BILL MAHER'S NEW RULES ON BGG!
Steve Austin
Canada
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Did you see Bill Maher last week? I couldn't believe it! He's actually a BGG member. He actually talked about BGG during new rules!



"Hey, board game geek! Yeah, you with the huge trading/want list. If you list a game you 'want' and games you are 'trading', and someone takes the time to write to you directly and ask if you'd like to trade or sell a game, and offers something you 'want', the least you can do is answer, especially if I asked you 3 times. I KNOW you're online everyday, so you are reading my mail. Okay, so you missed my first mail. I'll let that one slide. But the second and third, when I'm still being polite and one geekmail away from making fun of your 'Christian' microbadge? What's the problem? Not enough time in your busy day to answer me? Too much work to type 'No thanks, leave me alone' on your keyboard?

Hey, software developers. Here's a new device I can use. How about a 'finger flicker' that attaches to this guy's screen so I can hit my F1 'Socially retarded' key and send him a hint.

And what's the point of even listing your wants if you don't actively seek out 'MATCHING' trades with people who have your 'wanted games'? I'll never understand this, and I managed to understand Arnold Swarzenegger. See, this is how it goes. I list a game. 300 people want it. Six months later, I still haven't got one trade offer on it. Okay, I admit Osama Bin Laden wanted my 'Pandemic', but that trade wasn't in our best interests. If I want a game, I actively look for matching trades and write to people, sometimes ten a row in order to increase my chances of a trade. I make an effort. Remember, you're overweight! Each key stroke burns 2 calories!

How about a new subsection in 'wanted games' called MTG? 'Milque toast geek'.

(Sarcasm/whining increases to terror level 9)

"I don't really want this game badly enough to seek out trades or answer offers."

"I'm only willing to answer email if you give me the game I want for free, you pay the postage, and blow me while I sit at my computer reading reviews about Agricola ." Are you happy now?

Hey, George Bush may be the worst president ever, but even he answered my mail when I offered him 'Barrel of monkeys' for his 'Twilight struggle'.

And that's it for this week's special edition on board games...I'd like to thank my guests Aldie, Reiner Knizia and Matt Damon...."

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1. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Steve Austin
Canada
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New rule. Please. No more games about Cthulu. Do we really need to fantasize and roleplay about terror beyond time and space when we have Dick Cheney? And by the way, I started this game when Bush was elected, and I'm still not finished. HP himself, back in the gay 20's said, "The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents..." Sounds like George W while trying to pronounce 'Nuclear'. HP was a real happy guy. Besides starting up his own barbeque sauce company, he also espoused nuggets like this:
"...Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age."

Gee. It's almost like he did time in Guantanamo. Seriously. You want something scary? Skip this game and visit Detroit.
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2. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Steve Austin
Canada
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So you're the number one game on BGG. Good for you. But like the last 8 years of this presidency, don't you think you've outstayed your welcome? Sure, you're popular, but so is Britney Spears. We're sick of her, too. And how did you get to No.1? Oh right, you have twice the murder rate of New York City. I guess that mechanic never made it into the game, did it? Come on people, aren't there safer islands we can use for a game theme? Like maybe Alcatraz or Santorini? 8.2% of the population has a history of illicit drug use.If you're going to make a game about the fifth largest drug manufacturer on the planet, winning strategies that involve 'corn' planting aren't too realistic, are they?
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3. Board Game: Reef Encounter [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:486]
Steve Austin
Canada
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New rule. If you're going to make a game called 'Reef encounter', please include the joint. I paid $50 for this game and the only useful component I got out of it was the rulebook, which I used for rolling papers. Now, I've inhaled a lot in my time, but I've never hallucinated about coral and their eating habits. Okay, I ate a lot of sushi after my last bong, but I never touch the plankton. One thing you've got to admit: staring at fish for a few minutes is probably more relaxing than weed.
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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Steve Austin
Canada
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New rule. Playdoh is for toddlers. You're an adult. If you spent a week making cute little farmers, animals and assorted vegetables for your game out of clay and then posted pictures of them on the web, you need to ask your boss at Wal-mart for more hours, because you've got too much free time. Don't you know the web lasts forever? Is this an image you want following you around for the rest of your life? What would your parents' think? Go ahead and ask them. They're upstairs. The last time I had an urge to see tiny replicas, I goggled Vern Troyer's sex tape.

