Geek Chat League Gelato 113 - Anniversaries
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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.

This week:
Anniversaries

The Titan Cronus:
leroy 43 (Roger)

The Arcadian Nymphs and Shepherds:
ad79 (Stig)
alex352 (Alex)
Capt_S (Jon)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
cscottk (Skippen)
leroy43 (Roger)***
eapeas (Edward & Amanda)
Farsol (Patrick)
licinius (Carl)
lil red head (Nikki)
oeolycus (Dan)
PzVIE (Ron)
Sluggonics (Kyle)
tommynomad (T. Nomad)
wifwendell (Wendell)

Next up Roger!

This past week, I got to go to a Etown recording of Rodney Crowell. I leave you with a a selection of some of my favorites:



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1. Board Game: Men of Iron [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2569]
skippen
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This year is the 400th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. What battle from "ye olden days" fascinates you the most? Any? Do you game in the genre?
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2. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1410]
skippen
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Last year was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. My wife and I visited the site last summer (by coincidence of the anniversary), but it quite interested (never seen so many monuments). What historical battle sites have you visited?
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3. Board Game: D-Day (3rd edition) [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:6767]
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This is the battle that made me think of this topic. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Allies landings at Gold, Sword, Utah, and Omaha beaches. How do you think of gaming about such bloody battles? Do you have any D-Day games that you particularly like?
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4. Board Game: Bitter Woods (fourth edition) [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:2549]
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This year will also mark the 70th anniversary of The Battle of the Bulge. This is an interesting battle that effected the war in many ways, and of the many battles in WWII, it is one of the more represented in game form. Why do think that is so? Do you have a game about the Bastogne battle that you like?
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5. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4282]
skippen
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We have all been on the geek for awhile. What is your anniversary here?
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6. Board Game: Black Plague Blind Date [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
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Do you have any personal anniversaries that you are about to celebrate or most proud of?
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7. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:487]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Played this for the first time.
Easy Fox introductory scenario.
Great game and so engaging. Difficult to choose what to do with the limited moves you have each turn.

Also got in a game of Golf Dice. I won 3&1 against myself. Yeah for me.

And me and daughter had a game of Flash Point: Fire Rescue. Always fun.

Also watched some World Cup football.

PBEM:
Cuba Libre continues slowly.
Also continued a game of Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1 that have been dormant for 14 months.
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8. Board Game: Bus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1870]
Cole Wehrle
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St. Paul
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x4 Bus
x2 Splendor

Ugh what a week. The first two weeks of summer teaching are always the worse. I've got six 90-minute classes back to back to back, and, though they are a total blast to teach, I come home every day exhausted. Hopefully by next week I'll be acclimated to the schedule and I can start having fun again.

Game wise last week saw a fair showing. On Saturday I stopped by the Hill Country folks and played a couple rounds of Splendor which I thought was a pretty good game. I'm curious if there is a viable non-noble route to victory. I got close every time but never quite clenched it. I would definitely play this game again and could see myself recommending it but I don't know if it has a place in my collection.

The highlight of the week, however, was definitely Bus. After playing the game I decided to try my hand at a redraw and ended up taking a decidedly different approach:


More info can be found here: Bus Redraw

So far I think this is my favorite redraw project and I love how the final version is shaping up. It's clean and simple and plays great! Better still, the mod look attracted attention from my graduate student gaming friends and we got in a bunch of rounds this week. I can't say how impressed I am with this Splotter design, especially given the year. The game is clever as hell and may rival Caylus for my favorite worker placement game. We'll see how it holds up after 10 more plays.

Work on the game auction continues. Cati and I have our place now secured in the married student housing (yay!), but it means a big cut. I will likely post the auction tomorrow or the next day. It's too bad I'll be getting rid of so many games I enjoy, but it's also nice to get back to a 50-60 game collection which should allow for some old favorites to get some more play.
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9. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:705]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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This week's winner is Loopin' Louie, wheels-down. It's Kidlet's birthday week, and he saw the boxfront on BGG over my shoulder. He asked about the "crazy-man-and-chickens" game. We had a look and he was hooked. Fortunately, Korea Board Games has a reissue out for 20 bucks. Birthday wish fulfilled. We've played 13 times this week.

Second place goes to 1989: Dawn of Freedom. I am getting hosed in every Power Struggle, but it's such wonderful fun that I don't care. Thank you, thank you, Roger and Wendell for being my (far too able) opponents.

Kidlet's birthday involved a trip to the in-laws, where a late-night session of Lectio took place. My BIL took a devastating hit in round one with three 2-tiles in his hand, and had to pay out 8x the regular rate. I'd never seen that before.

