GCL Mafia 148: Roll Fizzlebeef
James Keith
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Oakland
California
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Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly list! If you stumbled onto this list by accident (or on purpose!) and want to know more about the Game Chat League concept, please see the wiki. If you want to look at past GCL Mafia lists, go here: GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread

Our current roster in order of preparation (next week's poster in bold):

Dolus
ecargo
McJarvis
badweasel
mith
mattbcha1
eapeas
Butterfly0038
touchstonethefool
fdubois

Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of November 11 - November 17, 2013. List any games played along with any other information that you deem appropriate. Also, feel free to give life updates, fun facts, or any other super exciting and utterly interesting thoughts you may have.
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1. Board Game: Mark Breslin's Yuk Yuk's Comedy Game [Average Rating:5.80 Unranked]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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For those wondering about the title...

So, Comedy! Who doesn't like comedy. And don't worry, there are so many types of it that I'm sure even someone who shrinks at the word (probably imagining, like I do, some grossly un-funny sit-com with a overloud laugh track) can find some form of it that tickles their funny bone.

What sort of comedy do you like? If you're not a huge fan, what sort of comedy do you not mind as much as others?
 
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2. Board Game: Embrace An Angry Wind [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:7239]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Any style of comedy you can't stand? For those of you who aren't big fans to begin with, any rock-bottom stuff you want to chew out?
 
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3. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:181]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Are there any stand-up comedians you particularly like? If not, are there any you can't stand?
 
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4. Board Game: Crazy Mix [Average Rating:5.49 Unranked]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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I find myself a big fan of TV shows and movies that can deftly mix comedy and drama (though I can't stand the moniker "dramedy"). Are there any genres that you feel mix well with comedic elements?
 
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5. Board Game: Panique Aux Archives [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Unrelated to the topic of the list, I wanted to take a minute to toot my own horn and mention that I just finished my Masters degree in Library and Information Science. I'm a full-fledged archivist now!
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6. Board Game: Tuesday Night Tanks [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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BGG.CON Updates! For you early birds, what did you play on Tuesday?
 
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7. Board Game: Black Wednesday: The Battle of Krasni Bor, 10-11 Feb 1943, [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:4603]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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BGG.CON Updates! What did you play on Wednesday?
 
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8. Board Game: Black Thursday [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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BGG.CON Updates! What did you play on Thursday?
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9. Board Game: Black Friday [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1943]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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BGG.CON Updates! What did you play on Friday?
 
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10. Board Game: Saturday Night Live Trivia Board Game [Average Rating:5.62 Unranked]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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BGG.CON Updates! What did you play on Saturday?
 
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11. Board Game: Crash City [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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BGG.CON Updates! What did you play on Sunday?
 
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12. Board Game: Traders of Osaka [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:963]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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New Games

Lost Legacy x1
Cthulhu Gloom x1
Traders of Osaka x1

Old Games

Pirate Dice: Voyage on the Rolling Seas x1
Ra: The Dice Game x1
Paris Connection x1
Phoenicia x1
Sticheln x1
Firefly: The Game x1
Big Points x1
Santiago de Cuba x1

Only three new games this past week:

Lost Legacy is another microgame from Kanai, the designer who brought Love Letter. As I got eliminated in the first round, I don't have much to go on as to an opinion (other than we read the card wrong and it was the other player who should have been taken out, bleh). Other than that, it feels very similar to LL, but has two distinct stages based off of when you get through the deck. It doesn't seem bad, but doesn't seem that much more than Love Letter is. Fun, but at this point not terribly revolutionary.

Cthulhu Gloom was a "how the hell was I able to get this to the table?" moment for me. It's not a bad little take-that game, though playing with two was a lackluster. I may even give it another shot with more just to see how it goes. I still think the semi-transparent cards are nifty and work interestingly into the tactics/strategy of the game (possibly more of the former than the latter).

