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.
leroy 43 (Roger)
ad79 (Stig) alex352 (Alex) cmontgo2 (Chris) Cole Wehrle (Cole) cscottk (skippen) eapeas (Edward & Amanda) Farsol (Patrick) ***time to get ready for next week*** leroy43 (Roger) Jacovis (Jacob) jtakagi (Jonathan) Lil Red Head (Nikki) Neil Thomson (Neil) oeolycus (Dan) PzVIE (Ron) tommynomad (T. Nomad) wifwendell (Wendell) wizardless (Mark)
This week: Conventions...why do we bother?
It's been about a year since this has been covered, but even then, I'm going a different direction than Patrick went....
Most conventions cost quite a bit of $$$ to attend (passes to attend, hotel, travel, food, etc). With that cost, what are your expectations both for the Con to provide directly (freebies/giveaways, etc) as well as your personal expectations (experience)?
Sadly, this is the only game I've played in a week. Been laid up sick in the first half of the week and now the missus is for the last half of it. Blargh.
This week won't have a lot more, either. We record the new episode of the podcast on Tuesday, then it's all prep for HeavyCon starting on Friday. Come Friday, though, it's 3 straight days of heavy games and lots of fun w/ old & new friends. Should be a blast!
That was a long weekend - Thursday was a national holiday and Andrea and I took the Friday off! The gaming started on Thursday with 1853 (yes, again!) with both expansion sets. Although it is an old and simple 18xx, I still like it.
After that, we played a game of Puerto Rico, also using both expansions. That's truly a classic - I would play it anytime. The "10" is totally justified.
We went a little shopping on Friday and I bought a new Billy at IKEA (I ran out of space for the small 2-player game boxes from KOSMOS ... now I slowly run out of space for new shelves ... ). After assembling it, we tried out a new dice game (well, not really new, I have it since Essen), called Ciúb, the Gaelic word for cube. That is one very clever little dice game from the great Thomas Lehmann. Very clever indeed!
Although we had a music night with the stereo and some wine bottles planned, a friend called and asked if we would like to play Merchant of Venus (second edition). Of course we said "yes" - I haven't played that one in months! We used the standard game, which I still find much better than the old classic game. After that, we learned our guest how to play Ciúb (he immediately put that one onto his wish list) and then we rolled a few Martian Dice and flipped some Flippin' Fruit.
The hockey championship finals will start in a few minutes, so this will be our Sunday evening activity. Go Canada, go!
I hope you all had a great week too!
Addendum: here's the final board after our 1853 game (have you ever seen the BAR building normal track instead of metric?):
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
On Friday had a four-player game of Eclipse. I own it but had never played it before. I was really very pleased with it - I thought it was a lot of fun. The teenaged girl at the table won after fighting a brutal war against her dad for control of the galactic center!
Earlier Friday I played the limited war scenario of Pursuit of Glory against Andrew U. His British invaded Palestine from Cyprus which pretty much did me in - it was a rout!
PBEM continues: Clash of Monarchs, 1989, Cuba Libre (now under way), Thunder Alley (a very long pit-stop indeed).
This week was a really pleasant gaming surprise as both my Monday and Thursday gaming sessions didn't happen. On Thursday night, my wife and I managed to persuade the Kelda to give 80 Days Around the World a spin.
This was a game I picked up partly because I like Jules Verne, and so the theme kind of attracted me, and also because the person I got it from in a math trade a very long time ago had included a set of French event cards he'd printed up himself and rules as well.
The game had some luck to it in that you have to live with the luck of the draw on transportation cards (rail or ship) to get you on your way, but under its genteel veneer of being a racing game there is a lot of room for nasty play to affect the other players. I've only played it twice other than the one time when I first got it, and I'm intrigued and hoping to play it more often.
Tommy and I are renewing our hostilities in a new pbem game of 1989. This time I'm the communists. I'm already despairing.
I've introduced Jonathan to the Chantry Games site, and we've been playing pick up games of Twilight Struggle. Three times this week alone. I'm delighted the site exists, and while I'm still eager for the official digital edition from GMT, I'm loving the ability to get my favourite game played more.
This week I've reviewed both Mint Tin Aliens and Mint Tin Pirates and this made me have a hankering to play them, so on Friday pub night with my wife, we played both. We split a pair of the Aliens, and was crushed three in a row in Pirates. That was all in about an hour.
Both games are fun. I don't know how easy they are to pick up, but if you're interested, I encourage you to try.
Last but not least, since we had a free evening on Friday and we were all in a gaming mood, my wife absolutely crushed the Kelda and I at Castles of Mad King Ludwig, and I came in dead last!
