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Subject: Geek of the Week #470 - Brandon (Vacabck) rss

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Tiago Perretto
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Hello, people!

After an amazing week, I used some of the time not bragging to search for the next Geek of the Week. I had a few persons in mind, and I look into them, to gather more info. But I didn't took long to make a choice, and I pass the torch to
Brandon Kempf
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Though I see many comments around BGG with his nick on them, it was due to his managing of the What Did You Play Last Week? geeklists that I was able to get to know more of him and his awesome gamer family. I feel a great proximity with my fellow posters in this geeklist, since we are able to talk about several games at once (not something that will normally happen in a unique game thread) and accompany the persons and their progression in playing and in discovering games. This, of course, happens because of the continued existence of the list - and this, now, is on Brandon's back. Also, he has a blog here on the Geek that has really good posts. Brandon's always show a truly keen sense of happiness towards playing and games, and what more can one ask for, right?

Finally, as one of those things that are meant to happen, today (October 5th) is Brandon's birthday! How great is that?

Well, so now, I let Brandon's words take the post.

Vacabck wrote:
Wow, Geek of the Week, who would have ever thought that would be a title that one would covet, pretty cool. Thank you Tiago for the nomination, I don’t think the honor could have come from a better ambassador for our hobby(Plus I am now only two degrees of separation from Geoff Gambill, one of my favorite podcasters)! I always enjoy reading your thoughts on games and enjoy the gaming exploits of you and your friends there in Brazil. Don’t be surprised if someday a few of us from the What Did You Play geeklist show up at your door wanting to play some games.



For those who don’t know me, I’m Brandon, a 42 year old guy(as of Oct 5) from Jefferson City, Missouri. I’ve been here most of my natural born life and I love it here right in the middle of the country. I am a Reader Advisor for the Wolfner Library, a library that serves those who cannot read standard print materials due to a visual or physical disability. I’ve been with the library now for about 13 years.

Growing up, I was probably as far from the prototypical geek as you could be but I came around. I loved sports and played them most of my adolescence, football, baseball, basketball, soccer were played most days in our backyard with all the neighborhood kids. That isn’t to say, I didn’t grow up a gamer though. But like a lot of people of my generation I grew up playing games on the Atari, Commodore 64, NES, Sega Genesis and N64 more than playing board games, but even as a kid, we always had the typical board games around the house, the Monopoly’s and such and occasionally we would have a family board game night. Predominantly though, my gaming was done in the digital world as opposed to the tabletop world. I carried that affinity for all games digital well into my 30s even after I was married and we started having kids, but eventually I started to slow down on gaming that way because I started to feel like I was excluding my family. So when my sister gave my daughter a copy of The Magic Labyrinth for her 6th birthday, I knew what I was going to do, and like any prototypical geek, I jumped in headfirst and have been trying to absorb as much about this hobby as I possibly can in the last 3-4 years. From The Magic Labyrinth to Tragedy Looper, our collection has grown, as has our time spent together as a family face to face instead of just staring at a television.

My wife Kerensa and I have two daughters, Gabby our 10 year old and AnnaBeth our 4 year old. Gabby, Kerensa and I have been gaming together at the table steadily for 4 years now and AnnaBeth is starting to join in with us as well, but her games are a bit different and usually involve her making up the rules as she goes. But she’s starting to request playing things herself, I can’t believe it, we’re raising gamers! We’ve even been to GenCon once and been to Geekway to the West the past two years and we hope to never miss a year from here on out. I don’t know if you’ll find a better Gaming Convention around, if you get the chance you should attend. Someday I’d love to attend BGG Con, but we’re gonna have to wait till our oldest is old enough to attend. Locally I’ve been involved with a small game group that meets monthly and through gaming I’ve made many new people who I now consider friends that I would not have met otherwise. I’m trying my best to grow the local board gaming community, I host a quarterly game day at our public library, would love to do it more often, but time is a commodity that we don’t have a lot of. Someday I’d love to have a gaming gathering here in Mid-Missouri, nothing huge, but something that we could call our own.

