GCL Gelato 133 - Teaching and Learning
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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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.

Our Professor:

leroy43 (Roger)

His Students:

ad79 (Stig)
alex352 (Alex)
Capt_S (Jon)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
cscottk (skippen)
eapeas (Edward & Amanda)
Farsol (Patrick)
leroy43 (Roger)
Jacovis (Jacob)
E lil red head (Nikki)
oeolycus (Dan)
PzVIE (Ron)
tommynomad (T. Nomad)
wifwendell (Wendell)

E Next Week's List Maker

Alumni: Sluggonics (Removed this week! Good bye! Don't be a stranger!)

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1. Board Game: Instant Math Games that Teach [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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This week's geeklist is dedicated to teaching and learning . . .

We all learning different bits of knowledge slightly differently than others. It's the old telling, reading, doing rubric. But within that rubric, we also often learn things differently: some are adept at math, while others at reading comprehension, and still others in many other ways.

What are the easiest types of games for you to learn?

What are the easiest types of games for you to teach?

Do you find yourself more adept at math than other gamers?
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2. Board Game: Teach Key Reading and Spelling [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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Aside from the TYPE of game you find easiest to teach and learn, do you like to learn rules by having someone explain them first, do you like to read them first, or some other method?

When you teach a game, do you do a lot of preparation?
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3. Board Game: The Teachers Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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What is the last game you taught to a group of gamers? How was the experience? How could it have been better? Do your "students" get mad if you forget a rule or two?
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4. Board Game: The Group Word Teaching Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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What was your single worst experience learning a game? Did you write off the game, or just the teacher? Did you complete the game?
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5. Board Game: Fact Finder Fun [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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Taking a break from boardgaming topics for a minute, tell us about a favorite teacher from your childhood/high school/college that had a significant impact on you (good or bad), and what it was you liked or disliked about that teacher.
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6. Board Game: Smithsonian: Be the Expert Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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Is there a game where you would identify yourself as a master or an expert at the game merely because you have played it a lot? If so, share that game with us, and why you love it (or no longer play it).

If you don't identify yourself as the master/expert of any game, the tell us about the game you *know the most about* and what about that game really got you to play it so much and gain so much knowledge about it.
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7. Board Game: Fleet [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:699]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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Weekend Round-Up

This past week, these games were played face-to-face:
Fleet v. 3-Player (Core Set Only)

This past week, these games started:
None.

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!)
Lincoln's War Tournament Scenario v. Brian Marrs (bartbert)
Pax Porfiriana v. 5-Player (GCL Gelato!)

This past week, these games concluded:
None.

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:
None.

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 ---> Song of Ice and Fire RPG. My troupe of servants to the Lannister bannerman family of Fayne began an overland trip to investigate the poisoning of the House's lady (who is also the mother one of the PC's). Their first stop was in the lands of House Kitt, a nobleman close to their own House politically. They passed along information about servants bearing a certain tattoo behind their right ear, but Kitt has not hired on new servants in nearly a decade. The fat Lord Kitt made a grand show of things, but for all the pomp, his coffers were empty both of knowledge and cash.

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

(a) Sails of Glory. Status: Finished painting the masts this week, and started on the shrouds. I have 8 more ships to put shrouds on, and then it will be a race to try and finish the rigging and flags before the con. Only two and a half weeks left!

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

3 ---> Family. The little baby girl, at 6 months old is already crawling and pulling herself up to a standing position. My wife and I joke that she will be walking by Christmas and we will get comments from people about our malnourished 1-year-old.

4 ---> BGG Con 2014. I'm making a list this week of the games to bring, and what to leave home. Many games are on the fence, but I'll have to start chopping the list down to size soon.

5 ---> Fleet. The inspiration of the list this week, as I taught it, and did a pretty crappy job of it. Here's to teachers, young and old, good and bad. It is a tough job - I sweated out my 10-minute game explanation, and man did it feel awkward. I suppose like most jobs, it gets easier and more comfortable with time.

6 ---> On-Going PBEM Game Notes. 18XX continues to surprise and amaze me. I am hoping to have a short but robust discussion after the game to help with my understanding and the thinking of my players. I haven't tried to over-analyze the game when making my moves, but I think good players do spend a bit of time deciding what moves to make now by taking into consideration the development of the track and the stage of the trains, and what corps own what trains.

Pax Porfiriana continues to drag . . . no one's fault, but it is our first five-player game, and it seems like it is taking longer between card plays than previously. But . . .

Not that I can talk! It's been a week since I got a move done for my All Green Alike game with Patrick, and nearly a week since a move for Lincoln's War.

