Eclipse Episode 299: In which Lenny ponders Change
Froggy McFrogface
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FORT COLLINS
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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We are in the throws of putting our house on the market! I've lived here for 23 years. We've raised 3 kids here. My mother lived with us for 15 of those years. We've run an Airbnb since she moved to Skilled Nursing. In the process, we've sorted through our possessions, deciding what is precious, and what has to go, in spite of sentimental attachments. And so I'll pose some of the questions in terms of games in your collections.


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Next up:

???

Travis Hill is scheduled next, but he bowed out after his last list.

Jonathan Franklin
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is scheduled for August 20.

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1. Board Game: Collect the Chicks [Average Rating:4.96 Unranked]
Froggy McFrogface
United States
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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If you're like me, space for storing games can become an issue. (You'll be happy to know our new house will have a dedicated gaming area!)

If your shelves are sagging, how do you decide what stays and what goes?

Do you ever hold a copy of a game, recall how difficult it was to acquire, and realize you've never played it? Is this justification for keeping it?
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2. Board Game: Castaways [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1123]
Froggy McFrogface
United States
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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Desert Island Discs Games.

You are to be castaway on an island. You can have any number of people with you, but only 5 games. Which do you choose, and why? Does the number of people you'll have with you influence the games you choose, or vice versa?
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3. Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:58]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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All this activity of getting our house ready, including remodeling the basement (!) has really cut into my game playing time.

Do you have a designated time (or times set aside each week for gaming? How sacred is that time to you? How does it effect you if you have to modify or cancel that time for other life circumstance?
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4. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:443]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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Tell us about where you live! House? Apartment? Condo? What is your gaming space like? Do you have aspirations for something different?
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5. Board Game: Winds of Change [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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Obviously this is a big transition in my life. Much of the work that has been done to my house I have done myself, including making all of the kitchen cabinets and many custom interior details. People ask me if it is hard to give it up. In many ways I think, no, this is when all that sweat equity will pay out! Our housing market is robust, and we live in a desirable part of town. And yet, as we work to fix and improve a few things, and I walk around the place with a critical eye, I know I am going to miss this house.

How do you deal with change?
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Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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I've been terrible at posting here in Eclipse my Games Played, but I do keep my own running geeklist each year. It's been tough to keep up with lately, but here it is, if anyone is interested.
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7. Board Game: Railroad Revolution [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:685]
EGG Head
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Recent Acquistions
Railroad RevolutionThis holds the record for longest trip in the mail. This game was ordered to be shipped after last Essen. I kind of forgot about it in the rush of Essen games until about Dec. I inquired and was told there was somekind of postage strike so forgotten about agian. Inquired again a few months later and was told to wait, strike was ending etc. Follow up another month no game, no one knew where game was. Refund sent. Came home to a box. Yay! I love packages!, No idea what this one was and surprise! This game had arrived a mere 9 months late.
Lisboa
The Fox in the Forest
Lisboa
Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium
Shadows in Kyoto
The 7th Continent
13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis
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8. Board Game: Targi: Die Erweiterung [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
Meghan Naxer
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Corvallis
Oregon
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Recent Plays: 8/5–8/11

This has been an extremely busy work week, which means not a lot of gaming in the evenings when we're completely pooped!

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game x2: Now that we have the rules down a bit better, we've been doing 80-90 point games and it is fun!
Tiny Epic Galaxies: We've been in a very ameritrash/dice-fest kind of mood!
Targi: But we always make time for favorites! First play with the expansion, which really opens the game up! Maybe too open? Need more plays to know for sure.
Merchants & Marauders: This used to be one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but our recent play really fell flat. After playing more ameritrash-style games, this one just doesn't hold up. Onto the trade pile it goes! We made sure to thank it for all its service on our shelf and the 10+ plays.
Kingdomino: Still really enjoying this on nights when we want to play something light. Can be as thinky and cutthroat as you make it.
Patchwork: Always a fine decision! And I finally won again with only 4 blank spots in my quilt!
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9. Board Game: Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star [Average Rating:8.84 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.84 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.84 Unranked]
Dan
United States
Bountiful
Utah
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RECENT ACQUISITIONS:

Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star - I really like the base game, with the sandbox space adventure, so I picked up this expansion when it arrived.

Thunder Alley - I've heard on here that this is one of the best racing games, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Fugitive - I played the prototype and liked it, but I never play two player games, so I ignored it when it released. But then this summer I decided to pick up a few 2 player games, so I got this one at the Flea Market at STGCON.

Battle Line - Picked this one up as Shane won't stop raving about it, as the best 2 player game ever. I'm not sure it's the right game for me and my wife, but I'll give it a shot. We did play Lost Cities back in the day.

T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons and T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case - I got my family to play the base scenario in TIME Stories a few months ago, and so I ordered these two. I haven't convinced them to play again yet.

The Golden Ages with The Golden Ages: Cults & Culture - Got the base game at the Bazaar at BGG Spring for a good price, and found the expansion also online on clearance. I liked this game, but didn't feel the need to own it when I first played it. This seems to be a trend for me, 1. Play a game, and feel ambivalent. 2. Wait 2-3 years. 3. Reminisce about the first play, and buy the game.

