GCL Gelato 40 - Ten-hut!
Dan
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ABOUT GCL mb GELATO DIVISION mb SUBSCRIPTION THREAD

Policy: 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.

Our members:
leroy43
ad79
Bixby
Capt_S
cmontgo2
Cole Wehrle
DocStryder
enzo622
GeneSteeler
HarlemMimeSchool
krismoulton
licinius
MARCO
mrs_z
oeolycus
pete belli*
PzVIE
RPardoe
scoutmom
Sluggonics
wifwendell

This week's topic:

Getting these new recruits combat ready.
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1. Board Game: Basic Training [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Dan
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California
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TEN-HUT new recruits. At ease. Welcome to GCL boot camp. You've already met the sarge, and while he seems like a nice guy, when the dice hit the cup, he'll skin any of ya in his way. Best remember that.

GCL Veterans, take a good look at these green recruits:

Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Thunder Alley: Crew Chief Expansion - Coming soon to Kickstarter!
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Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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The Coat of Arms of Clan Montgomery - Scotland. Yes, that's a woman with the head of a savage in her hand, and an anchor. No clue what it means, but it's cool.
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Andrew Laws
Canada
British Columbia
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"I play to win, as much or more than any egoist who thinks he's going to win by other means. I want to win the match. But I don't give in to tactical reasoning as the only way to win, rather I believe that efficacy is not divorced from beauty."
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Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Devoted Follower of the Most Holy Church of the Evil Bob. Possessed and down the road to become chaotic, evil & naughty. All hail the Evil Bob and his Stargate.
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Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
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Winner of the C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence
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Greeley
Colorado
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ROLL-CALL, recruits. Name, rank, favorite gelato flavor, best game of 2012, favorite wargame, what got you into consim, and any other relevant data we should know about you before we test your grit.
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2. Board Game: Wargaming: an Introduction [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Dan
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Recruits, help us get to know you. Point us to one contribution (or many) on the ‘geek which you’re particularly proud of.
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3. Board Game: Famiglia [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1490]
Dan
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California
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Vets, catch these new friends up on GCL Gelato memes and trivia. I’ll start: there’s only one Marco (inimitable) but we all like to pretend we are Marco. It’s a little like that scene from Spartacus.

Oh, and don’t piss off Carl--he might send you free games (maybe even two copies...he’ll tell you why). It’s the worst.
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4. Board Game: Blood & Sand [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:11645]
Dan
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War’s ugly. And sometimes we see things that can’t be unseen...

But let’s keep it light! What wargame opened your eyes to something you had never considered before? Could be good; could be ugly. Either way, you walked away a changed person.
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5. Board Game: The Supreme Commander [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:5413]
Dan
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ASK THE BOSS

Let’s pelt the sarge with questions this week. Lord knows he’s the only one with any answers.

Roger, I know nothing about opera, but it’s always interesting when you write about it. How and where do I begin to appreciate opera?

(Beware scoops, I have questions with which I will ambush your entries this week. Failure to answer will necessitate a court martial).
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6. Board Game: Al Rashid [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:3553]
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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The Week:

x1 Al Rashid (5)
x1 The Great Zimbabwe (9.25)
x1 Archipelago (9.5)
x1 Fading Glory (~)
x1 Clash of Cultures (6.5)

Well, as you can see, my plays have returned to normal levels this week. All things considered, I'm pretty happy that I got a fair set of plays in at all--it's been a pretty hectic week. But, my students are charming, my coursework is interesting and my research is going very well.

In the move to the semester schedule, things get much more regular. It looks like Cati and I will still be able to host our weekly little couple's dinner, and I've started attending Austin's Boards and Brews, which uses meetup.com to organize games at a local pizza place on Tuesday nights. Both of those weekly events tend towards the Euros, but I've still got my Sundays for wargames .

So, this week, at Boards and Brews, I played a new game called Al Rashid. It was a pretty interesting game, but entirely under-cooked. The rules where ambiguous. The graphic design was, in turns, inspired and totally terrible. I liked the overall look, but it seemed to have been drawn up by someone who does not play game. There were poor symbols and laughable typography.

