 2012 Wargame Secret Santa Exchange GeekList by:

J.L. Robert
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Sherman Oaks
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Many thanks to him for compiling the reports!

Merry Christmas fellow wargamers!
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1. Board Game: Victory in the Pacific [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:1252] [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked]
Peter Collins
Canada
Prince Rupert
BC
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Grogs comes through with the classics. One of the few AH titles I never owned back in the day. With Pacific Victory, this should pacify my PTO jones.

Woot!

Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815


Avalon Hill edition! Another classic! Well-loved and complete and with some useful strategy sheets included.

With Quebec 1759, War of 1812 and Rommel in the Desert, this completes my collection of the original four block games created by Gamma/Columbia games which I enjoyed so many times when I was a student at UBC in the 80's.

THANKS so much, Santa Grogs! thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

Struggle for Catan


And a nice little filler, since my odds of getting my girlfriend to play those other games are mighty slim. I kid, she's already played Pacific Victory with me once (and enjoyed it, I'd add). But games like this are more her cup of tea.

Thanks Santa Grogs, for thinking of Willow too.

There was also a custom Agricola occupation card that made me laugh. But Grogs, I always need more rounds to complete my plans, not fewer!


Edit: Fixed that for me.



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2. Board Game: Combat Commander: Pacific [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:448]
Rick Thompson
United States
Taylor
Michigan
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Package was sitting on the front step when I arrived home today. I was thrilled! But the question arose, open now or wait.

Who was I kidding? That box had no chance of staying sealed. Sure, I used the justification that, even though this was sent by Santa Grogs, my birthday was yesterday and you don't make it to a half-century without making a few compromises.

Not only was this game one of my top choices, there was another with it! That was Combat Commander: Battle Pack #3 – Normandy!


I've just recently joined the ranks of the CC fans and have been looking at expanding my collection. This gift was more than I had hoped for!

Thanks for the chance to participate and THANKS SANTA GROGS!

UPDATE - 26 DECEMBER 2012

Today, I found a package on my front porch when I arrived home from work. Since I wasn't expecting anything, I was taken aback.... until I remembered that Santa Grogs had contacted me just after the games above were delivered. I was asked if I was a player or collector first and it I minded used games. My answer was that I am a player first and used games are not a problem. That was about a month ago, so it slipped my mind. So, I opened the box and this is what I saw:



An S&T! But what's under it???



Five wrapped boxes! surprise Since it was Christmas Day +1, it was time to find out what Santa Grogs had sent.



Red Beach One: Tarawa
Ambush!
Ambush! Move Out!
Ambush! Purple Heart
Ambush! Silver Star
Semper Fi!
Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918
McPherson's Ridge
Western Front Tank Leader

All these games are well cared for and most of them are unpunched.

I am absolutely floored by the generosity of Santa Grogs. These games are more than I ever could have expected and I am grateful and humbled. There's a lot of game play with all the games in this entry. 2013 is looking to be a good gaming year.

Once more, I send a big THANK YOU to Santa Grogs!
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3. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:96]
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
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I got a GeekMail right away from Santa Grogs, telling me his elves were expeditious this year, and that I would be getting two packages which I could open and enjoy right away.

So when an Amazon box showed up on my porch, I figured - this must be one of the packages. Thinking that it would be wrapped (ninja) I went ahead and opened the box - but found both gifts inside! (Indeed, Santa Grogs mailed me again and noted that the elves had sent one package after all!)

Anyway, inside I found the following:



Not only did I get the fantastic game, but Santa Grogs did some proper recon and knows I enjoy my military history books, dutifully sending along some appropriately game-related reading!

Anyway, I had planned on waiting till Christmas, even if Santa Grogs said it was okay to open my gifts before Thanksgiving, but since I blundered into the shipping box already... whistle

EDIT: How did I forget to thank Santa Grogs for his generosity?

Thank you Santa Grogs and Merry Christmas!
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4. Board Game: Combat Commander: Mediterranean [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked]
Jon Sharp
United States
Bloomingdale
Illinois
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Oops. Accidentally posted this over on the regular "Look what Santa sent me" geeklist. I think I gave a few people a coronary.

Anyway: I got a message saying that Santa worked fast, and boy did they! Got home this evening to this sitting on my doorstep, and I am so excited to get this on the table. I recently picked up CC:E on the GMT sale, and was really wishing for this. Thank you so much Santa Grogs!
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5. Board Game: Memoir '44: Eastern Front [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked]
z morgan
United States
Frankfort
Kentucky
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Hooray! Santa Grogs had this delivered this week, along with Memoir '44: Mediterranean Theater and a copy of "The Desert Fox," starring James Mason - 1951.