And finally, I found Traders of Osaka to be extremely impressive (this from Susumu Kawasaki, who's Gauss I also hold in high esteem). The balance between taking cards for money or buying them up as goods (not to mention how simply taking cards from the market changes up player incentives by itself) was fascinating, though I question how useful the reserve tokens are in a 2p game. I'll definitely be looking to get a copy of this secondhand, if not keeping an eye out when the nebulous reprint comes along.
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13. Board Game: The Gnomes of Zavandor [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:3528]
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Magic: The Gathering 7
Ascension: Rise of Vigil 4
Bang! The Dice Game* 2
6 nimmt! 1
Botswana 1
For Sale 1
Ginkgopolis 1
The Gnomes of Zavandor* 1
Qwixx 1

Another Magic booster draft tournament where I won one of those seven games. I learned that I do not like playing a white/green deck and so it was not as much fun as the first booster draft where I played red/blue, which I think I definitely like.

Bang! The Dice Game is a great implementation of the base game in dice form and it plays quickly enough that it works as a light filler for the beginning or end of a night that can accommodate many people. It was worth the less than $15 I paid for it.

I had bought The Gnomes of Zavandor awhile ago on one of my buying whims since I had read it was an economic/stock game that played well with two. Overall, it's a cute little game and did play well with two. We did take out a particularly nasty card that would have just been too mean and stalled the other player had one of us bought it. Overall, I don't know how many plays the game has in it, but do think it will come out again.
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14. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:10]
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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3x Memoir '44
*China
*Qwixx
Terra Mystica
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization

I started playing DoW's digital Memoir '44 again. I'm still not convinced it's something I want to keep long-term. I rarely get to play two player games. When I do, there are many others I'd rather play, and I don't know anybody to play Memoir '44 with locally who wants to play it.

Qwixx was a fun quick game. China was alright, but nothing special.

My friend has become good at playing Through the Ages after playing through several games, and has now started beating me. Yay!

I finally got to replay Terra Mystica. It's an interesting game and a decent game, but it feels a lot like Eclipse and Mage Knight did to me. They were really hyped, I enjoyed it, but it didn't do a whole lot for me. Eclipse I do look forward to playing again and exploring more, but TM I would play again if others wanted to, but I won't pursue it much myself.
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15. Board Game: Yomi [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:829] [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
Philip Newman
United States
Richardson
Texas
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Weekly Plays:

Ginkgopolis - 2 (1 BAJ with Grace, Travis, and Fabrice; the other with The Experts)
Innovation: Figures in the Sand - 2
Quarriors! - 2 (with Mike)
Yomi - 1 (with Mike)

I did not get in nearly as much gaming as I was expecting this week, as I was stuck at home sick Thursday and Friday. Boo.

In other news, I bought my first Magic: The Gathering cards in a really long time - a couple common/uncommon core playsets and a set of oversized Commanders (Serena and some of her friends have gotten into Magic, that t is specifically geared toward that group). I spent way too much time yesterday sleeving my sealed/draft cube (which at the moment is just one of each unique card between the two core sets) - I have all those Ultra Pro sleeves which I wasn't using for anything else, so I figured I would see if I had enough that were consistently-sized. I managed to get the 299 cube cards sleeved, but I still need to dig through for more matching ones for any lands that might be necessary.

The plan right now is to build one 3-color Commander deck, and a regular deck with the other two colors (and maybe some teaching decks, or who knows what really).

Quarriors!

I drove down to Oak Lawn to meet Mike on Tuesday, and after getting some Tex-Mex (/Salvadoran/Other Latin Cuisine) in him we played a couple games in the hotel lobby. We went with lighter games (expecting to be able to play something heavy on Thursday, doh).

Both games of Quarriors were enjoyable; in the first, I tried to get a bunch of Oozes out in a bunch to beef them up, but never really pulled that off, while his creature choices were much better. In the second, we both went after Ghosts at first to cull, but I diverged for Dragons (kept rolling a lot of quiddity and not enough monsters) and they eventually won it for me (the ones that kill off all L1s, and also just generally kick butt). Obviously a lot of randomness in this game, and it doesn't have the strategic depth of Dominion, but there is just something fun about rolling dice with monsters on them.