The game itself felt a little like Vanuatu, but without the tightness and scarcity of that game. I think I'd play it again, but I'm not hopeful. Even if everything was fixed, it's questions remain pretty bland.

After the game I decided to start my own table and play The Great Zimbabwe which was a nice refreshment. I'm still trying to figure out the full potential of a craftsmen heavy position. It's great at setting the game's pace, adjustments to the pace also tighten the resources, which can stop you from easily catching up, even if you have the cash on hand.

Cati and I also played our first "Full" game of Archipelago. It's was good to see the full story arch. We are both still big fans of the game, and there's a lot to the two player game, but I think we're both itching to play with more players.

Then the week got busy, and, by the time I got home from work, I was little interesting in sitting down for a game when I could be going on a walk or bike ride. I did have a free evening Friday and opted for a nice night of Starcraft II, both playing with the new beta for Heart of the Swarm (exciting!) and doing some base set games with some old friends. We had a nice set of matches, including a knock down, dragged out brawl that lasted well over an hour--a high irregularity in starcraft. We were outnumbered about 10 to 1 but I had just enough drones to keep nimble hatches springing up around the map while my friends carefully maneuvered my remaining fliers around the board to keep the enemy forces distracted. Eventually they lost every worker and clearly didn't have the money to rebuild. What then followed was a game of cat and mouse require nearly constant engagement. After forty minutes of such play, we were totally exhausted, our hands hurt, and our minds, overloaded. Then, right when we started getting sloppy, my mobile bases started to gain traction and I was able to build and supply a hard point which we used to finally rout their army. Whew, after that we decided to call it a night .

It might have been one of my most favorite matches. It was poorly played in the start and there were lots of moments of clumsiness but as the match went on we all dialed in and put up a wonderful fight.

Let's see. Last night I taught myself Fading Glory, which was pretty wonderful. I have some rules questions, but I think the game is brilliantly conceived and, what's more, Cati expressed some interest.

Soon, I'll be heading off to play Clash of Cultures and report back on that when I return.

As for the week ahead, I think Fading Glory is certainly in the cards, along with perhaps a game of Wallenstein. Added to that, I'll be hosting my first meetup at Boards and Brews, this week, Martin Wallace's strange but engrossing Lancashire Railways.

Clash of Cultures update:

Okay, so we sat down for a 3 player game of Clash of Cultures. The whole thing took about 3.5 hours to play, and about 45 minutes to teach. I think with experienced players the whole things is likely a two hour affair.

The game was pretty good. It's an enjoyable civ-builder well in the mold of a game like the FFG Civ. That is to say, a game way more concerned with modeling a board game adaption of a video game rather than modeling an actual civilization. I think this is one of the things that keeps Tresham and Eklund's civ game soundly in a league of their own. Furthermore, I think CoC helped me better understand my problems with games like this. They try to adapt video games by providing 1:1 representation of the chrome, but then, in order to make the game interesting, defer to some pretty cliche euro-elements. So, all that chrome just turns into a big currency converter ala Terra Mystica (maybe even more reductionist than that) and the whole affair boils down into a petty VP hunt, but get's procedural because its theme is resting on moving through the motions of the computer game like a tired liturgy.

It's probably worth a couple more plays, just to explore the tech tree a little more, but it doesn't stand out, though I think a lot of folks will like it.
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7. Board Game: Walk the Dogs [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:4487]
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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We had fun playing this game.
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8. Board Game: Saints in Armor [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:2792]
Jon
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I have a little bit to report this week...

My solo game of SiA continues. It was placed on hold during my trip with a week added for post-trip-brain-befuddlement. However, I found myself looming over it yesterday, peeking under the info counters to help me remember how I left things. The "White Mountain" scenario should start up again this week.

PBEM is starting to pick up again. I must admit I have been the cause of no less than three delays over the past several months. First my computer broke down. Then there was Christmas (well, I guess that one is not my fault per se). Finally, the aforementioned trip. I suspect my friends all hate me now. Sigh.... The good news is that I should be around for many months now.
Well, the games are:
For the People
Unhappy King Charles! x 2
Warriors of God
Virgin Queen
More details to follow once we get into them more.
In addition, I have a couple new ones starting up:
Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 - The campaign game this time. I will be the Soviets.
Chandragupta - How 'bout some GBoH action? Should be challenging to play via PBEM, but fun nevertheless.

