Geek Chat League Gelato 59 - Short People
Pete Belli
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Topic for this week: Short People


A little music from Randy Newman to set the mood...





mb 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.


Head and shoulders above the rest:

leroy 43 (Roger)


The others, not listed in descending order of height:

ad79 (Stig)
Capt_S (Jon)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
cscottk (Skippen)
DocStryder (Doc)
HarlemMimeSchool (Andrew)
itsmarty (Martin)
krismoulton (Kris)
leroy43 (Roger)
licinius (Carl)
marnaudo (Marco)
mrs_z (Ania)
oeolycus (Dan)
pete belli (Pete)
PzVIE (Ron)*
scoutmom (Cindy)
Sluggonics (Kyle)
wifwendell (Wendell)
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1. Board Game: Professor Noggin's The Human Body Card Game [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Pete Belli
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People are funny about their bodies.

I stand 5 feet, 7 and 15/16 inches tall and claim to be five eight (or 172.5 cm for everybody outside the USA) on official documents. However, in my mind I'm quite tall. My entire family is vertically challenged... my mother was under five feet. In our house, I was the giant asked to get things down from the top shelf. The image formed in my subconscious at this young age has shaped my adult personality.

We all know somebody with a distorted body image. Examples include the pretty girl who doesn't think she is attractive, the person of normal size who worries about being fat, or (perhaps the most tragic of all) the nerd who thinks he is sexy.

Tell us about a person you know with a distorted body image.
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2. Board Game: Quest for the Ideal Mate [Average Rating:3.22 Unranked]
Pete Belli
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My wife is an inch taller than me. This isn't a problem because whenever we have a photograph taken together I stand on my wallet.

Have you ever had a romantic relationship which might make the casual observer notice an "odd couple" match (height, weight, etc.) between you and your partner?

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3. Board Game: Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:1041]
Pete Belli
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A short man with ambition and a pugnacious personality is frequently given the “Napoleon complex” label. Ironically, the emperor Napoleon was of average height for his time and place. The modern image of the strutting, posturing, vertically challenged Napoleon might be based on a bit of British propaganda.

Tell us about a diminutive historical figure (preferably with vertically challenged status) you've enjoyed reading about.
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4. Board Game: The Monkees Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Pete Belli
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I enjoy jokes about short people. Here is one of my favorites:

Davy Jones of the Monkees was short. Jokes about his vertically challenged status were common. My favorite was a spoof of a famous game show. At the end of the competition the announcer said, "Will the real Davy Jones please stand up!"

His reply: "I am standing."

Please share a favorite joke about the height disadvantaged.
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5. Board Game: Decision: Iraq [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:9830]
Jon
Canada
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This Week:

Unhappy King Charles! (x2; one with King Roger)
For the People (with King Cotton Wendell)
Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939
Shifting Sands
Chandragupta
Warriors of God

Misc:

- A bit of a purchasing spree this week. A tend to not buy as many games as I once did. Largely due to being more particular.

- Pax Porfiriana was one such newcomer. I picked it up from a online store and one day this little tiny wee box arrived at my door! LOL!! I have it splayed out on my gaming table with the cards sorted and the rules at the ready. I may have mentioned that a friend who is a Euro gamer and also a Latin America scholar is all excited about playing it. Whee! It was in our Gelato club here that I first heard mention of the game.

- My second purchase a few days later was Decision: Iraq. I have had my eye on this Joe Miranda-designed game for some time now and so when Modern Warfare #6 arrived at my FLGS I popped out to pick it up. It is a COIN-themed game from the 2003 to 2008 war and is, in many ways, quite different from most of my other games. Lots of area influence mechanics from what I can tell. The games in my collection that may come the nearest to it design-wise are Andean Abyss, Ici, c'est la France! The Algerian War of Independence 1954 - 1962 (both COIN-themed) and perhaps Twilight Struggle (that might be a stretch).

- As Wendell and mine (my?) FtP session nears a conclusion, I am feeling less confident. I am also full of "I should have done this and that" ideas. Sigh! As I mentioned previously, I should have done more early on to set up the late game. Including blooding him. At the time I felt I was too weak. However, I am not throwing in the towel quite yet. We are both pretty low in Strategic Will as our populations are war weary.

