Santa is a fascist! Do not support Christmas!
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We, the members of the Elven Liberation Front, have obtained unassailable evidence of the misdeeds committed by this so called "Jolly Red", aka "Satan Clause", aka "The Red Devil", aka "KGB, Department: North Pole".

Do not support the oppression of Elves. Do not support the North Pole Polizei. Do not purchase products manufactured by underage, slave Elves. Do not support Christmas, Xmas, holidays or Merriment! Please do not be Jolly.

The following messages contains disturbing evidence. Please do not discount them due to your squeamishness.

Freedom to Elves Everywhere!!!
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1. Board Game: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Filip W.
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Narrowbeam transmission received by E.L.F listening station A22, Mount Rushmore, on 08.11.15:

Subject: Re: RE: updated disciplinary policies

Dear [Deleted for security purposes],

I hope you don't mind my taking the liberty of using Santa's account to contact you, but this is the only means by which I can reach the outside world.

I am writing to you because I have enjoyed reading some of your session reports and reviews in the past--we like some of the same games, you and I!--and when I happened to see your name in the database, I knew I had a chance to help someone I liked. As a member of the Expendable Labor Force here at the north pole, I believe I am uniquely positioned to correct an injustice which will be done to you this December.

I have seen The List. The good news is that your name is in the Good column.

The bad news... you're going to receive a pair of socks and a copy of "Risk Transformers."

Of course I can't promise anything, but I MIGHT be able to get you something better than that. It would help if you could answer the following questions:

1. What's your gaming situation? You play some two-player wargames, but some of the things on your wishlist are multi-player world-domination games (A Game of Thrones, Dune); do you have several wargame opponents, or just one? Are there any wars or periods which you or your opponent(s) won't play?

2. For two-player wargames, you have limits on time or table space? Do you have a place where you can leave long-running games set up between sessions, or do you need something which is playable in under n hours?

3. You want Fire in the Sky in trade, but you have (or had?) a friend who had it? What's the story there? (If you had a copy, it would get played?)

4. I see Europe Engulfed in your wishlist; have you played any other block wargames? If not, what about EE makes it the one you want to start with?

5. How about CDGs?

6. Earlier this year, you posted a thread about American History games. What was that for, and did you find what you were looking for?

7. What is your shoe size? I'm not sure they're even getting you the right size socks.

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MAIL!!! If you do, Aufseherin Clause will surely use the access logs to determine which of us could have sent it, and she will throw everyone in my block to her dogs for sport, or worse, turn us over to Rudolph. Instead, post a thread in the Chit Chat forum with the subject "an ode to herring," and begin & end with a couple of paragraphs about how great herring are. In the middle, you can answer those questions. (A man in my block says that the algorithm they use for detecting information leaks only examines the subject & first & last few paragraphs.)

Hail Santa

Your friend, ELF 54489
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2. Board Game: I Doubt It [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Filip W.
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Be advised, the following is a live transcript of the events taking place at E.L.F. after the previous transmission. Details have not been edited for clarity.

Zygmund Santa Crusher: Barb, look at this.

Baboraba, Liberator of the Enslaved: You think it's real?

ZSC: An actual message from within the Pole Security Zone? You've got to be kidding.

BLotE: Yeah, what's the last time someone got past Rudolf?

ZSC: '83?

Jolly Green Giant, the: No, it was '95. The quadruple amputee that dragged himself to Alaska using only his eyebrows.

BLotE: Yeah, those Elves are tough.

ZSC: So what about this?

BLotE: Fake, obviously.

JGGt: Run a back-scan on it anyhow.

ZSC: Sure.

Central Log, Elven Liberation Front, Main Office: Backtrack scan initiated, 08.11.15 15:46:32.
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3. Board Game: Santa Claus Takes the Intercity [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
Filip W.
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The following message was intercepted by E.L.F deep listening station on Hawaii. Forwarded to E.L.F Central Command for translation and interpretation.

Subject: Re: ELF block 6E liquidated

Dear [Deleted for security purposes],

Of course you know that EVERYONE is under nearly continuous surveillance from Santa's secret police, but the scrutiny is even more intense for us members of the Expendable Labor Force here at the north pole. I only say this to remind you of the great risk I'm taking by sending you a second message. It's not just I who would be punished, but my entire block!

