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Subject: Geek of the Week #482 - chicklewis (Chick Lewis) rss

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Jacovis
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Las Vegas
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Well, my week in the spotlight is over (thank you Kim!). I want to thank everyone for the thoughtful questions, and the opportunity to rant about myself for a week!

I am really excited, however, to pass the torch, and to present everyone with the new Geek of the Week!

Chick Lewis
United States
Claremont
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Chick is an amazing individual who was one of the first people to welcome me onto the Geek almost 6 years ago now on my first post (which was on the Combat Commander: Europe forums). He remains a constant, welcoming presence on those very forums to this day, as well as elsewhere on the Geek! He is always warm, welcoming, and friendly, and his vitality is contagious, even through the near-emotionless medium of text-typing.

Over the past several years I, and many others I'm sure, have felt like they were right there with Chick as he shared his exploits in Combat Commander and in his travels, and I am very glad that he takes the time to share so much of his life with us here on the Geek. He has some great stories to tell (about board games and about life in general) and has made me laugh so hard I literally had tears in my eyes in several of his tales. The two-part story below is a prime example of Chick's story-telling, and I encourage everyone to read it, even if you have read it before!

Illusions of Adequacy Shattered !

Fate deck was not “stacked”

Without further ado, here is Chick in his own words!

chicklewis wrote:
Introduction for Chick Lewis, the luckiest guy you will ever meet

I was born American, male, middle-class, Protestant, to great, well-educated parents who didn’t smoke or drink. That is really THE luckiest opening hand one can possibly be dealt on this round blue planet.

My first wargame was when my Dad Walt, brought home the Marx Alamo Playset in ’54. He pushed the dining room table over against the wall so we could shoot the little plastic cannon projectiles at one another’s soldiers. Then when I was eight Walt taught me to play the brand-new Avalon Hill “TACTICS II”. I wore most of the red and blue ink off of those TACTICS II counters and never looked back.

I enjoyed an idyllic middle-class American childhood.

From a small coal-mining town in Pennsylvania, we moved to California when I was nine.

I went through school finishing up with a BA degree in Physics from UC San Diego.

Thereafter, I worked as a design engineer for two years and saved up some money.

I got all of my responsibilities behind me and "shoestring-vagabonded" once very slowly around the world. I spent 41 months (1974 to 1978) on the road, visiting 50 countries, for a total outlay of only $8K ($50/week). Amazingly, I returned to California with my health generally intact, and carrying the same backpack, camera, and passport as I carried at the start. Talk about Lucky!

I got lucky again a few years later when I was invited to become first employee of 3D Systems, the company which invented 3-Dimensional Printing.

I left 3D Systems and co-founded another 3D Printing company called Soligen, developing a different technology we licensed from MIT.

No engineer is EVER lucky enough to get to take TWO brand-new technologies from blank paper to market in one lifetime.

During that period I played a LOT of my then-favorite games, Yaquinto’s “Swashbuckler” and Avalon Hill’s “Gunslinger”, both using painted miniatures to replace flat counters.

In 1993 I began running monthly Call of Cthulhu games for my friends, and have game-mastered over 200 sessions. This triggered my now-extensive collection of 28mm painted figures and terrain.

2008 introduced me to the game Combat Commander, which is my favorite of all time.

Retired in 2009 and since have been lucky enough to do lots of exotic travel with my life-partner Donna, a gamer and a wonderful gal in SO many ways.

Then got lucky yet again when my e-Brother Jacovis unexpectedly invited me to join the august list of Geeks of the Week. Thanks, Jacob !


Thank you Chick!

Two Truths and a Lie - Which one is the Lie???

Edit: Poll Revised. Please re-enter your choice for the Lie if you posted it prior to this new poll! (1622 Hours PST 12/28/14) Sorry for the typo on my part!

Poll
Which one is the lie?
Chick ran for his life from spear-throwing tribesmen.
Chick is a video-game enthusiast.
Chick personally built and designed the prototypes for the world's first commercial 3D printer.
      109 answers
Poll created by Jacovis


And some questions to get you started!!

d10-1 What is your favorite Combat Commander Scenario?
d10-2 If you were to design your own wargame, which conflict would you simulate and why?
d10-3 What is your favorite board game besides Combat Commander?
d10-4 If you were to have to travel to a different country each for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in the same day, which country (and city if you'd like) would you go to for each, and what would you eat there?
d10-5 What is your personal favorite story from your many travels?

Have a great week Chick!!!
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Congrats Chick! Enjoy your week!
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Paul
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Grats! meeple
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Nicola Gambetti
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Congratulations, Chick, enjoy your week!
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Tim
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Congratulations Chick!

