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Subject: Admiral's Orders Make Me Sad rss

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John Carpenter
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The locations I've played with have never allowed Admiral's Orders (at one we took a vote and unanimously took a pass), and I've never been a huge fan. It was an experiment by Wizkids to change up perceived clumping issues in the meta and I think while the idea has merit for possible reintroduction in a less clunky form, the current orders have run their course for months.

All that said, the Orders were pretty definitively supposed to be for OP4 only, and while TOs can do what they want to make the game "exciting", I would be incredulous if any of the locations I went to were still using them. They're the soured milk of attack wing -- way past their Best Before date.

So why do people in the Strategy forums and elsewhere keep creating builds that use the Orders?! Every time I see someone suggest they have a great build, or some unstoppable combo, or a thread that screams "look how awesome this configuration is!" I immediately press the back button when I see use of the Admirals Orders.

Why do people keep creating builds with them? Why would any TOs still allow them? Do people actually use them in casual play?

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Jon NyD

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Up until this month they were fully pushed and encouraged by Wizkids, so TO's had felt it almost a need to use them.

I've played at a couple places that allowed them in OP6 because that's what people have been used to, I fully expect they won't be used anymore at any of the venues I play at after OP6. Now wizkids suggest "rarely".

I don't bother when playing casually, because usually we're playing faction pure and an odd number of points.

Give it time, they'll be gone and we'll have something else completely shake up the boards and the meta
 
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Bob Anderson
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ColCarp wrote:
Why do people keep creating builds with them? Why would any TOs still allow them? Do people actually use them in casual play?


People still are creating them because people still use them. As much as I dislike them, people will continue to use them long past OP4 (remember, the new expiration date is "At the TO's discretion").

I don't want to use them, but if I'm at a venue that allows them, I'm going to use them because failing to do so will leave me behind in the pack.
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Ted Kay
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ColCarp wrote:
The locations I've played with have never allowed Admiral's Orders (at one we took a vote and unanimously took a pass), and I've never been a huge fan. It was an experiment by Wizkids to change up perceived clumping issues in the meta and I think while the idea has merit for possible reintroduction in a less clunky form, the current orders have run their course for months.

All that said, the Orders were pretty definitively supposed to be for OP4 only, and while TOs can do what they want to make the game "exciting", I would be incredulous if any of the locations I went to were still using them. They're the soured milk of attack wing -- way past their Best Before date.

So why do people in the Strategy forums and elsewhere keep creating builds that use the Orders?! Every time I see someone suggest they have a great build, or some unstoppable combo, or a thread that screams "look how awesome this configuration is!" I immediately press the back button when I see use of the Admirals Orders.

Why do people keep creating builds with them? Why would any TOs still allow them? Do people actually use them in casual play?


It sounds like you have made up your mind about the AO's already, which is your prerogative. Have you played with them at all, firsthand, or is your experience purely speculative?

I can see where players may be ready for a change, but the orders hardly created an unfair advantage for one player over another. As all aspects of a particular venue fall under a TO's purview, I imagine that some have decided they would prefer to keep them around.

The orders were introduced in a very passive way, so individuals have free reign to determine their level of involvement with them. I don't build with them in mind specifically, but venues that allow them are still in my area, so it is a consideration I make when playing there. United Force gave my OP6 Winning Cardassian Echelon build two Cloaking Devices and a Breen Aide, which certainly didn't hurt at all. I'd hate to shortchange myself in such an environment.

While they may have only been intended briefly, they have never been either required or restricted, leaving much leeway for implementation by TO's.
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The current AOs had a place in the game when they were first announced remember at that point we only had core and waves 0-1.

1. Cloaking was the king of the game (at my OP2 I think there was only 1 non rom/klingon build).

2. We were seeing Picard fly anything but a fed ship, a limited card selection made by not cross factioning you were giving up a lot of options.

3. Very few upgrades were being used on a ship, as you could only get one action a turn on most ships.

4. There were less ways to get free actions making two upgrade heavy ships much harder to run.

The problem with AO is they came to late, by Jan we had wave 2 and flagships which I think really changed the meta. One of the keys of attack wing is action management and wave 2 added many more options for this. With all the added action options in wave2 (Worf, U.S.S. Excelsior, rand, Dukat, etc) you can now run a more action heavy build and still be getting tokens to trigger on. Flagships giving a free bar action only increased this.

