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Board games – 2nd Quarter 2016 review

Total plays: 100 (221 in 2015, 98 in 2014, 78 in 2013)

Distinct games: 37 (39 in 2015, 41 in 2014, 32 in 2013)

New-to-me games: 9 (12 in 2015, 12 in 2014, 10 in 2013) – Subdivision, Quadropolis, Tobago, London, Stockpile, Baseball Highlights: 2045, Leo, Food Chain Magnate, Qwinto

Dimes: 1 (2 in 2015, 0 in 2014, 1 in 2013) – Baseball Highlights: 2045

Nickels: 2 (6 in 2015, 5 in 2014, 4 in 2013) – Maria, Race for the Galaxy

The 2nd Q of 2015 was abnormal. I played a ton of Sentinels of the Multiverse solo during that time.

Collection

Acquired: 27 (Victory or Death, Baseball Highlights: 2045, Archaeology: The New Expedition, Karuba, Saint Petersburg, Time Stories: Under the Mask, Mexica, Maze Racers, Night of Man (+ Solo expansion), SotM: Celestial Tribunal, Wir Sind Das Volk, Darkest Night, Galaxy Trucker: Missions, 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis, Queen’s Necklace, Lords of Scotland, Port Royal expansion, Haggis, Dawn of the Zeds 3rd edition, Haggis, Circus Flohcati, Eldritch Horror: Signs of Carcosa, Trick of the Rails, Potato Man, Leo, Completto)

Removed: 34 (Gold West, Formula D, Mow, Wizard, Chinatown, Memoir 44, Terra, ZhanGuo, Blueprints, Viktory II, Three Little Pigs, Ghost Fighting Treasure Hunters, Kemet: Ta-Seti, The Staufer Dynasty, Sheriff of Nottingham, Animal Upon Animal, Say Anything, The Resistance, Skull King, Cacao, Imperial Settlers (+ Why can’t we be friends expansion), Archaeology, Kamakura, Steam Donkey, Planet Steam, Triumph & Tragedy, Voila, Lanterns, Rattus Cartus, Adventure Land, Yunnan, Night of Man, Friedrich, Mafia De Cuba)

Disaster. It was a a great quarter in terms of getting rid of games but i acquired almost as many. Still working on it…

Owned: 228

Unplayed: 86  (ούφου)

Best new-to-me: Baseball Highlights: 2045, London, Food Chain Magnate

I’ve only played BH: 2045 solo but i would love to try a two player game and also try a tournament with friends. London is quite good. One of the few Wallace games i actually enjoy.

New 10s: Food Chain Magnate

FCM is a magnificent game. It’s not a game i will ever be good at (too calculating and unforgiving for me) but it’s one of the best games i’ve played in recent years.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2016 in Board games

 

Board games – 1st Quarter 2016 review

A quick look at what i’ve been playing and buying in the first quarter of 2016 compared to previous years.

Total plays: 173 (136 in 2015, 108 in 2014, 64 in 2013)

Distinct games: 51 (41 in 2015, 36 in 2014, 28 in 2013)

New-to-me games: 26 (9 in 2015, 17 in 2014)

Dimes: 2 (1 in 2015, 3, in 2014, 0 in 2013) – Red7 (16), Castellion (15)

Nickels: 12 (2 in 2015, 5 in 2014, 3 in 2013) Bomb Squad (8), Between Two Cities (6), Chicken Cha Cha (6), Abluxxen (6), Quartermaster General (6), Tragedy Looper (6), Fields of Arle (5), Navajo Wars (5), Patchistory (5), Snowdonia (5), Sylvion (5),Pax Porfiriana (5)

The increase in the number of games played over the year is quite clear. I have more groups to play with now and I’ve also been playing more and more solo games. However, the new to me is more than i would like and i’d prefer to increase the Dimes and Nickels i.e. play games i’ve already played more times.

Acquired: 10 (SotM: Villains of the Multiverse, Time Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons, Qwinto, Wings for the Baron, Good Cop Bad Cop, SotM: Chokepoint Villain, Mess Machine, Funemployed, Nemo’s War, SotM:OblivAeon)

Removed: 1 (Bomb Squad)

Yeap, it’s a bleak picture which continued from 2015. Too many purchases. Working on it.

Best new-to-me: Navajo Wars, Red7, Castellion, Snowdownia,

New 10s: 1 – Navajo Wars

Navajo Wars is an outstanding solitaire experience. I need to be in the mood to play it as it requires time and effort but it’s well worth it.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2016 in Board games

 

(Movies) A Most Violent Year – recommended

“A crime drama set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city’s history, and centered on the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.”