Do you have a favorite H.P. Lovecraft story or novel?

Cheers,
Tim
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Bob Hansen
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This didn't happen already? Wow! Congrats, Chick! Well deserved!
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Doug Hook
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"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
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Congratulations Chick!

Have a great week!

My usual question: Have you a favorite wizard? If so, who? If not, why?
And which game (if any) is he/she from?
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M. B.
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CONGRATULATIONS!

Please choose one set of dice to roll for luck:

Gold dice that are incredibly random when rolled and will produce a variable zero to great monetary payoff; miraculously.

Silver dice that are not super random when rolled but will much more frequently produce a somewhat nice modest monetary payoff; miraculously.

Have a great week!
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C. Rexford
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Congratulations Chick!
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Jonan Jello
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Congratulations, Chick!


Quote:
I got all of my responsibilities behind me and "shoestring-vagabonded" once very slowly around the world. I spent 41 months (1974 to 1978) on the road, visiting 50 countries, for a total outlay of only $8K ($50/week). Amazingly, I returned to California with my health generally intact, and carrying the same backpack, camera, and passport as I carried at the start. Talk about Lucky!

Dang! That's an impressive feat.
Worst Memory?
Best memory from that time?
Most & least hospitable country?
Did you have many "ah-ha!" moments and what and where were they?

Have you yet played Mountains of Madness?
If so, which investigator are you most impressed with their abilities?

Enjoy your week, Chick!
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Ken Dilloo
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Congrats Chick! Great choice.

What was the biggest screw you moment you have had in a game? Giving, receiving, self-inflicted, or some combination therein.

If you could say one thing, in this world, that is true, what would it be?

If you HAD to participate in an eating competition, what would be your food of choice?

Do you have a favorite BGG post?
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Chris Long
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Congrats Chick!

I can't believe so many people think that incident in the amazon didn't happen.
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Lee Massey
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Congrats Chick! It's about time!

What is your favorite thing about Combat Commander?

If you couldn't play CC, what game would take it's place?

What is your favorite non-gaming activity?

Have a good week!!
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Chick Lewis
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A few answers and opinions.

Yowee, I didn't realize GotW would be fun for somebody like me, who enjoys telling stories.

Jacovis asked:


1 What is your favorite Combat Commander Scenario?

It is probably #22 "We Go" with paratroopers randomly scattered all over the map at setup. Never plays even remotely like any previous playing.

2 If you were to design your own wargame, which conflict would you simulate and why?

Interesting question - it would be in central Asia during the unrest following the Russian Revolution, and would probably involve the Mad Baron von Ungern-Sternberg and his Tibetan elite Cavalry unit. (Because it has such an unbelievable setting and characters.)

3 "What is your favorite board game besides Combat Commander?"

It is Gunslinger, hands down. It doesn't seem to survive the test of time, however, being infinitely slower than video games for a first-person-shooter.

4 "If you were to have to travel to a different country each for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in the same day, which country (and city if you'd like) would you go to for each, and what would you eat there?"

Well, Jacob, this answer is likely to be boring since we became strict 'Vegan-no-oil' eaters a few years back. However, if I could be allowed to answer as if I were still an omnivore, it would be Kandy, Sri Lanka for a breakfast of ripe Avocado and creamy milk, followed by Bali, Indonesia for a lunch centered around Durian smoothies, and then off to Lake Toba, Sumatra for some astonishingly tasty tapioca root french-fries.

5 "What is your personal favorite story from your many travels?"
Thanks for the lead-in. It would be the 'Train Ride to Wau' story, which is quite long, and takes a lot of background. I'll send you the text of it by post, and we may post it here after my week winds down.

Chick
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Chris B
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Congratulations Chick, enjoy your week!
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Nathan Lewis
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Congrats Chick! Love reading your posts in Mansions of Madness and other Cthulhu related areas. Enjoy your week!
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Drake Coker
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Yay Chick! I can't think of a more deserving Geek.
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Chick Lewis
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"Do you have a favorite H.P. Lovecraft story or novel?"

I've always been gob-smacked by 'At the Mountains of Madness'. I've run the long superb 'Beyond the Mountains of Madness' CoC campaign twice for two completely different groups of players. Took 18 months each time. But the CREEPIEST Lovecraft is 'Dreams in the Witch House', the first such I ever read. It actually caused me to throw my paperback collection into the garbage bin before I finished that story, it upset my 13-year-old-soul so profoundly.

"Have you a favorite wizard? If so, who? If not, why?
And which game (if any) is he/she from?"

