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Subject: Geek of the Week: Randy Cox (Randy Cox) rss

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Geek of the Week: Randy Cox

Profile: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Randy+Cox

Geek of the week is an open forum focused on getting to know our Geek of the Week. Join in by asking our number-crunching, world-championship-shilling Geek of the Week some questions about his work, his life, and all his dirty little secrets!

Randy says this about himself:

"I'm the boring Luddite gamer here at BGG. I've gamed as long as I can remember (see http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi... for details) and I went through that phase of "must accumulate all games" and that phase of "must know about every game before it is even released." And during that time, I hit a few conventions and stumbled into the Gathering. For a person collecting everything and wanting to be ahead of the curve, that was a godsend. But I got better and now enjoy such "meet ups" because of the people, not the games. Anyhoo, now that real life has raised it's head (and it ain't ugly, after all), I don't collect or play all that much anymore and I surely don't care to know about all the up and coming games. I still haven't even seen Caylus. Hell, I haven't gotten around to playing Schoko & Co yet, and I've owned it for more than a decade.

In the non-gaming world, I've been doing that IT thing for 25 years, but I don't know squat about cutting edge technology. I don't even own a CD player or DVD player or any video games (I think some people call them "console games.") I am happily married to a woman I met at The Gathering and she likes to play games even more than I do. We have two kids (16 months and 2 years 10 months). I'm a vegetarian who eats fish and dairy and I like to hang out in the kitchen, so if you're ever down this way, maybe I'll cook something up for you. And if the kids would sleep (ha!), we might be able to play a game, as well. There are about 800 of them sitting in the musty game room, just waiting for someone to come play them.

And though I should follow Snooze's lead, I'm pretty public here on the Internet, so fire away and I'll try to answer. Beware, I have a few strong opinions. "


I know Randy only through his postings here on the 'Geek. He has posted several Geeklists requiring a lot of fiddling with numbers and Excel - they are always informative, interesting, and even humorous! Some recent ones I especially enjoyed:
- Too Good To Play: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
Highly rated games that aren't actually getting played.
- Sweet Spots, Gamer Types, and Similarity http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
Figure out what type of gamer you are, and find some other games you might enjoy!
- 2005 Spiel des Geek Winner! http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
Ya gotta love those award shows, right? Through careful analysis, this shows you the Geek's Game of the Year (surprise!)!
- Alan Made Me Do It: WBC Shillking Returns! http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
Details about gaming at WBC. Actually made me want to attend some time!
Check out Randy's profile for more information: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Randy+Cox

It is my pleasure to introduce this Geek of the Week! I'll start us off with a few questions (taking liberally from previous GOTWs), then ya'll can turn up the heat!

Randy, I hope you have a good Geek of the Week week!


Statistics
Many of your geeklists involve a lot of statistical manipulation. Even your most recent list, unrelated to gaming ("Top 25 TV Shows of All Time" - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...) had you "crunch[ing] the numbers"! So...
1. I'm sure you've heard that phrase about lies, damn lies, and statistics? Is there really something there, or are you just massaging the data to come up with interesting results ?
2. Is statistics a hobby for, or do you have some advanced knowledge?
3. How long does it take to come up with these things?

You
4. You list both cooking and vegetarian cooking as your hobbies. Do you cook meat, even though you don't eat it? Why are you vegetarian - health issues, moral issues, or something else?
5. What kind of IT work do you do? How is it that you are in IT, usually fully of gadget-loving people, and yet you don't even have a CD or DVD player?
6. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing with your family (gaming and/or non-gaming)? Are your kids the cutest and smartest ones you know ?
7. You have a wide range of tastes in favorite movies. What did you like so much about Inherit the Wind? A League of Their Own? Die Hard With a Vengeance? Revenge of the Nerds ?? Was Field of Dreams really a great movie, after all? What do you look for in a movie? How often do you get the movies now?
8. You have no favorite books or music listed in your profile. Oversight, or are you not just a big fan of music or reading?

Games, Gaming, and the BGG
9. You don't play games "all that much" - what does that mean? Is that compared to those BGGers who play hundreds (or more) of games every year, or to "normal" people?
10. Your average rating is only 5.20 - somewhat low. Are you tough to please? How do rate games - on your preference or just on the quality of the design?
11. You have 10 fully-fledged 10-rated games. These include some well-regarded (here) games like Acquire and Die Macher, but also some very light games like Charades and Compatibility. And your #1 game of all time is How to Host a Murder: The Watersdown Affair! Are these all equally good? You seem to be a fan of the Murder series, rating several others very highly; what is so special about that mystery murder game in particular (no comments with your rating)? Are these games really that good?
12. You rated Wildlife Adventure a 1 - "virtually no strategy" - versus BGG's 6.9.
13. You rated Citadels a 1, versus BGG's 7.4. I don't particularly like the game, either - but a 1? Is it that bad?
14. I'll stop there asking about specific games here, but you rate several popular games less than 5. What are looking for in a game? What makes it rate highly for you?
15. Your bio mentions "meet ups" that you enjoy for the social aspect, not the games. Which gatherings do you still attend - local meetings? conventions? Or were you hinting at Meetups as in meetup.com?
16. Do you ever play online (BSW, or various play-by-webs)?
17. How much time do you spend here on BGG? What are your favorite parts? What do you think of the huge influx of members, and of all the recent changes?
18. How did you come up with your great BGG name ?

And finally...
19. A game I know is called two truths and a lie. You tell us three things about yourself. Two are true one is a lie. We have to guess which is false. (hints: Try to make your truths the most unexpected things about yourself to trick us. The lie can be very close to the truth.) Don't tell us which one is the lie til the end of the week.


Have a great week and thanks for all your contributions to the hobby!
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You met your wife at the Gathering? That's fun!

I met my husband at a games convention too

Happy Geek of the Week, Randy!

I should have a scintillating question here for you but apparently I'm all out.
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Hi Randy,

Three questions for you:

1) Do you go to gaming conventions? I already know about WBC, but which other ones do you go to? Which ones do you like the best? Which do you like the least (i.e., you went once, and won't go back)?

2) What is your all-time favorite gaming related story -- it can be a funny anecdote or 'great play/hall-of-fame' moment from a game or anything else that you consider your favorite.

and, in a moment of blatant self-promotion:

3) Do you read INDEPTH? If not, why not?

Congrats on being named "Geek of the Week!"

Chris
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RANDY!

This is more of a statement of interest than a question. I remember for a while you were going to do a series of stat geeklists, but it didn't pan out because the stats didn't change very rapidly. I believe the stats compared were rank (or average) and games played in that time period. I think the final iteration was called "BGG Stalwarts," and though it contained many of the standards, it also had some oddities in there like Age of Mythology. Based on your (I think monthly) reporting, one might have assumed at the time that Age of Mythology was here to stay, but it turned out to be (in the long term) a flash in the pan. Not every game is going to move that much, but since that time we've seen a lot of flux in the top 100, and presumably similar changes in the games played stats as well.

Anyway what I'm suggesting is that this is an interesting enough project that it warrants resurrection. I think that over a longer period of time, say every six months, this type of list could become a fascinating long term record.

And now, some questions.

1) Tell us about this "Simply Fun Games" outfit you seem to be involved with. Are they the right sort of people?

2) You rate Die Macher a 10! Please tell us why in exactly 5 words.

-Burke
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Thank you very much, Snoozefest. I've followed most of these Geek of the Week threads up until the past two weeks when it got rather hectic at work. And though I'll be up in New York one day this week (the result of the hectic schedule of late), I plan to enjoy my week in the sun. Thank you again very much. On to the questions...

snoozefest wrote:
1. I'm sure you've heard that phrase about lies, damn lies, and statistics? Is there really something there, or are you just massaging the data to come up with interesting results ?

