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I play with a small group and we have one guy who likes to develop one strategy for a game and use it again and again. For Civ it is this - In age 1 he is using science to upgrade the government, taking drama, michaelangelo, wonder wonder wonder. Never upgrades farms, passes over all military techs even at 1 cost, no urban buildings no blue buildings

Age 3 take movies, chaplan, win.

He's won 4 out of the last 5 like this, sometimes with 2 players sometimes with 3. Once, a few weeks ago, I went full military and declared 3 wars of culture on him. I smashed him in that game even though in age 3 he was scoring 25 culture per turn. I thought this would be enough to get him to respect military in the future but the next games were the same

And HES KILLING US! Last game I had a military advantage of 20, drawing 3 cards a turn. Got to aggress him one time. Every other draw was not aggression or war. Finally got to age 3 where my military was 30+ above him and the had churchhill, he takes ghandi, can't war him (5 red cubes) and he floats to victory.

I love the game but its now seeming pretty boring. I KNOW im playing better than he is, my military is teched my infrastructure is great, im up on science. I can not win! It seems to come down to can I get enough of the military cards I need to win or I just lose, and by a large embarassing margin!

Seems to me I need to declare 2-3 wars on culture along with the 7 up aggressions. In age 2 I cant get any aggressions in because his hand is just full of the anti aggression cards.

What the heck is happening to my hood?! I do not need to or even care if I win but I want a close and interesting game.
Advice?
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One thing I would like to clarify is that you are not playing better than he is. He is playing badly (inflexible, high risk play) and you are playing worse.

Not sure why this is a duplicate of the ongoing discussion in the strategy forum where you posted an identical thread.
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Benkyo wrote:
One thing I would like to clarify is that you are not playing better than he is. He is playing badly (inflexible, high risk play) and you are playing worse.

Not sure why this is a duplicate of the ongoing discussion in the strategy forum where you posted an identical thread.


Have to agree with Ben... it seems to me that everyone at that table is playing terribly if he keeps winning with that strategy!
 
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Benkyo wrote:
One thing I would like to clarify is that you are not playing better than he is. He is playing badly (inflexible, high risk play) and you are playing worse.

Not sure why this is a duplicate of the ongoing discussion in the strategy forum where you posted an identical thread.

Maybe it will become more true if it's posted more times?
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One thing that springs to mind, why didn't you have 6 millitary actions? If you don't have it and you have more millitary, it is clear that he will take ghandi if possible.

Do you remember to pay extra actions when you have already completed wonder to take new ones?
 
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Try a game online at www.boardgaming-online.com with that strategy yourself. If nothing else, you can confirm that you have all the rules right.
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I, in fact, can second the OPs argument. I just finished a 2p game against myself in BGO.

p1 -> heavy military
p2 -> pure culture

I'll have my thoughts below, but as a summary, let me say that; even though p1 was very promising, he had the worst draws (Oh Murphy ) from military deck just like OP had mentioned. p2 has won the game by 200+ points vs 100- points.

I followed the very basic military strategy Tim has suggested, and kept track of his points. Here's the game history from my perspective if you are interested in:

-----------------------------
Age I

- Game starts, p1 is 1st. He gets Ceasar
- p2 gets EG


During the early Age I, p1 finished the Library wonder, and managed to capture Knights. He also switched to Barbarossa and started building through Heavy Cavalry. He also seeded helpful events until he could get a military advantage enough for playing aggressions. Throughout the game, p1 had 2 labs, 3 mines and 2 farms. Finishing the library, science income was pretty good for him.

p2 on the other hand, got Alexander and pyramids. He had to skip Gardens but to his luck (Oh Murphy!!) he got michelangelo and basilica in the same turn. Quickly he switched to michelangelo and He built the 4th mine with the worker he got from alex. p2 almost always got the EGs as soon as they arrived (only EG-1 was captured by p1 for library).

Nearing the end of Age 1, p1 had 10+ lead on military. However p2 was strongly running for wonders and capturing them as soon as they arrived. p2 did not build any urban buildings. He had captured a Breakthrough and discovered Drama for free and built just 1. But that was quickly destroyed by an aggression. Later on, he decided that he was too vulnerable to raids, so it was better for him to focus on building wonders only.

