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Subject: Geek of the Week: Stephen Tavener (mrraow) rss

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Steffan O'Sullivan
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The Geek of the Week is supposed to choose someone he/she doesn't know for the next Geek of the Week. I'm going to test the limits of that rule by choosing Stephen Tavener. I've never met him, and don't know 1/10 as much about him as I'd like to, so I'm calling it a legal selection. Besides, it's time the GotW crossed an ocean again.

Truth is, though, I've been in email communication with Stephen for at least ten years. I used to hunt down old SF books for him and trade them to him for games. Over the years he has been a very generous trader, and clearly a fine person.

Here's the bio clip he sent me:

---begin quoted comments from mrraow---
I can't remember when I first learned chess and scrabble; feels like I have always known how to play; at high school, I discovered bridge and Dungeons and Dragons and Diplomacy, but chess, bridge and role-playing games were about all I played until well after I left university.

My first introduction to the one true faith came about after I attended a play-by-mail convention, and found a flier for a board games convention called FurryCon; this would have been around 1992, I think. With the encouragement of my then girlfriend, I signed up for the convention, and every event they listed... then phoned rounmd all my friends trying to find anyone who knew how to play Magic: the Gathering. The convention itself was great; the folks were friendly, and the games were amazing. The first German games I played were Bausack and Tal der Koenige, and I was completely hooked.

Over the next year or so, my girlfriend and I raided games shops and charity shops for every game in sight with very little discrimination, and by the next FurryCon, my house was bulging at the seams, so I took along 50 or so games for the bring and buy sale. That led to a thriving trade in used boardgames on the internet; though to be honest, it could only be considered profitable if you didn't consider the time I spent counting components and wrapping parcels.

I also started writing reviews for Games, Games, Games magazine, and got something of a reputation since I seem to like abstracts more than most... sign of a misspent youth! You'll find a number of the reviews here: http://www.scat.demon.co.uk/reviews.html though it's a little embarrassing to re-read them after all this time.

What else... well, I'm a freelance computer programmer, and seem to have spent most of my time working for companies with 'British' in the title; however, I did work for Zillions of Games for about a year, which was fun.

These days, I have two daughters; Clementine is three years old, Katie is 9 weeks, so I'm no longer selling games, but we're still finding time to play them somehow!

---end quoted comments from mrraow---

(Comment from sos1: Magic came out in 1993, so either your first FurryCon was then or the phoning around to the friends was for a later con.)

So, Ladies & Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Stephen Tavener (mrraow), who will be GotW for eight days a week this week. I won't be reading anything this week, but will check in when I get back. To get the ball rolling, I'll make some requests and ask a few questions:

1) Please tell us two truths and a lie about yourself, so that the participants can try to guess which is which.

2) Please tell us about your wedding party! (And/or get Rosie to log on and tell us!)

3) Would you please tell us a funny story about your kids? Your cats? Rosie?

4) Shirts! How long have you had your taste in shirts? What started it?

5) Tai Chi, Go - are there any other Asian pursuits you enjoy?

6) Are you still "Mr. Abstract," or have you fallen to the spell of theme?

7) Did you ever read all those books I found for you?

Take it away, Stephen!

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Stephen Tavener
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Thanks for the fine words, Steffan!

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1) Please tell us two truths and a lie about yourself, so that the participants can try to guess which is which.

Hmmm...
1. My worst financial mistake cost me half a million dollars.
2. I wear women's clothes.
3. I won second prize in a poetry contest.

Quote:
2) Please tell us about your wedding party! (And/or get Rosie to log on and tell us!)

I'll have a word with Rosie, but yep; instead of a dull, boring reception, we decided to have a games convention. We took over a hotel in Retford for the weekend, and had over 100 guests, a silly drive, several freeforms; the whole caboodle. We didn't actually get to play many games in the end, being far too busy meeting our public, but it was great to be surrounded by games and gamers! Other highlights of the wedding; I wore a tie-dyed suit specially made for the occasion (as one attendee said: "This is the only convention that I have attended, where the question on everyones' lips is: what will the groom be wearing?"), and the wedding cake was based on the Chocolate Wedlock recipe in Marcel Desaulniere's excellent book "Death by Chocolate". Very nice it was too!

