GCL Gelato 271 - Welcome to Summer
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ABOUT GCL mb GELATO DIVISION mb SUBSCRIPTION THREAD mb GUILD

What is a Game Chat League?

A Game 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.

The Seasonal Writer

mb leroy 43 (Roger)

The Beach Crew

mb ad79 (Stig)
mb Bacchus (Kevin)
mb cmontgo2 (Chris)
mb Cole Wehrle (Cole)
mb cscottk (skippen)
mb cubbieblue (Steven)
mb Farsol (Patrick)
mb Hanibalicious (Sonderegger)
mb grammatoncleric (O.Shane)
mb jacovis (Jacob)
mb jtakagi (Jonathan)
mb leroy 43 (Roger)
mb Lil Red Head (Nikki) W You're up next!
mb nycavri (Avri)
mb PzVIE (Ron)
mb tommynomad (T. Nomad)
mb wifwendell (Wendell)

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1. Board Game: Summer Camp [Average Rating:5.35 Overall Rank:13428]
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It's Summer!

Astronomincally speaking, the solstice happened this past week and the season known as summer is upon us in the northern hemisphere.

The Kelda is out of school, all her extracurricular programs are over, and it seems the whole world has slowed down.

What's your favourite part of the summer season?
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2. Board Game: Piece o' Cake [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1461]
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Fruit!

Summer is when all the fruit becomes available. Berries, peaches, pears, apples, rhubarb, ...

And grilling season is well and truly part of the summer experience.

What's your favorite summer food?
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3. Board Game: Snail Race [Average Rating:5.09 Overall Rank:13834]
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More Light

I like summer for its longer days and shorter nights, but it's also a time of year where I tend to go for more plays of lighter games over longer heavier games.

How about you? Does your gaming change with the seasons? Do you play more? Less? Different?
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4. Board Game: Outdoor Survival [Average Rating:4.64 Overall Rank:15295]
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The Great Outdoors

I'm an unapologetic urbanite. I like being outside, I like hikes, but at the end of the day I want to be in a proper bed inside a constructed structure - I like cabins, but I don't like tents and camping.

How do you like to spend your time outside in summer?
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5. Board Game: Secret Hitler [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:194]
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This is the week that was:


 10   Twilight Struggle x2
These were both more games on Playdek. It's nice to have a regular outlet for TS.

 9   Pax Porfiriana x3
More Yucata. I am closing in on 100 plays.

 8   Jambo ww
On Tuesday was my daughter's penultimate fiddle club session, and my wife and I played Jambo in the library. It was great.

 7   Secret Hitler x4 w TNC
Secret Hitler was a hit with the gang last week, and this week we had six so was asked to bring it again. We roped in Will's teen son to play, and it was even better with seven. We were all laughing about the teen winning as Hitler in our final game because he had such a great poker face.

 4   Citadels w TNC
I was a good sport and played. I did not win, nor did I come last.

 8   London ww
On Friday, my wife brought this to the pub and had it set up by the time I got there, and it was grand. Probably my favourite Wallace game.

 10   Combat Commander: Europe w Rick Galli
This was my first ladder game, and I was the Americans in scenario 6, Paralyzed from the West Down. I began the game with no move cards, and this lasted for at least 3-4 turns, and by the time I did get move cards, there were two time triggers and the Germans were up to their full complement of 3 orders, and it was all downhill from there.

It was my first game on Vassal with CC:E and being on a Mac is a pain in the ass as some of the basics like pulling my units onto the board was aggravating, but otherwise it was GREAT!

 7   The Castles of Burgundy
And another round on Yucata.

What's going on:
Nemo's War (second edition) finally arrived so I can tick that off my KS list of projects I'm waiting for. It looks really nice and I love the mounted map board.


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6. Board Game: What's Up [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:4999]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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It's been an insane 3 weeks, with exams (and no fewer than 6 re-sits) and my brother coming from Canada to surprise KidNomad on his birthday. We're all blissed out and exhausted, and nary a game has taken place.



