It never rains in Souther California... We'll mostly - My loss is your gain
Ronster Zero
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Ever have one of those lives where you raise your (3) kids, put them through college and make fine upstanding citizens of them, and have them move on to productive lives? In the process you put 18 years of your stuff (and your spouses) in the garage hoping one day to have your items make it back into your house.

Well, it happened to me.

While having two of our children move out was tough, I was excited about the possibility of getting an office in my house and cleaning out my garage so it could be usable for more than storage. It was the silver lining of not seeing my kids day-to-day.

It was tough as the garage had literally become a dumping ground of stuff we had, did not use, but did not want to throw away. I finally had time and the energy to get this underway.

With earnest, I started to clean out my garage.
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1. Board Game: Huh, what is in the garage? [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
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It was a bit daunting to look at how much stuff we had accumulated in over 16 years at our house. We had raised a family, I became an avid board game collector, my wife sold Tupperware (and candles and purses and...), plus we kept all our kids stuff. If they made/painted (finger)/ macramed, glued, or scribbled it, we had it.

It was a herculean job and for the most part it was me doing all the work. The first step was to pull everything out and put into "like" piles. This was clearly a labor of love and the process took over two weeks to get to the point below. There was a lot to clean up besides the junk as a garage can be a breeding ground for all kinds of dust and critters.

I was making good time (and getting in shape); Hey, it was late summer and it never rains this early in Southern California.

Here I am in the process of cleaning:



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2. Board Game: Trains, Planes & Automobiles [Average Rating:6.49 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
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Planes, Train, Uber... and Cruse Ships.

About this time my boss crosschecks me in a business conference call and asks if I'd like to come to Dallas for two weeks to work on a large project that was slated to kick off. Now im in LA and don't have this project for another month or two, but he asks if I can fly out (on four days notice) and help head up the project.
Being the good worker I am, I say yes, but I had a four day cruse to Mexico with my family dead center of the work space (Thursday to Sunday of the first week).
They agree to fly me out for the first week, work till Wednesday night, fly back to Cali, get on a ship on Thursday to Sunday, then fly back on Sunday.

I agreed to this...

Why, I have no idea.

Seemed like the right thing to do. Learn about the project first hand, get to travel on the company dime, meet a bunch of co-workers who I've only talked with via email, and see Dallas for the first time.
Plus I still get to cruse with my family to Mexico.

It was a win-win. Sure I would be gone for two weeks and the "garage" project was put on hold, but I had put things safe enough and covered all my board games with tarps (even if they would be outside for a bit).

I have to admit, it was great to have all four of my flights be on time or very close. Being bumped on flights is never fun. This meant I was on time for all the events.

My first flight back was to take our whole family on a cruse to Mexico (Ensenada). It was a celebration of my daughters 21st, my sons 25th, and my 50th birthday, all which has passed in the last few months. We love to cruse and as you can see it was precious time with all my family. While I can remember how tired I was, I won't remember that as the years pass and the pictures are left of our great trip. I like the one below with all of us.





Alas, it was a fast turn around and I was back in Dallas. Here is a pic of us techs working on a project called Nuke and Pave. It was nice to work with a group of tech and engineers to solve large company issues. While the work was long and tiring, I think we accomplished what we wanted and had no real show stoppers.


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3. Board Game: Ahead in the Clouds: Stormfront [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
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First reports I saw of rain in California was on the 2nd leg of my Dallas trip. My friends were reporting how awesome it was to have rain in Southern California so early.
Now, usually the rain is only good for two things. Making people think we have a winter and causing accidents on the freeways. This time it actually produced a decent amount of rain.

I soon called my wife and asked how things are going.

-Now I want to stop here and say how awesome my wife is. Sure, she MAY read this, but probably has no idea that I'm writing this-

Seems the wind had kicked up before the rain and moved the tarps and other things around so not everything was covered. She did an amazing job of getting a l m o s t everything covered. Had it not been for her, I would have lost so much more.

18 years... 18 years - We've been married 18 years.



Now, back to regular scheduled geek list.

