Geek Chat League Gelato 73 - Let the Games Begin!
"L'état, c'est moi."
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ABOUT GCL mb GELATO DIVISION mb SUBSCRIPTION THREAD

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 Fearless Leader:

leroy 43 (Roger)

His Fearless Companions:

ad79 (Stig)
alex352 (Alex)
Capt_S (Jon)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
csottk (Skippen)
DocStryder (Doc)
leroy43 (Roger)
licinius (Carl)
oeolycus (Dan)
pete belli (Pete)
PzVIE (Ron) ***
scoutmom (Cindy)
Sluggonics (Kyle)
wifwendell (Wendell)

*** = Next up

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1. Board Game: September [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:14620]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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I've always found September to be one of those transition months. The lazy days of summer have over (although summer isn't yet). Everyone's back from their various vacations and things at work and school speed back up. The days are noticeably getting shorter. The hint of fall is in the air.

The other thing that comes with September for me is more gaming. My usual suspects are more available. The darker evenings make it more congenial to be inside looking at game bits instead of feeling like one ought to be outside.

What are your thoughts on September?
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2. Board Game: The 100 Games [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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I joined the 100 game challenge, because I really liked the premise of the list.

It even has two cool microbadges - mb and mb

If you've joined the challenge, which game did you pick?

And if you haven't joined, which game could you see yourself choosing?
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3. Board Game: Teacher's Quiz [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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September is of course back to school for many places, from elementary school to university and everything in between.

This is an open ended topic - tell us about school. Whether it's from when you were in school, or if you have a kid in school, or you're still in school, or someone you know in school, let's make this an interesting week of stories.
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4. Board Game: Paris Connection [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1338]
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This is the week that was:
Paris Connection 3
Scrabble 3
Pax Porfiriana 2
1812: The Invasion of Canada 1 New to me!
Carcassonne: The Discovery 1
Circus Train (Second edition) 1
Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island 1 New to me!
Taluva 1

A solid week of gaming thanks to the long weekend. My friend Gerry hosted a game day on Labour Day and I taught him Pax and he taught me 1812. Later his friend Miranda joined in and we played Circus Train (new to Miranda) all learned Robinson Crusoe together (he did play it at BGG Con last year, but not since).

I have to confess that I liked 1812 a lot more than I expected I would. It's not really my style of game, but it ended up being a tense contest that saw my Americans fulfill their historic loss against the British/Canadian contingent.

I have to give it to Academy Games. I love their component quality. I don't love any of their games, but they're well made.

Robinson Crusoe was an interesting experience. Note that these comments are based on the edition I played, which I am given to understand is the original printing, and not the more recent broadly released version.

If you're looking for an innovative co-op game, this is excellent.

While it's convoluted and complex (qualities I admire in competitive games), it's not something I can say I'll be clamouring for.

I liked the game, I had a lot of fun, but I think I'm pretty much done with cooperative games.

Thursday night's game night saw us play a medley of games. We opened with a five player session of Taluva, followed with a 6 player game of Carcassonne the Discovery which is one of my least favourite in the series but which I won handily, and then I taught the gang Paris Connection. I still think the setup is annoying, but this game really really shines with six! I'd only ever played it with three before, but with six it's awesome.

Ongoing pbem games...
Here I Stand - on life support
Pax - just started a new game
1989 - picking it back up after vacation
Spanish Civil War scenario from MedFront about to start (probably tomorrow)
Twilight Struggle - the ladder game is... odd.
Unhappy King Charles - resuming after both of our vacations (Jon and I)
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5. Board Game: Field Commander: Napoleon [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:1325]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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No gaming done this week, but lots of stuff arriving in the mail

Field Commander: Napoleon and Thunderbolt Apache Leader arrived early in the week.
Quarantine: First Aid Expansion,Airlines Europe: Flight Ban,Airlines Europe: The Presidents arrived late in the week and included a Dungeon Command: Drow Wizard Promo and a card with Intrigue on the back. No idea why these two cards were included.

On Thursday a friend called and said he had a ticket for a Kaizers Orchestra consert(Their last ever tour which ends tonight)and I just had to say yes.







Have also had fun watching the newest song from Norwegian comedyduo Ylvis. Have gotten 8 million wievs in 4 days.
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6. Board Game: Nix [Average Rating:3.47 Overall Rank:16326]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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I had the most uneventful week of the year ... no gaming, but lots of work. soblue

A package from the Geekstore arrived, containing the pimp-up components for Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, the expansion for the I'm the Boss!: The Card Game and the Lords of Waterdeep: Rapid Expansion Promo Card.

