Geek Chat League Gelato 63 - Heroes and Villains
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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What is a Geek Chat League?

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

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

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 Leader:

leroy 43 (Roger)

And our Memberlist:

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)
oeolycus (Dan)
pete belli (Pete)
PzVIE (Ron)
scoutmom (Cindy)
Sluggonics (Kyle)
wifwendell (Wendell)

*** Next up - Stig!

Heroes and Villains!

Heroes and villains are a bit of an ambiguous thing. Nobody thinks of themselves as a villain for starters; and your view of them will depend very much on your perspective and place in life.

So I'm interested in looking a bit at heroes and villains. Have a look at my entries - I'm interested in your thoughts...

HOWEVER I am NOT interested in this list becoming an RSP fiasco. So some ground rules: please stick to my categories of heroes and villains. I will delete items on the list if necessary to remove comments that stray too far into the RSP swamp, and/or are unduly offensive.

This week's musical interlude is definitely from some musical heroes:

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1. Board Game: Sauron [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:11082]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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HEROES AND VILLAINS OF FANTASY

Fantasy has a rich vein of heroes - and of course, any hero worth his or her salt needs a suitable villain. Otherwise, it's just a toddle for the good guys.

This game is of course about one of the great but odder villains of fantasy literature - Sauron, from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Odd because unlike in other works of fantasy, the reader never really gets a good, direct look at the villain. His actions are all conducted thru suitably villainous agents - Nazgul, orcs, corrupted humans (Boromir), the Mouth of Sauron, etc.

So - who are your favorite heroes and villains from fantasy literature and why? And is it necessary that the scale be grand and earthshaking in order to have top grade heroes and villains? For example, are Hazel and Fiver (Watership Down) any less heroic just because the story is merely about the downfall of rabbit warrens?

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2. Board Game: Doctor Who [Average Rating:5.37 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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HEROES AND VILLAINS OF SCIENCE FICTION

I don't think the need for heroes & villains is quite as strong in SF as it is in fantasy. Nevertheless, there is a strong tradition of them, in print, on television, and on the big screen.

The Doctor Who series are all about the clear hero - the doctor - but have featured many different heroes over the years, including the Daleks who scared me when I was a kid.

So - SF heroes and villains? Who? Why?

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3. Board Game: Superman [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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HEROES AND VILLAINS IN COMIC-BOOK LAND

I'm not a big comic-book fan, nor a fan of the movies. But I know they are popular so I will ask the question here - who are your favorite comic book heroes and villains? Do you prefer it when H&V status is unambiguous? Or do you like heroes with a dark side (like Tim Minchin)?

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4. Board Game: That Sports Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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HEROES AND VILLAINS OF SPORTS

Taking a few liberties with "villains" here but much of the enjoyment of sports is cheering for your team to overcome adversaries. You need opponents for that (watching Ajax have a kick-around wouldn't be much fun, nor watching the Cincinnati Reds take batting practice). And naturally, opponents become villains - either as individuals or collectively.

So - sporting heroes and villains - who are they for you? Why?

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5. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:711]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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GAME THIS WEEK

Jon and I wrapped up our PBEM game of For the People. Though Grant became a hero to the North and a villain to the South by taking Richmond from the WEST and burning it, it was too little too late to prevent Lincoln's defeat at the polls and a Confederate victory.

Our Angola pbem rages on. The heroes (FAPLA/MPLA) finally had a good turn, helped with a last gasp victory and the recapture of Luanda. Now we're back in the game.

Had another session of our three-player live World in Flames game on Saturday. My Soviet heroes are ready to assault Warsaw...
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6. Board Game: Continental Divide [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:4687]
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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Well this last week of June did not disappoint. I capped the month with 42 plays and the final week saw more than it's share.

x4 Northern Pacific
x4 Continental Divide
x1 Erie Railroad

x1 Duel of Ages
x1 Race for the Galaxy
x1 Loopin' Louie

As you can see it was a very Winsome-y week. I introduced the company and this years set to some of the newer folks in my group and at another group I sometimes play at. Despite some skeptical looks when I took out the clam shell cases the games soon one them over. As I suspect, Continental Divide is very, very good.

It's so good that I decided to spend several days making a "heat map" and doing up a fancy board. I've agreed not to share it because it is, as many have said, a substantial piece of intellectual property. While its too bad I can't share the map (which is easily the best thing I've made game-wise in awhile) I did use it to host a virtual tabletop with some friends from the Midwest. Coupled with a google spreadsheet the game-time plummets to a slim 90 minutes and I could even imagine it going less.

