2008 Edition of Look what my Secret Santa sent me...
Gary C
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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For those of you new to this list, I originally posted this list back in 2006 as a way to let my Santa know when I receive my gift without him/her worrying about divulging their identity. The list has gone well in the last two years and I am curious how large it will grow this year since there are around 1000+ participants this year (529 items in 2006, 874 items in 2007). This is a pretty good place to view the gifting as it progresses through the holiday season, so enjoy!

Use this as a central area to record what our Secret Santas sent us. When you post on this list, you may want to make a note on your profile so your Secret Santa knows to look on the list for your receipt and reaction. That way your Secret Santa can look to see if you received your gift and you can post any comments you may have about the gift here and you can reply without the identity of your Secret Santa ever having to be released!

Please only make an entry when you actually receive the present!

If your Santa sends you more than one item, just list them all in one listing unless you think it makes more sense to list them separately. Remember to include any comments you want your Secret Santa to know!

I don't know about anyone else, but I generally obsess about whether a package has arrived at it's intended destination. I drive my wife crazy with checking tracking numbers constantly! So it will be nice to see when those gifts are actually received by the giftee (or are they just sitting unclaimed on the neighbor's porch?)


To see how the previous two years of Secret Santa-ing have gone on those year's versions of this list, look at these links:

"2006 List"

"2007 List"

Simon's yearly breakdown:
Most Popular Secret Santa Games of 2008

Most Popular Secret Santa Games of 2007

Most Popular Secret Santa Games of 2006
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301. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:351] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Dave Wilson
United States
Pleasanton
California
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Last Night on Earth: The Zombie GameI wheeled my bicycle into my office this morning after the long (and yet still not long enough shake ) Thanksgiving weekend, and found a large package sitting on my chair. Now, I've done some online shopping already, and I have all my incoming packages sent to me at my office so someone will always be around to sign for anything that needs a signature, so this isn't unexpected. But it's from ThoughtHammer, and I haven't ordered anything from them yet this year. Gotta be from Santa, right? Oh look, it says "Do Not Open Till Christmas". Yup, it's from Santa.

Now, since is says not to open, I won't, but I already have a guess as to what might be inside.

zombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombie

And if so, that'd be very cool! I've been looking forward to getting these for some time now. If not, that's very cool, too. Anything that's in that box will be appreciated, and I'm sure I'll get them to the table in short order. Thanks so much, Santa! Now, put down that machine gun...ho ho ho.

Edit: OK, I know I have perhaps the most awful reason for caving in, but...I caved in. You see, I'm finishing up my Christmas shopping for my family back in the Midwest, and I need to get ready to ship. But I need a box. Where could I find a box. Hmm...that box from ThoughtHammer looks like it'd be a great fit. But to test it, I have to open it. Well, I did. Santa, I hope it's some consolation to you that the box was indeed a perfect fit! It's winging (well, actually, trucking) it's way across the Rockies right now.

And in the meantime, I've discovered I was right! There were two games in the box:

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game

zombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombie

and
Race for the Galaxy



Both games have been at the top of my wishlist for quite some time, and I'm psyched to introduce them to some more friends and play them more often. Thanks!!!
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302. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:24]
Joshua Hearne
United States
Danville
Virginia
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Let me start by telling you that today has been a ridiculously busy day in the office. I've been working nonstop without breaks or even time to stop and think/eat/breathe. At about 11:30, the post person came and dropped off a package for me and I saw that it was from Santa. I had received a geekmail previously talking about how it was coming and how I should open it whenever it arrived. I really appreciate that Santa somehow foreknew that I'd need a midday pick-me-up.

But, I had so much work to do that I used it like a carrot. "Get this part of the project done, Josh, and you can open it before you break for lunch." Finally, I finished it and picked up the box. I have to return directly to work after I finish this post so I won't be able to really look at what Santa sent me but I'm so incredibly THANKFUL for how nice my Santa has been to me. My Santa went above and beyond the call of Christmas and got me two games off of my wishlist that I was really looking forward to!