Finally, I took my Christmas booty and spent it with an online Canadian game store (for the first time). Arriving at some point will be:
Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648 - I have been eying this for a few years now, but the price always scared me away. When I saw it at a decent price I took the plunge.
High Frontier - Yes...... all this Eklund talk finally made me pick up one of his games. Really, you Scoops only have yourselves to blame. LOL!
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #6 – The Spartan Army - Fleshing out the series.
Tigris & Euphrates - There you go, Euro Crowd! I played this about a year and a half ago and quite loved it. Since I had a little bit of money left over I picked this up too. And it sounds like we will be getting together with another couple in the new year to play Euro games, so the timing is good.
I do not normally purchase games in large blocks like this, but the online store has a flat $14 shipping policy whether you buy one game or a dozen. So I decided the more the merrier.
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9. Board Game: Battle Above the Clouds [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:2472]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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WEEKEND ROUND-UP

Since all my wargaming of late (for the past year or so) is via e-mail, I keep track of continuing and completed games . . .

This week, these games started:
Roads to Gettysburg, Scenario 1 v. Pete

This week, these games continued:
Battle Above the Clouds, Scenario 2 v. Gordon
Battle Above the Clouds, Scenario 6 v. Patrick
Battle Above the Clouds, Scenario 7 v. Carsten
Clash of Giants II, Ypres v. Iain
Liberty Roads, Campaign Scenario v. Guillame

This past week, these games concluded:
None.

One additional tid-bit. Games acquired: Leviathans, Crown of Roses, Wizard Kings: Expansion Maps (1-8, still need 9-12), Kutuzov. All using a portion of my annual "bonus" check.
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10. Board Game: Back to the Future [Average Rating:2.50 Unranked]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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This is the week that was:
Love Letter 2
Bears! 1
Combat Commander: Europe 1
Dixit 1
Dominant Species: The Card Game 1
Fading Glory 1
Here I Stand 1
Julius Caesar 1
Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan 1
Paris Connection 1
San Juan 1
Scrabble 1
Ticket to Ride 1

Well, after a few quiet weeks, gaming returned to my table with a vengeance!

In chronological order...

Bears! and Love Letter - Monday night my daughter wanted to play some games after dinner, and we let her pick which resulted in Bears and Love Letter.

Bears is a silly but fun game. There's a common pool of white dice in the centre that have bears and tents on them, and each player has a set of black dice that have guns, sleeping campers, and running campers. You may re-roll any or all of your black dice as much as you like. Guns shoot the bears, and sleepers and runners go with tents. Once you match a black die to a white die, it's locked in. Once there is only one kind of white die left (bears or tents), the round ends. If there are only bears left, the sleeping campers are eaten and worth negative points, while if there are tents, then the sleepers are worth lots. Otherwise, guns and runners both score points for you.

Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan - the GM for my Tuesday night RPG group didn't feel prepped enough for the session and suggested we play board games and brought OOTS along, which we played with the aptly named The Shortening expansion. OOTS is one of my favourite web comics and Xykon has to be one of my favourite bad guys ever. The game is akin to Munchkin in that the value of the gaming experience is inherently from the humour of the cards, but is a slightly better game. I'd last played OOTS when it first came out, and it might be another six years before I want to play it again. But fun while it lasted.

Combat Commander: Europe - Wednesday evening Andrew came and kicked my partisan ass with an RSG CC:E session. I'm with him about CC:E creating narratives that remind me of the comics I read when I was younger (I especially remember the Haunted tank), and also the various war movies I've seen. Someone asked me recently if I could compare CC:E to CoH, but I haven't played CoH, nor ASL. I made a choice when I got into CC:E that I liked it enough to invest into it - by which I mean not only buying things like expansion packs, but also playing it often enough that I get good at it. Good in this instance does not mean a killer opponent, although that would be fine in its own right, but good in the sense of being able to play a competitive game and not have to keep going back to the rulebook.