The convention has taken on a life of its own; Consummation 2 happened around this time last year, and I believe there will be a Consummatiion 3 in the next year or so. One of the parts of the convention itself that I enjoyed most was Cosmic Convention - a group of cosmic encounter-like powers that we printed on badges and dished out to the attendees, giving them meta-powers which affected every game that they played. Many of the powers which actually affected the game never got used; but they were great ice-breakers. More details on Consummation 2 here:
http://www.consummation.net/ and on Cosmic Convention here: http://www.scat.demon.co.uk/consummation/cosmic.html

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3) Would you please tell us a funny story about your kids? Your cats? Rosie?

I'll give you an IOU on this one... later in the week, when I have more time!

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4) Shirts! How long have you had your taste in shirts? What started it?

Not just the shirts; as I sit here typing this, I'm wearing a very gaudy tie-dyed top, and rainbow trousers(TM)! It all started with one shirt that I saw at Camden market when I was at university; bright orange and yellow, it depicted some kind of molecular model, and I just had to make it my own. It was sufficiently garish, that it oten became a talking point, and before long, friends started buying me bright shirts as presents, then another friend saw some trousers, and bought them for me, and it all kind of spiralled out of control. Beforer I knew it, I had a wardrobe full of garish clothes, and few clothes for work. Then I started working for the BBC, and now the work clothes are buried at the back of a wardrobe somewhere.

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5) Tai Chi, Go - are there any other Asian pursuits you enjoy?

That's just about it; but then, either one could consume my life.

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6) Are you still "Mr. Abstract," or have you fallen to the spell of theme?

Now, there's a loaded question. I have always liked games with strong themes/narrative AND games of pure skill; and disliked games which are mostly determined by luck. I drifted into the role of abstract games guru because I seem to enjoy them more than most people; and enjoy variety enough to search for the obscure ones. I don't find myself preferring themed games over abstract ones, but I am disappointed by what I'll call dishonest abstracts - games that purport to be themed, but where the mechanisms don't really engage with the theme are off to a bad start. Goa and St. Petersburg are examples of games I like less than the majority of the geek for this reason.

What really determines which games I play most is the people who I can persuade to play with me, and in that sense, abstracts lose out. A few of my current games group do like abstracts, but most of them are strictly two player games, so I seldom have the right conditions to play.

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7) Did you ever read all those books I found for you?

Every single one! For most of my working life, I have spent 2 hours a day or more commuting, which adds up to about a book a day if we're talking 60s SF; or a book a week, if we're talking Umberto Eco, who takes me much longer to read on a word-for-word basis than anyone else; possibly because the language is translated. In my library, I have over 5,000 fiction books on my shelves, and have read them all at least once bar about 100, which are in my to-be-read pile.
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Robert Wesley
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I'm gonna 'say' that the LIE is the "poetry" one, since YOU couldn't "pass mustard" as you have to 'ingest' THAT firstly, in order to accomplish the "passing" of such. How about it?
surprise
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Billy McBoatface
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Hi Stephen! I've seen your avatar around BGG from time to time and noticed that you were often chatting about abstracts. I like them a lot too; in fact, until I found Settlers, I really was only interested in abstracts and card games. (Now of course my horizons have broadened.)

You mentioned that you worked for Zillions of Games for a year. I have some questions about your work there, and about the company itself. Of course, feel free to ignore any questions that are too close to "secret business information."

First, what did you do there? Write the interfaces, general infrastructure, or the AI, or both? Did you find game-related programming to be more fun that other programming, or did you feel that a line of code is a line of code?

Now, more about the company itself: How big is Zillions? Is it just a few guys' hobby business, that they do in their spare time, or does it actually have full time employees, and the revenue to pay them? Do you know if they have any plans for future directions, or are they intending to just add zillions more games?

Thanks!
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Stephen Tavener
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GROGnads wrote:
I'm gonna 'say' that the LIE is the "poetry" one, since YOU couldn't "pass mustard" as you have to 'ingest' THAT firstly, in order to accomplish the "passing" of such. How about it?
surprise

Always wanted to do this:

All will b revealed at k

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Robert Wesley
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laugh I 'see' THRU your little "guise" here and RAISE you "the TITANIC!"
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Stephen Tavener
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wmshub wrote:
Hi Stephen! I've seen your avatar around BGG from time to time and noticed that you were often chatting about abstracts. I like them a lot too; in fact, until I found Settlers, I really was only interested in abstracts and card games. (Now of course my horizons have broadened.)