Burnside Takes Command is shaping up for a cataclysmic battle as my Union boys for the third time in as many days charge across a bridge into the bristling teeth of Carsten's Confederates. Ever the doomsday predictor, I think the Union will need to get lucky to win. My strategy has all but faded. Though I have thought about it, and I think I have a better plan the next time this particular quandary shows itself. While . . .

Space Empires begins to pass from the exploration/expand phase into the exploit/exterminate phase. We have seen a few battles now, with predictable results, but the larger battles will soon follow.

Edits: None.
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8. Board Game: Pax Pamir [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:1055]
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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x4 Pax Pamir

Last week was one of the busiest I can remember. I've been scrambling in test preparations and also tending to a host of small things. I would usually get home with just a spare hour or two to play with Owen and Cati before they would head to bed.

At night Pax Pamir has occupied all of my leisure time. And, when I can, I've been organizing playtesting. Many of these games have been with my brother Drew and some with a pool of locals. The playtests have been really interesting. My brother is a talented developer and has wonderful, incisive questions that get right to the core of the subject.

I think part of his strength as a tester and developer is that he doesn't offer suggestions, he just defines the problem. He also hasn't played many Eklund games and doesn't really know his audience. So, he's constantly reminding me to lighten the load and to work with what remains, and it's hard to imagine that the game would be where it is today.

So, consider this a development update of sorts:
In general, I'm quite happy with the game. The rules still need work and lots of cards need small adjustments. I've gotten some great feedback from playtesters and made steady progress in getting the rules in shape.

The chief problem that remains may not be a problem at all. The game victory condition is hard. It's hard to play well and it's hard to conceptualize. Even if the rules are lighter and have fewer exceptions, the strategy in Pax Pamir is more difficult than Pax Porfiriana. Part of this has to do with the public (empire) tableaus and the way players interact with these non-player tableaus. The other part of this has to do with the game's six locations (rather than Pax's 3). The newest layout goes a long way in making the game state more tractable, but it's still tough. To this end, I've started encouraging testers to have players start with a declared loyalty at the onset of the game so that the player positions seem a little more stable. So far it has really helped new players locally understand what they are doing at the start. Without it, the game can seem terrifyingly open--even to the point of being broken.

This is one of the reasons why I waited so long to run a public playtest. I wanted the game to be good and stable enough so that playtesters would give it another shot (or two) before asking me to simplify everything. Pax Pamir is one step closer to Eklund's old Lord games. It's a bit more of a sandbox than most card games I know of. This can fill playtesters with a desire to turn Pamir into something it isn't. Polishing the game both from a design standpoint and a rules standpoint was one of my bulwarks against this impulse.

So, even though there have been lots of updates since I opened up testing a in October, the game hasn't had any major revisions and the adjustments have been very, very minor.

In other words, so far, so good. There are a couple of cards which may be somewhat broken and some cool things I want to add to the deck to encourage more negotiation and to make the player engines more fragile. But, in general, everything is going smoothly. Of course, I haven't heard how the playtest that Phil scheduled for today went...

I'm hoping the week ahead allows me some time to move away from Pax Pamir. I do want to play other games too, but, for now, I'm content to strike while the iron is hot.

For those of you not in the playtest, here are a couple new pictures




The week ahead:
I'm going to do my best to dig up some neglected game and meet the GCL challenge. I also know Cati has been itching for Le Havre and there's been some murmuring around the house about getting Terra Mystica back on the table. It's been about six months since I last played TM and I think it's about time to revisit it.
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9. Board Game: Rallyman: Dirt [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Weekend Round-Up

This past week, these games were played solitaire:
Rallyman: Dirt Played the Rallyman October Dirt challenge.
Memoir '44: Equipment Pack Bonus Scenarios Soloed the first 2 scenarios from this booklet.
Golf Dice An 18 hole match. More to get 10 plays of this to make a semi-serious attempt to get 10 games played 10 times this year.

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

This past week, these games started:
None.


This past week, these games continued:
Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1Bug River
Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1Raseiniai
Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1Brody
Thunder Alley Second Gelato game. This time on Verghn's. This is a faster track, and several cars are in danger of being overtaken.
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. Really just crawling along.
Space Empires: 4X Gelato pbem game. As Chris mentioned, this one is about to go into the next stage. Gonna be interesting.

This past week, these games concluded:
none

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:
Dungeon Roll: Winter Heroes Pack Thank you Ron for sending me this.
Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges I got it from the Wargamers paying it forward list.


This past week, these interesting things happened.
Watched "Hunger Games" last night. Good movie.
Clipped all the space markers for Space Empires 4X
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10. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:687]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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This past week, these games were played face-to-face:
Loopin' Louie 5
Apples to Apples 1 New to me!
Coup: Guatemala 1954 1 New to me!
Martian Dice 1
Scrabble 1
Xia: Legends of a Drift System 1

This past week has been incredibly hectic. My wife's new gallery opened (she didn't do it singlehandedly of course) . My father in law was in town for Catalyst where he and my wife co-presented some cool science teacher workshops for the province wide professional development day. And last Tuesday was his last night in town so we went out for pizza at Pizzeria Ludica.