Yomi

We played Yomi next/last, which I hadn't played in a long time (learning it at one of the Scummeets). I think he had me down to half my health before I damaged him once, but then I went on a run of guessing right (and it was definitely guessing, I had no idea what I was doing for the most part), got fortunate drawing my aces, and hit him for 45. It's a fun game, and I would enjoy playing it often enough to get a feel for the different decks - it does capture the feel of a fighting game quite well.

Innovation

I made it to DGM for about four hours on Saturday (still worn out from being sick, that was about all I could handle). I ran into Paul first, and we played a couple of games of Innovation with both expansions. In the first, I ramped up really quickly with Magnifying Glass (drawing a 4 - Gunpowder - and returning three 3s for a 5 - Pressure Cooker). I was able to blow up his tableau quite a lot with Gunpowder, and then really lock things down with Pressure Cooker (as I had no hand, and a 5 bonus, while he had a large hand and a couple of 1 bonuses). It wasn't really a game after Gunpowder, and I ran off the initial 1-8 achievements (he achieved two 1s via Chopsticks, but was otherwise shut out).

The second game was much more interesting; I again got off to a good start scoring, and also jumped ahead again (having a lead in industry in the mid game and clocks in the late game), but he had a massive pile of cards in front of him and good splaying. He stalled on 7 achievements for a while (only 1 was an ordinary achievement), and I got to 6 with a 10 in my hand that might have won it for me, but he was able to get to 3 crowns in four colors to finish it off before I could play it.

I enjoy Figures, but it doesn't feel nearly as necessary as Echoes at this point. Echoes really adds a lot.

Ginkgopolis

The first "new" thing I've tried in a while, and it's an expansion. Played this three player with Matt (who hadn't been around in a while after starting Seminary) and Bruce (who I believe is from Oklahoma, in for BGG.con; he was here early last year as well).

The expansion adds six different modules, and we decided to just throw them all in. After a first play, I think I liked four of them (all three types of new buildings, and the Experts), was meh on one (the card passing rule change), and disliked one (the events), so not bad. A couple of the events just seemed overly nasty, but really they probably aren't any worse than your standard overbuild. The card passing is a nice idea, but at the same time seemed to make it more likely that someone would get stuck with terrible cards for a few rounds; planning ahead is good, but it felt like it broke the draft too much.

Anyway, enjoyable enough, doesn't really feel necessary though (and I haven't gotten to play my copy much lately anyway, so for once I'm not feeling particularly compelled to buy an expansion immediately).
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16. Board Game: RIFTS Collectible Card Game [Average Rating:4.63 Overall Rank:15516]
Beau Bailey
United States
Missoula
Montana
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No games

Maybe I can get some games in over Thanksgiving? But all of my family may be focused on the mini-human, so no opponents.

Books

I finished reading Child of God by Cormac McCarthy. Very enjoyable. The ending path of the story made me reevaluate the earlier items and how they could have contributed to the main character's development. I had initially thought they were unconnected scenes for texture, but in hindsight they had seeds of what was to come. A nice quick read.

Then I moved on to Counter-Clock World by PKD. This is my second favorite PKD book of the ones that I have read. Time is moving backword on Earth, with people growing younger and the dead coming back to life (after reconstituting themselves). People still think and act in standard linear time, but they uneat food and desmoke ciggarettes. The story focuses on the return of a religion's founder and the various factions that are attempting to get control of him. The novel is very interested in the theological and religious implications of these resurrected individuals and their experiences when they were dead.

Now I am reading through the Rifts rule book (the 1990 version). It is awesomely terrible or terribly awesome. I can easily see myself having created this in my early teens. The editing is atrocious and the rules are severely dated, but the setting is so heavy metal.
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17. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.03 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.03 Unranked]
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
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Light in quantity this week (working a plethora of OT last week and for the forseeable future), but one great one:

Advanced Civ (8 players)
Pack and Stack



Fun, but better split between 2 days. I won. The end
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18. Board Game: After the Flood [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1805]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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d10-9 1x After the Flood*
d10-8 1x 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties*
d10-8 1x Spyrium
d10-7 1x Sail to India
d10-7 1x Colossal Arena*
d10-7 1x Mayday!Mayday!*
d10-7 1x Patronize*
d10-7 1x In a Grove*
d10-7 1x 18EU
d10-6 1x Le Havre: The Inland Port*

edit: I've decided my ratings on several games have been out of sync with the BGG rating description and have adjusted ratings accordingly.

