Steven Chambers
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Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages, Mutants, Cyborgs, Robots, and freaky tentacle faced things, this is it, the fourth, and final round. As you may or may not recall, at the end of the last turn the corporations stood thus:

BION - 38 VP/17 R&D/15 MP/9 Euros
RUR - 40 VP/24 R&D/13 MP/10 Euros
OMNI - 38 VP/12 R&D/9 MP/30 Euros

The 4th turn Special Victory card is Crisis, requiring 45 VP and an elite politician to be claimed. Turn order is still BION, RUR and OMNI. Place your bets!

Schemes and Plans:

RUR is planning to gamble and go for the Criminal Crisis. He'll put Paula Ahnijiri at Pharos Casino Complex to try to seduce Multiplug. He'll also go for Bateman in the Amphicircus. However, he can't be sure of winning in either, so he'll make a play for the Terror card after agents have been sent to these first two objectives. If he's able to win the Criminal Crisis, he'll also qualify for the Crisis card. He plans to send Phalrinx to Robotown, who has 4 for combat conflicts and, as a robot, will get a bonus there. He's also got a few other tricks up his sleeve, but time will reveal all...

BION has plans of his own. He's sitting at 40 VP's and thinks that 45 is within reach if only he can snag the elite politician at The Asimov Grand Plaza (worth 3VP) and somehow pick up another 2 VPs. There are enough VP's on the board that he'll have a few options, depending on what the others do. He'll also be making a play for the Terror! crisis card, but won't be placing his first pawn there. He figures RUR will make a big push there, so sending Multiplug there might be a smart counter move. Then again, Multiplug would be very useful almost anywhere!

OMNI hopes to just stay in the race, buts needs to snag some R&D and MP points to do so. The best way to do that would be to win Sextus at the Space Port and Lunar Base Beta at the Stygian Port. If he can also win the Data card at Moreau Island, so much the better. These first two cards would increase his R&D/MP to 15/11, and with the Data card to 17/12 respectively. He doesn't think he has a shot at the Terror! crisis card and has so few agents that he decides that he'll simply focus on getting the R&D/MP points he needs.


ZONE 1 (The Palace of Supreme Justice)
- Nexus 7 (char-cyborg security officer)

ZONE 2 (Pharos Casino Complex)
- Flash Cannon (char-human media star, +10 euros income)

ZONE 3 (Space Port)
- Sextus (char-robot media star, +10 euros income)

ZONE 4 (Central Station)
- Cassandra (char-human security officer and autocombatant, +5 euros income)

ZONE 5 (Asimov's Grand Square)
- Senator (prop-elite politician - 3 VP)

ZONE 6 (Robotown)
- Terror! (crisis event)

ZONE 7 (Stygian Port)
- Lunar Base Beta (prop - 5 VP)

ZONE 8 (Moreau Island)
- Data (prop - 2 VP, +5 euros income)

ZONE 9 (Amphicircus)
- Bateman (char-human criminal and executive businessman)

BION - Silvana Jong to Asimov Grand Plaza.
RUR - Paula Ahnijiri to Pharos Casino Complex. RUR doesn't want to give away his strategy too soon by going for the criminal Bateman, so he sent Paula out first.
OMNI - Elated at not being preempted, OMNI sends Olinka Dante to the Space Port.

BION - Angel Kirvin to Moreau Island.
RUR - Guillermo Roxxum to the Amphicircus.
OMNI - Pedro Escarpa to the Stygian Port.

So far, there has been no conflict and each players plans are coming together.

BION - Seraphim to Robotown.
RUR - Karistina Lagos to the Supreme Palace of Justice. RUR still has time to place an agent in Robotown, but wants to place Karistina there to prevent anyone else from getting any wise ideas. Also, she is an elite trial attorney, and may be useful to drain some high cards from BION early in the turn.
OMNI - Edric to Moreau Island. With the initiative of his primary objectives secure, it's time to make a push on the last one. He's still got Caesar Dante and his Robodummy left, and their placement will depend on the other corps actions.

BION - The cyborg Giaccomo to Robotown.
RUR - Phalarinx to Robotown.
OMNI - Robodummy to Moreau Island.

