GCL Gelato 304 - Why does the air hurt my face?
"L'état, c'est moi."
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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 Critic

mb leroy 43 (Roger)

The Designers

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mb jtakagi (Jonathan)
mb leroy 43 (Roger)
mb Lil Red Head (Nikki) W You're up next!
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1. Board Game: Arctic Survival [Average Rating:4.48 Unranked]
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Brrr.



Sooooo cold.

I'm currently in Yellowknife which is 400km south of the Arctic circle. It's the furthest north I've ever been.

We went out aurora hunting shortly after we arrived, and while the official weather was -31C, it was probably colder out on the frozen lakes were on to try and catch those beautiful northern lights (mission accomplished).

Mark Twain is said to have quipped that the coldest winter he spent was summer in San Francisco. He never said that, but it's a good line.

What's the coldest you've ever been? Or place you've visited? Or perhaps lived?
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2. Board Game: Heat Up Live! [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
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Hot.

It was Ephesus, in July or August the year we were on our eastern Mediterranean cruise. The sky was a clear blue without a cloud in sight. It was officially 42C, but in the shade free white marble streets of that former Roman trading city, it was an easy bake oven.

As with the question above, what's the hottest you've ever been? Or place you've visited? Or lived?
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3. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:538]
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Climate is what you expect. Weather is what you get.

Of all the places I've lived, Victoria had the climate I liked best. It gets warm enough in the summer to be nice but not too hot, and winters were seldom bad either to the point where the occasional snow was charming.

Vancouver is similar, but it rains a lot more.

What's your ideal climate? Is it where you live now, or?

What about weather? If you could control the weather, would it always be the same or always different or as random as it is now?
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4. Board Game: Liftoff! [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:4360]
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Falcon Heavy...



what did you think? Did you watch?
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5. Board Game: The Expanse Board Game [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1821]
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I just finished reading the 6th book of the Expanse Series.

One of the things I really like about it is it addresses the possibility of how humans might adapt to living in our solar system. And some of the harsh realities and challenges it would provide.

The book series is a great science fiction/space opera romp by the way, and I highly recommend it.

What are your thoughts on humans expanding out into the solar system?
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6. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:377]
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This is the week that was...


10  Pax Porfiriana Yucata
This week, I raise this game to a ten.

Why?

Because, I was playing a game on Yucata and something new happened. Someone triggered a topple, and when it came to my turn to do something about it, I had a black assassination card in my hand that showed as active.

Why? Because it turns out that you can unflip someone's flipped Hacendado by assassinating them.

And sure enough, in the glossary, under assassination, there it is.

Over 100 games of this and I am still learning new things about it.



8  Startups x2
7  Downforce x2
7  Captain Sonar x4

On Thursday night I hosted gaming and we had a full house (six out of seven). The Kelda had been craving to play Captain Sonar so we played a couple of rounds of Downforce and when she got home from a piano lesson, we broke out the game along with the new expansion. My wife was amenable to rounding out the group to a full eight, and much hilarity ensued.

The new maps and weapons from the expansion are fun, but the problem maps from the BGG store are only OK. For completionists only.



7  Codenames Duet x6
5  Bohnanza: The Duel

On Friday while the Kelda was making more art, my wife and I played a bunch of Codenames and a round of the bean game.

The Kelda's current work in progress

I am going dogsledding shortly, so more fun reports later!
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7. Board Game: Warriors of God [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:1039]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
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Went to my brother Scott's last night and introduced him to Warriors of God. Always a hit. (My French got out to a huge lead but the English were really on the comeback by game'es end' good thing it was only 12 turns.)

Also had set up on my solo table this game - one of my all-time favorites. Played a scenario, then a campaign where the North Koreans took Pusan from the EAST. Ooops. Playing again, this time with a slightly higher level of initial UN commitment to try to avoid that embarrassment again...

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8. Board Game: Tonga Bonga [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:3310]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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 N/A   Tonga Bonga x3 NEW!
 6   Sorry! Sliders x5
 5   Wizard
 6   Sushi Go!
 6   Qwirkle
 5   Catan Dice Game

One of my favourite characteristics is generosity. One of my favourite geeks is Ron. He sent us a lovely gift box containing among others this wonderful family title. I was part of three games and Shenomad another with the boys, all in 2 days. I seem incapable of attracting able crews to my boats so far, but losing to your kids is the best kind of losing.