(This is my penultimate Gelato until a 1-2 list hiatus. We fly on the 27th, and are camping soon after. I'll pop in when I can, but it could be sporadic.)
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10. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:173] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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On Saturday I tried out a customized Scenario for the new 1830: Railways & Robber Barons edition. I always found it a little disturbing that the game contains 12 companies, but not a single scenario uses them all. So I toyed a little around with Scenario R and added a few things. It worked surprisingly well (apart from the fact that I lost bady ...). More about this here: 1830+ Scenario R plus a few modifications (or "Whats the point of including 12 railroads in the game and not using them?")

After that we played Crude: The Oil Game ... I usually enjoy this game, but we had the situation that nobody rolled doubles for many, many rounds. That was one long game, and it really became boring. I did a little reading about the new version from Stronghold Games and found out that they use a different method for changing the Economic Situation; I'll probably employ that rule for our next game.

We ended the evening with a game of Wizard; I bought the special edition with the metal coins and it really looks very nice.

On Sunday I played a game of Relic with Andrea.



Tomorrow is a state holiday here and I took Friday off, so I'll have a long weekend. Unfortunately, no gaming is scheduled ... Saturday we invited our parents to a BBQ; that means I will not be able to participate on Free RPG Day this year ... pity. It's not the free books I'm after but that cool special d6 they issue every year. Now I will miss one soblue

Most of our spare time is now consumed by the Soccer World Championships. I really enjoy watching two games every day if possible. Unfortunately, the third game starts at midnight, so on a workday, it's not possible to watch this. But for you, on the American continent, the games are prime time, aren't they? meeple

Today, after work, I will rush into my FLGS and collect my copy of BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia. I really enjoyed playing that game last week and so I ordered a copy for my collection as well. It's also great for 2 players and Andrea liked it too!
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11. Board Game: Liberty Roads [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:1584]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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So last week I had a FTF game of the D-Day scenario of Liberty Roads. Fantastic game, ended in a draw. I tried landing in Brittany this time, for a change.

And also played a short scenario of Pax Baltica. My Swedes recaptured various territories from the Russians, but I reacted too slowly to the Russian threat against my newly-conquered territories in Poland and lost.

PBEM games continue for: Cuba Libre, A Distant Plain, and Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945.
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12. Board Game: Steam Barons [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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This is the week that was:
Tsuro 2
Dixit 1
Pacific Typhoon 1
Steam Barons 1

An interesting week of games. Tuesday night was board games instead of Pathfinder (yay!) and we played a couple of games of Tsuro, which is a nice quick game. We ended with a nice round of Dixit, which is a game I love for the artwork if nothing else.

Thursday night, at my regular board games night, I taught the gang how to play Steam Barons and managed to come in second in our little crew of five. We rounded it out with a game of Pacific Typhoon, which is a game that should take 20 minutes, but usually lasts an hour, but is still worthwhile fun. I had the last battle of the game and pulled Jonathan's biggest battle and played Little Boy. I managed to not lose my play because the three players before me failed to change the time with the day and night card. And then I rolled a 6 with Little Boy and didn't win the battle card. So instead of winning with 40, I came in third with 34 and Jonathan won on the tiebreaker with 37.

PBEM in progress:
Cuba Libre x2: Going well...
A Distant Plain: Going badly for my Taliban
1989: Don't let Tommy fool you.
Pax Porfiriana: A brilliant PBEM game
Eclipse: I'm not going to win this one but it's fun.
Conquest of Paradise: Moving along nicely.
Twilight Struggle: I'm not going to win this one either, barring a miracle.
Unhappy King Charles: Not going well for my Roundheads.

Leaving the collection:
D-Day at Omaha Beach. I loved the look of this game, but I've owned it for over a year and haven't had any opportunities to bring it to the table and I made sure it got to the home of a wargamer who'll be able to play it.

Other stuff:
Summer is almost upon us. How good is that?
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13. Board Game: The Cards of Cthulhu [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2989]
skippen
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Greeley
Colorado
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The Week that Was


Played:

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game x2-- my journey through season 3 of the online league continues. Still fun.
The Cards of Cthulhu--I almost Kickstarted this, but I am glad I didn't. It is fully mediocre at best. Not terrible, but this has maybe 1 or 2 plays in it at most, and I don't ever see the gameplay really varying between plays.
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set--played one round of our campaign again, but since we were missing one of the main folks, we called it after one game. We shall move on later.

PBEM:

Here Come the Rebels-- Patrick still is awaiting my turn, but this one is over for the Union. Learned some hard lessons in this one, but I am looking forward to the next scenario.

Space Empires: 4X--my turn, still. I need to be better on this one. My first economic phase slowed me down. I will get to this one tonight.

Pax Porfiriana--my first PBEM of this game, and it is going fairly well. I can't remember the rules or how to best to play at all, so I expect the others may be annoyed with my newbness. I haven't played this one since it came out.

Advanced Squad Leader I have 3 games in the wings, but only one is active due to me--Gavin Take in which I am teaching full ASL, hence it is taking awhile.