BGG is such a great resource for gamers, I love being able to contribute here through the Forums, Blogs and Geeklists. I took over the reigns of the What Did You Play This Weekend(which we recently changed to the What Did You Play This Week) geeklist about a year and a half ago from Jon Gilmour, who had something he just had to work on, and I’ve loved chatting with everyone that contributes to it. I love talking about games, I’m not the big analytical person, but I love talking about the experiences we have while playing. I love the community here on BGG, I’ve talked with many on here who I would love to sit down and share a beer and a board game with and someday I’ll hopefully get to do that with a few of you all. I am a huge board game media consumer, I think at last check I had 30 podcasts in my subscription feed, and I know for a fact that my wife is tired of me falling asleep as Rahdo runs through another game.

I am still new to the board gaming world, but if pressed to give an absolute favorite game, my cop out answer would be whatever game my family wants to play together at the moment. But if you want the definitive favorite game I’d have to say Terra Mystica. It’s such a unique puzzle each game. I think part of my reason for enjoying it so much is that I am not very good at it, and each time I think I understand what exactly I am going to do, something changes that plan and I have to adapt. But honestly, any game in my Top 10 or so could be number 1 at any given time. Right now I am plowing through W. Eric Martin’s Essen geeklist and the winner so far to me has to be Deus, really looking forward to seeing this here in North America.

So a tip of the glass to the Tabletop community near and far and GO ROYALS!!!!!!!!!(I hope they are still in it when this gets posted)

I do have one request, in the thread I would like everyone who posts, to tell me your favorite game and give a brief one sentence reason why if possible. Just thought this would be something fun to see what happens.

With all that said, Tiago thank you again for this honor, I truly do appreciate it.



Poll: Two Truths and Lie for Vacabck
Which of these is NOT true?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
We chose to not find out if our first born was going to be a boy or a girl, so we had names picked out for both. My pick for a boy was Atari Genesis
63.0% 29
While in the NAVY I was stationed on an Aircraft carrier that was still in the process of being built, but one day a few of us decided it was a good idea to leap from the upper walkway into the water in the name of stupidity
19.6% 9
In high school, Arnold Schwarzenegger made an appearance in town to promote the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, we didn’t get to see him, because we skipped the assembly, but we chased down his caravan only to be pulled over by his security staff who felt we were some kind of lunatics
17.4% 8
Voters 46
This poll is now closed.   46 answers
Poll created by tiagoVIP
Closes: Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:00 am
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Tiago Perretto
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Again, congratulations and happy birthday, Brandon!

Some questions to you:

1) What was the best game you played this year, so far?

2) Which was the worst?

3) What attracted you in the game Deus?

4) I know many people say they lose games to his sons and daughters, in your case, there is a game you are often owned by any of yours?

5) Since I work in tourism, which place in the world you want to visit the most? Why?

6) Finally, do you think you will be able to play cooperative games with the future boyfriends of your girls?

Regards,
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Chris B
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Congratulations Brandon, enjoy your week!

My, current, favourite game is Brass. It's hard to explain why, its just such an awesome economic game, I kind of rediscovered it a few months ago and just had a blast playing it.

Isn't that why we play games? To have fun...
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Brandon, congratulations from a fellow GotW!

I've only recently come across the What Games Have You Played list, but I've enjoyed reading many of those contributions. Thanks for keeping that list going.

I see you mentioned participating in your first D&D group recently and that you enjoyed it. Can you tell us a little about the experience and why you like it so much?
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How exciting!
Congratulations Brandon!

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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Congratulations Brandon!

Have a great week!

My usual question: Have you a favorite wizard? If so, who? If not, why?
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Brandon Kempf
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tiagoVIP wrote:
Again, congratulations and happy birthday, Brandon!

Some questions to you:

1) What was the best game you played this year, so far?

