The Quest for My Grail!
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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When I first started here on BGG I couldn't understand why people referred to some games out there as ‘grail games’ and would speak of them in hushed and worshipful tones. And when one was located and claimed, a resounding cheer would go up from the lucky individual and others would chime in celebrating his or her success. But what was truly confusing was the fact that no one could seem to agree on which games qualified as grail games.

It was only later that I learned that a grail game is simply a game someone desires greatly, but can never seem to get hold of no matter how hard they try. Well, that’s no concern of mine I figured, after all the games I want are all in print and available from many fine retailers across the vast and mighty internets. And even if something were to sell out or the like, I’ll just find something similar. Little did I know I was about to meet my unicorn, my will-o-wisp, my… grail game!

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1. Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2601]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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After many, many, long years of waiting finally getting a chance to play the pc game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty my love of the Starcraft universe was rekindled. And while my love for video games has been steadily replaced by board games for the most part, I was still eager for another foray into the SC world. It was then that I remembered something from several years ago...
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2. Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:345]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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Thats right, I remembered seeing several copies of Starcraft the Board Game at my FLGS and I thought "Hey, thats the perfect way to scratch this itch and combine the things I love!"

So I typed it into the BGG search, found the entry, and started reading reviews. Needless to say, I was sold. Playable by two, loads of strategy, amazing art and great miniatures!
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3. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:259]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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So, time to find myself a copy of this sweet game I figured. Can't be to hard, just pop open amazon and order away like usual right? So a few rapid clicks and types later and I was staring at the most amazing, unbelievable, and frankly ridiculous thing I had ever seen and quite possibly will ever see. Brace yourself dear readers, for what I found may shock and horrify you...
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4. Board Game: Money! [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1441]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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There was a single copy available new, such luck, for the low low price of... TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS ($235.00)! Wait, what? That has to be a typo, or a joke, or something. The game is only 5 years old, how is a box full of cartdboard and plastic worth $235?? But no, I found this to be no joke at all.
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5. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Search [Average Rating:5.06 Overall Rank:15543]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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So after I recovered from a small shock induced aneurism I sat back and thought for a moment. Wait a minute, how about that BGG Marketplace I browse now and again. Surely I will have better luck amoung fellow BGGers than the greedy soulless denizens of Amazon. Lets see what my fellow geeks have to offer.
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6. Board Game: Malifaux: Legion of Sorrow [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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A quick check of the market average value showed me a median sale price of $66. That seemed reasonable to me, so I browsed on back to the game page to check the BGG sales. Scanning the list I was met with a fresh wave of sorrow, $120+ for a new copy. It seemed even banged up used copies were going for 100+ dollars. Had the world gone mad? Had plastic and cardboard become the new gold while I slept?

(Side note: I respect people's right to sell games for whatever they want. Just trying to create a sense of drama here)
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7. Board Game: Steel and Resolve: WW1 Naval Warfare [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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But I was not to be beaten so easily! No, I proceeded to annoy many a seller of Starcraft with pleas for some kind of a deal. I communicated back and forth with many people, one of whom I was this close to handing a giant gob of money for the game, expansion, and mini expansion, until he just stopped geekmailing me back right before we figured out the shipping.
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8. Board Game: Just Wait [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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Crestfallen, I retreated to the dark and distant corners of BGG to while away my time. I checked user auctions now and again, but SC was never to appear. I knew I was missing so many auctions and sales, but I can't possibly keep tabs on them all right? There seemed naught to do but wait and hope and wait some more.
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9. Board Game: Star Wars, A New Hope [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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It was then that a light appeared at the end of the tunnel. A user posted a forum question about this very thing, trying to find auctions and the like automatically. And another user responded with a way! He provided detailed instructions on how to setup and modify a subscription to a game so that you would be notified only of geeklist and sale additions that include the game! Now, there was still some chaff to sort through (not all geeklist entries are auctions after all!) but there was hope none the less!
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10. Board Game: All Around Town Sorting Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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So whenever I went through my subscribed items and a SC entry popped up I would quickly sort it into the useless category, as most were, or weep over an auction found to late. Still, I was making progress and I knew it. Surely, any day now, my moment would come. And indeed it did.
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11. Board Game: Hero [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:12563]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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A hero arrived in the form of BGG user
Kyle Currie
United States
Oakland
California
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Dignity. Always dignity!
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and his wonderous auctions of magic and joy! My subscription jumped me right to his entry for Starcraft, and I could not believe my eyes. A couple of low bids and a BIN of only $70, what was the catch? Well, his entry was very forthright about there being some wear on the box, a couple of flying units detached from the bases (easily glued) and 1 red terran module chit missing. I'm ok with some box wear, I have glue, and I'm not sure what a red module chit is but I'm sure I can work around this.