Thanks Santa!
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6. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:765]
James Miscavish
United States
St. Joseph
Missouri
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Friday night, I came home late from a speech and debate tournament (coaching, not competing) to find my wife had opened a box, leaving two games on our table.

After a long night of judging, waiting, and coaching, I came home to the fantastic surprise of Andean Abyss.

I almost p500'd this, but I was sort of full-up of GMT games at the moment (hehe...yeah right...), but THANK GOODNESS for Santa Grogs. I LOVE Volko and Labyrinth, and I may go p500 Cuba Libre, right now.


AND

Hammer of the Scots


Santa read my wishlist like a BOSS.

Two years ago, Santa Grogs sent me War of 1812, from Columbia Games, as my first foray into block wargames. I like it A LOT, and have introduced it to many of my gaming buddies. It's elegant, plays pretty quickly...all that good stuff.

But, Hammer of the Scots has probably been on my wishlist since I joined the 'Geek, and I've never got around to buying it for myself. Thanks Santa Grogs. I'll get these to the table over Thanksgiving toot sweet.
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7. Board Game: Samurai Battles [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:3354]
Bill Vee
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Thank you, Grognard Santa!


This is the second year in a row that Grognard Santa has sent me Borgian goodness. It was a pack full of Memoir '44 expansions last year. Are you trying to tell me something, Santa?

All in all, I'm a happy camper. Thanks, Santa Grogs!
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8. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:418]
Pierre Åberg
Sweden
Borås
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My santa grog have told me not to open my gifts (there is supposed to be one more on the way if I understood things correct) before christmas eve. But today an sms reached me telling me my package from Amazon EU was at my local post-office. I took some pics with my iPad at the parcel and compared it to the TS box so we have something to compare to. At the box it says it weighs in at 1.93 kg.

Edit:
Made a deal with santa, since it was my birthday the other day he said I could wait for the other package and choose one to open or just open this one and let the other one wait for christmas. 1989 just as some of us were speculating about. Thank you very much santa!

Edit 2: Now my second game has arrived! I will post pics tomorrow after a friend have been over and wrapped it for me. Thank you so much santa grog!

Edit 3: Removed the pic. Today is Christmas eve and my santa grogs gave me permission to open my 2nd gift today since we open our presents at christmas eve here in Sweden. After ripping it up I found Nightfighter


Thank you so much santa grogs!
1989 have already been played twice and I will make sure that Nightfighter also get to the table soon.
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9. Board Game: Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:3750]
Keith Mageau
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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My WSS package arrived today. Being an idiot, I caught a glimpse of the Amazon invoice before the wife snatched it from me and chewed me out. shake The packages contained what I imagine is a game and also a smaller package, maybe a book; not sure though. If I saw, what I think I saw, thank you Santa Grogs!!!!!!!! I will await your permission to open or Christmas Day whichever comes first.

EDIT

So, with permission to open the packages which my 11 yr old did for me. I was excited to find Bloody April and the corresponding book by Peter Hart. Thank you Santa Grogs. I am reading the rules as we speak!
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10. Board Game: Bataan! [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:6851]
Glen Oberhauser
United States
Golden
Colorado
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and...




Woot, woot!!! (Games with exclamation points was the theme this year.)

My first wargame Secret Santa (though I've done the plain vanilla version a few times), and I'm totally psyched.

I've been on a Vance von Borries kick lately, so I'm really excited about Bataan. I'm also reading more and more about Russian history, so the new reprint of Reds! was high on my list.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Santa Grogs. And thanks for the nice notes. None of this childish taunting that small people (such as myself) stoop to. I'll get those counters clipped as you recommended. You're the best. Happy Holidays, and may some of your wishes come true also.
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11. Board Game: Hammer of the Scots [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:307]
Florian Faust
Germany
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Hello Santa,

your package arrived. Not knowing who sent it, I first contacted your little helper, then posted in the wrong geek list and lastly, forced by the fear of killing puppies or kittens, to opened it. Inside I found a nicely wrapped present.
Now that I'm sure, I won't kill anything, I'll wait for your OK or till christmas eve.

Thank you very much, where ever you are.
Florian



On christmas eve I opened it and Thank you very much!!!
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12. Board Game: No Retreat! The Russian Front [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:657]
D Low
Singapore
Singapore
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AND

Nations at War: White Star Rising

Dear Santa, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! kiss

Santa told me I could open the package whenever I wanted, but the notice on the box told me its contents. laugh

I went through a minor roundabout (and an almost sleepness night) when Santa told me yesterday that the package has been delivered. zombie

The local elves messed up the location but I managed to find it within the building this morning!!! Sweet to have the package in my hands finally. Box shots tonight when I get home from work!!!