I have seen your avatar around the place too, and thoroughly approve - if I were going to settle down to a single game (which ain't going to happen) go would be a strong contender. As it is, mostly I just read puzzle books, so my life and death is somewhere around 5 kyu, but my overall play is somewhat weaker.

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First, what did you do there? Write the interfaces, general infrastructure, or the AI, or both?

The programme (version 1.1) already existed. Most of what I did fell into the following categories:
- genuine bugfixing
- making special versions of zillions that were locked so as to play a single game, the idea being that the game's inventor could sell the package, and zillions would get royalties.
- the best bit: very often, we'd get a bug report from a customer, who wrote something along the lines of "I was playing game X, and zillions made a stupid move instead of move y. I think you have a bug.", and I had to investigate. About 90% of the time, this resulted in a message back to the customer like "Zillions didn't play at y because it would lose the game immediately afterwards if you played at z". This kind of scenario was actually more fun than most jobs because I got to learn the games, figure out how to play, then solve the puzzle. Such hardship .

The other bit I liked was working from home. There is something very decadent about pulling on a dressing gown, making yourself a coffee, and starting work. With a 3-year old in the house, it wouldn't work these days of course!

Quote:
Now, more about the company itself: How big is Zillions? Is it just a few guys' hobby business, that they do in their spare time

Yep - Mark and Jeff both had day jobs, and had been writing chess playing programmes as a hobby for years. For a while, the Mind Sports Olympiad were paying them to provide a games web service, and they had enough revenue to pay the likes of me; but I can't comment on what they are up to now - I haven't been in touch with them for several years.
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I'm starting to learn Go. So if there was one book or website or tutorial or advice you would give to a beginner Go player what would it be.
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nnf1 wrote:
I'm starting to learn Go. So if there was one book or website or tutorial or advice you would give to a beginner Go player what would it be.

Hmmm... the first advice I have is, start on a small board, and don't be too quick to move up to a larger board - I think a lot of people are put off the game because they want to jump straight into a 19x19 game, then have no understanding of what they are doing.

The book that got me hooked on go was "Graded Go Probems for Beginners", volume one. Lots of puzzles that are quite easy to solve once you know the rules, but you learn a lot in the process; very sneaky!

The most inspirational go book I have read is "The Direction of Play" by Takeo Kajiwara, which is way beyond my level of play, but he manages to convey the depth of his feeling for and understanding of the game very well. Random example:

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Every time you place a stone on the board, you are exposing something of yourself. It is not just a piece of slate, shell, or plastic. You have entrusted with that stone your feelings, your individuality, your willpower, and once it is played, there is no going back. Each stone carries a great responsibility on your behalf.

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Simon Robinson
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Hi Stephen..can't help noticing your badge (Matthew 7:16)which (Google informs me...) is
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"
Care to enlighten us as to the context?
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Bluenose wrote:
Hi Stephen..can't help noticing your badge (Matthew 7:16)which (Google informs me...) is
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"
Care to enlighten us as to the context?

Apart from the very worthwhile message, it's a pun. We named our first daughter Clementine. When our second daughter was born a few weeks ago, we went through lots of fruity possibilities (Olive, Melanie, Apple...) but in the end, decided that we couldn't carry it off, and settled for Katherine. Fortunately; or unfortunately if you prefer, a friend pointed out that Katy is a variety of apple, so the banner gets to stay
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Katy is also a monstrously potent single variety Cider by Thatchers (7.4% lardy! Lardy!)
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Preston Fuller
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#3 about Poetry is a lie because...

You once invested half a million on a line of women's clothing that men could wear. It did OK in test-market but that test-market was limited to P-Town on Cape Cod but the product itself was distributed in Wal-Marts in Kansas, Nascar Collectible shop and Cabella's.
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Had to jump in and say "Hi". You could mention that you are a denizen of www.Gamerz.net my personaly favorite spot for abstract gaming, and are one of we few, we happy few, we band of brothers who have added games to the mix. My first endeavor there, in fact, was a small contribution to your Dvonn implementation!

You are also the only person I know on that server who fields multiple personalities!

I'm going to guess that the $500k is a lie simply because it is so mundane. It is a bit vague also. Arguably I have turned down job offers, for example, that might well have made me $500k or more richer than I am today shake.