 7   Win, Lose, or Banana x2
 6   Qwirkle x2
 6   What's Up x2

The main casualty of their visit has been my WoG game with Jacob: my game table was moved out to the patio for meals, and I cannot for the life of me get my head around that game unless I lay out the box version to look at. As it's going, our scenario is going to take longer than the actual war. Thank you for your patience, Jacob.

Last night Shenomad and I went on our first date in a year. On such occasions it really doesn't matter where we go, we just enjoy a couple hours of time alone. We used the opportunity to visit our neighbourhood's Chinese-Indian resto. All Dutch neighbourhoods have one, they never serve anything remotely Indian (though this one mysteriously had tapas), and they all use the Chop Suey font on their signs. The place was packed (they were stunned we didn't have a reservation), and the food--9 different dishes were consumed--was awful in a way usually reserved for HS cafeteria meals. It made me realise the major downside to life in the Netherlands remains cuisine: even the stuff they stole colonially has been watered down to be as bland as possible.

I tried to pick up The Quest for El Dorado at my FLGS last week. It's a legit gaming store, and the guy behind the counter suggested he was pretty knowledgeable when I said I was looking for a game...
me: "The german title is Wettlauf nach El Dorado."
he: "I know most every game, but haven't heard of that one."
me: "I think it's pretty new, but it's a Knizia design."
he: "Lemme look it up...you say it's a what?"
me: (starting to get that feeling) "Knizia. Reiner Knizia."
he: "Hmm...google turns up nothing."
me: *inches his way towards door* "Ok, thanks for looking."
he: "Oh wait, I see here it's a Ravensburger. We don't carry many of theirs. Maybe after Spiel we'll have more."
me: *looks over shoulder at dozens of Ravensburger games* "Ok, bye."

BGG has spoiled me.
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7. Board Game: Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:6406]
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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x1 Gloomhaven
x1 Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon
x1 Chicago and Northwestern
x1 Trick of the Rails
x1 Dutch Intercity
x1 Greenland
x1 Catan: Cities and Knights

This week saw another dedicated Winsome night. It feels so decadant to play so many Winsomes in such fast rotation. Here again Chicago and Northwestern made an appearance. That game is quickly moving up my list of favorite Winsomes. I paired it with Dutch Intercity. Both have weird, non-diluting share payouts and some funny track dynamics and it made for some nice conversation about the games post-play. We capped the night with Trick of the Rails. The last time I played this game, we took nearly an hour to finish due to some very slow play. This time we were done in twenty minutes. It remains cute.

We pushed on in Gloomhaven, scoring yet another narrow win. Next session we'll have to make some interesting decisions about where to go next. After the game of Gloomhaven, I pulled out Greenland and the three of us sat down for a lovely bit of survival and politics in the far north. Playing this along with Gloomhaven did not reflect well on the bigger title. There's far more theme crammed in that little box.

Lastly, for my wife's birthday we played a game of Catan and then, after the company left, we knocked out a game of Odyssey. Odyssey is a new Leo Colvini (of Clans fame), and boy is it fun. It's an interesting reverse hunter game where the "targets" are trying to figure out where they are. I have some slight concerns about balance and the competitive mode but the core idea is solid and I hope to play this game a lot in the next few weeks.

Life stuff and the week ahead:
I've got some big deadlines this Wednesday so I'll be pushing it extra hard today on my writing. I'm so close and so ready to be done. I've also got a few game designs cooking. So far I'm having trouble gaining traction on the weirder game so I may need to take a break and try something else for a bit.

Next week we'll be heading down to Bloomington to spend the 4th with my wife's family. I'm looking forward to the break and a little bit of cabin time in one of my favorite spots in the world.
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8. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:34]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Gaming


 10   PitchCar x3
As the schoolyear ended we had our Summer championship of Pitchcar in my class. After a thrilling finale, I got to play a few times. Won twice and had a relay race. 3 persons to the team and when the first player on a team crosses the finishline after one lap the second takes over and so on. This format is great for the cameraderie(if that is how it is spelt) in class.