So, bid or BIN? Well, after all this time searching and hoping and wishing I just couldn't hold out for a few dollars off. I happily made a comment of BIN
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12. Board Game: Fast Break [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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Well, back to browsing I thought, he probably won't see this until the morning anyway. Not 5 minutes later I got this in my mailbox:
Elyklord wrote:
Subject: Starcraft auction win
Nice grab on Starcraft! BINs are what I like to see! You done shopping? Or are you still going to bid on some of my fabulous items? Hahaha. If you're done, I can get you set up in the marketplace. Thanks again!

Warm regards,
Kyle
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13. Board Game: Shockforce: Battles in the Remnants of America [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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I was shocked, that is some speed right there. So I quickly and happily wrote back that I was done and ready for the marketplace. A few minutes later I noticed my subscription had been triggered again, and it was my marketplace sale for Starcraft! Bet I can buy it before he has a chance to mail me about it I thought. Two can play the speed game! Boom, item bought lickity split. Maybe a minute later I got this geekmail:
Elyklord wrote:
Subject: Re:Starcraft auction win
Alright! Glad I could help you nab a grail! Here's your marketplace link:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geekstore.php3?action=viewitem&item...

As far as how essential the chit is, I'm not sure, I've never played. I'm sure it'd be simple to construct a replacement, find the piece on Ebay or here in the spare parts listings, or contact the publisher about getting a replacement.
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14. Board Game: Hyle [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:4772]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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We completed the back and forths of the transaction in what may well be record speed, and he said he was going to pack up the game and get it send off tommorow! Such joy and luck! Then I recieved this mail:
Elyklord wrote:
Subject: shipping next week
You were all worried about the money not being cleared by today, but I totally forgot that the post office isn't even open today. Whoops! So the game will be shipped during the work week if I can find time, and at the very latest it will go out next Saturday via priority pick up. Sorry about the confusion!


A whole week more to wait! Noooooo! Entropy began to set in, I was never going to make it through...
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15. Board Game: A Motor Tour [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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By Tuesday my soul was very nearly crushed under the weight of even more waiting. It was with a heavy heart and a heavy hand that I managed to click on this geekmail:
Elyklord wrote:
Subject: Tracking number!
Hey there!

So I figured out how to ship these out during the week (lugging them to work, then shipping them on my lunch hour, hahaha), so yours will be out today! Here's your tracking number for when it gets into their system:

#### #### #### #### #### ##

You'll have to let me know when you get it! I bet you're excited, haha.

Warm regards,
Kyle


WHAT??? He gave up his lunch hour to get me and some other people our games faster?? That is ridiculous! Sheer madness I say! Friend Kyle, you must not starve yourself for the sake of others!
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16. Board Game: The Game of Deer Stalking [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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What followed can best be described as a(seemingly) long period of pure, weapons grade, package stalking. Wake up, check tracking. Get off work, check tracking, time for bed, check tracking. Frankly it was a little pathetic, and only my angel of a girlfriend kept me sane.
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17. Board Game: The Rapture Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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And then, lo and behold, the day had arrived! I got home from work and my girlfriend presented me with a package the size of, well, her...


Now that is a big a## box right there!
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18. Board Game: City of Horror [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1191]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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But wait, whats this...


Shock and horror of horrors! How can this be?? My precious game, she must be ruined, for there is no amount of packing peanuts that could save a game from postal handeling that inept!
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19. Board Game: Postal Delivery Boys [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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Sigh, time to open it up and inspect the damage I guess. But wait, whats this? He couldn't have...
He did! He clad it in bubblewrap so strong my girlfriend remarked "Hey, what gives? They don't pop, they stretch!"

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20. Board Game: Girlfriends' Intuition [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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Needless to say I was ecstatic about the condition of the game, and while I'm still not sure what a 'red module chit' is and how to get a new one, I am infinitely pleased. Maybe to pleased, as I preceded to... well, see for your self.


At which point my girlfriend took a picture and captioned it "Its not sleeping in the bed!!!"
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21. Board Game: Jumping to Conclusions [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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So finally I geekmailed Kyle about permission to use our geekmails to do this, got this response:
Elyklord wrote:
Subject: Re:Starcraft
Glad it made it! I was getting worried! Shipping to Alaska seems intuitively...treacherous! And YEAH, I'd be stoked to be in a Geeklist! Do it, and send me a link when it's up!

- Kyle


Thus ends my quest for a grail, and I can't wait to try it out! Thanks so much to
Kyle Currie
United States
Oakland
California
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Dignity. Always dignity!
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and
Rachel Christiansen
United States
Alaska
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for the help in telling this story. I hope you all have just as much luck hunting your grails, and feel free to share some stories of your own!
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22. Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game – Brood War Expansion [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
Phil Christiansen
United States
Wasilla
Alaska
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I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
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A little while after making this list I was contacted by a mysterious stranger known only as...
aaron lynch
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Who informed me he had a copy of StarCraft: The Board Game – Brood War Expansion New in Shrink that he would be happy to trade me. It was a quick and painless trade and I really hope I get to trade with him again! So I guess the saga has ended in joy and victory at last!


Well... except for StarCraft: Typhon Promotion that I still need...


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