BION - Robodummy to Robotown. Robotown has it's neon 'No Vacancy' sign flashing in the smoggy night.
RUR - Robodummy to Palace of Supreme Justice.
OMNI - Caesar Dante to the Stygian Port. OMNI is now out of agents.

BION - Dale Snow to Central Station (if no one else contends for this space, Dales executive business skill would earn some much needed euros).
RUR - Nihilista to the Amphicircus.

BION - Miles Kirvin to Azimov's Grand Plaza.
RUR - Anja Ivanova to Pharos Casino Complex. RUR is now out of agents.

BION - Mulitplug and Herbert West to the Stygian Port. He's going to take a stab at the Data card.


Zone 1 - The Palace of Supreme Justice - RUR takes the zone uncontested with Karistina Lagos. RUR takes Nexus 7 (Cyborg Security Officer) into his hand and nets 5 euros. He then announces that he will prosecute BION's agent Multiplug. Karistina is an elite trial attorney so she gets a +1. He secretly selects his 1 action card, not wanting to actually succeed in this endeavor, but simply to drain some high action cards from BION. Multiplug is currently at the Stygian Port, and is key to BION's plan to gain Lunar Base Beta, so he selects his 5 action card and 1 AI periphery. The random cards are a 4 for BION (total 10) and a 6 for RUR (total 8). BION's eyes narrow when he sees RUR's bluff.

Zone 2 - Pharos Casino Complex - Again, RUR wins it without conflict, snatching up Flash Cannon (human Media Star) into his hand and 5 euros from 2 random cards. He has Anja Ivanova and Paula Ahnijiri in the space and has plans to use both of their abilities. First he announces that Anja will use her socializing ability and draws a 3 for no effect. He then declares that Paula will try to seduce BION's agent Multiplug. He will also use Paula's other ability, Psychic, to see BION's action card before deciding on which to play himself. BION has not yet realized how critical winning this is for him, but he knows for certain he doesn't want to lose one of his best agents. BION will save his 6 action card for Robotown and shows RUR the 4 action card chosen. RUR chooses his 6 action card. BION uses 1 AI periphery and RUR commits all 3 of his. BION is somewhat surprised to see RUR commit so heavily to this. The random cards reveal a 1 for BION and a 5 for RUR - an easy win for RUR. RUR triumphantly takes Multiplug into his hand and places him in position 8. RUR's up 1 VP. BION's down 1 VP.

Zone 3 - Space Port - OMNI joyfully takes Sextus (robot media star) into position 6 as well as 5 euros and the space shuttle. +1 VP. He then taps the corporate Space Shuttle and draws another card - Marcus K (human security officer and criminal). He'll go straight into position 7. +1 VP.

Zone 4 - Central Station - Dale Snow of BION is alone in the zone, so he gains Cassandra (human autoracer and security agent) and 5 euros. Cassandra will go into his now empty position 8. +1 VP. Dale will use his executive profession and picks up 3 euros from the random draw.

Zone 5 - Asimov's Grand Plaza - Miles Kirvin and Silvana Jong are unopposed here, so BION will grab the oh so important elite politician, the Senator. The Plaza also awards him 10 euros, 5 of which he uses to place the good Senator in his line of properties. +3 VP. At 43 VP, BION is now dangerously close to be able to claim the 2nd special victory card, Crisis.

Zone 6 - Robotown - It could all come down to this! The Terror! threat is worth 10 VP and targets all humanoids and robots as well as a property of each player. The nature of the threat is combat, it's strength 10 + a random card. BION's Seraphim has the cyborg Giaccomo supporting. RUR has sent the robot prodigy Phalarinx. BION selects Seraphim as his leader. BION's total is as follows: Seraphims 5 combat + 1 Support + 1 for Giaccomo being a cyborg in Robotown and finally, +2 for Seraphim having elite courage against a threat). Phalarinx has a respectable 4, +1 for his being a robot in Robotown and another +2 for having elite courage versus a threat. But wait! RUR taps both his Roboguard and Mechanoid X, adding 4 to his combat bonus, and another +2 for having two more robots in Robotown. BION, panicked by this unexpected development (although he really should have seen it coming), declares that Giaccomo will use BION's top secret 'God Mead' formula. Yes folks, the kitchen sink has just been thrown in the ring. The 'God Mead' could kill it's user on a random card of 5 or more. What's revealed is a meager and disappointing 2. I wonder how many heads will roll at Corporate HQ over that project. BION will use his 6 action card and throw in his last remaining AI periphery. RUR will use his 5 action card. Totals before the random cards: BION 18 - RUR 18. Palms are sweaty as the random cards are revealed: For Bion, a 1! (BION - "Nooooo!!!!") and for RUR... Another 1!!! (BION - "Yesss!!!") The random card for the threat is a 4. Since both corporations exceeded the threat value, all agents can go home safely, disillusioned or delirious with joy, as the case may be. Although it is a tie between corporations, since BION held the initiative, his corporation takes the prize. Amid much furious fist pumping and card cursing, BION picks up the Terror! threat card, gaining 10 VP. He then declares that he qualifies for the Crisis special victory card at the end of the turn.

