Geek Chat League Gelato Episode #70 - Good Night, and Good Luck
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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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 Professor:

leroy 43 (Roger)

The Students:

ad79 (Stig)
alex352 (Alex)
Capt_S (Jon)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
cscottk (Skippen
DocStryder (Doc)
HarlemMimeSchool (Andrew) -- Up Next
itsmarty (Martin)
krismoulton (Kris)
leroy43 (Roger)
licinius (Carl)
oeolycus (Dan)
pete belli (Pete)
PzVIE (Ron)
scoutmom (Cindy)
Sluggonics (Kyle)
wifwendell (Wendell)

On a final note, I too will be withdrawing from the Gelato gang. I have way too much to do ongoing and just can't contribute.

Goodnight, and Good luck.
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1. Board Game: Gloom [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1443] [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
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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I'm going to make this a gloomy gelato, to mark the departure of Marty and I from the league. We going to visit the 'undiscovered country' for the duration of this geeklist.
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2. Board Game: Whistling Death [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:2842]
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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It's the big day, the family are gathered around the casket and, clad in black, Flags across the country are at half-mast, world leaders struggle to maintain their dignity in the face of such a loss. Just as you are about to be committed to the earth/ash/Ganges/whatever your nearest and dearest, respecting your wishes, play one last song in your memory.

What is it?
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3. Board Game: Words of the Wise [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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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Rather than have tearful relatives sob snot into a microphone, why not plan ahead and suggest readings of your favourite texts that you would insist be shared with the grieving masses to give them comfort?
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4. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:324] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
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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You've made your last will and testament. Who gets what? What unusual things do you have to give away? What demented requests do you have for those left behind?
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5. Board Game: Battle For Souls [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:2111]
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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Let's imagine the places of religious text, myth and story are real. Are you going up or down? On a purely biblical interpretation I suspect down, but by my own reckoning I suspect maybe I'll get early release for good behaviour. If I had a choice, I think Valhalla sounds like my cup of tea.

Well? Based on the Seven Deadly Sins/Virtues will it be up or down for you?
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6. Board Game: To The Last Man! [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:3442]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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Finished a game of this when my Entente was buried in a blizzard of German 1's.

I enjoyed it, and 2/3 of a game isn't enough to judge it fairly - but I'm wondering if there are balance issues.

Barbarians are yo-yoing back and forth between threatening the Greeks and the Romans in Pax Romana. My AUC is working for the good of Colombia still in Andean Abyss.

And unless my MPLA comrade can pull a rabbit out of his hat on his last activation, we will lose our game of Angola. Lasting till turn 11 was something of a moral victory, since we were down badly in mid-game and came back to be tied. But this last turn we've been unable to generate any victories.

War of the Suns - did another couple of turns in my solo game. Discovering minor rules errors by moi, but I will forge on.

And my vassal/skype World in Flames is entering Nov/Dec '41. Germany hit a rough patch at the end of Sep/Oct, failing to take either Tula or Kharkov (bad rolls, and unfortunately an insanely good roll vs Novgorod where I didn't need the luck!). The weather forecast is fine for southeast Asia... it's war-declaring weather for Japan.
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7. Board Game: Seven Pines [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:5668]
Jon
Canada
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This Week:

Seven Pines (solo)


Misc:

- The above gaming is a dirty lie. A rotten stinking lie. Well, not quite. I have the maps on the table (drool) and have been thinking over plans and what have you. The counters have in the midst of being fondled. So .... I have not actually played yet, but I am getting there.

- This week I hope to start to get back into the PBEM swing of things. Plus more touching base with the "Gang" to set things up. I am afraid it is not on my mental radar like it is when I am in the midst of sessions. I will get there though.

- Thinking of attending the game convention here in the Fall. I did not go last year and rather missed it.

- Eating a fair amount of take out since neither of us wants to cook right now. Had a big order of East Indian last three nights (chicken tikka masala, bhindi, mutter paneer and naan).

- I could not purchase any tonic water worthy of the name for much of the summer and so have been thinking about g&t's a little too much of late.
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8. Board Game: Aliens [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:1765]
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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GEN CON!

So Gen Con was last week, and, like every year, I went to all four days, and collapsed in an exhausted heap on Sunday. I always take Monday off just to recover.