My group used AO through month 6 but I don't see us using the current ones anymore as they have played out their usefulness. I think they now are limiting builds more then help drive new options like they did at first. And I do think that WizKids should have hard ended the current ones after February.

I am very interested in the idea of AOs being build into future OPs giving people reason to use themed builds I do think helps the game.

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Scooter of the Ancients
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Skyguard wrote:

I am very interested in the idea of AOs being build into future OPs giving people reason to use themed builds I do think helps the game.


Second this.

I'd actually like to see a set of AO's each unique to the faction it was tied to. And perhaps a set of AO's for very specific mixed fleets (such as a Klingon/Federation Alliance AO)

The concept needs a great deal of refinement, and a lot more than just two choices. The bonuses given probably should be scaled back too.
 
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The Shrike
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I am a TO and we have used them everytime. My players love them.
 
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C. E. Freeman
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We used them one month and voted them out at both venues. I can't say they weren't fun once, but I was glad to see them go. A failed experiment in my opinion. My biggest worry was always that folks would get used to them and then not want to give them up.
 
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John Carpenter
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FortuneFavorTheBold wrote:
ColCarp wrote:
The locations I've played with have never allowed Admiral's Orders (at one we took a vote and unanimously took a pass), and I've never been a huge fan. It was an experiment by Wizkids to change up perceived clumping issues in the meta and I think while the idea has merit for possible reintroduction in a less clunky form, the current orders have run their course for months.

All that said, the Orders were pretty definitively supposed to be for OP4 only, and while TOs can do what they want to make the game "exciting", I would be incredulous if any of the locations I went to were still using them. They're the soured milk of attack wing -- way past their Best Before date.

So why do people in the Strategy forums and elsewhere keep creating builds that use the Orders?! Every time I see someone suggest they have a great build, or some unstoppable combo, or a thread that screams "look how awesome this configuration is!" I immediately press the back button when I see use of the Admirals Orders.

Why do people keep creating builds with them? Why would any TOs still allow them? Do people actually use them in casual play?


It sounds like you have made up your mind about the AO's already, which is your prerogative. Have you played with them at all, firsthand, or is your experience purely speculative?

I can see where players may be ready for a change, but the orders hardly created an unfair advantage for one player over another. As all aspects of a particular venue fall under a TO's purview, I imagine that some have decided they would prefer to keep them around.

The orders were introduced in a very passive way, so individuals have free reign to determine their level of involvement with them. I don't build with them in mind specifically, but venues that allow them are still in my area, so it is a consideration I make when playing there. United Force gave my OP6 Winning Cardassian Echelon build two Cloaking Devices and a Breen Aide, which certainly didn't hurt at all. I'd hate to shortchange myself in such an environment.

While they may have only been intended briefly, they have never been either required or restricted, leaving much leeway for implementation by TO's.


I built and practiced a few builds when our location was still thinking about whether or not to use them.

You know what I think my problem was and is with them? They put the game on easy mode. I think of that line from Archer, when he's hacking the mainframe with 'guest' as the password. They make Attack Wing babytown frolics.

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Jon NyD

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Mordaenor wrote:
Skyguard wrote:

I am very interested in the idea of AOs being build into future OPs giving people reason to use themed builds I do think helps the game.


Second this.

I'd actually like to see a set of AO's each unique to the faction it was tied to. And perhaps a set of AO's for very specific mixed fleets (such as a Klingon/Federation Alliance AO)

The concept needs a great deal of refinement, and a lot more than just two choices. The bonuses given probably should be scaled back too.


You can almost consider the Flagship resource a faction specific fleet AO. The stuff is catered to each faction!

 
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Ted Kay
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ColCarp wrote:
FortuneFavorTheBold wrote:
ColCarp wrote:
The locations I've played with have never allowed Admiral's Orders (at one we took a vote and unanimously took a pass), and I've never been a huge fan. It was an experiment by Wizkids to change up perceived clumping issues in the meta and I think while the idea has merit for possible reintroduction in a less clunky form, the current orders have run their course for months.

All that said, the Orders were pretty definitively supposed to be for OP4 only, and while TOs can do what they want to make the game "exciting", I would be incredulous if any of the locations I went to were still using them. They're the soured milk of attack wing -- way past their Best Before date.