On Thursday, as I mentioned last list, Jonathan came over and we had a grand gaming night.

Fading Glory - we played the Salamanca scenario from Fading Glory. I now know one rule we didn't play correctly - units across a major river do no exert ZOC across a bridge, but they can attack one another! I don't know if it would have made a major difference to the outcome of our game (a draw), but there were a couple of times we had wanted to deal with the standoff we had around Salamanca!

Nevertheless, even with the errors that were made, I unabashedly love this game! A highly enthusiastic _8_ from me.

Dixit and Love Letter and Paris Connection - after Fading Glory and dinner, my family joined in for games of Dixit and Paris Connection. Dixit has become a staple for my daughter who's becoming quite adept at putting out some good zingers.

Paris Connection was only my second play, and Johathan's first. The game went well enough and Jonathan and I tied with 158 points each. It's funny - there is a lot of love for this game, and I can understand why, but there is one thing that bugs me about the game, and it's the same thing that bothers me about Hey That's My Fish - the setup takes almost as long as the actual game play. And yes, the hyperbole is deliberate - I'm sure if I took a stopwatch and timed both events, clearly the game would in fact be longer than the setup. But the train boards are, imo, a nuisance, and I made a comment that next time we should just use six bowls for the trains and if people really needed to know how many of any colour were left they could just count the right bowl.

My daughter was clamouring for one more game, despite the late hour, and so we finished off with a game of Love Letter, which my daughter won to her great delight.

Julius Caesar - Jonathan asked to play Julius Caesar, and I had not had a chance to play it in a long time, so I was happy to oblige. The game went the full five turns, and I managed to win on the final turn, decisively, with a hand of events that really allowed me to ice it. I had the event (I think Jupiter) that allows you to steal a block from your opponent, which I used to take Cleopatra (emphatically not a leader, as stated in the rules), and that let me capture Alexandria. Jonathan made a valiant comeback assault against other points on the board, but with Rome and Alexandria and both his leaders in my trophy pile, I secured a solid victory.

Julius Caesar is one of the best games Columbia has released.

Now, I had intended to get Keyflower to the table, but Huch did not include the English rules and while I can read the German rules just fine, given the amount of time we had available at the pub, I decided to let it rest for the moment. Instead we played...

Dominant Species: The Card Game - this is a classic case of a game that is engaging, easy to understand, playable, and otherwise unremarkable just like the over 250 other games I've rated 6-7. That said, it works well as a two player game and the final score saw us only a point apart after the bonus/penalty for being ahead/behind on the survival track kicked in.

San Juan - I love San Juan, and after adding the expansion cards from the Alea Treasure Box a couple of years ago, this one has not only a new lease on life, but is solidly one of my favourite games. I've not really played any of the other tableau builders that have been oft cited as better than or replacing San Juan such as Race for the Galaxy or Glory to Rome, but San Juan is still doing it for us and I don't see the need to add to the unplayed/seldom played games pile. I have no shortage of those!

Ticket to Ride - we finished with a set of TTR played over with our phones. I like this game well enough in its real version. I love the app.

The world of VASSAL
As if all that weren't enough, I also joined a new pbem HIS game. I'm now in three. One is in its last turn (I could be wrong), one's in turn 2, and this one's in that initial negotiation phase. In my other recent HIS game, I saw something I'd never seen before - the Ottomans lost the field battle against Buda, including the bonus dice from their home card! The Buda Garrison was eliminated, but the Ottomans had to retreat1

I'm still playing one active Unhappy King Charles and 1989 game. I'm up for some VASSAL pbem action if anyone wants to pin me down for a game of something.

It's good to be back in the gaming saddle.
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11. Board Game: World Without End [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:465]
Matt Robertson
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
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The BixCON Series of gaming events: A combination of Great Friends, Great Food, & Great Drink!
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I figured it was time that I started reporting back in. Do not want Roger to assign me to Latrine duty.

Games Played Last Week 2013-01-13 to 2013-01-19

Express x1 @ Bixbys
This is a cool little card game that I have played a couple of times now. I would like to try the team variant. Good filler and solid game in the collection.