Zone 7 - Stygian Port - OMNI and BION square off, but OMNI has the initiative and Multiplug, BION's premier agent now works for the hated rival RUR! OMNI leads with Pedro Escarpa and has Caesar Dante supporting, and BION's Herbert West, the geeky scientist, is all alone at the docks on a dark night. OMNI declares that it will be a combat conflict. So far, OMNI's total is 6 (3 for Pedro, 3 for Caesar's support), while BION only has 1! Caesar, of course, needs an AI peripheral thrown in, but otherwise OMNI has a hand full of action cards and two unused AI peripherals. OMNI can afford to bid low in this conflict and still see BION laid low. Knowing BION has bid his top cards already, OMNI throws in his 1 action card, bringing his total to 7. BION, for his part, is well aware that his situation is hopeless, and bids the same. So OMNI carries the day, picking up 5 Euros, the mini-sub and placing Lunar Base Beta amongst his properties (-15 Euros and +5 VP). As for BION, he's lost his star agent, Herbert West, to the dead pool. Let's see if the Re-animator can pull a Lazarus! -2 VP. Now, since OMNI controls the Space Shuttle won in Zone 3, he then taps the Lunar Base and picks up an opp card - the gold border character Robur! More important, Robur has 4 R&D points and 2 Major Project points! He's dropped into position 4 on the corporate board (+2 VP). That will most certainly improve OMNI's choice of Major Projects! Finally, OMNI declares that he will use Pedro Escarpa's elite hacker ability to target BION's Swiss Bank account. Time to turn the screw! OMNI, flush with cash, does not hesitate to play his 5 action card. BION throws his 3 action card, counting on luck of the draw and wanting to save his highest remaining action card (4) for the coming confrontation at Moreau Island. The random cards are a 3 for BION and a 5 for OMNI. OMNI gets a warm glow from stealing 7 Euros from BION's corporate slush fund - not that OMNI needs the money... devil

Zone 8 - Moreau Island - BION holds the initiative with Angel Kirvin against OMNI's Edric. BION opts for a diplomatic conflict, so the before action cards are added, the totals are 5/4 for BION/OMNI. OMNI, who has been paying close attention this turn, knows that BION can only commit his 4 action card and is out of AI peripherals. BION also is aware that OMNI could take this, and probably will, but needs to go big if he wants to stay in the game. Perhaps OMNI will cheap out and bid too low? Not likely. Either way, OMNI bids his 3 card, 2 remaining peripherals, and sends in his shiny new min-sub for good measure against BIONs 4 card. OMNI scoops up the Data Card (+2 VP) and 10 Euros. As he controls the zone, he opts to draw another opp card from the few that remain in the pile. He pulls another Android Magnus property card. He'll pay the 5 euros and put him alongside his carbon copy (+1 VP).

Zone 9 - Amphicircus - No contest here. RUR takes Bateman into position 6 on his corporate board (+1 VP), and announces that he qualifies for the Criminal Crisis special victory conditions. RUR then decides that he needs some fast cash and will host a Autocombat race. He'll send Nihilista and OMNI will send their elite driver Edric. RUR isn't expecting to win the race. He just wants to get euros for hosting the event. OMNI has more money than Croesus right now and a little more isn't likely to make a difference this late in the game. Besides, maybe the fates will be kind... RUR selects his 2 action card and OMNI his 4. Random cards are a 3 for RUR, and for OMNI... HOLD IT - Last bloody play of the game and I need to reshuffle the opp deck!
Alrighty then. After a very half-hearted shuffle, OMNI draws... a 0! The fates have been kind to RUR indeed! For his autocombat winnings, RUR draws a 2 (+1) and for hosting the event, he draws a 3 (+1). He's up 7 much appreciated Euros!