I'll have deeper thoughts on CD and the other Winsome (as well as the week's escapades a little later on).
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7. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:28]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Not very much to report this week.

Just a game of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization with Andrea yesterday. The weather this week was surprisingly fine, so we spent most of the time in the garden.

At Saturday the daughter travelled to Croatia with a friend of hers and her parents, so we have the whole house for us alone :meepe:
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8. Board Game: EastFront II [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:1303] [Average Rating:8.03 Unranked]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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This is the week that was:
EastFront II 1
Scrabble 1

A quiet week!

I was supposed to have a game of Artemis with enough players for two ships this past Thursday but it just didn't work out for me to go, which was too bad.

However, yesterday my wife and I dropped off our daughter for summer camp and today we had a gaming afternoon at one of our local game shops, and tomorrow we're hosting some people to come over.

In other news, the hard drive on my main computer appears to have given up the ghost and I brought it in for service today. Hopefully it won't be a long repair. And yes, I have backups...

In pbem land...

EastFront II - a new game where I've already botched the beginning as the Germans in Barbarossa.

Unhappy King Charles - the last turn of the mid war against Jon...

Here I Stand - two of the three games I'm in are officially abandoned, and the third one likely is toast too.

Conquest of Paradise - close to the end?

Pax Porfiriana - early days yet, but still in a depression.

Twilight Struggle - Nearing the end. Could go either way in turn 10.

1989 - I won the power struggle in Poland. I had a +2 to the die roll for VP. I rolled a 1, so I didn't topple him from power. Adding insult to injury, as we were tied on battleground cities, the end result was a net -2 VP for the Communists as they retained power and scored 3 of the power struggle card!
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9. Board Game: Grant Takes Command [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:2528]
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
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Weekly Round-up!

Running the Battle of the Wilderness and so far it's been a total disaster for the Rebels (which is usually the result I'm looking for - sometimes even when I'm PLAYING the Rebels - I'm not a reliable player for Dixie) But in this instance, the dice are really not falling their way.



With the first initiative, I followed one of the strategies I read online and had Johnson's division move to Parker's Store, while the rest of Ewell's corps stayed at Locust Grove to defend against Warren and Sedgwick. With the second initiative I had Johnson entrench, thinking he could hold on until Longstreet arrived to counterpunch. Well, it all went downhill from there. Union got a string of initiatives, and I focused entirely on getting Hancock's corps to Parker's Store - a high movement allowance, followed by an assault at 2-1 odds sent Johnson's corps reeling from Parker's Store, where Hancock promptly settled in.

Longstreet, after getting a massive movement allowance on his first activation, promptly blew the rest of them before his corps could even get up within vicinity of Shady Grove Church - his corps now out of activations, and will have to see if they will be able to contribute on the next turn.

AP Hill moved his corps up toward Parker's Store with the intention of dislodging Hancock - but his paltry movement allowance only allowed one of his divisions to get adjacent to Hancock. I gambled that the Rebs would win the next initiative, allowing me to get a stack next to Hancock - well, that didn't work out. Not only did the US win the initiative, but Hancock immediately managed an assault with all three of his stacked divisions that sent Hill's lone division (I forget who it was) reeling. Hancock's victorious troops didn't advance though, opting to hunker down and guard the valuable VP location.

To the north, Sedgwick hacked his divisions through the woods to sweep down on the Rebel left. Ewell's corps has turtled around Locust Grove, building up to full breastworks. Warren has effectively split his corps, sending two divisions down to cover Shady Grove Church and leaving two to bridge the gap between Sedgwick and Hancock.

At Shady Grove Church, JEB Stuart pitched in Rosser's brigade against the lone 5th NY Cavalry Regiment - the 5th NY was already disorganized, making the attack 4-1 odds. I thought this would help negate the column of route attack Stuart had to use (another crap movement roll by the Rebs) but it didn't, and the 5th NY ended up holding their position. Now Warren's divisions are close enough to help hold the position.




Getting close to the end of the first turn, as units are either out of activations from fatigue, or have no need to move. As my experience with Battle Above the Clouds went, this series does a marvelous job of creating the same enraging frustration that commanders in the field must have felt when troops they expected to arrive at a certain time and place failed to do so because of terrain, or poor leadership, or what-have-you, faithfully recreated here by maddeningly insufficient movement allowance rolls.