When we talked she informed me that it had indeed rained pretty good and she had to re-cover some of the stuff. The moment the words rolled off her lips into the phone, I instantly had that pit in my stomach feeling. It was to be three more days until I could make it home. Three more days till I could make sure nothing was damaged. This is where work actually comes in handy. Not only do you make money, but, if you enjoy what you do, it's a great distraction from life... you know the other stuff outside work.
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4. Board Game: Crying With A Sad Clown [Average Rating:5.25 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
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If it Bleeds it Leads. Well water is death to our games...

So I'll lead with this picture.



First thing I did when I got up the next day (well after S,S,S) wast top see if there was any damage. With hope and dread pulsing through me this was the first box I found when starting to uncover. It was filled to the line you see with water.

I cried.

The games in that box were:
Agricola
Bruges
In the Year of the Dragon
Near and Far
Roll for the Galaxy
Above and Below
Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm
At the Gates of Loyang

I cried with a sad clown.


Bruges, Agricola, Inn the Year of Dragon, At the Gates of Loyang and Roll for the galaxy are total losses.

Now for the really sad part:
Agricola:
Had been opened but never played. I only had the opportunity top smell the cardboard and enjoy the box fart. Besides that it was in mind condition.
Bruges:
I had actually played this this once with my wife and daughter. I loved it , it was a bit too much for them. A well designed game with maybe a little too much going on.
In the Year of the Dragon:
I love this game. It was played 2-3 times with my daughter and I. While a tough game to play (staving off disasters) I like it. Im glad it WAS in my collection.
Roll for the Galaxy:
Still in shrink. I guess there was a pinhole in shrink wrap and it was water logged.
At the Gates of Loyang:
Meets the same death as the game above. Still in shrink and water logged.


Above and below is also in shrink but only takes a glancing blow and one corner is damaged. I have not opened it to see the shrapnel inside.
Finally, Gathering of storm was on the top and is the only thing that is not really damaged.

As my eyes dried, wet from the carnage before them, I realized this was only the first box.

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5. Board Game: Carnage: The Board Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
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Here you can see the damage to Above and Below and the totally soaked Roll for the Galaxy. I still dont' think it's dry inside the sealed box.



This is was is, the Bruge board. Everything about the game was destroyed.



Recognize this game. It's what is left of my Inn the Year of the Dragon.



Finally Agricola. Looks fine, but everything you see is drenched.

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6. Board Game: Star Wars: Epic Duels [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:940]
Ronster Zero
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I had two almost brand new copies of Star Wars: Epic Duels.

The first was opened but everything was still shrink wrapped. This was great except anything cardboard took the brunt of the damage. Lucky the players sheets weren't too badly damaged but the board was soaked. Also, the box was beaten up pretty badly... as water tends to do. This copy probably made it out the best.

The second copy was played... lightly. It was in very good condition and was one of the older games in my collection. The main issue with this is the cards were opened. Water and cards don't mix. Just a drop of water on a card is enough to get a collector secretly panicked inwardly.

Imagine them soaked.
Both the board and player cards were heavily damaged.

I was hoping I could make one good copy with 2x the minis, but with both boards wet it was looking bad. I did my best to "rack and dry" these boards as I opened them. I think they can be used to play the game, but this will now and forever be a players copy.

More tears were shed.

I had really worked hard to have two copies of this game. Which brings me to one of my favorite lines in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

"Everybody has had one and one is enough for anybody."

The surviving components




My rack and dry technique

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7. Board Game: Star Wars Miniatures [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1540] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
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As you can see from the shot above there are some maps from my Star Wars Miniatures game. Along with the Epic Duels was all my Star Wars minis in the second box.

Here are all my cards, I had placed them in a storage container. Notice I said cheap container. Well, I meant to. The lid never fit right and all my cards got soaked.
Like sloshing in water wet.

This is them after I emptied out the water.



They still look ok... right. Well, not really. Actually nope. I had a number of maps to go with these, but they are all destroyed. These maps were probably the first time I realized I was going to have to throw some of this out. It was just ruined.

Now this is where you will find out if you are a glass half full or half empty person.

While all my cards were ruined, the mini's had a nice autumn bath. Most of them were in a plastic storage case and came out unscathed.
So, should I be mad that I lost the cards, or should I be happy the components (the expensive parts anyways) are still fine.

I chose the latter, half full. This is the first time I did not cry.

Here is the case in case someone needs a lot of mini's and wants to make me a fair offer.