The highlight of the Con for me this year was stumbling across a guy who built a 3D Reactor Room board from the classic board game of the film Aliens. Aliens is one of my favorite films of all time, if not THE favorite. I first saw it when I was 12, the year after it came out. It was the first movie I ever saw that made me want to learn more about how movies are made. It is indelibly linked with my adolescence, my interest in movies, as well as pretty much every sci-fi movie and/or video game of the last 25 years.

Leading Edge Games released a board game based on the film in 1989. They also released an expansion to that game, as well as a line of scale-appropriate minis. I bought the game right when it came out, and eventually, the minis of the Colonial Marines as well. My best friend and I in high school played probably 1000 games of this. Today, it lives on in a Flash version.
I haven't actually played my physical copy of the game in over 10 years.

So I jumped at the chance to play the game again, this time on a fancy 3D board!



We had seven players, most of whom were not even born yet when the game was released, making the rest of us feel old. Craig, who was running the game, let me pick first character, since I knew the game from way back. He thought for sure I'd pick Hicks or Apone, since they have 3 actions and decent weapons (remember, the Marines couldn't fire their weapons in the reactor room - they were limited to pistols and flame units only, with Hicks pulling out his shotgun, and Drake and Vasquez secretly keeping their smartguns operational). But I went with my sentimental favorite from the movie, Drake, one of the smartgun operators. He and Vasquez are key to the marines getting out of the Reactor Room alive.

Of course, as is usually the case in the game, which involves aliens dropping on random spaces on the board every turn, this happened on the first turn:



Lucky for me, Drake actually has a melee skill, and he was able to keep the alien from grabbing him until Hicks' turn came around, and Hicks was able to knock the alien away and stun it, so Dietrich could torch it with her flame unit.

After that scare, the Marines moved quickly and efficiently toward the exit - Dietrich started lagging behind, torching aliens getting too close to the group. We had a couple scary moments when Hudson was incapacitated by an alien, but quick shooting killed the alien, leaving Hudson undamaged by acid splash, and Crowe picked him up and hustled him to safety. Sadly, Vasquez had an alien drop on her and was dragged away, and Dietrich, fighting a slow-moving rearguard action, sacrificed herself so Drake could get to safety, bringing the total to 7 Marines escaping, and a win for the players. All in all, just as fun as I remember, with the added bonus that for once, nobody was killed by acid splash!





After the 3D version of the game finished, I had some time to kill while my buddy and his son who were visiting from Chicago finished up their rounds in the Magic tournament. Since it was after 6 and the trade floor was closed, I found an empty table in the gaming hall and set up my own copy of Aliens, which I'd brought along to sort of reminisce over with the other players. The game is a great solo game, because essentially, you're just playing against the game - the aliens always move four spaces to the closest marine when they drop onto the board. Anyway, in my quick solo runthrough of the Reactor Room, everybody made it out except Vasquez, who always seems to die.



On Saturday, I signed my wife and I up to play Relic from FFG. I saw this debut at last year's Gen Con, and was blown away by the artwork on the board. Somehow, I had never played Talisman through all these years, so that had not colored my impression of Relic. We had three hours at the Fantasy Flight HQ to get through a game, and we did it just in time!



My wife ruled the day, collecting a truly impressive array of items, and proceeding to roll nothing but 6's the entire game. We each rolled the enemy dice for the players to our right, and Cristina must have killed the poor guy she was rolling against 4 or 5 times. It got to the point where we were calling 6's, and she would roll them. Crazy! Anyway, with that kind of hold on the dice, she managed to work her way into the inner tier, all the way to the end just in the nick of time!



One of the other games I was interested in trying this weekend was a game called Cross Hares: Testing Ground, from 1A Games. The guys at the booth described it as Watership Down with zombies and ninjas. So I'm in. Cristina and I demoed it on Sunday, my last "to do" item for the Con. It's a classic roll and move, first-to-the-finish-line-wins game. You each control a character, who can acquire items and cards which will help them along the way. Certain squares in each of the different lands lead to adventures, which are in a book that comes with the game. These adventures allow you to get more items and goodies, but can also end up penalizing you if you roll poorly. The board looks great, and I love the artwork. They also had some 3D-printed figures on display, which they said will be available on the Kickstarter for game, which should go up sometime in October. Consider me pledged!





