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)
Citizens of the Motherland
ad79 (Stig) alex352 (Alex) Bacchus (Kevin) cmontgo2 (Chris) Cole Wehrle (Cole) cscottk (skippen) cubbieblue (Steven) eapeas (Edward & Amanda) Farsol (Patrick) Hanibalicious (Sonderegger) *** Start getting ready for next week*** Jacovis (Jacob) jtakagi (Jonathan) leroy 43 (Roger) Lil Red Head (Nikki) Neil Thomson (Neil) oeolycus (Dan) PzVIE (Ron) tommynomad (T. Nomad) wifwendell (Wendell)
#4 Do you game with your mother? Are you fortunate enough to share your hobby with her? Does she have a favorite game? If not now, did you ever actively play board or card games with your mother in the past?
8Cuba Libre A new GCL Gelato game with Wendell, Cole, and Tommy.
10Power Grid Thursday was going to be perfect. Five player Food Chain Magnate! But, we ended up with a sixth. So, plan B was Power Grid with the UK map.
The connector costs are pretty nasty on this map, and the 20 elektro "jump" from Ireland to the big Island (or vice versa) is all about timing I think. I started, alone I might add, in Ireland, and was able to jump to London for a double build in step 2 and expand relatively cheaply.
This was one of the tightest six player games I've played. I ended with 15 powered cities, but three other players did too, and it came down to the money tie-breaker, which I had with 50 elektro in hand.
This past week, these interesting things happened in my games and my life: Keyboard: Yup, the old keyboard is dead. Or at least, still wasn't functioning two days later. However, I found my French keyboard, which has a few extra keys here and there, so I'm still getting used to that, but works just fine.
Dropbox: Dropbox became a medium sized problem.
Tangent: There are three kinds of problems in the world. Little, medium, and big. Little problems are easily fixed, so you just deal with them. Big problems are big, and you have to deal with them. It might take a while, or multiple iterations of actions, or money, but you deal with them because they're big.
Medium problems though, they're the ones where the perceived return on effort is often such that you simply put it off and procrastinate about them. My issue with Dropbox was one such thing. When I got my new phone, the first time I plugged it into my computer a helpful icon said "hey, wanna sync your photos to Dropbox?", and I, like a complete tool, clicked yes.
Now, like the rest of you I'm sure, I use the free version of Dropbox, and I really only use it for gaming. I'm sure you can see what happened though. Next time I connected the phone... "Oh, you took 100 photos, let me sync that for you..."
So, I kept deleting the photo folder, but it kept insisting on regenerating it, and it kept telling me my Dropbox folder was full encouraged me to upgrade, etc etc, but I kept ignoring it.
Until I spilled wine on my keyboard. That was a medium sized problem (can't do pbem Vassal/Dropbox without keyboard!), and that took me a couple of days to get around to resolving properly. But at the same time, I guess Dropbox was tired of telling me my Dropbox was full. I could see other people's files, including test files, but it wasn't syncing my files to those folders so all y'all could see them.
So about two hours after I started, including dithering and distractions, I got it all sorted out and I'm back in business. And my phone won't be sending photos to Dropbox anymore!
Food plan: Still sticking with it. Since I've started it I've lost 4kg (10lb) (as of last Tuesday).
Birthday: It's my wife's birthday this week, and for once it's not right before, after, or on Mother's Day. I may make a cake. And eat a slice too.
Yaah!: Well, after doing COIN in issue 3, Napoleon's Triumph in issue 4, CC:E in issue 5, Pax Pamir in issue 6, I've been invited to do another article in issue 7. And Great War Commander and Urban Operations will both be mine to write about when they get published.
School Board Redux: The ward in my daughter's school board is being put up for a by-election. I'm tempted to run again (previously tried in 2011 and 2014). Third time lucky?
Cards Against Humanity x 1 - We had a get together for one of the teacher's birthday, and the game of choice was CAH. It was actually hilarious, and was very cathartic, as this week was a week of weirdness, and it was nice to make light of some of the things we had been dealing with at school.
No other gaming, per se, though I will be having my game day tomorrow hopefully, so we shall see what I have to report next week.
1856 is running full steam ahead. I'm not doing well with it, but I learned a lot this game, and I've had a great time doing so. I think this is my favorite version of the game that I've played, though I've only played this and 1830 with other players. The Loans and loose market combined with the Canadian National RR make a very interesting dynamic.
Talon Just started a two player game of this via Vassal. I'm excited for it, and so far it is showing to be a very good implementation of the game!
In school/work news, I officially finished my semester, and I scored 100% in all three of my classes (unless something slips through that I missed), so that was nice. I officially finished my student teaching on Thursday, but I will be staying at the school until May 25th or 26th. After that is a four day weekend (brilliant timing...) and then three half days of testing with the kids.