The governments arrived very late, so p1 depended on CoL and Military Tech for actions, whereas p2 didnt worry about it. He grabbed Monarchy very late in Age 1.


----------------------------
Age II


In early Age 2, p2 was ready to switch government. but p1 denied him by spying. p2 had 3 defence cards but lost the battle with only 1 difference. This delayed him his government. But let me tell you, he was harshly building wonders. So, p2 actually was not using the +1 culture from happy faces that michelangelo gave, but instead he aggressively used him to draft wonders one after another.

p1 also draw a napeoleon army and started shifting to that. He also captured a vast territory that helped with the population. The colony was pricy because p2 had not used his defence cards and thefore using only 1 warrior, he raised the bet to 6 just for the heck of it , p2 didnt need the extra pop. p1 had to sacrifice his half army. In the same turn though, he positioned himself to napoleon army and got a military lead with 20+ pts again. He also switched to Napoleon as soon as he appeared in mid Age 2. With his solid science income (2 alch + Lib), p1 switched to CM. Note that, starting from Age 2, p1 started to draw very badly from military deck. he drew only 1 more raid, where he destroyed a drama and a lab, but that was it. p2 got all the remaining raids and wars, where p1 got all the events and defence/colonizations. this was sad for him, but he was hopeful of age 3. p1 started building through his second napoleon army expecting culture wars and aggressions.

Now, lets talk about p2. After the raid event, he lost his lab and immediately turned it into a mine. he got 5 mines now. By the end of Age 2, thanks to Michelangelo and EGs, p2 had built
- Pyramids
- St. Basilica
- Universitas
- Taj Mahal
- Eifel Tower
- Kremlin


When Age 3 hit, p2 had only 10 population, where there were 5 mines 2 farms, and the rest was unemployed. But he had a solid culture income for some time now, and the gap was getting serious. I think p2 was around 70 culture points and p1 was around 35.


------------------------------

Age 3


In Age 3, p2 could not build any more wonders, because drafting one costed him 7 CA at this point. So, he had to come up with an end-game plan. He could either push indirectly thru science (libraries), or directly culture (theaters). He managed to grab Chaplin the second he came, so it was decided and thus he drafted movies.

p1 on the other hand, saw that he had to win by a war, otherwise he would not be able to catch up with him. Therefore, he upped his military, drafted Air Forces asap, and tried to get two armies online. However, in age 3, p1 draw NO wars and almost NO aggressions (always drawing 3 cards). Moreover, he only got bad tactics (nothing that would be better than a Napoleon Army) This basically lost him the game. He switched to Churchill at some point, and started building high-tech military. There was 60-70pts of military difference nearing the end of Age 3. He waited and waited and waited for a War over Culture, which never happened. He got one armed intervetion and one raid, but they would not help the culture point difference which has risen to 60+ pts.

In the end, p2 grabbed two urban growths and two efficient upgrades (because he would not spend his actions on anything else, he got them for 3 CAs all the time). Using those, he created 2 more Dramas for free, and upgrading them to Movies with very low costs. As I mentioned, he was always at 10 population throughout the game; and whenever he could not build anything, he always went for an additional mine. That said, just before he started building the Movies, he had 7 mines and 2 farms and 1 unemployed. His plan was, the second he would hit 11 stones, he would destroy a mine and build a movie instantly. Using that immense mine production and yellow cards, he stripped himself down to
- 5 Bronze mines
- 3 Movies
- 2 Agriculture Farms
He also had
-Chaplin
And he had built
- Pyramids
- St. Basilica
- Universitas
- Taj Mahal
- Eifel Tower
- Kremlin


Therefore, his net culture yield was +28 in mid-late Age 3.
He also got all the war over culture and raid and aggressions He never seeded events. He would do so at the last round if the had the Impact of Wonders, but p1 had drawn it so p2 finished the game without seeding any events.

P1 finished the game without declaring any wars. lol.



