GCL Gelato 131: Rank and File
"L'état, c'est moi."
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ABOUT GCL mb GELATO DIVISION mb SUBSCRIPTION THREAD

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.

El Generalissimo:

mb leroy 43 (Roger)

His Fearless Lieutenants:

mb ad79 (Stig)
mb alex352 (Alex)
mb Capt_S (Jon)
mb cmontgo2 (Chris)
mb Cole Wehrle (Cole)
mb cscottk (skippen)
mb eapeas (Edward & Amanda)
mb Farsol (Patrick)
mb Eleroy43 (Roger)
mb E Jacovis (Jacob)
mb lil red head (Nikki)
mb oeolycus (Dan)
mb PzVIE (Ron)
mb Sluggonics (Kyle)
mb tommynomad (T. Nomad)
mb wifwendell (Wendell)

E up next

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1. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:4]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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NAME! RANK! SERIAL NUMBER!

BGG is fundamentally a site about board games, but it's interesting to see people's behaviour. A significant number of folks care about the rankings of games.

It's unlike behaviour I've observed at other sites. IMDB, for example, allows registered users to rate movies they've seen, but I don't see folks there rating a movie a "1" because someone else rated it a "10". Of course, it might help that you can't really see everyone else's ratings.

How do you folks view the ranking of games?
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2. Board Game: Rate it! [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
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RATINGS!

I used to rate games after a single play. In part it was because I wanted to capture my initial reaction to it, but so far this year, I've played a number of new-to-me games and I've not put a rating up for them. In part it's because I have over 500 games rated and it's the rare game these days that wows me enough to make me want to put an _8_-_10_ next to it.

Rating games and talking about rating games on BGG is rewarded. Your rating contributes to a game's ranking, and rankings are talking points and endless geeklist fodder.

And then there's this - how do you rate a game that you like but are inept at?

What else do you folks rate aside from board games? Books? Movies? Restaurants?

Are there other sites you keep track of these ratings?

Do you rely on any favourite sites to check out ratings of places or things?
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3. Board Game: Top Of The Pops Game [Average Rating:4.33 Unranked]
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TOP OF THE POPS

I recently participated in the Top 20 All Time challenge, as did Tommy.

I enjoyed putting my top 20 together, but I think it'll be even more interesting to see my top 20 in five years. Or maybe even ten.

How much has your personal favourite games list changed over time? Are you increasingly reaching for new games and not playing old favourites anymore?

Are there games you've been playing forever that are still hitting the table here these many years later?
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4. Board Game: Cult Classic [Average Rating:5.78 Unranked]
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CLASSIC GAMES

Chess and Go are obvious classics in the game world. So are Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, Clue, and Bridge.

Diplomacy arguably is too.

What makes a game a classic? Is Magic The Gathering a classic yet? How about Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride? ASL? Too soon?
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5. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:43]
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This is the week that was:
Keyflower 2
The Castles of Burgundy 1
Eight-Minute Empire: Legends 1
Glen More 1
Greenland 1
Pacific Typhoon 1

Keyflower is a game that almost made my top 20 of all time list. I rate it a solid 8, despite that I'm mediocre at executing any kind of solid strategy with it. I've won about 1 in 3 games I've played of it, but my wins have all been close things, while my losses have been spectacular, usually competing for last place. My wife beat me 74-73 today. It's a game that is different every time you play it though, and that is in no small part its appeal.

We also played Eight Minute Empire Legends where she really crushed it, 21-15.

At my Thursday gaming night after we played Keyflower (I came in 5th our of 6), four of us remained behind to play Pacific Typhoon. I had incredible good fortune in that game and won with a massive 61 points, and not only did I win, my score was greater than all my opponents combined. At least my opponents had a good laugh about my good luck.

On Tuesday we only had three people from the RPG group available so we played Castles of Burgundy, where Harv and I tied for second, well behind Phil. We then played Glen More where Phil lost 18VP for having six more tiles in his tableau than me, but I squeaked out the narrowest of victories because I had one good left, which was the tie breaker.

These games continued or were begun PBEM: Greenland was just started by one of my usual Pax foursome as an adjunct to our Thunder Alley game. I also have the mostly Gelato game of Thunder Alley, three games of Cuba Libre, one of A Distant Plain, Unhappy King Charles, 1989, Conquest of Paradise, Twilight Struggle, and I do think that covers everything.

Everything Else:
Municipal election: I have an all candidates meeting on Wednesday. I need to be articulate and speak to a set of prepared questions that were sent to me.

New Games: The anniversary edition of Power Grid has had some good early reviews/comments, and although I've not seen any formal reports on Wir Sind Das Volk, I am very keen to get a hold of that one.

