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Subject: Geek of the Week #425 - Jens Granseuer (fizzle) rss

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Kurt R
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I had a great time as the honorary question answerer this past week, but I’m also happy to turn the light on someone else now as the tradition continues. The king is dead! Long live the king!

It wasn’t easy to choose someone to highlight, and in a way I was happy to be limited to finding someone outside my own country just to reduce the pool of applicants to parse! And I settled on…

Jens KH
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I came across Jens via the Amoeba game chat league, and his comments resonated with me. I’m always happy to find someone whose tastes mirror mine and who’s a committed game rater and commenter. And that Jens is. He’s got 740+ game ratings and comments at this point, so if you haven’t already, go geekbuddy this guy! Also, I had been looking for a copy of a Grand Cru expansion that was unavailable in the US, and Jens took the initiative to get a copy and send it to me. I thought that was so nice and thoughtful as we hardly knew each other at that point, and it stayed with me. I like people doing nice things to me.

So now, go be nice to Jens.

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Thank you, Kurt, for giving me the chance to get up onto this soap box!

I've been a board gamer for pretty much all my life, although there certainly have been lulls every now and then (mostly for video gaming, role-playing, and Magic: The Gathering in roughly that order). I never felt much like a board gamer, though (after all, playing games - family board games among them, this is Germany after all - is nothing special as a child), until I picked up HeroQuest at a flea market one day. It did fit in pretty well with the role-playing games we were into at the time yet didn't need quite so much preparation to play. It mostly got used as a substitute when not everybody could make it to a session and later was joined by Space Crusade. For both games we'd even create custom campaigns. Those were the times. Ahem.

When Magic: The Gathering came around that pretty much swallowed all other gaming for a while - mainly until a large part of my collection got stolen. That kind of made me realize how much I had invested in that one game and that I didn't want to do that again. So I quit. Or at least stopped throwing more cash at WotC. I still have plenty of cards to play (I believe I stopped buying cards around Weatherlight or so) but rarely do so these days due to lack of opponents.

Board gaming really took off again after I moved to Frankfurt in 2006. I joined several game groups and eventually came across the Rhein/Main gamers guild here on BGG which ultimately led to my signing up and jumping in. Up until then I had mostly used BGG as a read-only game compendium. These days I can mostly be found on the weekly discussion lists of the GCL Amoeba Division. I feel like I need to include a plug for my favourite and most used feature of BGG here: game comments in combination with the geek buddy system. They are so unbelievably useful, everybody go enter a few game comments right now!

Another awesome "feature" of BGG is, of course, the community itself which I got to appreciate when I travelled to Canada in 2010. I met a whole host of geeks there and was invited to a couple of fantastic game nights that made the trip all the more special. I'll surely try to do the same thing again in 2013 when the destination is New Zealand...

Anyway, games. I am a Eurogamer at heart but there used to be a time when I would play anything at least once. I feel like I am coming around on that although I still rarely actively oppose plays of new games. The ratings I hand out after those plays have recently led to one fellow on the new-to-you geeklists asking me whether I actually liked gaming. Absolutely! But a love of gaming does not necessarily translate to a love of all games. The thing is, I should probably play fewer new-to-me games. There's too much been-there-done-that going around, and playing great games with great people is simply awesome. But then, I enjoy learning new things as well and most of the time and with the right company even a dud can turn into some resemblance of fun (at least for a play or two; having to play such a game over and over again is an entirely different story). I wouldn't really want to miss either. After all, you can really only come to appreciate greatness if you have something to contrast it to. And if they make me love my good ol' favourites even more who am I to stop playing new games?


Poll: Two truths and a lie
Which is the lie?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
I almost got crushed in a car accident
19.2% 14
I almost got killed by board games
38.4% 28
I almost got eaten by a shark
42.5% 31
Voters 73
This poll is now closed.   73 answers
Poll created by fizzle
Closes: Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:00 am


Some questions to get you started (some shamelessly stolen from those I got last week):

d10-1 Do you have an old favorite game that you wax about nostalgically, but cannot quite bring yourself to get to the table again, and if so, why?

d10-2 What is the longest rules explanation you ever had to deliver or sit through?

d10-3 What game(s) would you want at the table if there were high stakes on the line?

d10-4 Go ahead and recommend to the rest of BGG one game you think is underrated.

d10-5 Care to tell us about your username and avatar?

d10-6 What “old”, already published game are you most excited about these days? What new, just released or about to be released game are you most excited about?

d10-7 Do you attend any conventions -- local, Spiel, etc.?


Man, I hope the shark story is true as I want to hear that story!
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Ludovic Roy
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Congrats Jens! Enjoy your week!
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Chris B
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Congratulations Jens! Enjoy your week! Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip to Canada. What part(s) did you visit?
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Tom Verdonck
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Congrats Jens! Have a fun week as GotW meeple
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G. Gambill
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Congratulations Jens! I'm looking forward to hearing more from you this week! Any friend of Kurt's is a friend of mine! A few questions for you:

What has been your favorite place to visit and why?