- Roger is showing me that, once again, my intuition on the Mid War period in UKC needs some work. I'll keep plucking away though!

- My Red Winter session is back on track after my travels. I tried an Assault for the first time (which is combat that takes place in the Movement Segment as opposed to the Combat Segment). The Finns fought off my attempt at the key Hotel location however. I am calling in the artillery!

- The rains continue. I rather like rain in all honesty. Less so moving about in it, but rather when I can observe it while sitting under a covered patio (which we have). It's soothing.

- My backyard is currently a magpie nursery. I had thought there was one baby, but now I suspect a second might be about. I stepped out a few days back to inspect a gutter and was set upon by the parents. They did not attack me (just as well), but rather sat nearby and yelled at me. I got the message.



- I finished Rachel Maddow's "Drift" after my reading was interrupted with recent travel. I liked its ideas, which are important quite frankly. Less so the abbreviated writing style that Wendell (if I may) thought had to do with her journalism background; a theory which I agree with. It gave the book a rather light feeling. Nevertheless I recommend it for those interested in current US affairs, politics and whatnot. Not sure what I am going to read next.

- Had some BBQ/grilling for the first time in quite a while as I managed to get the new gas tanks. Hamburgers one night and chili shrimp the next. Yum! Now I need to find time to clean out the grill itself. The patio furniture still lies dormant though due in part to the rain, time and whatnot. THIS week though!
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6. Board Game: Eight-Minute Empire [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:971]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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Vancouver
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This is the week that was:
Eight-Minute Empire 3
Scrabble 2
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers 1

A quiet gaming week for me. I taught my wife to play Eight Minute Empire and she beat me. We played two more games of it on Thursday after a very entertaining evening of Artemis, and I won one (I was last in turn order) and I lost the other (came in last, was first in turn order).

I've not played it a lot, but it seems that being first is not advantageous. In fact, our limited exposure to the game seems to suggest that being first is actually a disadvantage. We were contemplating a house rule where you bid not to go first, but to decide who goes first.

But you know, it's such a quick game...

My daughter likes Carc H&G and won her second game in a row of it, pasting my wife and I thoroughly. She took a huge risk on a big river network and it paid off very handsomely. Next time... we'll be a little more cutthroat with her. She gets H&H though, so I think Kids of Carcassonne is on the sell pile now.

PBEM? I've got PBEM!

-two games of TS - one a ladder game, one not. I can't say I'm doing well in either.
- one game of UKC with Jon. I think the dice gods are Royalist, but Jon is fighting on!
- four games of HIS, in various stages.
- one game of Conquest of Paradise, with Dan and one other. It's going well I think.
- one game of Pax Porfiriana which is about to end (the last topple card being in the 0 space now).
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7. Board Game: Relic [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1120]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Not much new to report.

This week I've played three games of Relic with Andrea, and that's it gamewise.

My kickstarted copy of Viticulture should arrive this week and I'm totally looking forward to play it - I love games, I love wine ... I hope that this one will live up to my expectations!

Yesterday we cleared the kitchen and carried all the stuff into the living room and the basement (and threw a lot of stuff away - unbelievable how much junk you collect over the years that nobody really needs [and I'm not talking about games here!]). If all things go right, the floor tiler and the carpenter will have our new kitchen ready next Saturday.
I'll keep my fingers crossed meeple

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8. Board Game: Memoir '44: Operation Overlord [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Games

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game x1
Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations x1
Jena 20 First day
UNO x3
Chutes and Ladders x1
Pachisi x1
Memoir '44: Operation Overlord x1
Wings of War: Miniatures x1

Good gaming week. Some solo gaming, some with daughter and the neighbour girl and some f2f gaming(Memoir and Wings of War)
Memoir was Omaha Beach Overlord against 2 neighbours. Fun.

