A Geeklist Four Thousand Years in the Making
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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The 4,000 years in the title is my goofy way of noting that earlier this week I turned 40 and my collection crested the century mark. It’s not like we had a Senet marathon.

So this geeklist (my first!) is really a testament to my wife, RaisedbyWools (yes, she likes to knit a lot, and, yes, that's her handle here on the Geek), who arranged a very geeky birthday for me (I hear I owe a bit of a thank you to Funagain). And though the number of games was a surprise, I had hints…

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1. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: Friends & Foes [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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A set of Lord of the Rings expansions came up on Tanga. The deal was something like both expansions for less than the usual price of one. So I told RbW.

Hmm, she said, why don't you go ahead and get them?

But I don't have the base game, and it's not for sale on the site, I said.

 
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2. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: Sauron [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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My wife didn't look up from her knitting, I don't want you to think about this too much, but let's just say that it might be a good idea to get them anyway.

! I thought. Out loud I said, OK.

And that's when I knew two things: First, my wife is fabulous, and second, this was going to be a good birthday.

 
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3. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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So when I opened this big box on Tuesday, 4 March, I wasn't entirely surprised, but I was entirely delighted.

Your wishlist came in handy, she said.

It might be helpful to note that she likes cooperative games, so I'm looking forward to a lot of plays with these.

 
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4. Board Game: Cineplexity [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:8465]
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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We also like movies, and we do a fair bit of entertaining. Our game group likes to have a couple of rounds of party games, usually, so I had been intrigued by Cineplexity. It looks quick, easy, mildly chaotic, and a lot of fun.
 
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5. Board Game: Pitch-A-Story! [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
James Engelhardt
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Somehow, RbW has gotten her family to believe in the Geek. This is one my mother-in-law sent. I'd had my eye on it for a while because I've been interested in how it sets up story prompts--and for how wacky the prompts are. Even if the game doesn't make it into our group, I expect I'll use the cards for classroom activities. And the box has a short essay on how to use the game as a literacy tool, an addition to the game that my wife, a literacy scholar as well as an avid knitter, was very interested in as well.
 
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6. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis: Power and Glory [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
James Engelhardt
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Maybe it's something about men at 40, but I received a few (cough) expansions. I've played the base game quite a few times--I need to keep my "dates played" data up to date, I know--, and my wife knows how much I've enjoyed it. This one wasn't on my list, but she saw it and thought of me. Now if that's not great...
 
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7. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
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OK, so if the Thurn and Taxis expansion wasn't great, this one certainly is. RbW likes cooperative games, as I said, but she really digs the theme and immersion of Arkham. So she's both sweet and...

No, she's not in the thrall of the Old Ones.

I know this isn't to everyone?s taste, but weve loved every time we've had a chance to play Arkham. And now with extra insanity!

 
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8. Board Game: Wings of War: Watch Your Back! [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1077] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
James Engelhardt
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Now this isn't her speed at all. I'd found this game at a friend's house and was immediately taken in by the sheer playable fun of the thing. I felt like a kid playing with Matchbox cars, though I did not make motor sounds with my mouth. Really. I didn't. I swear.

So my wife noticed this behavior on my part and made sure to add the game to my gift.

 
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9. Board Game: Feenbalz [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
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What else has wings? Fairies!

This is a game that caught her eye as something she'd like to play together or with friends. She takes a bit of pride in her ability to look at someone's wishlist and find something that's very similar to what's on the list but might have been overlooked, or is just plain...out there.

She said, Yeah, the instructions are in German, but there's got to be a translation on the Geek.

I almost didn't get around to opening up the rest of the boxes after she said that.

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10. Board Game: MiniMonFa (MiniMonsterFantasy) [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:13957]
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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RbW and I have been looking for a two-player game that offers theme, some humor, and a bit of randomness (she likes to blame cards and dice so that the competition doesn't get too intense). We've enjoyedDruidenWalzer, but not Hera and Zeus, and we had a good time with Blue Moon City as a two-player game. We both like fantasy themes and instructions in broken English (as English grad students, we're a bit beyond quibbling with foreign speakers making grammar mistakes. I mean, I don't speak a lick of Italian).

After a couple plays, I think we're building a set of house rules, but the important thing is that we're having a lot of fun.

 
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11. Board Game: MiniMonFa Fairy Expansion [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
James Engelhardt
United States
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And of course this was the next box to open. See fairies above. Also see, expansions.
 
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12. Board Game: Tempus [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1488]
James Engelhardt
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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When I opened this, my wife said that she had been looking through games on the Geek (my head almost exploded with light and music when she said that) and she thought this looked like something fun.

I mean, how great is that? She's clicking around on the Geek. She?s looking at descriptions of strategies and rules. She thinks that something in the civilization building category looks great. Wow. You can see why I love this woman.

And then I thought, wait. Tempus. Time. Aging?And all the expansions? Maybe there's a secret message here.

And then I thought, no. The message is this: life is good. Enjoy. Play.

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