 N/A   Kingdomino x2
A pair of 3-player games. Me and Ingmar each had a 1 point win. I like this game, both for the tile laying challenge and the short play time.

 N/A   Brass: Lancashire NEW!
Got in a 3-player game of this. A good game, but not sure if I have the desire to play it many times. Was 6 points behind Ingmar in the end. Which was a surprisingly low difference. I got two 2nd level shipyards(the ship icon, not the anchor icon)which got me a bunch of VPs, but I suffered in the income departement, which hurt me in the endgame.

 N/A   Joking Hazard
Played with the 3 expansions only and a bunch of beer. Had some horrible combos. But fun was had.

 N/A   Guess Who? x2 NEW!
A pair of games with my daughter.

Movies
Watched Wonder Woman at the movies. A very good origin story and a very good standalone film. Similarities to the first Captain America, but a times very funny. Well worth the view.

Also rewatched Batman Vs. Superman afterwards. Still not a good movie. The whole batman/Superman rivalry gets resolved in the most stupid way imaginable.

Have also watched the first 3 Transformers movies on Netflix because I am going to see the last one tonight. Explosions are fun, but these really aren't quality movies. Stupid summer fun.

Ambush
Wading my way slowly through the rulebook. Almost at the end. Look forward to getting to the actual game.

Painting
I'm painting my inlaws house these coming days, and have sent the wife and kids off to the cabin for a few days.

Summerholiday began last Friday. Happy days.
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9. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:683]
Jonathan Takagi
United States
San Marcos
California
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 10   Can't Stop - It always feels good to teach dishonorable opponents a lesson.

 8   Loopin' Louie x6 - I was dismayed to discover that I have fallen to third place among BGG users logging plays. I'm going to have to step it up this summer!

 8   Le Passe-Trappe Grande x4 - It is very interesting to see different approaches that different players take. My strategy is go as fast as you can, regardless of accuracy. This doesn't always work very well.

 8   WeyKick x4 - This was a big hit at my son's birthday party.

 N/A   Nations: The Dice Game x3 - I'm not sure I completely understand this game, and it surely doesn't replace the main game for me. I'm not sure if it's trying to replicate the flavor of Nations, or just be a regular dice game.

 9   Saint Petersburg x3 - A couple late night matches. For a while I was burned out, but enough time has passed now where I will gladly play this at anytime.

 9   Agricola x2 - It is surprising to see how much Agricola is hated in this GCL, but I have a great time every time I play!

 8   Blue Moon x2 - I almost forgot the rules, so it's nice to refresh. I would like to branch out into some of the other decks. I never had enough experience to do so before, maybe over the summer.

 8   Boom Boom Balloon x2 - As usual, this game got some players to leave the room out of anxiety over the balloon popping on their turn.

 8   Code 777 x2 - This went over quite well, though there are definitely some lucky draws with questions that help one player way more than others.

 7   Melee x2 - No one I know likes this game, but the combat resolution is probably my favorite - guess how much money your opponent put in their hand.

 8   Say Anything Family Edition x2 - This has been a lot of fun to play with my kids.

 8   Schnapp x2 - Not too much shoving, so this is still fun for my kids to play. Once players get too old, the game can get a little too violent.

 6   Streams x2 - It's been a while since we've played this one. It's still quite fun, but this space is very crowded. I think I like Completto more.

 6   Arbos - I once again remembered what we were doing wrong. The rules are so vague about how to set up the game that each time I pull it out I forget.

 7   Cacao - It was interesting to see all the water only come out at the end, I lost soundly.

 6   Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers

 8   Dream Factory - This was an interesting game. I got the fewest awards and didn't have the best movies, but I had a ton of vertrags left at the end which was enough for a very tight victory. The bids in the final round were so high I almost didn't play at all.