So why do people in the Strategy forums and elsewhere keep creating builds that use the Orders?! Every time I see someone suggest they have a great build, or some unstoppable combo, or a thread that screams "look how awesome this configuration is!" I immediately press the back button when I see use of the Admirals Orders.

Why do people keep creating builds with them? Why would any TOs still allow them? Do people actually use them in casual play?


It sounds like you have made up your mind about the AO's already, which is your prerogative. Have you played with them at all, firsthand, or is your experience purely speculative?

I can see where players may be ready for a change, but the orders hardly created an unfair advantage for one player over another. As all aspects of a particular venue fall under a TO's purview, I imagine that some have decided they would prefer to keep them around.

The orders were introduced in a very passive way, so individuals have free reign to determine their level of involvement with them. I don't build with them in mind specifically, but venues that allow them are still in my area, so it is a consideration I make when playing there. United Force gave my OP6 Winning Cardassian Echelon build two Cloaking Devices and a Breen Aide, which certainly didn't hurt at all. I'd hate to shortchange myself in such an environment.

While they may have only been intended briefly, they have never been either required or restricted, leaving much leeway for implementation by TO's.


I built and practiced a few builds when our location was still thinking about whether or not to use them.

You know what I think my problem was and is with them? They put the game on easy mode. I think of that line from Archer, when he's hacking the mainframe with 'guest' as the password. They make Attack Wing babytown frolics.


That made me laugh. I've been catching up on Season 4 of Archer since it just came out on Netflix.

Ironically, while I agree the AO's make the game easier to play, I think they increase the difficulty of learning for newer players. The action economy sometimes gets overwhelming as it is. I know I've confused less experienced players with everything my fleets can do even when I can explain how it all works.
 
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When Admirals Orders came out our TO banned them for OP4 because not everyone had heard about them, and it wasn't fair to everyone to have just a few players show up with AOs. For OP5 we could use both AOs, and for OP6 we could use only one. I think at this point we're done with the current AOs, but we really only got to try them in two events, and with different rules concerning how many you could use at that. I think the decisions our TO made were completely reasonable, and maybe others were in the same situation, and that could explain why so many people are still fleet building with them in mind.
 
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Rob Tsuk
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ColCarp wrote:
You know what I think my problem was and is with them? They put the game on easy mode. I think of that line from Archer, when he's hacking the mainframe with 'guest' as the password. They make Attack Wing babytown frolics.


Could you elaborate on why you think this? What specific aspects of the orders make it babytown frolics and why you think so?
 
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John Carpenter
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rtsuk wrote:
ColCarp wrote:
You know what I think my problem was and is with them? They put the game on easy mode. I think of that line from Archer, when he's hacking the mainframe with 'guest' as the password. They make Attack Wing babytown frolics.


Could you elaborate on why you think this? What specific aspects of the orders make it babytown frolics and why you think so?


Definitely and I'll comment on each individually.

United Force

I get 10 free points of upgrades. The more points I get to play around with, the more powerful I can make my ships, the more combinations I can employ, the more contingencies I can develop, the more situations I can defend against and exploit.

For me, the critical reason why 100 points is such an excellent amount for a tournament is that you can't quite fit everything you want in 100 points, especially in a three ship build. There's a sort of curve between scarcity and abundance of points that corresponds to the maximization of the strategic decision making when building a fleet. I don't particularly like 150 point fleets, I'm wary of the 90+booster fleets that we'll see in the Collective OP, because a surplus of points causes a drift towards cheesy combos instead of tactics.

There is also a floor to that, but 100 is a ceiling I think makes sense because of the range of ship costs compared to the total available point pool.

Strike Force

For the same reason why I want Flagships to be retired, I think that the action economy in "vanilla" Attack Wing has that great tension between providing you with a lot of different options but forcing you to make a choice. If I can have my cake and eat it too then I'm not feeling that wonderful stress of having my brain actually thinking versus merely remembering.

Wave 2 really solved a lot of the action economy issues in the game that maybe necessitated Strike Force as a previous poster pointed out, and so while I recognize why some situations made Strike Force an appealing addition I think that time is long gone.

And also as another previous poster pointed out, Strike Force's action needlessly increases the complexity of the game. It makes it harder to follow your opponent's capabilities which in turn increases the learning curve for newer players. Again I don't really want a ship that can do with a flagship and Picard a minimum 4 actions a turn because I think anything above two starts to slow the game down and begins a phase called "let me remember all the things I need to do instead of getting on with the game."

