Geek Chat League Gelato 80 - Food & Drinks
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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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 chef:

leroy 43 (Roger)

Les commis de cuisine:

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)
tommynomad (T. Nomad)
wifwendell (Wendell)

*** = Next up
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1. Board Game: Play With Your Food [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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This GL will be about food and drinks. Enjoying good food to me is one of the most enjoyable things in life. At the same time, food can have a problematic relation to playing games. I hated the pizza breaks during an 8-hour game of Twilight Imperium. Not necessarily because I didn't want to eat but because getting back into the game was not trivial. Then again, having some good finger food while playing can increase the enjoyment immensely... unless you are the owner of the games being played and have to deal with greasy finger.
So here's the first question: What is your personal take on the whole foood and games thing? Do you serve food when hosting game nights or do you expect people to have eaten and focus on the games? What about snacks? And what do you serve or like getting served as far as drinks go?
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2. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:257]
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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I've just come back from visiting Essen on Friday and a weekend full of gaming with some fellow BGGers. While Essen was definitely nice to experience it was nothing particularly impressive.
Once we got to Chris' place, we began our game-athon by warming up with a few games of King of Tokyo. It was our "appetizer" for what was to follow.

When getting together for game nights, do you first pull out a shorter game to warm up?

When it comes to food, I quite like meals with multiple courses. In Germany, this will often be a soup and around this time of the year there is nothing better than a pumpkin soup. A great appetizer my parents brought back from Italy is cauliflower topped with butter, anchovies, boiled egg and parsley. I know how this sounds (and I generally dislike cauliflower) but this dish is delicious.

When having a nice meal, do you like to have an appetizer first? If so, share an appetizer you particularly like.
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3. Board Game: Runewars [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:174]
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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After King of Tokyo, we played a lot of games. Really, a lot. Two could qualify as the main event: A four player game of Blood Bowl: Team Manager and a game of Runewars (also 4p). BB:TM is awesome, Runewars not quite but still good. On different occasions, I have brought Starcraft the boardgame to the table sandwhiched between shorter games and on rare occasions Successors 3rd or Sword of Rome. I would not, however, consider playing games like Twilight Imperium 3rd, HIS or most real wargames in between other games (unless they'd unexpectedly end really quickly).
Do you prefer to have game nights where one game is being focused on or multiple games are being played?

Turning to food, the main course is the center of gravity of most meals. At least it is in Germany where there is a variety of great roasts. If you have ever had a Rheinischen Sauerbraten (a roast marinated in a mixture of wine, vinegar and spices) with dumplings and red cabbage you'll know what I'm talking about.
In Italy, things are not so simple. Before the "secondo" (meat or fish) comes the "primo" (pasta or a risotto). This is an excellent way to fill people up on food that is more affordable than lots of meat. Again, when my family came back from Italy my mother would usually cook primo and secondo each and every day. Nowadays, I just don't have the time to do this for myself. Still, having both primo and secondo for me increase the pleasure of a meal immensely by adding more variety. Pasta al gorgonzola (an Italian blue cheese) is among my favorites as is Saltimbocca alla Romana (veal lined with prosciutto and sage).

Do you prefer multiple courses or single course meals? Is there a dish that is typical for the region you live in? Do you have a favorite dish and if so, which one?
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4. Board Game: A la carte: Dessert [Average Rating:6.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.82 Unranked]
Alex H.
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Berlin
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We wrapped up our gaming this weekend with a game of Glory to Rome. I had not played this game for a long time and only once before. What an awesome game, I really should take it to my local game club in the next couple of weeks. I even thought about selling Race for the Galaxy today...
On other occasions, I've brought Galaxy Trucker to the table to help everyone relax, esp. after highly competitive games. GT is perfect for this.

Do you like to end a game night with something light and short? If so, what is your prefered choice?

I've said it a couple of times before: when asked for my favorite "anything" I always have a hard time picking. It is a bit different when it comes to desserts: I'd kill for a good crème brûlée or panna cotta. It's easy to find poorly cokked panna cotta but when done right it's fantastic. Whereas I think that for appetizers and main dishes, Germany has strong options to offer, I couldn't name any typical desserts that can match my enjoyment of the aforementioned ones from France and Italy.

Do you like to end your meals with a dessert? What is your favorite dessert?
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5. Board Game: Harem: An Exotic Card Game [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Alex H.
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Berlin
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While I have focused on German and Italian food in this list so far, there is an endless variety of meals and tastes to explore in the world.
And there are dishes, foreigners would consider highly exotic. When I was living in Austin in a coop with 27 students from all over the world, we would have a long discussion about the more exotic things our respective cuisines had to offer and some people would think of as repulsive. The most obscure thing I have eaten so far is probably fried pork brain. On a different occasion when making blood sausages, I have tasted the ground meat mixed with fresh blood to make sure the seasoning was right.