They sent:


AND


Thank you VERY much, Santa. You've helped make Christmas a little happier and made me even more excited about finishing the last few touches on my own gift to send out.
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303. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:288]
Josh Harrelson
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I also received Battle Line!

I am very excited that I was given these two games. I have been wanting both of these for a while and can't wait to play them with my wife. I had a very generous Secret Santa! Thank you!
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304. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:44]
Pelayo Rey
Spain
Madrid
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Well.. long story short, since the delivery company wasn't able to catch me at home I went this afternoon to get the package myself. At the beguinning, my intention was to leave it alone until further dates but... I said, well i can at least take of the peanuts, and rolled paper to see it...

And there it was, a lovely box wrapped in red/burgundy and with a small postcard. And.. i must confess i fell, i fell to the tiny voices in my head and i HAD to open it!!

Well i found an amazing Pandemic inside, a game that was in my bullseyer for quite a long time.. and now I have it!!

AMAZING!! Dunno maybe i spend too many time palying Left 4 Dead but right now is the perfect time to get a collab game about stopping diseases!!

Thanks a lot Secret Santa!!!
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305. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:113]
Denise Patterson-Monroe
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Oh my goodness!!!!! When UPS stopped by with the big long box, I figured it must be a game I had recently ordered from BGG Marketplace. But no - it was my Secret Santa goodies - yes, goodIES, not one, not two, but THREE fabulous games!! Thank goodness Santa had already told me that he wouldn't be upset if I opened my prezzies early, too, because as soon as my two year old saw them he was ready to rip them open!!

THANK YOU SANTA!!!

In addition to 1960 (which I've already emailed my non-gamer hubby to inform him that I'm going to pester him mercilessly until he plays it with me), I also got



and



which tells me that my Santa must have done some research to know how my of my gaming is with kids and non-gamers, but my heart really belongs to big meaty games. So my Secret Santa got me BOTH games that I'll get to play a lot AND a game that I won't get to play as often but I'll LOVE it when I do!! Santa, I hope YOUR Santa is as generous and thoughtful as you are! Thanks!
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306. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Johan T
Sweden
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ThankblankYoublankSecretblankSanta

for giving me the great Shogun! And also for both being very fast and putting some extra candies in the box for me

Merry Christmas and I hope that you will get such a nice gift yourself!

p.s. I couldn´t wait for x-mas blush
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307. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:541]
Michael Knauer
United States
Norristown
Pennsylvania
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The package from my Secret Santa arrive this past Saturday (while I was off at a con playing games ) My box contained lots of goodies that I could not wait to open. In addition to Colossal Arena, they sent the following (some gently used - which was an excellent idea)



Thanks Santa!
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308. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Железный комиссар
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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By a strange quirk of fate, my SS package arrived with three others, including my small parcel from Lookout games! I was a bit dumbfounded.

My Santa knows how to lay out a boardgaming feast. Dominion is a tantalizing main course, but to dine in style you must begin with...

an appetizer



and finish with...

a dessert!



Thanks so much Santa! Those last two will travel well when I visit the family later this month. I'm playing Memoir '44 tomorrow evening, and I have a feeling that the Battle for Hill 218 will make it to the table as well.

Happy Holidays to all of you generous geeks out there!

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309. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:24]
Artur Baginski
Germany
Osnabrück
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Juhu!! My great santa sent me a really cool card-fest!

Not only one great hit, but two!!





Santa, you are great!!!

I wish you not so "hot"(you know what I mean!) but very blessed christmas holidays!



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310. Board Game: Zombie Fluxx [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:1902]
Sheamus Parkes
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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I got the awesome sauce!

My secret santa sent me:

Zombie Fluxx, Dancing Eggs & Time's Up! Title Recall!

Obviously they thought I should have a few more laughs in my life

I'm very happy for the suprises!
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311. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:437] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Brian White
United States
Clayton
Missouri
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My Secret Santa taunted me while I was away on a two week trip to the east coast. So, I had to endure a period of anticipation. I got home last weekend after Thanksgiving exhausted and still a little sick from food poisoning (if you were on the Boston to Newport News flight the Wed. before Thanksgiving, I apologize again!). So, I was excited to find a large box waiting at my door on my return.