My ereader arived this week, and apart from regional restrictions (which are weird and preventing me from buying all 5 Canada Reads contenders), I am thoroughly enjoying the experience. I'm starting my annual book party with Forgiveness, by Mark Sakamoto.



It's Carnaval here in Catholic Den Bosch, and it's sooooo not our holiday. Today we're driving to Dusseldorf, to check out an indoor ski hill and the local Koreatown. Maybe I'll get some reading in while the kids are on the slopes.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!
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9. Board Game: Glenn Drover's Empires: Galactic Rebellion [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:6739]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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GAME WEEK

 10   1835
 7   Tiny Epic Western NEW!
 8   Glenn Drover's Empires: Galactic Rebellion

A PbF game of 1835 ended this week – game #9 with Pep, Huff, Peter and myself. Peter is simply unbeatable in this game … I finally made it to 3rd place. We immediately agreed on another game.

Train gaming night on Friday was cancelled due to low attendance. So the only FtF gaming happened Saturday evening, when we put Glenn Drover's Empires: Galactic Rebellion on the table again. Now this is basically a great game (based on Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery), but unfortunately a little bit botched by Eagle/Gryphon games. I wrote about that in the games’ forum:
PzVIE wrote:
This game is now two years old. When I look at the stats here and compare it with others (same publisher, same designer, same genre ...) it does not get much love or attention.

I'd imagine, if FFG would have published this game with a Star Wars theme, it would have sold like Star Wars: Rebellion. The game itself is really great, but Eagle/Gryphon did a bad job in publishing it: the artwork is pathetic, the fonts used are hard to read if you sit far from the tech tiles, and the (often bent) minis and overall production feels a little cheap.

Nevertheless, the game itself is great, and I'm still convinced that the dreaded Galactic War in the end is a very clever design element and the game builds up tension until the final conflict happens and the last scoring of the game begins.


The evening was ended with the first play of Tiny Epic Western – some kind of dicey poker worker-placement with a cool theme. We all liked it instantly and it was Andrea’s first contact with Poker (well, kind of – considering that the game uses a couple of poker rules and cards, but only a couple of them) … better late than never.



NEW GAMES

As a surprise, an auto-order P500 came that week, Battles of the Warrior Queen, an expansion for Caesar: Conquest of Gaul. As I wrote below Wendell’s entry this week, I’d need opponents for these games … and a second life to find the time to play them all.

As I started a new RPG group consisting of two newbies, Andrea and myself (GM), I ordered the Pathfinder Cards: Rules Reference Flash Cards, to help the new players through the intimidating ruleset of this game.



I hope you all had a great week too! meeple
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10. Board Game: Apocalypse Road [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Gaming



N/A  Apocalypse Road
Had a 3-player playutest of Apocalypse Road. Found issues that needs to be fixed. Tried some new «Grudge» tokens. They worked fine and changes to the track worked well. I like the game and the fun it brings.

N/A  Helios NEW!
After our Apocalypse Road game we played this one. I won by a single point.

N/A  Mini Curling Game x2
With the kids to celebrate the Olympics. My dauhgter is so much better than me.

N/A  Flamme Rouge
Did a solo race of the stage with the big climb. I played against 1 Peloton and 2 muscle teams. By staying inside the pack all the way untill the final hill I managed to take a 1-2 win. First time I have won against the AI teams. Fun race. Fun game.

Reading
Continuing my reading about the Norwegian Merchants in WWII. Very good series. Up to book 3 now.

LEGO
Lego has announced the end of NEXO KNIGHTS, but as my son have changed his LEGO focus he isn´t too bothered. And LEGO has also announced a return to Harry Potter this summer with a couple of sets. There is also talk about a big 600$ Hogwarts Castle set. No images yet, but as we are watching the movies together these days we are excited about the new LEGO sets.

Watched Harry Potter and the Order of The Pheonix with the kids. They loved it.

Seriously thinking about the Hogwarts Battle game to play with the kids. But some say it quickly gets long and is kinda random. Well, maybe when I´m next at my local Outland store.
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11. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:47] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
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Folsom
CA
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Azul 4p ww x1

Remember this when you are old,
remember son what you've been told
deep down within each withered soul
everyone is an asshole
--
Played it 4p for what may be the last time. It was excellent, but that was the company, not the game. The game itself was unfocused, and not nearly as sharp as my 2p outings. I believe I may have said that in 2p you can be a jerk to the other person, while in 4p you're just a jerk to the two players to the right of you. It was ne'er truer than here.