I bought the Star Wars: The Card Game – Edge of Darkness expansion and my game now has 6 ready-to-play decks. Just what Andrea wanted meeple

I'm still waiting for my Kickstarter order of 6 Dungeon Roll ... probably next week.
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7. Board Game: Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:2044]
Jon
Canada
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This Week:

Seven Pines (solo)


Misc:

- Still poking through my CWBS adventure. More on that at a later date.

- This has been a week of rules. Wendell and I are going to start up a PBEM of Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 so I had to go over the rules with the module last week. Roger and I will start up our delayed PBEM session of Unhappy King Charles! too this week. We left that in a rather interesting place.

- And more rules. Wendell, Roger and another friend are going to try a 4 player Cuba Libre PBEM session. So I have been going over the rules for that. Well, just last night really. Looking forward to it. Viva!

- On a related note, I am still reading my Che book. Not the best source for learning about all sides of the Cuban Revolution, but certainly an in depth study on the titled personality.

- Thunderstorms rolled through the area yesterday. Gentle ones, but the distant booming went on for most of the day. As did the rain. It was kind of nice actually.
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8. Board Game: Zulus on the Ramparts! [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:1545]
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
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WEEKLY ROUND-UP! Haven't contributed much over the last two weeks, so I'm catching up in a major way this week!

Spent Labor Day up at Higgins Lake in Michigan. This is towards the top of Lower Michigan, about a 6 hour drive from Indianapolis. We stayed with friends of my in-laws who have a cottage along the north shore of the lake in a place called Pinewoods Camp. These historic camps were founded around the late 19th-early 20th century, by families, usually from Detroit and places further south, where they would come to spend the summer. The cabin we stayed at was built in 1919, and had been added onto over the years, including the addition of a guest cabin, which is where we actually slept. My in-laws and their friends stayed in the main house.

This was an extended weekend of sailing, canoeing, reading in front of the fireplace (it got quite cool up there during the evenings), reading down by the lakeshore, and, of course, many, many cocktails!

Absolutely rejuvenating vacation! As always, here's an onslaught of pics, starting with the lake. Weather was perfect:



The cabin! This is the main cabin.



The great room of the main cabin. The fireplace was great for chilly evenings!



The great room of the guest cabin (called the "Grumpus" cabin, as it was built to give the ailing grandparents of the first generation to stay here a quiet refuge from the hordes of grandchildren). Note the boardgames on the table!



Enjoying a late-night playthrough of Zulus on the Ramparts!!



After a 25-year hiatus, I tried my hand at canoeing again. At least nobody went in the drink!



Nature! and so forth...



Also played this week:



Finished up my Bloody Afternoon scenario of 2nd Bull Run. The Union did suprisingly well, with Hooker's division making some real headway along the railroad cut, but his flank was weak, and with Longstreet's Corps slashing into the weak center of the Union line, Taliaferro swung his division off Jackson's right to curl into Hooker's left. It was all I could do to get Sykes' 5th Corps to shore up the collapsing Union left. Kearney's division made absolutely no headway on the Confederate left, and Hooker was forced to pull back from the railroad cut to handle the assault on his flank. It turned out to actually be a draw, as the Union couldn't accomplish their victory conditions, but the Rebels failed to render three Union divisions combat ineffective.

Also finished up La Bat Moscowa, the Great Redoubt scenario at the club. We had this up for a while, using it as a learning scenario between other games. I think we've got maneuver down, and really worked on the Assault rules and cav charge rules this week, to the point where I feel comfortable enough with the system that we could take a crack at a larger scenario, if not quite the full battle. This might be a good one for multiplayer.

NEXT WEEK:





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9. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:170]
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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Last thursday, I finally got to play Nexus Ops (AH edition) again at the weekly local gaming-event. I had not had a chance to play this in over two years and wan't sure if I could still justify having it in my collection. Gladly, I found that I still really like it. Easy to teach, easy to play while still allowing for interesting tactical decisions and not too taxing on the brain.

Yesterday, however, was the main event. On Saturday night I had watched the movie "Munich" and had fallen asleep around 1am. I got up early, around 4am, to take a friend to the airport. Back home, I went back to bed for a few more hours of sleep before meeting up at noon with
Franciszek Strzalkowski
Poland
Warszawa
Mazowieckie
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for a game of H:RvC. We had an appointment at a local pub that is gamer friendly but when we got there, we learned that it would not open before 3pm. Bummer. So we walked down the street trying to decide what to do and where to go. Franek then suggested we try an ice cream parlor nearby. It was completely deserted and the girl behind the counter was very friendly when we explained to her that we would like to sit down at 2 of the 4 tables the parlor had to offer, not eat any ice cream and play a game that would probably last about 4 hours. We did have some coffee, though.
When the parlor filled up in the early afternoon, we were kind of an attraction. You could tell that people tried to figure out what we were doing but also tried to hide their interest.
I had the intention to tipp the counter girl heavily but unfortunately, when we were done her shift had already ended.

