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Subject: Geek of the Week #194: Dave Davies rss

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Frank McGirk
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I chose Dave to be my successor from my familiarity with his frequent comments on Geeklists and in the forums. He is, perhaps, most recognized for his Geeklist Polls that have been immensely popular recently and which give the geek a more Cosmopolitan feel (though he still hasn't told me what kind of lover I am based on my top 5 games).

Enjoy your week Dave, and thanks to everyone for making mine a lot of fun!

I now present to you Dave Davies, aka Bonaparte (waves arms fratically over head and yells)...

Bonaparte
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dave davies wrote:

I cannot remember a time when games were not a part of my life. As a young child my family of 5 would play Hearts in the evenings. Later I learned to play Pinochle, Bridge, and Cribbage. My parents would host card parties and often need a sit-in for someone who could not attend. I was frequently called upon. It was a sacred duty; or it seemed like it to me. Looking back it must have seemed odd to have an 11 year old sitting in a smoke filled living room full of card tables with a bunch of slightly intoxicated middle aged couples. This was where I learned to play poker as well.

Along with card playing, I spent my evenings and summers playing Stratego, Tank Battle, Carrier Strike and other games with friends and family. My older brother taught me to play chess in the third grade. For some reason I took to chess. I started playing often. In the 4th grade I won the grade school chess tournament. At that time I thought I wanted to be Bobby Fisher. I didn’t realize how amazingly good real chess players were. I did keep playing and found myself on the chess team in high school. It was as much of a social group as anything but we did have fun playing. I met one of my best life-friends on the team and we still game together weekly.

A few members of the chess team started playing Dungeons and Dragons. This was in 1981; the heyday for D&D. From 1981 until 1987 I played D & D multiple times per week in a variety of games. It was not until college that I started playing war games. In 1988 I met another lifetime friend and member of our current game group. He was the older brother of a high school friend and a huge history buff. He still knows more about History than I do, and I teach it. He introduced a group of us to Avalon Hill games and the like. I have clear memories of playing Pax Britannica, Source of the Nile, Star Fleet Battles, War and Peace and many other games. During this time my D&D interest faded into good memories.

My other life interests developed throughout this High School / College. These include Reading, Hiking, Modeling (building them, not being one), History and Politics. The first Fantasy book I ever read was The Dragon and the George by Gordon R Dickson. I loved it and was hooked on the genre. This led me to the Lord of the Rings, the Amber series, and Science Fiction. I am still a devout Arthur C Clarke fan because of Rendezvous with Rama, Childhood’s End, and 2001. As I got older my reading tastes broadened but I still love these two genres.

I graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in History and English. I then started working for Young Life which I did for 11 years. I have always enjoyed young people and had a love for Jesus. This naturally led me to this ministry. I met my wife while working for Young Life in Seattle. We have been married for 21 years and have two boys 12 & 15. We game together frequently along with other activities like camping, cross country skiing, biking and going to the beach. My family and my faith are the most important pieces of my life. After leaving Young Life I started teaching in public schools. My first teaching job was Middle School wood shop. Two years was enough and I transferred to teaching high school Social Studies and Language Arts. I currently teach U.S. and World history, Psychology, and Sociology. I am also an associate pastor at my Church in Sought Seattle.

Back to gaming. My game group has a 4th person, another long time dear friend I have known for years. He currently teaches math and physics at the same high school I teach. Our group has been meeting together weekly for years. A fifth person has joined us occasionally after contacting me through BGG. We play a wide variety of games but tend towards military games in the Avalon Hill, GMT vein. We mix in games Like Arkham Horror, Puerto Rico, and Agricola but these tend to fill the holes between meatier fair. My favorite game experience was playing Empires and Arms with this group. We just completed playing 2 Paths of Glory games side by side and are now starting Clash of Monarchs. This seems a bit long so I will sign off here. I am grateful for the Geek of the Week honor. It has been a fun site to be a part of and share gaming with.

2 truths and 1 lie. ( I hate this game because not enough interesting things have happened to me).

I don’t like beer.
I have been in an airplane that was struck by lightning.
I have read every Shakespeare Play.



And to kick off the questions...

Although you gravitate to heavier games, are their any light games that your particularly enjoy?

Describe the ambience of a typical game night (snacks, music, location, etc.).

Aside from the Big 4, what's your favorite Shakespeare play? Why?

What's the heaviest game that you (all of you) enjoyed playing with your kids?

Favorite D&D module?

Longest one-game session?

Are Nirvana and Starbucks overrated?

Favorite places you've hiked? (Pics welcome.)

Three favorite arcade games from the early 80's?