Books
Havets Ulver. Swedish book about U-Boats
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9. Board Game: Challenge Yahtzee [Average Rating:5.63 Overall Rank:12719]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Challenge of the month: JUNE 2013


Play 1 unplayed game from your collection.

Let's start of with an easy one, that should be achievable. Electronic versions are ok.

Unplayed are those games that have been in your collection longer than 2 months and still haven't been played.

State in your weekly entry that this or that game is played due to the monthly challenge.

PS: Have you played all your games, you say? Play a game that hasen't been played in the last year.

REWARD: Nothing except one (or more) less unplayed games in your collection.

Is this challenge ok.
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10. Board Game: Russian Front [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:2059]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Finally finished setting up and started my solo game of The Russian Front. I pondered what to do as the German; try the Kursk Offensive as per historical, or fall back a bit to more defensible lines because the Germans really don't have enough troops to cover the front at the start of the game. Decided that valor was the better part of discretion. The offensive made some headway and got close to Kursk. However, the Soviet counteroffensive is hurting bad and Soviet air superiority (despite heavy losses for the Soviets on the defensive) is showing...

Finished May/June '41 in my vassal World in Flames game. Bloody Communist Chinese launched a counteroffensive against my Japanese (after my offensive forces in N. China were disorganized in my attack near Chungking)! Heavy losses on both sides. Clearly a strategy by the China player Stewart based on new WIF production rules which give a 1 build point 'rebate' per corps/army sized unit killed in the major power home country - in other words effective losses for China in the one attack where they lost an infantry and militia corps were 3 BP, not 5. On the first turn of Barbarossa, my Germans captured Kiev and the 3-resource hex in Ukraine in good order. Inflicted fairly heavy losses on the Soviets - not crippling, though. We'll see how Jul/Aug '41 goes.

For the People continues as Jon noted. Price realized that he sat on his lazy ass for too long in Arkansas and is now completely cut off from the rest of the Confederacy. Doh!

Here I Stand creeps along, as does Pax Romana (both PBEM). Much maneuvering in Angola but not much combat this turn, I get the sense both sides are trying to set up for a climactic battle. Frankly, my ally and I need to do something to change the direction of the game - status quo is a losing situation.



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11. Board Game: Urban Sprawl [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1283]
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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x2 Urban Sprawl (8?)
x1 Citadels (9/6)

Okay, just a couple of old standards here. We had mostly a quiet week. Cati has officially moved into the second trimester which has translated to a lessening of morning sickness but an increase to migraines (this may be related to pollen). Either way it means more evening headaches and less games. Still, we managed a couple rounds of Urban Sprawl. US is continues to puzzle me. My thoughts of it being "too swingy" may be unfounded. Not because the game doesn't have large swings of points, but because they are fairly predictable. The last two games have since huge wins by Cati, on the order of a 50-100 point margin. This leads me to think that she understands something about the game that I do not. More investigation is demanded.

We also had a chance to go over to a friends house where we settled into a long, casual game of Citadels with tons of people. Normally Citadels with anything more than 4 is a non-starter, but the company was good and I didn't mind hanging out.

The week ahead:
Iron and Oak
Urban Sprawl
Archipelago
Mage Knight
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12. Board Game: Little Wars [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:7934]
Pete Belli
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Florida
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Another scenario from the English Civil War... Marston Moor 1644



This is a view of the Royalist center. The baggage train is parked in the rear and Prince Rupert (mounted on a gray horse) is preparing for battle. The skirmish line of musketeers is posted along the ditch.
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13. Board Game: Summer Storm: The Battle of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:6466]
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
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I actually haven't been able to play anything in the past couple of weeks. Firstly, because I was on vacation two weeks ago, and then spent last week dealing with getting caught up at work, and reading about Gettysburg in my down time.

I have been reading the rules and punching/clipping the counters for Summer Storm: The Battle of Gettysburg, though. This isn't quite the regimental-level tactical study of Gettysburg that something like Three Days of Gettysburg (third edition), but it also didn't cost me $150. This appears to be a more hypothetical study of the battle, and includes a double-blind operational portion of the game as well. I don't know if I'll get into that or not - I intend to try the tactical side of the game solo first to see if it'll interest anyone at the club.