That's where I played my very first game of Apples to Apples, and I can totally understand the appeal, although it does wear its critique of being an activity more than a game well. I actually don't mind these activity games. Dixit, Fabula, Once Upon a Time, Cards Against Humanity, et. al. are all great games for getting people together and creating some laughter. We also played Martian Dice, and then, the crowning moment.

I pulled out Loopin' Louie and the four of us had a riotous five games of it, with my father in law getting probably the biggest kick out of the four of us on the game.

With my Thursday crew we had five players and gave Xia another kick at the can, and my comments from last week stand, even though I won. We did a house rule that if you were running an NPC you'd play their action two players later (save for the sell sword), which helped with the flow of the game. We didn't try out any dice adjustments and just went with whatever the dice gods felt like doling out. I managed to get a couple of complementary missions and cargo deliveries that really helped me get the cash flow I needed to upgrade my ship, and I won without buying any weapons or shields. I don't know if going in round robin rather than everyone do everything on their turn would make the game better. But it still has some amazing bits.

This past week, these games started:
Does Scrabble count?

This past week (through date of posting), these games continued:
Pax Porfiriana (Gelato)
Conquest of Paradise
Cuba Libre (3x)
A Distant Plain (stalled)
Thunder Alley (x2)
1989 (almost over)
Twilight Struggle (ACTS - my opponent has stalled)
Unhappy King Charles! (Jon - on hold)
Greenland (Phil's new game)

This past week, these games concluded:
None.

This past week, these games/accessories were acquired:
None.

This week, these games are on my radar:
War Stories: Liberty Road/War Stories: Red Storm thanks to Rusty's hilarious and biting review - If You Like Fog Of War, You'll Love These Rules. It's almost a masochistic desire to try it out. I certainly like the idea of the game, but I have to cast this into the pit of try before I buy.

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

1. Ron, gentleman and scholar that he is, sent me a copy of Wir sind das Volk!. The Austria Post tracking number, remarkably, works super well (Canada Post's tracking isn't as good in reverse), and it says that it was distributed today, meaning I should have it in hand this week, possibly as soon as tomorrow! Ron, your generosity is kind and amazing, and to keep it simple - thank you!

2. In the civil service the procedure for applying to internally posted opportunities is quite rigourous. I'll simply sum up with a comment that I haven't written so many essays since graduate school. I'll be writing some things this week.

3. mb BottosCon is this coming weekend - Friday-Sunday. I have a few games set to play - A Distant Plain, the 1532 scenario from Here I Stand (the first time I'll be playing this live not at BGG Con), Wings of War, Combat Commander, and whatever pick up games I can fit in. It's a small con, mostly wargames though not (technically) exclusively.

Brian Train, designer of A Distant Plain will be there and he has a couple of prototypes he's bringing along. A COIN style game for two on Algeria, and a multi-player game about Central America called Caudillo.

There will also be play tests of Hitler's Reich and The Seven Years War: Frederick's Gamble.

I've also pre-sold a bunch of games to BottosCon attendees, and am bringing a stack more to hopefully make room make room in the games closet and also ease the cash flow for BGG.Con.

4. My wife and daughter are off to Ontario to attend another science event (my daughter will be entertaining her granny) so Jonathan and I are going to spend a gaming day after BottosCon, and then that evening I'm going to catch the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's performance of Britten's Great War Requiem.

5. I have begun making piles of the things I need to bring to Dallas. The BGG CON countdown is officially on!

6. Speaking of countdowns, the 11th is the deadline to sign up for the wargamer secret Santa. 138 folks so far this year. (Sorry Tommy).

7. I sent Tommy the two games he bought. And as many more as could fit in the box. Enjoy my friend!
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11. Board Game: Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Gaming

So, after parting with my regular game group, Andrea & I, we headed over to a friend's place and played a game of Britannia. Sascha bought the latest edition from Fantasy Flight Games, while I only knew the Avalon Hill edition. FFG did a lot of streamlining and produced a truly beautiful edition of this old classic. I enjoyed it a lot, and in the end I finally managed to win with my green faction. My Caledonians even fought off 5 invading Viking armies ... what a bloodshed! devil

After that, Sascha wanted to try out a new game in his collection, Packet Row from Pegasus Spiele / White Goblin Games. I won't comment much here, but it was a lesson in boredom. An oversized box, a stupid card collection game and a totally patched-on topic. snore

On Sunday Andrea and I took a long stroll through the autumn woods behind our house, did a little bird watching and then sat down in my Dungeon to try to beat Azathoth again in a game of Eldritch Horror. Earth still went down on our first attempt, but in the second game, we kicked the Elder's butt! Oh yes, baby, take that, you stupid God! shake
So now we are ready to face the next Elder God: Yog-Sothoth.