I'm excited to get this game, which I've found to be a lot of fun and an easy game to introduce to people. Sure, I could have waited until Christmas to open the box, but I want to play this with my gaming group now!
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312. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:29]
John Hilla
United States
Ferndale
Michigan
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AWESOME. Secret Santa, you rock! No sooner had I finished typing a note to you in response to your last geekmail on my Profile than did I check my mail in my new apartment for the first time to find that I had, amidst a shocking 19.5 lbs of junk-mail, a tiny slip of paper telling me that I had a package waiting in the manager's office. Your shipment apparently made it here in 1 business day!! I hope you didn't pay an arm & a leg for that service, Santa, but I gotta say: I'm thrilled. Moving into a new apartment in a new city is nobody's idea of fun, so your timing is really great. Your package is the first mail to reach me here!

As for the game itself, I couldn't be happier ... I REALLY wanted this one, and I knew it was sold out all over the place ... I can't believe you managed to grab one at this late juncture, but, really, I'm overwhelmed. I can't wait to play it! Thanks a TON, and I wish you & yours a VERY happy holiday! Merry Christmas!!!

Cheers,

John
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313. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:880]
Susie Derkins
Belgium
Deurne
Antwerpen
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The package arrived last wednesday, but I wasn't at home. This morning, I went to the post office to pick it up.

In the box, I found Clans and



I can't wait to play them

Thank you very much, Secret Santa! You made my day!

I wish you happy holidays!
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314. Board Game: Dragon Lairds [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:6310]
Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Thanks to my Secret Santa! It's hard to find a game I don't have, but they did!

Also - got Shanghaien!
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315. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:50]
Daniel Chen
United States
Green Bay
Wisconsin
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Dear Secret Santa,

You are amazing, awesome, and very generous. I would have been happy receiving any ONE of the three let alone all three. (makes me feel a little ashamed of what I gave my secret santa target).

It was great to get home from a horrible 24 hour misadventure home from Green Bay to Seattle (through dreaded O'Hare in Chicago) to find my wonderful package.

Anyhow, thanks again for Pizarro & Co., Stone Age,
and Munchkin Booty. My wife has taken them away from me and wrapped them and placed them under a tree. (She's actually most excited about Munchkin Booty).

Thank you again, and may you and your family have a great holiday season.

Sincerely,
Dan H. Chen
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316. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Matt Hoffman
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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My secret santa game arrived today and I greedily ripped open the box without so much as a thought about waiting until Christmas. Inside I found Power Grid, a game I love but never got around to buying. In addition, my secret santa sent me a "spin 4 it", which will now be used to determine start player at my game nights. Thanks Santa!

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317. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Erik D
United States
Elmhurst
New York
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Yup, I cheated and opened it early. You see, I read about the game and decided I would send a strong hint to my Secret Santa by making it the only "Must Have" on my wishlist. Then, I got to play it and immediately regretted my decision, because I wanted to buy it right away!

Santa must have caught these vibes because my package arrived today! My poor, poor wife who I may subject this to tonight...

Thanks Santa!
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318. Ghosts! :: Review: User Review
Randy
United States
Long Beach
California
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This has been my first BGG Secret Santa, and what a tremendous experience.
To my Secret Santa: Thank you so much!

First, thank you for your timeliness. You made my day from the immediate and entirely unexpected email. My girlfriend was made to suffer through multiple re-readings of the message. She, alas, was less enthused than I, but took no end of enjoyment from watching me regress to a giddy child. Over and over. And to discover that my Secret Santa is an accomplished grognard AND a Flashman fan to boot— it was just too exciting on all fronts. Something I suspect only fellow BBGers can truly understand.

Your game comments are very welcomed and taken well to heart. Close Action is now my next pursuit, with Napoleon’s Triumph fast upon its heels. You’re the nudge I needed.

