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) sottk (Skippen) leroy43 (Roger) eapeas (Edward & Amanda) Farsol (Patrick) Lil Red Head (Nikki) oeolycus (Dan) PzVIE (Ron) Sluggonics (Kyle) tommynomad (T. Nomad) wifwendell (Wendell)
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
Miroslav Klose came in as a substitute in yesterday's Germany-Ghana game and scored the tying goal, which tied him for the most world cup goals ever (15) and also made him the oldest player to ever score in a world cup game.
I've been watching him score goals in four world cup tournaments now, and he's become one of my favourite players.
Do you have any favourite players that you've been following in the World Cup?
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
This is the week that was: Carcassonne: The City 1 Djibouti 1 Steam 1
Carcassonne The City is actually my personal favourite of all the Carcassonne games, but it's the hardest one for me to get to the table. My wife and I wanted to play a game and I dragged it to the table. She of course thrashed me soundly.
Thursday we played Steam again and it's now received a universal thumbs up from the gang so I'll be looking at getting the expansion map packs. We've been sticking with the basic game.
Djibouti continues to be a fine wrap up the evening game.
PBEM continues: Pax, Conquest of Paradise, Eclipse, Cuba Libre, 1989, Unhappy King Charles, A Distant Plain, Twilight Struggle.
Speaking of Twilight Struggle, GMT announced in one of the updates to their digital TS campaign that the collector's edition that's coming early year will be very swish:
So, what’s going to be in the Collector’s Edition of Twilight Struggle? Here’s what you’ll get:
Game Box: We’ve listened to your feedback, and have decided to go with a wooden box with a hinged top – really high quality and really easy to access. We’re not altogether certain on the depth yet, but it’s looking like a 4” deep box, the deepest we’ve ever produced for one of our games. We don’t want you to have any worries about being able to fit all the cool components in the box, so we’re going big here.
Cards: The cards will have a new and unique graphic layout, especially for this edition of the game. The CE will also include sleeves for all cards.
Map: We’re going with an even thicker, more durable map than the one that’s in our Deluxe Edition (and our players like that one a LOT!). And like the cards, the map is going to get a completely new graphic treatment for the CE.
Counters: We are upgrading from cardboard counters in the CE to give you guys high-quality, stamped wooden pieces.
Miniatures: The CE will include five metal miniatures to adorn several of your game tracks and add some cold war theme to your game play! We’re keeping the type/identity of these miniatures to ourselves for now. We want to surprise you!
Rules and Player Aids: This is an area where we’re pretty much going with what we already have in the Deluxe Edition – thick paper/cards, full color throughout, with perhaps a bit more thickness and better coating.
Dice: You’ll get two custom molded plastic “thematic” dice. We seriously considered metal dice, but all the ones we’ve ever used tend to flake from impact over time, so we decided to go with some high quality molded dice instead.
A Fabric Bag: To hold the game pieces.
Certificate of Authenticity: Signed by the Designers
I'm very excited!
Games entering or leaving the collection: No updates this week.
Everything else: I am completely sucked into the World Cup. This week my wife is away at a conference in Minnesota, so I'll be able to watch guilt free...
"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
x13 Ortus Regni (!!!!) x6 Candy Chaser (!!!!) x3 Blue Moon (8.2) x2 Khmer (Something high) x1 Bus (8.7) x1 Lucca Citta (6.5) x1 Coloretto Amazonas (6.7)
What a great week for games! The highlight of the week was, without a doubt, Ortus Regni. I requested a review copy and got one this Friday. Because the campaign is ending soon, I wanted to make sure I got the review out quickly so I played 13 games over the weekend (whew!). The game is really neat and I hope I can help them get a second wind on their kickstarter campaign--though it seems like the game is already in production anyway.
As soon as the review gets past the geek mod I'll be sure to post a link HERE.
Saturday a local hosted a big gaming shin-dig at his house. For most of the day we were running three tables. I got to play all kinds of stuff (like Ortus) as well as a wonderful game of Bus. The five player game is really chaotic and I'm not sure if anyone is actually smart enough to deal with the chaos, I think the three and four player are better games.