My vacation included a trip to Gettysburg, as well as Fredericksburg, and plenty of battlefield touring. Naturally, this has set me off on a major Civil War kick. Bought lots of books during my travels, and have started working my way through them.

Stayed at an awesome hotel in Gettysburg, called the Federal Pointe Inn:



The hotel was decorated with Dale Gallon Civil War artwork. We lucked out and got an awesome image of the 8th Ohio during Pickett's Charge hanging over our bed.


My in-laws got a suite next to our room, and offered it to us once they saw that we got a smaller room (the room prices were no different, and we hadn't specified suites, only 2 King rooms, it was just random chance that they got the suite when we were given our room keys) but when I saw their room had Robert E. Lee hanging over the bed, I declined the offer!

I had been to Gettysburg before, over 20 years ago, and on that trip, never made it over to Culp's Hill or Cemetery Hill, so we focused there on this trip. Although we had a tour guide take us around the whole battlefield, as my wife had never been, and wanted to see all the other sites as well. This is the point of view from the 27th Indiana regiment looking toward Culp's Hill from the Spangler's Spring area:



This is the General George "Pap" Greene statue atop Culp's Hill. He's one of the unsung heroes of Gettysburg. Chamberlain gets all the press for saving the Union left, but Pap Greene was responsible for the Union right not collapsing, and if it hadn't been for his earthworks, the thin line of Union troops on Culp's Hill would have broken.



And of course, had to get a picture of the Indiana monument at Gettysburg (even though the one ancestor I've researched so far fought in an OH regiment). The Indiana monument is at Culp's Hill, where there were several Indiana regiments active over the course of the battle:



We also saw the incredible cyclorama at the museum. Beautifully restored and in its new home in time for the sesquicentennial:



Overall, a great trip, though we didn't have enough time at Gettysburg, really. We crammed in Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Bull Run, and Gettysburg into one week. You really need at least three days at Gettysburg, and we only had a day and a half. My wife and I are already making plans to go back for a longer visit!

Next week, I should have some thoughts on Summer Storm, and Empires in Arms returns!


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14. Board Game: La Boca [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1055]
Kris Moulton
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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Pueblo
Bora Bora
La Boca
Panic Lab

Slow week for me. I tried a friends copy of Pueblo which is a game I've always been interested in. I really liked it. I wish it was easier to get a copy. It's fairly long out of print.

Another play of Bora Bora. I think it's one of Feld's best games. After multiple plays I'm really enjoying the decisions in the game. I don't find the dice to be a problem as other have stated. As long as you're prepared for bad rolls and make a point to have the god cards when you need the, I don't see it being any worse than the dice in Castles of Burgundy. His older games are still my favourite. My top 5 in order would probably be:

In the Year of the Dragon
Notre Dame
The Castles of Burgundy
Bora Bora
Bruges


I made an order from Amazon.de and picked up a few new things. La Boca was an honourable mention for the Spiel des Jahres this year and many though it should have been nominated for the main prize. I think it fits in perfectly with the weight and style they have been going for for the last few years and while I think Hanabi is a great game, I feel it's a bit complex to pick up for families where La Boca is perfect for casual gamers and very easy to pick up.

Panic lab was also in that order and it's a nice little speed pattern recognition game that I saw being played a fair amount at the Gathering. It's quite a brain burner and I'm terrible at it but it has very cute art and is quite original.
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15. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:597]
Martin
United States
San Diego area
California
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This was played for the challenge Stig set. My son (10) got this for his birthday and we just hadn't gotten around to checking it out. Fortunately, they recently played it on Tabletop and they made it look like a lot of fun.

For those unfamiliar, it's a cooperative game from the designer of Pandemic (which I've never played). It's quite simple, a little too simple for me to want to play it with gamers, but really nice for a 10 year old.

I also played Cosmic Encounter for the first time with the new boardgame club at my office. It's the first time we've done something other than Dominion/Settlers/etc and it went over surprisingly well. I can see why it's such an enduring classic.
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