A great week of gaming! Two new favorites and a very solid Civ-lite filler.





The last time I had this feeling after playing a game for the first time was Container. It felt like sitting in a cockpit with levers, buttons, dials, and screens all around you and you didn't know which one to press or what would happen when you did.

Unlike every other Wallace game I've played, there wasn't that gnawing feeling of starvation. There's no money, so he can't have those awful loans (or pollution or whatever the black things are in Automobile). Resources are still tight, but you feel like you're playing against the other players less than against the game.

Each round you get a set amount of grain and textiles (based on the relative ordering of players in those two boxes) plus what you have left over from previous rounds. That's it. You have no more chances to get more resources till the next round. All you can do is trade resources for other resources (same quantity but more "valuable"). There's no way to get more. That may have been the greatest breath of fresh air. No Agricola "let me take the 4-wood spot".

You place workers on a map so that you're able to trade resources for other resources and to found an empire. Founding an empire gives you access to armies. Armies are one of two principal scoring mechanics. You expand armies (empires, whatever) in a Small World area-control mechanic. However, at the end of the round, all armies disappear from the map and you have to create a new empire in the next round. Fighting is easy and quick and the only question is who "equipped" their army better when it was originally formed (by spending resources) because that person has an advantage on rolling.

The second principal way to get points is by turning in a set of different resources at the end of the round to "expand a city" (basically just converting a set of 0 - 4 different goods into VPs. My gut is you can get almost equivalent points by going military or going city expansion, but after one play I'm not sure.

There's a lot more there than what I've said, but that was what stood out. Resources are tight but not strangling. Armies are fun. Placing workers is tough, especially because they consume resources you'd like to use for other things. A tight, brain-burny game that after a single play, I think smokes God's Playground.

I can't really compare it to AoS or Brass because they are so different, but I think AtF may be in my top 3 brain-burny Wallace games, After one play, I'd say it's more brain burny than AoS (with the basic map) and easier to teach than Brass (though not necessarily any more brain-burny).




I played this for the first time last night and I'm still absorbing it.

Summary of quirks: Companies can either be fully or partially capitalized. Trains can either be locals, express, or freight. Trains are bought between companies at fixed prices. And emergency train buys don't use director's funds, only company shares or recapitalization (cuts share value in half). Oh, there are also 20 companies (16 in any given game) so mergers are common (and necessary to get the right type of train into the right company). Lastly, the president's share is a 30% share, players can own up to 100% of a company, and although track can be re-used by multiple trains, cities only count once per company (no matter how many trains run to/through them).

Thoughts: late game companies can run for lots of money (the last 3 ORs, one of my companies ran for $129/share) and quadruple jumps are possible. Also, stock value is important (top stock value is $1000/share). My gut is, like in most games with quadruple jumps, a little bit of early holding/merging is ok if you are getting the right trains/permits into the right companies. This feels very much like an operational game but one with a whole lot of levers to tweak. There's also a whole lot of setup randomness (only 16 of 20 companies are available in any given game and what type of train a company can run is decided randomly at setup time) so replayability should be high. Lastly, the 2-player I played last night played suprprisingly well. With the random setup and the ability to own 100% and the small map, I think this may be another solid 2-player game.





While I don't know that I like it as much as the buzz it's getting, Sail to India is a great civ-lite game in a small package. It comes in an oversized pack of cards box and it delivers a slightly brain-burny civ-lite game in about an hour. If it was bigger, I probably wouldn't be much of a fan, but given it's size, it's one I'll keep and carry wherever I go. I have yet to try it with 2 players, but I'm optimistic that with a few tweaks it will be fine.