What is the most exotic thing you have eaten? How did you like it?
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6. Board Game: 1,000 Drinking Games [Average Rating:3.80 Unranked]
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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Lastly, let's turn to drinks. When playing games, beer is the drink of my choice. Unless it is Italian or American Budweiser.
In an ideal world, on game nights I would offer my guests a selection Czech beer, some of that great stuff the are brewing in Fredericksburg, Tx, a few local beers from the Bamberg area in northern Bavaria and the Allgäu.
I also really enjoy a good glass of wine. Not necessarily when gaming, though. My hometown Würzburg has some excellent white wine to offer and I made sure to bring a few bottle of Silvaner with me to Aachen.

Alcoholic beverages with more alcohol than wine I don't care for very much. I never got into whiskey and most of the other hard liquors have no particular appeal to me. Shame, really, since there are few things that make you look more distinguished than sipping a single malt while planning out your general offensive on the map of a wargame.

What is your favorite drink and what do you like to drink when playing games?
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7. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:117]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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Weekend Round-Up

This past week, these games were played face-to-face:
Cosmic Encounter x 1 (4-Player)

This past week, these games started:
Stonewall Jackson's Way II, AGA Scenario 4 v. Patrick (Second Play, Switched Sides)

This past week, these games continued:
Battle Above the Clouds, Scenario 1 v. Robert
Burnside Takes Command, Scenario 1 v. Carsten
Battle Above the Clouds,Scenario 3 v. Lawrence
Unhappy King Charles v. Roger
Unhappy King Charles v. Randy
The Napoleonic Wars, 2nd Edition v. Five-Player Game
Battle Above the Clouds, Scenario 1 v. Gordon (continuation of Game from 04/2013)

This past week, these games concluded:
Stonewall Jackson's Way II, AGA Scenario 4 v. Patrick -----> AAR HERE!

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:
None.

This past week, these interesting things happened in my games and my life:

1 ---> Played Cosmic Encounter (Fantasy Flight 2008 Ed.) in a 4-Player game on Saturday. It had been roughly 3 years since I played. I enjoyed the game immensely, and ended up winning . . . but only because my opponent only had one card left in his hand, it was a Negotiate card. Crap win. Shouldn't have happened - but everyone seemed like they had a good time.

2 ---> Saturday (the same day we played Cosmic Encounter) was a get together with friends, only one of whom is a regular boardgamer. We ended up playing Artemis 2.0 most of the day because the guy's house we met at has a theater screen. For those not familiar with Artemis, it is basically a Star Trek simulator where you network four or five computers together and each person has a task, just like on the show: Communications, Engineering, Weapons, Helm, etc. One player doesn't have a computer. He's the Captain and orders the crew what to do. The game is really engrossing, and I expect that future versions of the game will only get better. The large theater-style screen really made the game feel like the TV show . . . the only exception being that the game is not to the point where you actually have any meaningful dialogue with your AI opponents. The game also comes with the ability to have *multiple* teams playing *multiple* ships. Quite awesome. We played four different scenarios in about 6 hours - we upped the difficulty each time, and the difficulty basically just means "more enemies (and tougher) attack your sector of space".

3 ---> Two games are coming out in November that I can't wait to get my hands on: Sails of Glory and Where There Is Discord (Third Printing). Both are high on my Want to Own list. Sails of Glory is an Age of Sail miniature game in the same vein as the Wings of Glory game, changed for Age of Sail. Where There is Discord is a solitaire game, highly praised, on the U.K./Argentinian conflict; one that I know nearly nothing about.

4 ---> I finally won my first "real" game of Great Campaigns of the American Civil War. After 14 plays, I got a win - mostly because my opponent suffered from horrible dice - but I'll take it. After feeling like I didn't know what the hell I was doing for the longest time, the game is started to gel together in my head.

5 ---> BGG Con Countdown continues. This week's rules objective: Wellington.

Cheers!
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8. Board Game: Power Grid: Québec/Baden-Württemberg [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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Vancouver
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This is the week that was:
Cuba Libre 1
Power Grid 1
Star Trek: Attack Wing 1 New to me!

It's been one hell of a week. My father in law is in town for a science conference where he co-presented with my wife. Work has been busy. And I've had way way too little sleep.

But the gaming was good.

Thursday night we played Power Grid on the Baden-Württemberg map, and I managed to win by building and being able to power 15 cities. If I'd held back and built only 14, I would have lost on the money tie-breaker. I really like this map. It's small so there aren't enough cities to win in Step 2, and the turn order doesn't change until after the power plant auction, so there's a little but of an incentive to overbuild. My first clean win in a while so I was pleased.

Friday night late after a great dinner at the Storm Crow tavern, I drove out to Jonathan's place and taught him Cuba Libre (we played through two propaganda cards) and then he taught me Attack Wing. I still like Cuba Libre, and I really found Attack Wing entertaining.

I think Attack Wing will have more legs than the Star Wars version because the Star Trek universe has a broader array of forces and ships to work with. I could be wrong, but we'll know for sure a year from now.

Games in PBEM:
1989. Two of these, including a new teaching game with Tommy. I just kicked him out of power in Poland. The other one is where I've won two power struggles so far and have failed to kick the commies out of power in either one.