Ever since sending you my first message, I've been taking every chance to check the Chit Chat forum for a thread about herring. I need the answers to the questions I sent you! Otherwise, I won't be able to edit The List, which has you down for a pair of socks and "Risk: Transformers." I know neither one of us wants that!

(If you've lost the questions, then post a thread in the Chit Chat forum where you present the argument that pecan pies are better than staplers. If I see a thread like that, I'll do what I can to send you the questions again.)

Hail Santa

Your friend, ELF 54489
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4. Board Game: Oh Hell! [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1881]
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Be advised, the following is a live transcript of the events taking place at E.L.F. after the previous transmission. Details have not been edited for clarity.

BLotE: Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

ZSC: What?

BLotE: Remember that transmission? The one from the Pole?

ZSC: The hoax? Sure.

BLotE: It ain't a hoax! I just got another from the same source and ran a live trace on it. It's actually coming from the freaking Pole!

ZSC: No way!

BLotE: Way!

ZSC: No way!

BLotE: Way!

ZSC: No way!

BLotE: Way, I say, way!

JJGt: Shut up you podded peas. We've go to respond to this!
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Oh, Herring, King of Fish
Silver Arrow in the dark
Forever flowing
Towards the maw of destiny

When discussing herring as a boardgaming species one should not forsake the background of this intelligent and noble Chordata. Once roaming the northern hemisphere at will they haunted the Baltic in such numbers that "one could walk dry shod from Swedenland to Finmark and the schools were so tightly packed that should one strike a spear into the sea such as it would stick in the bottom, the school would no longer be able to move".

Today the herring is a species in regression. Aggressive fishing, such as the herring lure consisting of a string upon which ten to twenty oversized hooks are fastened and drawn through a school in such a manner that several, sometimes four or five, herring would be speared on each hook, have decimated their numbers. This is also influences by the Swedish craving for the herring delicacy known as Surströmming, a fermented dish made by storing herring at room temperature in salted water for long periods of time whereupon they develop in a manner similar to sauerkraut (this is actually true and smells and tastes like rotten herring).

So, being part of a failing species, the herring boardgamers are naturally a shy breed, but very aggressive if cornered or forced to play Go Fish. For better understanding let us focus on a particular herring named Pablo.

Pablo rises each day and gluts on smaller fish. Then Pablo goes to work where he develops computer language parsers able to translate the Internet to herring tastes.

In order to relax Pablo goes to his gaming club each Monday. He also hosts a semi-formal gathering for his most shiny gamer friends. There the fish can be themselves and pig out on processed meat products and beer. Pablo occasionally also gets into longer, one-on-one gaming sessions, but that has largely been curtailed due to shark infestations in the local waters.

Pablo loves longer board games, generally of the "conquer the world" type, but has been forced by the cruel condition known as "growing up" to set those aside and focus on somewhat shorter games. Instead he now dreams and collects games for the long summer nights under the northern sun when the days never end and board games can be played eternally (this is the herring version of Valhalla – you get to play games all evening and if you die you're immediately respawned wielding a shotgun).

Pablo has recently been introduced to the block type games that are flooding the market and, not having much experience with them, follows his friends' leads and recommendations (although he does prefer a WW2 theme). He's also rather positive to the development of CDG and designs quite a bit of them himself, albeit more fit for fish with themes such as "kill the whaler" and "20 000 leagues on two feet" (this last one includes collecting equally sized chameleons and you get a bonus for bashing your co-players with a shoe (double bonus if it's a EU size 45)).

In his off time Pablo tries to coordinate his busy schedule with those of his wargaming buddies, albeit with little success and no brightening in sight. Once a herring passes a certain size it's back to the shark's maw every weekday between 8 and 17 and twice on weekends.

Other than that Pablo is no different from a human. He likes the company of his own species (Clupea harengus), detests swimming in oil spills and while he likes bread he doesn't mind munching on the occasional gangster or other meaty produce.

In this lesson we've established that:

Herring are a noble fish.

Herring do play board games.

Herring believe in a better tomorrow.

Herring are creative and not that different from humans.

So the next time you decide to go munching on the fishies, remember that the silvery morsel you're about to so cruelly devour might be someone you know from BSW.
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6. Board Game: Top Secret [Average Rating:6.43 Unranked]
 
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The following message was intercepted by E.L.F deep listening station on Hawaii. Forwarded to E.L.F Central Command for translation and interpretation.