Leaving the Collection: Dinosaur Chess, Conquest of Paradise (my spare copy!), and a surprise game - all heading Tommy's way.

Beyond that, life is routine and everyone's hale and hearty. Onwards for the week!
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6. Board Game: Lincoln's War [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:6515]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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Weekend Round-Up

This past week, these games were played face-to-face:
None.

This past week, these games started:
Lincoln's War Tournament Scenario v. Brian Marrs (bartbert)
Pax Porfiriana v. 5-Player (GCL Gelato!)

This past week (through date of posting), these games continued:
Song of Ice and Fire RPG v. 4-Player
Burnside Takes Command, Scenario 2 v. Carsten (100-Game-Play Challenge!)
Space Empires 4X v. 4-Player (GCL Gelato!)
Stonewall Jackson's Way II, Scenario 6 v. Patrick (Advanced Game!)
1830: Railways and Robber Barons (GCL Gelato!)

This past week, these games concluded:
None.

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:
Dreadfleet
Machi Koro (Reprint)
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) – A Dance with Dragons
Trains: Rising Sun
Various Expansions for Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game

This week, these games are on my radar:
Star Wars: Armada
BL2E: Hernfar Guardians
BL2E: Warband of Skorne
Greenland
Pax Pamir (GCL Gelato!)

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

1 ---> 100-Game Play Challenge. I have been really busy with the legal side of things, having a quite a few real estate closings this month, each having unique challenges. Two closings are on the cusp of failing to meet the contract date, so I have been spending an inordinate amount of time trying to keep things on track. All of this has resulted in nearly no progress this week.

2 ---> Solitaire Gaming / Miniatures Painting. The following painting projects are coming along:

(a) Sails of Glory. Status: All the sails and ships are stained. I still have to touch them up a bit here and there, but it's good enough for the next step: painting the masts and bowsprits. After that, I have to spray paint and apply the ratlines, then the rigging, and finally flags. I think the rigging is going to take the most time, so I will be exploring "quick and dirty" tricks to get that accomplished faster.

(b) Crossfire Miniatures Painting. Status: No Progress this Week - and likely nothing until after BGG Con.

3 ---> Family. The wife and I are currently in negotiations about more kids and what that would mean for our current family . . . we always figure it out.

4 ---> BGG Con 2014. I have completed stickering my two copies of Napoleon (4th Ed.) in preparation for the Rusty v. Roger (with me as ref, or possibly a third player, depending). I still would like to figure out some way to erect a blind between the two boards for the Napoleon game. I am also toying with some type of markers for denoting battle locations and such. Also - to make the game more interesting, I'm thinking of running some "scouting" rules by Roger and Rusty and see what they think.

The ships for Flying Colors are coming along as noted above. I still have to also make the "counters" that will underlay the models.

Dividend and Income charts are laminated for Baltimore and Ohio to help the game move along.

Overall, things are coming together pretty nicely! Getting everything to Con will be the big chore. I *may* pay for another bag on the flight . . . but if I can get the stuff done, it would be cheaper to mail it.

5 ---> Lincoln's War. I am excited about this game. It seems very playable, not too complicated (for a "serious" strategic ACW game), but offers lots of cool mechanics to explore. Brian and I are playing the tournament scenario via Vassal so that we won't have as much to muddle through at the Con.

Edits: None.
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7. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:540] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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THIS IS THE WEEK THAT WAS

Our planned Fire in the Lake game for Friday fell apart after illness and accident took out 3/4 of the participants (I was the only one there). So instead, we fired up a 7-player game of Thunder Alley. Fun as always, though I ended up in 6th...

Then I played a five-player game of Bohnanza. First time I'd ever played Bohnanza. It was fun; I'd play again.

Resumed three-player vassal/skype World in Flames, now into Jan/Feb 1945 (I'm the Axis). The Soviets officially completed the destruction of Army Group South in Ukraine, and have crushed the Romanians in Cernauti. The only thing between them and Bucharest is the Romanian HQ. Army Group Center in NE Poland is collapsing. The Americans and British are loading up their left wing at Hamburg and I think hope to bypass the strong German factory city defenses in the West in favor of going after Berlin. Japan is brimming with defensive units and has had a respite with the bad weather.

Five-player Pax P PBEM just saw its first depression end. Tommy and I just finished the East Germany power struggle in 1989: Dawn of Freedom.
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8. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:435] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Weekend Round-Up

This past week, these games were played solitaire:
Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Dangerous Waters Played a game of this on the Merchant ship board. Fun map that offers a new situation.
Rallyman Got this out for a run of the Monthly Challenge and it is a fun game. Puzzly, but great fun.