2) Which was the worst?

3) What attracted you in the game Deus?

4) I know many people say they lose games to his sons and daughters, in your case, there is a game you are often owned by any of yours?

5) Since I work in tourism, which place in the world you want to visit the most? Why?

6) Finally, do you think you will be able to play cooperative games with the future boyfriends of your girls?

Regards,
.


Tiago, thank you again! It's been a really good 42nd birthday, family, friends and the Royals won. Not to mention getting Five Tribes and The Battle of Five Armies as gifts.

1) Best new game of the year around here has probably been Diamonds but there is lots of competition still for that spot.

2) I don't like to say there is a worst, but the game that fell the flattest for me after all the hype had me enthused about it was Doomtown: Reloaded. I really want to try it again a couple times before I completely write it off though.

3) I am a huge fan of how a game looks and all the artwork I have seen of Deus really looks beautiful on the table. Throw in Sebastien's pedigree and the fact that it's a Civ game and you've got me sold on it. Anxious to see it in play, I'll be tuned into the BGG coverage hoping to catch it!

4) My oldest has a pretty good record against me in Seasons but I think her winningest game against me is Summoner Wars. Our youngest wins everything, usually because the last line in her rulebooks under scoring says, "AnnaBeth wins". My wife has my number in Finca and Firenze, I just can't win those.

5) Honestly the gaming destination has to be Essen at this point, but the ultimate would be a world wide tour playing in all the home countries of all the folks who contribute to the WDYPTW geeklist. I know we'd have a lot of fun in the Philippines with Freddie, we'd have a great time in Brazil with you. It would just be a dream vacation.

6) I hope I raise my daughters correctly so I don't have to stress and worry too much about who my daughters choose to date, although I know I still will. But absolutely I'll be able to play games with them if they are respectful to my daughters, my wife and myself. If they aren't we'll just play Lifeboats and we'll eliminate them pretty quickly. whistle

Thanks again Tiago!!
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Brandon Kempf
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boisse wrote:
Congratulations Brandon, enjoy your week!

My, current, favourite game is Brass. It's hard to explain why, its just such an awesome economic game, I kind of rediscovered it a few months ago and just had a blast playing it.

Isn't that why we play games? To have fun...


Thank you! Brass: Lancashire is one of those games that I always see on the periphery and I hope to be able to play it some day! I love mid/heavier games, but they don't get played too often in our household yet.

And you are absolutely right, we play games to have fun!!
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Vacabck!! Vacabck!! Vacabck!! Congratulations my friend. It's awesome seeing you here. Well deserved. Back to back WDYPLW regulars makes me smile
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leemc13 wrote:
Brandon, congratulations from a fellow GotW!

I've only recently come across the What Games Have You Played list, but I've enjoyed reading many of those contributions. Thanks for keeping that list going.

I see you mentioned participating in your first D&D group recently and that you enjoyed it. Can you tell us a little about the experience and why you like it so much?


Thank you!! I love posting that list every week, and I love reading through it and conversing with folks.

I did enjoy my first D&D experience. Growing up, I wasn't around a lot of folks who played D&D, I knew it existed but never had the opportunity to try it. So I was glad to give it a whirl with a group of friends who wanted to get a group together and see what happened. I loved the camaraderie that is around the table, I loved trying to get into my character and do the things that they would do which is probably completely different than how I would be in life. It forces me out of my shell, which I have a hard time doing sometimes. I have participated in the RPGGeek n00b initiative two years in a row now, and had a fantastic time doing that as well. I wish I had more time for RPGs in my life, I hope to change that as we've got the Mouseguard box and the new D&D Beginner box sitting here waiting for us.
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frumpish wrote:
Congratulations Brandon!

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

Enjoy your week!


Thank you!!

1) Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty
2) Speed
3) Mercy
4) Flexible
5) Naïveté
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Congrats Brandon! I'm a big fan of WDYPLW and I'm sure I'll be posting tomorrow.