The big highlight of Saturday was a game called Candy Chasers which is a wonderful Japanese microgame that is a shade heavier than Love Letter with simpler rules. Highly recommend! I can't imagine I will ever get a copy but I'll definitely be improvising one until I do.
Speaking of elegant little microgames, this week also saw a bunch of play of Khmer which, if you haven't played everyone must try. You can play it with a simple deck of cards and the game offers a really charming two player experience.
Lastly, Cati and I have been continuing our steady play of Blue Moon which continues to amuse. We haven't started drafting decks yet but I think we've played through all of pre-made decks now so it's only a matter of time.
Auction news: With any luck (and a bit of free time) the auction will come out tonight. Ron, I'll set aside Conquest of Paradise for you and check into shipping.
Other game news: With the auction list just about finalized the collection is finally pared down to a slim 75 titles. I may kick a couple more off the island but it's getting hard to make the call. Just preordered the Winsome set (info went out the the US customers a few days ago). Hopefully John will continue his tradition of letting the games out early--I certainly wouldn't mind having taking a peek.
Owen news: No teeth yet but the kid is doing a lot more rolling and even starting to pull himself up by his arms. Also, he had his first swim in Barton Springs last week and is now Austin baptized. By the by, if any of y'all ever find yourself in Austin, Barton Springs is a must see/swim.
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Been playing USE on my solo virtual vassal table these past couple of weeks. I had playtested it a little bit. I have to say, I'm really enjoying it. Very interesting rules, dare I use the word 'elegant'? An unusual wargame that has neither movement nor combat factors on the counters, nor uses buckets o' dice for combat. It's going into late '42, the Soviets are bending but not breaking, and Britain and the US are advancing on Tunis.
And on Saturday, finished March/April '44 of my World in Flames vassal/skype game. The Allies took Boulogne, Antwerp, another hex near Paris but with heavy losses, and they bounced off of my heroic Italian defenders of Genoa. Still holding on, but I fear that one or two decent Soviet attacks could unhinge my lines in Russia... And Japan may never get a lick of foreign oil ever again.
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.
No gaming for me this week, apart from two games for our current playtesting project.
On Wednesday I went to my FLGS for a little shopping and came back with a couple of new games:
I already played Bioshock before, and totally liked the design. Unfortunately, when I openend the box at home, my copy was incomplete - I miss three blue cards. I already mailed the company and they promised me replacement.
Castle Panik really looked nice - some kind of card play coop: you defend a castle against a horde of Greenskins. Exactly my kind of theme!
Another book for the new Star Wars RPG, an expansion for Dungeon Fighter and a pack of 15 more stupid Munchkin cards went also into my shopping bag (on my defense: the Munchkin cards came cheap) ...
The rest of the week was dominated by World Cup watching and BBQing. I grilled some hamburgers on Thursday, we had pork chops on Saturday, with Swedish Hasselbackpotatis (translates to Fan Potatoes) and on Sunday I made some spare ribs. Yummy! I lover the Summer and my Weber grill!!!
What an eventful week of not just gaming, but centered around gaming.
Master of Economy Wildcatters German Railways Black Spy Rococo Money! Piece o' Cake Little Devils Roll For It! Hab & Gut
bold = new to us
The week started out agonizing over whether to keep our Collector's Edition of 18OE/18C2C and ended with deciding to return it. Mark Frazier couldn't have been easier to deal with and was totally understanding. So that's a huge weight off of my shoulders. Plus, he'll have no problem reselling it, so it's a win-win in that respect.
I'll do these chronologically:
Wildcatters - Some in my group think the game is terrible and I completely disagree. While it does have a touch too much luck, imo, I really, really like this game. I taught a couple of new players and we got the 2 rules we had been playing wrong, correct this time. One of the rules is completely wrong in the rulebook and corrected by the designer on BGG and another is really vague, but also clarified here on BGG. The play was smooth and everyone had a great time and wants to play again. I got destroyed, but I usually do when I teach games since I'm so focused on helping others understand everything. That's fine w/ me since now, I have more players who want to play the game!