Also started this week:



I'm playing the French in the Great Redoubt scenario, and trying to figure out how the hell I'm going to get to the VP locations. It's an ugly gauntlet for the French to figure out.
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10. Board Game: Might & Magic Heroes [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:2926]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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No boardgaming last week, but fired up the old "Heroes of Might & Magic III" on my pc and played that one night. Spent A LOT of time on that game after it came out in 98.

Proofed some more for No Retreat 2.

Stina is better and that is so great.

Started my holiday and built a new fence around the driveway. Yes, I built a fence all by myself. Yes, all by myself. No, I'm not that proud of my accomplishment, but I built a fence.
Pictures to follow.
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11. Board Game: Awkward Family Photos [Average Rating:4.85 Overall Rank:15153]
Martin
United States
San Diego area
California
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My family went on vacation last week with my parents and both siblings (and their families), 14 in total. That kept gaming light, but still lots of fun. We played:

Dixit w/ an expansion
Slide 5
Forbidden Island
Bananagrams
Skipbo

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12. Board Game: Wilderness [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:4083]
Carl Paradis
Canada
montreal
Québec
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Played this game recently. I Love wilderness survival games so am always a sucker to play one. I have yet to find a title I am satisfied with (any suggestions?). And this one is no exception:

Swedish-made game (by four brothers). LOTS of good ideas, but the general gameplay is uninspired, the product has a definite amateur feel to it, like it was only half-finished and not properly developped at all. Very dissapointing. If I had the time I would do a rework of it, as it has good qualities. The card play especially needs to be redone, and also the wild animals.

Major pet peeves:

- There are 8 "survivor" characters you can chose in the game, but they are all the same! Differences of abilities between them would have been nice. PLUS they are all MEN! No women characters! (wondering if the four game-making brothers had any sisters...) wow

- The "life/energy" tokens are really, really TINY! thus almost unuseable.

- At the very end of the rules, the designers are giving thanks, for it's help, to "Our Lord Jesus Christ"... Oh come on!!!

It's going into my "To Give for Free" pile. yuk

Edit:

Also got this one (yeah Go Canada!).

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/59008/canadian-crucib...



My grandfather fought with this Division in Normandy (infantry officer, "Le Régiment de la Chaudière"), so this game was a must for me.

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13. Board Game: Roads to Moscow: Battles of Mozhaysk and Mtsensk, 1941 [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:4244]
Carl Paradis
Canada
montreal
Québec
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Wow and Wow...

Combat Commander: Battle Pack #5 – Fall of the West




I LOVE Combat Commander and all that Vance von Borries does...

And this just before a week vacation... I am NOT worthy!!!
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14. Board Game: Amateurs to Arms! [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:3296]
Carl Paradis
Canada
montreal
Québec
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Ah... Forgot about this one... Will DEFINITELY play this month! Go Canada, Go!!!

And in honor of this game, a small and appropriate musical video, please...



And if you have no clue about Canada...



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15. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:512]
Kris Moulton
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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That's it! last week was very slow.

I picked up the Last of Us for the PS3 and was thoroughly engrossed in it. I haven't played a video game that much in a long time. I beat it in about 4 days over the long weekend. Fantastic game. The Uncharted games are my favourites on the system so this was a must buy for me. It plays out like a zombie survival game but with many departures from the normal game of that style. Firstly, there aren't really that many zombies. Th fights are spread out and much of the game is spent exploring the beautiful environments and scavenging for supplies. I think that makes the fights feel much more urgent rather than wave after wave of zombie hordes. The game is incredibly tense and there are some genuinely scary parts of it. The acting is top notch and it feels like you're traveling through actual locations due to the massive detail in the game. A great experience. I wish there was more to play.
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16. Board Game: Lancaster [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:247]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I've never had the chance to try Glen More, but I did get to play his new game, Lancaster

In 1413, the new king of England, Henry V of Lancaster, has ambitious plans: The unification of England and the conquest of the French crown! Each player takes the role of an ambitious aristocratic family. Who will be the best supporter of this young king, and the most powerful Lord of his time?

Plays up to 5, we tried it out 3 player. It seems that it scales well at that level.

As usual, another round of playtesting for Sea Lion as well. I am hoping that I can finish up with the end of fiscal year reports next week and have some time for some solitaire gaming once again.
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