Now, at the end of the Resolution phase, claims on the special victory cards can be made. BION claims the Crisis card and RUR takes the Criminal Crisis card. As I am playing with the "Victory by Points" optional rule, it is +25 VP in both cases. Wow.


Dismissals and Contracts:
BION and OMNI will dismiss/contract no one. RUR will dismiss Paula Ahnijiri and hire Flash Cannon. No VP change.

BION will receive no euros from his action cards, but 15 euros from his agents. RUR nets 8 Euros from his action cards, another 10 from his agents and 5 from his Data card. OMNI held several of his high action cards, netting 13 euros from them, 15 more from his agents and finally 5 from his Data card.

BION pays out 10 euros to his agents, RUR 20 euros and OMNI 10.


All property cards are refreshed.

Now, before I get to the Major Projects, let's take stock of the current situation...

Current R&D/Major Projects/Euros:
BION - 12/15/20
RUR - 24/13/30
OMNI - 23/16/60

Current VP Standing [including the additional VP's for MP bonuses (ex. 2VP per scientist)]:
BION - 64 VP + 4 VP (MP "M Theory" + 2 scientists) = 68 VP
RUR - 66 VP + 4 VP (MP "Anti-gravity" + 2 technicians) = 70 VP
OMNI - 50 + 4 VP (MP "ISS Kubrick" + 2 space shuttles) + 8 VP (MP "Dimension X" + 4 scientists) = 62 VP

BION is down R&D and MP points. The loss of Herbert West was painful, leaving him with only has 12 R&D and 15 MP points. He has 20 euros to spend but has to consider his options carefully as it is still a close game. Going first has major advantages. BION - ".....Nooooo!!!" While there are some MP's left that he has enough R&D/MP/Euros to afford, in every case he lacks either the other requirement: The Mini-sub or the Space Shuttle. BION sadly adds 2 VP for his remaining euros (1 VP per 10k) and bows out of the race with a respectable 70 VP.

Next up, RUR starts shuffling through the Major Project cards. He too has found few options, due in part to his lack of MP points. In fact, he has only one option: Mecha Streisand! ("Ba-bu-ra! Ba-bu-ra!...") Sorry, I had to. But seriously, the Colossal Mecha (15 R&D/8 MP/20 Euros/12 VP) will only bring him up to 82 VP (83 with the +1 VP for his having 10k remaining) and OMNI has yet to choose...

OMNI has some options. Some very, very good options. He has lots of liquid cash, a ton of R&D points, enough MP points for any Major Project, AND both the Mini-sub and Space Shuttle. OMNI will choose the Clarke Orbital Elevator (18 R&D/15 MP/25 Euros/25 VP). With his remaining cash, he'll get a further 3 VP, giving him a grand total of 90 VP. And the winner by a knock-out, The Come Back Kid, OMNI! After getting tossed under the bus by both RUR and BION in Turn 3, who'd have thunk it? Not me. I'm as surprised as you are folks.

Final Scores:
OMNI - 90 VP
RUR - 83 VP
BION - 70 VP

After Game Analysis:

So, what the heck just happened?

BION came up with 35 VPs in turn 4. That was huge. And yet he came up in third place. Why? Because he lost Herbert West (a loss of 5 R&D/2 MP) and didn't control either of the ports. BION, with his many agents, contested the Stygian Port. However, he lacked the initiative, and placed one of his best agents in what turned out to be an untenable position. Consequently, he was unable to pick up any of the better Major Projects (say, 20 VPs). With West, he had some decent Major Projects options. Without him, the only projects available required either a mini-sub or a space shuttle, and he had neither. 35 VPs was huge, but it just wasn't enough.