(late night at work, so they are keeping me cheerful).
*edit : NR came with sleeved cards and a GMT counter tray. thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

3 cheers to Santa.
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13. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:104]
Poul Soegaard
Denmark
Hobro
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So A package showed up at home today, and I made the ultimate decission to open it, without instructions from my wargame secret santa, and I was amazed first by the size and weight of the box, so already a smile was on my face.

Upon opening it the top game was Combat Commander: Europe, one of the first war games to even go on my wishlist, and a sure 1 there, but wait, beneath that game was Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations, which had been added to my wishlist when I moved and my regular wargaming partner was a little further away.

So all in all a excellent selection of games for me, and I will begin reading the rules immediatly, and being an obsessive counter clipper, properly that also :-)

Thank you very much Santa, even though I wonder, does he really live in Brazil as the invoice indicates???

Merry christmas (early one though)
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Justin Nordstrom
United States
Drums
Pennsylvania
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Today, after several hilarious taunts, I got the games from my SS. This is my first time doing SS and I have to say it's awesome. My SS was funny, responsive, and extremely generous. In today's box: Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 and Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291 both new in shrink. I know my SS spent generously on me, but I also appreciate the funny quips, santa-as-drill instructor messages, and overall great spirit of this.

I'm not sure of the protocol here, but if it's OK, I would be thrilled if my SS would get in touch with me so that I can thank her/him personally!
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15. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:765]
Jon Kolman
United States
Sacramento
California
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Well....just got home from work and I see that a package was delivered. I thought to myself, "Hmmmm. I haven't ordered anything except a few GPU fans for my laptop, and I am pretty sure those wouldn't come in a box this big." Well, I also had some Del Taco tacos and didn't want the tacos to get cold, so I ran in the house and scarfed down all 6 and then decided to rip into the box.

First thing I noticed was the wrapping, and on the wrapping was a card that said, "Have a great time with the game. Your 2012 Wargame Secret Santa."

Aha! This is from one of my Secret Santa's! Underneath all the "peanuts", there was also another piece of paper that had a CSI.com Gift Certificate code. I thought, "Wow....this is really cool! Santa Grog is spoiling me!" After examining the package to make sure that there was no "Do not open until Christmas" warning, I just HAD to see what it was.....



Fantastic choice Santa Grog! One of my most wanted games this year!

I just want to give a HUGE thanks to my Santa Grog! And hopefully, your Santa is as good to you as you were to me!

Have a great Christmas!
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16. Board Game: Field Commander: Napoleon [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:1203]
Christopher Taylor
United States
Lake Forest
California
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When I got home there was a package by the door. My wife had ordered some goodies for the boys, so she took it and hid it before anyone could look at return address or addressee. Later, she took me aside and gave me my gift from Santa Grogs: Field Commander: Napoleon.

Woot! I've really been wanting this one for a while, having played and enjoyed the other two games in the Field Commander series. I almost picked it up at Strategicon last year from DVG, but veered off at the last moment.

I've been getting more and more interested in the Napoleonic era. This is perfect. It's a really big box and a very generous gift!

Thank you, Santa Grogs!
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17. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:63] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
 
Daniel
United States
Santee
California
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Santa Grogs was very generous to me this year! Thank you so much!

Star Wars X-Wing the core game PLUS more dice PLUS the TIE Advanced expansion!
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18. Board Game: Bulge 20 [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:5783]
Tim Isakson
United States
Richardson
Texas
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I've gotten a few good taunts from Santa Grogs, and he mentioned that I'd be getting a game this week - which turned out to be this gem from Victory Point Games. I've only played a couple of times, but it was unique in scale and how the game played (it's trying to show what the different staff officers in an army would be doing - not having been in the military, I can't comment on accuracy, but it was interestingly different).

This has been on my wishlist for some time - so thanks, Santa Grogs!
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19. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:765]
Angeral Peng
Taiwan
Taipei City
Wenshan District
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Thank you, Santa Grogs.

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20. Board Game: Rommel in the Desert [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:1076]
Joseph Hayden
United States
Amelia
VA
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While at work, a large flat rate USPS box came to the house. When my wife told me it had arrived I knew it had to be from Santa Grogs. I then had to suffer through another 3 hours of work and an hour long drive home.

I opened the box when I got home and found:





These two have been on my wishlist for sometime now, so I am excited to finally get them. Thank you very much Santa Grogs for your generosity.

I also have to thank my Santa Grogs for his patience. I received a taunt right away, but I have been working so many hours I took far too long to get a response posted up on my profile page. Not only do I appreciate the games, but the taunt helped to put a smile on my face during a very long week at work. I do have to say though I am a bit relieved you thought twice about the gift for Total War though.