I don't know if I have a single favorite game, but Le Havre will always be memorable as it was the first "heavy" game I took a chance on and it changed the way I looked at playing games.

Enjoy your week!
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chadnorth wrote:
Congratulations Brandon!

Have a great week!

My usual question: Have you a favorite wizard? If so, who? If not, why?


Thank you Doug!

Man, favorite wizard? Can I go with Tim the Enchanter? Tim knows much that is hidden and honestly, if I could conjure fire as he could, I would do the same thing as he does, casting it all for show, all the time. Much the same if I were a gymnast, I'd do backflips down the hall to my desk while at work, haha.

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Demon Jim wrote:
Vacabck!! Vacabck!! Vacabck!! Congratulations my friend. It's awesome seeing you here. Well deserved. Back to back WDYPLW regulars makes me smile


Thanks Jim!! I was quite surprised when Tiago geekmailed me, humbled and surprised. Hope you had a good week of gaming, going to need someone to pick up the slack for me, I didn't get a single game in this weekend except for digitally.

MplsMatt wrote:
Congrats Brandon! I'm a big fan of WDYPLW and I'm sure I'll be posting tomorrow.

I don't know if I have a single favorite game, but Le Havre will always be memorable as it was the first "heavy" game I took a chance on and it changed the way I looked at playing games.

Enjoy your week!


Thanks Matt!! Looking forward to your post tomorrow!

I haven't had a chance to play Le Havre yet, but one of the guys in my local game group absolutely loves it. Haven't played with him yet, but I'll have to change that soon, he'll embarrass me horribly though, he's one of those guys who can crunch everything really quickly and I know he's played it quite a bit.
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Congratulations, Brandon, enjoy your week: you deserved that!
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Congratulations Brandon!

Do you really think the Royals will now beat the Orioles?? (I live near Baltimore so that is why I ask that question.)

My favorite game is Acquire. It is my only rated 10. I love this game because, although there is some luck in the tiles that you draw, I really think that a good player can always be competitive (maybe not always win) no matter what bad tiles they have.

Enjoy your week!

Cheers,
Tim

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That's amazing!! Congrats and well deserved!!

Edit:

Happpppppy Birthday!!!!!!

I hope you have an amazing day filled with so many great games!
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Will Reaves
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Congratulations! You may not remember it, but I briefly tried to tempt you into a Here I Stand for Mage Knight trade about 18 months ago. (I pulled it off later with another party, much to my delight.) This is the closest connection I've ever had to a GotW, so I feel like a genuine celebrity.

Anyway, on to questions:

1) Are you happy you held on to Mage Knight?

2) Tragedy Looper, which you mention in your intro, is one of those games that I'm about 90% certain I want, despite having never played it or even seen a full game in action. What have been your thoughts on it?

3) Assuming your second item under two truths and a lie wasn't total BS, what was your field and ending rank in the Navy? Can you share about some places that you served? (If it was BS, just make something up and then cop to it at the end of your week.)

4) Your current avatar isn't the one you used when I tried to trade with you. Where does your current one come from, and why is it special to you?

5) Finally, what would you say was the most useful thing about BGG for you when you first discovered the site?

As for your question, I would still say, I think, that my favorite game right now is Mage Knight (boy, am I happy I got my hands on it). My reasons are the standard ones, I suspect: great solo play, plenty of replayability, and a desire to top previous successes--or, in the case of Volkare, to avenge ignominious defeats. And yes, you do want Lost Legion.
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Congratulations (and happy belated birthday), my friend! I'm super excited for you receiving this honor. Through the WDYPTW thread I feel like I've really gotten to know you and other great gamers whom I hope to meet face to face some day.

I don't know if you know it or not, but originally I had my name on BGG as B K as well, since I've gone by that on other online forums for years, but everytime I saw yours it hurt my brain, so I changed it. I feel a certain kinship everyday when I see your posts on BGG.