And what's with the farmer theme? Is this escapist entertainment for you? Have you ever worked on an actual farm? Got up at 4am? Slaughtered your own meat? Birthed a dead calf? Made your kids hate you for raising them in the middle of nowhere for 20 years and forcing them to bale hay and lance infected cow boils before breakfast? I didn't think so.
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5. Board Game: Hamburgum [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:688]
Steve Austin
Canada
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I like Hamburg. Beer is cold, efficient public transport, very few homeless, and the people are generally highly educated. But why a game about building churches? What is this? The dark ages? Do we need to encourage church building in 2008? Surely, there could be a better theme for a game set in Hamburg, like maybe a rondel for hookers on the reeperbahn and auction bids to build your sixth 'Aldi'. Come on, everyone knows that Aldi is the real church in Europe. You can buy amazing chocolate and cheese for pennies, and still pick up a cheap laptop on your way to the till. And all without getting fondled. If he was still alive, Martin Luther would have have been there all day on Sunday.
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6. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:929]
Steve Austin
Canada
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New rule...NEW RULES!

Hi! I'm 'Magic Realm'! Welcome to 1978. What a cool year! High heels, Grease, Space invaders, Jimmy Carter and me! I'm a gamer geek's wet dream. My rulebook is bigger than Ron Jeremy, and even uglier! I'm so complex, so deep, that even Noam Chomsky gave up trying to understand me after page 3!

What was the designer smoking while he dreamed this one up? I want to know, because I'd like to buy some of it! The fact that Avalon Hill and the author of this tree killing terror were not hunted down and burned at the stake after this entry in their catalogue speaks volumes about our country's willingness to bend over and take it up the dice tower. Who needs 'Arkham horror' when you can still gloss over this rulebook? Insanity, here I come!

As much as I admire the recent attempts of certain brave indivuduals on BGG to excavate, resurrect and rebuild this dinosaur with fancy new cosmetic parts that make the fanboys cream their pants, it's still like putting lipstick on a pig. Give it up boys, and spend your time making parts for playable games that actually deserve a makeover - like Twilight Struggle and Candyland.

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7. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Steve Austin
Canada
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New rule: Rod Serling must come back from the dead and give this guy a weekly series. I can already hear the new intro:

...He's living in another dimension - a dimension lacking sight and sound, but also ideas. He's holding the middle door between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. He can unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind...He's trying to cross over...hold on a second....nope. Won't budge.

There's a signpost up ahead.. NO VACANCY!





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8. Board Game: Operation [Average Rating:4.07 Overall Rank:15318]
Steve Austin
Canada
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New rule. Old crappy games don't need to die - they just need a modern makeover. Not only will your kids have fun replacing Cheney's heart over and over and over again, they'll also learn what makes the vice president tick. Not aware that he dodged the draft five times? Now you know! What's giving Dick a stomach ache these days? Guantanamo? Global warming? Are you kidding? It's his daughter!

The bonus with this new version is that each time you make his nose light up, a signal goes out to Cheney's pacemaker and he gets jump started with enough juice to keep him going for a whole day! Now every child can do their part in keeping the VP fresh and ready for the upcoming war in Iran!

And look at all these other great updates for the body parts!

Bionic heart! The sneer bone! Waterboarding! The Saddamm bone connected to the WMD bone! The Halliburton bread basket! And no.1 on the operating list: that nasty 'Trigger cramp'! Hurry, Timmy! Fix that arm before Dick blows someone else's face off!

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9. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:621]
Steve Austin
Canada
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New rule: Any BGG member that has an entire wall/room/floor/garage filled with games has a neurological disorder and gets his own telethon. After only one meeting with little Patrick Korner and a tour of his pathetic Canadian home, Jerry has decided to stop raising money for muscular dystrophy and concentrate on OCD. Live via satellite, Jerry Lewis!

Jerry: Hey, Bill.

Bill: Thanks for coming on the show. You're a brave man. Can you tell us what it's like over there in Canada? Have you been attacked by a black bear?

Jerry: One almost got me at the airport. But I've made it safely to the house of Patrick Korner, and I was so shocked at what I saw here, the pencils dropped from my nose.

Bill: Can you describe the surroundings? That game shelf seems ready to buckle. Do you fear for your life?