Core Worlds x1 @ Bixbys
This is my third play and I enjoy this game more with each play. I do not think I will ever have a deck builder in my top tier of games, but this has some interesting decisions to explore. This play included the expansion.

Guillotine x1 @ Bixbys
Fun little filler. I enjoy this as an appetizer once in awhile. I played a lot of this with my Nephew in Nova Scotia a few years ago. Good fun filler that is quick to teach and play.

Las Vegas x1 @ ChewsDay Challenge
I really enjoy this as an ice breaker at public gaming events. It is quick and easy to teach. I really like the copy I made and carry it around in a Crown Royal bag.

Kakerlaken Poker x1 @ ChewsDay Challenge
Another silly ice breaking game that gets played at ChewsDay Challenge.

Guillotine x1 @ ChewsDay Challenge
Played this again at ChewsDay Challenge.

King of Siam x1 @ ChewsDay Challenge
Got to try this at ChewsDay Challenge and I think this game is a real gem. As I was learning/playing the game, it became obvious that the simple game has hidden depth. Would like to play a few more times to explore this one.

Fighting Formations x1 @ Bixbys
A friend and I are learning this game and decided to play this again. (We played a couple of weeks back and butchered the rules). We played scenario-0 again and this time the rules pretty much fell in place. With the mechanics now in place, we hope to play a few more times to delve into the strategy of the game. I really like the Order Matrix.

1st & Goal x1 @ Lancaster's Taphouse
The location says it all. This is a pretty decent game for a pub. I think it will be one of my "go to" pub games for awhile.

World Without End x1 @ Bixbys
This was my second play of this. I am really impressed with this game design. The event card and how it is oriented when played creates some interesting choices. Definitely want to play this one some more.

Aton x2 @ Bixbys
Learned this game and played a couple of quick games. Clever 2 player game. This is perhaps pub worthy.

Other Gaming Activities
The ChewsDay Challenge series of events is still occupying a fair bit of time and effort. The effort is paying off as we are grappling with the success of this event. We are averaging 22.5 attendees each week and have had 75 people come through the event. 26.9% of the attendees have been female, so our efforts at making this a family friendly event are paying off. It is good to see a trend towards gender-equity attendance in our local gaming scene. It confirms that there is a demand and that the hobby just requires some stewardship. We have lots of additional plans for this series of events as well as league play. One of our local gamers is running a Twilight Struggle League once a month at the event. We are now in the process of streamlining the event to make it less burdensome for us in an ambassadorial role. After all, we want to play games too and not just filler games.

I am in full swing of planning BixCON IV. The Family Day long weekend is February 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th this year. Looks like we will have solid attendance and the game schedule is taking shape quite nicely.

The www.saskgames.com website is still growing with members and activity. As chief cook and bottle washer for the site it is a bit of an ongoing demand on my time. It is certainly not time I begrudge as it is really heart warming to see the site take shape and fulfill the vision. I really hope I get some volunteers this year to help with a number of initiatives we have on the go. Anyone interested?
http://forums.saskgames.com/index.php?topic=2307.0

I have been busy wading through all of the rules and expansions for Supremacy to make a workable and enjoyable rule set. I have everything ever produced for the game, including a dry-mounted and laminated Mega Map. I have a six player game scheduled for Saturday February 3rd and it will be my first play in probably 15 years. Looking forward to it.

Other than that, welcome to all the new scoops. Viva Gelato.
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12. Board Game: World in Flames [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:967] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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So over the past week (and officially, when does the week run, anyway?) I played WIF twice. With two separate groups. My ftf multiplayer game continued (I'm the Soviets, it's July/August 1944... aah, good times). And on Saturday night we launched a live-via-vassal-and-skype 3-player game with my buddy in Oregon and HIS buddy in Guam. I'm the Axis. An inauspicious start: on the first Allied impulse, the French assaulted and captured Saarbrucken. Sigh.