I don't massage data to come up with interesting results. I often crunch numbers and the results are so boring that I don't go forward with the geek list. As to the quote--it's cute, but inaccurate. There are statistics and statistics. Some people lie about what the stats say, but that doesn't make the statistic a lie; it makes the speaker a liar.
snoozefest wrote:
2. Is statistics a hobby for, or do you have some advanced knowledge?

No advanced knowledge. I did take a class in college as it was required for a Computer Science major, but that's it. I just have always liked playing with numbers (which explains the fascination with baseball).
snoozefest wrote:
3. How long does it take to come up with these things?

Depends on how slow the work day is. Some are quick and others linger on for weeks (see HBGlover's question later) and then die on the vine.
snoozefest wrote:
4. You list both cooking and vegetarian cooking as your hobbies. Do you cook meat, even though you don't eat it? Why are you vegetarian - health issues, moral issues, or something else?

I'm afraid the answer is awfully mundane. In the beginning, Aldie's search on those things looked for exact matches, so if I wanted to find others who enjoyed "vegetarian cooking," I needed that exact phrase to search on--"cooking" wouldn't find it. But I think that's been corrected now. As to cooking meat, typically I only cook fish at home, but I have now started to cook chicken from time to time for the kids. They're too young to choose not to eat meat.

As to why I do it, I guess it's a health thing. Before I converted (April 1, 1993), I knew a lot of local vegetarians and had heard a lot about Mad Cow Disease long before the mainstream media picked up on it. So I knew it was a good thing to avoid meat. But I was too lazy to deal with it (as it was very hard to find meatless food at most restaurants). In the end, it was a weight loss campaign at work put me over the edge. I ate a chicken sandwich and double cheeseburger from Wendy's and went to the weigh-in with my team. That was the last meat. Oh yeah, we won the competition, too. All in all, I'd say it's been a good thing and the only meat I miss is hot dogs, if you can call that a meat.
snoozefest wrote:
5. What kind of IT work do you do? How is it that you are in IT, usually fully of gadget-loving people, and yet you don't even have a CD or DVD player?

Well, I'm "old school" IT. In fact, it was called DP (data processing) when I graduated from college. And almost all of the work I did in school was on mainframes. So, it was easy not to be gadget-oriented when the gadget you play with at school cost a million dollars plus a multi-hundred-thousand-dollar yearly support contract.

My work now is mostly in analysis, design, and training, so in many ways, you don't really need any specific computer knowledge to do that. You just need some business knowledge. Sad to say, though, my business knowledge is currently in textile manufacturing. What a combo--textiles and mainframes. Two dying areas.

Back to the gadgets, though. I did go through a phase where I purchased silly things, like a JVC Vid*Star VCR back in 1980 for $1000. Cutting edge, yee-hah. And I did that "console" thing way back when--got all the way up to Atari 7800 before I broke that habit. I've just discovered that all that crap is, ultimately, just a bunch of clutter that you need to deal with. I can't organize worth didly, so what would I do with 1500 CDs or a slew of video games? And now with the kids, there is truly no time for such (though I wasn't into it prior to their birth, either).
snoozefest wrote:
6. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing with your family (gaming and/or non-gaming)? Are your kids the cutest and smartest ones you know ?

Well, before kids, my wife and I did get in weekly gaming (there's a big group about 45 minutes away). Now, the things we do as a family are cooking, playing outside (tame stuff like bubbles and swings--I'm not one of those super-active parents), taking walks, and just hanging out. The TV isn't on when kids are awake and it's rarely on when they're asleep (unless there's a baseball game or something). Mostly, there's not much "doing as a family," but there's a lot of "chasing those guys" and "feeding, cleaning, and dressing" them.

The kids? Of course they're cute and smart. Aren't they all?
snoozefest wrote:
7. You have a wide range of tastes in favorite movies. What did you like so much about Inherit the Wind? A League of Their Own? Die Hard With a Vengeance? Revenge of the Nerds ?? Was Field of Dreams really a great movie, after all? What do you look for in a movie? How often do you get the movies now?

Well, as to Inherit the Wind (my all-time favorite), I really liked the play and got a kick out of watching March and Tracy try to one-up each other as actors. I also get a kick out of the tacked-on final scene that the studio insisted on to make the story line more acceptable, especially in the Bible Belt. Mostly, though, I just like the ridiculousness of what caused the Scopes Monkey Trial. League of Their Own and Field of Dreams have baseball and aren't comedies, so they have to be good, no? Plus, who could ever say that you can successfully combine hippiedom, baseball, and some sort of etherial communion with the dead and make for an intelligible movie? As to Die Hard, I just like the silliness and over-the-top nature of that trilogy. And who doesn't love Revenge of the Nerds--well, what nerd who came of age in the late '70s and gets into computer science didn't love Revenge of the Nerds?

But I'm by no means a connoisseur of movies. The last movie I saw in its entirity at a theater was "A Beautiful Mind" and the last one I saw on tape (no DVD, remember) was "Catch Me if You Can," shortly after it left the theaters. In other words, movies are no longer part of my repertoire. And I surely don't miss them. Rule of thumb: if an activity involves getting ready, leaving the house, and spending time away from the family, I usually don't consider it worthwhile.
snoozefest wrote:
8. You have no favorite books or music listed in your profile. Oversight, or are you not just a big fan of music or reading?

Just not a big fan. I haven't listened to much music since about 1980 and my favorite books are things like "Curveball" or "Cosmos" or something like that.
snoozefest wrote:
9. You don't play games "all that much" - what does that mean? Is that compared to those BGGers who play hundreds (or more) of games every year, or to "normal" people?

Well, I played only a couple of game last month and none so far this month. So, I'm probably ahead of the curve when compared to the masses, and way, way, way behind the curve here.
snoozefest wrote:
10. Your average rating is only 5.20 - somewhat low. Are you tough to please? How do rate games - on your preference or just on the quality of the design?

I guess I'm tough to please. I also don't follow the "how readily would you drop everything to play this game" scale suggested here at BGG. I rate games from 0 to 10 as though it were a linear scale, so the average should be somewhere around 5, given that people don't tend to purchase or play games they'd rate a 1 (for instance, I could purchase ASL, play it, and rate it a 0.1, so by not doing so, I bump my average up a tiny bit). But mostly, I've just played a lot of games that might have been interesting and fun in 1972 (e.g. NBC/Hasbro Vegas or Monopoly or Landslide) and they just aren't so enticing now. Hence, a lower average rating.
snoozefest wrote:
11. You have 10 fully-fledged 10-rated games. These include some well-regarded (here) games like Acquire and Die Macher, but also some very light games like Charades and Compatibility. And your #1 game of all time is How to Host a Murder: The Watersdown Affair! Are these all equally good? You seem to be a fan of the Murder series, rating several others very highly; what is so special about that mystery murder game in particular (no comments with your rating)? Are these games really that good?

Well, my favorite games of the past 20 years have been Murder/Mystery party games. They're almost all very, very good, if you enjoy hosting a party. I really like having 6-8 friends come over to eat whatever I've slaved over all day and run through a night of accusations and deflection. I guess that's why Werewolf is so popular. So, in answer to your question, these games (murder party) are that good. See my geek list about them for specific details. Charades fits into the same niche as Murder Parties. When we play Charades, it's a cutthroat team competition and tons of fun. I guess I just like parties, which is odd, as I'm pretty shy.

Acquire is just a great game that I've always enjoyed and Die Macher is quite possibly the best true board game ever devised, especially for people who like to play with numbers (ever play the first edition where you score comes out to something like 1,715,689?). And then there's that wonderful little social game, Compatibility (the original Mattel version is best). It's really a great way to let people know your opinions without blatantly saying something like "so-and-so is an idiot because he's a pro-life Bible thumper."
snoozefest wrote:
12. You rated Wildlife Adventure a 1 - "virtually no strategy" - versus BGG's 6.9.