German Railways - Our game group is basically everyone who runs the Conclave of Gamers convention next month, so we need to play games that folks may want to play while there. This is one of the games available for the Puffin' Billy competition, so we got this to the table on Thursday night, during our game night. I also will be getting a copy from the Queen KS of Chicago Express, so I wanted to check it out.
I really have no idea if I like this game or really don't like it. I'm definitely going to need at least one more play of the game to try and decide. The game has 8(?) railway companies in which players can invest in and build track for. Each company only has 3 shares of stock, period, and each company has a different quantity of trains to build track with. The game starts out with an initial stock round where each company sells one of their 3 shares of stock. The unique thing about the game is the way you determine turn order each round: Based on the current value of each players holdings, they get (assuming a 5 player game) 1-5 of their colored tokens into a bag, with first place getting 1 and last getting up to 5. So it's possible for some players to have multiple turns in a round and some to not have a turn at all. It sounds like a bad idea, but it actually is a game balancing thing and seemed to work well in our game.
Laying a train is laying a hex and you're allowed to lay 3 trains per turn, but only in companies that you have stock in. Once two companies trains meet in the same hex, every company pays dividends, with the company who caused the payout paying out double. Once all companies have met at least 2 other companies, the game ends.
I ended up finishing in 3rd and the guy who won, Chad, had the fewest turns. He just bought the best stock at the right time, I think? Yeah, gonna need to play it again and see if I 'get it' better next time.
Black Spy - This was my last game on Thursday and had seen the guys playing this previously, so I thought I'd give it a go. Black Spy is an OLD trick taking game that reminds me a lot of Hearts in that you don't want black cards and the Black Spies are the cards you REALLY don't want. You play to 200 and lowest score wins. The unique thing about this game is that you must follow the lead suit OR number, if possible. Cool variation of Hearts and I was crushing until the last hand when I got stuck taking 3 Black Spies and lost by 5 or 6 points. Grrrr.
Master of Economy - So Saturday's gameday got cancelled, so we went over to our friends Tony and Robin's house to play a game or two and head back home...well...yeah. We started out playing MoE and 3 of the 4 of us (me, Amanda, and Tony) had played before and Matt hadn't, but it'd been a LONG time since we last played. So fighting thru the rules took a bit, but we figured it out/remembered and got started. I'm not going to go thru a rules explanation, but it was really fun, although we kept thinking we were missing something since no one ever paid any dividends the whole game. Come to find out, yeah, that is pretty normal. Most companies won't...it's all about having the right shares of the right companies at the end of the game. I ended up winning by $2 over Tony, I think and we're planning on playing it again tonight and again next weekend. Good stuff. Oh, and I was able to land a copy (this one is Chad's copy) of MoE for $52 off of eBay!
So after MoE, we figured we'd play one more game and call it a day. There were 5 of us, so we settled on Rococo, but not before we started drinking (beer for everyone but me - Merlot for me).
Rococo - I don't get why more people aren't big on the game. Sure, it's not the most original mechanically, but it's really, really solid in what it does. And the theme is unique. Only Amanda and I had played before, so I taught the game and everyone LOVED it. The interaction of the different mechanics is quite smooth and enjoyable. A big hit for everyone who played.
So after Rococo, we had lunch and then after about 3-4 more glasses of wine, Tony offered up a shot of vodka & Kahlua and we were off to the races. During the next few hours, we played the other games and downed a handful or two of white russians. Somehow, by 10pm, I was teaching Hab & Gut while being bombed out of my mind. We only played half the game, then went out onto the deck to enjoy the cool night air and sit around the hookah and BS. Then Tony & Robin's daughter, Jess, drove us home. Sunday I not only was hungover for the first time in my life, I got another case of pleurisy to fight with this week. Fun
All-in-all, a really fun week, esp. Saturday night. After thinking about it, I haven't been drunk in...5 or 6 years, so it was nice to let loose for a change. But man, between my first hangover (I usually never get them) and dealing with a really, really sore right lung, Sunday wasn't my finest day. On the mend now, though, thanks to modern medicine (read: heavy antibiotics).