This past week (through date of posting), these games continued: Thunder Alley, Pax Porfiriana, Cuba Libre, 1989
This past week, these games concluded: None
This past week, these games/accessories were acquired: None.
This week, these games are on my radar: Twilight Struggle. The Chantry Games site is awesome. Runs on my iPad. Runs on my Mac. Handles asynchronous play.
This past week, these interesting things happened in my games and my life: You may recall I mentioned the international wine festival that happens in Vancouver annually. One of the closing events of that show is something called 'The Vintner's Brunch', which has 14 different restaurants serving small plates of something tasty with a wine.
It was something we used to go to fairly regularly, but the food started to decline in quality and the prices of the tickets climbed in proportion and there came a point where we and our friends all decided it wasn't worth it anymore.
Tickets this year were $150 per person.
So, we came up with the bright idea of doing our own 'do it yourself vintner's brunch'. We've been doing it for about half a dozen years now, and while initially we tried to have it on the same day, the day isn't important, the spirit of the thing is, so in order to maximize the celebration of as many birthdays and anniversaries and what not as possible, we had ours today.
We opened the fun with kir royale, using classic Henkell Trocken and Dijon creme de cassis.
Opening course was banana bread French toast with caramelized bananas and caramel whipped cream, paired with a See Ya Later Ranch traditional method sparkling.
Second course was a delicious sesame crusted tuna loin with Asian slaw, matched with Artisan Sake sparkling sake. The sake is made locally with 100% BC grown sushi rice, from sushi rice seeds the maker brought over from Japan.
Third course was a lemon risotto with medium rare grilled rosemary lamb chops. That was my contribution, and I paired it with a 2002 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin.
Dessert was a beautiful mixed fruit salad, paired with a delightful mead from Tugwell Creek in Sooke, BC, which is on Vancouver Island.
Thunder Alley: Crew Chief Expansion - Coming soon to Kickstarter!
Evil lurks here!
N/APitchCar x3 Three races to end the evening after the Memoir game. Lost all three races. N/ASuburbia x2 I liked Mad King Ludwig more. The games are very similar, but I found the mapbuilding in Mad King more interesting. Came second and third in our three player games. 10Claustrophobia Another soloplay. This time with the first scenario from the Furor Sanguinis expansion. Good fun and an awesome game. N/ADungeon Roll Just a quick game as I waited to leave for gamenight at Ingmar's. Ok filler and quick to play. N/AEight-Minute Empire: Legends Ended the gamenight at Ingmar's with this one. Having played the orginal before, I had some clue as to what to do. I have to say that this one waxs better than the original in all areas. Doing away with the ships opened the islands up more. The map was more interesting and the cardplay with VP cards and combos was a vast improvement over the original. THe fact that I ruled supreme was also fun. Good to get some wins too. N/AFriday Borrowed this from Ingmar to try it out. My first test had ruleserrors and poor strategy/tectic so I lost early on. Need to read the rules more carefully. N/AMemoir '44 2-player game of "Sword of Stalingrad" overlord scenario. Stunning scenario and fun to play. Absolutely dominated the field with my Germans. N/ASplendor I like this game. Simple, elegant and I win. Won our 4-player game on tiebreaker by having only 10 cards.
Other stuff: Read the original "Secret Wars" comic by Marvel. Spiderman shines in this one. Good fun. Rewatched "Guardians of the Galaxy". A good fun movie. "I am Groot"
Mowed the lawn for the first time this year and celebrated my daughter's 9th birthday. She had a party at the local amusement park. No rain and very little people gave them plenty of time to do the rides. Only 9 degrees made the logrun cold for the girls, but all in all a good week. Norway's Natianal Day was the 17th.