I raced home, ate a sandwich and left for the second event. I met up with a few fellow gamers for a game of BSG (including the new Daybreak expansion). I have always had mixed feelings about BSG. I absolutely love the show. I also really like games involving a hidden traitor. BSG's main problem, IMO, is that it doesn't scale too well. There were 6 of us yesterday and the problem showed - a little bit. With 3 expansions out now, you can customize the game so that it balances out much better than just the base game. This, however, requires a lot of experience. It is also a game that depens heavily on the right kind of players. I think our group was quite good yesterday. Also, being both Admiral and President for the second half of the game kept me highly involved. Bottom line: I had a great time. The game is good but not without potential flaws some of which can now be dealt with effectively.
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10. Board Game: World in Flames [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:1043] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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The week that was - had another session of my vassal WIF game (Jan/Feb '42). Not good for my Germans - an attack on Leningrad failed and to add injury to injury, the lakes unexpectedly unfroze and some German and Finnish corps went glug (that is a stupid rule in WIF, btw). My Japanese took Colombo though so that was nice - ignoring the Americans for now because American entry is pretty poor.

Others all PBEM/PBF: Andean Abyss, Pax Romana.

And my War of the Suns solo game hit pause because I've been busy. I will finish this by Halloween!
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11. Board Game: Spy Web [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:8755]
 
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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Ok, here it comes. I know that RSP topics are dangerous and can lead to heated debates. However, here in Germany discussing politics is more acceptably during casual conversations than it is in the US so there you have my excuse for bringing this topic to Gelato.

The other day, I was reading up on the latest news regarding the NSA's ability to decipher encrypted internet traffic and their backdoors in security software on the websites of the New York Times and a leading German newspaper. I also checked out the comments submitted by readers, in both cases several dozens or even hundreds. The interesting difference was that the comments on the German website reminded me very much of BGG's RSP - heated, angry, not interested in an open exchange of opinions. The discussion on NYT's website was more civil but with a lot more support for the NSA's surveillance program. What I found particularly striking were the voices that denounced Snowden for endangering US security through his revelations and putting lives at risk.
I am really interested in hearing what Gelato members think about the extent of the surveillance program. Do you feel that the balance between civil liberties and security has shifted too much towards the latter? Do you feel personally affected by the program? What does all of this suggest regarding the future of the internet - a place that has traditionally been associated with a high level of anonymity.

Again, I'd love to hear your opinions but I fully understand if folks rather not participate in the discussion.
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12. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:24]
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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Hey guys,

Just a quick little report from last week as I'm still catching up from the trip.

x1 Mage Knight (8.5 and rising)
x2 Cosmic Encounter (8 and rising)
x1 Dutch InterCity (8.5 and stable)
x1 Duel of Ages (10)

Cati and I managed a very respectable week despite the start-of-semester madness. Over the weekend we had some friends who live close-by over for a little apartment warming celebration. We actually have neighbors now! We ate some pizza, chatted up a bunch, and then decided to play a couple games. As it turns out, they were the perfect group for Cosmic Encounter and I think it might become a regular game with that group. I've always been decidedly mixed on the game but I think I'm coming around to it.

The next day Cati and I blocked off our Sunday afternoon for a game of Duel of Ages and a game of Mage Knight. The game of DoAII was quite nice and very entertaining. We just played the basic duel scenario. I opted for an aggressive play for board control with a couple of sub par ranged weapons but she was able to out-adventure me and eventually easily take the game. That said, the real winner of the day was MK. I think this was our 8th game and I finally feel like I have a handle on the game. I stormed to an early lead by burning down a few monasteries and winning some easy marauder fights which allowed me to get strong enough to take down one of the cities at the start of the 3rd day (we were playing a full conquest scenario). Cati managed a respectable showing by capitalizing on the spell draw and eventually taking a city. I ended up edging her out in the end thanks in part to a slightly lucky dungeon fight. Final scores 116-108.

Oh also, I'm working on a google spreadsheet/google script moderated version of Dutch InterCity. My Locomotive Werks build, which I finished right before is wonderful for playing with old friends (I'll toss it up on BGG eventually) and I want try my hand at something with a spacial component. We'll see if I can get it to work.

The week ahead:
Robinson Crusoe
Puzzle Strike
More Cosmic?
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