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.
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leroy 43 (Roger)
Red Shirts Whose Number You Need Not Commit To Memory:
Sure, I could have picked a Halloween theme... Sure, I could have picked a November theme...
But that is what I always do, so this time around I thought I would go for something a little easier for us all and a little quickfire. This is a list about lists. People have Top 10 lists, but that is way too long for us. It can be too hard to pick just one single favourite from any category. Three seems to be a nice number to try.
So with these questions, just rattle off your Top Three whatevers. And let us know why you picked them. Perhaps comment upon the order if that is important to you. The goal is to try to generate some discussion around your choices.
Oh, and a certain lead singer from a certain 80s band has recently released his autobiography. In acknowledgement ...
Name three places you have never been, but would like to visit. Or live for that matter. There must be somewhere in the world that you have always dreamed about. Perhaps you read a book where it was a setting? Or you saw it on TV? Or a friend has been there and their enthusiasm wore off on you?
In fact, it does not have to be far away. It could be the town just down the road. Or even a museum or what have you.
Well, this IS a site about games after all. So ...
An austerity loving government has just been elected to power. Sadly, excess is now officially frowned upon. In all aspects of life I might add. As a result, Fahrenheit 451-like fire brigades roam the land destroying all personal accumulations of stuff. The bastards!
You have an opportunity to hide only three of your precious games from Fireman Chris Montgomery (doing his best Oskar Werner impersonation I might add) and his fire-belching minions.
But which games do you save? Hmmm..... Keep in mind that these will be the only games you will ever get to play again since you are too scared to let any but your inner circle know about them. Oh and all the game companies lie in ashes.
I like the idea of having a little game to dork around with during the week. So, this time I have chosen 20 Questions.
That's right kiddies. You have twenty questions to figure out what animal, vegetable or mineral I am representing. Feel free to throw out guesses like maniacs, especially since each will cost you a question. BWA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAA ....
Be the first to guess correctly and, in addition to Gelato bragging rights, you get to pick the next item to figure out.
- I have now added a second excuse reason for my upcoming demise in my UKC PBEM session with Roger. In addition to the aforementioned "too many casualties in the Early War", I also feel that Roger skillfully exacerbated that issue by taking over my recruiting centres in the North and Midlands Regions. Kind of hard to rally the troops when there are no posters about. Grrr! Actually, I should not state that my demise is imminent, but things are looking a bit gnarly.
- Meanwhile, Wendell continues his advance across the Pacific and Southeast Asia as the Japanese in FitS. It is a good thing my ego does not bruise easily considering the beating it takes at the hands of my friends. LOL! Well, now that Rabaul has fallen he has set his sights on Guadalcanal (the bully!!). This begins to threaten my supply link between Australia and the USA, sooooo.... I am not so keen on him taking it. I am feeling the lack of carriers now.
- Meanwhile, both Roger and Wendell are against me in Cuba Libre. You would think I would have learned my lesson from the previously mentioned sessions. No.... perhaps I am a masochist?
- Meanwhile, another group of us is just starting up a session of A Distant Plain. Despite being a COIN game and sharing many mechanics with CL (and AA for that matter), looking over the rules leaves me with the impression that it will be a different beastie in many regards. We shall see.
- So, it started to snow here. Yes indeed. Last Saturday it was 19 degrees C (high sixties F) then that Sunday it snowed. What an odd place to live ... It warmed up and cleared before Halloween, but this weekend it decided to do it again. Face palm.
- Speaking of Halloween, we had about 30 to 35 ghosts and goblins at the door. Actually, by far the greatest number of costumes were superheroes. And of those, Iron Man was numero uno. Ahhh ... marketing. I discovered sour Skittles this year.
- Huddled in my basement to escape snow shoveling responsibilities, I have been in the midst of a pick up/put down frame of mind with my game collection. I am going to be seeing my Brother (and fellow gamer) in a week and I am trying to decide on what games to show him. I think Battle Above the Clouds and either Space Empires: 4X or High Frontier. In my muddled head (where neither game nor book can gain my attention for long alas) I still cannot decide upon something to solo over the winter.
