$10.00
In fond memory of Doug Merkel, an emerging gamer... RIP
Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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I've seen these tributes before, but I never thought I would making one for someone I knew. Doug was a co-worker of mine and we recently started playing games during our lunch hour. This all started from a conversation about Stratego and how he enjoyed playing it years ago. That led to discussions about other games and eventually games at lunch.
Here is what we played, in the too short of time that we had together.
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1. Board Game: Spearpoint 1943 [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2728] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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This is the first game we played together. He was interested in WWII or military themed games at first.

Plays: 2

Record: Doug 2, Me 0
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Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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He was a little disappointed in spearpoint because of what he felt was a too heavy luck dependant gameplay. We tried battlecards because he thought the pre-battle deployment of the naval, land, and air units had a little more strategy to it. Niether of us had played it before.

Plays: 1

Record: Doug 2, Me 0
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3. Board Game: Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1535] [Average Rating:6.53 Unranked]
Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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He quickly drew tired of the card draw luck components and decided to move up to a much more tactical game. He carefully built his army before lunch and deployed it happily turn by turn. We had some of the rules wrong on our first play, so it lead to a much higher body count. We corrected our error in time for our next game.

Plays: 1

Record: Doug 0, Me 1
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4. Board Game: Pocket Battles: Elves vs. Orcs [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1554] [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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Our second game (now that we had the rules right) went far differently. He also learned from the first game how to deploy his troops better.

Plays: 1

Record: Doug 1, Me 0
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5. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:4545] [Average Rating:5.73 Unranked]
Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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Doug wanted something lighter for a change so he chose this. We played several games of it because sometimes you win on the first hand and other times it takes a little longer.

Plays: 4

Record: Doug 2, Me 2

We said we'll have to play the tie breaker some other time.
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6. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:202]
Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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This was a "shark bump" by me to see if he was ready for prime time. I gave him the rules a few days beforehand and slowy explained the process
while giving him a demostration of a few rounds.

He didn't quite catch onto the dogma actions and how you had to carefully plan ahead and activate the right ones at the right time. He said he'll have to wait a while before playing again.

Plays: 1

Record: Doug 0, Me 1
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7. Board Game: Stratego [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:2090]
Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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After breaking his brain the previous week on innovation, he wanted to retreat to familiar territory. He hadn't played in quite a while, and I haven't either. After setup, I noticed one piece placed on the back row all by itself, surround by three in front of it. I figured it was either his flag or he wanted to make me think it was his flag but it was really a decoy. I decided to "take the bait" and strong arm my way into it. It really was his flag. 50/50 shot I guess. I would have been in a bad position if it wasn't.

Plays: 1

Record: Doug 0, Me 1
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8. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Craig Sanderlin
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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I decided to try this one last week. I didn't know that it would be our last game together. He caught on quick to the different powers and territory claiming. All through the game I was convinced he was walking away with the victory. It wasn't until the last three rounds or so that I started to rake in what I felt was decent points.

It turned out that I had won by only four points. He had this massive stack of coins, but it was mostly ones. That was what threw me off. If there would have been one more round of the game, he might have won. It was a neck and neck battle.

He said that he really enjoyed this one, and that he wanted to play it again this friday. We got the company e-mail this morning that he had passed away this weekend.
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