--------------------

End of The Game



Culture difference at the end of the game was more than 100 pts. Let me write this precisely.

p1
- 66 military
- 95 culture

p2
- 0 military
- 207 culture

If you have read this far, you and I must be sharing the same opinion. This was an incredibly unlucky game for P1. RNJesus hated him this time.

BUT

I'm not sure about the odds, but, p1 should have at least drawn 1 War over Culture. And still, that would NOT win him the game. Note that 95/207 culture scores are *after* Impacts. So, when p1 could declare a war; he had around 40-50 pts of military and the culture difference was around 70-90. This means that, p1 had to draw TWO War over Cultures, because p2 would outpace him by 25 culture pts every additional turn.


What are the odds of drawing 2 War over Cultures in a 2p game?




------------------------------

Conclusion



In the end, this playthrough left me with questions. Both p1 and p2 played solid games. But while p1 was stressed over everything happening, p2 was very relaxed and just did whatever he wanted. I am not sure which is stronger/better anymore (I was convinced a deep military win before)... In a 3p or 4p game, instead of Chaplin, p2 could grab Gandhi and deny many attacks. Actually coming to think of that, Chaplin is not the right chouce, it should have been Gandhi. They differ by only 2 culture production, but Gandhi makes it much harder on opponents. If Gandhi is denied, then it is either Churchill or Chaplin for +3/+4 more culture points per turn respectively.

As a conclusion,
I think it comes down to this when comparing Military vs Wonder Strategy:

- Are you willing to let your opponents' luck of military draw decide your fate for the end of the game? If yes, then go for Wonders.

Or

- Are you willing to let your own luck of military draw decide your fate for the end of the game? If yes, then go for military.

Notice that in both cases, the military player gets to decide the end of the game by his luck of drawing

Also notice that in both cases, the end of the game gets decided by a luck of drawing military! (that's a boo yuk )

And that conclusion of game being decided by luck of a draw, my friends, made this game saddening for me Please tell me: what are the odds of p1 drawing military like that, although he almost always have drawn 3 cards???


PS: An Infiltrate in Age II or III would destory p2. You must include the odds of not drawing both of them. But then again, it's a 2p game where not everything gets drawn for sure
 
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batilc wrote:
I, in fact, can second the OPs argument. I just finished a 2p game against myself in BGO.


How many different threads do you plan to post this to?
 
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batilc wrote:
Culture difference at the end of the game was more than 100 pts. Let me write this precisely.

p1
- 66 military
- 95 culture

p2
- 0 military
- 207 culture

If you have read this far, you and I must be sharing the same opinion. This was an incredibly unlucky game for P1. RNJesus hated him this time.

BUT

I'm not sure about the odds, but, p1 should have at least drawn 1 War over Culture. And still, that would NOT win him the game.


I don't follow your math. War over Culture would gain P1 66 culture (now 161) and cost P2 66 culture (now 141). Why doesn't P1 win?
 
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grant5 wrote:
batilc wrote:
I, in fact, can second the OPs argument. I just finished a 2p game against myself in BGO.


How many different threads do you plan to post this to?


I dont know, how many duplicate topics have the OP created? ninja
 
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DaviddesJ wrote:


I don't follow your math. War over Culture would gain P1 66 culture (now 161) and cost P2 66 culture (now 141). Why doesn't P1 win?


That is the Endgame score that is calculated after Age IV and Age 3 Impact Events (which were seeded by Military strategy) are calculated in.

If the War over Culture would hit on the very last round, the culture points were

p1 - 75 culture
p2 - 185 culture

-> 110 difference.

with 66 military difference, war over culture would mitigate 66 * 2 = 132 points of culture difference, and would put p1 on the lead by 22 points.

However, p2 will have one last turn in which he will generate 28 more points. So p2 would be on the lead again.

If war over culture would hit even before, p1 would have less military, and therefore p2 would take the lead again on the last turn.

The math need not be exact, lets say military guy had won barely with a war over culture. It is still a bet for him to go full military in the beginning of the game, because he must definitely draw at least 1 war over culture card, and that alone does not guarantee a great win. You `somehow` catch up with Michelangelo, and you may win or lose still depending on how both of you performed overall. If you draw 2 wars, now that is some serious win. If you draw none, that is some serious lose.