I've yet to see anything in this game. I know a lot of people who love it and one was even scheduled to stop by the house to show me that I'm crazy (since I do own a copy), but that didn't materialize. I guess this is just a game where I've missed the allure (like Knizia's Vegas or that game Maestro).
snoozefest wrote:
13. You rated Citadels a 1, versus BGG's 7.4. I don't particularly like the game, either - but a 1? Is it that bad?

Citadelles just sucks, don't it. You look at cards (when I played, they weren't in English), everyone takes forever to pick a role, and everyone tells you what to do. What fun.
snoozefest wrote:
14. I'll stop there asking about specific games here, but you rate several popular games less than 5. What are looking for in a game? What makes it rate highly for you?

First of all, the game must be fun and must allow for many different types to enjoy it. I usually don't want to play a game that can't be enjoyed by most people (specifically including "non-gamers"), and I don't want a game that takes too long to teach or play. Gaming is an excuse to socialize first and foremost, so the specific game isn't really all that important. Obviously, I'll play outside these definitions (Die Macher, Civilization), but given the time constraints presented by the "real world," it's rare to have too much time for a game these days. So I like 'em short and sweet, generally speaking. Or, I like them to be structured in such a way that you can be called away to "real life." That's why social games (some call them all "party games") work so well. If we're eating the second course during the third round of a murder party and a kid wakes up needing tending, no problem. Do that several times during Die Macher and it'll probably adversely affect the game for someone.
snoozefest wrote:
15. Your bio mentions "meet ups" that you enjoy for the social aspect, not the games. Which gatherings do you still attend - local meetings? conventions? Or were you hinting at Meetups as in meetup.com?

I don't know what you're referring to about "meet ups." I sometimes use this term (and put it in quotes) because I think that it's a kind of silly phrase (like "hook up").

Edit: Oh, duh, you meant my bio up above, not the one on my profile page. Damn, I can be dense sometimes. Anyway, that was the reason for the quotes up in the intro. It's one of those hip/fad phrases that I like to pick fun at from time to time. I do enjoy getting together with people, but they don't need to be called "meet ups."

As to what I attend now, very little. We keep hoping to get back to The Gathering, but with such young kids, it's tough. We don't have anyone we can leave them with overnight, much less for 9 days straight. So, when we plan to go to such outings (e.g. the WBC), we take someone along and alternate watching the kids while the other one games. But that really doesn't work out, and we usually just do kid stuff and no gaming. So what's the point? I have also attended all the AvalonCons/WBCs, but that streak is scheduled to end this year. Not only is it logistically tough, but I'm not sure I enjoy it as much as I did 15 years ago. Back then, I thought that "competition" was a good word.
snoozefest wrote:
16. Do you ever play online (BSW, or various play-by-webs)?

Heavens, no! Given the options of tying myself to the computer even more and just not playing a game, I'll go with the latter. Gaming is a social experience for me. The people (real live, in the same room with me people) are the thing, not the game.
snoozefest wrote:
17. How much time do you spend here on BGG? What are your favorite parts? What do you think of the huge influx of members, and of all the recent changes?

Without revealing anything that could be considered improper, let's just say "too much." My favorite parts are Geek Lists and, of course, the communal ratings of games. I enjoyed GeekQuestions for awhile, but that's too addictive. Being "screen sucked" is an unpleasant thing, you know.
snoozefest wrote:
18. How did you come up with your great BGG name?

I'm guessing my mom still doesn't realize what she did. Now, I'm pretty sure she knew better than to name me "Dick," but Randy probably gave her no pause. By the way, I do have a cousin Dick Cox, son of Dickie Cox.
snoozefest wrote:
19. A game I know is called two truths and a lie. You tell us three things about yourself. Two are true one is a lie. We have to guess which is false. (hints: Try to make your truths the most unexpected things about yourself to trick us. The lie can be very close to the truth.) Don't tell us which one is the lie til the end of the week.

1. I was once a bookie.
2. I don't drink alcohol.
3. I was never on an airplane until I'd graduated from college.
Lemur wrote:
1) Do you go to gaming conventions? I already know about WBC, but which other ones do you go to? Which ones do you like the best? Which do you like the least (i.e., you went once, and won't go back)?

Well, I have attended the following in the past: WBC, The Gathering, Origins, Dragon*Con, Thing (the original one), Magnum Opus Con, Oasis of Fun, LobsterTrap, and probably other ones I don't recall. My favorite is The Gathering, not solely because I met my wife there. It's just a lot of fun. And there are none that were totally worthless, though there are some I probably will never go back to, and I can't say that WBC is off that list.
Lemur wrote:
2) What is your all-time favorite gaming related story -- it can be a funny anecdote or 'great play/hall-of-fame' moment from a game or anything else that you consider your favorite.

Well, there are plenty of stories I've heard that were great (ask Bill Cleary about Password when the secret word was "part"), but I wasn't there. Or the time my brother and his friend played a wargame and kept saying "Ooh, Andy" to one another (a reference to Floyd in the Andy Griffith Show), only to have someone write up the game as a contest between two people named "Andy." But again, I wasn't there. I know that I've laughed until I hurt during games and I know that I've heard outrageous things from fellow gamers (like one woman who told us all that she can't be friends with males unless she sleeps with them first), but I just can't come up with one here, under the gun.
Lemur wrote:
3) Do you read INDEPTH? If not, why not?

I was waiting for this one. Yes, I've read most of them. Sounds like you rule the club with an iron fist, making people log game length, rules teaching length, and ratings of the games for all your session reports. Damn fine stats, though.
HBGlover wrote:
This is more of a statement of interest than a question. I remember for a while you were going to do a series of stat geeklists, but it didn't pan out because the stats didn't change very rapidly. I believe the stats compared were rank (or average) and games played in that time period. I think the final iteration was called "BGG Stalwarts," and though it contained many of the standards, it also had some oddities in there like Age of Mythology. Based on your (I think monthly) reporting, one might have assumed at the time that Age of Mythology was here to stay, but it turned out to be (in the long term) a flash in the pan. Not every game is going to move that much, but since that time we've seen a lot of flux in the top 100, and presumably similar changes in the games played stats as well.

I did play with those stats for awhile. I even created geek lists that I never published because it was just not interesting enough to me. I agree that it's fun to watch games surge and then die miserably (If it starts with "Age of..." you've got a good candidate for this). Will Caylus be this way? I've never seen the game, but I'll bet it's out of the Top 10 in two years, probably out of the Top 25. But that's a different story.
HBGlover wrote:
1) Tell us about this "Simply Fun Games" outfit you seem to be involved with. Are they the right sort of people?

There's not much to tell. I called up SimplyFun to purchase Walk the Dogs shortly after it came out. When Liebrary came out, my wife and I wanted it very much (we'd been looking for Ex Libris for quite some time). Well, the salesperson suggested we become reps for SimplyFun because 1) there weren't any in this state or, for that matter, in most of the Southeast and 2) we knew more about games than she did and 3) we'd save money on purchase like the two we'd already made. So, we joined mostly to get cut rate games and possibly to sell a few. Now, these games aren't what most BGGers are looking for, but they are plenty of fun for me, so I'm glad I got their salesperson kit and a few other games for our kids. I haven't hosted any parties and may never, though I ran a fundraiser for the local Montessori school and it did show me that people will purchase games, even if they're "non gamers." And they're as much the correct sort of people as anyone, I guess.
HBGlover wrote:
2) You rate Die Macher a 10! Please tell us why in exactly 5 words.

Five hours of chit chat.
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Andrew H
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Hi Randy
You mentioned that you have followed most of the Geek of the Week threads until the past 2 weeks. Have you enjoyed GotW from the readers perspective? Had you wondered about being the GotW yourself? Now that you are the Geek of the Week what are you enjoying best / looking forward to the most about it?