I know we share a great enthusiasm for project GIPF, and you turned me on to Gyges (even though it took about a year to finally land a copy!). Most recently we are both enthusiastic supporters of Santorini.


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Stephen, a few questions for you:

1) What are some games (if any) for which you've traded that have since become long-term favorites?

2) Are there any game trades you once made that you now regret?

3) What multi-player perfect information games (if any) do you consider not to be broken, and why?

4) Do you play any musical instruments? If so, please elaborate about which ones and what types of music you like to play, especially if they differ from the types of music you enjoy listening to.

5) Is boating really that much more fun than flying? Do you ever go punting on the Thames?

6) Have you ever traversed the Chunnel? If so, how would you describe the experience, especially in contrast to a (probably much shorter) trip on the Underground?

7) Have you ever gotten any backlash from rating Modern Art a 10 and Ra a 3, which are pretty much at opposite ends of your rating spectrum?

8) Speaking of spectrum, do you do your own tie dying? If so, what types or brands of dye do you prefer? Have you posted any photos of your creations?

9) Cats? Please explain. No really, what are they all about?

10) What's either the furthest from home or the most exotic place to which you've traveled, and why did you go there?

My guess for the lie is number one. Why would a Brit convert something as sad as a huge financial loss to dollars?

Clark
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lyman wrote:
Had to jump in and say "Hi". You could mention that you are a denizen of www.Gamerz.net my personaly favorite spot for abstract gaming, and are one of we few, we happy few, we band of brothers who have added games to the mix. My first endeavor there, in fact, was a small contribution to your Dvonn implementation!

Hi! Yep, I was playing on Richard's PBeM Server long before it was at www.gamerz.net - I remember several changes of URL before it got its' own server and a permanent location. It all started with a review copy of Trax - I played a few games with a friend, and found it to be flawed; first player just built out to a line of 8, and there didn't seem to be a defense. So, I contacted the supplier, Dave Lunn; who introduced me to the server, and proceeded to stomp all over me.

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You are also the only person I know on that server who fields multiple personalities!

I started that when the level of Zertz play got dangerous on the server so I asked Richard if I could have a *serious* account, where I thought about my moves (scat), and a throwaway account that I used when I was at work, where I played by instinct (mrraow). These days, I don't have time to think about my moves at home, so scat is more or less dormant.

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I know we share a great enthusiasm for project GIPF, and you turned me on to Gyges (even though it took about a year to finally land a copy!). Most recently we are both enthusiastic supporters of Santorini.

Amen! All excellent and original abstracts, for those who don't know them.
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CDRodeffer wrote:
1) What are some games (if any) for which you've traded that have since become long-term favorites?

Now there's a question! I have been trading for a long time befroe BGG came along, and my site selling boardgames often had a notice on the front saying "trades strongly preferred", so most of the details of the trades are buried in what passes for my long term memory. Still, I remember Vector, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, 5ive Straight, Can't Stop, Twixt, Polarity, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Sopwith, Mentalis, Mystery Rummy (all of them), have all been trades. I have also traded for 3 different editions of RoboRally over the years, but the game was already a favourite at that point.

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2) Are there any game trades you once made that you now regret?

In some senses; there are a few people I regret trading with, because the games never turned up; and there are a few stupid trades I did where the postage on my games was almost as much as it would have cost to buy the game(s); and a few games that I have traded away, then reacquired at a later point, but I never regret the opportunity to try a new game, even if it turns out to be terrible!

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3) What multi-player perfect information games (if any) do you consider not to be broken, and why?

Oooh! You had to bring that up! For the benefit of the rest of the audience, if you have a game with no luck and no hidden information, then in a two player game, it's a battle of wits to the death - you make fewer mistakes than your opponent, and you win; huzzah! With three players, however, it is entirely possible that you make fewer mistakes than anyone else at the table, and still lose due to the actions of another player. "Broken" is perhaps the wrong word, but with more than two, I'd gemerally prefer to play something with more randomness (for some definition of teapot). My favourite exception is Gute Nachbarn by Alex Randolph, where (in a 3-player game) the scoring mechanism means that the player who dooes the best job of picking on the player to their left wins the game; while there are still elements where another player can throw the game, there is a clearly defined goal that you can aim for despite the 'noise' of another player. I also enjoy Schlangennest, but the problems I complain about are all present; I just like wiggly games!