Also PBEM games of For the People, Virgin Queen, and Angola continue. In Angola (I'm FAPLA) I dashed out of Luanda to smack the UNITA forces around in Lobito because we're falling behind and I have to do something to change the dynamic which is slowly strangling me and my MAPLA allies...

And finally Divine Right is on my solitaire table though I only got one turn in this week.
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13. Board Game: The Wheel of Time Collectible Card Game [Average Rating:5.34 Overall Rank:14698]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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The week that was

Found this in the mail on Monday:


It' been 15 years since I started reading Wheel Of Time and although I am happy I will be able to read the finale of the story, after all it's been through, I am kinda sad to see it end. It's been a good journey and I think Brandon Sanderson did the series justice with his writing.

Tuesday I had to contact GMT as they had declined my pre-order for Fading Glory even though my credit card had been billed. One of the office ladies there cleared it up and shipped the game out that same day. So the waiting will go on for a couple of weeks, if not a month. Not too happy about that as I was looking forward to the game.

Memoir '44: Equipment Pack Bonus Scenarios on Wednesday. Played "French stand near Arras" twice.
This scenario has a cool rule in that the Allies get to roll a die at the start of each turn they are tied or behind the Axis on medals, and that die can give them reinforcements in the form of a British inf, armor or arty unit.

First time around I was the Allied and after reinforcing my French tropps with a Tommy, I took an early 4-0 lead, but was very close to overstretching my units and running out of steam, but 4-0 is a solid lead and in the end I took it 6-4, but had 3 units with only 1 figure left.

Switching sides I took a the initiative as the Germans and gained a medal, lost a medal, gained amedal and so on. This allowed my Allied opponent to enter 7 British units as reinforcements, and seriously threaten my forward units. But may gain/give tendencies held firm and I edged out a 6-5 win.

The Memoir '44: Equipment Pack Bonus Scenarioscollection of scenarios is fun. It has new rules on reinforcements as demonstrated above, but also introduces some new Exit Rules where only Full Strength units yield medals. Fun scenarios.

Thursday and Friday was spent in the company of Darkfriends, Asha'man and Aes Sedai.

Saturday saw me invited to this fine collection of Gelato eaters, of which I am grateful. me and my daughter also started building the Robogator from the Lego Mindstroms set. I also got in the last part of the Monte Carlo 2013 rally for Rallyman. Excellent game, from start to finish.


Sunday I made erasers together with my daughter and a friend of her.

EDIT: Forgot to add PBEM games in progress:
Memoir '44
Fall Belb campaign as Axis.
Island Hoppers campaign as Allies.
Fall of Poland campaign as Allies.
Fall of Poland campaign as Axis.

No Retreat! The Russian Front
Campaign game as a lousy Russian commander.
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14. Board Game: Divided Republic [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:4334]
Marco Arnaudo
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
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First things first, welcome to all the new recruits!



Next, about last week...

Early in the week, I played the Smolensk scenario in Fading Glory twice, and it's definitely my favorite scenario. Terrain challenges, fun events, and problematic terrain obstacles make it a very rich experience.

Then, I spent most of the gaming week playing Divided Republic in 4-player solitaire mode, just what we needed for our multiple-personality disorder (oh, shut up already!). I quite enjoyed the game; after trying several other political card-driven games in the past, all of which were much more complex and long than this one, I definitely appreciated the straightforward mechanics, limited but meaningful choices (which kept the story going), and enough historical flavor from cards and unique faction traits.

Saturday night, my friend Mike came over and we played a tourney style game of Dust Tactics (my favorite game these days, for those new to this forum). I led the SSU against his fierce Axis warriors. We had both selected armies with a small number of uber-powerful units, which in return magnified the luck factor in the game. How? Well, in the opening moves I had some preternaturally disgraceful rolls, which caused the annihilation of some of my units, and which resulted in half of my army being decimated in turn two. This is an eventuality you can prevent by fielding a larger amount of smaller units, because even the most incredible and overkill enemy attacks will only reduce a small portion of your forces each time. Twelve hits against a single target will destroy your most expensive tank, leaving your army seriously crippled, but they would still do no more than destroying a single group of cheap Chinese volunteers, if that's the target, and you would have a lot of people left to avenge their memory afterwards.