So in the end, it all depends on how many wars can you draw in a 2p game. And that is a really cheap end-game resolution in a very strategic long-time-planning epic game like this
 
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batilc wrote:
If war over culture would hit even before, p1 would have less military, and therefore p2 would take the lead again on the last turn.


You get to decide when you play it.

Quote:
The math need not be exact, lets say military guy had won barely with a war over culture. It is still a bet for him to go full military in the beginning of the game


Of course everything is a gamble. If any strategy worked 100% of the time the game would not be much fun. But often you will draw 2 wars, or more.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
But often you will draw 2 wars, or more.


Thats exactly what I am asking. What are the odds of drawing 0 or 1 culture war in a 2p game? How common would you say? 4 out of 5 games?

I hate that this probability is the deciding factor in this case. In 3p, 4p games almost all the war cards are drawn so thats cool. I am perfectly OK with the probability that Michelangelo draws all the Infiltrate and War over Culture cards in 3p and 4p games as well. I only think that 2p might be bugged a little for this case :/
 
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Doesnt war over culture give 5 culture plus the difference?
 
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Obviously, it depends on how many military cards you draw. With no Pacts, there's 4 wars in Age II out of 46 cards, and 6 wars in Age III out of 41 cards, if I've counted correctly. If you draw 3 cards a turn for 6 turns in Age II, and 3 cards a turn for 5 turns in Age III, the probability distribution is:

0 wars = 0.64%
1 war = 4.60%
2 wars = 14.12%
3 wars = 24.41%
4 wars = 26.29%
5 wars = 18.40%
6 wars = 8.48%
7 wars = 2.53%
8 wars = 0.47%
9 wars = 0.05%
10 wars = 0.00%
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Obviously, it depends on how many military cards you draw. With no Pacts, there's 4 wars in Age II out of 46 cards, and 6 wars in Age III out of 41 cards, if I've counted correctly. If you draw 3 cards a turn for 6 turns in Age II, and 3 cards a turn for 5 turns in Age III, the probability distribution is:

0 wars = 0.64%
1 war = 4.60%
2 wars = 14.12%
3 wars = 24.41%
4 wars = 26.29%
5 wars = 18.40%
6 wars = 8.48%
7 wars = 2.53%
8 wars = 0.47%
9 wars = 0.05%
10 wars = 0.00%

this is 100% wrong , if you just count age III then there is no way to draw 7 war cards (there are only 6) and if you calculating for both age II and III then there are chances for 10 out of 10 card draw :)
 
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Zorak wrote:
this is 100% wrong , if you just count age III then there is no way to draw 7 war cards (there are only 6) and if you calculating for both age II and III then there are chances for 10 out of 10 card draw


If there's one thing I can do, it's math. The exact probability of drawing all 10 wars is 595/28505947, which is 0.00% to two decimals, or 0.002087% if you want more precision.
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I am not an expert player at all but it seems to me that the key to your opponent's strategy is draft Michelangelo. If that is the case why doesn't someone else take Michelangelo? That would force him to change his strategy.
 
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DaviddesJ wrote:
the probability distribution is:

0 wars = 0.64%
1 war = 4.60%
2 wars = 14.12%
3 wars = 24.41%
4 wars = 26.29%
5 wars = 18.40%
6 wars = 8.48%
7 wars = 2.53%
8 wars = 0.47%
9 wars = 0.05%
10 wars = 0.00%



Are you sure you are calculating the drafting probability of a single player in a 2p game, and not mistaking it for the overall drafting probability of these war cards by both players in total? Have you included the player count in your computation? Your ratios seem way higher than normal and looks normal for the total number of drawn war cards.