Also played several other games this weekend. Usually for the Con, one of my best friends comes down from Chicago, along with his son, who happens to be my godson, and we make a weekend out of it. They usually play in one of the Magic tournaments going on there, and then we play other games during the evenings. Next year, even more people will be coming down, and I may finally get around to signing up for some of the RPG events.

Other games played:

Letters from Whitechapel
Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game
The New Science
Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815
Winter Tales
BattleLore (Second Edition)
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation

All in all, another great year at Gen Con! Always one of my favorite times of year!

Now, it'll be back to my steady diet of wargames! After all, 2nd Bull Run from Red Badge of Courage is still sitting on my solo table at home! And La Bat will continue at 19 & 1 next weekend!
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9. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:8]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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“It's all in the mind.” ― George Harrison
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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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Game News

At Friday, the daughter's schedule became a little rattled, as her boyfriend wasn't in town and her friend - with whom she wanted to meet - became ill. So she decided not to hit the town but asked me and wifey if we want to do some gaming ... oh joy! The best moments are when your daughter wants to game.

So Andrea, Ingalisa and I sat down and played Kingsburg, as well as a few games of Martian Dice. On the right is an image of Inga after she scored 10 points meeple

Saturday was game night at a friend's apartment, and we were all eager to try out Terra Mystica, as there's a lot of talk about that game and none of us has played it yet. After one hour explaining and two and a half hours playing I can only say "wow" wow
It's like a Stefan Feld game - many paths to victory, many mechanisms ensnared together and extremely AP prone. Although I'll happily play it again. It's probably in the same league as Bora Bora.

After that we played Bangkok Klongs, Powerboats, Puerto Rico and three games of The City.

Other Events

On Sunday I had to get up early as I wanted to try out my first real American BBQ. I had a pork neck prepared and wanted to BBQ the thing for 7 hours at low temperature - 110°C.

It was a little arduous to keep the grill at this temperature; when to add coal, how many should you add ... I strolled around the grill all the day and was very nervous about the outcome ... but it all went well! The roast was phantastic! Andrea made some chili-chutney and it was a real feast!

We celebrated that also with a bottle of fine, southern Italian wine. meeple

Cheers!
Ron.
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10. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:30]
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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welcome your reptilian overlords!
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Met with a local group to play a game of Eclipse. It was my second try of this über-hyped game and my previous impression was confirmed. Overrated.
It just doesn't feel like a real 4X game nor like a civ-building game. To little action beyond simple exploration. Exploration feels weird since you don't use your ships to do it and don't really risk anything beyond drawing a tile you cannot colonize right away. Combat involves small fleets which is a bit unthematic. Won't actively request this one again.

Also played Mansions of Madness for the first time. We all lost horribly to the Keeper because he killed two of us with an axe-swinging maniac. Enjoyed it well enough but Arkham Horror to me is the better game.

I'll also include a few games I playe almost two weeks ago. Forgot to post them on the last list.

Tried Mage Wars Arena for the first time. An interesting game that I'd like to try again. A bit like Summoner Wars on steroids.

Rex: Final Days of an Empire: another first play. Liked it but now I really need to play the original Dune. After we were finished with Rex, we threw in a round of Galaxy Trucker. As always, great senseless fun.

My pbem games continue (Andean Abyss, Pax Romana, Virgin Queen, Successors 3rd, Wilderness War, 2x SE:4X) at a steady pace.

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11. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:717]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Thunder Alley: Crew Chief Expansion - Coming soon to Kickstarter!
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Evil lurks here!
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Games
Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
2 player game with 2 marine teams each. Won the game after good luck and good play. Worked better than I thought with 2-players. Fun little game.

Rallyman
Played a 3-stage rally versus same opponent as in Space Hulk. I even won a stage, but lost soundly overall. Have yet to win a rally in this game.
This might relegate Formula D as my go to racegame.

other stuff of interest.

Got Quarantine in a trade.

Finished book 1 of Game of Thrones and started book 2 right away.
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12. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2242]
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
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A recent project is my interpretation of the battle at Opequon Creek (Winchester) in 1864.

This is the map:

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