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Mike Jones
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Congrats!

I guess its Sunday in some parts of the World.
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Rik Van Horn
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I think I would have had to go with his brother Ray instead.
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Wendell
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Rokkr wrote:
I think I would have had to go with his brother Ray instead.


I was going to ask... Dave, are you a Kinks fan? Do people ask you about inventing the heavy guitar riff in "You Really Got Me"? Does that annoy you?

Congrats though - a great choice.

Questions:

automatic or manual?

crunchy or smooth?

What will it take for a game to be rated a '10'?

Best Empire in Arms story?
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Wendell
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Guantanamo wrote:
Congrats!

I guess its Sunday in some parts of the World.


It is in Korea and Australia!
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Lee Massey
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Congrat's! You deserve it.

no.2 is a lie!


Question: Do you like to play area movement wargames?
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Dan Edwards
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Grog - check
Trek head - check
History nut - check
Clever poster - check


Great pick for GOTW!

Q - If you could marry Trek to wargaming on a strategic level, what would it look and play like?

Have a great week!
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Bonaparte
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jollypirate wrote:
Although you gravitate to heavier games, are their any light games that your particularly enjoy?


People’s definition of “light” games varies. There are few games that I don’t enjoy with the right people, but here are a few light games I have enjoyed:
Loot, Apples to Apples, 221 B Bakerstreet, Amazing Labyrinth, Bohnanaza, Carcassonne and Bang.
I loved Battling Tops and Dark Tower when I was younger.

jollypirate wrote:
Describe the ambience of a typical game night (snacks, music, location, etc.).


We play in one of two places: My house has a large expandable game table in my basement wreck room which serves as my library and game room, or in the War Room of another group member’s house. This room is dedicated to gaming and filled with historical art work and memorabilia. We either have a seasonal sporting event such as the Mariners playing or an eclectic selection of music from the 70’ s to early 90’s: Floyd, Stones, U2, Claptin to name a very few. We always have two types of snacks; several chip selections and either cookies, donuts, pie or some other sugar bomb.

jollypirate wrote:
Aside from the Big 4, what's your favorite Shakespeare play? Why?


The odd thing is I don’t enjoy many of his plays, but I really enjoy the historical ones, particularly Richard II and III. His characterization in these plays is exceptional. This quote “Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour” I find to be true all too often. I find him to be a tiresome poet.

jollypirate wrote:
What's the heaviest game that you (all of you) enjoyed playing with your kids?


My wife steers clear of heavy games. I think that Shadows over Camelot and Pandemic are the answer here.

jollypirate wrote:
Favorite D&D module?


I have two: Tomb of Horrors and Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Ravenloft comes in a close third. The memories of excitement and anxiety touring these are priceless.

jollypirate wrote:
Longest one-game session?


Many times when I was in my D&D years we did 24 hour marathons. These were fun for the first 12 hours or so. My game group goes on 2 - 3 day game retreats from time to time and we will play for several hours at a time, but I have outgrown the marathons.

jollypirate wrote:
Are Nirvana and Starbucks overrated?


In order, very and very. It should be noted I don’t care for grunge or coffee.


jollypirate wrote:
Favorite places you've hiked? (Pics welcome.)


The Enchantments in the Cascades are spectacular. High Alpine Lakes above the tree line at the top of a 2,000 ft rockfall scramble above an emerald green lake fed my a towering glacier. I have not seen an angel there but it borders on heaven. I have not hiked in Yellowstone extensively as I have in the Cascades but it is beautiful as well.

jollypirate wrote:
Three favorite arcade games from the early 80's?


Missile Command, Defender, and Space Invaders. I would be rich had I invested all those quarters. Well, I would have been rich until recently; my investments have not faired well this year.
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Bonaparte
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Rokkr wrote:
I think I would have had to go with his brother Ray instead.


Ray is touring/vacationing in Scotland, I had to fill in.
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Bonaparte
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wifwendell wrote:
I was going to ask... Dave, are you a Kinks fan? Do people ask you about inventing the heavy guitar riff in "You Really Got Me"? Does that annoy you?


Not a big fan, but I have seen them in concert. I am amazed how many people ask me Kinks questions. It only annoys me when they don’t believe me.



wifwendell wrote:
automatic or manual?


Manual, they are more fun to drive. I no longer own one though because my wife does not like them and we swap cars often.


wifwendell wrote:
crunchy or smooth?

Smooth. Butter should be smooth, dairy or peanut.


wifwendell wrote:
What will it take for a game to be rated a '10'?