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4) Do you play any musical instruments? If so, please elaborate about which ones and what types of music you like to play, especially if they differ from the types of music you enjoy listening to.

Nope; despite coming from a fairly musical family, I got the wrong end of the gene pool; my grandfather played violin, my father and brother play the guitar (acoustic and bass, respectively).

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5) Is boating really that much more fun than flying? Do you ever go punting on the Thames?

*laugh* I don't really enjoy either; my one experience of boating scarred me for life, and my arms get tired when i try flying. Tai Chi Chuan is the only physical activity I enjoy... the rest of the time, I am likely to have my nose in a book, or am playing a game.

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6) Have you ever traversed the Chunnel? If so, how would you describe the experience, especially in contrast to a (probably much shorter) trip on the Underground?

Very civilized; nice big tables - I took a go set and a set of go problems, and had a pleasant chat about go with the Detectives who were checking for forged passports!

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7) Have you ever gotten any backlash from rating Modern Art a 10 and Ra a 3, which are pretty much at opposite ends of your rating spectrum?

Not yet...

Quote:
8) Speaking of spectrum, do you do your own tie dying? If so, what types or brands of dye do you prefer? Have you posted any photos of your creations?

Yes, we have done some tie-dyeing - usually using the Dylon cold dyes. It's very difficult to buy tie-dye underwear and socks, for example. When Clementine was born, not only did we tie-dye some baby grows, but so did two sets of friends I'm not sure anyone wants to see my underwear, but I'll see if I can find some pictures of the baby grows.

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9) Cats? Please explain. No really, what are they all about?

Well, when I bought my house, it came with mice. I recommend cats as the most humane mouse traps on the planet; once Scaredy moved in, the mice moved out; she caught a couple, but most of them just upped shop and went somewhere else. probably next door devil

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10) What's either the furthest from home or the most exotic place to which you've traveled, and why did you go there?

Malaysia - my parents paid for a 5* holiday in Malaysia and Singapore - then got an invite to the Queen's Garden party. For some strange reason, they decided meeting the queen was more important than their holiday, so my brother and I got their tickets. It's a lovely neck of the world and my then girlfriend was Malaysian, so I had a native guide; and got to see some of the real country rather than just the tourist traps

Still, I confess, I don't usually travel without a good reason, like a games convention
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Chris
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Hi Stephen,

Four questions for you:

1) Do you go to gaming conventions (besides the afore-mentioned Consummation Con)? 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.

3) Do you/Have you played any sports simulation games? Which are your favorites? Which don't you enjoy?

and, in a moment of blatant self-promotion:

4) Do you read INDEPTH (www.libogroup.com/indepth.htm)? If not, why not?

Congrats on being named "Geek of the Week!"

Chris
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Stephen:

It is great to see you honored as Geek of the Week, you are the first Geek of the Week I have met personally! Your game collection is much bigger than mine, but we both have rated Brittania. You rate it a 4 but claim it to be one of Rosie's favorites, I think it is a great four player game, what is it you dislike about it, and what does Rosie like about it!. I hope when I am in England again we can give it a go! I still have fond memories of my visit to your house, thanks again for having me. Mind the Gap!!
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Timothy Hunt
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Stephen,

It's been a long time, and you might be interested to know that despite being turned off to RoboRally by being introduced to it at 2am at a FurryCon with your Ice board, I have now come to really enjoy the game while playing it here in St Louis, MO (and, in fact, play regularly with Mark Sellmeyer, who has played RoboRally online with you).

So, questions:

1) What do you think of the new edition of RoboRally? What changes were good, what changes were bad?

2) What's your favourite RoboRally board that a) you created and b) someone else created?

3) When do you think you might take a trip across the pond to come visit us in St Louis (we have a group with about 150 official members, and we meet about 6 times a month currently, with typicall attendance of between 10 and 20)? It would be good to see you and Rosie again and meet your family, and I'm sure the RoboRally fans would enjoy meeting you.

Timothy
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Lemur wrote:
1) Do you go to gaming conventions (besides the afore-mentioned Consummation Con)? Which ones do you like the best? Which do you like the least (i.e., you went once, and won't go back)?