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My ratings
– Outstanding
– Highly Recommended
– Recommended

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2015 in Movies, TV & Documentaries

 

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(Movies) In Order of Disappearance – recommended

“The honorable citizen Nils ploughs snow in the wild winter mountains of Norway, when his son is mistakenly murdered, Nils takes action, which ignites a war between the vegan gangster “the Count” and the Serbian mafia boss Papa.”

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My ratings
– Outstanding
– Highly Recommended
– Recommended

 
 

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Books (non-fiction)

516OQv60zoL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve been a busy bookworm this year. One of the things i love about books is that they are rarely affected by my “mood”. It’s the most stable hobby in my life.

Currently i’m re-reading The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Munro ClarkIf you are at all interested in history this is a fantastic book.

What about the rest of the year?

Political Order and Politcal Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalisation of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama – Highly recommended

Drugs Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs by David J. Nutt – Highly recommended

  • An eye opener which made me question my knowledge and beliefs on the war on drugs (along with El Narco below), cannabis but especially with regards to alcohol. The final chapter titled, What should i tell my kids about drugs, is outstanding.

El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency by Ioan Grillo – Recommended

  • Another highly relevant book. There were a few chapters where my attention waned significantly (e.g Culture and Faith) but it was an interesting book on a current issue which i only know about through newspaper headlines. The plan was to read El Narco as an introduction, to prepare myself for the book i’m more interested in, Narcoland by Anabel Hernandez.

Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon

  • This was the most tough to read. It was a combination of the subject and his writing. I would loved to read this if it was better edited and significantly shorter. Chapters such as Suicide, Addiction, Politics were all interesting but there’s so much stuff thrown in there i found myself losing focus and interest at time. The worst was the section spent on the drugs and their side effects. Difficult to recommend unless you are very interested in the subject but it’s a book i would go back to and read bits and pieces.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • There’s nothing new here. I should not have read this. It’s a written version of a TED talk she gave. Watch that instead. She is a terrific writer though as you will see from my Fiction Books post.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Books

 

(Movies) Short Term 12 – highly recommended

“At a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers, Grace is a young counselor trying to do her best for kids who often have been pulled from the worst kinds of home situations. Even then, life is not easy as Grace and her colleagues care for kids who are too often profoundly scarred, even as they try to have lives of their own.”

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My ratings
– Outstanding
– Highly Recommended
– Recommended

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Movies

 

Quartermaster General, referees & some thoughts

11894603_10153001172297344_6180446945015638491_oA couple of weeks ago, we were at the APOEL game and i raised the question of “why would anyone want to be a referee”. I could not understand the mindset of someone willing to put himself in situations referees usually find themselves. What sort of satisfaction can a referee possibly gain? Maybe some sense of authority at most? But is that enough to accept being abused by basically everyone involved in any given football match? I can’t understand it.

Over at the Cyprus Board Games Facebook group page we started a play by forum session of Quartermaster General (which is a fantastic game btw). I’m actually not playing. I’m the GM and 6 other group members are battling it out in two teams of 3, Axis Vs Allies.

I imagine being a ref is a similar situation (in principle) with being a GM in a game where you watch others play. You are just a facilitator, administrator allowing others the opportunity to play a game. Again though, why would anyone choose to do that? Wouldn’t you prefer to play instead? I know i would.  Why did i choose to be the GM then?

A couple of reasons.

The first is simply curiosity. To see what a GM does and how complicated or easy, interesting or boring it is. It would have been more interesting and challenging if i had to also setup the means to do it i.e. the software,spreadsheets etc which i didn’t do as i got everything from another GM. I’m not sure that i would put in the effort though in the first place or that i would have the imagination to think of it before seeing take place on BGG,

The second is that in general i get a sense of satisfaction from watching others play games and enjoy themselves whether it’s with videogames, boardgames or fantasy football. Even though i can’t say it’s any sort of achievement I still feel a sense of pride in being the facilitator of other people having fun, particularly when i’m not a part of the “playing”.

By organising this play by forum session via our Facebook page i’m also hoping to encourage people to take initiatives to become more active and involved in the Group. This is not my personal board games group and i’m not always going to be around or have the time to be as involved as i am now.

Finally it’s fascinating to have this insider knowledge and know what cards people are holding, the cards they are about to draw and thinking what i would have done differently.

However, this will likely wear off so i i’m not sure how i will feel after 1-2 sessions. I guess that i would get tired of it. It also depends on the group playing of course and how smooth the session is. So far it’s been a great pleasure. The people involved are extremely good natured  and very cooperative.

We will see how it goes, but this has made me very conscious now of people volunteering to take roles like this one. I’m not talking about charity or humanitarian work but in a lot more simple roles which i would guess usually relate to a hobby. Why would one do it over a longer period time?

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Board games

 
 
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