RUR also did very well, achieving his main goal: Win the Criminal Crisis and pick up 25 VP. If he had won the 10 VP Terror crisis card in Robotown (and he thought he would), he had this game hands down as he could then also claim the Crisis special victory card, bringing his total VP up to 118. He thought he had it after ordering all his robots into the fray, but, he forgot about BION's God Mead, something BION had been hesitant about using (indeed, had not used) all game, and he lost it after a tie. In the end, it could have gone either way between BION and RUR, so I don't really consider that bad luck, so much as a bad call. RUR should have thrown another agent in there earlier in the turn to ensure an easy victory, but he was overconfident, and in the end it was left to lady luck (who favored them equally).

OMNI picked up 5 VP with the Lunar Base Beta and had some very lucky opp card draws. Scoring Robur was an unexpected bonus, adding his 2 VP but, more importantly 2 MP points. That was what allowed OMNI to purchase one of the 25 VP Major Projects, instead of a only a 20 VP MP. Robur, as a scientist, also contributed 2 VP because of the "Dimension X" MP (as did the Android 'Magnus'). On the other hand, OMNI denied control of the ports to the other players (unwittingly) restricting their choices for MP at the end of the turn.

Lessons Learned or Tips for Newbs From a Not So Total Newb:

Tip #1 - Know your friends. Know your enemies.
Choose your team carefully and don't hesitate to alter the line-up throughout the game. Check out what skills/professions your minions have and use them! Having a game plan and moving forward with it is all well and good but don't forget to stick it to your competitors at every opportunity. Mess with their game plans. They're short euros? Take their euros! They have a great agent? Take or kill their great agent. Toss their agents in jail and throw away the key. If you don't want to waste the cards on them, bluff them! Do it early in the turn to make it hurt even more. Psyche them out, eagerly leering at the target card as if there was nothing in the world you'd like better then to steal, kill or burn that particular card. Drool, if necessary. Get them spend their high action cards to preserve their prize agents upon which their 'plan' depends and watch it go up in smoke faster than a hospital in Gotham city. On the flip side of the coin (to continue the movie metaphor), agents are out there for public viewing, so check out what skills and professions enemy agents have. Think of it as 'shopping' or 'chopping'. And don't forget there are 'passive' skills. The Psychic skill is a good example. "You mean I can look at my opponents action card choice before I decide which action card I'll select? Awesome."

Tip #2 - Assigning Agents
Players not only need to be very careful when placing their agents, but need to be very aware of where other players are placing their agents. This needs to be evaluated on a placement to placement basis. Here is a run through of the thought process after every agent placement: "Why did ____ just place an agent in (for example) Pharos Casino Complex? Is the character card/property in the zone of any use to him? If not, what is his plan? Does he plan to use one of the skills in the zone if he wins? Does he have an agent with Seduction? Does he have an agent with the Assassination skill? Do I? Could it be a bluff (robodummy)? Should I contest the area? If so, with whom? And if I do, will I have enough action cards left to win those other zones later in the turn? And what action cards has he played so far?" Daunting stuff, but necessary if you want to anticipate your enemies plans and ruin them. See tip #1 for details.

Tip #3 - Turn Order
Turn order is important. Fight for it. It has two advantages:
1/ First choice of zones on the board.
2/ First choice of Major Projects at the end of the turn.
This should be self evident, but I found myself getting tunnel vision on the board and completely forgetting about this for most of the game. Next game, I'll remember.

Tip #4 - Major Projects
After this game it should be clear that players need to pay attention to which Major Project cards are still in play, which they can afford with their various resources, and (very important) what OTHER requirements the cards have, beyond R&D/MP/Euros. The MP's are on the board and can be examined at any time. Do so.

Tip #5 - Never Give Up
It says so right in the rulebook. There can be wild swings of fortune and the player that rolls with the punches and soldiers on after a run of bad luck may be rewarded in the end. The situation on the board can change a great deal from turn to turn, and you need to be able to adapt to it and be prepared to change your strategy if necessary. Seize opportunities when they present themselves (such as Threat cards). There is, to no one's surprise, leader bashing in this game, so if you're falling behind, by all means take a firm, two-handed grip, get a running start and smite that s.o.b. as hard as you can - repeatedly. And while you're at it, smash his friends. Make them roll with the punches.