Unhappy King Charles. The game with Jon is in its penultimate turn. The game with Chris is in its first turn and the banner has just been raised. I also have a third game of this on the go.

Here I Stand. Has managed to resurrect itself and is going forward. This is a good thing.

Pax. I love this game. I really do. The second topple card has just fallen into the discard.
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9. Board Game: King Of History [Average Rating:5.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.10 Unranked]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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My son discovered the pretty purple box. One of my favourite maps. Unfortunately the game itself is a mere re-working of Hanafuda, a traditional East Asian gambling game--one I don't much enjoy. Add to that truly horrible anime-style cards, and it's a curiosity piece in the collection. But Kidlet likes the cards.

Also into the second round of my pending loss to Roger at 1989: Dawn of Freedom. Great, tense, historical fun.

Gents' group this week met for Pillars, which (while not supplanting Stone Age yet) is an enjoyable 90 mins of worker placement. In one round my 3 master builders were among the last 5 drawn: infuriating.

Other games with Kidlet: Nexus Ops (2), Snow Tails, and Tiki Topple, which is one he's beginning to actually play in a (reverse) way. He makes it his goal to collect his favourite tiki masks using the "Tiki Toast" cards. Because he knows those only work off the bottom of the stack, he has to use the "Tiki Topple" cards to get them there.
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10. Board Game: Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:2043]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Limited gaming since I was traveling but I did do some action in my PBEM game with Jon...
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11. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:110]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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My weekly report?

Apart from working on Monday and Tuesday, I drove to Essen on Wednesday and returned on Saturday evening. Went to a restaurant with the family afterwards. From Sunday until today I just sorted cards, punched counters, counted wooden pieces and tried to make space on my shelves for my new games.

But now I'm finished; a few thoughts about this year's show and all my bought games can be found in this Geeklist:
Essen 2013 - Why am I doing this?

And I choose Nations as my game for this week because I think it is the highlight of this year meeple

EDIT: Nations and Westerplatte. A cooperative game where the players are the Poles desperately trying to defend against the Nazi invaders! Isn't that a cool topic for a coop?
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12. Board Game: Claustrophobia: De Profundis [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
 
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Played another scenario of the Claustrophobia: De Profundis expansion.
This one was a tense battle that had its initiative swings and in the end went to the wire, but my friend again took the win.
it was the first time we used the Siccaria figures and that was a hard character to take out as she could heal one action line per turn.

Also had two great games of Leaping Lemmings with my daughter. She enjoyed it and quickly figured out how beneficial it is to be the Eagle player in a two player game. Fun light game. We played without the Special cards.

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13. Board Game: Ogre [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1104]
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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x2 Ogre (good)
x1 Carc the City (eh?)
x1 Duck Dealer (good)
X2 Hanabi (~)
X1 Agricola (8.5, a bump!)
X1 Alien Frontiers (8)

Ack, sorry about the late post everyone. This week has been a little out of hand and I haven't been on BGG much.

That said, last week I managed a nice set of games. Cati and I played a couple more rounds of Ogre. She likes it---she really really like it! Which is good, because I have a mountain Ogre stuff now. I decided to pitch the box, after much thought, and have replaced it with two, very full, plastic tubs that are considerably easier to move and store. We still haven't touched GEV but I managed my first win as the defense force against the Mark III. Now, on to the multi-ogre scenarios and Mark IVs!

We played a couple of 2 player games during the week including Carc the City and Duck Dealer. Cati has been playing that Carc variant with some kids she watches once a week and they've been enjoying it pretty well. I was more mixed. I think I prefer the regular game.

We also managed another game of Duck Dealer. I think this was our 3rd game and we both now have a good handle on the game. Boy is it weird. As I said last week, it's as if they took the things I liked about MoV and put it in its own game. Except it also took those things and exaggerated them to such a degree that they are barely recognizable. It's a strange, counter-intuitive game that requires such serious logistical planning as to almost be wholly tactical. Except that your actions have huge strategic implications as well. The game plays two player surprisingly well, but I'm debating adjusting a few things to compensate for the lack of players--I wish I had a game group that could give the 4/5 player a try. I bet it would be wild!

Lastly had some friends over for a double header of Agricola and Alien Frontiers. I managed a frustrating win in Agricola where I managed a score of 45 but made mistakes and, had I thought it through, I could have broken 60 without too much trouble. Great game regardless. I am really looking forward to Caverna. Especially after reading the rules and some of the initial reports, it seems like a nice evolution.

I got my ass handed to me in Alien Frontiers. Damn raiders stealing my metal. Every turn. All game.

Oh, also, at my wife's request I'm getting rid of one last set of games before the baby arrives. I'll have more stuff to add this weekend, but here's the auction link.

The imminent baby auction (Original Moongha, Automobile, Wargames, oh my!)

This week Cati and I have managed just a few games here and there. The semester is heating up so it's getting harder to get folks together, though we did have a barn burner of a Duel of Ages game last night.
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