We used to attend Furrycon (RIP), RamsdenCon, MayCon, ManorCon and MidCon; and Essen if that counts. Since Clementine was born, that has plummeted to around 0 - we tried a few, but with all the childwrangling that goes on, we found that we got to play fewer games over the course of a weekend than we usually do on a Thursday night, so conventions are on hold Can't think of any that I wouldn't go back to, given the opportunity.

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2) What is your all-time favorite gaming related story

OK, this is many years back now, so some of the details may be fuzzy. The game is Löwenherz, the occasion is the finals of Intergame, a few years back. It was the last round of the event, and our game had run long; lots of negotiation and sweating. In the closing stages, the leading player made a mistake; he built an enormous territory, which I managed to chop into little pieces; leaving him in last place - shame, 'cos apart from that blunder, he deserved to win. After that, one player was close to me; and the other two were takimng up the last two places, in one order or another. Last two rounds of the game, and quite a crowd had gathered - I picked a fight with the player in 4th place, and the negotiations started; he needed the card to come 3rd, I mostly needed the money. After a few minutes of haggling, I managed to persuade him that this guaranteed him 3rd place, and he couldn't place any higher, and persuaded him to give me all of his money... which was enough to guarantee me the winning card in the next and final card. Think the game lasted over 2 hours, and I was exhausted at the end of it. At this point, my team mates told me why there was a large crowd; if I won the game, our team won the event - huzzah! Fortunately, I wasn't aware of the fact at the time. The details may be fading, but the feeling of catharsis at the end of the game will be with me forever. I still have the game, but don't think I have played since; it could only be an anticlimax.

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3) Do you/Have you played any sports simulation games? Which are your favorites? Which don't you enjoy?

Only very fluffy or abstract ones, like Um Reifenbrite, Der Ausresiiser, Bladder, Phutball, Ave Caesar... I don't really think this is the kind of thing you are thinking of!

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4) Do you read INDEPTH (www.libogroup.com/indepth.htm)? If not, why not?

No time, I'm afraid - if it isn't on BGG, then I'm probably unaware of it thse days
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Stephen Tavener
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Bannor2000 wrote:
It is great to see you honored as Geek of the Week, you are the first Geek of the Week I have met personally!

Hi!

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we both have rated Brittania. You rate it a 4 but claim it to be one of Rosie's favorites

Well, bear in mind that I last played it about 10 years ago but from memory, it was too long, and you often had a sensation that the game was playing you. If I want to play a game along these lines, I'd reach for Vinci now, without hesitation - especially with 4.

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I still have fond memories of my visit to your house, thanks again for having me. Mind the Gap!!

Great - see you again one day?
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Timotheous wrote:
despite being turned off to RoboRally by being introduced to it at 2am at a FurryCon with your Ice board

Hi Timothy say hi! to Mark for me as well.

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1) What do you think of the new edition of RoboRally? What changes were good, what changes were bad?

Well it's on my wants list, but I haven't picked up a copy yet; so no comment; sorry!

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2) What's your favourite RoboRally board that a) you created and b) someone else created?

a) The Ice Rink, naturally; the board is very simple, but the frictionless surface really makes you think, and there is a surprising amount of carnage, which I always admire in a game of RoboRally!
For those who haven't seen it:
http://www.scat.demon.co.uk/free/RINK.JPG
http://www.scat.demon.co.uk/free/ICERINK.DOC

As for one someone else created, my favourite web site for RoboRally boards http://www.robo-factory.de/ seems to have vanished but they had a great board with what are best described as revolving bookcases; each bookcase is a block of 4 squares split by a wall, which revolves through 180 degrees each phase.
Edit: pretty sure the board was called "Get Giddy" - try: www.robofactory.de/robofactory/media/boards/RR-GET+GIDDY.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://web.archive.org/web/20041112055543/www.robofactory.de...
The board is a maze of sorts, but fairly fast, and rather different. The boards I displike most have a lot of water, which rewards lucky draws (move 2/move 3), and slows the game down.

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3) When do you think you might take a trip across the pond to come visit us in St Louis

A nice thought, but Katie is only a little over 2 months old, so it will be a few more years before the family is travelling that far - or I will be deserting my family - maybe one day, since we have a lot of friends on your side of the pond, many of whom we have never met.
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Couldn't happen to a nicer Geek! Congratulations!
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I managed to find some of the robofactory boards and option cards on my hard disc. No instructions, though - PM me with questions if you get stuck.

http://rainbot.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/rr.zip (8mb)
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