As you probably know, Railways of the World is my favorite game. I love the large footprint and the way the board comes alive with all the track, empty city markers, and colorful trains as the game unfolds. It is always a fun experience with our game group everytime it hits the table and has been in my collection almost as long as I've been in the hobby.

1. Are you still running?
2. When are we going to hook up for a game?
3. When we hook up ( ) which game are we going to play?
4. Which game would you like to teach me if given the opportunity?
5. What would be your dream job?

Take care of those girls and enjoy your week, my friend!

meeple Keep playing...
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Brandon Kempf
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Bombadillo wrote:
Congratulations, Brandon, enjoy your week: you deserved that!


Thank you Nicola!

Phytoman wrote:
Congratulations Brandon!

Do you really think the Royals will now beat the Orioles?? (I live near Baltimore so that is why I ask that question.)

My favorite game is Acquire. It is my only rated 10. I love this game because, although there is some luck in the tiles that you draw, I really think that a good player can always be competitive (maybe not always win) no matter what bad tiles they have.

Enjoy your week!

Cheers,
Tim


Thank you Tim!

If being a fan of the Royals over the last 40 years of my life has taught anything, it's to not be over confident about anything. So I hope that we do beat the Orioles, but I would never bet on it.



Being somewhat new to the hobby, Acquire is another one that I have never played, but have always meant to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of luck in our games, and it is the good player who can do well in spite of bad luck and against good competition.

punkin312 wrote:
That's amazing!! Congrats and well deserved!!

Edit:

Happpppppy Birthday!!!!!!

I hope you have an amazing day filled with so many great games!


Thank you Steph!!

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Congrats Brandon! Have a fun week as GotW meeple
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borderline wrote:
Congratulations! You may not remember it, but I briefly tried to tempt you into a Here I Stand for Mage Knight trade about 18 months ago. (I pulled it off later with another party, much to my delight.) This is the closest connection I've ever had to a GotW, so I feel like a genuine celebrity.

Anyway, on to questions:

1) Are you happy you held on to Mage Knight?

2) Tragedy Looper, which you mention in your intro, is one of those games that I'm about 90% certain I want, despite having never played it or even seen a full game in action. What have been your thoughts on it?

3) Assuming your second item under two truths and a lie wasn't total BS, what was your field and ending rank in the Navy? Can you share about some places that you served? (If it was BS, just make something up and then cop to it at the end of your week.)

4) Your current avatar isn't the one you used when I tried to trade with you. Where does your current one come from, and why is it special to you?

5) Finally, what would you say was the most useful thing about BGG for you when you first discovered the site?

As for your question, I would still say, I think, that my favorite game right now is Mage Knight (boy, am I happy I got my hands on it). My reasons are the standard ones, I suspect: great solo play, plenty of replayability, and a desire to top previous successes--or, in the case of Volkare, to avenge ignominious defeats. And yes, you do want Lost Legion.


Hi Will, thank you! I do remember the trade offer!! Glad you found someone to do that looks like it worked out perfectly for you!

1) I sometimes wonder if Mage Knight is meant to be in my collection taunting me. I can't part with it, yet I can't get it to the table as much as it deserves. I've only managed to play it twice and both time with the opening scenario since I couldn't remember how to play. Maybe when I eventually retire I'll spend more time with it, haha. (I hope I don't have to wait that long)

2) Tragedy Looper sits unplayed as of yet, but I've read through the rules, I've read through the forums and I think I am ready to run it, just gotta find others to participate. We love deduction games and this one seems a bit deeper than the ones we have already so I am hoping once it hits the table it's a hit!

3) Being on a ship that was being built when I was assigned to it, prevented me from traveling with the NAVY, which was a HUGE disappointment to me, and eventually led me to finish my enlistment and leave. I was an ABE(Green Shirt). The most fun we got to have was trying to break the ship in Sea Trials, well that wasn't fun to those who fell out of their bunks when we made those sharp turns.

