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Subject: For the People - How to Lose - in HALF THE TIME! rss

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Vince Londini
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For the People
Saturday, April 21, 2007

After reviewing riverine movement, crossing rivers, and army creation SW rules, we started. Our game ran 4 hours until the Union crashed into oblivion. We couldn't bring ourselves to play the 1 minute-turns suggested at the end of our last session report, though familiarity helped us move much faster. Typing out the turn record slows the game as well.

Special thanks to our scribe, who took notes for most of 1861 to help us speed the game and helped us develop better shorthand (replacing card titles with card numbers). Thanks, Lori

[Comments in brackets are my own post-game analysis].

JP = Confederacy
Vince = Union

Spring 1861
Reinforcements
Skipped

Strategy Cards (4)
Vince plays Dorothea Dix as an EC to gain 3 Sps in Army of Potomac (AP)

JP plays “Bermuda Blockade Surge” as an EC to gain 1SP in Acquia Creek and Norfolk.

Vince plays “Elite Units” as an EC to add the Iron Brigade to the AP

JP plays “Red River Campaign” as an OC for 3OPs to place PC markers in Paducah, Bowling Green, and Sommerset (KY).

Vince plays “Dixie Land” as an OC for 3OPs to place PC markers in Lousiville, Frankfort, and Lebanon (KY) [This card should have been used to attack Manassas with AP]

JP plays “Union 90-Day Enlistments” expire as an EC to force Vince to lose 3SPs (reduces AP by 3SPs).

Vince plays “CSS Tennessee” as an OC for 1OP to build a fort in Cairo. [A fort in Frederick, MD would have been nice]

JP plays “Quaker Guns” as an OC for 1OP to move 1SP from Acquia Ck to Manassas.

Political Control Phase
Nothing

Attrition Phase
JP lost 1SP in Manassas
Vince lost 1SP in AP

Summer 1861
Reinforcements
Vince gains 8 SP in AP place 2 SP in Cincinnati, 3 in Vincennes and 1 in Indianapolis, 2 in Cairo, and 2 in St. Louis

JP gains 9 SP and places 1SP each in: Richmond, Savanna, Wilmington, Ft. Gadson, Nashville, Decatur, Ft. St. Phillip/Jackson, Corinth, Charleston, and 4 SP more (1 each) in Wilmington, Charleston, New Orleans, Pensacola.

Strategic Movement
Vince moves 3 SP from Vincennes to Lebanon; 1SP from Philadelphia to Frederick; 1 SP from Columbus to Washington, D.C. ; 1 SP from Springfield to Cairo; 2 SP from Pittsburgh to Harper's Ferry; 2 SP from AP to Ft. Monroe.

JP moves 2 SP from Charleston to Richmond; 2 SP from Savanna to Richmond; !SP from Norfolk to Richmond; 1 SP from Corinth and Decatur to Nashville; 1 SP from Mobile to Nashville.

Generals
Vince 1 in Cincinnati (McClellan) 1 in Lebanon (Banks), 1 in Cairo (Burnside), 2 in Harpers' Ferry (Buelle, Halleck), 2 in AP (Pope, Rosencrans)

JP in Richmond(Stuart), Dover (Smith), Wilmington (Bragg)

Strategy cards (5)
Vince plays “Admiral Foote” as EC to move McClellan and 3 SP into Paducah. [This seems a wasted play and was the only 3OP card this turn.]

JP plays “Brooklyn Navyyard” as OC for 2 OP activated Gen. Bragg who moved from Wilmington(with 2 SP) to Richmond

Vince plays “Mosby's Raiders” for 1 OP used to place a PC in Lexington KY

JP plays “Emergency Call for Volunteers as OC for 2 OP and creates Army of North Virginia commanded by Gen Bragg and Stuart as Cavalry Gen. - 7 SP now in Richmond.

Vince plays Kansas admitted to the Union” as EC gains 1sp in Springfield MO.

JP Ball's Bluff as EC takes 1SP from AP

Vince plays “3 Cigars” as OC for 1OP – place PC in Fallmouth

JP plays “forward to Richmond” forcing V to discard “Mud March” and play the “Forward to Richmond” on his turn.

Vince has to follow the “Forward to Richmond” card – leaving 1SP in Washington D.C. AP with 9 SP moves to Manassas to attack Beauregard with 3 SP. JP fails retreat. Vince's DRM of +6 and JP is +1. Vince's total is 12, JP's is 7. Vince wins – force eliminated. Vince loses 2 guys. JP lost Beauregard – killed. Vince spends movement point converting Manassas and to Fredricksburg and converted it. Vince tries to move to Hanover, JP tries to intercept – fails. AP converts Hanover. [This pulls Vince out of DC – the fatal move]

JP plays “Pro- Union...” as OC for 1 OP – moves Stuart's brigade from ANV to Manassas

Political control phase
JP removes Union PC from Manassas

Vince flipped PC marker to Union control in Paducah.