And then there's the superfluous re-roll or extra die on either to keep track of.

What it really boils down to in terms of my criticism is that it takes the tension of not getting everything you want/need, the judicious use of resources, the decisions that you need to make in terms of action economy, and says "naa, do what you want." They're practically cheat-codes for experienced builders at the disadvantage of newer/casual gamers.

Those are the specific aspects I dislike.
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Rob Tsuk
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I also would like to see the Admiral's Orders go away and have been campaigning with my TOs for that.

I agree with your point that the Admiral's Orders give experienced players a bigger advantage over new players than they would have without them.

I don't see them making the game easier.

I'm not certain 100 is such a carefully selected point amount that 110 makes upgrade selection easy. Certainly I mused over them just as long.

The extra action or extra re-roll made me have to think a lot more, because I would have to decide which of my ships to take it, and for which action. I noticed this of other strike force players as well. They had to sit and ponder longer for each activation. Seemed more like thinking than remembering to me.

I'm really torn about flagships, though. I've somewhat stopped using them in favor of the command tokens but they make some ships, like the Constitution Class Enterprise, much more playable just because of the stat buffs. One more hull and one more shield slides them just out of one-shot range.
 
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rtsuk wrote:
I also would like to see the Admiral's Orders go away and have been campaigning with my TOs for that.

I agree with your point that the Admiral's Orders give experienced players a bigger advantage over new players than they would have without them.

I don't see them making the game easier.

I'm not certain 100 is such a carefully selected point amount that 110 makes upgrade selection easy. Certainly I mused over them just as long.

The extra action or extra re-roll made me have to think a lot more, because I would have to decide which of my ships to take it, and for which action. I noticed this of other strike force players as well. They had to sit and ponder longer for each activation. Seemed more like thinking than remembering to me.

I'm really torn about flagships, though. I've somewhat stopped using them in favor of the command tokens but they make some ships, like the Constitution Class Enterprise, much more playable just because of the stat buffs. One more hull and one more shield slides them just out of one-shot range.


The difference between 100 point cap with AO 110 and just a straight 110 point cap is, people are just going put the points into ships and captains and not upgrades. I think that was part of the mentality behind that AO.
 
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Ran them one month at our Venue as they were originally intended and then we tossed them. It was a nice diversion, something that I would be interested to see again in the future, yet at the same time, I am glad they are gone.
 
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For mix/max uber-combo competitive players AO enrich the game and unlock possibilities not available without AO. That's just a fact.

This type of gameplay favors more experienced and more competitive players. But the rookie who just bought his first starter set will not stand a chance against a competitive player, with or without AO.

How your venue and local scene reacts to this situation is up to you. If a scene players love AO, great. Play all you want with them. Without a 'national circuit' some games systems have nothing resembling any sort of governing body or 'international standard' or competitive play exists. ST:AW just isn't there yet.

My 2c is that admirials orders were fun, and all players complained when some venues in my area didn't allow them. However, after several events with AO, our local scene decided they didn't want them anyway, and all venues have since disallowed AO.

My personal opinion is that they were fun but ultimately unnecessary and potentially annoying and discouraging to newbz.
 
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rtsuk wrote:
I'm really torn about flagships, though. I've somewhat stopped using them in favor of the command tokens but they make some ships, like the Constitution Class Enterprise, much more playable just because of the stat buffs. One more hull and one more shield slides them just out of one-shot range.
It would cheese my cracker if flagships went away, because with future tourneys at my gaming location they are toying with the idea of ship or fleet purity and the only way to use independent cards sans faction crossing is the flagship... I would have a hard time parting with Khan after he won the dominion wars for me.


Back to the OP-
AOs I could live with or without. Just as long as everyone has the same access to them. 110pts, 100pts, 400pts... as long as my opponent and I are in the same boat I'm okay. Strike force isn't that rough to deal with IMO, even with all the extra actions they lack the extra hull and shields that comes with a third ship.
 
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I agree it seems like a majority of the builds posted include the AOs. The assumption should be that they are not legal, but, a player can easily add suggestions for those players who are able to use them. 100 point builds are easier to take in at a glance, while a build using United Force requires me to adjust for those 10 extra points.

I think that is a part of the OPs frustration.
 