Oh and we put some stuff up in the High $$$ Math Trade, so I'm hoping we trade for something good on Friday!
I was very lucky this week to have played not one, but two prototypes created by my good friend Zirk van den Berg. The titular Hit it! is a pithy little 2P card game themed around tennis. My favourite thing about it is that it replicates the sport: some rallies go on & on, others end as soon as they've begun. Good fun.
The second, however, is much, much more. Spies of '39 is a wonderful, immersive, creation: thinky, with plenty of conflict and lots of angles to consider. My Gents' Club reconvened to play it, and though we lost a member to work at the last moment, four of us were able to sit down and play earlier this week.
The game is played on a period map of Europe. Each player is running a spy ring, attempting to collect secrets, get them home, and get debriefed. Each time a secret changes hands, the clock to war ticks down another notch. The author describes it as a step up from TtR; I'd describe it as 3 or 4 steps up. Our game was tactical & strategic, territorial and temporal. England and France were picking at each other throughout, as were Russia and Germany. But Russia couldn't control key ports on her borders and so...well, we all know how that goes. Our Russian player offered the following post-playtest question to the designer:
Is Russia fucked?
Most importantly, we all thought this felt nothing like a prototype. It was only one play, with several errors, but we all felt it was a masterful, complete design. After a gaming season dominated by The Game of Thrones, de Vulgari Eloquentia, Tokaido, London, and Pillars of the Earth, Spies of 39 more than held its own in our esteem.
Same-old, same-old published boardgames
We gents needed to relax a bit (after starting the big, big one) so we played two games of Lectio. Clacky goodness.
I played three games of Memory with the kidlet, this time with Coloretto cards. He's really into reptiles and amphibians these days, so when I told him I had a game about chameleons, we had to play it immediately.
He turned 4 this past weekend (he was born on the shortest day of the year), and so we had a few of his buddies over. We played several rounds of Loopin' Louie. The only thing better than watching Louie turn grownups into four-year-olds is playing with actual four-year-olds.
PBEM I am remarkably consistent, floundering in 1989 Power Struggles against both Wendell and Roger.
- My session of Tyrant: Battles of Carthage versus Syracuse ended a few weeks ago with a humiliating defeat of my Carthaginians. They just never got off the pot before the Hordes of Syracuse were upon them. Bah! I would like my next GBoH PBEM to be from Hoplite, but there isn't a VASSAL mod out yet (unusual in this day and age).
- FitS .... Well, Wendell and I have discovered a couple of things. One is that we were playing a rule or two wrong. Given the nuance of the game, I am not surprised and, in fact, find it kind of amusing. The second item is that my brain is slowly disintegrating. In that I cannot seem to keep the technical details of the mechanics in my head. Which is rather disconcerting. It appears that I made another error in the last log file too. Well, Wendell has the patience of Job which is a good thing as I muddle along. On a different note, I was thinking the other day how this game is similar to Napoleon's Triumph insofar as the mechanics are unusual which makes the games difficult to learn at first.
- UKC ... Roger and I continue our quest to bash each other about the Midlands. LOL!
- COIN ... both sessions are proceeding along nicely. My greenies are trying to remain incognito whilst the big boys bash away at one another.
- Speaking of COIN, I am hearing good things about the upcoming Fire in the Lake, which has got me all gushy.
- I have spent the past few weeks reading, listening to podcasts, beaching and eating lobster. I read John le Carre's Smiley's People, which is the successor to Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy. I rather liked it as I enjoy intriguing spy stories. Along the same vein I just finished his The Looking Glass War, which is a very unusual novella. I think I liked it, but want to digest on it a wee bit. In between those I finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It was well done and I have to say the Hollywood version of the movie followed it quite well from what I can remember. The Swedes can certainly write about bleakness. And coffee .... lots and lots of coffee. One thing though; I thought parts of the ending were trite. Like a bullied schoolboy's fantasy. I have the second book in the series lying about and may read it next. Or not.