 N/A   Exploding Kittens NEW! - I was glad to play it, if only to check it off my list. Is this what Munchkin is like? Completely random, but I guess some people think the art is funny, and at least it's over very quickly.

 N/A   Ice Cool - I don't know why, I should really like this game but it always falls flat with me. I am disappointed to be disappointed in this game.

 N/A   Loot N Run - A big 6 player match, it was fun to see some really huge scores. Usually the scoring is very incremental, but there was some huge jumps that almost seemed gamebreaking.

 6   Russian Railroads - Playing online to see if I can improve my impressions of this game. I soured on it once I started thinking there were only 2 or 3 paths to victory, but there are enough fans to make me think I could definitely be wrong.

 7   Shrimp - The French version is much better, having a squeaky toy mayo bottle makes the game way better.

 8   Take it Easy!

 N/A   Tally Ho! NEW! - One of the Kosmos 2-player series I had never played. It was surprisingly fun. The theme and artwork go a long way in dressing up what is essentially an abstract.

 7   To Court the King - There's no reason to play this over Favor of the Pharaoh, but the smaller footprint is nice.

 7   Zooloretto: The Dice Game
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10. Board Game: Nix [Average Rating:3.55 Overall Rank:14704]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Roger asked if there's more or less gaming in Summer ... well, according to the GCL Formatter Program, there is a change:

That's 0 total plays from 0 different games. soblue

That's a sad entry this week, isn't it?

However, we spent a couple of days in Tyrol with Andrea's sister, so I will post a couple of images next week.

I hope you all had a great week too. And more gaming! meeple
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11. Board Game: Tulipmania 1637 [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3506]
Nikki Ebright
United States
Centennial
Colorado (CO)
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 8   Tulipmania 1637 x2
 N/A   Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game NEW!
 7   Deep Sea Adventure x2
 7   Codenames: Pictures x3
 7   Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia
 7.5   Eminent Domain


GAMES
Got together with some friends and played games on their anniversary, and then had our usual Monday night, but just 3 of us, so a quieter night.

EVERYTHING ELSE
So last year at this time we were in the running to host the Westercon 2 years in the future. That is, at Westercon 69 there was a vote for who would host Westercon 71. We won, yay.

This weekend we are going to Westercon 70 to support them and promote our Westercon for next year, and support the folks bidding for Westercon 72.

I expect my weekend to be full of shaking the right hands and kissing the right babies. Or in Daenerys Targaryen speak, I'm putting on my floppy ears.

Also at last year's Westercon is when I met the Seattle guy, and that ended in a bummer way, so there's a little angst on my part. Now, Westercon 69 was in Portland, and this year it's in Tempe, AZ (and he's not going to be there) so it's not like I'll be running into him, but the ghosts hang in the air, ya know?

Plus we have the Myths and Legends Convention in 5 (!!!) weeks, so I'm busy with MALCon prep (trying to get the program done for July 8) while filling in for 2 of our Westercon people who had to step down from our group, and preparing for this coming weekend. So...busy.

NONPROFIT

I stepped down from the Board this week so I can fully be in the Executive Director role. It's been the plan, so I can take a stipend from the board, but it's still kind of scary, to be letting go of what I've been in charge of for so long. I'm still in charge in some ways, but now I report to people, heh.

Next time...remind me to talk about DAFT (unless I did already).

I'll try to pop in this weekend, but time will be very wibbly wobbly and who knows when I'll be online. We have to do a party Sunday night, so lots of prep for that, and we need to represent (yo) at other people's parties other nights, so a lot of socializing and not a lot of down time. It's all good; I did sign up for this, but I also recognize the challenges of the weekend as well.

Anyway, have a great weekend, y'all and hopefully someone (Avri) can trade me GCL weeks...