What was the most innovative game you have seen recently? What was the last one to make a big impression on you?

For many of us here in the United States, we have this image of growing up in Germany as a magical boardgame paradise, where the streets are paved with meeples, and the grocery store has the latest Essen released for 5 euros, and every family sits around together several times a week, turns off the TV and plays games together. How much of this is myth and how much is reality?

What is your favorite game mechanic or mechanism?

Do you prefer playing with 4 people or less, or 5 or more?

What's one interest you have outside of gaming that you have? What else are you passionate about?

That's about all from me. Enjoy your week!
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Jan
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Congratulations!

My usual questions:

- Have you ever or do you play rpg's? why not or which ones?
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Have you ever visited the VGG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterparts?

Have fun this week and may you play many games.
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Jens KH
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Luds wrote:
Congrats Jens! Enjoy your week!

Thanks, Ludovic. I'm afraid I can't another flag to your collection.
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Jens KH
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boisse wrote:
Congratulations Jens! Enjoy your week! Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip to Canada. What part(s) did you visit?

Thanks, Chris. I visited British Columbia and a little bit of Alberta. If you're interested in reading more about that trip I recounted the story here. Victoria was on the route as well, although we didn't have the best weather when we were there, unfortunately. (I also promised people there I'd be back one day. And I will.)
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Jens KH
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LordT wrote:
Congrats Jens! Have a fun week as GotW meeple

Thanks Tom. I always enjoy looking at the charts of your lists. goo
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Jens KH
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ggambill wrote:
Congratulations Jens! I'm looking forward to hearing more from you this week! Any friend of Kurt's is a friend of mine!

Aw, thank you Geof! And thansk for your questions!

Quote:
What has been your favorite place to visit and why?

That's an awfully difficult question. How big is that place allowed to be? Does "Earth" count?
If you want me to narrow it down further I'll go with Western Australia, simply due to the spectactular landscape. It was also my first trip out of Europe, and first times typically leave bigger impressions.

Quote:
What was the most innovative game you have seen recently? What was the last one to make a big impression on you?

I don't know if I'd call anything I've seen recently particularly innovative, to be honest. If anything, it seems to me like there has been a lot more movement and clever ideas in smaller games, recently. Maybe I should go with Love Letter which sort of kicked of the micro games trend.

Quote:
For many of us here in the United States, we have this image of growing up in Germany as a magical boardgame paradise, where the streets are paved with meeples, and the grocery store has the latest Essen released for 5 euros, and every family sits around together several times a week, turns off the TV and plays games together. How much of this is myth and how much is reality?

Not the grocery store thing, for sure. In Frankfurt where I live and which isn't exactly a small town we don't even have a proper FLGS. On the other you can find a decent selection of board games in many department stores It's also true that most families have at least a few board games (usually including a selection of Spiel des Jahres winners) in some closet. How often they actually get pulled out and played can wildly differ from case to case, though. When I was little we'd have a family game night (or, well, game afternoon, more likely) once every couple of weeks or so. With the advent of the computer age that started to happen less often, and I'm not really sure what the situation today is like.

Quote:
What is your favorite game mechanic or mechanism?

The first one that always comes to mind is "variable player powers" but that seems to be mostly a theoretic favourite since I can't really name any games that employ that mechanism that I love. In general, however, I like to say: "It's not the mechanism." A great mechanism can still make a bad game. Vice versa is more difficult but you don't necessarily need a great mechanism to make a great game.

Quote:
Do you prefer playing with 4 people or less, or 5 or more?

4 or 5 is both great. More than 5 is where it gets a little difficult (unless you're enough to split into several tables).

Quote:
What's one interest you have outside of gaming that you have? What else are you passionate about?

I love travelling, most especially hiking. White-water kayaking is also great but I only get to do that vry rarely. There's an uncomfortable middle ground between good enough that the beginner tours become somewhat boring and not good enough that I could tackle any of the advanced rivers.
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Jens KH
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Barad_the_dwarf wrote:
Congratulations!

Thanks Jan!

Quote:
- Have you ever or do you play rpg's? why not or which ones?

Hey, I can tell you didn't read my carefully crafted intro.

Back when I was into RPGs I mostly played Das Schwarze Auge with some Shadowrun and a very short excursion into Ruf des Warlock. I stopped playing mostly due to time constraints.

Quote:
- Have you ever visited the RPG side of the site? Do you contribute?
- Have you ever visited the VGG side of the site? Do you contribute?

I have visited both but don't contribute to either much because I hardly play any RPGs or video games any more. Contributing to BGG is often difficult enough as it is.

Quote:
- Will you congratulate you're RPGG and VGG counterparts?

I'll try to remember...
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Jens KH
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Oops, I almost forgot Kurt's warm-up questions... modest

enzo622 wrote:
Some questions to get you started (some shamelessly stolen from those I got last week):

d10-1 Do you have an old favorite game that you wax about nostalgically, but cannot quite bring yourself to get to the table again, and if so, why?