Attrition Phase
JP – ANV loses 2 SP, Nashville loses 1 SP

V – Harper's Ferry loses 1 Lebanon loses 1, Ft. Monroe, St Louis loses 1, Paducah loses 1, Cairo loses 1, AP loses 3

Fall 1861
Reinforcements
Vince – 8 SP in Washington DC 3 in Jackson OH, 3 in Cincinnati, and 4 in Cairo

JP – 1 in ANV, 1 in Marion, 1 in Weldon, 1 in Nashville, 1 in Decatur, 1 in Corinth, 1 in Dalton, 1 in New Orleans, 1 in Live Oak, Acquia Creek, Charleston, Columbus GA, New Orleans

Strategic movement
Vince – 15 points; 2SP from Indianapolis to Lebanon, 2SP from DC to Ft. Monroe

JP – 7 points; 1 for New Orleans to Nashville, 1 from New Orleans to ANV, 1 from Columbus, Live Oak, Marion, Weldon, 2 to Manassas and 3 to ANV
Van Dorn and Pemberton in ANV

Strategy card phase (6)
V - “union naval supply shortage” as OC for 3 OP to activate Buell and 3 SP attacking J. Johnston in Winchester – J. Johnston retreats successfully;
Buell attacks J. Johnston again in Strasburg; Stuart intercepts and joins J. Johnston in Strasburg;
Vince's DRM is +1 and JP gets +6 JP total is 9 and Vince 6; Vince wins; both lose 1 SP; J. Johnston is on turn track; Stuart retreated to manassas; Buell etc move into Strasburg. [This was wasted. They should have moved to DC to provide DRMs for the troops stationed there.]

JP – plays “Adm Porter” for 2 OP to activate ANV which attacks AP in Hanover – JP DRM +4 and Vince +3 JP total is 10 Vince's is 4; Vince loses 3, JP loses 1; AP retreats to Fredricksburg; JP converts Hanover and attacks AP in Fredricksburg – DRM jp +8 and Vince +3; total 10 Vince 4 - Vince's guys dead Rosencrans Pope and McDowell on to turn track. Vince loses 13 SW (Union now at 87-)
JP moves to Manassas picks up Stuart and 2 SP and attacks Fredrick
leaves 1 SP in Fredrisksburg. JP DRM +5 – roll total 10 Vince – 1. JP puts PC marker in Fredrick MD

Vince – plays card 79 to move all Generals. Moves McClellan to Washington DC.

JP – plays 110 to build Fort at Acquia Creek.

V – plays card 4 result Van Dorn killed.

JP – plays 112 as OP – activates ANV, Converts Baltimore and Annapolis before attacking DC. JP's DRM = +5, V's=+4; JP's roll totals 7, Vince's roll totals 5. Vince loses 1SP and is forced to retreat from DC, JP loses 2SPs and advances into DC. Vince loses an additional SP upon retreating into Confederate controlled Baltimore (JP's choice). JP converts WashDC. Vince loses 30SW (Union SW now 57-) and capitol is placed on holding space. [DC Falls.]

V – card 98 as OC to activate Burnside with 5SPs to move through Paducah to attack Columbus, KY. V's DRM = +4, JP's DRM=+2; V totals 8, JP totals 4. JP loses the space, V loses 1SP. Burnside attacks Memphis. Both sides get +2DRM. V=6, J=5. Both lose 1SP, which eliminates JP's force. Polk is removed to turn track. Burnside has to stop in Memphis.

JP – card 129 to activate ANV which moves to Frederick (V fails to intercept) then Gettysburg (converts it) then York (converts) then attacks McClellan's corp in Baltimore. JP's DRM=+5, V's=+2. V=6, JP=8. V loses 2SP and retreats to Wilmington (DE), JP loses 1SP.

V – card 69 to EC to increase Blockade level by 1.

JP – card 118 as OC to move ANV to Harrisburg (convert) then move to DC.

V – card 114 as EC to place 5SPs in Philadelphia.

JP – 52 as EC to gain 7SW (5+2rf). Confederate SW now 107+.