Thirty Years War: Europe in Agony, 1618-1648 -- just starting this one. I need to read the rules, and then get my turn off.

Acquisitions:

B-17: Queen of the Skies
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14. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:157]
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
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A slow week of gaming for us due to our game group being busy to promote the Conclave during Denver Comic Con.

1960: The Making of the President
Hearts and Minds: Vietnam 1965-1975
Arkadia
Die Macher
San Juan

bold = new to us

1960 - We finally, FINALLY, got this to the table. I'm not quite sure why it took us so long, though. Anyway, it is easy to learn and easy to play and we both really enjoyed the game. I see this as something that we'll bust out on a weeknight. I love CDGs and Amanda loves politics and, we found out, CDGs too, so it worked well. Big hit for us.

Hearts & Minds (2nd Ed) - This was last Sunday with my wargame group. I backed the reprint on KS and the production quality could have been better with the cards and board construction, but overall it was solid. Once we figured out the goals of each side (I played the NVA/VS/Communists and my buddy Brian played the US and their allies), we had a lot of fun. The goals aren't clear in the either edition of the rulebook, but complete omitted in the 2nd. Wait, what? Seriously guys? Tsk tsk.

Anyway, it's a fairly easy game to learn and understand, it gets its complication from the strategy of getting troops where you need them, when you need them, and making the best use of the cards you draw. Yup, another CDG. Overall, we enjoyed it and plan on playing it again next Sunday.

Arkadia - Simple-to-learn family abstract game that I had picked up during the auction at GenghisCon in February. City tile laying ala Blokus with set collection to turn in for money. Solid if unspectacular. For the $6 I paid for it, it's a keeper in that respect.

Die Macher - Our 3rd 4-player game of this and it stays awesome. I ended up running away with the game in the last election, but everyone still had a blast. 3.5 hours is where we clock in at, still, so that seems to be the default playtime at this point. Since this is on our 10x10 list, we still have some more work to do, but for those in our group that like heavier games (this list is dwindling, sadly), it won't be a problem to get them to play this. Still fantastic.


We also got our Collector's Edition of 18OE and 18C2C, but there are substantial problems with the custom-made wooden box that comes with it. We have options, but needless to say, we were quite crestfallen when we unpacked it Saturday. We are debating to return the whole thing for a refund or have a new box made...but it's another 9 month wait due to the backlog. That's kinda crushing.
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15. Board Game: No Retreat! The North African Front [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:2847]
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
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Weekly round-up!

Gaming has been sporadic the past couple of weeks, as I've been working late on weeknights, so haven't been able to make it to the club once or twice during the week as usual.

But last Saturday I was able to squeeze in a couple more turns of No Retreat! The North African Front. We hit turn 4, where Rommel arrives, and the Brits start fleeing back across the maps. I've decided to commit to hammering out Tobruk, rather than using the optional rule to continue on to other maps while leaving a force behind to deal with Tobruk. We'll see what that gets me. The Brits get a lot of units back, but they're mostly infantry, and mostly reduced. Hopefully my panzers can dance around these guys enough to put them out of supply or otherwise keep the offensive moving.

One thing that I haven't gotten back to in several weeks now is La Bataille de la Moscowa (third edition). My opponent and I have taken a detour into No Retreat. We might get back to it next Tuesday.



My EiA group met again for an eventful yet ultimately frustrating session. Prussia and Austria have been split - France declared war on Austria, Prussia joined France, Russia sat out, Austria and France immediately sued for peace, and Prussia, of course, got screwed. Now the game settles down into a situation where France, who really wants to fight Russia, who currently has dominance, needs points. The obvious targets are Spain or Prussia, but France has made guarantees to Prussia. Russia waits to capitalize on easy points from Prussia, but won't move with France waiting in the wings. Will France cave and go betray Prussia, leaving him with absolutely no allies for the rest of the game, or go after Spain, leaving Prussia to the tender mercies of Russia and possibly Austria? I guess we'll find out on July 13th.

On the solo table at home...



I decided to pick this up because it's super cheap, and I want to at least learn the basics of ASL. There's a core contingent of guys at my club who are ASL fanatics (every possible ASL module, expansion, indeed, scenario, adorns the shelves at the club), so it'd be nice to be able to sit down with them once in a while for a game. They'd be happy to teach me, but I wanted to sort through it on the table at home, at my own speed, before trying it there.

Of course, the ASLSK #1 was only like $30 at Coolstuffinc. That's not enough for free shipping! I need at least $100 for free shipping! So that was an excuse to throw A Study in Emerald into the cart.



I regularly read JR Tracy's weekly gaming blog, Fun City Gaming, and he's had a couple entries on A Study in Emerald. Additionally, there's been some positive talk about it here. The theme is Cthulhu and Sherlock Holmes, two of my favorite things, so this was only a matter of time. It should be hitting the table at the next semi-monthly gaming group. My wife and I also might take a stab at it this weekend.
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