Jerry: What do you think? This is only one shelf. I'm surrounded by them. I thought I was grotesquely bloated, but this kid's collection of games makes me look like Twiggy. Seventeen copies of Scotland Yard? What the hell? Why? Why? It makes me sad. It makes me angry. His poor wife. I said to her, listen, Stella, you can do better...drop this douchebag, but then after browsing that BGG site, my eyes were opened. I realized there are so many more twisted nutjobs out there that cannot walk past a thrift store or stop at 1 copy. I've made a living out of being an idiot, but just being an idiot ain't no living. It's time for the madness to stop.

Bill: What's the plan for this kid?

Jerry: We're going to auction off all identical and unplayed copies of Pat's useless games, with proceeds paying for his court ordered therapy sessions. Viewers are urged to donate as much Zoloft as they can. Remember, OCD kids like Patrick need our help. Without you, he will continue his pointless trips across the border on weekends, driving all the way to Portland for chrissakes, just so he can find a 25th copy of Heroquest.

Bill: Could it be the black bear attacks that cause this disorder?

Jerry: Either that or the maple syrup. These cuckoo's even bathe in it.

Bill: Thanks for coming on the show Jerry!



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10. Board Game: Captain Clueless: Lost in the Caribbean [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:7902]
Steve Austin
Canada
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Hi, I'm Bill Maher! I'm the subject of a geeklist on BGG right now, so I'll make this quick. Some of you are having difficulty separating fantasy from reality, like Mia Farrow in the 'Purple Rose of Cairo'. Take a deep breath, and step away from the screen. Some info about myself: I'm American. I'm a political comedian. That means I do political jokes 90% of the time. Hey, Innovan, try watching the show for at least 2 minutes. The guy you're attacking, the guy who's writing this list, is indeed Canadian, but he's parodying me, Bill Maher. It wouldn't be an accurate parody without Bush and Cheney jokes. I make my living making fun of guys like this, and most of all, guys like you who are still standing at the end of the chow line. Hurry up! Lunch time is almost over!

That bit about Canadians' and 'wicker baskets' was priceless. I'm inviting you to guest on 'real time' next week so you can tell us all about how Canada is the only country that makes fun of US politics. Jeff Foxworthy might also have room for you on his TV show.






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11. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Steve Austin
Canada
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Hi! I'm the new BGG mascot! Like my beard? Guess where I got it. That's right! Sitting on my ass every second day waiting for maintenance to finish. What is this? An online version of 'Power grid' that you're testing on us? Seriously, this site goes down more often than Jenna Jamison. Where are your servers based? Osama's cave? Hey, here's an idea. Maybe you can add another 237 cryptic features that no one asked for, rename yourself 'Vista', and just open for business one day a week. That way, I'd know that the latest 'geeklist' entry I've been working on for an hour doesn't disappear into the ether when I dare to hit the submit button. If I wanted to gamble and lose, I'd vote for McCain.
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12. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:219]
Steve Austin
Canada
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New rule: If you want to convert non gamers into gamers, don't play 'In the year of the dragon'. I thought games were supposed to be fun, escapist entertainment. Does my mother really need to spend two hours fantasizing what it would be like to live through a monthly onslaught of diseases, bad food, and not being able to pay the rent? She's already 80 and thinking about these things all the time. Have you ever tried 'meals on wheels'? It's worse than the food 'extras' get on a movie set.

What kind of anti-depressant medication was this designer NOT TAKING when he came up with this one? Did he live through 12 months of horror like this? Was this game his therapy? Did he file for bankruptcy after getting typhoid from a hooker and then say to himself, "Hey, I've got to make a game out of this!"

Thankfully, it's not all bad. After months of sushi shortages, jock itch, and invasions by the Mongols, happiness returns with...Fireworks! Fireworks? Is he serious? Hey, braniac, my two prostitutes starved to death in June, lost me at least 10 vp, and you think fireworks in July is going to make me feel better? These girls gave the best massages I ever had! I want my consorts back! If you're going to have just one good month, one 'happy meal', this isn't very filling. I don't know about you, but after a mongol attack, a month of 'free prostitutes' would really hit the spot for me a lot more than some lame dragon festival. Okay, I admit fireworks can be slightly amusing when they go off in someone's hand, but these things are always just an excuse for thousands of drunken idiots to converge in my neighbourhood, get into knife fights, and then piss all over my flowerbeds as they stumble home. It's like a Mongol invasion, but worse.

They at least could have called this game 'In the year of Katrina' and based it in New Orleans where all this shit is still going on, every month of the year, but no, that's too recent, too fresh, and there is no winning strategy. No fun in that!
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