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Umbral_necropolitan wrote:
It would cheese my cracker if flagships went away, because with future tourneys at my gaming location they are toying with the idea of ship or fleet purity and the only way to use independent cards sans faction crossing is the flagship... I would have a hard time parting with Khan after he won the dominion wars for me.


Could you convince them to allow faction-pure ships with Independents? Seems to accomplish all the same goals as faction-pure without requiring you to use a flagship to use an Independent.

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rtsuk wrote:
Umbral_necropolitan wrote:
It would cheese my cracker if flagships went away, because with future tourneys at my gaming location they are toying with the idea of ship or fleet purity and the only way to use independent cards sans faction crossing is the flagship... I would have a hard time parting with Khan after he won the dominion wars for me.


Could you convince them to allow faction-pure ships with Independents? Seems to accomplish all the same goals as faction-pure without requiring you to use a flagship to use an Independent.

Going to have to try, either that or do an overhaul on my strategy. I know they have talked about limiting the resources lifespan to a few OP events, to make the new players more able to compete which I'm fine with but making ship/fleet purity(another thing to try and get more players at OP events) also would throw a kink in the cogs.


I don't mind paying the extra cost for Khan, I did prior to the flagship resource. Used Khan on the Ent-D as the back bone of my fleet from OP3 to OP6. Guess I might have to use Kirk or Janeway, depending on her skill. I like shooting first, try to pop a ship before it gets to retaliate.
 
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People keep saying that there's a plan to phase out old resources, but it seems to be based on a very questionable interpretation of one sentence in the OP rules. It probably shouldn't be repeated as a serious rumor.
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Rob Tsuk
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No one said they were being phased out in this thread. They came up because they are one of the ways the action economy is being inflated, along with Strike Force.

My comment was about how the action inflation effect, perhaps negative, is balanced in my mind with the positive effects of the stat buffs.

I would be sad if command tokens went away. They really even out some of the dice swings in this game.
 
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I'll chime in with a few of my thoughts on the subject:

The Admiral's Orders serve a purpose, and I think it is a very good purpose to fill - to cover the weaknesses of and build up some strongly thematic but objectively weaker builds. The problem with the current crop is that they go too far in building up the builds they're working toward, without being difficult enough to take.

United Force only requires you to run faction pure ships - no Picard and Chekov on the Jem'Hadar battleship - but, in exchange for not getting the cream of the crop combos, you get 10 fleet points. This, I think, is far too easy to do (as someone who runs faction pure fleets and has from the beginning), and the 10 points are huge - they effectively give me a free Flagship resource in most of my builds, which can have a pretty massive impact on how my fleet plays. The extra reroll is icing on the cake, and is not something that should have been included without more restrictions.

That said, I do feel that 110 points does feel about right for building my fleets. It gives me enough room to play with various arrangements of upgrades without feeling I can just throw anything I want onto the fleet and still having room to spare. That extra ten points has let me run an effective 4 ship Klingon build, a devastating 4 ship Romulan build, and several variants on 3 ship builds with various upgrades that would have been completely impractical - and severely underpowered - without the 10 points from the United Force AO.

The Strike Force AO, I think, is slightly more problematic, as it sits right in that area where it doesn't really help out with what it needs to help out with, but at the same time, also gives an edge to the build where there was not more than a perceived problem before. The extra action on one of your ships is unneeded, both because of the ease of getting additional actions is so easy now, and because of something that most people don't think about - the fact that it's not total actions that make a difference in a game, but usually actions per ship.

The real issue with a two ship build is that it is typically quite a bit weaker, defensively, than a 3 ship build, simply due to the lower number of Hull and Shields that the ships have. A lucky Attack roll or poor defense roll could completely shut down one of the ships early in the game and leave you with a severely weakened force (as nearly happened in the last round of the last OP event that I took part in - opening shot with the Valdore against a Picard piloted Gal'Gathong took out its hull, its destruction only prevented by a Cheat Death).

To summarize, I feel that the Admirals Orders have their place, as a way to bring specific builds that are currently underpowered to a playable level, but each one has to be designed to fill a particular role in a fleet, and 2-3 of them should tie you in to an exceedingly specific build - something that the first round of AOs failed to do, and hence why they appear to be more imbalanced than they may actually be.

I say all of this as someone who loves the AOs, and wish to see more of them in the future, and will play with any of them that I can just to try them out.
 
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