Continued my career on Saturday with 3 more patrols which gave me my first sinking, had me dodge almost every Escort in sight, avoid detection by aircraft, get permanent assignment in the Arctic, and rack up confirmed sinkings of 57400tons of Allied shipping. Up for promotion after the next patrol.
A truely excellent solitaire game.
Also played a game of Dominoes with my daughter, before we broke out the Napoleon's Triumph map, a few Wings of War planes and flew a quick race around the map.
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
This is the week that was: Scrabble 3 Combat Commander: Europe 1 Rummikub 1 Skip-Bo 1 Ticket to Ride 1 Twilight Struggle 1
A completely average week of gaming. Halloween meant that there was no gaming with the Thursday group, but I got to take my daughter out trick or treating around the neighbourhood. The hoovering hordes of candy collectors cleaned out our house and most of the rest of the neighbourhood before 8pm! We had 144 things to give away and we raided the pantry for a couple more things for the last group of kids that came to the door before we shut down for the night.
My daughter really was taken with Rome, the Colosseum, and gladiators, so went dressed up as a Retiarius (the ones with a net and trident). She got lots of compliments on it. I went in a makeshift toga and laurel style crown as Caesar.
I picked AWAW as my game of the week because according to the tracking info GMT included in my shipping notification it's cleared customs and at the post office, so it will arrive this week. The other parcel I have tracking info for is Ogre which will be in Point Roberts on Tuesday if FedEx is to be believed!
This week's play of Combat Commander taught me the virtue of patience especially in the face of seeming hopelessness. Andrew and I did the RSG again and both took companies. I ended up with an early British Rifle company and he had an elite Italian company and was the defender.
The game was marked by two particular things. First, there were two blaze events that made life interesting in the middle and right (relative to me) sides if the map, and both were exacerbated by breeze events that eventually saw a good 15-16 hexes ablaze.
Second, I got my hero into play, and this time I didn't just leave him to sit in his hands, I sent him out to do things. Objective 5 was an worth 10vp thanks to the open objective randomly pulled at the start of the game, plus the other open one made all objectives worth 1vp each. My hero was dispatched to grab objective 5 which was at the nexus of two roads with three adjacent buildings all filled with foes. Despite a lot of fire, he remained standing long enough for me to get reinforcements into the hex, and Andrew never had the chance to advance into melee to dislodge me before time expired. After the previous session where I was impatient and launched into a melee in a minefield, this victory felt really good.
PBEM Unhappy King Charles: three games on the go. The one with Chris is just starting turn 2 and it's really interesting to play him because I can see the influence that Washington's War has had on him as he spent a lot of turn 1 using op cards to place PC markers, which I am not used to seeing so much in UKC. The game against Jon is going well for Charlie. We are on the cusp of going into the final turn of the game. I don't like to enumerate my poultry before it incubates, but at the moment things are looking good for the king.
1989: two games, including one against Tommy, who is enjoying the game a lot so far.
Pax Porfiriana: probably my favourite new to me game in 2013.
Twilight Struggle: new ladder ACTS game just got underway.
This past week, these games/accessories were acquired: None.
This past week, these interesting things happened in my games and my life:
1 ---> Getting to early Turn 2 of Unhappy King Charles! versus Roger, and realized I have no idea what my goals should be or how to win this game. I suspect it sinks in over the course of several plays. I have no idea if what I'm doing is a good idea or not.
2 ---> I sold all my Leviathans stuff several months ago, mainly because it wasn't being played. Now there is talk of a Kickstarter "relaunch" of the game. The company hasn't put out anything since the core set and a couple of "same components different packaging" products that were labelled as "expansions" because it included some different ship cards, but the actual models were just copies of the ones included in the Core Set. I'm now hoping that they really up the ante on the prepainted minis and start doing Ares-style paint jobs and/or Star Wars Miniatures-style paint jobs for their game. I would make me buy it again.
3 ---> Only three more 24-hour shifts until I am off for BGG Con. I can't wait. I think about it daily - both how many days of work are left, and how much gaming I want to cram into those days.
4 ---> My 100-Game Challenge is progressing at a steady pace. I have enough games going that when one bogs down, another one is speeding up, so the pace evens out. I have some really great, friendly, and fun opponents.
5 ---> On the personal front, not much to report.