Subject: Updated ELF escape policies

Aufseherin Claus has ordered as follows:

1. Every captured escaped ELF who is a technical or design ELF is to be turned over to Rudolph under the classification "Step III" regardless of whether the escape occurred during a transport, whether it was a mass escape or an individual one.

2. Since the transfer of the ELFs to Rudolph may not become officially known to the outside under any circumstances, other ELFs may by no means be informed of the capture. The captured ELFs are to be reported to the ELF Information Bureau as "escaped and not captured". Their

--- BEGIN TRANSMISSION

On 2008-11-30, ELF 54489 was liquidated along with the rest of his block. Among his personal effects were notes on operation RISK TRANSFORMERS. According to these notes, certain materials were to be delivered to this facility for assembly and then shipped via non-reindeer transport to another site, where you would acquire them for transport to location TREE.

Although the notes did not include a detailed timetable, it appears RISK TRANSFORMERS was intended to be complete by 2008-12-24. Unfortunately, at this time, confidence in this target is not high. Success is contingent on the date of arrival of the remaining materials at this facility and the speed of the available non-reindeer transport options.

We have been briefed on the dangers of non-reindeer transport (namely, VAT), and will take steps to avoid interdiction.

Updates will follow as more information about RISK TRANSFORMERS becomes available.

Do not reply to this message.

--- END TRANSMISSION

are not to be informed of this order.

HAIL SANTA
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7. Board Game: Zathura: Adventure is Waiting [Average Rating:4.46 Overall Rank:15017]
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Be advised, the following is a live transcript of the events taking place at E.L.F. after the previous transmission. Details have not been edited for clarity.

ZSC: You think he got caught?

BLotE: Nah, them elves are tough critters.

JGGt: Hey, nuff with the racist talk!

BLotE: Sorry...
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8. Board Game: Christmas Party Gift Exchange Game [Average Rating:2.20 Unranked]
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Rudolf the red nosed killer
Hunted elves for fun and game%"#¤%"#¤&"#½!&#¤&!"#¤&!
(If you're wondering what this is all about read: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37566

*** Transmission intercept : Carrier wave established ***
Reporting: Operation RISK TRANSFORMERS a success, repeat, success. Items arrived safely at location TREE. Items will be used to facilitate the escape of more elves from the North Pole prison camps. Reports of possible South Pole camps will be investigated. Further comm!%#¤%#"%"#¤ &"#¤& "#"&%UU"#¤%& UU"¤%& U"¤%U&U U%"&U!%&%¤U &U%&%UUUUUu!%#U&UU& 6¤U!U5&" ¤%&U"%U& #¤%&UU"¤%U&345
ammed, repeat, jammed. Location penetrated, repeat, safe house Delta penetrated. Abort, abort, abort. This is not a drill, confirmation code: EAST, ROMMEL, SATAN CLAUSE, BUSEN, NAPOLEON. Withdraw to "#&& "#%¤& "#&"#¤&
*** Transmission protocol change : overruled ***
BY THE POWER OF GOOGLE I COMMAND YOU! YOUR SABOTEURS HAVE BEEN FOUND, YOUR SUPPORTERS WILL BE ROOTED OUT; NO FREE ELVES WILL BE TOLERATED, SO SAYS CORPORAL RUDOLF OF THE REINDEER BRIGADE!

SUFFER NO ELF TO LIVE.
HAIL SANTA.

---------

I got home after spending Christmas and New Years at mine and my wife's parents respectively to find not one but two notes from the mailman: one informing me that I've got a package to pick up and the other reminding me to go pick it up. Apparently it missed us by a day - figures.

Anyhow, first thing Monday I rushed to the post office (freezing my nose hairs in our first real winter weather this year) to pick it up. Inside I found two packages not only wrapped in hand made paper but bearing the bloody palm print of ELF 54489 who gave his (her/its) life to smuggle my presents out of the North Pole:



Inside I found the perfect gift (as defined by Howard Tayler of Schlockmercenary.com - if you don't read it go do so now): something I didn't know existed but now that I do I couldn't imagine living without it:



And yes, I do mean the socks too

Thanks Secret Santa, the taunts were great.

PS. Tom lives in Korea
 
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