8Hide & Seek Safari x9 - A wonderful hide and seek game that my kids have really enjoyed over the years. The only bad thing about the game is when you forget to turn off the tiger. 7Kimavu x7 - Last time we played this it didn't go so well, this time the kids loved it. This is a simple 2-player deduction game. Kind of like Battleship, except a better theme (kids playing hide and go seek in the park), better components, and 10 minutes tops playing time 8WeyKick x6 - Another game that I've never seen anyone not enjoy. 8Kineti-Go Magnetic Shuffleboard x4 - This doesn't come out very often due to its size, but we had a good time with it, the kinds of shots you can make due to the magnets are very fun. 8Star Wars Quickfire x4 - My kids are finally all at the age where they don't immediately yank the gun off, dropping all of the marbles on to the ground. 7Disney Pixar Cars 2 Sorry Sliders: World Grand Prix Race Edition x3 - I would rate this much lower if it wasn't for my kids. But I was pleased to see them all conclude after playing that the original Sorry Sliders is a better game. 8Bretonenboule x2 - One of my most prized games. I passed on Piratenbillard and never regretted it, but this one is so cool. Seeing the balls stop on an inclined surface never gets old. 7Nacht der Magier x2 - Kids got a huge kick out of this one, can't believe it's been so long since I last pulled it out. 7Buddel-Wuddel - "Buddel-Wuddel, from the designers of El Grande, Princes of Florence and Hot Dog." This one is really annoying. Were it not for the cool mole pieces, this rating would go way down. As it is it's probably going down to a 5. N/AGib Gas! - A pleasant surprise. This is a really fun blind bidding game with a racing theme. Everyone had a great time, especially seeing me be the first to damage my car beyond repair. It lasts a little too long for my tastes, but this is a little gem. 7Kayanak - Another gimmick game whose rating needs to be adjusted downward - highly annoying, but really cool pieces. The ice pick is kind of a dangerous piece for a kid's game. N/APico Pico - Yet another Roberto Fraga gimmick game. Even he admitted to me that the production copy doesn't really work. Apparently it works well in either really hot or cold weather, I forgot which. But it didn't work very well. When it does, having a bird peck its way down a tree is a really cool game timer, but it's just not consistent enough. 8Schildi Schildkröte - Some of the best game pieces ever, these turtles are really cool.
As you can see, all of my games this week were with my kids. I was fairly sick most of the week and didn't leave the house at night. I don't play enough games with my kids and have been making a concerted effort to do it more often.
This is a fun time of year, school is winding down, and Cannes started up this week. This is akin to Essen for movie lovers - this is one of the times of year when I pay the most attention to my Twitter feed. Though I find myself less and less engaged with cinema each year, it is still very fun to window shop and hear about all the new stuff that will eventually come out.
"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
We're in Bloomington now and will be traveling around the midwest visiting family and friends. My internet will be spotty, but I should be able to keep up with all of my PBF games with minimal delays.
Last week saw a few games, despite the end-of-semester lunacy.
x4 Race for the Galaxy x3 Pairs x2 Hanabi x2 The Witness
Cati and I have been playing Race regularly. Cati is enjoying the plays and I'm certainly learning a lot. The recent surge of plays has, as I noted last week, deepened my appreciation for the design, thought it's still not one I find all that interesting.
We then had folks over the night before we flew out to celebrate the end of courses. We played a few rounds of Hanabi, some Pairs, and a couple games of The Witness. The Witness was an absolute blast and among the best party/deduction games out there. I made sure to bring it with us so we could play it with our families.
The weeks ahead: I imagine Race will be getting more play as well as Pax Pamir, which several groups requested I bring along. It's been about a month since I played it last, and I think my desire to play it is starting to return (50+ plays over the past few months was enough to put the game on "time out").
This past week, these interesting things happened in my games and my life:
1 --->Solitaire Gaming / Miniatures Painting. The Germans only have two steps left: adding labels for squad designations and clear coating. Next up will be Star Wars: Armada. I will be sprucing up some of the models with ink washes and a bit of detail, as well as painting the fighters. The fighters are so tiny, they just need a bit of color to make them pop.
2 --->Family. Cleaning continues for the Memorial Day party coming up on Sunday. We have about 40-50 confirmed guests. I enjoy having people over, but it is a lot of work. Baby girl is coming into her own. She continues to be a happy baby.
3 --->On-Going PBEM Game Notes.1830: The Coalfields continues with no new news. We are still in the Stock Round - all the companies have floated, now. The game is really between Dan, Ron, and Stig - though my Worth seems to be competitive, it won't be after the next round of ORs. Space Empires 4X continues with Stig well-positioned to capture a victory soon unless Alex has a way to respond to him. Stig goes first this round - opening a turn that is sure to be a long one. I am still debating what to do with my fleet this turn.
4 --->Atlanta is Ours! My game with Carsten continues to be frustrating. Despite having several attacks at significant bonuses, I can't roll a victory to save the scenario. I need one good roll and then some luck to withstand the inevitable counterattacks. Though the odds-window is fast closing. Patrick and I continue to spar near Dalton, GA, but I have made some foolish errors, and he is an opponent that doesn't suffer too many of those! At this point in our scenario, I must roll extremely well with several future combats in addition to capturing at least one of the high-VP point locations. Neither is likely, and doing both is exponentially less likely. My game with Judd continues as we test-drive his Civil War Campaign Series Vassal module. We are a bit over half-way done. If we were playing face-to-face, the game would play in about 2-3 hours, maybe even less, now that we know the rules.
5 --->Other News. I have, unfortunately, not a lot else to report. I continue to work quite a bit - just busy. Maybe more later this week. For now, I choose Hostage Negotiator this week because it is nearly ready to ship. It looks to be a smashing good solitaire game, and I am looking forward to getting some plays in my spare moments.