This past week, these games were played face-to-face:
Space Empires: 4X x2
This is the game of the week for me. Played it both Friday and Saturday. On Friday we played a short 2-player scenario and we went at each other very soon. My friend had larger ships thatn me so he took the win in our big battle and we called it a night then, as he had a clear path towards my home planet. Very cool to see how combat works and to see how different we had built/researched after just a short game. We started late in the night so we called the game.

On Saturday we played a 3-player game where I was on the lower end of the map and my two opponents was in the corners on the top of the board.
I had my 8 planets in the home system within 4 hexes of the Home world and had all 8 colonized by Economic Phase 3. After losing to big ships on Friday I decided to go big on the ships. Built Ship Yards and Ship size technology and didn't build many other ships.
y the 8th Economic Phase I started to build Dreadnaughts and at that time both my opponets approached my system from opposite directions. i had to sacrifice a colony to see what my Blue opponent had. 3 DD's.
My yellow opponent had a larger stack so by the 9th Econimic Phase I had 5 Dreadnaughts and took on my Yellow opponent. Crushed his 3 Battlecruisers, 2 Destroyers and lone Scout. At this time 4 of my 8 colonies had be crushed, but my Dreadnaughts had eliminated the imidiate yellow threat and would go after 5 or 6 Destroyers my Blue had in my system, but as night wore on we called it.
Great game and I'm really looking forward to getting the expansion too.

EDIT: Also played The Utah Beach scenario from Memoir '44: D-Day Landings with a friend. Once from each side and the Germans took it both times. I like the BT format for Memoir. I think it is where the game shines the most.

This past week, these games started:
None.

This past week, these games continued:
Thunder Alley Second Gelato game. This time on Verghn's.
Cuba Libre Playing as the Syndicate against, Roger, Tommy and Scott. Gonna be interesting to see Scott and Tommy in action.
Cuba Libre Gelato game 3. Playing as 26July. As Dan is busy at work right now, this one has slowed down for the moment. Expect it to pick up again when Dan's work calms down.
Thunder Alley 7 team pbem game on Saint Adriana with some folks from the SGoYT list. Didn't reach the finishline so another turn needed to fisish. Pace has slowed to a crawl, but I am certain we will see it finished.
Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1 Dunkirk vassal pbem scenario. Last scenario in the Fall Gelb campaign. My opponent is one turn away from the win.
Space Empires: 4X Gelato pbem game. With 2 f2f games played, I expect to become a bigger threat from now on. Beware Alex and Chris!
Space Empires: 4X Getting closer to the Doomsday machine arriving on the small Doomsday solitaire scenario. This has slowed down, but I am doing this next week.

This past week, these games concluded:
None.

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:


This past week, this was one of the songs I listened to.
this one will be dropped in the future. Not enough happening to update every week.

This past week, these interesting things happened.
I helped my friend assemble Space Hulk (fourth edition) both Friday and Saturday before played Space Empires: 4X. Slow going work, but kinda relaxing.

Also looking forward to Ron and his thoughts on Essen.
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9. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:282] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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Games this Week

Not many, but quality over quantity.

Uncountable games of Crazy Eights with the Kidlet.

It was a weekend at my SIL/BIL's. Usually we get to game a lot, but this time schedules didn't mesh, and we only had a single night together for gaming. Way back when, the 4 of us shared a small 2-bedroom apartment in Auckland and gamed almost nightly. Settlers was very popular with us.

This weekend I told them the game was in the suitcase and to please set up while I went out for snacks (beer). When I got back they were very happy to have been surprised by an old favourite. Then the carnage began. I took advantage of their distraction (Supernatural was on and TV generally bores me) and won the first game in 25 minutes. My sis was hopping to get another game in, having finished with 3 points. We set up again, and this time it took me almost 50 minutes to close it out, but much closer, with my BIL coming in with 8 points. I think we set a record for the sheer number of 7s rolled, and the laughter didn't abate until well after the games were done. In my experience Settlers is as close to a party game as Euros get.

PBEM
I think I managed a handful of turns in both my 1989 games. This will likely be the week that Roger finally ends ours (though I hope to roll right into another, after a solid debrief). Wendell clawed back into a tie as we move through the midgame.

Cuba Libre is off and rolling. My turn is impending, gents!

My boss has discovered BSW and invites me daily.

No solo gaming this week, though CL is still on my table. I loaned Irish Freedom to a friend and he felt victory was too easy. I'll let him borrow Cruel Necessity next.