Your kids (the cute and smart ones) sound like they keep you busy...as if there is any other way when they are small. Apart from boardgames what are you most looking forward to introducing to the kids when they are old enough? You jokingly mentioned the kids not sleeping...or was that said in seriousness?
Your description of favourite games -interestingly How to Host a Murder's- makes it seem like the most important aspect of gaming for you is the social interaction. Your description of Citadels which you really don't like also makes it clear that negative gaming experiences for you relate strongly to the group you are playing them with.
My question is can you imagine trying Citadels again with English cards and people who don't take forever or tell you what to do? and conversely could you imagine playing a How to host a Murder with a bunch of people like those you played with for Citadels (shudder)?
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Hi Randy, and congratulations on being named GotW. One thing I've always appreciated is your passionate defense of the WBC, and the great and witty lists you make about it.

I'm curious: What is your favorite convention experience, and why?

Daniel
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Do you play games with friends or make friends through gaming?
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Leo Tischer
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Hi Randy,

Congrats on GotW! Being a number cruncher myself a lot of the time, I appreciate the stats and the work that goes into them. It's always interesting to see where things fall.

see you at the Gathering,

Leo
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Critical Mass wrote:
You mentioned that you have followed most of the Geek of the Week threads until the past 2 weeks.
And thanks for starting this thing all those weeks ago!
Critical Mass wrote:
Have you enjoyed GotW from the readers perspective? Had you wondered about being the GotW yourself? Now that you are the Geek of the Week what are you enjoying best / looking forward to the most about it?
Yes, I’ve enjoyed reading them. It’s interesting to find out little tidbits about folks you thought you “knew,” albeit only from their postings here. And, yes, I had wondered about being the Geek of the Week. Now that I am so designated, it is enjoyable to answer questions, but it’s also a little daunting. In some ways, it feels like doing “homework,” not that that’s a bad thing. I guess it’s just that I didn’t expect to have to think so much about some of the questions. But answering those tough questions is the most enjoyable part, I think.
Critical Mass wrote:
Your kids (the cute and smart ones) sound like they keep you busy...as if there is any other way when they are small. Apart from boardgames what are you most looking forward to introducing to the kids when they are old enough?
See, there’s one of those thought-provoking questions I was talking about.

Everyone assumes that I’ll try to raise a couple of baseball fans, but I don’t see that I’ll introduce that to the kids anymore than I’d expose them to knitting or swimming or reading maps. I really don’t know what I’ll be trying to get them involved with.

I guess I just kinda float along and do whatever comes up at the time. More, I will be avoiding certain things than pushing particular activities. For instance, I’ll try somewhat to keep them out of most organized activities like soccer and cheerleading and tee ball and “real” gymnastics and such. I love for them to play, but I am dubious of over-scheduling the lives of kids (and their corresponding caregivers) and don’t cherish the idea of putting them into competitive environments where one result is “good” and the other is “failure.”
Critical Mass wrote:
You jokingly mentioned the kids not sleeping...or was that said in seriousness?
That was said in seriousness. Our daughter is almost three and sleeps part of the night until she comes toddling down the hall saying “Daddy, daddy, where are you?” and I often end up in her room the rest of the night. The younger is 16 months old and has a sleep pattern something like this: 2-1-1-2-1-1-1-1 (that’s hours between waking). Admittedly, he’s taking baby steps these past few days and might be getting closer to: 3-2-2-1-1-1 soon. But that’s still a far cry from those kids who sleep through the night from the time they’re four months old. Oh, and did I mention that the elder gave up naps at about 18 months and the younger is probably going to beat that.
Critical Mass wrote:
Your description of favourite games -interestingly How to Host a Murder's- makes it seem like the most important aspect of gaming for you is the social interaction. Your description of Citadels which you really don't like also makes it clear that negative gaming experiences for you relate strongly to the group you are playing them with.

My question is can you imagine trying Citadels again with English cards and people who don't take forever or tell you what to do? and conversely could you imagine playing a How to host a Murder with a bunch of people like those you played with for Citadels (shudder)?
I could imagine just about any combination of game and gamers, but I think that some games just don’t lend themselves to certain groups (and vice versa). For instance, I’ve tried to get “strategy gamers” to play murder parties and often it just doesn’t work. Some of them “game the system” too much or expect iron clad plot lines, which is just not the idea of those sorts of games. Or they want to critique the game too much afterwards. Which is another pet peeve of mine—the player who recaps every game for 45 minutes afterwards (“you know, if only I’d played the Craftsman on my second turn as Governor, I would have won by 3 victory points because Warren over there was keeping too much of an eye on Edgar and wouldn’t have blah blah blah.”) Oops, sorry for the sidebar. Back to the groups/games mismatches. Like a lot of people, I’ve tried to involve non-gamers with the games that are most enjoyed around these parts. I remember bad experiences trying to get non-gamers to play Mystic Wood and Civilization. Sometimes it just doesn’t mesh.

As to Citadels with the fun crowds that play murder parties, I just don’t see it. The game is about being nasty, about doing evil things and coercing others to do you bidding. Like KKK, those games just don’t work with the “civil” gamers I enjoy being around. However, I have noticed that the “theme/experience” gamers do enjoy those sorts of games (a “theme/experience” gamer likes stuff like Talisman or Twilight Imperium or War of the Ring or Mystery of the Abbey where the chrome is more important than the game play). Don't know what that means, but I'm sure someone will take offense.
Daribuck1 wrote:
Hi Randy, and congratulations on being named GotW. One thing I've always appreciated is your passionate defense of the WBC, and the great and witty lists you make about it.

I'm curious: What is your favorite convention experience, and why?
Well, the easy answer is to say that my favorite convention experience was the impromptu Charades game at the 1999 Gathering, where The Southern Boys (that’s me, my brother, and our buddy The Reverend Bobby LaBoon [of the Church of the Sub-Genius]) trounced the other two teams, one of which included my then-future wife. That was our first meeting and it’s amazing that she still talks to me, as I’m sure we talked a little too much trash back in the day.

Which is partly why I don’t like the WBC as much as I used to. While it’s a fine convention and has some great opportunities for open gaming and playing in tournaments just to experience some games you might not otherwise get a chance to play, it’s got a lot baggage in the form of trash talk and one-upsmanship and that utterly useless phrase “bragging rights” (as if someone is bestowed the right to be a boorish ass—that’ll get the grognards on ConSimWorld all hot and bothered). While I really liked worrying about whether or not I was a “better” gamer than others back in 1991 when it all started, that really isn’t at all important anymore. I wonder if there is a natural maturation process that moves people away from the competitive tournament gaming as they age?

Note: Now that I think about it, the follow-up Charades game a year later was surely an even better experience, but that's a different story.

But back to your question. I guess the real answer to best convention experience is “The First Time.” I think this is true for everyone. No matter what major con you attend for the first time, you get that kid-in-a-candy-shop feeling and want to stay up all night playing game after game. You are placed in an environment where that is actually possible and you take full advantage of it. With eyes as big as saucers, you get to play game upon game, including stuff you’ve never heard of and then you get to go home and tell the commoners all about your exotic travels and the strange new games you encountered there. I don’t know if this is still the case, what with the explosion of the Internet and information overload about games, but it was true when I attended my first Origins and later my first AvalonCon and then first Gathering. All of that happened before I had Internet access and I was just floored by the endless gaming possibilities at those cons. Either I’m jaded now or the novelty of that sort of experience has worn off, but those first steps into big time conventions would have to be the best convention experiences I’ve had.
melissa wrote:
Do you play games with friends or make friends through gaming?
Ooh, good question. Let me think. I’d have to say that over the years, I’ve made a lot of friends through gaming (what with conventions and such). For locals, it’s the other way around—I’ve made friends (often through school or work and I expect through children in the near future) and those who seemed like they’d take to games will be invited to play and if all goes well, we’re gaming with friends. Not that we’ve had that opportunity very much of late.
Leo-T wrote:
Congrats on GotW! Being a number cruncher myself a lot of the time, I appreciate the stats and the work that goes into them. It's always interesting to see where things fall.
We aims to please. Thanks for the compliment.
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Daniel Broh-Kahn
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Re: My first time
That is a great answer. I remember my first time as well, as a teenager in the golden days of wargaming: From 1975 to 1980. The hardest part was restricting my limited budget to all the new games from AH, SPI, GDW, Yaquinto, OSG and many others. Just like a kid in a candy shop, with only a nickle!