4) Nope, I changed avatars a few months ago from the one that I was using, which was a photo I took of a swinging bridge from below. This one is just one of the Dire Wolves from AGoT, just liked the inquisitive look.

5) The sheer amount of information on this site is amazing and when I first started using BGG, it was strictly to look up rules questions and I never had to ask one as they had already been asked and answered, I love that.

Glad you got hooked up with Mage Knight!!
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Congratulations! Happy Birthday! My... what a week!

I am very happy for you, Brandon.

Brandon is always known in our house as, obviously, "Vacabck": and when you say it out loud, it is quite a challenge.

He registered on the 'geek only a couple of months before us, when we were only lurking around. I noticed him when I saw that he was commenting in the same threads and geeklists that I was reading. Similar tastes, similar games, similar collection (and I now know, similar age!)... there was a geekbuddy for us!

We crossed paths a couple of times, notably in the Christmas Advent Challenge, and in his weekly list. I also know that I can count on him to thumb my lists. I know he is a loyal subscriber of my stuff, and it is very appreciated.modest

Mille fois bravo, Brandon! The 'geek is a better place to be because of people like you.thumbsup
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Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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bkunes wrote:
Congratulations (and happy belated birthday), my friend! I'm super excited for you receiving this honor. Through the WDYPTW thread I feel like I've really gotten to know you and other great gamers whom I hope to meet face to face some day.

I don't know if you know it or not, but originally I had my name on BGG as B K as well, since I've gone by that on other online forums for years, but everytime I saw yours it hurt my brain, so I changed it. I feel a certain kinship everyday when I see your posts on BGG.

As you probably know, Railways of the World is my favorite game. I love the large footprint and the way the board comes alive with all the track, empty city markers, and colorful trains as the game unfolds. It is always a fun experience with our game group everytime it hits the table and has been in my collection almost as long as I've been in the hobby.

1. Are you still running?
2. When are we going to hook up for a game?
3. When we hook up ( ) which game are we going to play?
4. Which game would you like to teach me if given the opportunity?
5. What would be your dream job?

Take care of those girls and enjoy your week, my friend!

meeple Keep playing...


Thanks Bill!! I know there were a couple of us BK's out there other than us and I don't know that I was originally BK, I think I may have changed it from my name to my initials at some point, but I can't be certain of that.

I so need to get a full play of RotW in, I know how much you enjoy it and I really want to play it as well, just have to find the time and convince the family or group to try it out.

1) I am still running, although I took entirely too long of a break after my foot injury last year and it's been slow getting back into the swing of it. During the summer this year I was actually walking to work and running on my lunch hour, but that all changed once fall rolled around and I started taking the kiddo into school and I've used that as an excuse to not run/walk. I am hoping to break out of that funk this week.

2) We'll play games as soon as one of us can visit the other's hometown or we come up with someplace in the middle to meetup. My fingers are crossed that we get to try out Origins next year, but my wife isn't sold on it yet, she wants to head out west to visit family in Colorado. But, someday my friend, some day.

3) I might just request Railways of the World!

4) Not sure what I'd teach you, if you haven't played Terra Mystica, we might have to get my wife and yours to join us for a 4 player go at that. Although I think your wife and mine will probably roll their eyes more than a couple times during the play.

5) Dream Job? Hmmmm, I'm not really sure, there are so many things I would love to try, but maybe the Curator of one of our fantastic museums in DC like the Smithsonian, that would be pretty interesting. Other than that, maybe an independently wealthy board game convention runner?

Thanks again Bill!! I'm trying to coax the girls into helping me do a Top 20 game list since it seems to be the in thing to do right now, Gabby gave me her 9 favorites, but Kerensa and AnnaBeth are stalling, haha.
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Brandon Kempf
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Jefferson City
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LordT wrote:
Congrats Brandon! Have a fun week as GotW meeple


Thank you Tom!!
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