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 expansions ad79 (Stig) Bacchus (Kevin) : : bongoherman (Basti) cmontgo2 (Chris) You're up next! Cole Wehrle (Cole) cscottk (skippen) cubbieblue (Steven) Farsol (Patrick) Hanibalicious (Sonderegger) grammatoncleric (O.Shane) jacovis (Jacob) jtakagi (Jonathan) leroy 43 (Roger) Lil Red Head (Nikki) MABBY (Murray) nycavri (Avri) : : refusetoshine (Kaitlyn PzVIE (Ron) : : Scarlet Witch (Julia) tommynomad (T. Nomad) wifwendell (Wendell)
Thunder Alley: Crew Chief Expansion - Coming soon to Kickstarter!
Evil lurks here!
When do you know you have had enough of a game?
What was it that had you realise it? Was it soemthing about the game or something about the opponents?
An example was when my brother drew the "Scene missing" card in Joking Hazard and said: "I think there is something wrong with this card, it is missing it's image" At that moment we knew we had played the game for the last time with my brother.
Sorry I missed last week, I had a lot on my plate. I think all of the biggest work is done for me for this semester as far as UNLV goes. Of course, there is only a month left in the school year, so that is ramping up.
My students will have been doing mandatory state testing for two months by the end of the school year, and its interference with their education is frustrating me to no end. I have students out seemingly randomly so I have to make sure they do makeup work and get caught up on reading, etc., which eighth graders are not excessively inclined to do. It's an amazingly inefficient process.
My son and I played some games on Friday, so we jammed 6 games of Pucket, which he still hasn't beat me at except one time, which I don't know how that happened. To his credit he continues to try.
I also introduced him to Quoridor which I was not sure he would like, but he actually liked it a lot. Playing it with him reminded me how powerful those neat games with simple rules and highly interactive gameplay are.
My game club is doing well, and my Wonder Women club is doing extremely well. I have had many girls tell me that the highlight of their week is Thursdays because they get to meet for that club, and that is the only day of the week they really want to come to school. (Students can't participate in after-school activities if they do not attend that day).
I'm already planning an epic all day all night game session with some of my friends for after the school year ends, so I'll keep you posted on that.
9Spyfall x7 (47 all-time) - It's weird playing the physical game, which is extremely unwieldy. There aren't many games where an electronic implementation is preferable, but this is one of them.
N/ASecret Hitler x5 (73 all-time) - Again, a big hit with people we introduced it to as well as our kids.
8Unusual Suspects x4 (28 all-time) - A lot of huge laughs, and we actually won once.
N/AWerewords x4 (80 all-time) - A completely different experience playing with kids, as there were a lot fewer good questions being asked. Medium level ended up being way too hard, when usually we play at the hard or ridiculous level.
10Can't Stop x2 (121 all-time) - As I often do, I ended up with zero board presence. I came close to winning once but got too greedy. The second game was memorable, since the player who had previously won in an extremely shameful way was able to win with honor, closing it out with 4 columns.
7Codenames x2 (24 all-time) - Interesting that we played this two different times this week not having touched it for months.
N/AThe Mind x2 (5 all-time) - Agaain, went over really well. Still nowhere close to winning (and people are playing this "blind"?), but it's entertaining trying.
N/AShards of InfinityNEW! - I can see why people like this. There's certainly nothing new here. It borrows heavily from Star Realms and Ascension. I get the sense that this is probably best with 2. With 4, it dragged, and it was weird having to choose who to attack. Though if this leads to some grudges, I'm all for it.
N/ATicket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West(2 all-time) - Finally played the Old West map. It was not as contentious as I thought it would be, and I was really surprised at how willing players were to still build into a city when it meant rewarding something else. This happened with 10 and 15 point routes. Usually when we play it's like, "If it benefits you more than me I will avoid it at all costs" so this was unexpected.
N/AWhen I Dream(2 all-time) - Finally played the Repos version, which ended up being really nice and much easier to play. Again, playing with kids added quite a bit of chaos, but it was still fun.
8Yangtze(3 all-time) - It was great to pull this out again, a great late-era Knizia to show all the haters that he can still make more than fillers if he wants. Though they're only related in theme and artwork, I am definitely looking forward to Yellow & Yangtze later this year.
This week I watched Pacific Rim: Uprising. I certainly expected dumb action, as the first one was pleasantly surprising. But this ended up just being dull - I found myself struggling to stay awake.