Istanbul DW 3p x1

Sultan Sultan, slow down please
this hoarding phase must surely cease
we'll find you soon in facedown sprawl
so taken out, by taking all
I care not if you all abhor
it's wafer thin- procure me more!

--
Conversely, this game is much, MUCH better with more. there's economic shorting of tracks, and the downtime from additional players is minimal at best.

Town Center 3p x.5

behold my cubes ye mighty and
despair for this is hani-land
a sea of people and carparks
but no retail- so all hail Marx!
--
I liked it, but time was waning so we only got to play a little. Hopefully I'll get to try the whole shebang one day.

Small Warehouse 2p ww x1

If this baroque point-scoring scheme
is what customs is like, I dream
of open ports and trade betwixt
the nations of this world, so mixed
--
Wow. What an astoundingly great microgame, with a fantastic little tie breaker that, as we get better, I'm sure will actually make the game. It's completely assuaged our guilt over selling hanging gardens. Indeed, Megan would always look forward to playing it, and feel stressed when actually doing so- but not good stress, bad stress. After talking it through with her, we realized that it probably has to do with the fact that the excellent spatial element of Hanging Gardens is tied to such an uncaringly random scoring system. Dadaocheng stuck around because, while the scoring was bogstandard conversion, it directly related to how well you played the spatial game. Hanging Gardens could randomly give you a terrible tile, or reward you with instant sets, and thus felt a little detached from your actual actions. Small warehouse has a similar spatial puzzle, and the scoring is directly related to how you built your little warehouse. It's just way better than it has any right to be.
Megan got a little glint in her eye, comparing it to too many Cinderellas: "Now that I'm mostly tapas gaming, I'm more picky about my tapas."

Grand Slam 2p x1

After all that shit-talking
the way I got all in your face
you shoulda seen my grimace wilt
when you served up that solid ace
--
What an embarrassing ruleset. Just impossible to parse. In the end we figured it out, and it's a good game, but holy Christ that rulebook is godawful. Will definitely play it again with more confidence, as there's a fair amount of strategy... and interesting luck!


-----
I also have not been feeling well, so hence no beer report (I don't sick-drink), and a late report. But am feeling better. Happy Valentine's day!

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12. Board Game: Pandemic: Rising Tide [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:1199]
Nikki Ebright
United States
Centennial
Colorado (CO)
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Looks like Robin's code is having issues so I'll have to manually put in what I've played. #firstworldproblems

GAMES (and gaming interruptions)
I think it's been a few weeks since I posted so a lot to catch up on!

When Billy and I got back from the Netherlands, we went straight into HexaCon, which was Jan 19-21. The following week, we tried to get back to "normal" with gaming on our usual Monday night. Billy had put in an order for Pandemic: Rising Tide from one of the vendors at the convention, so we got it on the table that night. Loved it!

Spent time with friends - food and gaming - that Saturday and played Pandemic: Rising Tide again, and loved it again.

The following Monday (Jan 29) was back to convention stuff, this time for WhimsyCon (coming up in 2+ weeks on March 2-4). Our Publications Director was coming over so we could strategize on the program book and she left me and Billy with a pile of To Do items. No gaming that night, but our friend Kim (I call her my cheese girlfriend) came over with her laptop and helped me work. Many thanks to Kim! kiss

I spent the rest of the week head down working on the convention schedule and vendor room stuff and author stuff - basically it's been all convention stuff. Still, I used to do 14 hour days the 2 weeks before the con and right now it's been 8-10 hour days, so we're making progress.

So no gaming until the following Monday (Feb 5th). One of my roommates and one of our friends all have laptop-based work to do, so we've been camping out at the dining table and helping each other stay on track.

So gaming that night included all 3 of us, plus another worker for the day, plus our usual contingent so we had 6 and 7 players for most games.

Time to play some 7 Wonders! We actually started with a double set of Sushi Go Party! plays, as we had new gamers and were teaching them some basics, like simultaneous play, which came in handy for 7 Wonders.