Political Control Phase
Union makes Indianapolis the new capitol.
Vince converts KY for +12SW (Union SW 69+)
Vince loses 8SW (5, 3rf) (Union SW 61-)

Attrition Phase
V – loses 1SP Philadelphia, Wilmington, Jackson, Cinci, Lebanon, St.Louis, Fort Monroe
J – loses 1SP ANV, Nashville

1861 Lessons Learned
The Union must focus on defending DC. No doubt Vince's poor die rolls and handful of 1 OP cards didn't help when he got hammered with “Forward to Richmond.” He did learn from the last game to add more generals (for die-roll modifiers) and SPs to AP. But, he should have spent every 2 or 3 OP card in the east and took some buffer territory (Manassas) instead of worrying too much about the West. Vince narrowly avoids losing outright this turn, because he took KY. But at this point, it only prolongs the inevitable.

Spring 1862
Reinforcements
V – 4 in PA, NJ, DE minus 2 for Confederate occupied Baltimore and Harrisburg – 2SPs join McClellan in Wilmington. 2SPs in Indy, Vincennes, Columbus. 2SPs in Springfield, Alton.

JP – 1SP each in Richmond, Marion, Weldon, Nashville, Corinth, Decatur, Dalton, New Orleans, and Little Rock. 3 out of 4 Blockade reinforcements succeeded = 1SP in New Orleans, I SP in Mobile, 1SP in Norfolk.

Strat Move
V - 4SPs from Philadelphia to Wilmington.
JP – Marion, Weldon, Decatur (2), New Orleans (3) to ANV (4) and Nashville (3).

Generals
V – Cav Gen (Stoneman) and 1 Gen (Curtis) in Wilmington, Cairo (Pope), Jackson Ohio (Rosencrans), Indianapolis (McDowell).

JP – ANV (Polk), Nashville (Lee, J.Johnston); Cav Gens in Corinth (Morgan), Nashville (Forrest, Wheeler).

Strategy Cards (7)
V – card 108 as OC to re-create AP in Wilmington with 9SPs under McClellan with Stoneman and Curtis.

JP – card 67 to activate A. Johnston and 2SP moves to Decatur and gains 2SPs, moves to Corinth and gains Morgan and 2SPs, attacking Memphis. JP's DRM = +3, V's DRM = +1. V's total = 4, JP's total = 7. V loses 2SPs and Burnside returns to Turn Track. JP captures Memphis after losing 1Sp.

V – card 107 to activate AP which moves to Baltimore. JP intercepts gaining +2. JP's DRM = +5, V's = +1. V=5, JP=7. V loses 2 and retreats to Wilmington, JP loses 1.

JP – card 94 to create the Army of Mississippi (AM) with 4SPs, under A. Johnston with Morgan as Cav Gen.

V -card 25 as an EC and removes card 38 from JP's hand.

JP – card 24 to create the Army of Tennessee (AT) with 4 SPs, under Lee with Forrest (2SPs), J. Johnston, and Wheeler's cav brigade.

V – card 122 to activate AP to attack ANV. JP's DRM = +3, V's = +1. JP=8, V=6. ANV loses 2SP, AP loses 3SP.

JP – card 83 (Major Campaign) to activate AM which leaves 1SP in Memphis before attacking the 1 union SP in Columbus, KY. V = 1; J = 6+6=12. AM converts Columbus, KY, then attacks Paducah. V = 3, JP = 2+3=5. Both sides lose 1SP and AM retreats to Columbus, KY.
2nd Campaign move activates AT, which moves to Bowling Green (converts) then attacks Lebanon KY. V=2, JP=5+8=13. Vince's force is annihilated and Banks is returned to the turn track. JP takes a leader casualty. J.Johnston is killed and AT loses 1SP. AT converts Lebanon, then moves to Louisville and converts it.
3rd Campaign move activates ANV which moves to Acquia Creek and Manassas to pick up 2SPs before returning to DC.

V – card 54 to build a fort in Paducah, KY.

JP – card 35 to add Stonewall Brigade to AM.

V – card 56 to build a fort in Indianapolis.

JP – card 39 to activate Price and 2Sps, moves to Little Rock and picks up 1SP and joins AM.

V – card 28 to build a fort in Cincinnati.

Political Control Phase
Nothing

Attrition Phase
JP – AT, AM both lose 1SP; ANV loses 2SP.
V – AP loses 1SP.

Summer 1862
Reinforcements
V – 2SPs to AP, 6SPs in Indianapolis, 4SPs in Cairo.
JP – 1SP in AM, Nashville, Corinth, Decatur, Richmond, Kingston, New Orleans, Weldon, Marion. 3 of 4 Blockade Runner reinforcements received – Columbus, Norfolk, Savannah.