Friday night was train gaming night, and we started with 18EC: USA East Coast. This one is located south of 1830: Railways & Robber Barons (the Erie is a private company in this game) and it’s special focus is on mail contracts, which means, every time a company runs its trains and has a mail contract, it earns additional money in its treasury. This softens the blow a little when you have to worry about permanent trains and in the endgame, it enables most companies to run two trains for tons of earnings.
One of the guys gifted me a brand new copy of SteamRollers (thank you, Matthias!); I knew this game from my last Essen trip and it is a somewhat downgraded and quick version of Age of Steam, where you develop your track network with pen & paper – each player differently. In fact, we liked it a lot as it lasted only one hour. And so we had the time to play Deadwood afterwards. Although it concentrates on Old West shootouts, it also features a train which makes it a legitimate game for train night …
Saturday saw – finally – another game of Zombicide, Scenario 7. After three hours, when we managed to fulfil nearly all of the scenario’s objectives, a gang of Deadeye Walkers finished one of our group with a hail of arrows. It was close, but we lost the game.
So MtG is still both as addictive as ever. And the longer I poke around the articles and forums, the more I recognize quite how much work has gone into keeping it such a well designed animal. All of which is secondary to the fact (which I often overlooked in my decades away from collectible cardgames) that playing each actual game is a ton of fun.
Last weekend saw me at my first pre-release, and I decided to go to a Midnight event! The buzz about the new, anniversary, homecoming set - Dominaria - has been extreme. It turns out with good reason as apparently this is the most fun release in many years.
It was an absolute blast.
I was expecting to be way off the oldest end of the player scale and was pleasantly surprised to find a handful of the 30+ attendees not only my age, but also in my same situation - returning to the game after long absence.
At both events I've attended this month, at two different NYC stores, I have been impressed with both the way the store staff running the event have kept things running smoothly with no fuss, and how friendly and helpful all the other players have been. None of the negative stereotypes generally associated with MtG players. (The only disappointment was the fact that this event, like the FNM draft pod I played in a couple of weeks back, was entirely male.)
I built a Blue / White / Artifact deck, in large part to leverage a Saga I was excited to play, The Antiquities War. After going 1-2 in draft earlier in the month (with the 1 win being a bye) I was not expecting to be especially competitive, and this appeared to hold true as the deck sputtered and was defeated in my first game against a mono-black. Then in the second game it clicked, hitting drops in 5 straight turns (including the Saga) and steamrolling my opponent. The third game was close, and again the Saga put me over the top for my first real DCI official win.
I was then soundly stomped in two straight by an extremely well built and played Black / White deck. Interestingly, I did not draw the Saga in either game.
Next up was another Black / White deck, but this time the Saga appeared and I won a pair of close games.
By now if was coming up on 4am and my final match was against a barely 20-something who clearly played regularly and took his Magic seriously. If I was going to encounter any of the bad behavior, I guess this was where it would have come from, but in fact this was the chattiest match of the night as we discussed our histories with the game, our experiences on the night. This match was over supremely quickly, however, as I don't think my opponent drew six lands across both games. A somewhat anticlimactic finale, although I was impressed at how graciously my opponent took his freak loss. (He confirmed that he was carrying the standard 17 lands. He essentially just didn't draw any beyond the opening hands . . .)
In all, my first pre-release experience was everything I hoped it would be. I was reminded of how much I actually enjoy actually playing the game, the unexpected pleasures of the surprises waiting for you in an opponent's deck, the camaraderie of dozens of people excited about a thing you love.
Looking forward to much more draft and sealed Dominaria in the coming months! I'm also curious about finding a (4-week) Magic League nearby, and perhaps even running one at Camp this summer.
I may end up lifting my rating to a rare 10.
Speaking of camp, the Audit was completed and recommended by the Budget and Personnel Committee for approval by the full Board. No material weaknesses or significant deficiencies, and the whole this over in 3 weeks rather than the almost 5 months of messiness last year. It's not that I never makes mistakes. It's that I'll be damned if I make the same ones over and over . . .
Otherwise, I am predictably swamped. The last two weeks I was simultaneously working on the 2017 audit, the 2018 payroll grid for 280 staff, and the pricing for 2019. To quote the Monty Python Gumbys, "Mah brain 'urts."
Johanna's show - Reclaiming Our Time - An Empowerment Review is entering tech and opens next weekend. Looking forward to seeing it, and then having her back home at nights.