The others side is filled also.
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8. Board Game: Made From Scratch [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
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After the realization of the damage done and making sure the rest of my games were in good condition I started to notice things. Things I may have never really taken a good look at before this happy accident.

When cardboard gets wet it gets a soft and a bit playable. It will morph into something you don't want. When it gets soaked it losses its glue, it's folds, its structure.

You start to see how the boards are made. The overlapping of each piece of artwork as it is glued to the board. The process that was followed. How one piece has to be there before another. How the folds of the cardboard are made to make a tray. It was quite interesting to see it ... unravel.

You can see that half the bottom artwork piece for the board is gone. Also, notice the folds around the edges. How the flat parts had to be glued before the folds to the board and top artwork could be glued. Those thick cardboard pieces were two sides glued together.



I like this one as it shows the card trays for Bruges. These were useless when wet and just slipped apart. As they dried out I tried put them back into their positions. I may have won on this, but the rest of the game is gone. Just too many cards.
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9. RPG Item: Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D 5e) [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:12]
Ronster Zero
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Lucky for me I put all my RPG stuff in the house.


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10. Board Game: Container: The Second Shipment [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
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This brings me to one last lesson I learned.

Storage.

See, it's not that the items got ruined by water, it's that water was allowed to enter the container.

So, first off. If your going to use bins as I did for most of my collection, don't go cheap. Those bargain bins at Walmart and other box stores just don't cut it. The cheap see through ones are the worst. They get brittle and loose their ability to keep harmful things out. As soon as the lids crack or warp they are useless and should be thrown out.

Second. I love these bins here.



They are strong, see through and easy to access. That's were my main problem came in. These were used for games I wanted to see and access quickly. For that they were perfect.
But when water spilled into the lids, there was nothing to stop them. Since they did not seal or click tight, the easy access part on the top is where the water poured into them.
Here is another view from the top looking down. You can see how easy they are to use... unless a liquid gets near.



Another things to consider is putting your items in plastic baggies or other water repent containers. I think this could have saved a lot of cards and other components. It might be impossible for large boards, but those can be bought as parts on line.
I use sleeves and baggies generously now on all my games. Not only does it help with storage, it helps me organize my games in a way I feel is the best to teach or setup with.

... finally.

Do you ship games? Participate in Math Trades?

When sending a game remember the weather of the destination may not be the same as the sending location. I always, and have received many games like this, put my games in a plastic bag as seal it before I pack them. This small trick protect you and the other person from simple thinks like water damage. It may not repel everything, but it will save that game as it sits out on a porch in a drizzle.

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11. Board Game: Rebound [Average Rating:5.63 Overall Rank:11730]
Ronster Zero
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So what's a guy to do when this happens.

First put everything back in the garage. Second, write up a Geeklist and hope it helps someone.

Third, break open one of your favorite solo war games and kick some butt.

As you can see the Allies are about to liberate Paris in an unforeseen counter attack.





Im a board gamer. A board game collector. A board game advocate.

While I may have lost several good games I feel blessed to have around 800 games in my collection. With living in California, raising three kids and putting them through college, having this many games means life has been good to me. Count the times playing those with great friends and family and this is one great hobby.

So, as the crying subsided.... I offer the following games for give away.
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12. Board Game: SeaFall [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1702]
Ronster Zero
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First game I will be giving away is SeaFall.

Just seems like an appropriate name of something to give away on this list. This game is brand new still in shrink (and not wet).

NOW, due to the loss, I will give the game away but I neeed shipping to be paid by the winner. I think this leaves this open to anywhere you are willing to pay shipping. I would love for this game to go to a user or group that would play this as I don't think I will have time for it.


Just say your want the game and your in.

The due date for the drawing of this game will be on October 26th.


Again, I will be adding more games to the giveaway so don't forget to check back. I need to get back to work... this list has grown too long, but I will be adding other games this list.

Thanks for reading and I hope life gives you a good day.

- Ron
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13. Board Game: The Grizzled [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:295]
Ronster Zero
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Ok. I have done some looking and thinking and this is the next game in my giveaway.

I have the base game, plus the expansion. I do enjoy the game and have played it a fair bit. For my group, it just not go over as well and I enjoyed it. I can cajole people into a game, but I'd rather this go to a home where it will be loved and played.


Again, shipping on your part, but this should be pretty cheap. I can ever put them in one box or ditch the boxes all together to save money.
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