Thanks for taking me back... Way before Euros hit the scene.

Daniel
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Hi Randy,

I noticed that you have ranked many party games very high, which is odd on BGG. Do you have an excellent group of people that play party games or do you see real quality in party games that have been overlook on BGG?

I'm a little nervous about what you said about Citadels. I just ordered it from my FLGS for game night I started there. I was hoping it would fit with their cut-throat hack and slash gaming crowd while still showing them something a little different. Could you elaborate on why you didn't like it? From your other comment, it almost sounded like people were telling you what to play rather than teaching you how to play. Did I misinterpret that?

You also mentioned Geek question. I was addicted for a little while too but I remember enjoying reading your answers.

Thanks! And Congrats!
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Congrats on becoming Geek of the Week.

Like me, you are a vegetarian and enjoy party games. That’s a good basis for me to warm to asking you some questions.

Sorry that some of the fifteen questions are a bit heavier – but I like hearing answers to those sort of things as I think they’re revealing of other aspects of a person’s thinking. Apologies if this takes you a half hour to answer.

As usual the first 10 are general: 5 are games related and 5 aren’t. The last 4 are just a bunch of stuff that I’m interested in. Oh and a bonus one about a Party Game that sounds cool.

1. Wow! you enjoy Party Games. Cranium is one of my top 10 games (I think much of the criticism it gets here is po-faced, posturing nonsense). It gets a 5 from you, which isn’t a bad score by your standards. Are Party Games overly marked down in general terms? Which should be in the top 100 here? Oh and you really should try Cranium Hoopla – it’s an excellent and very challenging game.
2. You obviously used to enjoy wargames. You played a lot of the old AH?SPI classic awhile back, it seems. Are there any oldies that still stand up or new ones that you are keen to play that you haven't yet got to - and why those ones?
3. Which 5 games would you say were the most pure fun you ever played? You can define “fun” in anyway you feel is right. Given your eclectic tastes, I expect a cool answer here!
4. Wallenstein…oh boy. Was it that bad? Didn’t get your comment about too much “confrontation.” Is that a bad thing?
5. Are there any kids’ games that deserve to be rated higher than they are and why? Are there any you’d like to try out and maybe bring the kid out in yourself?
6. Which are the most interesting places you have visited, and where would you most like to go in the future (apart from Essen)?
7. Should the melting glaciers of Greenland keep us all awake at night? …Where do you stand on the whole global warming issue? Is it the biggest problem facing mankind which some folks are choosing to ignore at their peril or a colossal red-herring that gets way too much media-coverage?
8. What are the best 10 albums of all time?
9. Which three characteristics in a person do you most like and dislike?
10. Who were your 5 greatest people of the 20th Century? Name 10 if you really want to.
11. You are, perhaps, known for being easy going about things you disagree with. Is there any type of comment on BGG that really tends to get you particularly frothing at the mouth or keen to unleash some invective? (aside from this question  )
12. Do you ever feel that Euro game design is getting a bit stale these days? Have you ever groaned either aloud or inside when you’ve seen yet another game with the same mechanic you’ve played scores of times already? Name names if you like!
13. Which films and songs bring a tear to your eye?
14. When have you been most scared in your life? I mean really scared.
15. Compatibility…I’ve never played it, but it sounds great. What’s your favourite memory of playing it?
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Daribuck1 wrote:
Thanks for taking me back... Way before Euros hit the scene.
Oh, come now, Euros have been around awhile, too. Remember that all those great 3M games were around pretty much since you were born. Granted, the convention scene was more wargames and "complex adult" strategy games during the time you're remembering, but the Euros were there, too. They just hadn't acquired a name yet.
helenoftroy wrote:
I noticed that you have ranked many party games very high, which is odd on BGG. Do you have an excellent group of people that play party games or do you see real quality in party games that have been overlook on BGG?
Well, I don't really have a group to play with these days. But over the years, I guess I've gravitated towards groups who do enjoy party games. Whenever I go to a convention, I hang with the crowd that enjoys Beyond Balderdash or Inspiration or Compatibility or even Pictionary. Of late, they tend to play too much Werewolf for my tastes, though, so maybe I picked a good time to lay low on the convnetion scene. So the answer to your question is surely that people just overlook the finer qualities of social/party games.
helenoftroy wrote:
I'm a little nervous about what you said about Citadels. I just ordered it from my FLGS for game night I started there. I was hoping it would fit with their cut-throat hack and slash gaming crowd while still showing them something a little different. Could you elaborate on why you didn't like it? From your other comment, it almost sounded like people were telling you what to play rather than teaching you how to play. Did I misinterpret that?
Don't let my negative attitude turn you off. You may well have a group that takes to Citadels wonderfully. Obviously, I'm in the minority on that particular game. I wouldn't say that it was a case of being taught via the "you do this" method. We were taught the rules and started playing. But part of the playing (at least with this particularly competitive group) was to tell others the best play (which, of course, was the best play for them, not for the person on turn). It was very reminiscent of Rette Sich wer Kahn or Kohle Kies & Knete--the point of the game is to tell others what to do, to be coercive, to use the "Jedi mind tricks." And I just don't enjoy that as much now as I did in, say, 1982.
helenoftroy wrote:
You also mentioned Geek question. I was addicted for a little while too but I remember enjoying reading your answers.
Thanks. It was a hoot and I do go back there from time to time, but it's just a little too much work. Now, if GeekQuestions could get on the front page like the forums and geek lists, then it would be a bit more paletable. As it is, it's just something like a side system that you have to hunt for (like GeekMod). I do wish some of the vocal GQ personalities were a bit more vocal over in the main BGG world, though.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
Like me, you are a vegetarian and enjoy party games. That’s a good basis for me to warm to asking you some questions.
You, sir, sound like a gentleman and a scholar. Please don't tell me if you're a Republican.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
1. Wow! you enjoy Party Games. Cranium is one of my top 10 games (I think much of the criticism it gets here is po-faced, posturing nonsense). It gets a 5 from you, which isn’t a bad score by your standards. Are Party Games overly marked down in general terms? Which should be in the top 100 here? Oh and you really should try Cranium Hoopla – it’s an excellent and very challenging game.
I'll take your word for Hoopla. I have so many party games (I'd suppose between 100 and 200) that I may never get around to playing them all, so I'm not really on the lookout for more. (Who am I kidding? I should just say definitively that I won't get around to playing them all.)

Anyway, there are plenty of party games that deserve Top 100 status--Compatibility, the collective group known as Murder/Mystery Party Games, some quiz show games like Jeopardy and Password, other word connection games like Password (think Oodles or Catch Phrase or Taboo), the groupthink parlor games (What Were You Thinking, Eye to Eye), the Categories parlor games like Facts in Five or Scattergories, any of the Fictionary/Balderdash/Ex Libris/Liebrary/Inspiration/Out of Context genre where you make up answers that you try to pass off as the real deal, Charades, and Ultimate Outburst. I think there are a couple of reasons that they don't get very high ratings. First, people on BGG are just game snobs and want their games to have a meaningful board, pawns, and analysis (with or without paralysis). I'll probably get slammed for this, but a lot of game geeks that I've met are not very social creatures (present company excepted, of course). Second, there are just too many of each genre. If you could rate just Murder Party Games as one entity or Bluff-the-answer as a single game, people might recall that they had fun with Evening of Murder's Love & Marriage episode or Beyond Balderdash 2, but all the little impostures dilutes the genre a bit (after all, did Malarky really add anything to that group of games?).