Second, of course (!), thank you so much for your extraordinarily generous gifts. I came home after a long and frustrating weekend away to find your box stationed on my doorstep, reinforcements for my otherwise flagging morale. I planned to wait until Christmas day to open the package, but I think even at the time I knew that was of laughable intent. Like Flashman, I am not a man of iron restraint. And with a long Thanksgiving weekend challenging my willpower, your gift hardly lasted through mid-week before suspense took the better of me. And I’m so glad it did. You truly went beyond all expectations.

The Battle for Hill 218 is an amazingly clever card game. I’ve been eyeing it for some time now and I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to find it tucked within your package. My first artillery barrage was launched in your name (Operation: Secret Santa) -- though I failed to take Hill 218 that game, so it’s a dubious honor at best. Thank you!

And then to find War of the Ring packaged within. That’s so truly generous and above the call of duty that I hardly know what to say. This is a game not only for myself, but for my brothers and for the fledgling non-gamer gaming group I’ve recently mustered. I’m gatewaying them into heavier and heavier titles, and War of the Ring is a critical next-step in our journey. Believe me when I say that this game will get a LOT of play. And I thank you not only for myself, but for all of us.
I soloed it throughout the weekend. If you haven’t played-- and I know it’s outside of your general tastes-- it’s a very challenging and thrilling game. It’s oozing with great looking components, and the aesthetics alone make it the kind of game you’d like to keep set-up as the centerpiece of your living room table (another thing only BBGers could possibly understand.)
But on top of that, every decision feels momentous, so every turn is an edge-of-your-seat type of experience. Plus Frodo and Samwise have so far failed to destroy the Ring each time, so that’s gratifying, too.

Thank you so much. Not only for your gifts, but also for making this a very fun-filled and even emotional experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this Secret Santa exchange, but it’s been more than I could have imagined. I only hope my target is half as thrilled as I am. And I will absolutely be a Secret Santa participant for years to come.

Thank you. And a very, very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

In service,
Harry Paget Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE, etc, etc.

ps: I know this is meant to be a secret gift exchange, but should you ever find yourself in Southern California, please do be sure to drop me a line.


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319. Board Game: Christmas-in-a-Box [Average Rating:3.25 Unranked]
Dany Simard
Canada
Gatineau
Québec
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Hi.. Thank You Santa. I received my box last week but I didn't see the thread before. I didn't open the box now, I'll try to wait until dec. 24th. It's well wrapped... Thanks!
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320. Board Game: Tannhäuser [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1327]
Katy Wickman
United States
Macomb
Illinois
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The mailman came by today and dropped off a big box. My curiosity got the better of me, and I opened it up. Inside I saw this beauty and popped it open.

I also found Tannhäuser: Yula inside the box.


There were also numerous additional laminated player guides and play aids inside the box. (I'd noted that I would be very happy with an opened and previously loved game. This one looked nearly brand new, and loved.)

Overall, a wonderful present. Thank you Santa!
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321. Board Game: Ubongo Extreme [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1039]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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I received my Santa gift today. Being that it said FRAGILE (it must be Italian) I had to open the box to make sure the contents weren't broken. Now, since the contents were not wrapped, I was able to detail the item here.

In addition to my gift, I also received a nice little jar of honey. While the jar wasn't broken, a bit of the sticky sweetness had escaped, so of course I HAD to peel off the shrink in order to put my game away properly.

Thank you ever so much Santa for the great gifts.
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322. Board Game: Power Grid: The New Power Plant Cards [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
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United States
Medford
Massachusetts
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So, when I first received my target, I sent a taunt the very next day. I was hoping to receive a taunt as well, all in good fun, yet to no avail. Of course, not all geeks are really into the taunting thing, so it was all good that I wasn't hearing anything.

Well, when I got in to work this morning and logged in to the 'geek, there it was, glowing in my inbox with Christmas cheer. Santa had sent me a geekmail. Not only that, but Santa had sent one last Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Clearly Santa does not believe that the Christmas season can begin until thanks have been given. And I'm not sure what it says about me that I didn't log in to the 'geek at all during the long weekend, yet there I was checking it first thing when I got back to work. Oh, that's right, it says that I spend too much time on the 'geek while AT WORK!