Final Thoughts:

I hope any newbs or people sitting on the fence will now get on board (so to speak) after reading this. What do I think of it after my first play through? In case you couldn't tell, this was a blast. It really felt as if I were a Machiavellian corporate magnate casting a long shadow over the city and extending my influence throughout it. Actually, if the theme were changed to a city-state in Renaissance Italy, it would work just as well (although I think we've got quite enough of those already). And, oh, the game pops with personality! I found myself imagining back stories for the various characters that entered the stage. And while the game was good times with 3 corps, there simply wasn't as much conflict as there would have been if 4 or 5 corps were mixing it up, and that is an experience I look forward to. I would recommend Mecanisburg to those gamers who like deep strategic games but can accept a certain amount of luck, and those who can dig the cyber-punk theme might particularly enjoy this. However, euroweenies with control issues need not apply. I'm afraid the chaos would kill them.

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Hunter E
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Actually, if the theme were changed to a city-state in Renaissance Italy, it would work just as well (although I think we've got quite enough of those already).

I'll agree to the parenthetical, but I'd go one further and say the gameplay ties in better with the cyberpunk theme than any I can think of. Most classic cp novels are all about highly-skilled (anti)heroic individuals forced for one reason or another (be it money or dirty tricks or what not) into the employ of shady giant corporations; when my elite hacker and gutsy assassin find tyhemselves being shot at by a bloodthirsty cyborg, it feels straight out of William Gibson (in fact, my second game probably took at least half an hour longer than it should have because we kept stopping to revel in the story behind key events -- it wasn't "used a high-numbered action card, peripherals, and property support to win a combat and then got a bad draw and critical failed a sabotage attempt," it was a tense all-out fight for a critical objective, narrowly won but coming to naught in the end due to a cruel twist of fate...

Anyways, thanks for the wonderful and detailed session report -- if you win one convert to this diamond in the rough, you've done boardgamegeekery a great service. (Oops, am I gushing again? This game seems to do that to me...)
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Marta Cervera
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Noman wrote:
Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages, Mutants, Cyborgs, Robots, and freaky tentacle faced things, this is it, the fourth, and final round. As you may or may not recall, at the end of the last turn the corporations stood thus:

BION - 38 VP/17 R&D/15 MP/9 Euros
RUR - 40 VP/24 R&D/13 MP/10 Euros
OMNI - 38 VP/12 R&D/9 MP/30 Euros

The 4th turn Special Victory card is Crisis, requiring 45 VP and an elite politician to be claimed. Turn order is still BION, RUR and OMNI. Place your bets!
Did RUR have an elite politician? If not, in this exact moment, RUR directors should be killing themselves, for having dismissed Carmen Cifuentes (an elite Politician) in the end of Turn 3. Only 5 VP more and they could have got an instant Victory!

Noman wrote:
RUR - Paula Ahnijiri to Pharos Casino Complex. RUR doesn't want to give away his strategy too soon by going for the criminal Bateman, so he sent Paula out first.

I would’t recommend this kind of thinking when playing with experienced players: of course they could see the danger of a criminal in this case, and could go there first, stealing RUR’s possible initiative! ... but it is very dangerous also to let others make a Seduction in the Casino.

Noman wrote:
Zone 1 - The Palace of Supreme Justice – RUR … secretly selects his 1 action card… BION's eyes narrow when he sees RUR's bluff.

I don´t see it as a bluff. Many times you just try to make your opponents spend their action cards… It would have been different if BION had had an interest in a Criminal Crisis Victory.

Noman wrote:
Zone 2 - Pharos Casino Complex - He then declares that Paula will try to seduce BION's agent Multiplug. He will also use Paula's other ability, Psychic, to see BION's action card before deciding on which to play himself

Psychics can use this skill in a confrontation (Combat or Negotiation) but not when performing a special zone action.

Noman wrote:
Zone 6 - Robotown

Very funny and thrilling confrontation here!!

I have enjoyed your session very much, and I completely agree with your conclusions.
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Jeff Kahan
United States
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Steven- what a great session report- makes me want to break out my copy and play a solo 3-player game Billie Holliday style too! Unfortunately for me, due to bad rules explanations/misinterpretation on my part when the game first came out, the folks in my gaming circle are quite leary I playing a game these. But I'll persevere and keep bringing it up. Linking forward to a game at BGGCon hopefully!
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