You may have noticed that I steered clear of trivia games. For the most part, they're not very good. But I will say that Smarty Party is a hoot and Wits & Wagers is even better. In short, it appears that designers have rediscovered how to make a trivia game fun without turning it into an "I'm smarter than you" festival (which makes the game drop down to the bottom of the rating scale). I said "rediscovered" because I've enjoyed the old NBC/Hasbro game It Takes Two and it's really old, but is a lot like team Wits & Wagers.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
2. You obviously used to enjoy wargames. You played a lot of the old AH/SPI classic awhile back, it seems. Are there any oldies that still stand up or new ones that you are keen to play that you haven't yet got to - and why those ones?
I really don't like wargames and never have. It was just the only thing that a lot of my friends were playing at the time, so I played them. I learned them. I even understood them. But I never liked them. Probably never will. To me, they have two problems--one is what Avalon Hill called "historicity," the ability to recreate actual history. What good is that? If I know the outcome, why play? To see if my army gets trounced a little less than the real shebang? The other problem is that they fall very much into the "experience" games that I dislike. Like the chrome games Twilight Imperium or War of the Ring or Mystery of the Abbey, there's a different game going on in the heads of those who enjoy those sorts of games than is actually taking place on the board. I don't really look at the theme of most games, just the rules and mechanics and I play to optimize my results. Wargames are just like the chrome games. I see a person moving a counter into a hex that happens to be one hex away from the opposition (zone of control, to those who look at the theme). The wargame/experience game gamer sees tanks rolling through the trees and envisions supply lines being severed. In almost every way, wargames and fantasy games are the same--adherants are seeing something beyond just the board and pieces. That's not for me. If I want that, I'll play an RPG. Or a How to Host a Murder episode.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
3. Which 5 games would you say were the most pure fun you ever played? You can define “fun” in anyway you feel is right. Given your eclectic tastes, I expect a cool answer here!
Hmmm. I should think awhile about this, but there's work to do here, so I'll give it a go.

Charades games are possibly the most fun games around. People will do crazy things to get you to say particular words. This really applies to Celebrities (Times Up) as well. I've seen otherwise reasonable people do some extremely questionable things to get someone to say "Helen Hunt" or "Jackie O." Let's just leave it at that, the kids may read this in a dozen years or so.

In my youth, I was obsessed with the SI Baseball game (see my avatar). I really don't play it except at the WBC now, but as a kid, we spent countless hours with five or six guys playing that game for hours on end. While not "fun" to the average game geek, we really loved discovering all about those players from the distant past like Edd Roush and Heinie Manush and Kid Nichols.

Beyond Balderdash had its day in the sun (much like Werewolf is now enjoying), where everyone laughed and people tried to make their answers the most outrageous. While I prefer the base game (trying to make others think your answer is the real deal), I understand the concept of "playing for style points," and can appreciate it. Some of those sessions were extremely fun. But in the end, I like the game as it was intended.

I must say that the all-day games of Civilization from 20 years ago were quite fun, too. I can't really see ever doing that again, but it was fun at the time. Of course, I approached it as a party game, with food and such. People did more socializing and spent more time away from the board than at it, so it wasn't what many people think of when they think of Civ.

And then there's Yahtzee or more correctly, Yahdice for the Palm. Yep, my wife and I (and a few select others) played that a lot one year (2001, I believe). It was mindless, but addictive, fun.

I can't say that those are the very best 5 fun games ever, but they're very very good. And the best I can do off the top of my head.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
4. Wallenstein…oh boy. Was it that bad? Didn’t get your comment about too much “confrontation.” Is that a bad thing?
Yes, direct confrontation is usually a very bad thing in game design, at least for me. And that game just dragged on forever. And ever. Amen.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
5. Are there any kids’ games that deserve to be rated higher than they are and why? Are there any you’d like to try out and maybe bring the kid out in yourself?
There are plenty. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that every kids game is underrated here on BGG because too many people rate them from an adult perspective. I may gnash my teeth if I have to play Candyland, but it's a great game for kids under 5. It deserves better. I can't really think of what "brings out the kid in me." That means that either I'm too reserved or too kidlike in "normal" mode. Hmmm.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
6. Which are the most interesting places you have visited, and where would you most like to go in the future (apart from Essen)?
I haven't done a lot of travelling. I've been out of the country twice--once to England and France in 1994 and two days in Toronto for work in 2002 (which wasn't a fun experience). I really enjoyed the England/France trip quite a bit and could see living in either of those countries, if only they weren't so far away. As to Essen, I have no desire to go. If they allow indoor smoking, I'm out. Not worth it on my poor ol' lungs. And it's hard to say where I'd like to visit in the future. I have no desires to do international travel now (too risky) and I've seen the Grand Canyon (on my 1982 drive from SC to Las Vegas) and Disneyland and NYC. Been to San Fran and that was interesting. Minneapolis would be interesting if it weren't so damn cold. Anywhere I am is fine with me, as long as we're not talking about being in the elements or prison.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
7. Should the melting glaciers of Greenland keep us all awake at night? …Where do you stand on the whole global warming issue? Is it the biggest problem facing mankind which some folks are choosing to ignore at their peril or a colossal red-herring that gets way too much media-coverage?
I'm not awake at night over Greenland's glaciers. But the whole global warming thing is an important issue. We are frittering away the future in so many ways (pension plans, Social Security, environment, dependance on fossil fuels, deterioration of human rights, isolation within neighborhoods, etc, etc). It's sick and very sad. But I do believe that everything works itself out if you let it. You can quote me on that. Mr. Bush & Co (and plenty of others) can do their best to destory our world, but short of Nuclear (should I say "nucular") Winter, it'll all probably fix itself in the end, thankfully.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
8. What are the best 10 albums of all time?
Hmmm. I'm not much into music, so here are some good ones: Billy Joel's The Stranger, The Eagles Greatest Hits, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd's The Wall, The Beatles Sgt. Pepper, The Beatles White Album, The Beatles Abbey Road, can't think of others right now.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
9. Which three characteristics in a person do you most like and dislike?
Like: cordiality, control, interest. Dislike: smoker, right-winger, body odor.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
10. Who were your 5 greatest people of the 20th Century? Name 10 if you really want to.
I've been dreading this one. I'm no history buff and for all I know I'll pick someone outside the 20th century, but here goes. Carl Sagan, John F. Kennedy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Effa Manley, John Lennon, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Branch Rickey, Hilary Clinton will enter this list some day and I’m sure there should be more women on it, but my brain is currently fried.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
11. You are, perhaps, known for being easy going about things you disagree with. Is there any type of comment on BGG that really tends to get you particularly frothing at the mouth or keen to unleash some invective? (aside from this question J )
Who started such a rumor? Anyway, I get a little irritated with some of the right wingers spouting off about how the current administration is acutally doing good things for the economy and worldwide human rights. But those are rare because, well, such statements are ultimately indefensible. So for the most part, there aren't many things I get too upset about. Well, except when people say that BGG ratings and my statistics are meaningless.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
12. Do you ever feel that Euro game design is getting a bit stale these days? Have you ever groaned either aloud or inside when you’ve seen yet another game with the same mechanic you’ve played scores of times already? Name names if you like!
Actually, no. All games are getting a bit stale these days, not just Euros. But that's fine. I've got hundreds of good games that were once fresh and if those fail me, I can take a slightly stale mechanic in new clothing and enjoy it. I'm no longer a member of the Boardgamers Cutting Edge Club. And that's a freeing feeling.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
13. Which films and songs bring a tear to your eye?
Can't say that there are any.
Admiral Fisher wrote:
14. When have you been most scared in your life? I mean really scared.
I'm sure I've been scared and blocked that out of my mind. I'm sure whatever the answer is, recessed deep in my psyche, it had to do with reasonably routine medical procedures--like when a doctor says, "Hmmm, let's investigate that lump in your neck, but it's just a routine test."
Admiral Fisher wrote:
15. Compatibility…I’ve never played it, but it sounds great. What’s your favourite memory of playing it?
I recall playing with some folks at the Gathering once--no couples, just random guys paired together. It was fun seeing how compatible some were (you'd think they should be a couple) and how totally opposed others were (I won't name names). But I've never had a bad experience playing this game. It's just that good.
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Congrats, Mr.Cox. I love your lists on consim.
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Joe Huber

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Hello, Randy. A few mostly random questions for you...