I guess that would be HeroQuest or Space Crusade for me. I loved playing those back in the day but if I brought them back to the table today, I'd be afraid that they'd seem quite shallow and somewhat boring. I'm not sure I'd want to try. The risk is rather small, though, since nobody I know owns them and I sold my own copies a couple of years ago.

Quote:
d10-2 What is the longest rules explanation you ever had to deliver or sit through?

I'm not really sure if it actually was the longest but I do remember that the explanation of Vinhos seemed to go on, like, forever. That one I was sitting through. I do teach fairly often but unless you count sessions that were repeatedly interrupted due to crying children and similar distractions nothing seemed egregiously long to me. Maybe you should ask the people who had to sit through those instead. laugh

Quote:
d10-3 What game(s) would you want at the table if there were high stakes on the line?

One major appeal of board games for me is that there is not much on the line at all. If I had to choose one, though, maybe Brass: Lancashire.

Quote:
d10-4 Go ahead and recommend to the rest of BGG one game you think is underrated.

According to my BGG stats page I should recommend Container but I don't think it actually needs a recommendation. Quite a few people know about it and enjoy it. It's just a very polarising game. So I'll go with Logistico instead, a very bare-bones yet fascinatingly clever pick-up-and-deliver game. Oh, it's dry for sure, but it doesn't feel like when you just managed to snatch a juicy load of cargo away before your rival could reach it and deliver it for maximum profit via an intricately orchestrated dance of boat, plane, and truck!

Quote:
d10-5 Care to tell us about your username and avatar?

My username developed because "Drizzt" was already taken everywhere I came so I just shuffled a few letters around until I got something that didn't sound too dumb. For my avatar I wanted something that related to both myself and gaming. One day I came across that image of a shark that I then modified until I was happy with it. I think it fits. ninja

Quote:
d10-6 What “old”, already published game are you most excited about these days? What new, just released or about to be released game are you most excited about?

I'm really happy about each play of a game in my group of favourites. When we're talking about new games I'm not particularly excitable.
I've pretty much given up doing any targetted research and just wait for the games to appear on my table. Someone in my circle of game groups is very likely to get it. I'll see about getting excited once I've played it. That said, I'm holding a bit of hope for Caverna: The Cave Farmers and Lewis & Clark...

Quote:
d10-7 Do you attend any conventions -- local, Spiel, etc.?

I typically attend Spiel - it's not that far after all - and the occasional local mini con. My girlfriend's dragging me along to a bigger meetup in Willingen in two weeks time, though. We'll see how that goes... kiss

Quote:
Man, I hope the shark story is true as I want to hear that story!

whistle
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Johannes H.
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Wow, what an awesome surprise to see Jens becoming Geek of the week.

Well deserved!!!


I know Jens through the Frankfurt BGG Guild and we play together very regular.
I guess we have now played way more than a 200 games together and I do not regret one game with him.
He is a very challenging opponent but in an awesome way. He plays very good but also is a very fair player who does not rely on whining his way to victory or tabletalk to improve his chances.

At the beginning of the month one of the first things to do at BGG is to see what he wrote on New-to-Me about the games we played.
In nearly every case I totally agree on his statement but could never have brought it down on point like Jens does.

He has a very keen eye and sees strategies and development faults the first time he plays a game, which would have taken me a few games to discover.
This guy lives boardgaming and knows a lot about the hobby. Take a look at his profile and see all the different games he played and on the comments he left: http://boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/fizzle?rated=1&subt...


Congrats Jens!!!

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Nicola Gambetti
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Congratulations, Jens, enjoy your week!
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Andi Hub
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Congrats Jens,

good to see a member of our local guild being the geek of the week. I look forward to playing more exciting games with you. As Johannes said, you are a tough opponent, but at the same time a good sport and just a nice person to game with.
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Arne
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congratulations on making Geek of the Week, Jens!

A few questions:

what...
1) ... did you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday?
2) ...'s your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
3) ...'s your favorite alcoholic drink?
4) ...'s your favorite food?
5) ...'s your favorite / most self-cooked recipe?
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Markus Weihrauch
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Congratulations, Jens!
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Ben
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Congratulations, Jens!
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Randy N
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Congrats Jens! Have a great week!
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Christopher Alegria

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Congratulations, Jens. Enjoy your GotW!
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Steve
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Congratulations Jens!

Enjoy your week of fame and glory.
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Congratulations Jens!

1) Truth or beauty?
2) Speed or precision?
3) Justice or mercy?
4) Steadfast or flexible?
5) Cynicism or naiveté?

Enjoy your week!
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Charles Bruni
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Oooo, HE actually sat at MY table and played a game with me(more than once).

Way to go - we havent played in some time. Lets see if we can make it before the year ends.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!!
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Jens Kreutzer
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Hey, Jens, great to see you here as Geek of the Week! Congratulations!
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Matt Riddle
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grats!!! what is your favorite non traditional pancake?
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