New Games

A few new acquisitions entered my shelves ... the Bezzerwizzer Fragenerweiterung 2.0 will be used as an expansion for our (board- and diceless) Trivial Pursuit game, the Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The Woodland Expansion is just for collecting, as I'm unable to put that huge board and the 4 additional boards on my gaming table. How big is your table? I can play ASL Campaigns on mine, but not the complete Talisman??? I need a bigger table, but then, also a bigger basement ... shake

Finally my crowdfunded new edition of Saint Petersburg (second edition) arrived. New graphics (if you like photoshop you might like the art - honestly, I don't and strongly prefer the old version with its much better and more coherent images) and a new game phase. Looks not bad. Although the rulebook is a fine example of stupidity ... they try to explain the game using examples! That makes a quick rule check a tedious task, and IMHO complicates the rules more than it simplifies it (that fits to our topic this week, doesn't it?). Every other rulebook uses textboxes or at least a different font when it shows examples. Why not here? I complained a little about it in the forums: The new rulebook ... .

Also crowdfunded, I found Tiny Epic Kingdoms in my postbox - a mini 4X game. That one looks really promising!

I also visited my FLGS and bought the latest LotR game: The Battle of Five Armies. I'm looking forward to see the final installment in the Hobbit trilogy (which should be in the theaters around Christmas).

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12. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:409]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Played only my second FTF game of 1989 this week, with First Minnesota stalwart Gordie. I was the Democrats. Game started bad - first turn I had a handful of Communist cards AND the Poland scoring card. So I played that first before the situation deteriorated. Though the Communists ended up retaining power in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania, my forces were in very good shape in every country except Romania, and at game's end (turn 10, no New Year's Eve card) I won comfortably. I don't feel as good about the game Tommy and I are playing by email!

Still solo-playing Empire of the Sun. It seems hard for Japan to make the advances it did historically in 1942 - presumably a reflection on my play. Which perversely can make it hard for the Allies to maintain US political will since the fewer named locations Japan takes, the fewer there are to re-take! Great game.

PBEM games continue: Thunder Alley, A Distant Plain, Cuba Libre, Pax Porfiriana.
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13. Board Game: Runebound (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:695]
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
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skippen's Week(s) that Was/Were:


Face 2 Face Games:
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
Notre Dame
Runebound (Second Edition)

PBEM/Web (started):
Advanced Squad Leader x2 (still waiting on me to pick a scenario--pick one fool!)


PBEM (in progress):
The Castles of Burgundy -- world's slowest game.
Brass: Lancashire
Roads to Gettysburg -- currently stalled on me as I need to input a turn.
Cuba Libre-- with the Gelato crew. Slowly, but surely, I am getting the parts of this game.
The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Battle for France, 1940 -- started. So. Many. Rules.
Pax Porfiriana -- with Gelato crew.

PBEM (finished):


Acquisitions/Departures from the Collection:



In the life and Times of skippen:
Quiet week. My wife was in New Orleans with a girlfriend, and I stayed home with our cat, Bartleby. I had grand plans of playing lots of solo games and video games. I watched a lot of t.v., read rules, and cleaned.
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14. Board Game: Hot Rod: The Sport Car Race [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Hey guys,

Sorry I've been a bit out of the loop this past week. A large auto show was in town and that has kept me busy the past couple of weeks. yuk

I did not get any gaming in at all besides a little bit of Call of Duty: Ghosts with my son the day after his birthday before his bedtime.

I'm looking forward to a lot of new little things, however.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault looks like a lot of fun, and my son has expressed interest in it, so I may actually be getting into that one. I just heard that the kickstarter for Battle for Hill 218 was delayed a little bit, but not too long so I'm not too worried about it. I'm pretty excited to see the space themed version.

I'm also pretty excited (as I mentioned above) about several of the CDG reprints from GMT, so my next year is looking like it's already planned out.

I'm hoping to complete my turn in our Gelato PBF of Space Empires tonight to avenge the senseless assault on Stig's peace-enforcing empire. sauron The Thunder Alley gelato game 2 continues as well. Having all three cars this time makes things really click, and I'm glad I am getting the chance to play it again this way.

I took my son to Barnes and Noble for his birthday to pick out some new books. He loves reading, so he got three brand new books. I was wandering around and saw so many books that look like a blast to read, if only I had the time, so I had to get out of there before I went all book-blitz and bought a ton of books I'll never have the time to read He also got a couple of video games, so he's happy.

That's about it for now.

I hope everyone had a great week!
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