So once again, a big thank you to my Santa Grogs, and a heart felt happy holidays to everyone.
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21. Board Game: World at War: Operation Garbo [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Anthony Lazaroski
United States
Montgomery
IL
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Holy Bananas. Santa Grogs went way above and beyond the call of duty for me this year. I see a package waiting on my doorstep and I immediately knew who it was from (well it did say Santa Grogs on the return address...duh).

I rushed inside to cut open the box to find a stocking sitting on top:


A Stocking? I've never gotten an actual stocking before...this has a chance to be quite epic I think. But before I go opening anything I find a note in the box:


Ok So I have orders to open this when ever I feel like it...and dammit I felt like it, had been a long week and a crazy month at work. So I laid it all out:


And removed the items from the stocking:


As tradition would dictate, I open all the items in the stocking first:

Are you serious? This coulda been the whole gift there was so much in there!
- The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game - The Battle of Lake-town
- Battletech CCG (2 decks +6 boosters)
- Pirates At Ocean's Edge (2 packs)
- And some candy!

Wow, not sure how this can get better...but I still have things to open!


Freaking what?! All this too? I must have been good this year
- World at War: Operation Garbo
- Hammer of the Scots
- World at War: Gamer's Guide
- Lock 'n Load: Battle Pack Alpha
- And later I opened the Battle pack Alpha only to find out that Lock 'n Load: Battle Pack Bravo was stuffed in there too!

Here is the whole spread:



I have so been wanting Garbo and the Gamer's Guide as I love the WaW series, I've played a friends copy of Hammer of the Scots and loved it and am glad to have it in my collection, the LnL Battle packs are fab as I have nearly bought then a few times in the past month or so. But the Stocking stuffer stuff was awesome too! I used to play (though no longer own) Battletech CCG stuff, so this brings me way back, The LOTR Expansion was next on my get list...just spoke to a friend about getting it soon, and the Pirates stuff looks like a hoot...the wife will probably have the candy, so everybody wins!

I really don't know what I did to deserve all this but thank you SO much Santa Grogs, you made my day/month/year! The generosity of the wargamers here is beyond scope...this is why I am no longer doing the general BGG SS, and am only doing the wargamer one as it truly is the best both for giving and receiving. I will be sure to get all this played soon and I look forward to it!

Thank you again Santa Grogs!
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22. Board Game: Liberty Roads [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:1559]
Larz Welo
United States
Las Cruces
New Mexico
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Late last night, around 8pm, I heard a knock on my door and a pair of feet shuffling quickly away. "Villains?" I thought, and so grabbed my nearest wargame for protection and slowly approached the door.

Much to my surprise was a package, left by what was certainly a friendly pre-Christmas delivery elf. I brought it inside and as the box was quite large, but not at all heavy, I decided to open it right away. Inside was a copy of Liberty Roads. I figured, this must be from Santa Grogs! Twice now, Santa Grogs has gotten me a wargame from the very top of my wishlist.

Thanks Santa! I now have a Western Front game...and maybe I'll have a chance to play before I return to Indonesia! If not, I'll get to play there.
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23. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:431]
Brian Vogle
United States
Jenks
Oklahoma
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OMG. Not only did my WSS get me a copy of Washington's War, but the board is signed by the designer, Mark Herman! Talk about amazing! The only downside is now I have to hang onto it forever!

But WSS didn't stop there, he also got me a copy of Warhammer: Invasion – Legends!

Best WSS ever!
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24. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:394]
Jack Bennett
United States
Rougemont
North Carolina
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I've done the Secret Santa thing a couple times, but this is my first ever wargame secret santa. And I got the best Santa I've ever gotten.

First, a couple of taunts were sent. Santa sent me a message composed mainly of quotes from my forum posts, proving Santa had done his/her research. Then Santa decided to send me some hex paper and crayons to make my own. Finally, a few of Santa's elves had a bit of a mixup and decided to send me a copy of:

My Little Pony Hide & Seek


[Clarification: These were all part of the taunts. None of these were actually mailed to my house.]

I was out of town for a week, and as much as I love our yearly beach trip, I KNEW I had a package waiting for me and I drove a little extra fast on the way home this morning.

And there it was. To me, no instruction regarding opening time means: "OPEN ASAP." So I did. Inside?

Napoleon's Triumph


A game from the top of my wishlist that I've been eager to play!

And as if that wasn't enough, there was also a copy of:

Warriors of God


Another must-have from the list!

Thank you so much, Santa Grogs! Happy Holidays!
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25. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:96]
Blake Neff
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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Came back for winter break from school to find that this had arrived. I've never played a tactical wargame before so I'm eager to try this out. My only fear is that I'll like it too much and have to get all the expansions, as well as Napoleonics and Battles of Westeros and all of THEIR expansions!
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