But oh well, I wanted to try some big guys (like Winter Child), and that was the price I paid. Still, not wanting to waste a DT night by dragging a doomed game to its inevitable conclusion, I gladly conceded halfway through turn 2, and we set up the game again using the same units on a different board. This time the gods of the dice did not act with the same viciousness as before, and we enjoyed a long, nuanced, multifaceted, incredibly tactical, tense and balanced duel. Oh, how I love this game!!!

I also continued my games by forum of Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Marvel Super Heroes (1984). I must say I find myself really captivated by RPG'ing by forum, and much more so than I had originally anticipated!


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15. Board Game: Merchant of Venus (second edition) [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:607]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Alright, first I want to thank you guys here for the warm welcome (given the fact that the list's name is about ice-cream, it could also have been a cold reception meeple)

As a married man, my gaming has to consider my family life - wifey agreed that two Saturdays a month I can hang out with my gaming friends in the basement.

To coordinate our gaming, I started a Guild here on BGG, called Knights of the IKEA Table, where we try to coordinate our gaming Saturdays. This works surprisingly well - I remember the times before this, when we used the phone to organize gaming. Having a forum is a way better alternative! Recommended!

With an attendance of four guys (including me) this Saturday I wanted to bring out the new edition of Merchant of Venus (second edition). I can say I'm a huge The Avalon Hill Game Co fan, having more than 300 games of this company on my shelves, so I was really excited about the re-design (I disliked the new Dune though) and looked forward to explore the galaxy again (my last game of MoV was 15 years ago or so).

I was not disappointed. They streamlined the game play and added a few things here and there and removed others. All in all, 4 hours of fun.

After that, we played some smaller games, like the actual German Game of the Year Kingdom Builder (very light strategy game, but entertaining), 7 Wonders (always a winner in my group), and Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant, a new design from Martin Wallace (who surely is one of my favorite designers).

Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant is - unfortunately - a typical Eurogame. Although I like the topic, gameplay is very dry and the graphic job that Mayfair Games did is way below average. I wonder if that game will hit the table again ...

We ended the evening with a quick game of Martian Dice and at 2:30 AM the guys tried to find their way home through all the snow outside.

Sunday my wife wanted to play Martian Rails and who am I to deny wifey her wishes? meeple
Although I prefer the Empire Builder Rail Games with geographical regions here on earth, it was a nice variant (where you have most troubles finding the fictional cities on the game board).

All in all it was a great weekend and gaming-wise, I'm satisfied. meeple


EDIT: And a geeky event also occured - a friendly postman brought me the new ASL Journal #10 full with articles and scenarios for my favorite wargame!!!
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16. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:116] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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I noticed that Stig plays a lot of M44 ... probably you others too! I have some troubles with this game and ask for advice. I don't want to troll, but start a serious discussion.

I bought M44 when it came out and all the expansions thereafter. I played a few games of the original scenarios (in the base box) and a friend of mine asked me to play all the scenarios from the Eastern Front pack with him. So we did that.

We managed to do it on one (long) evening. After that, I put the game away.

It is one beauty. Nice looking minis, variable terrain, what's not to like?

During play, I had the impression that all you need to win this game is to roll better than your opponent. Just keep your units spread so that all the possible cards you draw will find a unit able to shoot, and then roll.

What I missed were real objectives, like "take that brigde", "control 3 hill hexes" or similar. There were scens who offered one or two VPs for doing this, but it was unimportant, because killing enenmy units is far easier to achieve.

So I abandoned the game ... any advice for going back and trying again? Any scenario recommendations from you guys? I really wanted to like this game, as it offers quick play and many different scenarios.

Any comment is apprectiated meeple
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17. Board Game: The Siege of Jerusalem (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:2307]
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
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Played this on Saturday at my local wargaming club 19 & One. We're playing with four players, which seems ideal to make things move a little quicker (so many stacks of Roman missile fire to calculate!). I'm on the Judean side, and, this being my first time playing, it was a little overwhelming seeing all those Romans hitting the walls of the New City!