...the headlamps of your eyes will make them dream.
Texas Showdown 5p x1
Howdy partner, show your steel ain't got one? well stick 'em up oh, you've got a wagon wheel? she does too? One stirrup cup! -- Genuinely deeeelightful trick taker. Feels almost classic in its simplicity. We played with 5, and it was a raucous affair. I think my favourite bit is how low cards aren't safe, and high cards aren't sure things, so every trick is a nail-biter- a perfect distillation of a pure avoidance game. So few rules they filled up the single sliver of rule paper (The smallest rule size I think Amigo makes) with picture examples and still had rooms for ads.
Small Warehouse 2p ww x2
Please translation better sir to understanding making sure because our rules seeming unclear we missed a trick, that is the fear -- A really poorly translated rulebook meant we had been playing a specific rule wrong. It loosened up the game a bit, and honestly, if it turns out we played it right originally, that's ok too. Either way, right now I think it's Megan's favourite pure 2p tapas.
Rising Sun 5p x1
I paid 5! well I paid 4, you wanted it a little more Seppuku's yours, for just a nickel Hone your sword or it'll tickle -- Interesting game. Action selection, negotiation, blind bidding, area control mini wargame. Good ideas. Too many good Ideas. It needed a German developer to give it the ol' chip chop. There's enough material to make 2 or three great games, or one almost great game. Honestly, the auction battle system was full of nail-biting tension, there was just too much faffing about surrounding it. I won't ever suggest it, but with the group I played with, I'll gladly play it again.
Calimala 5p x1
Like Douggie A., I love the sound the deadlines make as past they bound and if you too enjoy that thrill then Calimala shall fulfill -- 5p Calimala is a whirlwind of scoring. You just don't. stop. scoring. It's joyously breathless with 4, and with 5, it's even more so. I won because I both spammed Palazzio Vecchio and managed to figure out a couple final scorings- including San Miniato. Only, it turns out that the reason I went to San Miniato was because the fellow that put a bunch of donations into it only wanted to make the wood scoring, and the player who ACTUALLY had San Miniato was bewildered as to the sudden attention his little 11th century basilica was attracting. Also, I enjoyed the fact that one of our players was an architect who had spent a year in Florence, so he told us about the buildings as we played. Really, just a great time. But Calimala, man. It just feels like an older, cleaner euro design, and I can't wait to play it again.
Sweet Honey Bee Mine 4p x1
I expected honey tastes perhaps I'd grab a cheeky lick instead I angered all the bees- received and was, an angry prick -- Rapidly becoming a go-to bluffing game with 4+. I am, of course, horrible at it. I don't think I've ever heard my friend laugh as hard as when he got me with a first round k.o. I don't know what it is about my mug, but apparently it's basically an open book.
Gravwell 3p x1
in space they have no Dramamine perhaps that's why space-men are green -- Cute little simultaneous selection race game. Not something I'd seek out, but it does its fine work as a filler. Plus I think we got into the whole feeling of a space ship whipping around a black hole.
Beer Report! First of all, the Saturday session I attended had fellow wheat lovers, so we got to go a little hef crazy! It was nice not being coerced into drinking an IPA, or guilted into a lager. As well, I only had like, 2.5 beers total, as we split and tasted, and that's just right for me. Hell or High Watermelon - 21st Amendement Brewery Genuinely one of my go-to hefs, and as we quickly dash into summer weather, its crisp watermelon also refreshes. I would have liked it even more had we not had to compare it to: Big Stump Blood Orange American Wit - Big Stump Brewing Company Holy crap. You know how some things taste like flavouring? This did not. I swear to god, in between sips it was almost like I had taken a bite out of a blood orange itself. It's a local brewery and I think I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for them in the future. It's vaulted into my top 10, no joke. And the flavour, and here I'm going to sound like a pretentious jerk, seemed to deepen as we partook. Paired with tempura fried jalapenos it was just divine. Organic Hefe-Weizen - Pinkus-Muller Brewery Absolutely smooth. All three of us noted that it just coated our throats with wheaty goodness- without being too carbonated, in any way sweet, or flavoured. It was definitely one of those moments where you think- this is the way a classic is made. I don't know if any of you have ever had an apple pan burger, but it's a similar sort of thing. There's things to be said about noveau cuisine, what with the crazy pairings and pushing of flavor boundaries, and then there's the old classics done right. Indeed, if you add a few letters and take a way some, Pinkus is an anagram of Knizia. Coincidence? Absolutely. Made Marion - 2 Towns Ciderhouse Pretty good. In any evening where I wasn't consuming the previous two, I would have put this somewhere near the top. It had a delightful piquancy that went with its odd carbonation level, and as we were playing rising sun and shelling salted peanuts, it was definitely satisfying. It's made with the juices of Marionberry- not the crack-smoking ex-mayor of DC, Marion Barry. Let's make that clear.