That has gotta be Gandalf, just because of his bad-ass denial of passage to the terrifying Balrog.

"Please choose one set of dice to roll for luck:"

It would be the golden dice, no brainer there.

From the Vagabonding Journey:

"Worst Memory?"

Certainly hitching through Bosnia on a winding mountain road near Titograd, and hitting a Bus head-on at good speed. Killed my driver outright, and put me in the hospital for a week. There are only three inches between the seats in a VW bug, and the old ones have the petrol tank right above the passenger's knees. It seems unbelievable that he died and I walked away from it, though covered in blood and gasoline. Pretty strong Vagabond's luck.

"Best memory from that time?"

It may be 'the Night I was Copernicus'. I'll see if I can write up that story and post it somewhere below. Don't have the gumption to do it right now.

"Most & least hospitable country?"

Most hospitable was Libya, believe it or not. Everyone who gave me a lift towards Egypt compelled me to have a meal with them so one day I had four lunches. Libyans are (were?) just CRAZY friendly and generous.

I didn't experience any inhospitable countries, I was welcomed and treated well everywhere I went.

"Did you have many "ah-ha!" moments and what and where were they?"

YES ! One day in Greece I visited some ancient 'beehive tombs' and discovered the transitional architecture between upright and lintel doorways and the classic arch ! And nobody else seems to be excited about this. I'll find a link and post it below so everyone can admire the concept of the 'relieving triangle'.

"Have you yet played Mountains of Madness?"

I received the supplement yesterday, and we will play on the 3rd.

"What was the biggest screw you moment you have had in a game? Giving, receiving, self-inflicted, or some combination therein."

Oh my, that is certainly the denouement of a long D&D campaign run by my buddy Olvenskol. The majordomo of a polity we were befriending was killed by the minions of the 'Dark God In Waiting Beyond'. We managed to resurrect him, to the applause of the entire kingdom. After the climactic battle had been fought, the majordomo borrowed and casually destroyed the one weapon which could kill the avatar of the Dark God, then revealed himself to be none other than that avatar !! OUCH !!

"If you could say one thing, in this world, that is true, what would it be?"

This is one question upon which I will need to ponder.

"If you HAD to participate in an eating competition, what would be your food of choice?"

Ripe Durian, seriously and without question. My favorite thing to eat in all the world.

"Do you have a favorite BGG post?"

Embarrassingly, my favorite is my own post "Fate Deck was NOT 'Stacked'", kindly linked at the head of this thread by Jacovis.

"What is your favorite thing about Combat Commander?"

Every game tells a compelling story, and VERY often it is so well balanced, in spite of the extreme randomness, that victory or defeat comes down to single final card draw.

"If you couldn't play CC, what game would take it's place?"

Hmmm, that's a tough one, there are no others I've played more than 600 times. It would be a big loss for us. Currently we play Eldritch Horror quite a bit, but it is COMPLETELY dissimilar.

"What is your favorite non-gaming activity?"

I really enjoy reading military history.

Thanks much for all the kind questions, and I'll try to fulfill a few of the promises I've made above.

Chick
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Christopher Ebert
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Congrats Chick! Very well deserved and long time coming!
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Mike Smith
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Combat Commander and Gunslinger - two of my favourites too. Enjoy!
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Jonna
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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नमस्ते (Namaste) – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.
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Congrats Chick! Here are some questions:

A Sunrise or sunset?
B Ocean or lake?
C What's the farthest place you've ever traveled to?
D If money (or nothing else for that matter) would be no object, where would you travel to?
E If you could go back in time and meet any one person you'd like to, who'd you meet and why?
F Your favourite pizza toppings?
G Any pets?
H What's the weirdest food you actually happen to love?
I What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
J What was the last film you saw? Would you recommend it?

Enjoy your week
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Jakob Bavnshøj
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Congratulations Chick. Have a great week!
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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Congrats Chick!

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Jim F
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Good choice. Enjoy your week!
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T'Leynti
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Congrats Chick!

d10-1 What is your favourite colour when playing a boardgame?
d10-2 Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
d10-3 Do you play an instrument? If yes, which one and for how long already?
d10-4 Having fun?
d10-5 What would have been your name if it wasn't the name you have?
d10-6 What is your favourite snack?
d10-7 What is your favourite day of the week?
d10-8 What is your favourite time of day?
d10-9 What character would you be in a Star Trek setting?
d10-1d10-0 What makes you "tick" (inspires you, why do you get up in the morning)?
d10-1d10-1 What is your life-long dream?
d10-1d10-2 What is your favourite RPG race/class?

Enjoy your week!
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