We were blessed with really good rolls, so we did some decent damage to the Romans, although they breached the walls by turn 3 and unleashed Titus and some cohorts into the city to ravage a couple ranks of crappy Judean militia. You do NOT want those guys to get stuck under chains of continuing attacks from Roman cohorts! They will just chew you up. Fortunately, we had enough of a screen to prevent the Roman rams from getting up to the Tyropean City walls to start inflicting damage that would carry over to the next assault phase, and, everyone getting hungry around dinnertime, we offered our concession of the New City, which the Romans accepted.

We'll be on hiatus from this next Saturday, as one of the players has a scheduling conflict, but we'll be back on the following week for the next assault phase. Looking forward to it, especially as now I'll have a better idea of what the hell I'm doing!
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18. Board Game: Space Cadets [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1224]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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OK, let's try this again. I was nearly finished with my entry and hit the dreaded keystroke combination that closed the window - and wiped it all out.

Had a chance to play Space Cadets on Friday. A lot of people are asking "is it like Space Alert?" Yes and no. Yes, because it is a co-op game set in space where people are each doing different tasks. But that's about as far as the similarity goes. Space Cadets is more a set of games within a game - Crokinole, Memory, Yahtzee, Poker - each player has their own task to do. There are several phases, some timed, some not and a lot of interaction and discussion. One thing these mini-games does is to pretty much eliminate the Leader Syndrome. It also makes from some interesting moments when the card is revealed that requires at least two players to switch jobs.

The game is tough. Even on the introductory training mission we barely survived - but it was a lot of fun.

edit: Just want to clarify that it does not amount to 'multi-player solitaire' at all.

Aside from that, my copy of Keyflower showed up and I'm hoping to get that to give that a try this week. And playtesting has started for Combat Commander: Battle Pack #6 – Sea Lion.
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19. Board Game: Zip-It [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:7799]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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2 questions:

Why does a computer file get smaller when you zip it, and why aren't all files zipped by default?

How common are catdoors/catflaps in USA?
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20. Board Game: Unhappy King Charles! [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:1370]
Łukasz
Poland
Warsaw
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Phew.

These were long six months, weren't they?

Normality gets back to our lives. I received a lovely postcard from one of the members of the list, hopefully mine also got to where it should have got to. I haven't touched a wargame counter since April last year, maybe it's to dust off the old interest in wargaming?

Would anyone opt for a game by Vassal? I have The Reds, Ardennes'44, No Retreat, Red Winter -- all these I want to play but have not read the rules for any of them so it would go this way that if someone expresses his or her interest in the game, it gives me a punch strong enough to read the rules and in a few days revert with a neatly set up Vassal board for the game in question!

Meanwhile, we can settle for a game of Unhappy King Charles, FAB:The Bulge, Twilight Struggle, whatnot!
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21. Board Game: Polis: Fight for the Hegemony [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:530]
Andrew Laws
Canada
British Columbia
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Wait! Wait!

I spent a chunk of the week in New York for work so didn't get to play anything. As a result I'm going to hump in some stuff from the last week and a bit*

Played a game of Polis: Fight for the Hegemony with one of my local mates. A very tightly-wound game with plenty of options but not enough resources to perform all (or many of them) making for interesting decisions; or as my friend put it: "Sh!t is tight."

Got a game of Combat Commander: Europe in with Roger. Despite his claims that it was an ass-kicking it was actually fairly close until the final turn whereupon I broke the back of his defence and boogied off the board for a flattering VP total.

Also, engaged in online games of Brass: Lancashire and Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, Brass I usually do very well at, TtA distinctly less so.

*a 'bit' being intentionally vague.

Double Wait! I also got Fields of Fire in a trade and have been gearing up to the task of figuring out how to begin the contemplation of playing this one.
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22. Board Game Designer: Martin Wallace
Łukasz
Poland
Warsaw
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Right, maybe after all it's me being oversensitive in terms of certain things, but there's a charity auction, conducted by Martin Wallace, and all money collected will go a children's hospice. 'Nough said.

Take a look, there may be something you will have interest in:

http://www.treefroggames.com/charity-auction

Cheers!
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