A second-hand account of Games Geoff found at Canterbury-Con
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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My friend Geoff went to England last April and just won't shut up about about the games he found at Canterbury-Con, a local games convention that Geoff never did quite explain how he found about. Every game has a story with it, each tale taller than the previous. I don't believe a word of any of it but then again I've been skeptical ever since that old Greek guy I knew as a kid who insisted he'd gone from Greece to Turkey to fight a war and it took him 20 years to find his way home-- but that's a different thread.
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1. Board Game: Knatsch [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:8970]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Geoff played this with a guy named Theseus and a girl named Emelye. From what he says,-- Geoff I mean-- she was this beautiful blonde woman. He was bragging so much I didn't say so, but I just reckoned he oughtta ditch the game and Theseus too....
 
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2. Board Game: Robbing the Miller [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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One guy Geoff was playing this against [all I got was the last name Miller] was dead drunk, but I notice Geoff won't actually say if Miller was doing better or worse at this than he was. Then there was a Nicholas Carpenter and a guy named Absolon. The game broke up without being finished. It seems somebody told Niholas to kiss his arse and bets got made would Nicholas really do it or not. I'm not sure if what Nicholas did is something you'd call "winning".
 
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3. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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This was all about some guy who oversaw a medieval estate. From what I understand, there are actually people who like this game. Any game in which people keep saying people ought not be fighting each other and work together....

I'm sure he's wrong, but the way Geoff tells it the object of this game is to get the most wheat or some such thing.
 
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4. Board Game: The Cooking Game [Average Rating:5.40 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Apparently this game was pretty short, though I'm not sure it's supposed to be.

Geoff thought he was a lady's man playing this game. Still, after he started messing with some guy's wife, he got thrown out. I figure it was just a short game for HIM.
 
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5. Board Game: The Lawyers Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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I think playing this one Geoff finally met a woman who was as much of a liar as he is. She kept saying she was the daughter of some really rich guy in government who lives in Istanbul but has connections in high places all over Europe. Of course, Geoff went gaga over her.
 
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6. Board Game: Bathtub Love [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Playing this one, Geoff met a married woman who I'd have thought was too much even for him, but, no! Let's just say that she was from Bath (that town in England) and there was a whole lot of plays on words going on; just to hear Geoff TALK about it I'd go red in the face.
 
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7. Board Game: Minister [Average Rating:4.76 Overall Rank:14827]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Geoff played this one with a German guy, a Dr. Faustus, who told his life story. Thing is, though, it sounds like that was a lot more interesting than the game.
 
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8. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:501]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Geoff loved this game! He was getting a bit of a bad reputation by then and so said his name was Sumner. This game was right up his alley; you just sweet-talk the other players so they give you everything you want and they think you're doing them favors!
 
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9. Board Game: Super Clerk [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Even Geoff says the game was irrelevant this time. He was just trying to get somewhere with some pretty girl he was playing who was there with her mother. At that point, he was looking at the mother too, I'll bet!
 
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10. Board Game: Medieval Merchant [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1656]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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For this game, Geoff seems to actually have paid some attention to the game. He couldn't even tell me who he played, but maybe that just means the other players were all guys.
 
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11. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15329]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Since he was in England, Geoff figured winning this one made him a "squire" because of all those properties. Still, I gotta say, who goes to a games convention and plays MONOPOLY?!
 
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12. Board Game: Franklin [Average Rating:1.50 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Apparently some couple from who knows where-- Geoff kept laughing at their names Arveragus and Dorigen or some such-- were playing. It seems Geoff did him some favor [so this Arveragus guy thought] and so not only did he happily concede the game to Geoff but told him to keep some money Geoff owed the guy. The way Geoff tells it though, he was messing around with the guy's wife, Dorigen or whatever her name was.
 
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13. Board Game: Doctor, Doctor! [Average Rating:4.59 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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At this point, Geoff just starts telling a hodge-podge of Greek and Roman myths like Pygmalion has some connection to this game. Maybe that was how he distracted the other players?
 
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14. Board Game: The Sailor's Game [Average Rating:4.99 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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I don't know why Geoff bothered going to the games convention, 'cause he sure didn't seem to pay much attention to the games. All he did was try to pick up girls, and anybody can tell you a games convention just isn't the place to do it.

This time he was playing some woman fom St. Denys, France. I'll give Geoff credit; he always manages to find the girls. He just keeps losing 'em again.
 
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15. Board Game: Risks and Rhymes [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Geoff wouldn't say much about this; from what I gather, some aristocratic British guy, Sir Thopas, not only beat Geoff but humiliated him in the process.
 
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16. Board Game: Babylon [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Now I KNOW Geoff was lying about this one. The way he made it sound was like this was a Christian Bible game played against a guy named Melibee, his wife Prudence and their daughter Sophie. As Geoff tells it, at some pont drinking gets involved even!
 
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17. Board Game: Who Am I? The Biography Game [Average Rating:4.79 Unranked]
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Of course Geoff likes this sort of thing, but I wouldn't even if I were a Christian. Just picture playing this game against some drunk guy named Monk while arguing theology and which person from the Christians' Bible-- with a bit of Greek mythology thrown in for good measure-- had the most miserable life.
 
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18. Board Game: Football Widows Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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I reckon there must have been a Church convention in town at the same time or something because Geoff says he played this one with another churchman who acted as confessor in a nunnery. Of course the guy wouldn't tell Geoff any dirty stories but just went on about how bad "game widows" have it-- you know, women whose husbands are always off playing games. That conversation seems a bit of a damper at a games convention.
 
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19. Board Game: Beany & Cecil Ring Toss Game [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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This is one I wish I could have seen! I picture Geoff playing one on one with a nun-- see what I mean, Church convetion or something?-- who's going on about how wonderful Cecil is.
 
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20. Board Game: Yeoman [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:10414]
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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I guess Geoff was starting at this point to get frustrated at having no luck with the girls and so he tried what he thought was a wargame.
 
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21. Board Game: Caravan [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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I don't even know if this is really the game Geoof was talking about but he thinks it was. The goal of the game Geoff played was to get provisions from one place to another. Some guy who reads too much said this makes the players manicples. Anyway, Geoff was complaining too much about his love-life or lack thereof and seems to have ticked the other players off till they all got together to eliminate him from the game so they could tell him to go away.
 
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22. Board Game: Poker [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:864]
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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After this game, Geoff called it quits. Some parson-- see what I mean about a Church convention?-- took him for everything he had on him. Luckily he was smart enough to keep the money he needed to pay his hotel bill and go home back in his room.

Next year if they have another convention there in Canterbury, I might want to come too, but I think I'll let Geoff go his way and I'll go mine.-- I'd actually want to play some cool games!
 
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