I have now passed all of my required tests, even those that I technically have a year to get, so that should hopefully give me a small leg up on things.
I have been summoned to Jury Duty on June 1st, and apparently the fact that if I get selected I will be missing the prime interview period for my teaching career is not reason enough to get excused, nor is the fact that I start two summer classes that week.
To that I tell the Nevada Court System to go F*** itself. I'm pretty sure I won't get picked (again) but it is really annoying. Last time I was dismissed because of my personal views relating to the case, and I hadn't heard from them in fifteen years.
All I can say is I'm useless on a jury, for many reasons, and I wish they'd just give up trying to get me on one.
N/ADeception: Murder in Hong Kong x4 NEW! - This is such a shameless rip-off of Mysterium, but it works. Because it's simpler, I might even like it a little better. It is a little grisly, since you're discussing murder weapons and evidence, but I like that it's quick and easy to teach, the traitor element is fun. So far I have found it to be incredibly difficult to win. Even without a traitor we wouldn't have been close at all to the solution. But the post-game finger pointing is almost better than the game itself.
10Crokinole x3 - We were soundly beaten down. My crokinole skills have completely evaporated. I definitely need some practice. 7Kakerlakensuppe x2 - I need to raise my rating on this one. I taught this to some of my students and it went over really well. It's definitely punishing to a certain type of player, but as long as they don't mind being laughed at, it is very entertaining. 9No Thanks! x2 5Antike - I was glad to play this again, but still not sure if I like it. I enjoy all the rondel games, but due to the dull (but necessary) combat element, it is not one of my favorites. I would say that for just a little more time, Imperial is a much more rewarding experience. N/ABellz! 8Boom Boom Balloon - We've used almost all of the balloons that come in the game. N/AChronology - I now understand why Timeline is a better game. At first I thought it was a direct ripoff. But turn order makes a huge difference in this game. When the player before you makes a mistake, it gives you a ton of information, since you also get a guess. I was able to win this not because I knew anything about history, but because I gained a lot of information when the player to my right got it wrong. N/ADoctor Panic - I'm starting to think that this might be a little too easy. 5Genesis - I was happy to play this again. Playing it as a filler is really the intention of the design I think. We played it in under 20 minutes and that made a big difference. I would like to try it again and then potentially revisit my rating. 9Hands Up - I was surprised, I actually made a mistake in this game and had to take a card! N/AMonster My Neighbour 6Win, Lose, or Banana
"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
x1 Sol x2 Broom Service x2 Triumph and Tragedy
Something of an absurd week. My work/life schedule has been out-of-control. I'm behind by just about every metric. And yet, somehow, I found myself playing 2(!) full games of Triumph and Tragedy, a game of Sol, and some more Broom Service.
The games of T&T were real highlights. Its been awhile since a game made me feel anxious in any palpable way. And yet it came over me in waves in both matches. The first game I played the Axis and was able to diplo and develop and dividend my way to a near victory. War then broke out and my dreams of an economic victory were crushed along with my paper thin military. However, I finished the bomb just in time to clinch a win (or would have if we had finished the last turn).
For game two I took the West. An ill-begotten eastern adventure left the USSR as the sole diplomatic rival in Europe. That said, I did eventually get in gear but was able to force the USSR to declare war on the Axis. Meanwhile I continued to build up and get the Americans en route. Pretty soon though my aggressive plays in Scandinavia earned me Hitler's eye and a combined German-Italian force punched through southern France. Thanks to a strong air fore and a couple of reserve divisions I was able to hold Paris while pushing into Germany. However, I wasn't fast enough to stop the USSR from scoring a military victory in '44.
Despite playing two (~4-5 hour) matches in the space of the week, I could play another game this instant. What an amazing game.
But, all t hat said, Sol gets the representative image. Mostly because the Kickstarter has launched. You may remember that Sol was my big hit at BGG con and its good to see the final game getting such a remarkable production. I played a game this week so I had enough info to finish my review which I posted over on the game's page. You can read it here: Making Space and Time
Gaming with my kids Lots of it in a 4-day weekend. DS: the Card game, some Story Cubes, Razzia!, and Totnomad's new favourite Yardmaster Express. We don't score beyond who has the most train cars of one colour in a row, and he's allowed to drop cars anywhere.
Game Club My crown as the world's worst Power Grid player remains safe. I managed yet another 3rd. Usually I don't buy enough endgame plants. This time I didn't build enough cities. Like Roger's game, ties abounded. The winner couldn't even claim victory until the second tiebreak. We followed it up with Kobayakawa and Tokaido, whose rating I dropped by 2 or 3 points. A beautiful bore.