Life, the Universe, and Ultimate (with a moral conundrum thrown in)
My team had 4 games this weekend, but a last minute venue change meant I could only attend the two played on Saturday. We lost both, but earned a point in the first game for losing on Universe Point (like sudden-death OT). We have a good mix of eager rookies and a few wily vets, but we also have a rogue player who is uncoachable and causing some friction. My captain was at a loss how to deal with him. On the day I couldn't play, prior to my team's match against a significantly better team, I contacted their captain. He's my oldest friend in Korea and is among the league's best players. I asked him to shut our rogue completely out of play, in an effort to both
- teach him to follow our coaches' orders and buy into the team's system
- ensure some other people on our team get to play
I heard afterwards that our rogue was indeed shut out, and didn't handle it well, throwing a temper tantrum. I rationalize my actions thus:
- every season players are rotated from team-to-team through a draft, so my allegiance is not as much to this year's team as it is to the health of the league as a whole
- my actions resulted in one angry teammate and a half dozen happier ones
- we could not possibly have won the game, even if the rogue had been allowed to play fully
- I told my captain what I had done
What are your thoughts?

This is exam week. Boring work-wise, but lots of gaming on the horizon.
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10. Board Game: VOC! Founding the Dutch East Indies Company [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:6049]
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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x2 VOC!
X1 Bin'fa (Hexagony
x1 Le Havre
x1 Greenland
x1 Pax Pamir

Well it was a rock solid week for new games. Copies of VOC!, Greenland, and Le Havre came in the mail. Greenland was my playtest copy and the other two were late birthday gifts. We managed to play all of the new titles and each received a warm response.

VOC was a particular favorite with my wife. I wasn't quite as impressed. It's a fun game, to be sure, but I feel like the advanced game isn't quite what it should be. The investment phase seems like it could be a lot more interesting if players had more choice where they could put their cubes. I'd love to hear the thoughts of others who have played this game on that.

The copy of Le Havre came from my sister. I've really enjoyed this game before and it was nice to add a copy to my collection. What a great game! We played a fantastic four player game today that was contentious and interesting throughout. I think I prefer the game to Agricola and I love how the player relationships tangle up over the course of the game.

Greenland was a blast--as usual. I played a game with my brother and Cati yesterday. Cati and I have played many...many...many games of Greenland before and it was great to see the game in its final form. It's no Pax, but it's still an interesting game and I'm glad Phil saw it through. If I can get a bunch of plays in this week and next I may write a review.

We also played a game of Bin'fa (aka Hexagony). I try to play through my entire collection each year and usually I get pretty close. Bin'fa has been on the back burner though which is a shame because it is one of the best multiplayer abstracts out there. I just heard about a possible Kickstarter for a new edition. You can bet I will on board.

On the playtesting front my campus workload forced me to take a slight break. I've got a few ideas which I'm really excited to put in place in Pax Pamir, but I need some time to test them out locally before I start adjusting the deck of cards.
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11. Board Game: Seven Sisters: Charity Promo Card [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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Friends, forgive the spam. Once again I am participating in Extra Life this coming weekend in hopes of making the world a little bit of a better place. I am gaming to help Children's Hospital of Colorado. Please donate if you can, or just donate in spirit.
I will be gaming all day on Saturday at Haunted Game Cafe in Ft. Collins. Drop by and say hi or join me in a game! Any support is greatly appreciated.

Below you will find my page:

http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.pa...

Thanks,

Scott

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12. Board Game: The Civil War [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:922]
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
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Winner of the C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence
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Weekly Round-up - and a farewell (of sorts)

Finally managed to get back to the club last week, for the first time in almost two months! I celebrated by pulling a classic off the shelf and setting it up. I've never played The Civil War opposed, so I expect I'll have my ass handed to me - but it's all about the experience!

As for the farewell - I've been kind of MIA from Gelato the past several weeks, and have been only sketchily checking in over the last several months. My health issues, mentioned here previously, had sapped my posting and gaming frequency.

Fortunately, over the last month or so my health has improved, and hopefully will continue to get better over the next couple months. Also fortunately, all the serious or potentially life-threatening causes for my issues have been ruled out, it's just that a full return to normal is a slow process.

As my enthusiasm for gaming and posting has returned in the last several weeks, I've been posting more frequently over on Calandale's forum, The Game Box, as well as over in the Advance After Combat guild here on BGG, but my Gelato participation hasn't picked back up. As I've been kind of a non-entity on the Gelato weekly discussions, I think it's time for me to move on to Gelato alumni status, so the group can welcome in a newer, fresher, more frequent contributor.

Of course, I'll still be subscribed to all the weekly lists, and will drop in to say hi, or comment here and there - so it's not really a farewell. This is a great group, and I've really enjoyed getting to know everyone and the sense of fellowship created here. I can guarantee I won't be a stranger!
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