Strat Moves
V – none
JP – 1SP each from Columbus, Norfolk, etc... 7SPs to AT (6), 1 Richmond.

Generals
V – Pleasonton in Indianapolis, Burnside and Banks to Cairo.
JP – Jackson ends up in AT, Longstreet in Decatur.

Strategy Cards (7)
Vince – card 17 to create Army of the Cumberland (AC) in Indianapolis. Union loses 2SW (Union SW now 59-).

JP – card 71 to build a fort in Louisville.

V – card 106 to activate Rosencrans in Jackson (OH) with 2 Sps, who moves through Columbus OH and picks up 2 Sps before joining AC in Indianapolis.

JP – card 125 to activate AT which moves to Bloomington (converts), then Vernon (converts) before attacking AC in Indianapolis. JP's DRM +9, V's DRM +6. LARGE BATTLE. JP=14, V=10. Vince takes 5SPs, JP takes 6SPs and retreats to Vernon. JP loses 8SW, Vince Gains 5SW (Confederate SW=99-, Union=64+). Stonewall Jackson was killed.

V – card 101 to create Army of Missouri (AI) with 6sps under Burnside with Pope and Banks. Vince loses 5SW (Union SW 59-).

JP – card 41 to place 2 Sps in Dover, TN.

V – card 80 to move 1SP from Cincinnati to Franklin, WV.

JP – card 11 to activate AM, moves to Dover to pick up 2SPs, then moves on to Louisville.

V – card 102 to activate Fremont in St. Louis who picks up 2SPs in Alton, 2SPs in Springfield and ends in AC.

JP – 34 to move AT down to Louisville, picks up 4SPs and Elite brigade, moves to Greencastle (converts) then attacks AC. JP's DRM +7, V's=+6. V=8, JP=11. AC loses 5SPs and Rosencrans is killed and AC retreats to Dayton, AT loses 4SPs. Indianapolis is lost. Union loses 30SW (Union SW 29-).

V – card 33 to move 1SP from Cincinnati to Grafton, WV.

JP – card 48 for 5SW (Confederate SW 104+).

V – card 44 to gain 3 PCs in WV.

JP – card 2 to subtract 2 SW from Union (Union SW 27-).

Political Control
V – WV converts +8SW (Union SW=35+)
JP – converts Indianapolis.

Attrition
Doesn't matter at this point

End of Turn
Union loses – Confederate player has more than double SW of Union player at end of turn. Confederate SW = 104, Union SW=35

Post-Game Analysis
The Union player must do several things to avoid losing DC. 1) Beef up AP's DRM by adding generals, 2) Add SPs to AP, and 3) Capture some territory in Virginia to provide a buffer for DC and force the Confederates to move the long-way into Union east-coast territory.

The Union player must resist the urge to tinker too much in the West until DC is secure. In the short-term, losing KY to Confederate influence is preferable to losing DC.

This game took 1/2 the time of our 9-hour marathon. Sometimes we noticed the record-keeping slowing gameplay. A few times our own analysis paralysis bogged things down. But, mostly, we kept it moving and got almost as far as our last game in half of the time. [I guess that means I lost twice as fast ]

Edited: Thank-you and explanation of shorthand development added to intro text.
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JP
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Vince, reading the report, I think another thing you could have done was to zip your Army of the Potomac back up to Washington DC during turn 2, or at least to Manassas. It actually had a turn of grace because I moved a cav brigade up to Manassas to cut off your supply, then just sat there for the rest of the turn without attacking the AP (or, did you not have any ops cards to activate that army?). And you also even had a second chance to move the following turn because you got to go first. You could have taken Manassas, and forced me to attack you there before any sort of attack on DC....

But all in all it was a good game. We're getting better at it!

JP
 
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Paul Dickey
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Hi, Is Acquia Creek actually a blockade running port it does not have the arrow symbol next to is?

thanks (learning the game)
 
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Vince Londini
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Situational Study
Last two card plays of Summer 1861:

Vince has to follow the “Forward to Richmond” card – leaving 1SP in Washington D.C. AP with 9 SP moves to Manassas to attack Beauregard with 3 SP. JP fails retreat. Vince's DRM of +6 and JP is +1. Vince's total is 12, JP's is 7. Vince wins – force eliminated. Vince loses 2 guys. JP lost Beauregard – killed. Vince spends movement point converting Manassas and to Fredricksburg and converted it. Vince tries to move to Hanover, JP tries to intercept – fails. AP converts Hanover. [This pulls Vince out of DC – the fatal move]

JP plays “Pro- Union...” as OC for 1 OP – moves Stuart's brigade from ANV to Manassas


First two card plays of Fall 1861:

V - “union naval supply shortage” as OC for 3 OP to activate Buell and 3 SP attacking J. Johnston in Winchester – J. Johnston retreats successfully; Buell attacks J. Johnston again in Strasburg; Stuart intercepts and joins J. Johnston in Strasburg; Vince's DRM is +1 and JP gets +6 JP total is 9 and Vince 6; Vince wins; both lose 1 SP; J. Johnston is on turn track; Stuart retreated to manassas; Buell etc move into Strasburg. [This was wasted. They should have moved to DC to provide DRMs for the troops stationed there.]