I will have to enjoy it more than Empires In Arms. Perfection seems to me to be a rare occurrence. I have considered elevating EiA but have not, obviously.


wifwendell wrote:
Best Empire in Arms story.


The story is long but involves Wellington stationed outside Paris with Napoleon too far away to help. Ney and a well chosen combat chit convinced him to cut and run when he really had France in the palm of his hand.
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Bonaparte
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JackFlash wrote:

Question: Do you like to play area movement wargames?


I enjoy both Britannia and A Game of Thrones. The mechanic speeds up game flow and makes for a fun fluid action that I enjoy.
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Bonaparte
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Bloodybucket wrote:

Q - If you could marry Trek to wargaming on a strategic level, what would it look and play like?


Yikes. I could be a successful game designer if I adequately answered this question. So much of Trek is the characters that developing a game around it would be a challenge. It would be hard to capture the relationship that the crew has with each other and with the audience. At one level Twilight Imperium would represent some of the galactic struggle, but that struggle is developed more in the Next Generation and the Movies than the original series. The social issue component would also be tought to incorporate. I am a original TV Trek fan first, a original generation movie fan second. The Wrath of Kahn found the perfect balance of crew and conflict for me. Not until this newest movie have they brought in fast paced action successfully. (I did like the new movie). But as for gaming, I am not sure the Trek experience could be captured and packaged in a game. Great question though. I may have just chickened out with my answer. It will take a better designer than I to accomplish this.
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Neon Joe, Werewolf He-yump
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You're not the Dave Davies who frequently fills in for Terri Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, are you?

Just couldn't help myself...

Congratulations!
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Michael Edwards
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Ah, a local! Congrats!

Hmm, Carrier Strike and Tank Battle were part of my youth as well. What elements from those games would you like to see captured in a modern adult game?
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Kelly Bass
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Congrats!

Though I liked Zelazny's first 5 Amber novels, the Merlin ones didn't do much for me. And so, I've never read any of the Dawn of Amber. What's your take on these?
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Colin Hunter
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Congrats, I know I don't always see eye to eye with you, but you are a great contributor to this site and this is extremely well deserved. thumbsup
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Adam Deverell
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Hi Dave, a few questions based on your profile:

1. You love Empire in Arms, but have no other Napoleonic game in your top ten. Is it just a great game, or does the Napoleonic period have something to do with it?

2. Did Marshall Ney escape to Louisiana and, like you, become a history teacher or was he really executed in Paris?

3. If you had to serve in the front line of any battle in history, what would it be?

4. A concerned parent from your church expresses concern about their son/daughter playing D&D/Chthulu and asks your advice - briefly, what would it be?
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Sean
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Good on you dave, I enjoy your posts and reposts. Well deserved and congrats.
And the lie has got to be 1. Who the heck doesn't like beer? Enjoy your week.

Oh and I don't forget things like the time you sent me those dice. Thanks again.
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Joel Weeks
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Congratulations Dave. Excellent choice Frank.

I envy you Dave, having studied history. If I had it to do over again I would have studied history and sociology.

I bet you love beer, so I think that's the lie. Oh, I also envy you living in Seattle, one of my favorite places, especially the sci fi museum, which is cool.

A few questions.

What character from history would you build a board game around that hasn't already been done?

What is the most exciting place you have ever visited?

What has been your favorite moment as a dad?

Have a fun week.
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Bob
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Congrat's Dave. Another well deserving Grog, err Geek o the Week! thumbsup

Question 1: What would your dream vacation consist of?

Question 2: Per above, which game(s) would you take along and why?

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Mark Christopher
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Congrats, Dave! I'm jealous of anyone who's been able to play a game of Empires in Arms.
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toku42 wrote:
You're not the Dave Davies who frequently fills in for Terri Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, are you?

Just couldn't help myself...


I wish, but no.
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Chanfan wrote:

Hmm, Carrier Strike and Tank Battle were part of my youth as well. What elements from those games would you like to see captured in a modern adult game?


I like the simple tactical piece and the minis were really fun. In think M44, Battle Cry and others have taken the place of these. I still like cool minis but I am glad to have evolved past the simplistic nature of Tank Battle. Tide of Iron is my favorite equivalent of Tank Battle for adults.
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chockle wrote:
Though I liked Zelazny's first 5 Amber novels, the Merlin ones didn't do much for me. And so, I've never read any of the Dawn of Amber. What's your take on these?


I only read the first ones as well. I tried the others but, like you, did not enjoy them. But the original 5 were terrific.
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Железный комиссар
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Seriously? You're bringing not one, but two locked threads into someone's GOTW thread???

shake

EDIT: Now we're playing games apparently (deleting and reposting further on in the thread).
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