Anyhow, we should check the cumulative distribution function for drawing 3 military cards for 11 turns, and the inverse of that cdf as well:


Drafting
0 or lesser wars = 0.0064 -> 0%
1 or lesser wars = 0.0524 -> 5%
2 or lesser wars = 0.1936 -> 19%
3 or lesser wars = 0.4377 -> 43%
4 or lesser wars = 0.7006 -> 70%
5 or lesser wars = 0.8846 -> 88%
6 or lesser wars = 0.9694 -> 96%
7 or lesser wars = 0.9947 -> 99%
8 or lesser wars = 0.9994 -> 99%
9 or lesser wars = 0.9999 -> 99%
10 or lesser wars = 1 -> 100%


Inverse interpretation of CDF tells more:


Drafting:
more than 0 wars = 0.9936 -> 99%
more than 1 wars = 0.9476 -> 94%
more than 2 wars = 0.8064 -> 80%
more than 3 wars = 0.5623 -> 56%
more than 4 wars = 0.2994 -> 29%
more than 5 wars = 0.1154 -> 11%
more than 6 wars = 0.0306 -> 3%
more than 7 wars = 0.0053 -> 0%
more than 8 wars = 0.0006 -> 0%
more than 9 wars = 0.0001 -> 0%
more than 10 wars = 0 -> 0%


As I said, a 80% probability for drawing 3 or more war cards for each player seems extremely high. 80% is way more common for the total number of war cards being drawn by both players in total.
 
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Mundane wrote:
I am not an expert player at all but it seems to me that the key to your opponent's strategy is draft Michelangelo. If that is the case why doesn't someone else take Michelangelo? That would force him to change his strategy.



Isnt hate-drafting a leader that early very bad :/? After my BGO game, I think I would rather push forward with this `wonder` strategy if I needed to grab Michel at the beginning of the age. Then I would be the protagonist of this strategy, lol If he is late though, then the other player would not go that strategy as well.
 
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batilc wrote:
Are you sure you are calculating the drafting probability of a single player in a 2p game, and not mistaking it for the overall drafting probability of these war cards by both players in total?


Yes, of course I'm sure. As a sanity check, you can compute the expected number of wars: 6*3*(4/46)+5*3*(6/41) = 3546/943 = 3.76. So it's not surprising that this player would generally draw 3 or more.

It's high by comparison to actual experience because most players aren't drawing 3 cards every turn for 11 turns. Even if they have 3+ military actions, they don't have 3+ unspent military actions every turn. Also, in a 3+ player game, the figure would be somewhat lower, because (1) pacts are in the deck, reducing the density of wars; and (2) there may be a reshuffle, and wars are less likely to be in the deck after the reshuffle, as people hold on to them.

In the BGO game you mentioned above, you presumably have the entire record online. How many Age II military cards and Age III military cards did P1 draw?
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Without doing anything remotely complicated, you can see that with a decent amount of MAs, drawing about 1/3 of each deck is pretty standard, so on average you can expect ~1.5 Age II wars and ~2 Age III wars.

EDIT: DavidDesJ beat me to it.
 
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Zorak wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Obviously, it depends on how many military cards you draw. With no Pacts, there's 4 wars in Age II out of 46 cards, and 6 wars in Age III out of 41 cards, if I've counted correctly. If you draw 3 cards a turn for 6 turns in Age II, and 3 cards a turn for 5 turns in Age III, the probability distribution is:

0 wars = 0.64%
1 war = 4.60%
2 wars = 14.12%
3 wars = 24.41%
4 wars = 26.29%
5 wars = 18.40%
6 wars = 8.48%
7 wars = 2.53%
8 wars = 0.47%
9 wars = 0.05%
10 wars = 0.00%

this is 100% wrong , if you just count age III then there is no way to draw 7 war cards (there are only 6) and if you calculating for both age II and III then there are chances for 10 out of 10 card draw


Actually, after a war is played, it goes to the discard pile. If the deck reshuffles, you can draw it again. This is unlikely in 2 player, but it can happen that you draw more than 6 wars in age III.
 
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If you are going for a military strategy and you enter a Age III with only 3 MA (a number I saw mentioned a few times above), you're doing it wrong. Three MA are NOT enough to sustain a late-game military strategy.
 
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I checked up the records:

Age III lasts 5 rounds, in which p1 draws 15 military cards.
Age II lasts 5 rounds, in which p1 draws 12 military cards.

So it makes a total of 27 military cards drawn. p1 drew 3 less cards in Age II since he played one or two aggressions while updating himself to Napoleonic Army and pumping-up his military.
 
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