JP – plays “Adm Porter” for 2 OP to activate ANV which attacks AP in Hanover – JP DRM +4 and Vince +3 JP total is 10 Vince's is 4; Vince loses 3, JP loses 1; AP retreats to Fredricksburg; JP converts Hanover and attacks AP in Fredricksburg – DRM jp +8 and Vince +3; total 10 Vince 4 - Vince's guys dead Rosencrans Pope and McDowell on to turn track. Vince loses 13 SW (Union now at 87-). JP moves to Manassas picks up Stuart and 2 SP and attacks Fredrick leaves 1 SP in Fredrisksburg. JP DRM +5 – roll total 10 Vince – 1. JP puts PC marker in Fredrick MD.


It turns out that I only had 1 opportunity to react.

What was I thinking?
J.Johnston had only 1SP, I didn't think he might try to retreat(and succeed). Nor did I foresee Stuart's possible intervention (which resulted in the worst possible situation an additional +2DRM when he did intercept). So, I did the "sure thing" and had Buell attack J.Johnston to eliminate him, so Buell and co. could march south unopposed.

I thought I was taking a fairly direct route to reinforce AP with Buell, Halleck and 2SPs (what I expected would survive). But, it didn't work. I was hoping to reinforce AP (Army Potomac) to keep the ANV (Army N. Virginia) in check and eventually create a 2nd army in DC with those 8SPs. Was that such a bad strategy after all? Or was it simply killed by bad execution (in this case the die rolls we all love to hate)?

What should I have done with my 1st card in Fall 1861?

Buell Strategy
AP needed more SPs (turns out it was destroyed outright on JP's next card by SP elimination) and Buell has them. So, Buell needs to link up with AP. This approach hinges on whether Buell can beat Stuart in a small battle (3SPs w/Stuart vs 1SP Cav Brigade). If Buell ties with Stuart he does eliminate the Cav Brigade, but has to stop and thus fails to reinforce AP.

AP Strategy
If AP can defeat Stuart it can get to DC and gain more SPs.

But, I have to ask - How much would it really have mattered given the Union player's low OP cards, poor generals, forced march to Richmond, and little time to prepare (we are talking end of turn 2, beginning of turn 3)? I'm just not sure (short of extraordinary luck) there was really a way out of it. I was beat fair and square by JP's excellent trap!

Anyone have any ideas?
 
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Ah...that's a good question, we might have forgotten that until a few turns in...what do you think, JP?
 
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No, it is not a blockading port.
 
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Paul Dickey
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then you should not have placed sp using bermuda blockade card, or reinforements in acquia creek?
 
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That is correct! I shouldn't have been allowed to do that. Good eye! Did it make a large difference?
 
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No, it didn't make too much of a difference. In the following round, I put another sp in Acquia as my Virginia state reinforcement, and then built the fort there with a 3 ops card later that round.
 
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Actually, I still screwed that up because in that same turn, I also put one of my reinforcements in the ANV which was in Richmond. Therefore, I had put my 1 sp in Acquia as a port reinforcement, which I shouldn't have been allowed to do....
 
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Vince Londini
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Paul, good call, thanks! Though it was the least of my worries

In all, we're getting better at the game - now to get it to the table again, soon!
 
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Wow! Does this mean I'm finally getting the rules!!!

 
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Nope! Not until you can regurgitate the river rules without consulting the rule book!
 
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The confederate can never cross rivers unless the Union does not have control and the union can always cross rivers unless there is a fort.

well........well.......?



 
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Vince Londini
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Hey, good summary...doesn't explain how the Confederacy can break Union control ("build a fort on the space with the blue-side or upstream from it" might suffice, feel free to take a shot at it)...but it's on the right track

P.S. Did I get that right? I'm not looking at the rules
 
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An ironclad will also do the trick, although I can't remember if it denies control of just the port it is in, or everything up/downstream to another ironclad or fort...
 
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