6 ---> I did not meet my rules-reading objective for last week (Wellington), so I have to read that, and I am adding Iron and Oak to that list. I did read and re-read the rules for Space Empires: 4X, though.
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.
The week after Essen ... so many countersheets to punch, so many meeples to count and so many rules to read ... I'm not even started thinking about how many new games I should play ...
Nevertheless, it was a great week! It started on Wednesday evening, when a friend came over to collect his kickstarter copy of Dungeon Roll (I ordered a sixpack for me and some buddies). He recently became father of twins, so his gaming time is extremely limited at the moment. However, he brought a game in which I was very interested and I always wanted to try it out:
Mage Knight Board Game. A very interesting fantasy hack'n'slay deck builder with a variable board. The game itself was great, but I dislike the looks. It also feels a little fiddly and the game wasn't able to create the relevant atmosphere. Also, the last two turns were nothing but mathematical exercises if and how you can defeat the boss monsters. So, although I enjoyed playing it, it will not be added to my collection.
Remember the story about my kitchen dealer? I converted my kitchen-dealer Well Sascha and his girlfriend came over for some gaming. Sascha asked me to prepare The Pillars of the Earth as he enjoyed the book and the TV mini-series and thought about buying it. I set the game up, along with the expansion set, and it went very well! Both of them enjoyed it.
After that, a fantasy game was demanded and Adrea suggested Lords of Waterdeep. Another worker-placement game? Well, why not! This was an instant hit. Both of them were in their element and used the stack of 200 Intrigue cards to the limit! It was a game with many laughs and we all had a great time.
We decided to close the evening with something quick and easy, so I brought out Zombie Dice. Another good choice, as both wanted to play again immediately and we ended up playing four games; we also added the expansion dice Santa Claus and Honk & Hottie.
Sascha went to the game store Saturday morning and bought all three games we played.
Saturday was game night again and I prepared Nations. It is similar to Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, but much more streamlined and it only uses a quarter of the rules. It's more variable, as there are hundreds of cards, and in every game only a fraction of them is used. If you like this type of games, you should give it a try. IMHO it's really great and I like it more than TtA. Here's an image from Werner, Hannes and Rudi playing the game. I took the photo:
Then another new one: Salmon Run - in fact, a family game using the deck building mechanism to make your fish swim up-river to its spawning pond, while trying to avoid obstacles like eagles, bears and fishermen. It's a funny race game and even my geeky friends enjoyed it very much! I guess I will consider this one when Ingalisa wants to game again!
As it was already nearly 1 AM, we decided to play Tichu as the last game - definitely our favorite trick-taking game. This concluded a wonderful gaming week
Winner of the C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence
This past week I finished the Conquest of Central Italy scenario in Rise of the Roman Republic. The Roman political rules were tough to absorb at first, mostly because they're so strict and so specific, which usually should be a good thing in a game, but it led to me constantly having to double-check myself to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything. Otherwise, not nearly as difficult a learning experience as I was expecting, given the amount of rules revisions this thing has been through.
Finished my game of this with one of the members of my club. I was the CP, and lost. I managed to get Russia into the Bolshevik revolution, but my Western Front offensives went nowhere, and I was too little too late trying to reinforce the Turks in Constantinople, which ended up falling to the French Oriental Army invading overland from Greece, of all things. A fun but frustrating game - I feel kind of on the fence about it. It bothers me from a historical perspective, though I'm aware that it's not meant to be a real simulation of the First World War.
I had this set up at the club but ended up moving it back to my solo table at home to free up space on one of the half-boards for the North Africa scenario in A World at War. I feel like I'm totally blundering along with the Ottomans in this one - expending too many valuable troops on taking Fort St. Elmo as soon as possible, and not leaving enough to manage Birgu and Senglea, and finally Fort St. Angelo. Will need to study it a bit more.
We've set up the North Africa scenario, and are now reading the rules. Will probably tackle this this weekend while we're shorthanded waiting for one of our players to get back in town. Once he's back, we'll finish our open game of Cuba Libre, then move on to this in earnest.
This is set up on my other solo table at home. I know, solo'ing a six-player diplomacy game - who do I think I am, Calandale? But I want to see how it plays compared to its modern-day little brother, Here I Stand. More on this once I've started actually playing.