Solo Gaming Shenomad and the kids all had school/work on Wednesday. I didn't. So i *finally* got to put Warriors of God on the table. Setup/turn one took me 2 hours. Turn two took 30 mins. Turn three took fifteen. I briefed my prospective adversary (and Brit) Peter at our weekly Sunday picnic yesterday, and I look forward to playing a head-to-head game soon.
PBEM Two games of 1989, two games of Cuba Libre. And Wendell Jacob (oops), if you're still keen on a PBEM Warriors of God...
Andrea and I finished our first Star Wars: Imperial Assault campaign: it was soooo close! The evil Empire (me) lost in the last possible turn when Wookie Garkhaan attacked General Weiss' AT-ST and finally managed to kill that tank with his Vibro-Axe. It was really close - after 11 Scenarios, all depended on the very last die roll. What a great campaign! We will soon start the next one, Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Twin Shadows, which starts off in the Mos Eisley Cantina. I'll be the Empire again.
On Thursday morning, Lonny picked me up and we both headed off to ...
This little Con near the city of Linz is still alive. Although it suffers from lower attendance every year, Frankie's Hotel Traunerhof is still the place where a couple of Upper Austrians, Viennese and Germans meet. Most of them are into Eurogames, but a small group of 18xx Enthusiasts still use the three days of the Con to let their little paper trains run over yellow, green, brown, and sometimes grey track tiles.
Finally, after a long hiatus of almost 2 years, I was able to play TS f2f again. I played the Soviets, the side I have much less experience with and generally don't like to play if given a choice. I didn't remember all the cards which in combination with me playing USSR at least to a degree evened out the vast advantage in experience I had over my oponent. I quickly managed to grab first Italy and then France leaving only W-Germany under his control in Europe. I also dominated the Middle East and Asia. Thus, it was no surprise that we barely made it to Mid-War. I even survived the double whammy Red Scare+Containment in turn 3 largely unscathed. Such a great game, I really need to get back into the habit of playing this one more!
On the nightstand (currently reading): Enemy at the Gates, William Craig Wolf in Shadow, David Gemmell
In the life and Times of skippen: Nothing, really. Quiet weekend, and I expect this next one to be quiet. Trying to get disciplined and back into my weight-loss again (i.e. make better choices). I need to lose another 30 - 40 pounds, and, well, I know what to do, but when I lost my big chunk of weight, it kind of burned me out. I just need to track what I eat. I know this. Also, I took my first violin lesson last week, and that wasn't terrible. Nothing much has been learned yet, but I have another lesson on Thursday. Right now, it seems daunting to this 46-year-old to start a instrument. But, one of my regrets in school was not learning one, and well, I am fixing that.
...the headlamps of your eyes will make them dream.
Gamed on Saturday AND on mother(inlaw)'s (game)day.
World's Fair 1893 4p x1 Friends brought over a kickstarter, and were ACTUALLY worried, because they think I am a picky grump. "You're not easily impressed". All I could think was, boy, what if they met the meatballs. Anyway, it's a kickstarter, but it's not bad. I had fun because it was area-control card drafting shenanigan. I don't know if it has longevity simply because there might be a clear "best move" every turn. I did love the theme and art, and the area control (am I an old school euro lover?), so I will definitely try it again. Am I a snob? Eh. I lost by one point in a heckuva comeback in the last round.
Onward to Venus 5p ww x1 I think 5p is a bit draggy for this game, but the beautiful bones shone through. Megan isn't sure how much she likes it, but she's quite sure that it's like nothing in our collection. The seeding of tiles is a rather ingenious euro/ameri-hybrid. I love the art style, but, for the first time I agree with Samo. It was JUST TOO BROWN.
51st State Master Set 3p ww x1, 3p x1 This beauty arrived unannounced Saturday, and I unleashed it on my friends, and later, my wife and her mother. It. Was. BRILLIANT. I love 51st+new era+winter+ruins, but it is a wild unwieldy beast, full of cumbersome rules and a lot of trees that hide the forest. It also takes 90 minutes minimum. The new set is streamlined, much easier to teach, and absolutely gorgeous. There are two ergonomic failures (the removal of the delineated faction actions and the tiny fucking text), but on the whole there are many positives. It also finishes in a reasonable amount of time. So- I will play this game with more than two. With two, I choose the epic feel and granularity to leverage from the older version. With three, the speed, and the way I don't have a sore throat at the end of the explanation means it earns its shelf space. It's interesting that this is the second game in my collection that is a reissue different enough to stand aside the original in my collection.
Arena 2p x1 Mother in law ruled me. Via + Castra meant that my military strategy floundered against her bulwark. Too late I switched to an economic goal, and thus lost the game by 2 points. If only I had managed to activate my ballista.
Yinsh 2p x1 Aw Snap! What a game. We locked down half the board with absolutely aggressive play. I missed this game. Of the GIPF series, I think this is by far my favourite- it's just so full of dramatic moments!