We have dragged Reason from her Throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [liber Endvra]
Wenn ich die Zivilisation hinter mir lasse, fühle ich mich sicher (Heinrich Harrer)
So... last week's been tough. Andrea had shock wave treatment for kidney stones, but things went south a bit too fast, i.e. the aftermath of the treatment's been bloody, and long (main reason for my total absence last week). He's got a 9-hour renal colic afterwards, and in the next 6 days he had 8 more colics. At the moment he's more or less a mop I could use to wipe the floor without too much effort. I was also a bit scared because he has this huge pain threshold (when he broke his shoulder hiking, we got on his feet, hiked back to the nearest hut to ask for help, had an hour transport to a hospital to have the fracture reduced and he was ok), but this time he was crying for pain. I've never seen him this way and of course I was quite worried.
To add fuel to the fire, I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel in the same week. WTF, I'm 32. Checked it out this morning and discovered the doctor was wrong, it's something like a chronicle tendon inflammation due to too much sewing, so, I'm on forced rest from all quilting activities (ARGH) and wait for the doctor to see me again.
So, bad week. And of course in all of this, Andrea had to go to work, and we had to edit a rulebook.
In the meantime, I discovered that Andrea under morphine is able to beat me at Azul 100 to 24 (...), so we opted for more coop than not. Played a bit more of Port Royal, Sagrada and a few versions of Carc, with Carcassonne: The Discovery being the star of the week (it's such a neat design!)
April 13-15, our friends Jenny and Jose Balderrama (and a bunch of other folks helping) held their first ever boardgame convention, Pikes Peak Gamers Con, in Manitou Springs. Billy and I went and had a great time. And it was kind of a mini BGGCON in that Jon and Lainie Theys were there and a bunch of other folks I only see in Dallas usually, so that was awesome.
They had a Molkky tournament on Saturday morning that Billy and I competed in, on a team of 3. We lost the first game with 3 misses in a row, lol. We were playing outside in the grass, and it was a hoot. We had a great time.
OTHER TRAVEL This past weekend we were at StarFest, where I manage the Main Events room. I was explaining that it's like working for a moving company for 2 days (Thurs and Fri), then running a big theater production for 3 days (Fri, Sat, Sun) and then putting it all away Sunday night. I is tired.
Yesterday, Billy flew off to Springfield, IL for a team meeting (work stuff). He flies back on Friday.
This coming weekend (the one in 3 days), we'll be at Rocky Mountain Poly Living, and we're even presenting, so looking forward to that. We still need to finalize our presentation, but it'll be good I'm sure.
Then Monday (the one in 6 days), we fly to Myrtle Beach, SC to visit my Dad and Stepmom. We come back Friday (4 days later). Billy doesn't have time off for it, so it'll be a working vacation, with us online for the day and socializing at night, mainly.
My cat does not like the amount of travel that we do.
CAR, ACCIDENT Recovering. Chiro appointments and massages are helping a ton. I get random bruises that show up sometimes, and then they're gone in a day or two. Having some weakness and such in my right hand and wrist specifically, and a little in the left, so I have a PT appointment in a few weeks to take a look at that.
WHAT ELSE...? New roommate arrives May 12, so we have to get our stuff out of the room by then. I'm making small progress, though I like this room and am slow to move out. I like our new room too; I'm just slow to embrace change sometimes.
Lots of Westercon 71/MALCon 6 prep to do. Lots. I'll get caught up soon, I'm sure...
This past week was again, gameless. I was hoping to play something on either Thursday night or the weekend, but nothing materialized. However, tonight, I'm going to the local board game meetup so I will play something.
I thrifted a copy of Showdown Yahtzee earlier this week and I haven't got a chance to try it yet, but it seems interesting. Definitely better than standard Yahtzee.
To be honest, there's not much going on. I started blogging again, so that's something. We had a post-baby baby shower for my sister and I last weekend with my dad's side of the family which was nice. The family really liked seeing the two babies and we got some useful stuff. Other than that, there isn't much going on.