Kerala: The Way of the Elephant - Won this game at STGCON. Played it once, and enjoyed it. Someone told me it was hard to find, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

India Rails - Got this cheap at the Bazaar at BGG.Spring, and got someone to teach me my first crayon rail game. I liked it, and on their recommendation, I've got my eye on the reprint of Iron Dragon which should be coming anytime.

PRE-ORDERS:

I kickstarted the new version of Container, but not sure if I really need it since I already own the original. This is another example of a grail game that gets reprinted after I tracked it down. But in the grand scheme, it's awesome when a game I like gets around more, so good for everyone. thumbsup

I also pre-ordered Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) which was announced this week.

For about 2 years I was pretty slow on game orders, but this year I must be more stressed, and more in need of retail therapy.





BOOKS

Finished reading Memory Sorrow and Thorn, the final book is called Green Angel Tower. I really enjoyed this fantasy series when I was younger, and I was pleased to find that it was still very good.

I picked up Uncle Tom's Cabin off my shelf (my wife acquired a lot of classics over the years) and at first I really liked it. But the author writes in dialect, with apostrophes creating the sounds and the ways that people spoke in slang in the time period, which is cool for being authentic. However, it makes the book hard to read, because I have to slowly sound out each word instead of being able to progress at a crisp pace. I've put it down for now.

I started reading The Last Wish, which is the first compilation of short stories from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski about The Witcher, which has become popular through video games. I was interested in it when I heard that it started out pulpy, written as short stories, and I'm hoping it will be similar to Conan or Fafrd and Mouser, some of the great pulp fiction of decades ago. I'm only a couple chapters in, but I'm enjoying it so far.

MOVIES

I like movies! This year I have watched:

Logan - I'm an X-Men fan, but the Wolverine movies have been B- at best. This one is better, probably B+. I liked the more mature themes of dealing with life when it doesn't go your way. A decent entry in the series, and a good epilogue to Hugh Jackman's portrayal.

Ghost in the Shell - This appeared to be mostly true to the animated original, although some of those things don't really translate well to live action. I remember thinking the original was mind bending, and intriguing, but this new entry fell flat.

Kong: Skull Island - Took my kids to this one, and they all enjoyed it. Great pulpy monster action. I enjoyed the characters, and I liked how they played it straight up without getting too campy. Only recommended to fans of the genre, but I thought it was fun.

Wonder Woman - Solid movie. I'm nitpicky, and there were some elements that I didn't think worked very well, but overall I was pleased to finally get a movie in the DC canon that could stand toe to toe against the Marvel franchises. I like a few of Zach Snyder's older movies, but he seems to be a better visual designer than movie director. I think the Justice League will be improved for his having stepped away. This movie surprised me by making even more money than Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which I thought would be the highest grossing movie of the summer. Haven't seen that one yet, but I liked the original.

Alien: Covenant - I am a fan of the Alien series. I'm in the camp that prefers the 2nd one over the first, but I think most everyone can agree that it's been downhill from there. This one started out with a good premise, but the characters didn't seem to know their own minds, making decisions that often left the viewer scratching their heads. I think this is Ridley Scott's fault, I don't think he's at the top of his game anymore. This is a fun addition to the series, but I'd give it a C+.

War for the Planet of the Apes - I've enjoyed the new Apes series. I showed my kids the first two new ones, in anticipation of this one, and again, sequels disappoint. Rise of the Planet of the Apes still stands up as a solid movie, with controversial themes, an an emotional story. The second one did a great job of developing the ape culture, and bringing out the conflict between apes and humans. This third entry seemed not to have seen the first two, and took a weird tangent on a revenge story. We the viewers were helpless to the unlikely decisions of Caesar and his clan, but they did at least tie it back into the original mythos. I still recommend Rise, but not so sure I'd recommend this one. My kids liked them all. My 12 year old asked to watch the originals, so we rented the classic 1968 Planet of the Apes, which still holds up today, although I think we can all agree that Charleton Heston isn't always on the mark. He is entertaining though.

Spider-Man: Homecoming - As I was watching this movie, I was filled with emotions about how he was making bad decisions, and indignation about how they were setting him up to just be a foot soldier for Iron Man, but by the time it ended, I was impressed with it. A worthy reboot to the series. I did like Andy Garfield in the role, but the writing on the second one he was in was pretty poor. This one does a better job. I'm happy with it.

Dunkirk - I was excited for this one, I'm a big fan of Christopher Nolan. However I think he's also past his prime. Interstellar didn't have the same weight as his previous films, and Dunkirk felt the same way. There was not a good story arc, it felt like the intensity started at 10, and never wavered, while at the same time, no significant events were happening. The events at Dunkirk seems so short, with so little happening. I'm sure it was intense, and terrible when it happened, but most of that intensity was the waiting, unsure of when they would be destroyed, and waiting doesn't translate well to film. So excellent quality of movie production, but ultimately not a story that grabbed me.

Dark Tower - I've read the whole series, and after watching the previews I was fairly terrified of this movie. It looked like they were taking an interesting story and putting a Michael Bay spin on it, all action and no brains. In the theatre, though, I felt they were mostly true to the mythos, and I was most impressed with the two actors, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, I felt they both did a good job of portraying the characters, and they carried the movie. So while I only give it a B+, it's the right kind of movie for me, I enjoyed it.

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