At any rate, there was more Christmas cheer to come. When I got home from work today, there were packages galore waiting for me on the front porch. One of them was my Le Havre package that I ordered from Hanno in Germany and have been waiting a month for it to arrive. Another was my Xbox 360 wireless headset that I ordered from Amazon a few days ago since my wired one crapped out. Yet, that wasn't all. Those two were stacked neatly on top of a third, larger package arriving from parts unknown. Could it be? Might it be?

Now, a week or so ago, I read a fellow geek's suggestion that he would be opening his shipped box and if the inner contents were unwrapped, he'd have them to play right away, but if they were wrapped inside, he would wait until Christmas. I thought that was a pretty good idea. However, Santa did give me permission to unwrap the new toys and play with them if I wanted to.

So, after explaining to my wife, that yes, I did in fact order a game from Germany and have it shipped directly to me in the States. And yes, I was participating in a semi-to-fully-anonymous international Secret Santa.

(Her: You're sending a game to someone you don't actually know?
Me: Yep.
Her: And someone you don't actually know is sending you a game?
Me: Yep.
Her: And this person isn't poor or needy or something?
Me: Nope.)

Once that was done, I opened the box. Inside were two, square, wrapped boxes. Dammit! After shaking them just a little, I can confirm that they are crammed full of bits. They are, however, currently sitting under the Christmas tree, still wrapped, taunting me ... calling to me. Now, do I stay true to my original intentions to savor the moment until Christmas day or do I take advantage of Santa's permission to break those puppies out? We shall see.

And oh, by the way, I did decide that I really should check the shipping box one last time to be sure. And lo and behold, remaining buried inside the packing peanuts was a tiny square box (about the size and shape of, say, a deck of power plant cards). Well, since the Power Plant 2 deck was on top of my wishlist and the wrapped package was pretty obvious what it was after a moment's consideration, I tore right into that one as I became overwhelmed by my excitement.

So, thanks Secret Santa. Thanks for taunting me even worse by not taunting me for quite some time. Thanks for in fact, sending me a taunt in the end. Thanks for teasing me by giving me permission to unwrap the presents, yet wrapping them up anyway. Thanks for spreading Christmas cheer. And thanks for the GAMES!

And finally, thanks to all who participated in the Secret Santa and to all the geeks that contribute to the 'geek. Thanks for making this a (virtual) place where I really want to spend my time. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!



Edit:
And so I waited, what, a good solid three, hell, three and a half hours. I admit it; I am weak. But they were looking so lonely as the only thing under the tree. I just had to open 'em up so I could let them meet all of their friends on the games shelves in my library. (And maybe fondle the bits a little on the way.) Here's hoping I can convince the game group to get all of 'em on the table this month.

Shadows over Camelot

AND

Hive

Nice, nice, nice job Santa! I can't tell you how excited I am about both of these. Great 2-7 player co-op with a traitor element. We've been having trouble finding games that work for more than 5 players in our game group. And I'm really excited to get the wife to play a little 2-player semi-abstract. Thank you, thank you, thank you Santa!
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323. Board Game: Neuroshima Hex! [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:159] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Lou Seelbach
United States
Huntington
West Virginia
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I just got this in the mail from my SS, along with a copy of Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow Expansion. I was going to save them until Christmas, but my 3 year old son was so excited about the presents under the tree that my wife let him open them laugh

Thanks so much!
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324. Board Game: Hidden Identity [Average Rating:4.33 Unranked]
Sean Dooley
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Well, I receive TWO! packages today from the North Pole! I think Santa found my address! I'm going to try my best to wait until the actual holiday to open them, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to.... I never am!

Thanks Santa!
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325. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:171]
Ron Kittle
United States
Ozark
Missouri
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My 2008 wishlist had a bunch of reasonably priced items in it, with a few monster games sprinkled in just in case Secret Santa was feeling generous. It never hurts to hope, right? Well, it certainly paid off big this year, because I got a monster of a game that I definitely wasn't expecting. My surprise was nearly as big as the Descent box, and my gratitude is even bigger.

Thank you, Santa!
Barrow-Wight

P.S. I had to put the leaf into our dining room table! laugh
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