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Subject: Pre-Season Baghdad Boardgaming rss

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Eugene Zehner
United States
Saint Cloud
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I finally got some time in my schedule to play some games here. Let me explain. I love to play games and I've been deployed for the last 90 days to Iraq. I planned to start a boardgame group over here when I settled in but was to tied up in my job to really get anything started. There are a lot of hurdles involved to starting a group in a place that's none to friendly.

First, resources are scarce. We can only bring what we need and what we can carry. That means boardgames dribble down the list of stuff to take when deploying (I weigh 197 pounds. When I weighed in at the deployment site with all my Army Action Gear hanging off me I weighed in at 305). I have a great friend who beat the bushes to get some gaming companies to send over some of their games and so far only one has responded, Days of Wonder (God Bless 'em).

Second, I have to find a time and place and people to play, all of which are in short supply. I am routinely in my office before 0600 (6:00am) and leave around 2100 (9:00pm) every day, seven days a week.

So, I've got some DoW games and some free time showed up on my calendar. So I talk two of my seciton mates into playing some Ticket to Ride and Priates Cove with me ("Yes, they're exactly like Monopoly").

I chose TTR first because it's the easiest to teach someone who has never played a non-mass market boardgame (that's hard to say when TTR has sold like 500,000 copies). Sidenote: I had one "Let's just play" guy and one "Can we go over the rules again" guy. Great fun.

Three player TTR is a fun way to learn TTR. Not much conflict on routes and lots of open board. A great way to teach the game. My style is to play to teach ie not pay to much attention to my position but ensure that the guys I'm teaching get a good grasp of the game the first couple of times around and have a blast playing.

Needless to say, I still won the first go round but Joe and Bob really enjoyed the game. It wasn't really close. I kept all my routes and made them all. Neither one of the other guys felt comfortable with three. No major confusion with the rules either but ufamiliarity with the game and rules made for uncertain decisions.

They immediately wanted to start a second go round and since we had plenty of time, I figured we could still get in Pirates Cove later. This second game I saw the evolution of their strategic think. Both decided to keep all tickets and they both went for the big money routes (five and six train routes). With almost no coaching they both did very well and I got walloped! I managed to get 4,7, and 9 point destination tickets and spent the first turn drawing destinations. I managed to grab the New York - Seattle route but came up short at the end of the game to lose 22 points, ow!

They couldn't believe that their were games "like these" to buy. I think I made a couple of regular gaming buds, Yay!

I had a blast and was able to unwind. It was a great beginning to starting up a regular gaming group on the base. I just need more games now!

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Michael Jordal
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Austin
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Hey, my brother is part of the 101st over there. If you are stationed near them, I should give you his info, so he can game with you guys too. Just PM me.
 
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Jon Y.
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I was wondering just the other day if there were any board gaming soldiers over in Iraq. Very glad to hear that there are! Any chance to play games with Iraqis or are you more behind the lines? Anyway, thanks and keep up the good work (games and soldiering). =)
 
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Eugene Zehner
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Love to have more gamers participate. I'll pm you my contact info.

ALL: BTW, I'm on Victory Base Complex for those who need a frame of reference. Always looking for more gamers and games.

Take Care,
 
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Eugene Zehner
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Ska_baron wrote:
I was wondering just the other day if there were any board gaming soldiers over in Iraq. Very glad to hear that there are! Any chance to play games with Iraqis or are you more behind the lines? Anyway, thanks and keep up the good work (games and soldiering). =)


Thanks for your kind words!

Unfortunatly, I don't get to play games with the Iraqis. If I could find Iraqi gamers here I'm sure we'd get along fine. Gamers are a pretty tolerant bunch.

However, I've met two kinds of people here. Those who want to kill me and those who don't. I much prefer those who don't.

Take Care,
 
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Helen Holzgrafe
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So, if a random person (say someone on BGG like me) wanted to send a game to you or your base how would we do that?

I am sure that many of us would take the opportunity to donate some nice games to you if we knew how to go about sending them.

We could, I suppose, set up a money/game donation geeklist and get a big batch sent over at once.

Would that help you out? Could we send some to other bases, too?

-Helen
 
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James Forsythe
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hholzgrafe wrote:

We could, I suppose, set up a money/game donation geeklist and get a big batch sent over at once.
-Helen


I'd pitch in for that if someone takes it on.
 
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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Thanks for your service, Eugene.

For those who are interested in doing stuff for troops overseas, there are people who will hook you up with a soldier to sponsor. Try, for instance, Soldiers Angels at www.soldiersangels.com
 
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Eugene Zehner
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hholzgrafe wrote:
So, if a random person (say someone on BGG like me) wanted to send a game to you or your base how would we do that?

I am sure that many of us would take the opportunity to donate some nice games to you if we knew how to go about sending them.

We could, I suppose, set up a money/game donation geeklist and get a big batch sent over at once.

Would that help you out? Could we send some to other bases, too?

-Helen


Any game sent over here would be greatly appreciated and put to good use.

I may not be the best person to set up a geeklist but if anyone would like to take it on, I'd be glad to be the point of contact.

Here's what I've received so far:

Ticket to Ride
Pirates Cove
Memoir '44
Shadows over Camelot
(all from Days of Wonder)

Military mail normally needs to go to a specific individual for security and volume reasons. My mailing address is:

Operation Iraqi Freedom
MNC-I Chap
Attention: SGM Eugene Zehner
APO AE 09342

email either through BGG or outpostgamma@yahoo.com

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and support. I'm amazed daily at the generosity of people from all over the world to the troops in Iraq.

Take Care,
 
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Eugene Zehner
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forsytjr wrote:
hholzgrafe wrote:

We could, I suppose, set up a money/game donation geeklist and get a big batch sent over at once.
-Helen


I'd pitch in for that if someone takes it on.


Thanks, James

Take Care,
 
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Eugene Zehner
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robbbbbb wrote:
Thanks for your service, Eugene.

For those who are interested in doing stuff for troops overseas, there are people who will hook you up with a soldier to sponsor. Try, for instance, Soldiers Angels at www.soldiersangels.com


There are many great organizations for the troops overseas. Here's one of my favorites: www.treatthetroops.org

The cookie lady and her crumbs are a great bunch to support.

Take Care,
 
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