Mayday!Mayday! was a solid Resistance clone. I like that it's a one mission game and although we had a player that dragged it out, I suspect it should normally play faster than Resistance. That said, while I like the theme, I don't think it distinguishes itself enough from Resistance that I need both. I'll happily play it though.





Colossal Arena was better than I expected. It's a betting/deduction game where players are trying to bet on the monsters that will win a 5 round competition. One monster is eliminated each round and early bets are more valuable. The monsters have special powers that are activated when the guy who's bet the most on the monster plays a card on it. While it's a Knizia and that shines through a little, it also is more thematic than I expected. Plus, with a couple of plays, I'd expect this to go fairly quickly (~ 30 minutes) making it a good filler. Glad I finally got to play it.





Hattari looks like another good deduction/bluffing game. The 2-player variant is not good, but serves as an ok way to learn the game. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to play this with 3 or 4.





Patronize is a weird Japon trick-taking game. There are only 17 cards and less are in play in a single game. You get points not only from winning tricks but from getting the right cubes and cards. After one play, I'm still not sure that I've grokked it and while I'd like to play it more, I'm afraid it may be a game that takes too many plays to get people to adopt it.





Lastly, Le Havre: Inland Port was better than I expected. It's a 30 minute Le Havre filler where the buildings sit on the production wheels. Each turn, you can activate a building X times where X is where it is on the wheel or you can buy a building. It's nothing deep, but for a 30-minute 2-player filler, it's not bad. I'd happily play it but have no need to own it.
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19. Board Game: Rattus [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:817]
Matthew C
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This week was a first for me. I got together with someone I only know via the internet to play some board games. It turns out that they also live in Indianapolis (well, he's in a suburb). We met up on Wednesday to play some lighter fare with a few other people:

Love Letter -- This was actually the first time for me playing this quick and little game. I can see why it gets played frequently, it takes seconds to set up and get going. However, it had less deduction than I was expecting. That said, I was still able to guess a few identities when people were not expecting it.

The Resistance -- Since we'd already warmed up wit
h our social deduction, it was time to separate the sheep from the goats. The guy I met up with slipped up on the second mission when he was the leader and nominated three other people to go, so that aroused my suspicions that he was a spy. However, I was sure that one of the other resistance members was a spy, so there's that.

Hanabi-- We lost really badly in this one. Like, not even getting a 10 badly. When one of my fellow players told me I had two threes and there were already two twos on the board, I had assumed they meant for me to play them. First play: not on board. Well, that's odd... second play: not on board. Yeah.

King of Tokyo-- we finished out our larger group games with a match of KoT. I played Alienoid as always, and managed to knock out someone in a massive 7-damage attack thanks to a +1 damage card I had. Unfortunately, that left me undefended and I was soon defeated thereafter.

Finally, the others had left so I introduced my new friend to Rattus. It's my favorite quick area control game, and I think I'm finally getting the handle of it. After a quick introduction to the rules, we were off and spreading plague like it was our job. I'm convinced that in a 2-player game, the most important role must be the Knight, because the population counts are lower than the would otherwise be. I was able to reduce his population while building my own, and the game actually ended by me placing the last of my cubes on the board.


I did go to my Thursday night games as well, but I showed up at 5:30 (it opens at 5:00) and people were already settled in for Terra Mystica and some other 3 hour game, so I went home and slept instead. I did get a game of Eldritch Horror in on Saturday too, but I found it lackluster and distracting in a store setting with 6 people.
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20. Board Game: Bruxelles 1893 [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:251]
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
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 8.5  Bruxelles x1
 6  Ticket to Ride:Europe x1

Nothing really amazing this week.

Near future seems to be very interesting :

1) i found 2 new players around me who are willing to play some games that take dust on shelves like Maria, Napoleon's Triumph, God's Playground, Byzantium...

2) 1 gaming night on 11/30 : Assyria, Bruxelles 1893, Troyes, Hansa Teutonica, Le Havre, Keyflower...

3) 24 hours of gaming on 12/07
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