EDIT
Oh, I forgot to mention...we have 6 of us in the house, and one of the roommates had a heart attack um, last week now? I've lost track of days. It hasn't been a week. He's in the hospital, sedated and being kept basically unconscious most of the time so his body can repair. They've woken him up a few times to check cognitive things. One of our other roommates visits him daily, so she's keeping us in the loop. I haven't been to the hospital to see him. Just too many hospitals for me recently.

Anyway, we're all hoping he'll be ok in the long run, but it's going to be a long road.
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12. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1814]
EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
United States
Folsom
CA
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Los Banditos 2p ww x1

Like battle line but chancier,
and dice which makes it fancier
and home-made cards to zoosh it up
it raises it like thyssen-krupp
--
I love that game. "I need a one or a three to win!" *rolls a three and a one* O! Fortuna me amas!

Mystery Rummy 2p ww x1

I think that I can beat my wife-
they drew her blood she fasted too
but lo, approacheth inner strife
She messed me up all black and blue
--
This falls under the "there's nothing new in this game, but damn if it isn't a smooth heuristic ride" category. Megan was a little ashamed that she loves this game so much, so I had to disabuse her of that self-deprecation. We love what we love, and a good solid card game is hard to come by.

Noch Mal 2p ww x1

Saved by the stars, as megan's pipes
had overshot my coloured stripes
--
If Megan likes it, I'll keep it. I prefer many other roll, keep, and mark off more.

Colonists 2p x.25

A man, a plan, to be Japan-
but it seems that I need more man-
power
--
We are in the 3rd age, and doom approacheth. I have few men, but many tech. We'll see if that makes the cut.

Eggs of Ostrich 3p ww x1

First card drawn out the gate,
I know at least one jerk will skip
but i failed to anticipate
two jerks in this fellowship
--
Man, this continues to entertain and delight. Fudgin' eggs, man.

Havana 3p ww x1

Haha! I've played thief you see
to bring more glory into me
but how could i have dared foresee
protection for the bourgeoisie
--
I adore this game. I feel like it's a bit more game-y, less pure tension than witch's brew, but with a couple of meaner tools to break the gait of fellow players. Of course, our friend took a look at me, took a look at Megan: "Witch's brew is better, right?" "Right" The mob speaks.

Hiya! This week's been a bit rough, what with Megan getting diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and at risk for preeclampsia. It's a bit of a worrisome drag on the old noggin.
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13. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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www.cascadecon.games
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Cascade Games Convention: Bellingham, Washington's premier tabletop board game playing event
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 9.0   Diplomacy
 9.0   Twilight Struggle x11
 8.0   Can't Stop
 8.0   No Thanks! x2
 7.5   The Grizzled
 7.0   Niya x4 NEW!
 7.0   Red7
 7.0   Survive: Escape from Atlantis! x3
 6.5   Grandpa Beck's Cover Your A$$ets x4
 6.0   Onitama x2
 N/A   Apples to Apples Junior x2
 N/A   Founding Fathers NEW!

It's been quite a month (June). Not a huge amount of gaming (see Roger's summer question), but there were a few special moments.

In particular, I taught my 10-year-old (he's almost 11) to play Twilight Struggle. He loved it. Now, of course, his grokking the strategy will take many plays, but he understands the mechanics and the push-and-pull nature of the game. He called it a "tug of war."

Played an online pickup game of Diplomacy on www.vdiplomacy.com with friends in Puerto Rico using Skype. Played on a South American map (4 players) and I was Chile. After about 3 hours, I was called the winner because of some sneaky convoy movements that gave me the edge.

I revisited Red7 at my town's newest board gaming establishment. I had previously sold off Red7 thinking it was boring. But it turns out that my family really likes it, and I like playing it with them. Will probably reacquire.

Finally learned how to play Founding Fathers online with Roger. That was super fun. At first I thought the game was too simplistic and not compelling, and then midway through the game, something clicked and I realized how genius the countervailing levers are in the game. It's well done. Also, I enjoyed winning using an anti-Federalist and small-state strategy. Alexander Hamilton can suck it.
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