1) In your comment on Sports Illustrated Baseball, you name Jim Hegan as a player of old. Why Jim Hegan? He's one of the players I heard about growing up, as my mother is a fan of the Indians from the right era to have seen Hegan play...

2) Are you familiar with Nichols Law of Catcher Defense? Do you feel that it applies to Hegan?

3) You give Spinball one of its three lowest ratings with no comment with which to understand why. Therefore - why?

4) Have you ever played Spinergy?

5) Your opinion of Wildlife Adventure has already been referred to; what I find interesting is how much (8+ points) higher you rate Santa Fe. What makes Santa Fe so much better a game for you than Wildlife Adventure?

6) There is no question #6.

7) You rate one of my favorite baseball games - All-Star Baseball - quite low. Any particular reason why? And which edition have you played? (My experience with my mother's copy was far better than with an 80s edition of the game.)

8) While you challenged me to keep my game play records on BGG (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...), I note that you only list 258 total game plays in the past ~3 years. Is this accurate? Would you support adding to the game tracking functionality to support entering yearly in addition to daily statistics? And what about Naomi?

9) Whose opinions to you find most useful for discovering new party games?

9a) Do you find that reviewers who primarily review strategic games do as well when reviewing party games?
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Hey Randy, does it make you happy to be a post-coup GOTW or would you have preferred to be GOTW back when it was supposed to feature the "less known" personalities at BGG? Do you consider yourself well known here? Statistically speaking, what is the standard deviation of the well knownness distribution amongst all the GOTWs to date?
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Chris
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Randy Cox wrote:
Lemur wrote:
1) Do you go to gaming conventions? I already know about WBC, but which other ones do you go to? Which ones do you like the best? Which do you like the least (i.e., you went once, and won't go back)?

Well, I have attended the following in the past: WBC, The Gathering, Origins, Dragon*Con, Thing (the original one), Magnum Opus Con, Oasis of Fun, LobsterTrap, and probably other ones I don't recall. My favorite is The Gathering, not solely because I met my wife there. It's just a lot of fun. And there are none that were totally worthless, though there are some I probably will never go back to, and I can't say that WBC is off that list.


Of your list, the only one I've been to is WBC -- The Gathering, apparently, is 'invite only' - I haven't scored that yet

Randy Cox wrote:
Lemur wrote:
3) Do you read INDEPTH? If not, why not?

I was waiting for this one. Yes, I've read most of them. Sounds like you rule the club with an iron fist, making people log game length, rules teaching length, and ratings of the games for all your session reports. Damn fine stats, though.


Iron fist!?!?!?! (God, I hope none of my group is reading this thread!)

We do keep good stats -- I finally got around to uploading the file (35mb!!!) and instructions to BGG, under "Miscellaneous Game Accessory" -- you should check it out (of course, since its upload, I've changed one component, and found one error, so I'll be uploading V2 this weekend...)

Chris
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huber wrote:
1) In your comment on Sports Illustrated Baseball, you name Jim Hegan as a player of old. Why Jim Hegan? He's one of the players I heard about growing up, as my mother is a fan of the Indians from the right era to have seen Hegan play...
I hate to tell you this, Joe, but you're old. Hegan would be 86 years old now, if he hadn't died in 1984. I heard all about Dom Dimaggio and Art Houtteman growing up, too. And that makes me old(ish).
huber wrote:
2) Are you familiar with Nichols Law of Catcher Defense? Do you feel that it applies to Hegan?
Well, I never knew that someone named Sherri gets credit for this particular "Law" simply by posting it on some rec.somethingorother forum. The idea that defensive specialists (pitchers, shortstops, catchers) are piss poor hitters isn't all that new. Hell, back in the 1870s they made those sorts of comments. But I don't think that Hegan was all that great a defensive player (contrary to popular opinion). When I created my most recent game (Ultimate All-Time All-Star Baseball), he came out barely above average, when compared with the norms (after factoring out all those freebie putouts catchers get for strikeouts). But he did have a good arm. Basically, he was a better-than-servicable catcher who didn't kill you at the plate, so he got to play. That's still the way it works today.
huber wrote:
3) You give Spinball one of its three lowest ratings with no comment with which to understand why. Therefore - why?
Well, it's fine for what it is. But to me, it's more an activity than a game. Just like seeing how long you and a friend can keep a balloon afloat playing imaginary balloon-volleyball. Or just like tossing a deck of cards, one at a time, into a trash can. A way to while away the hours, but not something I want to do over and over. Much like Crokinole. As to why I have no comments, I put in ratings long ago when you could just enter a rating and nothing else in a "quick entry" mode. Can you still do that? Anyway, that's why I have a lot of ratings without comments.
huber wrote:
4) Have you ever played Spinergy?
Nope.
huber wrote:
5) Your opinion of Wildlife Adventure has already been referred to; what I find interesting is how much (8+ points) higher you rate Santa Fe. What makes Santa Fe so much better a game for you than Wildlife Adventure?
Well, there's a game in Santa Fe. Multiple players have the same exact destination. Unless I've completely forgotten, I believe that no one else would have the same animal you hold in Wildlife Adventure. Also, the face up cards (animals) that anyone can fulfill gives me that whole cooperative game heebie-jeebie feeling. But I'm willing to give it yet another try with those folk who swear by it (though I've played with huge fans of the game before and it was a yawn).
huber wrote:
6) There is no question #6.
Of course there is. And the answer is "Watermelon."
huber wrote:
7) You rate one of my favorite baseball games - All-Star Baseball - quite low. Any particular reason why? And which edition have you played? (My experience with my mother's copy was far better than with an 80s edition of the game.)
It's true that the older versions were much better (probably just nostalgia). I purchased the '80s version but never played it (just looked through it). The problem with the game is that there is no pitching element. I can pitch as well as Sandy Koufax, because those little spinners are all about the hitters. Otherwise, the concept is fair (though I think that the manufacturer took liberties with the charts, fudging in favor of popular power hitters).
huber wrote:
8) While you challenged me to keep my game play records on BGG (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...), I note that you only list 258 total game plays in the past ~3 years. Is this accurate? Would you support adding to the game tracking functionality to support entering yearly in addition to daily statistics?
That is, in fact, accurate. I have played only 258 games in that time (well, actually, it may be ever so slightly higer, as one couldn't log multiple playings of the same game on the same day until about three or four months into the logging project). I'd say I play about 1 game for every 15 or 20 I did in, say, 1995.
huber wrote:
And what about Naomi?
????
huber wrote:
9) Whose opinions to you find most useful for discovering new party games?
You know, I don't really look for particular people's opinions, just as I don't look for particular designer's games (unless I know them personally, of course). If I read an interesting comment about a game here on BGG (from anyone), then I look into it. That's how I found "Wits & Wagers" (one of the best "party" games in a long, long time). It was probably a comment on a forum and then I probably looked at ratings comments and read reviews before deciding that it was a game I had to have.
huber wrote:
9a) Do you find that reviewers who primarily review strategic games do as well when reviewing party games?
I don't usually pay attention to who the reviewer is, so it's hard to say. I would hope that a person who reviews a game (or any type) would be capable of reviewing pretty much any sort of game. Now, if you're looking for in depth reviews (cue Chris Palermo), then you probably need some expertise and a lot of reference to similar games. For that reason, wargames probably need a true wargamer for review purposes. But just about every "Euro" and "party" game could be reviewed by just about anyone.
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Randy Cox
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MisterCranky wrote:
Hey Randy, does it make you happy to be a post-coup GOTW or would you have preferred to be GOTW back when it was supposed to feature the "less known" personalities at BGG? Do you consider yourself well known here? Statistically speaking, what is the standard deviation of the well knownness distribution amongst all the GOTWs to date?