Then we were down to 6 players, and decided to teach trick taking and got out one of my current favorites, Wizard. This is the one I learned from Billy's family, and his dad was always that one to beat. I've been missing that experience when we've been to visit Michigan, because his dad really isn't that person anymore (hard for him to play full games anymore as he kind of forgets or gets bored in the middle). Anyway, it was a bittersweet (and mostly sweet) opportunity to play a game I leaned with people I enjoy and got to teach to people I enjoy.

Continuing the Bittersweet Tour; on Weds night, Billy and I went to our friend's house to teach her and her daughter Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. This is our friend who the widow of our dear friend Bob who passed, goodness, 4 years ago this coming summer? Wow... Anyway, their lives have been crazy with all sorts of things, and we were glad to have some time with the 4 of us to catch up and play something fun together. We're all HP fans, and we played through Years 1-3, and we're pretty sure they'll be able to keep setting up the game and playing without us going forward, so that's a yay.

CONVENTIONS

Right now I'm in the middle of that place - the one where I'm running 4 conventions in 12 months. It's pretty crazy. I feel like I'm doing pretty well, and if I had to keep this up, I don't know if I would want to, but I can see end-of-the-tunnel light, and that helps.

So MALCon 5 was in August [DONE], and HexaCon 1 [DONE] happened just over 3 weeks ago. We've got WhimsyCon 1 coming up in just under 3 weeks (more like 2 and a day, shush!), and then Westercon 71/MALCon 6 in 4.5 months. Half done, half to go. I've got a lot of anxious Westercon people to deal with, so I'm hoping to get some time to get to some of those before WhimsyCon.

There's still a list of events that I'm not running but attending for some reason. After WhimsyCon we have a couple of weeks, and then we're at an anime con to promote our cons, then Billy's sister, her husband, and their 2 kids are visiting the following weekend (end of March). Two week break then we're off to a gaming con in Manitou Springs over April 13-15, StarFest the following weekend, and then Rocky Mountain Poly Living conference (RMPL) the following weekend (with Billy gone to IL for a work trip in between).

For those last two - I ended up in charge of Star Fest's Main Events a few years ago (don't ask), and so this will be my last year (because of the move). I'll be getting my 10th year of volunteering pin, so that's kind of cool. For RMPL, Billy and I will be presenting for one session. It'll probably be our last RMPL (because of the move) but I think it's the right time. It's the same presenters for the most part each year, and it's time for us to look for new people in our tribe, as it were. So it's neat that we get to present before we go.

Then I think it's pretty clear through most of May until BGG Spring! We're going! It too might be the last BGG Spring we make it to for a while/forever, so glad we are getting to go.

Then it's the run up to WesterMAL (that's what I'm calling the combined con, lol), then post con wrap up, packing for Europe, and... then we go to GenCon, LOL!!!

Yeah, we're crazy.

LOOK, I DID THIS!

In case you want to see what I've been doing - https://www.whimsycon.org/schedule/programming-schedule/. I made the content happen and Billy made it pretty.

Oh! We got favorable news regarding our DAFT plans - IND was fine with our plans, so Billy and I started my website yesterday too. There's not much there yet, but you can look at it. https://www.nikkiabridged.com/. It's rough, but it's a start!

HEALTH

Overall it's been good. My system isn't happy with the world this week, so I'm taking life slowly, but otherwise I'm doing well, yay.

RELATIONSHIP APOCALYPSE DAY

I can't find it now, but there's a video by Ze Frank about relationships and he talks about how it was simple as a kid, you made a note and said Do you like me, Check Yes or No, and he also talked about the idea of Relationship Apocalypse Day, where you check in and decide if you're going to stay together for another year or not. If not, no hard feelings, yadda yadda. Billy and I find this all amusing so we usually exchange notecards on Feb 14, checking yes or no. So far we've always chosen yes.

Oh my goodness, while I was typing this up, Billy created a digital one - we talked about this earlier while on errands, how we should make a digital version. Here it is for you to share with your partners! https://www.nikkiabridged.com/rad/rad.php It's very silly, and I expect he'll keep making changes over the next few hours to days, heh.

The heart with the mushroom cloud is his creation, lol!

I posted a Tim Minchin video earlier on fb and tagged Billy - it's another one of those thoughts on relationships that we like. Billy falls within a "bell curve".

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