I'm not aware of a coup. I wasn't even aware that the original idea was to find "less known" BGG members, but then again, aren't we all pretty much unknown? I've read probably thousands of your comments and still don't know that you're not an 80 year old bag lady.

As to your statistics question, I think I smell a geek list.
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Randy Cox
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Lemur wrote:
We do keep good stats -- I finally got around to uploading the file (35mb!!!) and instructions to BGG, under "Miscellaneous Game Accessory" -- you should check it out (of course, since its upload, I've changed one component, and found one error, so I'll be uploading V2 this weekend...)
Yeah, I saw that file, and even downloaded it, though I don't know what the hell a .rar file is, so I don't have a clue what to do with it. What's wrong with plain ol' .zip files?
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Hi Randy,

I try to remember to ask each Geek of the Week these gaming related questions so to start with, here's the ever so slightly modified GeekSpeak BoardGameSpeak Hook questions for you:
Favourite game for d10-2 players
Favourite game for d10-3 players
Favourite game for d10-4 players
Favourite game for d10-5 players
Favourite game for d10-6 players
Favourite game for d10-7 or more players (and you may choose a Party Game here although I wouldn't meeple - my other confession is that I would be hard pressed to list just one game for most of the above)

Also Word Association Football , I will list a word and you list a game or games that you associate with it. If you like you can expand and tell us if you like it/them or hate it/them and possibly why. Mostly, if not exactly, the same list as before.

Space ships
Witches
Trains
Transport (may include trains)
Workers (paid or otherwise)
Trading
Building
Pink
Theme
Ships
Money
Purple
Government
Vampires
Infrastructure
Dice
Dinosaurs
Gemstones
Dragons
Beer
Wands

And last but not least, what are the last five games that you have played?
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Joe Huber

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Randy Cox wrote:
huber wrote:
1) In your comment on Sports Illustrated Baseball, you name Jim Hegan as a player of old. Why Jim Hegan? He's one of the players I heard about growing up, as my mother is a fan of the Indians from the right era to have seen Hegan play...
I hate to tell you this, Joe, but you're old. Hegan would be 86 years old now, if he hadn't died in 1984. I heard all about Dom Dimaggio and Art Houtteman growing up, too. And that makes me old(ish).


Yeah, I've known for some time that I'm old. The curiousity wasn't around that, but the particular selection of Hegan - he's a fine player, but not the first player from that era most people would bring up. I mean, he's no Ken Keltner...

Quote:
huber wrote:
2) Are you familiar with Nichols Law of Catcher Defense? Do you feel that it applies to Hegan?
Well, I never knew that someone named Sherri gets credit for this particular "Law" simply by posting it on some rec.somethingorother forum. The idea that defensive specialists (pitchers, shortstops, catchers) are piss poor hitters isn't all that new. Hell, back in the 1870s they made those sorts of comments. But I don't think that Hegan was all that great a defensive player (contrary to popular opinion). When I created my most recent game (Ultimate All-Time All-Star Baseball), he came out barely above average, when compared with the norms (after factoring out all those freebie putouts catchers get for strikeouts). But he did have a good arm. Basically, he was a better-than-servicable catcher who didn't kill you at the plate, so he got to play. That's still the way it works today.


Actually, Hegan being overrated defensively would be completely consistent with the law - the law suggests that catchers who aren't good hitters have overblown defensive reputations.

Quote:
huber wrote:
5) Your opinion of Wildlife Adventure has already been referred to; what I find interesting is how much (8+ points) higher you rate Santa Fe. What makes Santa Fe so much better a game for you than Wildlife Adventure?
Well, there's a game in Santa Fe. Multiple players have the same exact destination. Unless I've completely forgotten, I believe that no one else would have the same animal you hold in Wildlife Adventure. Also, the face up cards (animals) that anyone can fulfill gives me that whole cooperative game heebie-jeebie feeling. But I'm willing to give it yet another try with those folk who swear by it (though I've played with huge fans of the game before and it was a yawn).


FWIW, I find Santa Fe more enjoyable as well - I just find the difference much smaller.

Quote:
huber wrote:
And what about Naomi?
????


Random Electric Company reference. I'm old, remember?
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Congratulations Randy!

I enjoy seeing my geekbuddies making it into the spotlight and it's well deserved for you. I've got a bunch of questions from other Geek of the Week threads where I asked these same questions to those in the spotlight so if they seem familiar, that's why!

In no particular order...

1. Name one game that you would want to have while stranded for a year on a desert island. (Assume that either Ginger or Mary Ann is there with you as well).

2. Same question, but now the Professor is the only one stranded there with you.

3. Tell us about one game that you played that was amazing as far as the outcome. It could be some brilliant long term strategy that you had that worked (or didnt for that matter), It could be some phenominal string of luck that decided the game or something else that just made this one particular session stand out for all eternity.

4. What is your favorite game mechanic and why?

5. What color piece(s) do you prefer to play and why?

6. What is your favorite feature of BGG?

7. What one feature is missing or needs to be changed?

8. You have a whole day of gaming with some good gamer friends, a perfect place to play and no interuptions. Give us your gaming itinerary starting at 9am (or whatever time you prefer to start) and ending when you've had your fill. List the games and start times and why you picked it.

9. Give us the 5 most wanted games you are looking forward to playing (these can be out of print if necessary).

10. What new game(s) coming out are you most looking forward to buying in the coming months?

11. What is your favorite type of game? (i.e. Auction, negotiation ect...)

12. Any plans to attend BGG.Con next year?

13. Give me your top 5 games of all time (did someone already ask you that?)

14. Are you into miniatures games at all? (even if you don't own any) If, so tell us which ones and why you like it.

15. Your house is on fire and you only have time to save 3 games. What are they?

16. Who are the BGG'rs that you game with in real life?

17. Give us 5 of your favorite Geeklists and why you like them.

18. Give us the your favorite session report and if you pick Joe Gola's Amun Re, give us your 2nd favorite.

19. What's your hottest game right now?

20. What game is on you playlist for your next game session and why?

21. Who's the sexiest woman on the planet?

22. What is the CD that is currently in your car/stereo?

23. What was the last DVD you watched?

24. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

25. What's your favorite player aid for a game that's been uploaded on the Geek?

26. What are your favorite 3 Geeklists YOU have made and why do you like them so much?

27. Give us links to the 5 best pictures that you enjoy on the Geek.

That should keep ya busy for a while...feel free to break out your replies over a few posts if you need to. I hope to post some more personalized questions once I get a bit of free time but I didn't want to past up this opportunity!

Again, Congratulations Randy.

Scott
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Congrats, Randy, couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I have enjoyed playing in Randy's SSB tournaments at WBC and also having him play in a few of the tournaments I GM (he reached the final in one and his lovely wife Rachel reached the final in another).

I would like to go out on a limb and say of the three things he mentioned (many posts above, now), the one that is FALSE is that he was a bookie. I believe the other two to be true. Am I right?
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